Evanston: Illinois’ Hidden Gem

You probably have not heard of Evanston, one of the affluent communities in Illinois alongside Lake Michigan; and you’re not the only one! I had no idea about this beautiful city until two of my closest friends moved there over the past year. It’s a charming, fresh, and quiet little University town with some excellent cafes and restaurants options to choose from.

What Did I Eat?

Apart from ordering food at my friend’s place, we went to a couple of cafes for brunch and snacks in Downtown Evanston.

Cupitol Coffee & Eatery

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Brunch at Cupitol Coffee & Eatery

Insomnia Cookies

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Insomnia Cookies

What Did I See?

I was there for about a day and a half, so here are some places I visited:

  • Northwestern University
  • Lake Michigan
  • Grosse Point Lighthouse
  • Clark Street Beach
  • The Bahai House of Worship

Northwestern University

If you have heard about the Kellogg School of Management, you know about Northwestern University. What most people don’t know is that it’s based in Evanston, with other campuses located in Chicago and Doha.

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Northwestern University

The part of the campus which is located next to Lake Michigan is alluring, to say the least! It’s pleasant to walk and jog around and there are small beaches where you can relax.

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Kellogg School of Management

I went inside Kellogg as well, to see how it looks, which made me miss my University days!

Lake Michigan

One of the five Great Lakes in North America, Lake Michigan is the only one that’s located entirely inside the U.S. It’s shared between the states of Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin.

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Lake Michigan

As Evanston is on the coast, you can view this grand lake from any part of the coastal city! As I walked to the Northwestern University along the coast of the lake, I could see many parks, beaches, and benches where you could spend hours just sitting and relaxing.

I also walked around the Chicago side of Lake Michigan (Navy Pier) and would any day prefer the Evanston side as it’s more peaceful.

Grosse Point Lighthouse

I came across the historic Grosse Point Lighthouse when I was on my way to the Bahai House of Worship.

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Grosse Point Lighthouse

It’s a vintage lighthouse in Evanston that was built back in 1873 following various shipping disasters in Evanston. It’s a pretty lighthouse with a park around it, standing right on the coast of Lake Michigan.

Clark Street Beach

Now, there are many beaches along Evanston’s coast, but Clark Street Beach is the one closest to Northwestern University and alongside various parks.

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Clark Street Beach with Downtown Chicago in the Background

This beach buzzes with action because college students hang out here, high school teams play volleyball and you’ll also spot families relaxing. There’s a path paved for running that separates the beach and the park.

The Bahai House of Worship

The Bahai House of Worship is one of the ten dedicated temples of the Bahai Faith. The temple is a huge dome-shaped structure and is surrounded by nine gardens and fountains. You’ll notice that the dome and the pillars are covered in an intricate laced style. There’s also a gorgeous pool surrounded by flowers in front of the temple.

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The Bahai House of Worship

Once you enter the temple, it’s very quiet and you’ll feel very peaceful in there. When you look up inside the temple, the “Greatest Name” is in the center of the dome ceiling. You can sit here for as long as you want, but make sure that you always respect their rules by being silent.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Evanston is a 45-minute drive from Downtown Chicago but there are trains and buses from either direction and are about an hour ride away.
  • This city is windy as well, so always be prepared with a light jacket.
  • The Bahai House of Worship does not allow photography inside the temple.
  • Even though Evanston is a University town, always be alert and safe.
  • Most of Evanston is walkable and I barely took any Ubers while in Evanston.

I’m glad that I was able to explore Evanston because of my closest friends, Dhansree and Namrata. Thank you for hosting me, guys! You know I’ll be back soon.

2 Comments on “Evanston: Illinois’ Hidden Gem

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