Experience the unique character of our region, as we explore places off the beaten trail. Includes an interactive map for finding these locations on the go.
Family: It’s a word you’ll hear often when you visit this small town of 17,500 in central DeKalb County. Since Sycamore is a place where parents choose to rear their families, childhood plays a central role in many of the community’s best events and destinations. Located near the convergence of Illinois routes 64 and 23, this county seat is a lively getaway all year long. Metered parking along State Street’s business district is ample and costs a dime for two hours.
Mom & Pop Shops
➲ Sycamore Antiques
Collectibles and antiques gathered from local estate sales and locations around the world, with a separate storefront for classic furniture. 320 W. State St., (815) 895-4720.
➲ Made Just For You
As its name implies, this crafty store is filled with unique handmade gift and home decor items. Best of all, most of them are made by local artists. 338 W. State St., (815) 895-8122.
➲ MVP Sports Bar
Don’t visit just for the sports bar – visit for the rooftop sports bar. 123 S. California St., (815) 895-1888.
➲ Riccardi’s Red Hots
It’s pure 1950s Americana, with the best shakes, malts, floats and sundaes in town. 418 W. State St., (815) 991-2200.
➲ Nat’s on Maple
Casual but classy, featuring a trendy interior and a modern comfort-food menu. 112 S. Maple St., (815) 895-4243.
➲ Turning Back Time
More than 300 classic cars cruise down State Street on Saturday. On Sunday, nearly 1,000 cars compete for awards. This summer, it runs July 26-27.
➲ Pumpkin Fest
A display of more than 1,000 decorated pumpkins, a pumpkin weigh-in, two carnivals, two large indoor craft shows, an historic homes walk, pie-eating contest and 90-minute parade on Sunday. It runs Oct. 22-26 this year.
For the Kids
➲ Midwest Museum of Natural History
This award-winning attraction has more than 100 mounted animals from around the world, everything from a polar bear to Ralph, one of only 11 mounted bull pachyderms in the world. 425 W. State St., (815) 895-9777.
➲ Sycamore State Theatre
This 1920s-era theater is equipped with three digital screens for first-run movies and always plays at least one kid-friendly film. It regularly screens past blockbusters. 420 W. State St., (815) 895-3549.
➲ Sycamore Family Sports Center
Located on the eastern edge of town, this fun hangout includes a golf range, mini-putt course, batting and soccer-kicking cages, and a go-kart track. 725 E. State St, (815) 895-7407.
➲ Jane Fargo Hotel
Generations of Sycamore residents have celebrated their nuptials, funerals and social occasions inside this classic hotel and banquet center that was once connected to the Elwood Mansion. 355 W. State St., (815) 895-6789.
➲ Blumen Gardens
An eclectic garden center/events venue that combines the rustic charm of an 1800s-era factory with thousands of blooming plants and other greenery.It was recently featured on TLC TV network’s “Four Weddings.” 403 Edward St., (815) 895-3737.
➲ Chapel in the Pines
Get hitched inside a Victorian-style chapel with pew seating and stained glass windows, or outside in the lovely gazebo surrounded by seven acres of flowering gardens. 15165 Quigley Road, (815) 895-4797