Chicago Suburbs: Chill in the Windy City’s Outskirts for a Change


You love the big city, but you’ve visited before, and now you’re looking for more of what to do in Chicago. There are just as many fun places to shop, eat, and play in the Chicago suburbs. You just have to know where to find them.

Alikat Boutique

This Northwest suburban boutique has the perfect combination of department store brands and local Chicago brands you can’t find anywhere else. A community staple for almost a decade in Glen Ellyn, Alikat boasts a staff that specializes in finding trinkets for mothers, daughters, and all the ladies in your life. As a woman-run store, they support local artists like denim designer Henry & Belle. Come for the designer style, but stay for the welcoming staff and lesser-known local finds.

JOOJ Mobile Blow Dry Bar

Blow dry bars are the epitome of pampering for beauty lovers, but if you’ve got an event or a wedding outside of the city, this mobile dry bar is perfect for getting your hair care fix in the Chicago suburbs. Housed in a one-of-a-kind custom Airstream trailer, JOOJ Blow Dry offers a sleek sanctuary of convenience and comprehensive care. Not sure what to do in Chicago for your beauty needs? This spot is detail-oriented, luxurious, and rewarding—and can be wherever you need it to be.

Chicago Botanic Garden

Although Chicago is known for its harsh winters, during the spring and summer, there’s no better place than the Botanic Garden at the end of a winding road in Glencoe. You leave the parking lot and are immediately enveloped by local and international nature. In addition to the miles of botanic beauty, there are special offerings like summer camp classes for little explorers, and garden design and photography classes if you want to get your hands dirty while you create—plus, holiday brunches for dining among blooms.

Johnnie’s Beef

Foodies from Chicago know the city is famous for Italian beef, but going beyond chain restaurants and into local spots will really give you a true taste of the city. Jonnie’s in Elmwood Park is a single-order counter joint that’s crowded from open until late into the night. Epic Italian beef sandwiches, crispy fries, and sweet Italian ice are all served fresh by staff that’s been there for years.

exhale Evanston

Often considered an extension of the city itself, Evanston can easily be reached by Chicago public transportation or a quick cab ride. Once you’re there, you can visit Northwestern University, pop into a coffee shop, or check into exhale for physical and mental rejuvenation. The signature, simplistic, relaxing interior drowns out the noise of the outside world and lets you fully focus in on classes like barre and yoga. There’s also a pretty amazing well-being boutique there, full of workout gear for the shopaholic fitness fiend.

It might be tough to tear yourself away from the Chicago suburbs and head back downtown after experiencing these attractions—but if you must return, continue your Chicago love tour by hitting up a locally-rooted restaurant.

  • Alikat Boutique

    499 W Pennsylvania Avenue, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

    (630) 469-5760

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