Wilmette

Welcome to Wilmette

Comfortable lakeside village
 
Wilmette is a stunning suburb of Chicago that borders Lake Michigan, it is known for its well-regarded schools, thriving economy, and close-knit community. Wilmette qualifies as an official “Tree City” by the Arbor Day Foundation, and its streets are lined with more than 18,600 trees of 150 different types. Situated on the scenic shores of Lake Michigan, Wilmette is full of green spaces and parks but still offers easy access to the urban amenities of Chicago. It’s the best of both worlds!

What to Love

  • Cobblestone streets
  • French Farmers’ Market
  • Gillson Park
  • Wilmette Harbor, home to hundreds of sailboats
  • A mix of amenities, from natural to suburban to urban
  • Highly-rated school system
  • Lakeside living

Local Lifestyle

Wilmette is known as a small village with a big feel. While it is primarily a suburban area, residents take pride in their local restaurants, shopping opportunities, cultural landmarks, and community events, giving Wilmette a community-minded feel. Wilmette is also known for its interesting and beautiful religious architecture, including the stunning Baha’i House of Worship.

Dining, Entertainment, and Shopping

Many of the restaurants and shops in Wilmette are locally owned, demonstrating residents’ commitment to their community. Shopping and dining locally is just one way that Evanstonians support their friends and neighbors. 
 
Wilmette is the location of the first Original Pancake House, which was founded in 1960 and is now a nationwide chain. The original is still a hugely popular breakfast destination. The line may be out the door, but don’t worry — the efficient staff is known for keeping the line moving, and you’ll be digging into delicious pancakes in no time. 
 
Sister restaurants Depot Nuevo and The Noodle Cafe are local favorites. The Noodle Cafe features fresh pasta and seafood, while Depot Nuevo serves delicious Mexican food in one of the most historic buildings in Wilmette.  
 
Convito Cafe and Market is a neighborhood treasure that offers scrumptious European cuisine in addition to a charming market with specialty groceries and prepared foods.

If you’re off for an afternoon of shopping, Wilmette has a lot of options. Some distinctive shopping areas include the Village Center, the Green Bay Road District, and the Plaza Del Lago shopping center. With their mix of local specialty retailers alongside nationally known names, Wilmette’s shopping destinations have what you need.

Things to Do

Wilmette is known for its many annual community events. The residents here take great pleasure in getting together as neighbors and friends to celebrate all year round. 
 
One of the community calendar highlights is Wilmette’s Summerfest, a two-day event that brings thousands of people into downtown Wilmette.
 
Another summer favorite is the Wilmette Sidewalk Sale, which has a singing contest, live music, family activities, and great food and gifts from local businesses. It’s no wonder people look forward to this event all year long!
 
The Wilmette Beach Bash is a crowd favorite held at Gillson Park, one of the many beachfront parks in Wilmette. 

The holidays are a special time in Wilmette. The village goes all out to celebrate this time of year, and the central event of the season is the Holiday Parade. Anyone can decorate their bike or vehicle and join in the fun!

Schools

Wilmette offers well-regarded public school systems and is also home to many excellent private schools, including Loyola Academy. Other respected schools in the area include:
 
  • Central Elementary School, recent recipient of the Department of Education National Blue Ribbon award
  • Romona Elementary School, recent recipient of the Department of Education National Blue Ribbon award
  • McKenzie School
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