The state of Illinois is no stranger to the suburbs. Chicago’s surrounding area is home to more than 100 of them. In 2016, Niche.com ranked the Village of Vernon Hills the 7th best suburb in Illinois. The Lake County community has a lot going for it and people are taking notice. The village’s population has grown even as the population of the Chicagoland area has declined over the past couple of years. Here are the most common reasons people are drawn to Vernon Hills.
Vernon Hills is an hour’s train ride from Chicago’s Union Station and an hour’s drive from Milwaukee. Rockford is about an hour-and-a-half away by car. The location is hard to beat for people who regularly commute to two or three of these cities. It’s also ideal for couples who have one partner working in one and one in another.
2. Local amenities
Vernon Hill’s proximity to Chicago, Milwaukee, and Rockford means you can find almost anything you need or want without having to travel far. For many shopping trips and entertainment outings, you don’t even have to leave the village limits. The village’s massive Hawthorn Mall, anchored by Carson Pirie Scott, JCPenney, Macy’s, and Sears, has 180 shops and service centers. The mall is also home to a 12-screen AMC movie theater.
Vernon Hills also has a bowling alley, two golf courses, a family aquatic center, and Cuneo Mansion and Gardens, which is a historic Italianate mansion that doubles as an event space. Decorated and furnished with fine art and furnishings, the venue is an art gallery, historic house, and Loyola University Chicago extension learning center. The museum and its 100-acre grounds are dressed to the nines during the holiday museum. And the mansion’s central hall, formal dining room, and private chapel are rented out for private parties.
3. Economy and jobs
At 4 percent, the unemployment rate in Vernon Hills is significantly lower than Illinois’ rate of 6 percent. Job opportunities in tech, manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals attract new residents. At least five big companies have their headquarters in Vernon Hills. The village’s top five employers employ some 4,500 people. They are, in descending order, Hawthorn Mall, Zebra Technologies, American Hotel Register Company, Mitsubishi Electric Automation, and CDW.
4. Good schools
Vernon Hills is served by acclaimed school districts Hawthorn #73 and Libertyville #128. These schools, as well as nearby grade schools in Long Grove and Lincolnshire’s world-renowned Adlai E. Stevenson High School, are a major factor in young families’ decisions to move to Vernon Hills. Across the street from Vernon Hills Elementary and Grade School, the 20,000 square-foot Aspen Drive Library is the village’s first full-service library.