In 2012, researchers at DePaul University released a report naming La Grange the most transit-friendly suburb in the entire Chicago area. (Criteria included train service, the degree to which town centers coalesce around stations, walkability, and overall “community connectivity.”) No wonder. Metra trains shooting west from Union Station arrive here in 25 minutes, and most of the village’s amenities—restaurants, high-end shops, a historic movie house—are within a half-mile stroll of the station. “City people who struggle with the normal suburb find in La Grange a downtown that meets urban standards,” says village president Tom Livingston, “yet they can have a home with a driveway for their car.”

Architecture buffs should head straight to the historic district that surrounds the main drag, which is full of charming Victorians with large porches and lawns. No matter where you settle, your kids can attend Lyons Township, one of the best public high schools in Cook County.