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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!

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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


    CHICAGO – Now in its 7th performance season, Ballet 5:8 returns to the Hemmens Cultural Center with The Space in Between. What if heaven is nearer than we think?  What if we carry inside of us the darkness of hell? Artistic Director Julianna Rubio Slager’s newest work draws inspiration from The Great Divorce by C.S....
  • ESO Flute Scott Metlicka to perform on Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 with Rockford Symphony January 19

    Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) musician Scott Metlicka, flute, will perform on J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 with the Rockford Symphony, Saturday, January 19 at 7:30 pm. Also featured on the piece are Michèle Lekas, violin and Jayne Latva, harpsichord. The program also holds works by Purcell, Lully and Haydn. For more information, visitrockfordsymphony.com.  ...
  • Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Announces Area Wide Wedding Showcase

    ************FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ************ Contact: Krisilee Murphy Elgin Area Convention & Visitors  Bureau PH: (630) 337-7390 Krisilee@ExploreElginArea.com Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Announces Area Wide Wedding Showcase The Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is excited to announce an inaugural event showcasing over a dozen area wedding and special event venues on Sunday,...
  • Take Flight Exhibit Opens at Gail Borden Public Library on Jan. 14

    Take Flight, a dynamic interactive exploration into the creative process of flight, opens at Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove, Elgin, Illinois, on January 14 .  It will run through March 14.  This exhibition combines historical information with hands-on activities to engage visitors in creating their own flying experience while learning the fundamental principles...
  • The Award-Winning ESO Presents Haydn’s “Surprise” Symphony and Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 on Jan 11-13

    The nationally-renowned Elgin Symphony Orchestra will perform Haydn’s famous Symphony No. 94, or “Surprise” Symphony on Friday, January 11, 7:30 pm at Prairie Center for the Arts, and on Saturday, January 12, 7:30 pm and Sunday, January 13 at 2:30 pm at the Hemmens Cultural Center. Resident Conductor Stephen Squires will lead the concerts, which also feature ESO Concertmaster...
  • Judson University Graduates 110 Students During Fall Commencement 2018

    (ELGIN, IL – December 8, 2018) Judson University celebrated 110 students who graduated during Judson’s 80th commencement ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 8, at Herrick Chapel on the Elgin campus. The day’s commencement keynote address was presented by Bob Lenz, who received an honorary doctorate during the 10 a.m. ceremony. An international speaker and...
  • Kwanzaa Celebration returns to Elgin

    The second annual Kwanzaa Celebration will be held Sunday, December 2 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Gail Borden Public Library. Co-sponsored by the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission and Gail Borden Public Library, the free, family-friendly event will include storytelling, music, dance and activities around each of the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa. The event will feature several...
  • Planetarium Group Finds a Star in U-46

    As the School District U-46 planetarium teacher, Peggy Hernandez has helped introduce thousands of students to the science and wonder of the universe, and her work with a professional organization has earned her some well-deserved recognition here on Planet Earth. Hernandez was recently named a Fellow of the Great Lakes Planetarium Association, a professional organization dedicated...
  • Judson University’s Shark Tank Competition Fires Up Next Week

    Judson University’s fifth Shark Tank event will take place on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. in Herrick Chapel (1151 N. State Street, Elgin). The finalists have been selected. The judges are in place, and the stage is set for the top competitors to win nearly $2,000 in prize money.   Inspired by ABC Network’s business competition...
  • Professional Baseball Player Chris Singleton Brings Message of Love to Chapel

    Chris Singleton, a professional baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization, will be the guest speaker for Judson’s Preview Day chapel event on Columbus Day, Oct. 8, at 10 a.m. in Herrick Chapel (1151 N. State St., Elgin). The event is free and open to the public. Formerly of Goose Creek, S.C., Singleton was selected by the...

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