Elgin: Suburban Living with Plenty of Outdoor Space and Entertainment Opportunities

© Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin
© Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin

Located 40 miles north of Chicago, Elgin is a suburb that has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a modern downtown or nearly 6,000 combined acres of park and forest preserve, Elgin provides a variety of entertainment and recreation options.
The city is one of the fastest-growing suburbs in Kane County, and its unique elements include four historic districts with Victorian mansions as well as a growing arts community. The current average listing price for a home in Elgin is $214,444, according to Trulia. There are currently 718 homes for sale in Elgin, according to Zillow, ranging in price from $132,731 for a three bedroom, one bathroom home to $1,250,000 for a 4,000 square foot three bedroom and two-and-half bathroom home.
The average rent for a one bedroom apartment in Elgin is $850, and the average rent for a two bedroom apartment is $1,132.
Elgin has a population of 108,188 and is the eighth largest city in Illinois according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The median household income for the area is $56,091.
Local school districts include: Central Community Unit School District 301 and the Elgin School District U 46. Earlier this month, four Elgin schools were honored with Academic Excellence Awards from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Northern Illinois University 2012 Illinois Honor Roll. The winning schools are as follows: Bartlett Elementary, Centennial Elementary, Prairieview Elementary and Wayne Elementary. Centennial Elementary and Prairieview Elementary have consistently been honored with the award since 2008, highlighting the Elgin School District’s commitment to excellence.
© Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin
© Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin

Elgin also offers a variety of private schools, including Elgin Academy, an independent college preparatory school that is also on the National Register of Historic Places, and DaVinci Academy, a Pre-K through eighth grade school that offers a unique and challenging learning environment to help gifted children reach their potential.
Residents interested in higher education opportunities will be pleased to find that Elgin offers plenty of options, such as Elgin Community College, one of the fastest-growing community colleges in the state. Other higher education institutions include Judson University, a four year liberal arts American Baptist College, National Louis University and Providence Baptist College, an independent four year Baptist vocational college.
If you recently purchased a new home in Elgin and are wondering about the best places to eat, shop and have fun, then you might want to check out these options.

  • Elgin Antique and Uniques. Offers 13 booths and 1,200 square feet of antique wares. Perfect for finding quirky home decor items.
  • Two Doors Down. Another unique accessories and decor store that carries everything from jewelry to Depression era glass. There is even a ‘hidden’ second store inside Two Doors Down called Rediscover Records, which sells new releases and gently played vinyl records.
  • Fisher Nuts Outlet Store. Have a craving for cashews? Check out this outlet store, which offers a variety of discounted edible goods.

© Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin
© Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin


  • Al’s Café and Creamery. The perfect place for a casual lunch. Top menu picks include the Russian sandwich and Bleu Cheese burger. Don’t forget to order a malt for dessert!
  • Burnt Toast Restaurant. The best breakfast place in town, with delicious menu selections ranging from Grand Marnier French Toast and Banana Nut Bread French Toast to Carmel Pecan Crepes and Chocolate Syrup Crepes.
  • Elgin Public House. Located in downtown Elgin, be sure to stop by this restaurant if you’re in the mood for some great hearty American pub fare. The menu offers something for all visitors, from pasta and burgers to fresh salads and steaks.


  • Martini Room. Come out and enjoy fun activities ranging from belly dancing to game night trivia, all while being able to choose from more than 50 unique martinis.
  • Grand Victoria Casino. In addition to games and slots, visitors can also choose from a wide range of dining options including the Prime Burger Bar, Grand Victoria Buffet and Crave Deli.
  • Elgin Symphony Orchestra. Illinois’ finest regional orchestra boasting more than 35 concerts annually.
  • Kane and Cook County Forest Preserves. Whether you’re in the mood for canoeing, fishing or horseback riding, be sure to take advantage of the 4,000 acres of outdoor space.

© Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin
© Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin


  • Metra: Residents can get downtown using Metra’s Milwaukee District/West line. The Elgin station is located at 109 West Chicago St.
  • Highways: To travel into the city via car, residents can take I-90 E.
  • Airports: Elgin is about 40 minutes from O’Hare International Airport and about an hour from Midway International Airport.

If you’re in the market for a new home, and looking for a location that is still reasonably close to the city, but also want to be able to enjoy the outdoors on the weekends, then Elgin may be a good fit for you and your family.
For more information on popular suburbs for new homes in Chicago, be sure to explore our site.