A gem of the greater Chicago area, Chicago Northwest is a vibrant suburban community.
Close to O’Hare International Airport and easily reached by the Illinois commuter rail system, Metra, Chicago Northwest and its stylish brick buildings make the perfect backdrop for shopping for bargains, eating delicious food and enjoying fine entertainment.
Excellent Shopping at the Woodfield Mall
Illinois’ largest shopping center the Woodfield Mall is located in Schaumburg, a Chicago Northwest city that’s served by Metra’s Milwaukee West Line. With 300-plus stores spread over more than 5 square kilometers, the mall is huge but also impressively airy and elegant, with natural overhead light, landscaped greenery and diagonal pathways connecting the levels. Big-name stores such as J. Crew, H&M, Microsoft, Apple, Coach and many more can be found here. You can even make it a late night at the mall – there’s an Improv comedy club at Woodfield with hilarious comedy shows.
Should you be in the mood for more, the Streets of Woodfield shopping and dining district is directly across from the mall, with more stores and restaurants as well as a popular entertainment complex. A great attraction for adults and children alike is the nearby LEGOLAND Discovery Center, with rides, 4D cinema and endless LEGO fun. Dining options include casual Mexican fare at Chipotle, delicious Italian food at Maggiano’s Little Italy and seafood at Shaw’s Crab Shack. Shop for healthy groceries at Whole Foods, or grab a delicious coffee concoction at Starbucks.
Chicago is known for its fine dining – and especially its great steakhouses – so it stands to reason that there are many great eateries to choose from in Chicago Northwest as well: Chicago Prime Steakhouse, Morton’s The Steakhouse, Wildfire and Weber Grill with its huge barbecue grill sitting out front . . . the list goes on.
The interior at Chicago Prime Steakhouse is stylish, and the steaks are melt-in-your-mouth tender. The restaurant is a recipient of an Award of Excellence from the esteemed Wine Spectator, so you know the wine list is extensive. And in keeping with today’s increasing dietary restrictions, a gluten-free menu is available on request.
The Largest IKEA Store in the USA
Chicago Northwest houses the largest IKEA store in the country, located right next to the Woodfield Mall. If it’s your first time visiting an IKEA, allow yourself several hours to browse and shop. It’s absolutely huge and can be overwhelming if you shop at peak hours. Be sure to stop at the store’s café and order the Swedish meatballs. It’s the most popular dish on the menu and a nod to the retail chain’s Swedish roots.
Charming Arlington Heights
For a different type of shopping and entertainment experience, head to Chicago Northwest’s upscale community of Arlington Heights. One stop before Arlington International on the Union Pacific Northwest line, Arlington Heights offers a lively center with small boutiques, restaurants and theaters. Stroll around the pedestrian-friendly downtown area with a café latte in hand, taking in the attractive architecture, fun vibe and charming shops.
One major attraction in Arlington Heights is the Arlington International Racecourse. This prestigious racecourse, home to the Arlington Million, is simply gorgeous with its pure white, six-story grandstand. Watch handsome thoroughbreds run while you mingle among stylishly dressed spectators, feeling like a millionaire yourself.