Local Atmosphere

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3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: The city of Evanston itself is a cool suburb of Chicago, but Chicago is so close that you get the best of both worlds. If you don't like the hustle and bustle of Chicago you can enjoy Evanston.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: I like Evanston, its cute, its pretty people are generally friendly there are plenty of places to eat and shop. Its not huge, but Chicago is easy to get to (though not cheap always).

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Student

Local Atmosphere: It's great if you don't really like the big city atmosphere, but don't want to be in a lonely rural town either. The residential area around campus is great and the scenery is just breathtaking!

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: So many restaurants to try in Evanston! And Chicago is quite accessible too.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Shayna Starr
Houston, Texas
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

For many students, the city of Evanston represents the best of both worlds. Evanston has a small-town, suburban feel, but it's big enough to offer plenty of restaurants, shopping, and other activities. Also, the great city of Chicago is just a short "L" ride away. With offerings like "The Bean," Navy Pier, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Wrigley Field in downtown Chicago, Northwestern students are never at a loss for ways to keep busy. As with most everything in college, you have to take advantage of the opportunities at your fingertips. Although Northwestern doesn't give its students U-Passes, take the time to go to Chicago—you won’t regret it.

As for Evanston, the relationship between the residents and the students can be testy at times. At football tailgates or on the weekends, students can get a bit rowdy. Residents have been known to call the police to shut down off-campus parties, but if you keep to yourself, you can definitely coexist with the Evanstonians. But walking around NU, students won’t really feel much animosity. Stores and restaurants are very cooperative with students, offering WildCARD discounts and allowing students to paint the storefront windows for Homecoming. Northwestern students bring a vibrant energy to Evanston during the school year, and many residents will say that the summers are just not the same without them.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. There is a local myth that Evanston has outlawed trick-or-treating, bowling, and skipping within city limits.
  2. The film "Mean Girls," starring Lindsay Lohan, was set in Evanston, though it wasn't filmed there.
  3. The headquarters for Rotary International is found in Evanston.
  4. Many people claim that the ice cream sundae was born in Evanston.
  5. One of the world's seven Baha'i Temples is located in nearby Wilmette.
Notable Natives
  • John and Joan Cusack - actors
  • Charlton Heston - actor
  • Bill Murray - actor (from nearby Wilmette)
  • Jeremy Piven - actor
Points of Interest
  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • The Bean
  • Navy Pier
  • Willis Tower
  • Wrigley Field
Shopping Centers
Westfield Old Orchard Mall
Movie Theaters
Century 12 Evanston/CinéArts 6 and XD
1715 Maple Ave.
(847) 491-9751
Major Sports Teams
  • Chicago Bears: NFL
  • Chicago Blackhawks: NHL
  • Chicago Bulls: NBA
  • Chicago Cubs: MLB
  • Chicago White Sox: MLB
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Chicago: : 30 minutes
  • Milwaukee: : 1 hour, 30 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 69 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 69 responses

  • 45% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 14% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 9% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 30% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 1% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 69 responses

  • 22% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 67% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 12% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 69 responses

  • 35% Totally.
  • 49% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 16% No way.



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