Find out why downtown Barrington is a great place to visit for a day, week or weekend, and discover what awaits your next trip to this charming village.
Just 40 miles northwest of Chicago, a beautiful, scenic community awaits exploration. Barrington’s small-town charm, equestrian heritage, vast open spaces and bustling downtown make it an ideal spot to visit for a day, week or weekend.
“Barrington offers many shopping and dining options, cultural opportunities and outdoor recreation activities,” says Peggy Blanchard, the Village of Barrington’s economic development director. “There’s biking on our back roads, hiking on our forest preserve and park district trails, and walking about the village during many of our summer events.”
Kicking off a busy event schedule, the Barrington Art Festival provides family-oriented fun on May 27 and 28, followed by a Memorial Day Parade on May 29. Throughout the rest of the summer, Cruise Night and a local farmers market commence every Thursday evening, while Barrington’s White House – a cultural and community center – offers everything from classical, jazz and pop music events to guest speakers and art exhibits.
A simple walk through Barrington’s downtown historic district will show you what sets this village apart. Victorian, turn-of-the-century homes and a must-see octagonal house are impressive attributes of the village, as is the 90-year-old Catlow Theater. The downtown shopping district boasts numerous shops, boutiques and stores offering antiques, gifts, apparel, stationery and art.
“You can find that one-of-a-kind gift in one of Barrington’s shops,” Blanchard says. “We also have Norton’s USA, a store selling only American-made products. Spas, beauty salons and nail salons abound for relaxation and rejuvenation, and our many parks throughout town and in the countryside are filled with bike paths, trails, playgrounds and open spaces.”
Blanchard recommends taking a Sunday drive through Barrington’s winding back roads to see horse farms and beautiful vistas unlike anywhere else in northern Illinois. End your day with a movie at the Catlow, a local favorite where you can order a mile-high deli sandwich from next-door Boloney’s Sandwich Shop to enjoy as you watch a new movie.
Numerous restaurants cater to a full spectrum of tastes. Perhaps you’re in the mood for traditional American favorites, in which case Egg Harbor Cafe or Chessie’s Restaurant are recommended options. Newly opened upscale offerings include Shakou Sushi and Neoteca, both of which have al fresco dining. Italian charmers include Near Restaurant, Francesca’s Famiglia and Ciao Baby, while modern Asian can be sought at PL8 Restaurant or Chinese Palace.
The list sprawls on with Mexican and French food establishments, pizza and burger-focused joints, and even healthy options such as Savory Salads or Farmhouse on North.
Beyond a place to visit, Barrington also makes for a great place to live, local residents say.
“Our residents, business owners, village government, and civic leaders work hard to make Barrington a great place to live, work and play,” Blanchard says. “Our schools are consistently among the top in state and national rankings, and our area’s location near one of the world’s finest cities is complemented by our scenic beauty.”
To learn more about Barrington, visit barrington-il.gov.