Oak Park and River Forest, Illinois are two vibrant suburban communities to the west of Chicago. Historically and architecturally renowned, the villages’ proximity to the city has made the area a premier destination for visitors from all over the world.
Frank Lloyd Wright spent the first 20 years of his life and career in the area, which is home to the largest collection of his buildings and attracts thousands of guests annually. Several other local luminaries called Oak Park River Forest home over the years, including writer Ernest Hemingway, chemist Percy Julian, novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs, actor John Mahoney, bandleader Lawrence Welk, and true crime writer Michelle McNamara.
Located just 11 miles from Chicago’s downtown Loop, Oak Park and River Forest are conveniently accessible to commuters via public transit—two CTA lines and Metra’s Union Pacific West line.
Coming to Oak Park for one of our tours? Visit our “Plan Your Visit” page to find driving directions and public transportation options.
Extend your visit and check out other local places of interest while you’re in town:
Places of Interest
Architect, Tom Bassett-Dilley Architects, 2016, Environmental Education Center
167 Forest Avenue, Oak Park, IL 60302
Located just North of busy Lake Street, Austin Gardens offers a valued respite for those that live and work nearby. An Environmental Education Center hosts children’s nature day camps, programming, and other community events.
Elizabeth F. Cheney Mansion
Architect, Charles E. White, Jr., 1913
220 North Euclid Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302
12,000 sq. ft. historic home and local landmark located within the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District.
Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Museum
Architect, Wesley Arnold, 1890
339 N. Oak Park Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302
The famed Pulitzer Prize winning author spent the first six years of his life in this Queen Anne home. Guests will explore the roots of Hemingway’s life and work in this restored 1890s Victorian home.
Oak Park Art League
Architect, E.E. Roberts, 1902
720 Chicago Ave, Oak Park, Illinois 60302
The Art League offers art education, artist demonstrations, programs, and more. Founded in 1919, the League moved into its current building, an E.E. Roberts carriage house, in 1937.
Oak Park Community Recreation Center
Architect, Perkins & Will, 2023
229 Madison St, Oak Park, IL 60302
The Park District of Oak Park’s Community Recreation Center offers an indoor walking/running track, gymnasium, fitness center, community rooms, and more.
Oak Park Conservatory
615 Garfield St, Oak Park, IL 60304
The Oak Park Conservatory offers a rich atmosphere of flora and fauna throughout three indoor showrooms where exotic plants & flowers co-exist with birds, fish, and turtles.
Oak Park Public Library - Main Library
Architect, Sheehan Nagle Hartray Architects, 2003
834 Lake St, Oak Park, IL 60301
Founded as a public library in 1903, the Oak Park Public Library today provides public access to information, resources, services, and spaces through a main library and two other branches, Dole and Maze.
Oak Park Public Library – Dole Branch
255 Augusta St, Oak Park, IL 60302
Oak Park Public Library – Maze Branch
Architect, E. E. Roberts and Elmer C. Roberts, 1936
845 Gunderson Ave, Oak Park, IL 60304
Oak Park River Forest Museum
129 Lake St, Oak Park, IL 60302
The Oak Park River Forest Museum preserves, exhibits, and interprets the history of the villages of Oak Park and River Forest, through the operation of an archive, research library, and more.
Architect, George W. Maher, 1897
217 Home Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302
Designed by architect George W. Maher, this historic property is open to the public and offers a year-round schedule of programs, community events, and cultural performances.
River Forest Community Center
8020 Madison St, River Forest, IL 60305
The River Forest Community Center provides recreational, social, and educational programs for the residents of River Forest and surrounding communities.
River Forest Public Library
Architect, William Drummond, 1929
735 Lathrop Ave, River Forest, IL 60305
Founded as a public library in 1929, the River Forest Public Library provides patrons with access to a wealth of resources in a variety of formats, including high-quality online learning programs.
The Nineteenth Century Charitable Association
Architect, James L. Fyfe, 1928
178 Forest Ave, Oak Park, IL 60301
Established in 1891, The Nineteenth Century Charitable Association provides charitable, educational, and cultural activities.
Trailside Museum of Natural History
738 Thatcher Ave, River Forest, IL 60305
Hal Tyrrell Trailside Museum of Natural History visitors will discover displays of native animals, colorful wildflower gardens and more.
Wonder Works Children's Museum
6445 West North Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302
Wonder Works provides a hands-on learning environment intended to strengthen the social, emotional, and intellectual development of children up to age eight.
1108 Chicago Ave, Oak Park, IL
Cakes. Bakes. Coffee. Broken Tart is an ode to the broken-in-yet-always-charming delis of Europe.
814 North Blvd, Oak Park, IL
Enjoy mixed drinks, wine, stone-baked pizzas, pastas, and creative entrees.
Giordano’s Restaurant & Pizzeria
1115 Chicago Ave, Oak Park, IL
Stuffed pizza and great starters, fresh salads, outstanding pastas, and unique sandwiches.
Kribi Coffee Air Roastery
149 Forest Ave, Oak Park, IL
A local, sustainable, and Black-owned coffee company committed to uplifting unheard voices, with a unique air-roasting method and premium-origin beans.
Maya Del Sol
144 S. Oak Park Ave, Oak Park, IL
Exciting flavors and tastes from some of Latin America’s most vibrant countries.
Mickey’s Gyros & Ribs
525 N. Harlem Ave, Oak Park, IL
Home to Oak Park’s finest barbeque and gyros. Serving mouth-watering barbeque, gyros, hamburgers, and garden-fresh salads for 32 years.
1010 Lake St, Oak Park, IL
A health-conscious chain featuring blended drinks in varied flavors with fruits & veggies.
100 S Marion St, Oak Park, IL
The family tradition of classic Italian recipes adapted to accommodate local and seasonal ingredients lives on at Victory Italian.
Click “expand” icon to the left of “Destination Oak Park River Forest” title below or click “View larger map” icon to see all locations and parking structures.
Photos: Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park, River Forest Public Library, Park District of Oak Park, Trailside Museum of Natural History, Oak Park River Forest Museum