Visit Elgin, Illinois

Discover things to do on an Elgin, Illinois, getaway

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Welcome to the media center for the Elgin Area in Illinois. If you are researching and writing stories on the area, you’ll find information here on events, attractions, businesses and adventures.

Facts about the Elgin Area

  • Elgin was founded in 1835 by the Gifford Brothers, who were attracted to the Fox River on their trek west.
  • Elgin is named after the Scottish Hymn the song of Elgin.
  • Elgin is located 35 miles northwest of Chicago.
  • Elgin had a total population of 108,188 as of the 2010 census, making it the eight largest city in Illinois, and the 241st largest city in the USA.
  • The last four stops of the Chicago’s Metra Milwaukee District/West Line are in the Elgin Area. The Pace bus system serves the communities in the area.
  • The Elgin Public Museum founded in 1907, is the oldest purpose built museum in Illinois.
  • America’s longest highway, US Route 20, runs through the Elgin Area.
  • Illinois Railway Museum, in Union, is the largest railway museum in the United States.
  • Muirhead Farmhouse, in Hampshire, is the only farmhouse ever designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright in his lifetime.
  • In 2010, Good Morning America crowned 2nd Street  in West Dundee the Best Block in America.
  • The Headless Horseman makes an appearance on Halloween every year in Sleepy Hollow. This is a community tradition that brings all the families together.
  • Bartlett is home to North America’s largest traditional Hindu mandir, the B.A.P.S. Shri Swaminarayan.
  • Carpentersville is home to the 25-acre bike park, Andres Bike Park.
  • In 2011, the Village of South was ranked in the CNN/Money’s Top 100 again for economic strength, great job opportunities, top schools and safe streets.
  • Santa’s Village Azoosment Park, in East Dundee,  is celebrating 55 years of bringing thousands of guests from all over the country!

Story starters

Arts capital of the suburbs

Elgin is becoming increasingly recognized for its edgy creative scene and vibrant arts community.

  • The Elgin Symphony Orchestra performs at the Hemmens Cultural Center.
  • Live artist interpretations take place weekly at Side Street Studio.
  • Work from local artists lines the walls of Artspace and HOTI Design.
  • Festivals include Art & Soul on the Fox and Elgin Fringe Festival.

Fox River Bike Trail

Explore over 40 miles of bike trail built on former railroad tracks, passing through 11 local communities. Find out more about the Fox River Bike Trail.

Golf lovers’ paradise

The Elgin Area is particularly rich in great public golf courses.

  • Highlands of Elgin was #2 on Golfweek’s list of the best State by State Courses you can play.
  • Highlands of Elgin was also listed #8 by Golfweek in their list of Best Municipal Courses.
  • Wing Park Course is the oldest nine-hole municipal golf course in Illinois, established in 1908.

Train buffs

Many of the communities in the Elgin Area were founded to build and service the railroads in the area. The area is now rich in railroad history.

  • Take the Metra from Chicago to honor the region’s railroad pride.
  • Visit the Fox River Trolley Museum in South Elgin.
  • Visit the Illinois Railway Museum, in Union, the largest railway museum in the USA.

 

Check out our newest Visitors Guide!   >>> Click Here

Press releases

  • The Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Announces integration of a new user generated content platform.

    When people from around the US visit the Elgin area, they leave a digital trail of their amazing experiences on social media. This user-generated content is a key resource for tourism marketing. Now a new partnership with visual influencer platform, CrowdRiff, allows Explore Elgin Area to easily and effectively discover the most engaging visual content...
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  • City of Elgin Launches First Podcast Series

    “What Would You Say You Do Here?” Highlights Work of City Employees The City of Elgin has launched its first podcast, “What Would You Say You Do Here?,” an interview series with the people who make “The City in the Suburbs” work. Hosted by Alex Quigley, the City’s content developer, the podcast will give the community a chance...
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  • Come Feast at the Culinary Curiosity Exhibit Oct. 8, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020

    Foodies get ready! Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin, along with three other large suburban libraries, are serving up a food feast with The Culinary Curiosity Exhibit on display for the next three months.  Knowing Elgin’s history, particularly that of dairy farming, staff members at Gail Borden are excited that their portion of the curation...
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  • Judson University to Host Open Houses for 25th Anniversary of Adult Program

    Judson University’s Division of Professional Studies is celebrating its 25th anniversary of offering programs in the Elgin, Rockford and online communities. A celebration will be held for the Rockford campus (200 Y Boulevard, Rockford) on April 9, from 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., and for the Elgin campus (Reed Room of Lindner Tower, 1151 N. State St.,...
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  • Media Release | Elgin Valley Fox Trot returns on May 25

    Kick off the long Memorial Day weekend with an Elgin spring tradition – the 42nd annual Elgin Valley Fox Trot. This year’s event includes a 10-mile, 10K and 5K run as well as a 2-mile “Walk for a Cause.” The race takes place on Saturday, May 25 in downtown Elgin, with races and walk starting at...
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  • City of Elgin Parks and Recreation Department to Host Job Fair

    City of Elgin’s parks and recreation department is hosting a seasonal job fair on Tuesday, March 12, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Edward Shock Centre of Elgin’s Heritage Ballroom, located at 100 Symphony Way. The parks and recreation department is looking to fill part-time positions with pay rates ranging from $8.25 – $15.00 per...
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  • Fitch once again affirms AAA Bond Rating for Elgin

    The city of Elgin received a “AAA, Outlook Stable” financial rating from Fitch Ratings, confirming the city’s history of strong financial management. The AAA bond rating, affirmed on February 25, 2019, is the agency’s top rating. “The reaffirmation of the city’s AAA bond rating reflects the city council’s sound financial management and commitment to decision making...
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  • Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Wins Illinois Excellence in Tourism Award for Explore Elgin

    Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Wins Illinois Excellence in Tourism Award for Explore Elgin   On Monday, February 4th, 2019 while attending the Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel and Tourism in Chicago, the Explore Elgin Area Convention and Visitors Bureau won the Illinois Excellence in Tourism Award for the Explore Elgin branding campaign. The...
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  • Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Wins Illinois Excellence in Tourism Award for Explore Elgin

    Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Wins Illinois Excellence in Tourism Award for Explore Elgin   On Monday, February 4th, 2019 while attending the Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel and Tourism in Chicago, the Explore Elgin Area Convention and Visitors Bureau won the Illinois Excellence in Tourism Award for the Explore Elgin branding campaign. The...
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  • The Elgin Symphony Orchestra Announces Its 2019-20 Season

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 25 January 2019 Contact:  Diane Handler d.handler@elginsymphony.org The Elgin Symphony Orchestra Announces Its 2019-20 Season A Classics Series of traditional masterworks and exciting new Special Events Music Director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) Andrew Hilary Grams announces the ESO’s 2019-20 season, which marks his seventh as music director. The season features a...
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