{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Looking into city-like suburbs - are Evanston and Oak Park really the only “half-breeds” with interesting things to do and walk to?", "post_id": "61095133ec4a790020e1bd35", "reply_count": 20, "vote_count": 6, "bowl_id": "5a5e653d35dbe800131d0313", "bowl_name": "Chicago Advertising" }

Looking into city-like suburbs - are Evanston and Oak Park really the only “half-breeds” with interesting things to do and walk to?

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You can find similar walking options in some other suburbs, but you’ll have to be very targeted with your geographic boundary for the house hunt. For example, Glenview and Northbrook have adorable downtowns, but homes only within a mile are walking accessible - that cuts out most of the town’s available inventory. So, definitely possible to keep your options open, but might need to be a little more selective than in OP or Evanston.

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Elmhurst has everything you need.

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From Evanston originally, great suburb!

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I’ve lived in Oak Park for 7 years after 10+ in the city. I love it - the feel is similar to Lincoln Square because you still have the L (two Ls, in fact - blue and green lines). If you have or want kids, everything here is so damn easy. Schools, childcare, park district, etc. There are great restaurants, music venues, cute shops, lots of parks and tons of good community vibes.

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My personal opinion but Oak Park and Evanston are the worst of both worlds. I had the same thought process as you initially and made the decision to move further out west to the actual suburbs. OP and Evanston are not quite a city and still have more crime than suburbs. You don’t get big lots as someone stated. A lot of the homes I saw were on busier streets which personally defeated point of being in suburbs for me. From what you’re describing, I’d recommend staying in the city! Logan Square, Andersonville, Lincoln Square could all be great places to look and you can still find a home or duplex with a yard, lots of great walkable things to do. If you want the full on suburbs, there are lots of nice towns that are not too far from the city and still have charming/walkable downtowns but probably won’t check every single one of your boxes. But hey, that’s what weekends in the city are for! I would suggest Western Springs, Elmhurst, Clarendon Hills and Glen Ellyn if you’re willing to go a bit further out. You may make some tradeoffs but you get nice tree lined streets, big back yards, good schools, hardly any crime and a beautiful mix of historical homes and newer homes.

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As a POC and someone who didn’t want their children to have to break the color barrier, I highly recommend Evanston or Oak Park. I grew up in Oak Park and we bought a fantastic house here( the housing stock is great here IMO). I recently got accepted into Northwestern for grad school and Evanston was the only other burb I was willing to consider. Additionally, the stats on these towns are much safer than all the neighborhoods that you mentioned and the schools are ranked higher( not talking about magnet). We all have different priorities tho.

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Yes

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I moved from Lincoln Square/North Center to Oak Park and love it. The property taxes are a bit high but I have kids so I’ll be using the public schools here when they’re old enough. It’s generally quiet and the downtown areas have lots going on. Plus the commute (when we all have to return to the office) is actually shorter than when I lived in the city. Parking isn’t too bad by the commuter trains. You can get a monthly pass and there are buses at all four of the green line stops. I can’t speak to the blue line since I don’t take that. You can also find spaces from people who live nearby the trains to rent.

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I hear Highwood is all that.

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Define interesting. There’s no shortage of great bars and restaurants in the burbs these days.

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Yeah, I would say all of these things exist in a fairly close proximity. Speaking mostly for the downers grove, western burbs region. Maybe not the hipster ice cream place or entire spectrum of weirdness you crave. Plenty of weirdos but I get you want a range. But I feel like new breweries are opening every month. It’s just never going to all be completely walkable. I think I have 5-10 grocery stores and parks in a 1-2 mile radius but at the end of the day you will need to drive sometimes. It’s never going to be the city but in my opinion the positives outweigh the negatives. I walked to play a nice round of frolf tonight. Brought a flask of bourbon. It was lovely.

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Oak park. Evanston has tiny lots. No bigger than chicago. You’ll be yearning for a yard 2 years into it.

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If you want property for further west…like to St Charles and Elburn…yes the commute stinks but when you are unwinding on your 2 acres you forget all about it.

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OP if you don’t have kids or are able to spring for private school, Forest Park is a good option too

Can anyone speak to how easy it is to park at commuter trains in oak park and Evanston if you’re not walking distance?

Skokie. Check it out.

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