Illinois has the best of both worlds. It is home to a first-class city and, in the same state, has loads of great small towns. These are the towns with friendly folks that feel safe. They don’t have the most trendy stores, but the slow pace is definitely a plus. Here are ten of the very best in Illinois.
Pinckneyville is a town rich with history, as it was developed in 1834. There are loads of places to explore that history such as the Perry County Jail Museum and the Illinois Rural Heritage Museum. This town is about community festivals like the annual Mardi Gras parade and the Steam, Gas and Threshing Show.
Nashville still has a small-town feel, as it is surrounded by hardworking farmers, but has plenty of businesses in their historic downtown area. Quality schools, community pool and golf course make this great for families.
Sadly, this town is not named after an actual sandwich, but was named for Sandwich, New Hampshire. The town is quaint, and is the type of place where everyone knows your name. It is home to the Sandwich Fair, which is one of the oldest continuous county fairs in Illinois.
With a prime location between Champaign and Chicago, Askhum is a quiet community with a lot going for it. It is a farming community with a couple local bars and a few decent restaurants.
Sesser has been a delightful small town since 1904. There is an awesome place called "The Custard Standard" for all of you frozen custard enthusiasts. Also, you can ride around town in golf carts (with a permit, of course).
People know of the town of Utica because of Starved Rock, but you should take a minute and explore downtown. There are all sorts of shops, from a cupcake shop to wine shop to good restaurants.
This small town is right in the hub of some of the most scenic Illinois trails and nature. You are right around the corner from Garden of the Gods, right near Heron Pond, and you are on Tunnel Hill State Trail, one of the best biking trails in all of Illinois.
Staunton was established back in 1859. It was founded by a man named Stanton, but something got lost in translation with the paperwork. Their motto is "What Small Towns Used to Be" and you definitely will get that flavor from the residents, who are helpful and caring folks.
9. Cissna Park
This town is not large at just around 800 people, and it is a largely rural community. The school district is highly rated, and cool fact, they use solar panels for energy.
Although not super small, Belvidere retains that small town feel in a lot of ways. There are plenty of community events that bring people together like a late night flea market and farm sales.
Are there are small towns you would add to this list? Tell us about them in the comments.