Local Area

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Local Area


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2 College Sophomore

Local Area: Evanston locals are awful and hate fun. Seriously this is where prohibition started and this is not surprising to nu students. It is not uncommon to see elementary school age kids as well as plenty of rich snooty elderly people. The area itself however is beautiful and the proximity to chicago is perfect.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Local Area: I love living in a college town that is also super close to a big city because then you get the best of both worlds

12 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Local Area: Tons of shopping and the bar scene is huge for college students in Evanston.

2 people found this useful Report
2 Recent Alumnus

Local Area: Very tense relationships between wealthy suburbanites in their gothic victorian mansions and students. Make sure not to walk in big groups down the sidewalks making noise. Don't have house parties.

Chicago is a great city and probably the best reason to have a car. Yes, the L comes right up to campus, but a trip downtown involves transfers and can take upwards of 50 minutes one way, with long waits on frigid platforms at night.

5 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Local Area: There is alot to do in Downtown Evanston and Chicago.

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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 77 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 77 responses

  • 44% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 17% 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.
  • 29% 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 77 responses

  • 22% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 68% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 10% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 77 responses

  • 39% Totally.
  • 45% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 16% No way.



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