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28 Cities Near Chicago, IL

Explore affordable rental options in vibrant cities near Chicago. Short commutes and great amenities make these spots perfect for renters.

Thinking about making the move to Chicago but not keen on the city hustle? Or maybe you're already in Chicago and craving a change of pace? Either way, you're in luck. There are plenty of cities near Chicago that give you the best of both worlds: easy access to all that the Windy City has to offer, but with a more relaxed vibe and a lower cost of living.

Before you start your apartment search, come along as we explore the top cities around Chicago that could be your next home sweet home!

28 Cities Near Chicago

1. Oak Park

cities near chicago - oak park

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 9.2 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 16 minutes via I-290 E.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 18 minutes via UP-W Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 53 minutes via Washington Boulevard and W. Jackson Boulevard
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,450
  • Population: 52,553
  • Median household income: $98,081
  • Walk score: 78
  • Transit score: 61
  • Bike score: 66

Oak Park is one of the best neighborhoods in Chicago for anyone dreaming of picturesque tree-lined streets. And even though it’s on the outskirts, you’ll still find several Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) stops that offer quick access to the city.

With its vibrant atmosphere, Oak Park boasts a bustling downtown area filled with an array of restaurants and unique, locally owned boutiques. Families will love the quality educational institutions and the engaging community. If you’re seeking out some of the safest Chicago suburbs, look no further than this American dream of a neighborhood.

2. Chesterton, Indiana

cities near chicago - chesterton

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 46.6 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 57 minutes via I-90 W.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 1 hour and 36 minutes via South Shore Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 4 hours and 37 minutes via Prairie Duneland Trail
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $2,100
  • Population: 14,554
  • Median household income: $86,098
  • Walk score: 79
  • Transit score: N/A
  • Bike score: 51

While Chesterton might sit just out of state in Indiana, it offers a prime location for those seeking a tranquil and rural farm-town lifestyle. You’ll find an abundance of parks and trails and several highly rated public schools. Many former Chicago residents have found solace in Chesterton due to its lower cost of living.

With easy access to the Dune Park station along the South Shore Line commuter rail, you can get to Millennium Station in downtown Chicago in a pinch, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds.

3. Berwyn

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 10 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 20 minutes via I-290 E.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 22 minutes via BNSF Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 1 hour and 1 minute via W. Jackson Boulevard
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,400
  • Population: 55,021
  • Median household income: $64,965
  • Walk score: 75
  • Transit score: 43
  • Bike score: 57

Berwyn offers the best of both worlds: a charming small-town atmosphere with convenient access to the vibrant city of Chicago. You’ll find a strong sense of community and several opportunities to participate in local festivals, parades, and car shows.

In terms of recreational and entertainment options, people here enjoy hitting the Cermak Plaza Shopping Center to shop or strolling through the Oak Park Conservatory for a break from their screens on the weekends. Pair that with urban convenience and a lower cost of living, and it’s a wonderful place to call home.

4. Evanston

cities near chicago - evanston

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 14.3 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 31 minutes via S. DuSable Lake Shore Drive
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 28 minutes via UP-N Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 1 hour and 18 minutes via N. Clark Street
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,600
  • Population: 75,544
  • Median household income: $87,345
  • Walk score: 76
  • Transit score: 51
  • Bike score: 89

Evanston sits along the scenic shores of Lake Michigan, just a short distance from downtown Chicago. One of the city’s greatest assets is its esteemed educational institutions, including Northwestern University.

Residents here take pride in their city's rich history and active arts scene. With so many festivals and art fairs throughout the year, there is always something exciting happening! Plus, families will enjoy the fact that the city takes such great care in maintaining beautiful parks and recreational facilities.

5. Dundee

cities near chicago - dundee

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 45.2 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 1 hour and 13 minutes via I-90 E.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: N/A
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 4 hours and 34 minutes via Great Western Trail
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,936
  • Population: 15,536
  • Median household income: $98,380
  • Walk score: 85
  • Transit score: N/A
  • Bike score: 59

Dundee straddles the banks of the Fox River, and residents say the stunning natural beauty never gets old. You’ll enjoy local charm, highly regarded schools, and a safe community in which to raise a family.

The historic downtown area features a variety of charming shops, restaurants, and local businesses, while the nearby Fox River offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and scenic evening walks. However, even with its small-town ambiance, Dundee boasts convenient access to nearby urban centers — perfect for commuters.

6. Aurora

cities near chicago - Aurora

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 40.2 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 1 hour and 2 minutes via I-88 E. and I-290 E.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 58 minutes via BNSF Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 3 hours and 49 minutes via Illinois Prairie Path
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,500
  • Population: 177,866
  • Median household income: $79,642
  • Walk score: 85
  • Transit score: 40
  • Bike score: 82

As the second-largest city in Illinois, Aurora offers a thriving community with endless amenities and opportunities. Young professionals enjoy the diverse economy and job market, with careers in manufacturing, technology, healthcare, and education.

The city is home to several highly rated public and private schools, including Aurora University. As for entertainment, residents here take advantage of shows at the historic Paramount Theatre and outdoor concerts at RiverEdge Park. Of course, the Fox River runs through the heart of the city, too, perfect for boating and fishing on the weekends.

7. Elmhurst

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 17.7 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 37 minutes via I-290 E.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 29 minutes via UP-W Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 1 hour and 46 minutes via W. Jackson Boulevard
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $2,169
  • Population: 45,272
  • Median household income: $128,355
  • Walk score: 48
  • Transit score: 25
  • Bike score: 52

Located just 18 miles west of Chicago, Elmhurst offers the epitome of small-town charm. The city's vibrant downtown area is a blend of locally owned shops, restaurants, and cafes, while the city's educational institutions consistently rank among the best in the state.

Residents love to get outside here, and Wilder Park’s scenic gardens and playgrounds serve as a popular spot for families to relax and enjoy nature. Furthermore, Elmhurst's proximity to major highways and public transportation makes it convenient for commuters to get into Chicago with ease.

8. Fox Lake

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 59.8 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 1 hour and 25 minutes via US-12 E. and I-290 E.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 1 hour and 20 minutes via MD-N Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 5 hours and 5 minutes via Skokie Valley Bike Path
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,350
  • Population: 10,849
  • Median household income: $64,221
  • Walk score: 68
  • Transit score: N/A
  • Bike score: 42

While Fox Lake might sit too far northwest of Chicago for some, this lakeside community is the perfect retreat from the urban hustle. The town's biggest draw is its stunning natural setting, surrounded by the sparkling waters of Fox Lake and Pistakee Lake.

If boating, fishing, and kayaking are your things, you’ll love this year-round vacationlike experience. Beyond the recreational water opportunities, you’ll also find plenty of local events, miles of hiking and biking trails, and a variety of housing options, including cozy cottages and single-family homes.

9. Naperville

cities near chicago - naperville

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 33.3 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 57 minutes via I-88 E. and I-290 E.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 43 minutes via BNSF Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 3 hours and 27 minutes via Illinois Prairie Path
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,445
  • Population: 149,936
  • Median household income: $135,772
  • Walk score: 34
  • Transit score: 12
  • Bike score: 45

Consistently ranked as one of the best towns to live in Illinois, Naperville offers the perfect blend of modern amenities, excellent schools, and a charming downtown area.

Naperville’s top-notch school system and low crime rates are major draws for families, while the vibrant downtown area and adjacent Riverwalk Park offer year-round fun for everyone. Community events are equally big here, and residents take great pride in volunteerism. Add easy access to major highways and train stations, and it’s easy to see what makes Naperville such a sought-after location.

10. Gurnee

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 40.4 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 1 hour and 12 minutes via Skokie Highway S. and I-94 E.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 1 hour and 41 minutes via bus No. 565 and UP-N Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 3 hours and 58 minutes via Skokie Valley Bike Path
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,640
  • Population: 30,303
  • Median household income: $102,140
  • Walk score: 23
  • Transit score: 20
  • Bike score: 35

While it might be best known as the home of Six Flags Great America, Gurnee has so much more to offer. First, it sits perfectly in between Chicago and Milwaukee, taking just 45 minutes to drive to either city. It also provides year-round fun with Gurnee Mills, one of the largest outlet malls in the Midwest.

Gurnee is also served by several highly rated school districts, lush parks, and safe neighborhoods, making it an ideal choice for families.

11. Woodstock

cities near chicago - woodstock

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 66.9 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 1 hour and 28 minutes via I-90 E. and I-290 E.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 1 hour and 19 minutes via UP-NW Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 6 hours and 1 minute via Great Western Trail
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,275
  • Population: 25,665
  • Median household income: $77,333
  • Walk score: 29
  • Transit score: N/A
  • Bike score: 39

Located in McHenry County, Woodstock is another one of the many culturally rich small towns outside of Chicago. Residents here love the well-preserved historic downtown area with its beautiful Victorian-style architecture and iconic Woodstock Opera House, which hosts a variety of cultural events, including concerts, plays, and art exhibits.

For families, Woodstock provides well-regarded schools, and nature enthusiasts find plenty to appreciate in the surrounding parks, nature preserves, and walking trails.

12. Joliet

cities near chicago - Joliet

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 45.4 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 1 hour and 2 minutes via I-80 E. and I-57 N.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 1 hour and 1 minute via LINC Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 3 hours and 43 minutes via Centennial Trail
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $925
  • Population: 150,033
  • Median household income: $77,373
  • Walk score: 78
  • Transit score: 46
  • Bike score: 65

Some of Joliet’s biggest draws are its affordable cost of living and dynamic economy, offering a mix of job opportunities across various industries, from healthcare to manufacturing to logistics.

The city's commitment to education is evident in its highly rated school system, and with higher education opportunities at the University of St. Francis and Joliet Junior College, quality education is never far. For entertainment, residents hit the Rialto Square Theatre for concerts, while nature lovers take advantage of hiking, biking, and picnicking along the nearby Des Plaines River.

13. Elgin

cities near chicago - elgin

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 40.8 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 1 hour and 6 minutes via I-290 E.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 1 hour and 13 minutes via MD-W Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 3 hours and 46 minutes via Great Western Trail
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,595
  • Population: 113,177
  • Median household income: $79,757
  • Walk score: 43
  • Transit score: 29
  • Bike score: 51

Elgin is one of the largest cities around Chicago, offering a ripe blend of urban amenities and suburban charm. Just 40 miles northwest of Chicago, it’s an ideal choice for those seeking a balance between urban conveniences and a quieter suburban lifestyle.

You’ll find a hub of activity in the downtown area around the historic Hemmens Cultural Center, which hosts concerts and community gatherings throughout the year. Meanwhile, the Fox River offers scenic recreational opportunities for outdoors enthusiasts.

14. New Buffalo, Michigan

cities near chicago - new buffalo

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 70 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 1 hour and 15 minutes via I-94 W. and I-90 W.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 1 hour and 21 minutes via BLWT Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 6 hours and 32 minutes via Prairie Duneland Trail
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $2,215
  • Population: 1,433
  • Median household income: $59,226
  • Walk score: 65
  • Transit score: N/A
  • Bike score: 56

New Buffalo is a charming lakefront town situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, offering an idyllic setting with sandy beaches and stunning lake views. If a relaxed atmosphere and natural beauty are what you’re after, you’ll find peace here.

While the big draw here might be swimming, boating, and fishing on the water, New Buffalo's thriving downtown area is equally exciting, with a variety of boutique shops, art galleries, and locally owned eateries to share.

15. Bolingbrook

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 29.3 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 53 minutes via I-55 N.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 1 hour and 3 minutes via bus No. 850
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 2 hours and 58 minutes via DuPage County Regional Trail
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,960
  • Population: 74,031
  • Median household income: $97,371
  • Walk score: 34
  • Transit score: N/A
  • Bike score: 47

Bolingbrook is one of the best cities outside Chicago for those seeking proximity to the city's cultural and employment opportunities. You’ll find abundant public transportation, economic diversity, a well-regarded school system, and numerous recreational opportunities, from parks to sports complexes to community centers.

The Promenade Bolingbrook is a premier shopping and entertainment destination where residents can find never-ending fun!

16. Geneva

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 45.2 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 1 hour and 8 minutes via I-88 E. and I-290 E.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 1 hour via UP-W Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 3 hours and 46 minutes via Great Western Trail
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,955
  • Population: 21,193
  • Median household income: $126,759
  • Walk score: 38
  • Transit score: N/A
  • Bike score: 57

Geneva sits along the scenic Fox River, boasting a picturesque setting with a blend of historic architecture, tree-lined streets, and well-manicured parks. It’s one of the many small towns near Chicago where you’ll find everything from locally owned shops to nature preserves.

Residents here love leisurely strolls along historic Third Street and fishing on the Fox River. While it may not be super close to Chicago’s city center, Geneva’s proximity to major highways and train stations makes it easy to commute.

17. Ottawa

cities near chicago - Ottawa

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 83.6 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 1 hour and 41 minutes via I-80 E. and I-55 N.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: N/A
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 7 hours and 49 minutes via Illinois and Michigan Canal Trail
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $925
  • Population: 18,668
  • Median household income: $61,083
  • Walk score: 40
  • Transit score: N/A
  • Bike score: 44

Sat along the scenic Illinois River, Ottawa might just be one of our favorite nearby Chicago towns. The city is best known as home to the Reddick Mansion, an iconic 19th-century mansion, as well as several museums that offer insight into Ottawa's past.

Families move here for the reputable school districts and tight-knit neighborhoods, while the numerous nearby state parks offer miles of hiking trails and waterfalls for nature explorers.

18. Cicero

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 8.5 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 19 minutes via I-290 E.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 15 minutes via BNSF Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 48 minutes via W. Ogden Avenue and W. Jackson Boulevard
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $995
  • Population: 81,919
  • Median household income: $58,433
  • Walk score: 75
  • Transit score: 51
  • Bike score: 55

Cicero is a short drive away from Chicago, meaning residents can access the entertainment offerings, job opportunities, and dining experiences in the city proper. The town is a true melting pot, with residents hailing from various cultural backgrounds, which is why the area offers such a vibrant tapestry of traditions and customs.

The town is community-oriented, offering public spaces for all sorts of fun, from skate parks to soccer fields to swimming pools. Cicero Community Park and Safety Park provide outdoor enthusiasts with the perfect spots for scenic biking and walking, while the inclusive local schools offer families access to quality learning opportunities. Pair that with a low cost of living, and you’ll see why Cicero is one of the best cities outside of Chicago.

19. Algonquin

cities near chicago - algonquin

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 48.4 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 1 hour and 15 minutes via I-290 E.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 1 hour and 57 minutes via bus No. 550 and UP-NW Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 4 hours and 39 minutes via Great Western Trail
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,900
  • Population: 29,951
  • Median household income: $115,346
  • Walk score: 26
  • Transit score: N/A
  • Bike score: 49

Located along the Fox River in McHenry and Kane counties, Algonquin is one of the most scenic small towns near Chicago. With several beautiful parks, nature preserves, and hiking trails, it’s a true haven for outdoors enthusiasts.

Beyond what nature has to offer, you’ll find a number of festivals, farmers markets, and community gatherings in Algonquin throughout the year. Add top-rated public schools and family-friendly neighborhoods to the list, and you’ll see why residents take such pride in the town’s lively community atmosphere.

20. Fulton

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 142 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 2 hours and 28 minutes via I-88 E.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: N/A
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 12 hours and 47 minutes via Lee Road
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $650
  • Population: 3,595
  • Median household income: $52,632
  • Walk score: 61
  • Transit score: N/A
  • Bike score: 52

Sat along the scenic Mississippi River in Whiteside County, Fulton might just be the best town to live in Illinois if water-based activities are your thing. The city has plenty of access to riverfront parks and walking trails, which is great for residents who want to connect with nature and for those who work remotely.

Many people move here for peace and quiet, though with a community that actively participates in local festivals and historical events, there’s always something to look forward to.

21. Elmwood Park

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 12.8 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 33 minutes via I-290 E.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 35 minutes via MD-W Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 1 hour and 10 minutes via W. Armitage Avenue
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $2,299
  • Population: 23,604
  • Median household income: $68,833
  • Walk score: 69
  • Transit score: 51
  • Bike score: 55

Elmwood Park, with its proximity to Chicago, is perfect for those who want to get in on the action without the higher costs associated with downtown. The neighborhood hosts various festivals and farmers markets throughout the year, and with many well-maintained parks and neighborhoods, it’s an ideal place for families.

Even with its distinct suburban feel, you’ll still find a small downtown area with a mix of cafes and mom-and-pop shops.

22. Forest Park

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 10.2 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 24 minutes via I-290 E.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 29 minutes via bus No. 307 and UP-W Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 1 hour and 5 minutes via W. Jackson Boulevard
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,545
  • Population: 13,802
  • Median household income: $72,827
  • Walk score: 94
  • Transit score: N/A
  • Bike score: 54

There are many good suburbs of Chicago, and Forest Park is one of them, providing residents with quick and easy access to the urban amenities of downtown. Beyond the access to job opportunities, seemingly endless farmers markets, and high-quality schools, residents here can enjoy the beautiful Forest Park Nature Center and the Des Plaines River Trail during their time off.

If safe and family-friendly is what you’re looking for, Forest Park is a wonderful place to secure a home.

23. Lincolnwood

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 13.3 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 39 minutes via S. DuSable Lake Shore Drive
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 44 minutes via bus No. 96 and UP-N Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 1 hour and 13 minutes via N. Lincoln Avenue
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,395
  • Population: 12,989
  • Median household income: $95,650
  • Walk score: 75
  • Transit score: N/A
  • Bike score: 59

Lincolnwood is an inner suburb of Chicago in Cook County, offering a peaceful suburban setting with easy access to the rest of Chicago.

Lincolnwood is an ideal choice for both young professionals and families, as you get the benefits of city living with the highly rated schools and safety you’d expect from a suburban neighborhood. From mini golfing to indoor playgrounds, there are many exciting ways to enjoy this well-kept Chicago village.

24. Oak Lawn

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 15.7 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 46 minutes via S. Western Avenue
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 38 minutes via SWS Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 1 hour and 26 minutes via S. Archer Avenue
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,500
  • Population: 56,286
  • Median household income: $70,787
  • Walk score: 58
  • Transit score: 32
  • Bike score: 49

Oak Lawn is very similar to Lincolnwood in terms of suburban charm and proximity to Chicago. If you’re looking for a place on the outskirts of Chicago to raise a family and forge meaningful relationships with your neighbors, Oak Lawn offers all the opportunities you could need.

Even with its relatively quiet character, however, you’ll still find plenty of shopping centers and dining options to stay entertained on the weekends.

25. Orland Park

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 32.6 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 52 minutes via I-57 N. and I-94 W.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 55 minutes via SWS Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 2 hours and 30 minutes via S. Halsted Street
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $2,112
  • Population: 57,511
  • Median household income: $89,491
  • Walk score: 28
  • Transit score: N/A
  • Bike score: 43

Orland Park is one of the most attractive and sought-after Chicago suburbs, as it boasts a plethora of recreational opportunities, including the Centennial Park Aquatic Center and Lake Sedgewick. You can catch a flick at the Marcus Orland Park Cinema on nights off or attend one of the many local farmers markets on the weekends.

Better yet, Orland Park is strategically located with quick access to numerous major highways, so commuting to nearby cities for work or play is as easy as it could be.

26. Downers Grove

cities near chicago - downers grove

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 22.8 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 38 minutes via I-88 E. and I-290 E.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 30 minutes via BNSF Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 2 hours and 23 minutes via W. 26th Street
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,495
  • Population: 49,354
  • Median household income: $105,217
  • Walk score: 44
  • Transit score: 25
  • Bike score: 49

Downers Grove lies a little over 20 miles west of Chicago, offering tree-lined streets and a beautifully maintained downtown area with local shops, boutiques, and restaurants.

The area draws families from far and wide, thanks to its many parks, nature preserves, and community events. It also has some of the safest and most friendly neighborhoods of all the cities surrounding Chicago — great for those looking to settle down for the long term.

27. Des Plaines

cities near chicago - des plaines

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 27.8 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 50 minutes via I-294 S. and I-290 E.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 41 minutes via UP-NW Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 1 hour and 52 minutes via N. Elston Avenue
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,600
  • Population: 58,594
  • Median household income: $79,453
  • Walk score: 57
  • Transit score: 35
  • Bike score: 54

Des Plaines is a northwestern Chicago suburb strategically located between I-90 and I-294, perfect for those seeking job opportunities while maintaining the peace of a suburban neighborhood.

Folks here enjoy the local executive golf course, the many gorgeous public parks, and the adjacent boating lake. You can even head out to watch the Chicago Dogs play at Impact Field in nearby Rosemont. It’s also worth noting that Des Plaines sits less than 10 minutes from O’Hare International Airport.

28. Wheaton

  • Distance from downtown Chicago: 29.2 miles
  • Commute time to Chicago via car: 54 minutes via I-290 E.
  • Commute time to Chicago via public transit: 56 minutes via UP-W Line
  • Commute time to Chicago via bike: 2 hours and 33 minutes via Illinois Prairie Path
  • Starting rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,650
  • Population: 52,984
  • Median household income: $108,737
  • Walk score: 40
  • Transit score: 23
  • Bike score: 51

The vibrant community of Wheaton attracts university students and young families from far and wide. If you find a rental in this luxury community, count yourself lucky, as the majority of homes in Wheaton are owner-occupied.

While there are many things to love about Wheaton, it’s worth noting the religious diversity, as the city is home to more than 75 churches representing over 40 different denominations. It’s one of the best towns in Chicago for those seeking a stable, community-oriented lifestyle.

Make Your Move: Start Apartment Hunting With Apartment List

When moving to Chicago, it might seem like the Windy City gets all the love. However, there are so many cities near Chicago that offer all one could need for a fulfilling life. Of course, with so many choices available, we don’t blame you if you’re feeling overwhelmed, and you might be left wondering how to find an apartment in Chicago.

If you're looking to streamline your apartment search in Illinois, take our personalized quiz to help you get started on finding the perfect place for you! With Apartment List, you’ll spend 5 minutes and save 50 hours searching.

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Tristian Brown
SENIOR CONTENT ASSOCIATE
Tristian Brown is a Senior Content Marketing Associate at Apartment List, where he manages high-quality content that helps modern renters find the perfect home. He brings an immense wealth of knowledge to the team, having earned a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and European Management from the University of San Diego and EM Strasbourg Business School. Read More
Tyler Connaghan
CONTENT WRITER
For over a decade, Tyler Connaghan has excelled in content strategy, specializing in article writing and website content creation. Through his deep interest in knowledge and partnerships with notable real estate firms, he has refined his skill in producing content that highlights the rental sector's key aspects. Read More
Susan Finch
AUTHOR
Susan is an accomplished freelance writer whose passion for rental real estate, travel, and digital marketing has been the driving force behind her nearly 15-year career. Throughout her professional journey, Susan has become a seasoned veteran in creating compelling and informative content focused on the tenant/landlord relationship. Read More
Davina Ward
DAVINA WARD
Davina G. Ward is an esteemed journalist and expert on the apartment rental market. Read More
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