Scenic village of civic-minded tranquility and beautiful views
One of the most picturesque small towns in Illinois, Glen Ellyn is an idyllic village of around 27,000 nestled right next to Wheaton and just 24 miles from Downtown Chicago. Gorgeous deciduous trees line the streets of Glen Ellyn’s charming downtown, many of which flower during the warmer months to create a spectacular tapestry of color.
Settled in the early 1830s, it was officially incorporated in 1892. Glen Ellyn’s growth was attributed to both the construction of the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad—and subsequent Newton Station—and the discovery of nearby mineral springs, which placed the village on the map as a desirable suburb and health resort. Modern Glen Ellyn maintains its attractive and welcoming charisma, now coupled with the appeal of historic housing and quiet neighborhoods.
Residential homes span across the centuries, and the village harbors a beautifully diverse mix of historic Victorians, stately Federal Colonials, modernized farmhouses, swanky condos, adorable Craftsman bungalows, fairytale Tudor Revivals, renovated 1920s cottages, Prairie-style homes, and 21st-century custom new-builds.
Glen Ellyn’s residents are civic-minded, and the active community involvement is displayed by the city’s immaculate upkeep and walkable commercial areas. The village has a metro station and is easily connected to Chicago via highway, making it an ideal commuter location for those looking to live outside of the city. The demographic makeup leans towards families, retirees, and professionals.
Downtown, you’ll find all the retail trappings of a highly likable, community-centric hub: sophisticated clothing boutiques, antique stores, candy shops, locally-owned craft, and gift stores, coffee shop haunts, fine jewelers, and a plethora of great eating establishments.
One of the most popular fast-casual eateries, Blackberry Market is a small cafe that specializes in healthy foods, dinners-to-go, sweets, and rich coffee. Residents looking for a sit-down environment without losing the bistro-feel will often head to Maize + Mash, whose vintage, chic aesthetic makes the perfect setting for enjoying their menu of eclectic American cuisine and craft cocktails.
Another relaxed but gourmet hotspot, fire + wine dishes out authentic Neapolitan pizzas from their wood-fired oven, small plates, and international beers and wines to pair with every meal. If you’re in the mood to create your own culinary masterpiece at home, you can check out the findings at Olive and Vinnie’s gourmet grocery. Here, you’ll find imported olive oils and balsamic vinegar that will elevate your meals with their unique flavor profiles.
Despite its small size, it’s impossible to be bored in Glen Ellyn. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, golfer, avid consumer of the arts, a foodie, or a socially spirited individual, Glen Ellyn offers many activities.
One of the most beloved events of the year, the Glen Ellyn Cardboard Regatta invites residents out to Lake Ellyn to either watch or participate in the 200-yard race that pits hand-made vessels of cardboard, glue, and paint against each other. Paddling to victory is done in the name of good fun and friendly competition. Lake Ellyn is also a favored spot throughout the summer seasons, and residents can easily rent out boats or fishing gear to spend a day out in the sun.
Another appealing outdoor attraction in Glen Ellyn is the Village Links Golf Course. Owned and operated by the Village, this stunning course is the setting for 48 PGA and USGA events throughout the golfing season. After a round on the greens, relax and savor the New American fare at Reserve at 22. There’s the Glen Ellyn Art Theater for indoor entertainment, which shows both current big-name movies and niche independent films.
Glen Ellyn is home to several excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include: