Best Small Towns In Illinois

Recent researches have shown that more than a quarter of the population of Illinois lives in Chicago. And that is a staggering fact. However, the other three-quarters of the state is made out of cornfields, large plains, suburbs, and of course, little towns. And people often seem to forget that there are real gems hidden among those little cities. This is indeed a story about them. Despite what you might think, being among the best small towns in Illinois is not an easy thing to achieve. There are many fantastic places here, that can be both amazing for living or just visiting. And here are the best of them.


Galena simply had to be on the top of our list since it is constantly ranked as one of the best places to visit in the whole of the American Midwest. This charming little town draws honeymooners, food adventurists, and generally people that are looking for some peace and quiet. As you might expect, this ex-mining community is quite a peaceful and relaxed place. However, it is also a tourist hotspot so there are many things to do.

If you choose to join 3,500 residents that currently live here, you’ll be able to enjoy golfing, drink the finest wines from local wineries, or simply take a kayak trip on the Galena River. On the other hand, if you take on all of those activities your wallet can get thin in no time. So, it may be a good idea to research how to save money on packing materials when moving if nothing else.

Pies in the shop window in one of the best small towns in Illinois..
Galena is one of the best small towns in Illinois not just for food adventurists, but for everyone.

Morton Grove

This is one of the best small towns in Illinois for anyone who wants to escape that big-city hustle and bustle, but still wants to be close to it. We live in a difficult time. City life really can be tough from time to time, and with public transport that we’ve got today, why wouldn’t you live in a village if you want? In reality, it’s not any further from the center of the city.

We would recommend researching this town a little bit more before you settle down in your new Morton Grove house. Not to turn you away from the idea of moving here, but the opposite. Morton Grove has so many amazing restaurants, parks, and coffee shops, that we’re sure you’ll love it. 


Skokie is another great small place for living in Illinois. It borders the city of Chicago on the south, but the town promotes itself as the World’s Largest Village, which is kinda adorable. Now, because of the very good location, the town developed quite quickly. And from a small farming community, it became a place where 65,000 people live in harmony.

The town is also rich with history that goes all the way back to the 1880s, so if you’re a fan of that old town character you’ll love it here. If you’re moving anywhere in Skokie, you’ll be glad to hear that there are many things to do here. There are many parks, shopping centers, etc. The amazing thing that Skokie is special about is its North Shore Center for the Performing Arts where you can enjoy many amazing plays every day.

People performing on the stage.
You can enjoy many amazing plays in Skokies’ famous North Shore Center for the Performing Arts.


If you haven’t heard about the town of Elmhurst, you must have heard of the famous poet Carl Sandburg. He touched many hearts and brought a lot of positive attention to the state. If you’re interested in his life and work, you can visit the Elmhurst Historical Museum to see some of his archives.

When it comes to the town itself, it is a beautiful place. It was founded in the 19th century, and since then it is one of the best small towns in Illinois, and even further, for artists. Its college has a reputation of its own. It is considered to be a progressive liberal arts school. And one can say that the whole of Elmhurst is exactly like it. So, if you’re looking for a quiet place to write your new book, this is a perfect place, and now is the best time to move.

Des Plaines

Des Plaines is yet another amazing town, and with the population of 59,000 residents, it is one of the best places to live in Illinois. The name comes from the Des Plaines River, which runs through the city. And as you can expect, it is beautiful.

There are many places that you simply have to visit here. And those include The Des Plaines Forest Preserve, Lake Opeka, and Mystic Waters Family Aquatic Center. If you like trains, you’ll be glad to hear that the Deval Crossing interlocking tower is located near the town. It is a very popular spot for train enthusiasts.

If you decide to relocate here, it’s best to let Des Plaines professionals handle your relocation. They already know the town so you don’t have to worry about anything other than selecting the best of many local restaurants to eat.

Train changing lanes.
If you’re a train enthusiast, you won’t perceive Des Planes just like the best town in Illinois, but in the whole world.


Galesburg is often described as a small town at its best. And that tells a lot. It is shaped by the rolling prairies that are located all around it, and it feels like you’ve gone back in time when you step inside of it. It’s a town that will fill you with nostalgia no matter how old you are, and not many towns can do that. In fact, this is a great tool to deal with moving stress.

Like all the other best small towns in Illinois, Galesburg has a lot to offer. You’ll enjoy the Railroad Museum and your kids will love the Discovery Depot Children’s Museum. The influence and the presence of the railway still can be seen and felt in this town and that is what makes it special. On the other hand, if you’re all about outdoor activities you can visit Lake Storey Recreational Area which is also very popular among locals.

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