Saint Charles Travel Guide

  • Statue downtown
    Statue downtown
    by monica71
  • Fox Statue on the bridge downtown
    Fox Statue on the bridge downtown
    by monica71
  • Downtown St Charles Map
    Downtown St Charles Map
    by monica71

Saint Charles Things to Do

  • Arcada Theatre

    The place where the Arcada Theatre building is located today was the home of a hotel built in 1837 by Orange C. Baird, David Howard and Dr. Nathan Collins. During the Mexican War and the Civil War, the hotel served as a recruiting headquarters. By 1889 the building's condition became so poor that the building was demolished and the lot remained...

  • Capone's Hideaway

    This could go under restaurant review or things to do, but I'll just drop it here in Things To Do. For a truly unique dining experience, I would highly recommend Capone's Hideaway. It was a true speakeasy back in the 20's and mobsters from Chicago would trek the 50 or so miles out to this little barn along the Fox River. The name Hideaway is a...

  • St Charles Public Library

    The construction of this building began in 1906 and finished in 1908. The library, which contained over 2,000 books, had only one librarian, Miss Mary Stewart. Miss Stewart remained the sole librarian until 1929.In 1933, the library gained a mezzanine and turned the basement into a children's room. Several additions and restorations took place over...


Saint Charles Hotels

Saint Charles Restaurants

  • Pancakes with a view

    A longtime favorite of the Sunday after-church "brunch bunch," the seating along these windows offers a nice view of the Fox River. A good 'coffee shop'-style restaurant (American coffee, that is: 'Regular' and 'Unleaded' - er, 'De-Caf' ;-) where locals would be likely to take visiting 'company.'

  • Fill 'er up!

    This casual lunch and dinner spot features a unique decor of walls covered with old license plates and motoring memorabilia. This unique ambiance makes it a popular place for local businesspeople to bring visiting colleagues from out-of-town for lunch.Conversely, they tend to draw a "YOUNG young crowd" (as my neighbors' granddaughter put it - she's...

  • Irishmen available...

    Irish-American atmosphere, with a courtyard in back for outdoor dining. The front windows have tables up-close, making for some amusing bi-directional 'people-watching' between patrons and passers-by. During lunchtime on St. Patrick's Day. they had a (live) 'bag-piper' strolling around the dining tables - at one point, some excitable "dufus" was...


Saint Charles Nightlife

  • Stop by for a nice play

    There are several plays that you can attend at the Mainstage Theater all year long. Some of them are really good and are worth a trip. Check out their schedule and plan to stop by.You can purchase tickets for the performance only or you can purchase a "dinner and a show" package which includes admission to the performance and a nice dinner. For...

  • One of the cooloest bars in town

    This is one of the best bars in town. It is classy and elegant and it serves excellent wines and beer. The food is also good, especially the Pan Roasted Pheasant and the Shrimp Scampi. They also host a Winemaker Dinner 4 times a year, where you have the chance to sample some great dishes paired with a great glass of wine. It is a fun experience and...

  • Saint Charles Hotels

    11 Hotels in Saint Charles

Saint Charles Transportation

  • Traveling Around St Charles

    There is always a good idea to have your own transportation, especially if you live in suburbs :)If you are still saving for that car and if you need to go places in St Charles, there are not too many options for you, but there is still hope since PACE has 2 suburban buses that have stops in St Charles: the 801 and 802 routes. The 801 route stops...

  • Getting to St Charles

    St Charles is located about 1 hour west of Chicago. The easiest way to get here is by driving. There is really no public transportation that takes you here from Chicago, and taxis are expensive. So if you want to explore St Charles and you do not have a car, it is a great idea to rent one for the day!Here are some general directions on how to get...

  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

Saint Charles Shopping

  • Sports Equipment and Patio Furniture

    This store is located in another historical building downtown St Charles. Its former name was Colson's Department Store. John Foby Colson, born in Sweden in 1853, came to St. Charles with his family before his second birthday. Colson worked for 12 years as a clerk in L.C. Ward's store. Later he worked as a clerk for Charles Anderson at Anderson’s...

  • Treats for your Best Friend

    This is one unique store that takes care of all your pet needs. Organic food, organic treats, toys, etc. It is a nice pet store with friendly atmosphere. Stop by if you are in town and get a treat for your pet! organic treats for dogs and cats

  • the best bread in town

    This is the place to go to for freshly made bread! They make the bread on a daily basis and often times you buy bread that was just taken from the oven and it is still warm. They use the same recipes and baking practices as the ones in France. If you have a friend that is allergic to gluten, this is the place to stop by and get a loaf of gluten...


Saint Charles Local Customs

  • So what's going on in St Charles?

    The best way to keep up to date with all that's going on in St Charles, is by visiting the city official page. Go to the "What's happening now?" section and maybe even add the link below to your Favorites :)

  • The St. Charles Scarecrow Festival

    Began as a 'friendly competition' to afford recognition to community and civic groups, it has turned into a huge autumn tourism event, promoted throughout the Northern Illinois area. I took the picture (seen here at left) of the winning entry at the very first fest in 1985. No longer is there an absence of crowds (as it was then).

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Saint Charles Warnings and Dangers

  • Road Construction and Driving

    Well, I guess we all have to pay a toll at one point, and St Charles is no different than any other city in the Mid-West. The harsh winters and all that salt and sand thrown on the roads during the never ending months of winter do leave behind nasty holes on the roads. So when driving, especially at the end of winter, pay attention to the road....

  • Where is the world are the parking...

    Oh, well, you came to St Charles and now you need to find a parking spot. So where in the world are the parking spots? Everything is full! And yes, parking spots fill out quickly especially during the summer and on weekends when there is always something going on in St Charles. So how can you find a parking spot? You have few options here: either...

  • Changing Weather

    Well, this is not only the Mid-West, but it is also close to Chicago, so the weather is changing so often and so fast that you never know what to expect. There are sunny mornings when you say "Hey, what a nice day we'll have today" and by noon thick clouds may roll in, a sudden storm may start or the wind, oh, yeah, the wind will blow like hell!...


Saint Charles Tourist Traps

  • monica71's Profile Photo

    by monica71 Updated Apr 11, 2008

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    St Charles has a number of shops selling antiques, but do not expect to find that special piece for a bargain. You need to make sure that you get a genuine antique piece and not just a cheap imitation that is being sold as an antique. This being said, either you know how to identify the real thing or just refrain from buying.

    Unique Suggestions: decide what you want to buy, do a little bit of research and call the antique stores to check out if they have that special piece you are looking for. If you are lucky and if they have it, make sure you do your homework and know what to look for in the piece (to identify if it is just a kitsch) once you get there. You need to make sure you are buying the real thing since you will most likely pay big bucks for it.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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Saint Charles What to Pack

  • monica71's Profile Photo

    by monica71 Updated Apr 11, 2008

    Luggage and bags: small backpack for daily trips and a rolling suitcase or an expandable duffel bag

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Clothing depends on the time of year you travel, but it is always a good idea to dress in layers since the weather changes fast here. And a pair of comfortable shoes is a must since you will be spending most of your day on your foot, exploring the town.

    July and August are extremely hot and humid. Dressing in light colors, loose clothing, and lightweight fabrics will keep you more comfortable during the day. Also, don't forget a hat to protect your head from the hot sun. A light jacket for spring and fall (in case it starts raining) is also a good idea.

    During the winter months the weather can be so cold (especially when the wind is blowing) that no matter what you do and how you dress you will most likely be doing short and fast trips outside your hotel and you will find shelter in a museum or a restaurant. Hat, heavy coat, warm gloves, scarf and boots are a must!

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Saint Charles Off The Beaten Path

  • Fox River Trail

    This is one of the best trails that you can use for biking, hiking or cross-country skiing during winter months. The trail is 32 miles long and you will experience very scenic trails of the Fox River. You will pass several points of interest: Carpenters Dam, Fox River Shores, Tyler Creek, Voyageur Landing, Shoemaker Nature Center, Fabyan Forest...

  • Balaji Temple

    This is another stunning Hindu Indian temple that is located in Aurora, IL. It is worth a visit especially during one of the special celebrations. You will learn a lot about the traditions and the people. Check out their web site for hours and special events:

  • If you are into physics...

    If you like physics and if you want to learn more about it, plan a visit at Fermilab, the place where you can find the world's most powerful particle accelerator. Fermilab is located in Batavia, IL. Fermilab is open to public every day of the week from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from mid-October to mid-April and from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. You are...


Saint Charles Sports & Outdoors

  • Fox River Fishing

    Fishing is one great way to spend few hours by the Fox River. There is a variety of fish that you can catch, but the most popular ones are smallmouth bass, catfish, musky and walleye. you need to get a fishing license and you need to bring your own fishing pole and chair

  • Kayaking on Fox River

    This is the place to go to if you want to do some kayaking in the area. They also offer kayak classes for all levels. You can rent a kayak from there and start exploring the river. For a single person kayak they charge $30 while for a 2+ days of rental you pay just $45 per day. Check out their web site for more information:...

  • Biking in St Charles

    St Charles has several bike trails, but the nicest and the most well known one is The Great Western Trail. The trail is 18 miles long and it runs from St Charles to Sycamore. The trail is flat and it runs in parallel with route 64 (or North Ave) for a good 12 miles. You will pass by small streams and wetlands and you will also cross patches of...


Saint Charles Favorites

  • The best comedy club in town

    If you like standup comedy, make sure you stop by Zanies Comedy Club, inside Pheasant Run Resort. I have to admit I did not check them out yet, but I plan on going there soon. Check out their web site for more information:

  • Bourbon Street Shops

    Pheasant Run Resort is also the house of an indoor replica of Bourbon Street, so if you want a sample of New Orleans, make sure you stop by . You can find shops that please even the most picky shopper! There is live music and entertainment all year round. lively atmosphere and delicious ice cream from "Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop"

  • Take your best friend to a walk in the...

    St Charles has a very nice dog park by Fox River. The park is located at the intersection of Lake St/Rt 31 with Red Gate Rd. The dogs can run loose in the park and they can also go for a swim in the river. There are lots of friendly dogs here during the weekend, so your best friend will have a blast meeting other dogs, running loose and playing...


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