Introducing Evanston & North Shore
Evanston, 14 miles north of the Loop and reached via the CTA Purple Line, combines sprawling old houses with a compact downtown. It's home to Northwestern University.
Beyond are Chicago's northern lakeshore suburbs, which became popular with the wealthy in the late 19th century. A classic 30-mile drive follows Sheridan Rd through various well-off towns to the socioeconomic apex of Lake Forest. Attractions include the Baha'i House of Worship, a glistening white architectural marvel, and the Chicago Botanic Garden, with hiking trails, 255 bird species and weekend cooking demos by well-known chefs. Parking costs $20.
Inland lies the Illinois Holocaust Museum. Besides its excellent videos of survivors' stories from WWII, the museum contains thought-provoking art about genocides in Armenia, Rwanda, Cambodia and others.