Located 28 miles west of Chicago, Naperville was founded in 1831 and developed as the fifth-largest city in Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 141,853, which was estimated to have increased to 147,112 by July 2015.
In a 2010 study assessing cities with populations exceeding 75,000, Naperville was ranked as the wealthiest city in the Midwest and the eleventh wealthiest in the nation. It was ranked among the nation’s safest cities by USA Today and Business Insider. Naperville was voted the second-best place to live in the United States by Money magazine in 2006 and it was rated first on the list of best cities for early retirement in 2013 by Kiplinger. In 2015, it was named as one of the most educated large cities in America with populations over 50,000.
Things to do in Naperville
Top 10 things to do in Naperville!
- Walk the Riverwalk- Naperville is an absolute gem, and the riverwalk only enhances it. Parking is free everywhere in Naperville, including the parking garages. The riverwalk is an incredibly beautiful place with a long pathway along it. Don’t miss it!
- Shop Downtown- A shopper’s paradise with over 100 stores to love! From national favorites stores like Pottery Barn, Banana Republic, Anthropologie, Sephora, lululemon and J.Crew plus local one-of-a-kind boutiques like Little Luxuries, Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville Running Company, Dean’s Fine Clothing and more, Downtown Naperville has the perfect blend of stores making it a shopping paradise. From sporting goods to electronics, apparel, home decor, jewelry, books and more, you’ll find it in Downtown Naperville. Come and see why Downtown Naperville is considered the best shopping destination in Chicagoland!
- Centennial Beach- Jump into summer as you swim in Centennial Beach’s historic stone quarry. It’s not a swimming pool, it’s not a lake, but a swimming experience like no other! Wade into the zero-depth entry and swim to depths of 15 feet.
For generations, Centennial Beach has been the local “swimming hole” for many Naperville residents and their guests. It’s a great place to meet friends, gather with family, or simply relax and enjoy.
- North Central College Fine & Performing Arts- The exceptional aspect to this venue is its convenient location, just north of downtown Naperville. So, for those of us that hate the thought of driving to downtown Chicago to see a performance, this location is a godsend.
- Naper Settlement- Naper Settlement is a family-friendly outdoor history museum featuring 12 acres of learning and interactive opportunities for all ages. Located in downtown Naperville, Naper Settlement is just steps away from dining, shopping and the Riverwalk. Visitors will be immersed in history as they learn about the past and how it relates to the present, from pioneer times to today. Highlights include special events and programs and activities year-round, both on- and off-site. Each year, 140,400 visitors, including 35,000 northern Illinois schoolchildren, experience living history at Naper Settlement.
- Ribfest- Naperville’s Ribfest, hosted by the Exchange Club of Naperville, is a sizzling 4th of July concert and festival destination, drawing tens of thousands of visitors with its internationally celebrated musical artists, family activities and carnival, award-winning rib vendors from across the country and the area’s most watched and glorious fireworks on the 4th of July!
- Santa House- Take a magical trip to visit Santa on the Naperville Riverwalk at Jackson Avenue and Webster Street.
- Dupage Children’s Museum- DuPage Children’s Museum ignites the potential of all children to learn through hands-on exploration by integrating art, math, and science.
- Last Fling- Organized by the Naperville Jaycees, the Last Fling is Naperville’s annual end of summer celebration. This four-day festival features live music, a carnival, Family Fun Land and the Labor Day Parade. The Last Fling is the Jaycees’ largest annual fundraiser, with proceeds benefiting local charitable organizations.
- Knoch Knolls Park- 5 Bridges, 2 Rivers, 1 Creek, 1 Pond, 2 Picnic groves, Canoe and kayak launch, 1 Backstop, 2 Small multi-use fields, 18 Disc Golf nets….from the really fun playground to the walking and biking paths to the disc golf course to the nature center which is small but staffed with kind and knowledgable staff (and home to a turtle named Sheldon). The walk to the confluence of the branches of the DuPage River is lovely in all seasons.