In just half a century, the City of Naperville has grown from a prairie town of fewer than 10,000 people to a bustling city of 148,000 residents that is home to everything from family businesses and a scenic Riverwalk to international corporations and regional transportation networks.
In 2020, Naperville was ranked No. 1 on SafeWise’s America’s Safest Cities to Raise a Child report which ranks safety by low property crimes, violent crimes, and the number of sex offenders.
Dining in Naperville is extensive. So much so, there is a separate website called Dine Naperville. They say there are 260 dining opportunities! You’ll find every fast food imaginable. Along with some local favorites. Forbes Magazine said Naperville could be the next hot Foodie town.
Some personal favorites:
Meson Sabika which is a taste of Spain. Open Table ranks it as a #1 Tapas/small plate in Illinois in 2020 and one of the top 100 patios in the COUNTRY in 2019 (the only one in Illinois)!
Rosebud features hand-made Italian dishes.
Don’t pass up Lou Malnati’s in their converted firehouse conveniently located near downtown Naperville restaurants and the scenic Riverwalk.
Take a walk to Red Mango for some dessert or snack anytime. They have Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free options!!!
Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House can be on the high side. But well worth it.
Jimmy’s Grill features a new locally sourced menu featuring house braised meats, free-range chicken, fresh seafood, and baked goods! Jimmy’s uses only the highest quality ingredients in all of our homemade dressings, marinades, and sauces. They feature desserts from DeEtta’s Bakery. They have great outdoor seating in the heart of downtown Naperville.
The Naperville Public Library has been ranked number one in the United States each year from 1999 through 2010, for cities with populations between 100,000 and 249,999 by Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings. The three libraries are used heavily by the public.
Naperville has an annual film festival featuring the work of independent filmmakers, Naperville Independent Film Festival.
Naper Settlement is an outdoor history museum representing the era of Naperville’s founding.
The Millennium Carillon is designated as one of the four largest carillons in the world, with 72 bronze bells weighing from 10 pounds to the 6-ton “Captain Joseph Naper Bell”. It is one of only four in the world that span six octaves. The Carillon can be played both manually and computer-playable.
Naperville is known for the Naperville Riverwalk, which was built in 1981 to commemorate Naperville’s 150th anniversary. The Riverwalk has many points of interest along its 1.75-mile brick path. See the fountains and covered bridges. Sit and watch the ducks swim in the river. Get something to eat and have a picnic.
The DuPage Children’s Museum allows children to make new discoveries, explore new spaces, share experiences, and see themselves and their world in new and exciting ways. Go ahead and get a yearly membership, it’s worth it.
The Naperville Park District manages and provides leisure and recreational activities for Naperville and nearby residents. They manage over 2,400 acres of open space, including over 130 parks and four sports complexes. The Park District also manages two golf courses, Springbrook and Naperbrook.
Some of the other Naperville Park District facilities:
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County manages several forest preserves and parks that are within Naperville
The North Central College Cardinal sports teams use multiple venues in Naperville. Players Indoor Sports Center hosts lacrosse and soccer games at the facility. New Wave Lacrosse Club also uses multiple parks in Naperville.
The Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway (Interstate 88) passes through northern Naperville. US Route 34 (Ogden Avenue) runs east to west the entirety of the city. Illinois Route 59 runs north to south along the western edge of Naperville. A diverging diamond interchange was completed in 2015 at the junction of Route 59 and Interstate 88.
There are three train tracks belonging to the BNSF Railway which run through the north end of town, with passenger rail service provided by Metra and Amtrak. Metra service connects Naperville to Chicago and all towns along the way as well as west to Aurora via two stations; Route 59 and Jefferson St.
Bus service is available via Pace which will take you to major intersections as well as to/from subdivisions and the train.
Naperville is within the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor. Employers contributing to the population explosion of the 1980s and 1990s included: Bell Labs and Western Electric (once Alcatel-Lucent, now Nokia), Amoco (now BP and Ineos), Nalco, Calamos, Nicor, and Edward Hospital, along with ConAgra’s Grocery division branch office. Kraft Foods (now Mondelez International) opened its Naperville site in 1968, and employs over 200 at their plant. It is also home to the headquarters of Dukane Precast, and their concrete manufacturing plant.
The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest in Illinois. It states that their “diverse, bold-thinking community pushes past outdated agendas to uncover the tools and know-how needed for business growth and development”.
There were 141,122 people, 53,408 households, and 36,289 families residing in the city. As of April 2016, Naperville was the 176th most populous city in the United States.
The median income for a household in the city was $105,585, and the median income for a family was $130,164.
For more demographics on Naperville click the Wikipedia link.
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