The Heart And Soul Of Illinois Is The Small Towns And These 7 Have The Best Downtown Areas

The heart and soul of a state can truly be found in its small towns. With a slower pace of life and locally-owned businesses to support, the small towns of Illinois tend to have tight-knit communities that can be hard to find in the big cities. Read on to learn about seven towns and small cities that also happen to have some of the best downtown areas in Illinois.

Explore the best downtown areas of the small towns in Illinois. It’s where the heart and soul of the state truly lie! What’s your favorite small town around the Prairie State? Tell us in the comments!

Looking for more impossibly charming Illinois towns? These towns in the Land of Lincoln all fit the bill!.

Address: Long Grove, IL, USA
Address: Mount Carroll, Mt Carroll, IL 61053, USA
Address: Galena, IL 61036, USA
Address: Alton, IL, USA
Address: Effingham, IL 62401, USA
Address: Fulton, IL, USA
Address: Downers Grove, IL, USA

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best downtown areas in Illinois

September 20, 2022

What’s the most charming small town in Illinois?

As the above list of best downtown areas in Illinois indicates, it’s hard to pick just one or two (or 10) charming small towns in the Prairie State. But in the interest of picking just one and answering the above question, we’d have to go with Galena. Widely considered to be one of the best small towns in the country, Galena is your quintessential, all-American small town. If you love shopping, eating at fantastic restaurants, and visiting spas and ice cream shops, you’ll love strolling along Galena’s main drag. Its thriving downtown boasts over 125 shops and restaurants, most of which are housed in 19th-century buildings. For foodies, there’s no better place than Galena; with several restaurants offering exquisite meals as well as a winery with a tasting room and a couple of craft breweries (Blaum Brothers and Galena Brewing Company), these are reasons alone to come to this cool small town. And for history buffs, there’s no shortage of points of interest in Galena, as 85 percent of the town is on the National Register of Historic Places!

What are some fun small town day trips in Illinois?

There’s nothing more delightful than spending a day in one of the Land of Lincoln’s myriad small towns, whether it’s taking a historic tour or checking out the best downtown shopping areas in Illinois. One of our favorite small-town day trips in Illinois is Fulton, a town with strong Dutch roots (there’s even an authentic Dutch windmill in the middle of town!). Each May, the town hosts “Dutch Days,” a festival celebrating its Dutch heritage. The downtown is quaint, with some excellent shopping and fine dining opportunities if you’re looking for things to do in Illinois.

Another town in Illinois perfect for a day trip is Woodstock. As one of the most beautiful small towns in Illinois, you might recognize Woodstock from its appearance in movies like “Groundhog Day” and “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.” The town was hugely influential to Orson Welles, a famous resident. There is an opera house and also tons of live music to choose from in this delightful Illinois town.

Address: Long Grove, IL, USA
Address: Mount Carroll, Mt Carroll, IL 61053, USA
Address: Galena, IL 61036, USA
Address: Alton, IL, USA
Address: Effingham, IL 62401, USA
Address: Fulton, IL, USA
Address: Downers Grove, IL, USA

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article.