Chicago/St. Charles on “Best Vacation Cities” and “10 Best Towns for Families: 2011” Lists

by Chicago Agent

Chicago and nearby suburb St. Charles have both received some recent honorable mentions, with Chicago being ranked as the third best vacation city in the U.S. and Canada, and St. Charles nominated as the best city in which to raise a family.

As for Chicago, this is not the windy city’s first time to be among the top five cities to vacation in – Chicago was ranked the No. 4 best vacation city in 2010 by Travel + Leisure magazine.

St. Charles has also previously been recognized among the “150 Great Places in Illinois” by the American Institute of Architects Illinois and also one of the “Top 10 Towns to Live In” by West Suburban Magazine.

Now, St. Charles serves as the only Illinois city to make the cut with the nomination from Family Circle magazine as the No. 1 city to raise a family in; the magazine says that the city’s “affordable housing, strong schools and great residents” were the top reasons for their selection.

“Now everyone will know what we have known all along — that St. Charles is a gem among cities and a wonderful place to live. It is a great city, with many opportunities to work or have fun. We pride ourselves on maintaining a safe, affordable community and a high quality of life,” said St. Charles Mayor Donald DeWitte to Crain’s.

The nomination came from a pool of 2,500 cities and towns whose populations fell between 15,000 and 150,000, with median incomes between $55,000 and $95,000.

““We are a large enough community where we have all of the amenities such as great schools, wonderful parks and recreation, hotels, riverside restaurants and live theatre – but a small enough community where we really care about each other and give back,” added DeWitte in the article.

Chicago’s nomination may have come as a bit less of a shock, but it is good news nonetheless. Readers were asked to rank vacation spots, considering the following characteristics: sights, culture/arts, restaurants/food, people, shopping and value.

These characteristics were ranked on a scale of one to 10, and finally averaged to compile final scores.

New York was the No. 1 city to vacation in, with a score of 88.40, followed by Charleston, S. C. (87.41) and Chicago was close behind with 87.26.

Additionally, Chicago’s Peninsular Hotel was voted to be the number one large city hotel in the U.S. and Canada; the hotel was voted number two last year. Four additional Chicago hotels made the cut for this list, and three of them made the magazine’s top 100 world hotels list.

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