Evanston

Northwestern University
For other places with the same name, see Evanston (disambiguation).

Evanston is a city in the North Shore region of Illinois along the shores of Lake Michigan. Evanston has many identities: college town, dining destination, cultural center and gateway to the wealthy North Shore, although the city itself is anything but homogeneous in regards to economic status, culture and race.

Evanston is named after John Evans, one of the founders of Northwestern University, which ranks among the most prestigious universities in the United States.

Get in

By plane

The nearest airport is Chicago's O'Hare Airport. If you're heading directly to Evanston from the airport, ask your hotel if they can arrange an airport shuttle. Otherwise, you'll have to take a taxi. American Taxi offers reasonable flat rates between O'Hare and Evanston (and many other North Shore towns), but a pick-up must be arranged by phone. Another alternative is to take the CTA Blue Line to the Clark/Lake station, then transfer to the Purple Line express (during rush hour) or transfer to the Red Line at Jackson and then go north to Howard station where you can take the Purple Line the rest of the way to Evanston. A cheap way of going to Evanston is by Pace bus 250, which runs directly from O'Hare Kiss-and-Fly to Evanston Davis Street.

By car

Interstate I-90/94, known locally as the Edens Expressway, runs about 5 miles to the west of Evanston. Once in Evanston, you can park on the street (meters with a 2-hour limit) or in one of three city-operated parking garages. (The City of Evanston offers more information.)

By train

By bus

Get around

The CTA Purple Line makes stops at South Blvd., Main, Dempster, Davis, Foster, Noyes, and Central: after Central, the CTA Purple Line continues one more stop to Wilmette. Pace & CTA buses connect at many of these stations, especially Davis. Evanston is also a very bike friendly city.

Travelers may note that in the springtime, local birds, especially pigeons, are so used to the CTA line (which has been in operation for more than fifty years), that the birds will often walk on to the train at Davis Street, ride the train south to South Boulevard, and walk off the train! Apparently, these birds have learned that the train is an efficient way to get from the center of town to feeding areas in the cemetery next to South Boulevard.

CTA Bus Routes

Pace Bus Routes

See

Do

Buy

The central shopping district is off Davis Street, in downtown Evanston, but Dempster Street, just a few blocks south, is also a great place to shop. It has several small, fashionable yet unpretentious boutiques. The Central Street shopping area in northern Evanston, which runs 2 blocks from Green Bay Road to Hartrey Avenue, has a number of high-end boutiques, cafes, and bakeries, including The Spice House, Table Manners, Ritzlin Antique Maps, Urban Totem (chandeliers and furniture) and Tag's Bakery. Main Street in southern Evanston is in the process of gentrifying, and is currently worth a visit for Ten Thousand Villages, Dave's Down to Earth Rock Shop, and Vogue Fabrics. Several upscale restaurants have recently opened in this area as well.

Evanston has an improbably large number of Oriental rug stores.

Eat

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Drink

Thanks to the hordes of Northwestern students, downtown Evanston has plenty of good, non-chain coffee shops. You'll have little luck finding a bar, however - for many years, Evanston was a center of the teetotalling Temperance Movement, and although it's much more permissive nowadays, ordinances still hinder drinking establishments.

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Go next

Routes through Evanston

END Wilmette  N  S  Rogers Park, Chicago END
Kenosha Wilmette  N  S  Chicago END


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