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Best Hotels in Evanston, IL and Fun Things to Do



A quick look at the map will illustrate that Evanston, IL is located close to Lake Michigan. Found in Cook County, the town is mainly regarded as a north Chicago suburb. The city, established in 1836 and with time, became an attractive settlement for farmers. Originally named Ridgeville, the town renamed itself after John Evans, founder of Northwestern University. You might be interested to know that it’s home to this renowned university. Tourists coming to this tree-lined ‘burb’ located just 12 miles north of the city, enjoy soaking up the lakefront area and beaches. Some of the most famous North Shore gathering spots include South Boulevard Beach, Lighthouse Beach, Lee Street Beach, and Clark Street Beach.

Stay at one of Evanston's best hotels

There are multiple hotels in Evanston, IL, highly ranked by travelers on Tripadvisor. The hotels provide the best services for those looking for a unique business experience. They include The Homestead, Hilton Orrington, Hilton Garden Inn Chicago North Shore, Hyatt House, and Holiday Inn Chicago North Evanston. When it comes to hosting business meetings, Evanston hotels don’t disappoint. Most offer meeting rooms, conference facilities, and business centers with internet access. For relaxation, you will find a restaurant, bar & lounge, pool or fitness center. Below are some of the best Evanston, IL hotels.


The Homestead

It sounds refreshing when you look for a nice hotel and end up at The Homestead which has been under family ownership for over 75 years.  It’s more like being at 'home away from home', and the vibe screams classic, European hotel with a truly intimate feel. It’s an excellent property with 90 rooms and residences to host your meetings, and conference facilities are readily available. If you are seeking a quiet location to enjoy a satisfactory business trip or small town vacation experience, look no further.
Apart from having a complimentary continental breakfast, you have access to a business center with free internet and in-room voice mail. If you trip demands an extended stay, there are studios with furnished kitchens and one and two-bedrooms available.  You can even lease one of the unfurnished apartments for a year or more.  Also available for a nominal fee, rent the Homestead Library for special functions which can serve up to 18 guests. Are you traveling from afar?  The multilingual staff can assist you. 

Few Evanston, IL hotels give you everything you need to partake in a memorable family holiday. To make certain you have the time of your life; the hotel offers a restaurant, bar & lounge, and a fitness center. You and your family have access to a DVD player, free Wi-Fi, and laundry facilities. If you travel with kids, rollaway beds are available at the cost of $10 per night. Infant cribs are also accessible for a similar fee. Compared to other hotels, this is a moderately priced affair.

bigstock-A-Walk-by-Lake-Michigan-79216609.jpgIn a small radius from this hotel, you will find a variety of engaging activities to do in Evanston, IL. Walk two blocks to the historic downtown or head toward the lake also two blocks away. Here are some suggestions you might wish to consider:
  • Lake Michigan offers parasailing, boat tours, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking and water skiing
  • Hiking & biking trails
  • Golfing
  • Northwestern University is located in the heart of Evanston


Hilton Orrington – Evanston

Hilton OrringtonWho said a good business hotel couldn't play host to the most memorable family vacation?  Just like many hotels in Evanston, IL, Hilton Orrington has the best facilities for your business meetings. Talk about a business center with internet access. You wouldn’t lack anything by coming to a hotel with conference facilities, meeting space and office rental, audio/visual equipment rental, express mail, and copying services.
By the time you have that meeting, you would already have sampled room service and free Wi-Fi. It is pleasing to know that you can relax at the restaurant, bar & lounge, or fitness center.
Family activities don’t always have to take place at home! Hilton Orrington is one of the accommodating Evanston Hotels where you can bring along every member of the family.  With the ‘Family Package,’ the Hilton has all the essentials you need to enjoy a fulfilling time together. Wake up daily to a full breakfast including children’s menus, enjoy premium Wi-Fi, a refrigerator, and complimentary infant cribs and high chairs. Hotel management will also provide you with rollaway beds at no extra cost. This facility is one of the best Evanston, IL hotels and a concierge and multilingual staff will attend to you.


Hilton Garden Inn Chicago North Shore

HIlton Garden Inn EvanstonCompared with many hotels in Evanston, IL this is one of the few hotels that comes with extra relaxation amenities. Apart from giving you a great business experience, Hilton Garden Inn has a pool, restaurant, bar, and fitness center. That’s beside a hot tub which should leave you de-stressed. Some of the facilities include meeting rooms, conference facilities, and a business center with internet.
Have your business attire laundered for you through the hotel’s dry-cleaning services. Just like other Evanston hotels, Hilton Garden Inn has multilingual staff and a concierge for your convenience.

Bring your family here for a well-deserved getaway. Apart from laundry facilities, you have access to an indoor pool, free Wi-Fi, microwave, refrigerator, and infant cribs. You need not worry where your young ones will sleep as the hotel provides extra beds at a fee of $10. Although there are many Evanston, IL hotels to choose from, this is one of the higher priced.


Holiday Inn – Chicago North Evanston

The affordably priced Holiday Inn is located on the north side of Evanston and is only four blocks from Lake Michigan. Children under age eleven may dine free any time of the day.  With the complimentary internet, an exercise facility, pool, and meeting rooms, this hotel will cater to those seeking an economical trip to the Chicago area.  Metered parking is available on the street, but be prepared for the $18 daily self-parking fee if pinching pennies.  Here, only service animals are allowed, so you’ll have to leave the family pet at home.


Hyatt House Chicago/Evanston

HYatt HouseSuitable for families and business travelers alike, the Hyatt House offers cozy accommodations including studios, dens and one-bedroom suites with kitchenettes.  Here you’ll find flat screen TVs, DVD players, free internet, complimentary remote printing, and great spaces throughout the property. 
Grab a refreshing cocktail in the H Bar, workout in the fitness center, or relax on the outdoor patio and enjoy the BBQ pit.  Consume a complimentary hot breakfast, order from a local restaurant delivery service, utilize the grocery shopping service and enjoy snacks from the 24-hour guest market. For just a few more coins, this is an inviting place to stay.  Plus, the hotel offers pet-friendly accommodations.
Are there other Evanston hotels with a favorable pet policy?  Yes!


Bring your pooch to one of Evanston's pet-friendly hotels!

 Beautiful dog sitting down - isolated over a white background.jpeg

   Not all Evanston hotels will allow lodging for your pets, but here are several pet-friendly hotels.
•    Hilton Orrington -  You are free to come with your pets
•    Extended Stay America Chicago Skokie -  Pay $25 per dog, but not more than $150
•    Residence Inn -  $100 Clean-up fee whenever you bring a pet
•    Best Western Plus Hawthorne Terrace Hotel - Expect to pay a $ 150 refundable fee
•    Hyatt House - A $75 fee is charged for stays with less than 6 nights


Looking for fun things to do while in Evanston?

This cool city of nearly 75,000 residents ---about 10,000 which are on-campus students at Northwestern University, has several distinct historic districts with excellent specialty shops, eclectic art galleries, and top-notch bookstores.  You’ll also find several theatres, a renowned dance company, a symphony orchestra and a handful of museums.  Plus, there are plenty of opportunities to attend cultural and athletic events at the famed Northwestern University.


Chicago Botanic Garden

Whether you are a nature lover or a Master Gardener, unearth the array of beauty at the Chicago Botanic Garden in nearby Glencoe, IL  Discover the unique gardens including the model railroad garden, English walled garden, sensory garden, a waterfall garden, Japanese garden and a colorful bulb garden, to name a few.  Enjoy the panoramic views on foot or via tram and download a smartphone app to guide you on tour.  Before you visit, check the website for economically priced ‘family fun packs.'


Dearborn Observatory

Open for public viewing on Friday evenings from 9 pm – 11 pm, the Dearborn Observatory is located on Northwestern University’s campus.  Participate in a free tour offered by undergraduate and Ph.D. students majoring in Astronomy and Physics. Be advised that space is limited and the observatory dome is neither heated or air-conditioned and guests should dress appropriately.  Should time and availability allow, each guest may take the opportunity to view through the historic 18.5” telescope.

Which Museum WIll You Explore First?

Holocaust Museum & Education Center
You’ll simply be amazed at the Holocaust Museum and Education Center in the Evanston area. Discover the world’s third largest museum focusing on the Holocaust.  Here, travel through history and be given an intimate glimpse of what life was like leading up to, during and post-Holocaust.  Meander through the galleries and tour an authentic German railroad car. Leave inspired.
Kohl Children's Museum
Just a short hop, skip, and a jump away in nearby Glenview, enjoy both play and learning sessions at the Kohl Children’s Museum. Activities are interactive and encourage youngsters to build a home, work in a day care, grocery store or veterinarian’s office, create music, become an auto mechanic, and explore scientific experiments. Explore over fifteen enticing permanent exhibits and check out the temporary exhibits as well.  What will you and your children discover here?
American Toby Jug Museum

What is a Toby Jug?  Find out with free admission to the American Toby Jug Museum, the world’s largest collection of its kind. Modeled in ceramic after famous fictional, historical, or even generic figures, including animals, Toby Jugs (and mugs) date to the 1760’s.  Named aptly after Sir Toby Belch, a colorful character in Shakespeare's play, Twelfth Night, the French word ‘tope’ means to drink hard.
iStock-656090014.jpgHalim Time and Glass Museum

If you have plenty of time on your hands, visit the unique Halim Time and Glass Museum opened and curated by married Egyptian immigrants. Hoda and Cameel Halim, established new careers in the U.S. restoring and renovating historic homes and began collecting extraordinary objects including fine clocks, watches, and stained glass.
Northwestern’s Block Museum of Art
A permanent collection of over 6,000 pieces focused on drawings, prints, and photography is highlighted at Northwestern's Block Museum of Art.  Here, find symposiums, lectures, workshops, and film screenings at the in-house theatre. Through the website, publications and traveling exhibitions, the museum reaches global audiences.
The Richard H. Driehaus Museum

Another significant museum to explore in this scholarly community is The Richard H. Driehaus Museum, housed in a 19th-century historical residence which showcases fine decorative art and architecture. 
The fabulous Mitchell Museum of the American Indian promotes culture, history, and arts.

Journey to Lake Michigan and let the water move you!



After spending time indoors exploring museums, enjoying one of the many local eateries, or browsing the specialty shops, head outdoors and journey to Lake Michigan.  There are several beaches along the coastline so sink your feet in the sand and go.  Pack a delicious picnic and people-watch, show off your prized pooch at ‘Dog Beach’ or enjoy some water action on the lake. Charter a boat, windsurf, swim in designated areas, kayak or parasail --- the sky’s the limit here in Evanston!
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Topics: Illinois