I have now been a Chicagoan for 8 years. It’s hard to believe how quickly the time has flown. I still adore my city, and I think that’s what has made the time move so fast. Each day in Chicago still feels like a new one, since there is always something or somewhere new to explore. It’s not lost on me how great I have it living in a big city….but, every now and then, I crave an escape. And while I travel all the time, and visit my family in Michigan a lot, the escape I am talking about is a little different. I am referencing that occasional weekend I have free where I want to explore but want to get out of the normal hustle and bustle of the city. Those are the times I love to explore the suburbs! That might sound boring, especially to my fellow city dwellers, but the Chicago suburbs have a lot to offer. There are so many, and they all have their own unique flair. Exploring them is something I have really enjoyed. While I have many more to go, I thought now would be a good time to start sharing my suburban findings with you, in my new column, City Girl Goes To Suburbia. First up, western suburbs, Geneva and St. Charles.
I had heard of both of these towns many times over the years, as I have had colleagues from the area. However, I had yet to really spend any significant time here until this past year. I can tell you, I now plan on visiting quite often! These two towns are only about an hour outside of Chicago, and right next to one another. Both are adorable and give me the peace from the city I sometimes crave. St. Charles is right on the river and has a cute little downtown, with some fun restaurant options, including The Filling Station Pub & Grill, decorated with vintage car signs and gas pumps, and great food (get the fries, they are so good!), and The Office, which has a great patio with fireplaces. I also adored sitting outside enjoying an authentic Italian meal at Villa Verone. The atmosphere was picture perfect, the waitstaff were impeccable, and the pasta was so good. They had gluten free gnocchi!! [I usually can find a gluten free pasta if I try, but gnocchi? I have not seen that at a restaurant, ever.] I’ve enjoyed just driving around looking at the scenery during my visits, but sometime hope to take a cruise on the paddlewheel boat, or golf at the Pottowatomie Golf Course, which looks beautiful.
If you happen to be in the area the first weekend of the month, I cannot recommend the Kane County Flea Market enough. It is amazing! Granted, I am a big antiquer (is that a word?). Even when I don’t need anything, or am not on the hunt for a specific piece, I love to look. I stop in antique store a lot on my travels, as it’s something fun to do, and a great way to kill time and not be as tempted to buy. At the Kane County Flea Market you will find some very unique things. It covers quite a lot of land for one, but also has a wide range of things, from old to refurbished to new.
Heading just one town south to Geneva, I expected to see a town similar to St. Charles, but was even more blown away. Geneva might be one of the cutest towns I have ever seen! It has several downtown streets lined with restaurants, boutiques, bakeries and antique shops. If you were to look up the word “picturesque” in the dictionary, this town should be the photo shown. There were so many people out enjoying the town too, which makes it even more appealing. I love to see a town that the residents really are proud of, and spend their time in, and this one fits the bill for sure. It was fun to shop the boutiques, my favorites being Jane Pabon’s (consignment, which is normally not my thing, but everything in here was like new!), Flair on 3rd and Cocoon. And stumbling upon the entirely gluten free bakery, Sweet Natalie’s, was an amazing find. I stocked my freezer with treats I am still enjoying! I ended my night here savoring chocolate fondue at the very popular Graham’s Coffeehouse. It was so nice to sit outside, seeing so many others out enjoying the downtown, and listening to the live music drifting over from Fiora’s across the street. It is the ideal place to spend a perfect day in suburbia, if you ask me!
(P.S. Sorry for the lack of photos. When I am here, I am too busy enjoying these cute little towns to take many photos. On another note, I’ll be back to my regular Monday posting next week. Work travel has made life a little crazy lately!)
Signed with Style,