10 Things We Love About Libertyville
A town steeped in history; Libertyville provides all the creature comforts of a Chicago suburb while being surrounded by a significant amount of natural greenspace. This allows for abundant access to protected Forest Preserves along the Des Plaines River, and the rare opportunity to find a home on several acres of land. Established in 1836 as part of an Independence Day celebration, Libertyville features a charming downtown area built around Main Street, the town’s epicenter. Regardless of the season, you’ll find the area busy with events and entertainment. Come along as we show you 10 things we love about Libertyville!
One of three Libertyville Preserves, Independence Grove not only features 1,114-acres of outdoor recreation, but ample event space capable of hosting gatherings of any size in a unique, natural setting. The Preserve is centered around a 115-acre lake reclaimed from an abandoned gravel quarry and is home to both a beach and marina. Independence Grove also has plenty of trails for hiking and biking along the Des Plaines River Trail. During the summer months, guests can enjoy an annual concert series in the facility’s amphitheater. Private events, including weddings and corporate functions, are held at the Visitor’s Center with various catering options.
Inland Lakes, Outdoor Fun
While the shores of Lake Michigan are just a short drive away, Libertyville has the added benefit of several small inland lakes. Similar to Independence Grove, Lake Minear Beach was created from a gravel quarry and is now home to the Libertyville Boat Club. Located in the heart of Libertyville, the lake provides a nautical escape where residents can enjoy boating, fishing, swimming, concessions and plenty of picnic spots. Butler and Liberty Lakes also offer fishing, wildlife and summer camp options for kids.
Old School Forest Preserve and Liberty Prairie Nature Preserve
For residents looking for a scenic escape, or visitors planning a day trip, there is no shortage of outdoor experiences at Old School Forest Preserve. With over 540 acres of woodlands and trails, hiking and biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and sledding are some of the many activities that can be enjoyed. Wildlife can be observed year-round, while blooming prairie flowers make for a colorful backdrop all summer. Liberty Prairie Nature Preserve is 6,000 acres of land comprised of both public and private property. Dedicated to protecting open space including natural landscape and farmland, the nature preserve is a unique conservation network — offering space for visitors to enjoy, as well as for private farms to flourish.
Libertyville has hosted a Historic Home Tour for 17 years, and despite the pandemic, this year is no exception. Postponed from June, this year’s event will take place on September 19 and offers a walking tour of 21 local homes. History buffs will also enjoy a companion tour of turn-of-the-century downtown commercial buildings. Other annual activities appealing to both locals and visitors include the kid-friendly Dickens of a Holiday event each December, and a local Farmer’s Market that runs from spring through summer every Thursday morning in Cook Park. There is also an annual 5K Turkey Trot that is slated to resume in 2021.
Mix It Up on Main Street
You’ll feel as though you’re stepping back in time as you stroll along Main Street, the focal point of Libertyville’s shopping and dining district. You might be hard pressed to find a soda fountain, but local merchants offer a variety of shopping experiences including antiques, clothing boutiques and various specialty stores. Dining options are numerous and provide plenty of local flair. Whether satisfying a hankering for classic Irish cuisine or fine wine and a cheese plate, you’ll find it at favorites like Micky Finn’s Brewery and Main Street Social. First Friday’s are also a favorite in downtown Libertyville; when, on the first Friday evening of each month, shops and restaurants offer discounts and tastings. Live music and activities for the entire family are also part of the festivities.
David Adler Cultural Center
A renowned architect, David Adler called Libertyville home until his death in 1949. As a tribute to his artistic legacy, the David Adler Cultural Center is committed to educate, promote and preserve the arts. While typically guests can enjoy live performances, art exhibitions, classes, and day camps for children; the pandemic has temporarily modified the curriculum. Instead, they are currently offering a variety of online performances and classes. The center is operated out of David Adler’s original Libertyville estate, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. Designed by Adler, the home has been meticulously restored and maintained while continuing to reflect his eclectic approach to architecture.
Find What You’re Looking For
With over 20 Libertyville neighborhoods, there are plenty of housing options to choose from. Homes closer to Main Street, while typically smaller, offer walkability and easy access to merchants and parks; whereas homes on the perimeter of town tend to feature larger lots and more square footage. From new construction to charming older houses, there is a home to satisfy any taste or budget.
Keeping the Past Alive
The Bess Bower Dunn Museum and Ansel B. Cook House allow visitors an intimate look at historic Libertyville and Lake County. Through interactive exhibits and programs, the Dunn Museum aims to educate both young and old on the area’s native prairieland and original inhabitants. Ansel B. Cook House is another architectural treasure that houses the Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society and is dedicated to preserving historical materials and information related to Libertyville and the surrounding area. While the Cook House is open by appointment only, the Dunn Museum is open daily.
Down on the Farm
Lambs Farm has over 300 farmyard friends for guests to visit and interact with. In addition to a working farm and petting zoo, visitors can enjoy miniature golf, train rides and interactive demonstrations. Ideal for small children, Lambs Farm also hosts private events including birthday parties. Lambs Farm is currently open during the pandemic, but hours are limited and reservations are required.
Libertyville has not just one, but three Metra train stations in town providing residents with convenient access to downtown Chicago and surrounding suburbs. There are two stops along the Milwaukee District North Line, offering service north to Fox Lake and south to Chicago’s Union Station. The North Central Line also serves the community and includes a stop at O’Hare International Airport.
Just six miles west of Lake Michigan and a 40-minute Metra commute from the city, look no further than Libertyville for a place to call home.