Lake Forest marked its 150th anniversary in 2011, celebrating a rich history of gentleman farms and classic estates.
Now home to 20,000 people, Lake Forest retains its small town charms.
Sit beneath the towering Elm trees on the patio overlooking Market Square, and enjoy the Van Doren Club. If the kids are hungry, send them across the street to The Left Bank (659 N. Bank Lane, 847-234-4770) for the best pizza, hot dogs and sloppy joes in town.
Shop Market Square
For sophisticated shopping, stroll Market Square. You’ll find everything you need, from sporting goods and bikes for the family (Kiddles) to a hip, one-of-a-kind outfit for you (Three Sisters) and shoes (Forest Bootery) to that gorgeous gown for the benefit (The Lake Forest Shop).
There’s also the quintessential small town bookstore, Lake Forest Book Store (680 N. Western Ave., 847-234-4420), with a staff that actually reads their books, and The Initial Choice (226 E. Westminster, 847-234-5884), the local’s go-to spot for anything monogrammed.
If you’re looking for a meaningful shopping experience, visit The Mustard Seed, (202 E. Westminster, 847-735-0211), a fair trade store.
One of the best beaches along the North Shore, Forest Park Beach offers all the amenities of lakefront living. With more than 29 acres, the lakeside park features sheltered, sandy coves, open air pavilions, a fishing pier and boat launch, and grassy picnic areas.
At the end of the day, stop by The Lantern (768 N. Western Ave., 847-234-9844) or Chief’s Pub (502 N. Western Ave., 847-234-3444) for some small-town gossip and plenty of good beer.