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Visit Elgin, Illinois

Discover things to do on an Elgin, Illinois, getaway

Our responsibilities

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

  • Elgin Farmers Market to Open With Social Distancing Plans in Place

    With Farmers Markets deemed essential businesses by Governor Pritzker’s executive order (#8, 23a), the Elgin Farmers Market plans to reopen for its scheduled season this summer, kicking off on Friday June 5th and operating for the full eighteen weeks until Friday October 2nd. Customers can still purchase fresh local foods, pet products, baked goods and body...
  • Elgin Announces Guidance for Temporary Outdoor Seating Areas for Bars and Restaurants

    The City of Elgin releases Quick Guide and Frequently Asked Questions list for bars and restaurants     Elgin, IL – The City of Elgin announces guidance for restaurants and bars to create temporary outdoor seating areas during Phase 3 of Governor Pritzker’s Restore Illinois Plan. The City of Elgin is committed to working with restaurants...
  • Drive-Through Tribute Planned at Bluff City Cemetery

    ELGIN MEMORIAL DAY Watch: Elgin Patriotic Memorial Association President Steve Thoren and Mayor David Kaptain provide a brief update to the revised plans for Memorial Day 2020. Drive-Through Tribute Planned at Bluff City Cemetery Monday, May 25, 2020 11:00 a.m. – early afternoon Civil War Memorial in the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) section at...
  • City of Elgin Announces Two Initiatives to Inform Spanish Speaking Residents

    City of Elgin Announces Two Initiatives to Inform Spanish Speaking Residents Watch the series premiere of  “Elgin en Español” where Elgin natives Commander Eric Echevarria and Assistant to the City Manager Karina Nava discuss the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the community. City launches new Spanish video series and webpages Elgin, IL – The City...
  • Elgin Covid Response Fund Established

    For immediate release, May 15, 2020 Local and Regional Foundations partner with the City of Elgin to establish a fund for nonprofit service providers to support those impacted by COVID-19.  Elgin, IL— The Elgin Covid Response Fund has been established through a powerful partnership between the City of Elgin and local, regional and state foundations. The fund will...
  • Judson University Plans for In-person Classes in the Fall

    (ELGIN, IL – May 12, 2020) Judson University intends to begin the Fall semester with Welcome Weekend on August 21 and in-person classes on August 24. “We will continue to comply with all federal and state guidelines, as well as our own high standards, for the health and safety of our entire community – students, faculty,...
  • National Tourism Week

    National Travel and Tourism Week 2020 Celebrates “Spirit of Travel” The Elgin Area Convention & Tourism Bureau Will Use the 37th NTTW (May 3-9) to Look Ahead to Recovery Elgin, Illinois (4/28/20)— National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), the annual celebration of the contributions and accomplishments of the U.S. travel industry, will spotlight resilience and hope in the...
  • Elgin Facility Closures and Programming Cancellations Extended

    For immediate release, April 29, 2020 Elgin Facility Closures and Programming Cancellations Extended Elgin’s current facility closures and programming cancellations extended through at least May 30 Elgin, IL – Consistent with the Governor’s Stay at Home Order timeline, Elgin’s current facility closures and class, program and event cancellations are extended through at least May 30. Facilities Closed...
  • City of Elgin Golf Courses to Open with Limited Services May 1

    Elgin’s award winning golf courses to re-open under strict safety guidelines provided under State’s new Executive Order, effective May 1  Elgin, IL – The City of Elgin’s golf courses, including Bowes Creek Country Club, The Highlands of Elgin and Wing Park Golf Course, will open to the public with limited services on May 1. Tee times bookings...
  • The City of Elgin takes additional actions to assist local businesses impacted by coronavirus outbreak

    Elgin, IL – Mayor Kaptain signed a proclamation and order on March 26 at 6:00 p.m. providing liquor license renewal extensions and fee relief to certain license holders and approving temporary curbside pickup and delivery of alcohol sales. These measures are additional ways the City of Elgin is taking action to assist local businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak....

View Press Releases


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