In most cities of this size you will find that neighborhoods are primarily real estate designations formed along school or taxing zones. Darien is rather unique here in that the neighborhoods grew up around specific families. Largely comprised of agricultural land, the original families divided it among their children or worked it as a family. This is of course no longer true and those families are mostly just a fond memory for the town. That said, there are some interesting characteristics of certain neighborhoods that are mostly a result of changing times and demographics. Many large older homes were made into duplexes or townhouses, apartment complexes rose and became a great way to house the population.
There are a few distinct neighborhoods within the city of Darien. Check out some of the neighborhoods and get to know the locals.
Fern: If you are looking for a place with more outdoor space, hiking trails and a lower population density, Fern might be a great place to look. There are apartment homes here along with single family homes and duplexes. This probably won't be the place to find places with all utilities paid in Darien.
Clarendon Hills: This is an older part of town and encompasses the original city center. You will find several walk-ups here along with a few apartment complexes. This area is also where the shops and restaurants are quaint and trendy. Look here for hi rise apartments.
Lace: This was one of the first areas to expand outside the city proper. Here you can find 3 bedroom apartments, restaurants, malls and grocery stores. Basically everything you could need in a small area. If you want to be in the thick of things then this is the place to be.
Washington: One of the largest neighborhoods in Darien, Washington is a little more relaxed and laid back than the rest of the neighborhoods owing entirely to the size and amenities. This is the primary residential area of Darien and you will find subdivision here that house single family units (beware of the HOA and their fees!) as well as apartment complexes and duplexes. Places for rent are bountiful in Washington!
Most Illinois towns suffers from an inferiority complex that they aren't Chicago. Darien doesn't care and prefers to do things their own way. Renting here is a breeze compared to Chi-Town! You will submit an application but as long as you have first and last months rent, a security deposit and maybe a reference or two, you will be fine. Credit and background checks happen but they are generally cursory. You may need a pet deposit at some places and their might be a breed restriction but even pets are usually welcome in Darien.
Once you get moved in and all settled you are going to want to venture out and have a look around your new community. No problems here, as there is plenty to see and do! Restaurants are always popular and you might think that the size of the city would limit you -- it doesn't. You have great options from Mi-Hacienda for Mexican food to Thai O'Cha for Thai food and Chiba for Japanese food. The best Italian beef you will ever eat is found at Teddy's Red Hots in Darien and The Patio Ribs has mouth-watering barbecue! The yearly Darien Fest brings out people from all over to enjoy the sporting events, carnival and various booths set up. If you are looking to get out and meet your fellow citizens then this is the perfect time to do so!