Naperville is one of the best known suburbs of Chicago. It’s received accolades from Money Magazine, Modern Maturity, and Home Computing. Generally perceived as one of the best Chicagoland areas in which to live, Naperville is not just a bedroom community. With a population of over 140,000, it’s more than a suburb of Chicago, but the fourth largest city in Illinois.
Part of the reason Naperville is considered such a reat place to live is the charm of the downtown area. Its most famous attraction is the Riverwalk, four miles of pathways along the DuPage River.
A popular area for families and teens is Centennial Beach. A former quarry, it’s been the “community’s swimming pool” since 1931. Besides the immense swimming area, there’s a sand beach, a beach volleyball area, and a playground and concession stand. You do have to pay to get in – $6 if you’re a resident, $10 if you’re not.
On the south side of the river is a tall structure called the Moser Tower and the Millennium Carillon. The tower houses 72 bells and spans six octaves. This summer the visitor center will be complete, and the tower will be open to the public for the first time since its dedication in 2000.
Also south of the river is Naper Settlement. The living history museum covers the beginnings of this fronteir outpost, which Joseph Naper first established in 1831, and how it grew to be a busy community. That was mainly due to the ease of travel to and from Chicago on the railway, and that ease of travel contributues to its popularity today, with a direct link from Union Station to the heart of Naperville.
There are several major corporations in the area, and the downtown section boasts thriving shops. While there are many boutiques, national chains are also well represented.