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Old 01-21-2007, 10:15 AM
 
6 posts, read 84,222 times
Reputation: 22

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Hi,
I grew up in a college town in Iowa of about 8,000 people, and now live in a small town of 4,000 people. At some point in our futures, my husband and I may consider relocating, and we were thinking of Illinois. We are in our 30s, married last year, no kids (yet). I am a writer and need "space" around me to feel at home, and yet I still like to be able to go to a coffee shop or downtown area now and then to interact with people. My husband is similiarly introverted.
I have family in the Chicagoland area (surburbs) near Sugar Grove, but I am not particularly interested in living in a suburb, with the pricey homes, commuting, etc. However, I am interested in any smaller towns that might have some downtown "life" to them and perhaps some cultural advantages (or would be near somewhere that would have cultural offerings).
I am not overly familiar with all there is in Illinois; my grandparents lived in Dixon, and while I have a fondness for it based mostly on nostalgia, I think it would be quite distant from any cultural events. Same for Oregon, Illinois, a place I have visited and have enjoyed, but don't know how I would feel living there...
I also really like Galena. My husband's parents live in Dubuque, so it would only be a short drive to see them. Plus, it's kind of an "artsy" town, and, as a writer, I think I would enjoy that..
These are just what I am familiar with, though. Any thoughts or opinions on a smaller town with character?
Thanks!
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 71,363,811 times
Reputation: 10196
Id recommend Galena, IL. It sounds to be exactly what youre looking for.
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:37 AM
 
4,723 posts, read 14,329,353 times
Reputation: 4734
Geneva is great,I agree.But so is this whole forum.I suggest you get a cup of coffee,settle down,and look thru all the discussions on here about all the suburbs.There is a wealth of suburban information , and I would safely say there is one for everyone
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:39 AM
 
260 posts, read 1,063,195 times
Reputation: 76
Do I have a town for you! Try the town where I live, Paxton. It's got 4600 people, a vibrant downtown area, and surprisingly enough, a rather lively circle of artists. I know several of them, including the infamous Maura Poshka. She's slightly eccentric, the locals don't know quite what to make of her. There are a few authors in town too, I'm not as familiar with them, though. Anyway, have a look at Paxton. Go to http://www.wandtv.com , go to the on demand videos, look down the list for Paxton. I can answer any Paxton questions you may have. Tell you what, I can even send you a copy of the Paxton Daily Record if you'd like a look at a "newspaper without news", as a friend in England calls it.
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Old 01-21-2007, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Bloomington-Normal, Illinois
105 posts, read 131,579 times
Reputation: 10
The Peoria suburbs can offer a decent amount of what you are looking for. Morton, Metamora, Washington, Dunlap, Germantown Hills, Tremont, Mackinaw, Elmwood, along with countless others have a real sense of self and are just nice, clean towns overall. Certain parts of Pekin and East Peoria are nice as well. Expect to pay more to live in some of these areas, but places like Elmwood, and Mackinaw would have more reasonable prices. The Illinois river valley is so beautiful, if you do a little research, I'm sure you can find the perfect small town for you. These areas all within a realitive distance to Peoria, and Bloomington.
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Old 01-21-2007, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Triangle, North Carolina
2,819 posts, read 9,615,319 times
Reputation: 1507
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-o View Post
Id recommend Galena, IL. It sounds to be exactly what youre looking for.

I 2nd this! Galena is an outstanding town
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Old 01-21-2007, 02:44 PM
 
4,723 posts, read 14,329,353 times
Reputation: 4734
Quote:
Originally Posted by nanannie View Post
Geneva is great,I agree
Whoops,I meant "Galena is great,I agree",,(Nothing wrong with Geneva,but Galena does fit the ops interests.
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Old 01-21-2007, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,703 posts, read 92,503,682 times
Reputation: 29671
Two small towns with vibrant "small-town" downtown districts are Gibson City and Saint Joseph. They are respectively 25 and 15 minutes away from Champaign-Urbana, home to U of I and all of the cultural opportunities implied therein. (Think of Champaign-Urbana as the Illinois equivalent to Iowa City.) Gibson City in particular is quite convenient to Sugar Grove, as they are both situated on State Route 47. It's a straight, typically congestion-free shot of less than two hours from Gibson City to Sugar Grove. It occasionally gets a little crowded with college kids driving back and forth from the western suburbs to U of I and/or EIU on weekends, particularly holiday weekends, but for the most part it's smooth sailing all the way to Yorkville.
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Old 01-22-2007, 01:27 PM
 
Location: North Central Illinois
3 posts, read 11,604 times
Reputation: 24
Smile Small town life

I would consider Sycamore, Illinois. Maybe Danville or Harvard or Seneca or Yorkville Try cruising up and down IL route 23 or IL route 72. Illinois. What about Dodgeville, WI ?

Last edited by Glen_Loves_Fun; 01-22-2007 at 01:47 PM..
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:52 PM
 
260 posts, read 1,063,195 times
Reputation: 76
I don't think Danville is what she's looking for.
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