Daytripper: Arlington Heights

Head out west on a warm summer day to catch all the excitement Arlington Heights has to offer.

Known for its lush parks and great schools, “Arlington Heights has a great, family-oriented atmosphere,” says restaurant owner Mike Caringella. “We take pride in our community.”

Here are some of our suggestions if you’re spending the day in Arlington Heights…

Spend the morning shopping at…

Stop by this local boutique in downtown Arlington Heights for gifts, home décor and specialty items, including Vera Bradley accessories. “I always come home with something from here,” says Linda Barr, an Arlington Heights resident.

A La Mode Collections
Owner Jamie Bellizzi brings fun and fresh fashion accessories for women. From its lush jewelry to cool scarves and dresses, this is one chic place to be.

Open since 2003, this wine and cheese shop features more than 800 new and unique wines, 80 beers and 100 different champagnes, as well as 30 different cheeses, gourmet pantry items, and fun, casual tableware you won’t find anywhere else. Be sure to grab a bottle before you head home!

For lunch, hit…

Armand’s Pizzeria
Known for its homemade pizzas, Armand’s is a great place for families to grab a quick bite. Owner Mike Caringella recommends the Signature pizza, made with olive oil instead of tomato sauce. The eclectic mix of artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper, fontinella cheese and basil left us tempted for more.

Spend the afternoon at…

Arlington Park Racetrack
“If you’re in Arlington Heights for only one day, you have to go to the racetrack,” says Linda Barr. “It’s an incredible experience.” She’s right. Races are held at 1 p.m. Thursday through Sunday through the end of September. If you decide not to lunch downtown, the park offers a wide range of food and beverage options. Sunday is Family Day, and the kids can meet the jockeys and horses 40 minutes before race time. Described as “the most beautiful track in America,” Arlington Park is fun entertainment for the whole family.

In the evening, try…

La Tasca Tapas
Grab dinner at La Tasca Tapas. Known for their delectable tapas and homemade sangria, La Tasca, which means “local gathering place” in Spanish, is sure to please your taste buds.

After dinner, catch one of the many performances from the Metropolis Performing Arts Theatre. Now in its 10th season, the theatre also features live concert performances, including Robert Cray and the Bee Gees Tribute Band. “Arlington Heights is a close-knit community, and we hope to add more family-oriented shows and concerts for everyone to enjoy,” says Hollis Gorski, marketing associate for the theatre.  Don’t miss their recently announced surprise show, the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee!

And if you’re in Arlington Heights on a Saturday, don’t miss the Farmer’s Market:

Saturdays, through Oct. 23
7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Located at Lot S. at Vail Avenue and Fremont Street, across from the Arlington Heights Museum and behind the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.

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