Nestled in the Fox Valley, St. Charles combines artistic charm with a love of the outdoors. Major theater venues are found throughout the town, while the Fox River and the bustling downtown area bring a wealth of activities. The town was even named the number one town in the top 10 best towns for families by “Family Circle” magazine.
Originally known as Charleston, early settlers made their way to the region in the 1830s to settle on the new land they purchased from the government. The building of the town’s first dam was a crucial point, and within a few years the area began attracting industry. Large populations of Swedish and Irish immigrants moved to St. Charles and only increased the town’s status.
St. Charles played an important part in the Underground Railroad. Many fugitive slaves traveled through the Fox River Valley and St. Charles had several hideouts along the way. Residents who called themselves the “friends of the oppressed” formed the Kane County Anti-Slavery Society and fought for the rights of African Americans in the United States. Despite its size, St. Charles gave one of the largest quotas of troops in the county to fight for the north in the Civil War.
In the 1920s, St. Charles became a resort town. Many famous hotels and theaters opened during this time, establishing what St. Charles is today.
St. Charles is about an hour away from Chicago and less than an hour from O’Hare and Midway airports. The town is located halfway between Interstates 88 and 90 and only 20 minutes west of I-355. St. Charles also has its own stop on the METRA Northeast Illinois train line.
Attractions and Events
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Hotel Baker was built in 1928. The colorful Rainbow Room has hosted history’s greatest entertainers, as well as famous political figures and even President John F. Kennedy.
St. Charles is home to the Kane County Fairgrounds, a popular venue that hosts events throughout the year. The famous Kane County Fair is held here every July, as well as the Kane County Flea Market.
Cruise the scenic Fox River on a replica paddlewheel riverboat. St. Charles Paddlewheel Riverboats offers both public and private chartered cruises, departing and arriving at different times during the day.
The famous Arcada Theatre, a historic 888-seat Vaudeville theater, was fully restored in 2005 and now offers a wide array of musical, film, comedy and theatrical performances.
Once known as the Noble Fool Theatrical, theater lovers can enjoy the Fox Valley Repertory company at Peasant Run. Located at the resort’s Mainstage Theater, provides an ever-changing schedule of first-class performances. Pheasant Run is a complete resort experience, offering the award winning St. Charles Golf Course, the Resort Golf Course, a full spa, multiple restaurants and a comedy club.
The Acquaviva Winery is a family-owned, 40-acrew estate vineyard that includes a wine shop, tasting bar, regular tours and a visible winemaking production center.
St. Charles boasts an excellent school system. In 2010, North High became the third school in the district to earn a U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon award. The public education system in St. Charles is operated by the Community Unit School District 303.
St. Charles Place, 2550 E. Main St.
St. Charles Place is one of the more upscale restaurants in town, featuring an old-fashioned supper-club feel with crystal chandeliers, exposed brick, leather banquettes and a large fireplace.
Rox City Grill, 100 West Main St.
Housed in the famous Baker Hotel, Rox City Grill offers traditional urban fare and multi-ethnic cuisine.
Nuova Italia, 18 N. 4th St.
Nuova Italia features dishes from northern and southern Italy, inside of a 160-year-old church.
General Population Information
45.2% of households had children under the age of 18 living with them
68.0% of households were married couples living together
6.8% of households had a female householder with no husband present
22.8% of households were non-families
19.2% of households were made up of individuals
6.0% of households had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older
The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.31.
The median income for a household in the village was $97,515 and the median income for a family was $105,779.
The St. Charles Park District was the recipient of the National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. Public parks can be found throughout the town, as well as garden plots for residents to rent and enjoy.
In addition to parks facilities, the Park District operates bike trails, dog parks, boat launches, ice skating rinks, skate parks, tennis courts, the Otter Cove Aquatic Park, several pools, Primrose Farm and the River View Miniature Golf Course.