Naperville | The Golden City

Naperville |The Golden City

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If you are thinking about moving to Naperville, read our newsletter on exactly why you should! There are many attractions and fun, exciting things to do in and around Naperville, making it a great city to live in. Download the “Why Naperville Newsletter” to read more. Home to Reveal. Naperville is a city in DuPage and Will counties in the U.S. state of Illinois, and a suburb located 28 miles west of Chicago. Recent estimates put the population of Naperville at 147,000 and it was ranked among the nation’s safest cities by USAToday and Business Insider. In 2018, Naperville was named the best city to live in Illinois on Wall Street’s list of Best Cities to Live in Every State as well as the Best City to Raise a Family in America by Niche. Naperville is named the third best place to visit in 2018 by Livability, and in August, the City took the No. 12 spot on Safewise’s 2018 Safest College Towns in the Nation report.

Recognized nationally and internationally as one of the top communities in which to settle down, raise a family and retire, Naperville has made headlines for its outstanding quality of life. Our picturesque, quaint city combines the values and charm of small-town life with the vibrancy and boldness of a modern, thriving economic powerhouse in the Chicago area. Our residents enjoy internationally accredited Police and Fire Departments that provide unparalleled levels of public safety. Our law enforcement’s dedication to addressing traffic safety concerns was recognized when our Traffic Safety Initiatives were ranked No. 1 in the world by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. As a recognized National Weather Service – Storm Ready Community, Naperville is prepared for severe weather when seconds count and safety matters.

According to Zero Population Growth, Naperville has been named among the top five “kid-friendliest” cities in the nation since 1997. The DuPage Children’s Museum has been rated the Reader’s Choice Best Museum by Suburban Life.

Naperville works hard to preserve a unique blend of big-city amenities and small-town charm. Well known for its picturesque Riverwalk, Naperville’s quaint downtown offers an array of shopping, dining and cultural activities to fit every budget. Residents also enjoy world-class parks, diverse worship options and an active civic community. With a strong education system and several top-rated schools, endless festivals, museums and bike trails, there is no shortage of amenities.Naperville Riverwalk

The most important decision you will make as a parent – is deciding what school for them to enroll in. When looking for the best place to live that has the best schools to send your kids, the Naperville community ranks #3 for Best School Districts in Illinois as of 2018.

The U.S. Census Bureau agreed in their 2004 report “Children and the Households They Live In.” Naperville is home to two nationally recognized public school systems and a number of highly rated private schools. Average scores on standardized tests, such as the Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT) Program and ACT and SAT college entrance examinations, consistently rank among the highest in the state and in the nation.

Additionally, graduation rates far exceed state and national averages. North Central College, in the heart of downtown Naperville, has been an integral part of the community for more than 125 years. A number of other higher education institutions have primary or satellite facilities in and around Naperville providing residents an opportunity to advance their learning. Considered a place of tranquility along the DuPage River is Naperville’s Riverwalk, a 1.75-mile pathway that includes bridges, fountains and outdoor sculptures for walkers and joggers. The Riverwalk is often called the city’s crown jewel, providing a natural park to be enjoyed by both residents and visitors.

Shopping Surrounding Naperville

Chicago Premium Outlet Mall located only 12-15 minutes from our Naperville office and 40 minutes from downtown Chicago! Chicago Premium outlets give you an incredible experience for less. This outlet mall has over 170 stores such as Kate Spade, MOVADO, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Coach, J. Crew, Adidas, Nike, Vera Bradley and many more. Also, this outlet provides great amenities such as fireplaces, art installations, a play area, and a reflecting pond. It provides a great spot to bring the family, friends, or just yourself to explore and simply enjoy. Click here for more Naperville attractions.

Chicago – 28 miles East of Naperville

Chicago is the third largest city in the United States and can seem overwhelming for first-time visitors, but being well-informed you’ll be able to hit the ground running in The City of Big Shoulders. The Jewel of the Midwest. The Windy City. No matter what you call it, Chicago is a truly American city with a storied past and a promising future. If you’re considering packing up your life and heading to the City that Works. The backbone of Chicago is in its 77 well-defined neighborhoods — each with their own mix of attractions, culture, history, and personality. From Lincoln Square to Hyde Park, residents settle in and stay loyal to their own areas.

  • North: Chicago’s North Side neighborhoods offer an electric atmosphere — from catching a Cubs game in Wrigleyville to boutique shopping in Bucktown and live jazz in Uptown, you’ll always have something to do.
  • West: The West Side offers a truly authentic cultural experience. Dine at ethnic restaurants, enjoy the Mexican flavor of Little Village and take in the stunning murals, monuments, and churches within the area.
  • Downtown: Downtown Chicago has all of your top attractions: Magnificent Mile shopping district displaying the second oldest water tower in the United States, The “Bean” at Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, the Historic Theatre District as well as art galleries, cocktail lounges and shopping on Michigan Avenue.
  • South: Chicago’s South Side boasts an array of cultural and social offerings. From monuments in Bronzeville to the Museum Campus in South Loop to Chinatown’s authentic cultural cuisine, diversity runs deep.

Chicago, the birthplace of the modern skyscraper, is still a trendsetter in urban architecture and a must see. But the Windy City offers a lot more than architecture alone: it is a bustling city, with phenomenal restaurants, vibrant nightlife and plenty of great museums. It is also a great city to live in, which has a lively atmosphere and even nice beaches on Lake Michigan.

By the time you’ve fully thawed from the polar vortex, summer in Chicago will quickly make you forget all that. The weather is glorious, and you’ll find yourself soaking up every possible moment, whether that’s lazing about at the beach, reading in a park or throwing back a beverage on a patio. Even though the city doesn’t have an oceanfront or much terrain to speak of, it’s easy to take in nature’s beauty at the city’s many parks, conservatories, nature preserves and a gorgeous river.

Lake Michigan

Who needs an ocean when you’ve got this? The lakefront offers many miles of beaches and a massive biking and running trail that outdoorsy types will flock to. And the backdrop of the city’s iconic skyline isn’t so bad either. It’s the sort of view that takes the breath away from even the most jaded Chicagoan. Chicago may be known for its frigid winters and concrete jungle structure, but its beaches are one of the most popular places to hang with your friends and family. While many out-of-towners probably don’t think of Chicago as a prime beach destination, the city offers 26 miles of sand along Lake Michigan and an impressive summer beach scene. Must see beaches include:Chicago Beaches

  • 31st Street Beach – Free of charge, you can’t compete with the beach’s painted trees to climb, a spray ground, and climbing spider-web rope structures for the kids. Grab some food from Pier 31 and listen to live music every evening.
  • Montrose Beach – For every dog lover out there, Montrose Beach is one of the only beaches in the city to offer a designated dog-friendly zone. Elsewhere along the shore offers volleyball nets, kayaks, and cabana rentals.
  • North Avenue Beach – Just a short walk from Lincoln Park and home to the popular restaurant and bar Castaways, this beach offers volleyball courts, impressive views of the skyline and great seating areas for Chicago’s Air and Water Show.

Adventures in Chicago

You’ll need to get out and meet new people, and it’s extremely easy. If you’re looking for things to do with your family in Chicago, you don’t have to look far.

Adventures Include:

  • Navy Pier: Known as the most popular attraction in Chicago, the 3,300-foot long pier offers a 50-acre playground, 150-foot Ferris wheel and excellent views of the city right on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. The Pier was established to oversee the redevelopment of one of the most civic landmarks in the U.S. and is now one of the top-visited destinations of the world.
  • Millennium Park: Construction of Millennium Park began less than 20 years ago, but it’s already becoming a huge part of the Chicago experience. Today, the 25-acre park contains some of the greatest public art pieces in the world in addition to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Cloud Gate, Crown Fountain and Lurie Garden.
  • Willis Tower: Formerly known as the Sears Tower, the 110-story building is the second tallest building in the U.S. It’s one of Chicago’s most popular tourist destinations, so you’ll want to check this one out. The Skydeck opened on June 22, 1974. It is located on the 103rd floor and offers remarkable views at 1,353 in the air! This is the highest observation deck in the United States and one of Chicago’s most famous attractions. Looking to meet new people or make connections? Meetup groups offer something for everyone in Chicago — whether you’re a dog lover, political junkie, student-athlete or more. With hundreds of groups in the city, it’s likely that your crew is waiting for you to meet them.

Chicagoans Take Grub Seriously

We’re not just talking about deep dish pizza and hot dogs, here. Chicago is brimming with some of the most phenomenal food in the world, an eclectic mix of fare that reflects the city’s diverse population. From four-star dining to greasy-spoon excellence, carnivore fantasies to vegan decadence, if you can dream it up, you can get it in Chicago. If you’re moving to the food-centric Windy City, you’ll soon grow accustomed to the three signature staples: the hot beef sandwich, the deep-dish pizza, and the Chicago-style hot dog. Prepare for beloved beef sandwiches at Al’s Beef, the best deep-dish you’ve ever had at Pequod’s and a traditional dog served at Hot Doug’s. And remember: in Chicago, ketchup on your hot dog is considered a sin.

Sports in Chicago

The recent success of the Blackhawks and Cubs can definitely make it feel like the entire city is just as sports-obsessed as the iconic “SNL” sketch indicated. This is a city that gets behind its sports teams. But if rooting for the Bears isn’t your ticket, the city has a lot more to offer you. From the major sporting franchises to its die-hard fans, Chicago loves its sports teams. It’s in your best interest to become a loyal and passionate fan (or at least pretend to be), rooting for one of Chicago’s many professional teams Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox.  We can finally say Chicago Cubs won the World Series back in 2016! They’re one of the most beloved teams in the country and fans can’t wait for opening day at Wrigley. Beware of “The Crosstown Classic” — an affiliation split between the north and south side of Chicago.

  • Chicago Bears: It’s also been a while since “da Bears” went to the Super Bowl, but at least they made it to the playoffs in 2018. Chicago fans love showing their football fandom at Soldier Field (and keeping the spirit of former head coach Mike Ditka, now a national TV personality, local legend and successful restaurateur, alive).
  • Chicago Blackhawks: The Blackhawks have dominated the Chicago sports scene over the last few years, winning three Stanley Cups in the last six seasons. And to think, it wasn’t that long ago when their home games weren’t even on television 1,353 in the air! The United Center is home to both the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks. The arena is named after its city-based corporate sponsor, United Airlines. This arena was the Chicago Stadium, originally “Madhouse on Madison”, which was torn down after the new arena opened for business on August 18, 1994. The plan to build the arena was created by then Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz and Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf. The east side of the arena features statues of Michael Jordan (known as “The Spirit”). Meanwhile,  a statue of various Blackhawks sits to the north on Madison Street; this is where the Chicago Stadium was located.
  • Chicago SportsChicago Bulls: Michael Jordan. Do we need to say more? The Chicago Bulls joined the National Basketball Association for 1966-67. That very first season the Bulls made the Playoffs—the only expansion franchise to ever accomplish that feat. In the early 1990s, the Bulls went on to win three consecutive NBA titles 1991, 1992 and 1993. Two years later they won three more titles in 1996, 1997 and 1998 at the United Center. The 1996 team, which won a record-breaking 72 games, is considered by most to be the best team of all-time.
  • Chicago Fire: It all began with a legend. On the 126th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, October 8, 1997, an announcement was made. The new Major League Soccer team assigned to Chicago would be called the Chicago Fire. Its inaugural season was in 1998. The team competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference. No matter which team you’re rooting for, sports teams are a fun and competitive event for the whole family!

We Take Our Music Seriously Too!

Chicago is also a music lover’s dream come true. The birthplace of the blues and some of the best house, rap, gospel, and alternative music ever made, the city continues to breed promising new talent. Better yet, there are concert venues, featuring local and international stars alike, around every corner and some of the nation’s best music festivals take place here each summer. “Chicago has this huge, rich musical history which, yes, blues, but also stepping, house music, which was born here in the ’80s, and now juking music is popular with young South Side Chicagoans, and that’s made its way across the globe as well,” says Chicago Tribune writer and lifelong resident Brittany Julious. Chicago has the most dance music festivals in the entire country, due to its house music origin many decades ago, including the largest outdoor dancing series in the U.S.

A Comedy Town

A laundry list of comedy’s biggest names — Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey got their start on the main stage of Chicago’s Second City. The next generation of funny men and women continue to rise through the ranks here at the city’s many options for improv, sketch and stand-up comedy.

A Shopping Town

The Second City has serious style and is arguably a first-rate shopping destination. Michigan Avenue features a mile-long stretch of tucked away boutiques, restaurants and high-rise malls. For the ultimate “Magnificent Mile” shopping experience, begin at one end of North Michigan Avenue and try to make your way to the other.

  • Wrigleyville: For the best sports shopping in the city, head to Wrigleyville—where you can find a Cubs jersey, a Blackhawks hat or Bulls and Bears gear.
  • Oak Street: When it comes to shopping in Chicago, Oak Street has long been a symbol of designer-label shopping. Enjoy high-end shops and local boutiques located in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast. But you may have to keep your eyes peeled–many of the shops are quaintly tucked away into converted townhouses.
  • State Street: State Street was Chicago’s first-ever shopping district. While Michigan Avenue is now the most populated area, State Street is still well worth the visit. You’ll find discount stores, hot lunch destinations and Macy’s at State Street–a city landmark and one of the largest department stores in the world. It even features the largest Tiffany’s glass mosaic dome in the U.S.

An Art Town

Home to one of the world’s most revered art museums, the Art Institute of Chicago, the art doesn’t stop there. Areas like Pilsen are known for their beautiful murals while galleries throughout the city showcase the budding talent of local artists. On top of that, companies like the Joffrey Ballet and the Lyric Opera make it easy to take in world-class performing arts in town as well.

A Theater Town

Thanks to incredible companies like Steppenwolf, the Hypocrites and many others, some of the nation’s best theater is born in Chicago. In fact, some have even called it the theater capital of America.

The Architecture

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There’s a good reason that the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s boat tour is probably the only tourist activity locals will openly admit to actually enjoying: This city is home to an overwhelming number of stunning skyscrapers, churches and libraries dreamed up by some of the world’s best architects.

Chicago’s trains and buses are your best friend, inexpensive and relatively widespread, especially if you’re living on the north side of the city. Between public transit, the city’s improved bike-lane strategy, bike-sharing, car-sharing and Ubers-a-plenty, Chicago has more than enough ways to get around.

Before Long, You’ll Be One of Us

Any given day in the city is packed with endless events and activities, many of them cheap or free. If you keep a close eye on event listings from Time Out and the Reader, you’ll soon have a calendar that’s overflowing with adventures. It just doesn’t get better than the free summer concerts at Millennium Park and just about any other park in Chicago and surrounding towns. Chicago isn’t just a place, it’s a feeling of home. No matter who you are or what you love, you’ll fit right in exploring award-winning restaurants, acclaimed museums, jaw-dropping waterfront, vibrant music and spectacular art and architecture.

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