Since Clarendon Hills' founding father, Henry Middaugh, grew weary of city life and settled 18 miles west of the city in 1854, it's gone by the nickname, "Daisy Fields." Due to a clerical error, Middaugh received a huge shipment of daisy seed instead of grass seed intended for livestock. Although the new property owner was aggravated by the mistake, area residents flocked to the beautiful flowering village for weekend visits, picnics and afternoon strolls.
Although there are a few less daisies growing around Clarendon Hills today, this western Chicago suburb with approximately 8,427 residents (2010 U.S. Census data) still celebrates an annual Daisy Days Festival with sidewalk sales, fair games, ice cream booths and live music. Thanks to a Metra Railway Line that provides daily rail service between Aurora and Chicago, this is a popular suburban home for downtown commuters. One of the notable features that sets Clarendon Hills apart from other suburbs in the area is its landscape architecture. The streets of Clarendon Hills are organic and shaped by the terrain's contours, following in the inspirational footsteps of Frederick Law Olmstead.
Moving to Clarendon Hills
If you're considering renting an apartment in Clarendon Hills, you have a couple options, but not a lot to decide between. This town is largely made up of single-family homes, but you can often find a decent condo to rent here too. Since all the Chicago suburbs essentially bump into one another, you can also cross the border into nearby Wheaton, Darian, Elmhurst, Lisle or Carol Stream if you're intent on an apartment lifestyle.
Renting an Apartment or a Condo
Although finding an apartment to rent in Clarendon Hills can be a challenge, there are a few good options. The Walker Apartments, for example, offer reasonable studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom apartments with either one or two bathrooms. This is a key find if you're looking for an all bills paid option, because amenities include air conditioning, wall to wall carpet, dishwasher, tile floors, window coverings, internet access, heat and water. If you can't imagine living without your four-legged friend, consider renting a condo from a local listing instead. Pet friendly apartments are hard to come by.
When to Start Shopping
Like many Chicago area suburbs, the most popular time to shop for a new apartment is in the spring. Coincidently, springtime is also when rent prices skyrocket. If you can endure apartment hunting in the snow, suck it up and start shopping for an apartment around November and December. Few apartment seekers look to relocate around the holidays, so you may be able to negotiate a better deal on rent. Landlords have a Christmas shopping budget, too, you know!
How to Be Prepared
You're going to need all the basic documents to get started with your search: a copy of your ID, your credit report, bank statements, pay stubs, letter of employment, references and any other info you think your landlord might require. This is all pretty standard fare, but rental agencies in Clarendon Hills are known to be sticklers for the rules.
Clarendon Hills Neighborhoods
Clarendon Hills feels like a small community, however, the subdivision you choose to live in makes an impact on how you live. But with that being said, the town has a total area of about 1.81 square miles, so it's incredibly easy to get anywhere in town on foot, by bike, or by car.
Downtown Village: The aforementioned Walker Apartments are located in the Downtown Village neighborhood of Clarendon Hill. From this neighborhood, you're about a block away from the Metra train station, which takes you right into downtown Chicago. With a rental apartment in this area, you're also within walking distance of shops and restaurants. A couple of the best and closest restaurants to check out are the Aguamiel Restaurant and the Scapa Italian Kitchen.
Blackhawk Heights: You'll find many traditionally designed homes, and some that have been replaced with new construction, in this neighborhood on the northwest side of Clarendon Hills. Given its size, Blackhawk Heights is more of a subdivision, and single family homes built in the 1940s and 1950s are the norm.
Living in Clarendon Hills
Living in Clarendon Hills is like having the best of both worlds. If you long for a quiet, small town lifestyle but still want to catch an occasional theater performance or have a fancy dinner in Chicago, this is the place to be. Clarendon Hills is an exceptionally livable place, with low crime rates, a stable housing market, high income per capita and lots of local amenities. You can find several grocery stores within town, and more than a dozen restaurants and shops. Foodies will enjoy living in this area and frequenting the Scapa Italian Kitchen, Country House and Talley's Kitchen and Bar. This suburb is also known for its good school district and active community involvement. Although by car is the most common way to get around town, the nearby Metra train is the best way to reach other suburbs or the city of Chicago for weekend excursions.