riverside

Get off the grid in Riverside IL

Riverside is one of the 10 Towns That Changed America, according to PBS. This is a beautiful village to get lost in. And that may happen!

   

Only 20 minutes from the Chicago Loop in western Cook County, Riverside today doesn't feel like Chicago, or even Illinois. It's another world: pastoral, green, connected to nature. That's no accident. Designed in 1869 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, architects of New York’s Central Park, Riverside is America’s first planned suburb, and an escape from Chicago’s relentless utilitarian grid.

  

Then as now, Riverside is a masterful example of landscape design. Enjoy the winding, curvilinear streets with green space at every turn. Drive or stroll along Riverside Road as you follow the Des Plaines River on which Riverside is sited. Parks and commons with old-growth trees abound everywhere in the village, so all have ready access to nature. Olmsted’s use of native plantings to create natural “rooms” (vistas) within the parks ensured his vision would be appreciated long into the future.

 

Riverside’s architecture is likewise phenomenal. William Le Baron Jenney, father of the skyscraper, built Riverside’s first Water Tower and train depot along with elaborate Victorian homes for Riverside’s founders. Lush real estate with hundreds of landmark homes by Frank Lloyd Wright, Silsbee, Drummond, Vinci, and other Chicago architects can be seen and enjoyed here.  

 

Allow yourself a full day to explore Riverside, designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970. Not being on a grid means you may get a little turned around, but all roads eventually lead to the village center, with much to taste and great shopping. 

 

Use any extra time to visit adjacent Chicago suburbs of Oak Park, with its Hemingway and Wright landmarks; Berwyn, with its vintage bungalows; Brookfield for its famous zoo; Stickney to the east, North Riverside, or Lyons to the south. Enjoy a meal at a delicious Czech or Polish restaurant. 

 

A day in the village of Riverside, Illinois, takes you back in time to a friendlier era. You're sure to leave with a new perspective on how suburban living should be.

Quincy Street Distillery
Quincy Street Distillery

39 E. Quincy Street, Riverside , IL 60546

Quincy Street Distillery creates historically-inspired, handcrafted artisanal spirits based on classic formulas with unique and distinctive expressions of taste. Experience the remarkable creations and taste and purchase these unique spirits! Book tours at the distillery including a tasting at the Speakeasy bar.

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Brookfield Zoo

8400 W 31st St, Brookfield, IL 60513

Half of the world-famous Brookfield Zoo in is actually in Riverside! Visit for one-stop suburban safari-ing for adventurers of all ages. Have close encounters of the creature kind by feeding a giraffe, petting a penguin, and watching dolphins leap and dive.

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Aunt Diana's Old Fashioned Fudge
Aunt Diana's Old Fashioned Fudge

29 E Burlington St, Riverside, IL 60546

Aunt Diana's is a chocolate shop beloved for its old-fashioned and contemporary candy, homemade fudge, caramel apples & more.

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The Olmsted Society's Historic Walking Tours

Riverside, IL

The village of Riverside, Illinois was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970, in part due to its landscape designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Monthly walking tours alternate between the North and South Divisions of Riverside.

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chewchew
The Chew Chew

33 E Burlington St, Riverside, IL 60546

Owner and Executive Chef Scott Zimmer has used his 30 years of experience working for many local and national restaurant groups to create the The Chew Chew. Loved by both local customers and food critics alike, the restaurant is a two-level space with vintage décor that is a destination unto itself, with a loyal staff that exudes service, teamwork, and professionalism.

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Higgins Glass
Higgins Glass

33 E. Quincy Street, Riverside , IL 60546

Home of “modern miracles with everyday glass,” Higgins Studio creates handcrafted collectible pieces such as rondelays, sconces, jewelry, art pieces and ornaments. Historically, ownership has continued through the family and this direct line of continuity means that the distinctive Higgins style will continue to enchant collectors for many years to come.

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Sawmilly Sandwich Shoppe
Sawmilly Sandwich Shoppe

35 E Burlington St, Riverside, IL 60546

Head over to Sawmilly Sandwich Shop for a midday snack. With a crowd-pleasing array of classic sandwiches as well as some more creative options, Sawmilly has a sandwich for everyone.

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Riverside Farmers' Market

Centennial Plaza at 10 Pine Avenue, Riverside, IL

Riverside Farmers Market runs every Wednesday from June 2nd to October 6th from 2:30 - 7 p.m. Located at Centennial Plaza near the historic Water Tower, here you can pick up handmade soaps as well as hand-picked fruits and veggies from farmers all over the Midwest, along with many more tasty treats.

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Riverside Historical Museum
Riverside Historical Museum

10 Pine Ave, Riverside, IL 60546

The Riverside Museum promotes an awareness of the cultural and historical significance of Riverside, a National Historic Landmark. With exhibitions, online presentations, and a collection of artifacts, photographs and archival materials, the museum preserves the legacy of figures like Frederick Law Olmsted. The Museum offers tours of the Village’s landscape and architectural landmarks, lectures, publications, and educational outreach.

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Catrina Tequila Bar

34 East Ave, Riverside, IL 60546

Serving up both classic and innovative tequila and margarita drinks, Catrina is Riverside's only Tequila bar.

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La Barra
La Barra

2 E. Burlington Street, Riverside , IL 60546

LaBarra is brought to you by Chicago’s artisan baker, Rich Labriola. The latest location offers all the staples you’ve loved: small plates, award-winning pizza, great wines and hand-crafted cocktails. Take a seat on the outdoor patio in the summer and enjoy your meal while taking in the serenity that is Riverside.

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