St. Charles, Illinois

St. Charles, IL is situated along the banks of the Fox River, about 40 miles west of Chicago. Although St. Charles has experienced incredible growth, it still has the small-town allure that brought to its borders people from far and wide. There is an abundance of recreational areas – including historic Pottawatomie Park – picture-postcard scenic views along the Fox River, fine restaurants, great shopping opportunities, Local Flavour and some of the friendliest folks in the valley.

Filling Station in St Charles

Restaurants & Shops of St Charles, IL

Although St. Charles did not have the good fortune of a commuter rail line that blessed it with its presence like Geneva to its south, St. Charles has done quite well in attracting hard-working, quality residents of strong moral fiber and diverse ethnic backgrounds… as well as lots of visitors to the city.

Those residents worked hard to build their city and provide its residents with a variety of great restaurants and shops, as well as supportive infrastructure that consisted of excellent schools, roads, bridges, churches and hospitals. (More history is found below)

There is a wide range of cuisine choice when it comes to restaurant selection – from Italian to Irish to Mexican, Asian and more. Shops include everything from the “big box” choices to the small and intimate boutiques, antiques and specialty retail stores. Whatever it is you seek, you should have no trouble finding it in the thriving community of St. Charles, IL!

Events & Festivals of St Charles, IL

St. Charles has a multitude of annual events and festivals of which to enjoy. Whether it’s the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in March, Pride of the Fox Festival in the summer, the Scarecrow Festival in the fall, Fine Arts show or one of several others, there are plenty of events to keep you coming back. Oh, and don’t forget, the Kane County Fair takes place in St. Charles every year – see you there! View all upcoming events on our Events Calendar page!

A Bit of History of St Charles, IL

In an area originally home to the Pottawatomie – the Neshnabi, as they called themselves – the bustling city of St. Charles is situated along the banks of the Fox River. The river, as the Pottawatomie well knew, was a tremendous asset, and white Anglo-Saxons moving into the area in the 1830s were quick to discover this. Not only was the river a source of waterpower, the land around it was an abundant source of firewood, game, fresh spring water and limestone which was one of the major resources and building materials still seen in numerous area dwellings and businesses today. These early European pioneers eventually drove the Native Americans from their home.

In 1836, the first dam was completed in what was then called Charleston. It was a great source of power to grind flour and cut wood, both necessary for a growing town which, in 1839 changed its name to St. Charles. 1857 saw an iron bridge constructed across the Fox River, replacing several failed wooden ones, during a time when the city experienced great growth, aided by the influx – not unlike sister city Geneva to the south – of hard-working Swedish immigrants. The years of 1920-1940 brought now-familiar names like the Cable Piano Factory and Moline Malleable, Hotel Baker and Arcada Theatre to St. Charles, as well as the philanthropic contributions of the Gates, Norris and Baker families.

Still a thriving and growing city today, St. Charles, IL has spread far from the banks of the Fox River – from Randall Road on the west, all the way to the boundary of West Chicago, its neighbor to the east. For additional history about St. Charles, please visit the St Charles Heritage Center.

Baker Memorial Church

Things to Do