Evanston, Illinois, just 12 miles north of Chicago, is located along the scenic shore of Lake Michigan. The city is best known as the home of Northwestern University and the world headquarters of Rotary International, but for visitors its beaches, historic landmarks, art galleries, and shopping destinations all add to its appeal. With Evanston car rentals you can explore the North Shore region beyond the city limits, then return to Evanston hotels for a delightful evening in town.
From late May to early September, one of the biggest draws to hotels near Evanston is the city's lakefront beaches. In season you can rent kayaks and sailboats to take out on the lake, or take a lesson and explore the water with an expert. Another top attraction on the lake shore is Grosse Point Light Station, built in 1873 and a National Historic Landmark. Visit the maritime museum and visitor center inside its fog signal building, and in summer take a tour of the tower. Learn more about local history at the Evanston History Center, housed in the circa-1894 Dawes House, another National Historic Landmark. Docent-led tours are available, and a permanent exhibit tells the stories of Evanston since its founding until today. Enjoy some time outdoors at the 23-acre Ladd Arboretum, which among its different ecology zones features a meadow garden, cherry tree walk, bird sanctuary, and ecology center. Evanston also offers more than a dozen art galleries, the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, and the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian.
Downtown Evanston is where you'll find the greatest concentration of restaurants, with more than 85 dining establishments presenting a wide range of cuisines to suit all appetites and budgets. Here you'll find international fare ranging from French crepes to Nepalese dumplings. Evanston has its fair share of chain restaurants, but if you prefer independent places, explore the three-block region of Main Street Station.
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