Market Spotlight: Chicago Suburbs

We could start this article with a classic Frank Sinatra’s quote about Chicago. Yes, it’s a great kind of town, but when it comes to living in the big city, sometimes you may want to run from the crowded noisy area and look for a place in the local suburbs.

It’s always important to do your own research while apartment hunting in places near the big city because each and every location has its own benefits. You should always evaluate all the possible options and review all the pros and cons prior to renting a place in the area.

Today we want to help you out and show you the list of the best places to rent near Chicago. We selected the best towns, cities, villages, and suburbs around and prepared all the information you may need: evaluation of the driving distance from Chicago, average rental price, walkability score, and local community review.

Oak Park, IL

Driving distance from Chicago: 9 miles (or 12 min)
Average rental price: $1,687/mo
Walkability score: 78/100

Oak Park is the closest one to Chicago on our list. It’s a place with a diverse population where more than 20 languages are spoken. Kids grow up here in comfort and have a chance to study in primary, middle, and high schools with high educational standards.

It’s a place where Ernest Hemingway and Ray Kroc were born and raised. Some of the local architectural gems were built by a famous architect — Frank Lloyd Wright. We are talking about more than 25 stunning buildings around the city, including his own home and studio. There are tours in his honor that you can take and enjoy anytime.

Oak Park apartments for rent

The beauty of Oak Park is undeniable, but there are lots of amenities that we should also discuss. The neighborhood has 12 shopping districts, different restaurants, and around 150 eateries. A strong sense of community along with the fascinating history and bright future makes this place look really promising to anyone looking to move here.

As the Oak Park residents say, they are ‘way above average in every way, except maybe parking.’

Forest Park, IL

Driving distance from Chicago: 10 miles (or 12 min)
Average rental price: $1,775/mo
Walkability score: 82/100

Driving through Oak Park will bring you to Forest Park — a family-oriented charming small town. This place brings you the ability to experience the small town feel and some big city benefits at the same time. There are lots of parks where you can relax with your kids, go for a morning run, or walk your dog. Also, there are plenty of things you can do here: festivals, local meetups, and different kinds of events are held here regardless of the season.

All the grocery stores, shops, and eateries are within walking distance. Chicago is close at hand, just take a rapid transit train on the Blue Line, a bus, or a car and you’ll be there in less than 15 minutes.

Forest Park gives you a great opportunity to live a calm life in a friendly local community and stay close to the Chicago Downtown at the same time.

Evanston, IL

Driving distance from Chicago: 14 miles (or 20 min)
Average rental price: $1,575/mo
Walkability score: 76/100

This town is always ranked as one of the best places to live in Illinois. It’s a college town, yet it has a lot of things to offer you like beaches, shops, restaurants, and sightseeing.

Evanston’s population is politically, financially, and ethnically diverse. This is a friendly local community where you can start a family and get a glimpse of calm suburban life. However, you’ll still be able to get to Chicago in minutes. The public transportation here is amazing and most of the amenities are within the walking distance.

Evanston apartments for rent

Every Saturday you can visit a farmers market and get yourself fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, and bakery products directly from the local farmers. There are lots of family-oriented activities, restaurants, and shops. You can also go hang out near Lake Michigan with your friends and enjoy fresh lake air.

Your kids will also love to study in the local schools and then become a student of Northwestern University. With that being said, Evanston is a great place to live, learn, chill, and have fun.

Brookfield, IL

Driving distance from Chicago: 15 miles (or 20 min)
Average rental price: $1,095/mo
Walkability score: 61/100

Brookfield citizens are proud of their downtown area which includes lots of attractions and amenities. They even call it “the world’s most visited village.” The reason behind this name is simple — everyone is attracted by their famous Brookfield Zoo — a major landmark that makes it possible for any Brookfield resident to hear a lion roar or other wildlife sounds in the morning.

When you live in Brookfield, you have a chance to experience any nature-related activities: kayaking, hiking, great bike rides. Tired of a big loud city? Move to Brookfield and enjoy the suburb life with affordable rent, a lovely local community, and lots of fun activities. You’ll be able to visit Chicago and feel the heat of this great city anytime you want, just take a train and you’re almost there!

The community here is very diverse and the overall population is almost 19,000 people. This suburb has lots of good schools along with an amazing modern library. There is a variety of churches that you can visit and lots of recreation programs to take part in.

This is a place where economic development is constantly underway. As Brookfield residents say about their area:

We are truly a community in every sense of the word!

Lombard, IL

Driving distance from Chicago: 22 miles (or 29 min)
Average rental price: 1,703/mo
Walkability score: 45/100

When you move to Lombard, its community becomes an important part of your life rapidly. This area is full of different civic organizations, clubs, and volunteer opportunities. It’s great to have a chance to take part in the town’s life and community development. Local schools and universities also offer a variety of activities for their students like joining music, athletic clubs, and other student organizations.

The bus stop in the middle of the town will get you to Chicago or some of the nearest towns like Naperville or Wheaton. But, we would recommend you to purchase a car if you plan to settle in Lombard as it will be much easier to get around the town as well as to the nearby places.

Lombard can boast a traditional event called Lilac Time. It occurs during May and takes place in Lilacia Park. During these two weeks, any resident or visitor of the city can enjoy gorgeous blooming lilac bushes — the calling card of Lombard. But the whole Lilac tradition is not complete without the annual Lilac Parade that goes down Main Street and gathers more than 55,000 spectators that cheer each other and celebrate participants along the parade route.

Rolling Meadows, IL

Driving distance from Chicago: 27 miles (or 33 min)
Average rental price: $1,607/mo
Walkability score: 42/100

Being one of the best Chicago suburbs for millennials, Rolling Meadows is often overlooked, but it’s a truly amazing place to live today. Its calm and pet-friendly atmosphere, unfortunately, lacks a big downtown area, but there are some pros that compensate for this loss.

The town is quite small, but it means that the major expressway and trains are right around the corner no matter which part of the Rolling Meadows you reside in.

The local area has a great park system that includes miles of trails for running, walking, and riding. The parks here, also, include volleyball and basketball courts, and accessible playgrounds. This place is close to the malls and shopping centers. Local schools work on giving top-quality education for the Rolling Meadows citizens.

This beautiful town is only 35 minutes away from Chicago, it’s priceless to be this close to the big city and still enjoy the pros of suburb life.

Wheaton, IL

Driving distance from Chicago: 26 miles (or 35 min)
Average rental price: $1,638/mo
Walkability score: 40/100

Wheaton was named one of the best places to live in 2018 by, so it most definitely deserves to be featured on our list. This city is home to more than 53 thousand residents. Only 26 miles separate it from the city of Chicago and with excellent public transportation options, you will get there in half an hour or so.

Wheaton Apartments For Rent

The city itself is a great family-friendly place that offers access to any high schools no matter what part of Wheaton you live in (Wheaton North, Wheaton Warrenville South, and Glenbard West).

There is a green area that surrounds the city with bike/running trails and golfing areas. Once you decide to eat, shop or entertain yourself, just go to the Downtown Wheaton and visit festivals, fairs, and French markets. There is always plenty of options to spend time in this amazing city.

Buffalo Grove, IL

Driving distance from Chicago: 32 miles (or 40 min)
Median rental price: $1,985/mo
Walkability score: 40/100

There is a strong opinion that Buffalo Grove is a solid Top-10 city to live in the US. This is a small suburb that offers you a great mix of entertainment and calm neighborhoods.

Education is crucial for your kids, and Buffalo Grove high schools are nationally ranked and provide tons of opportunities for local children while studying.

Buffalo Grove looks amazing in the fall and in the summer. As for the winter, you’ll have to face a heavy amount of snow. The parks and recreational zones are well equipped. There are basketball courts, soccer fields, and other amazing areas to help you and your kids keep a healthy lifestyle.

Life here may look a bit boring for teens, but that’s the problem most of the suburbs face at a certain point.

Schaumburg, IL

Driving distance from Chicago: 31 miles (or 37 min)
Average rental price: $2,080/mo
Walkability score: 43/100

Due to the diversity of Schaumburg’s population, local residents have access to a fascinating food collection. This is the variety of delicious dishes that can be highly appreciated by both foodie millennial and old-school critics. You can find different kinds of restaurants here: starting from Korean BBQ places and finishing with some Indian food.

When you shop in Schaumburg you can always be sure that you are up to the newest trends, as local businesses are well-developed and strive to keep the neighborhood hip.

This town has lots of major department stores like Ikea and Woodfield to help you renovate your house or simply fix things without a need to take a ride to a larger city for the needed supplies and tools.

Schaumburg apartments for rent

Schaumburg looks more like a big city, but without these noisy traffic and parking issues. There are always places where you can go like Woodfield Mall, Flyers Stadium, Loews Theater, lots of parks, and recreational zones.

Naperville, IL

Driving distance from Chicago: 34 miles (or 40 min)
Median rental price: $2,148/mo
Walkability score: 34/100

Naperville is a city with a great downtown area that includes a river walk, a pool with a beach, lots of restaurants, and shopping options.

People in Naperville are super friendly, schools are located conveniently. The stores, groceries, hospitals, and other crucial places are all situated in convenient proximity.

Summertime is great in this area with Centennial Beach around. And when it comes to winter, lots of city lights make your snowy winter experience magical.

Napperville apartments for rent

The transit connection with Chicago may be problematic for those who live in the south part of the city due to the Metra running through the north side.

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