"Chicago suburbs, selected" Des Plaines by tayloretc
Des Plaines Travel Guide: 19 reviews and 18 photos
I've spent a total of 3 days in Chicago (looking around) and 3 days in the suburbs (working). It's easy to forget that Chicago (or any major city) really isn't like the immediately surrounding areas.
It appears that a lot of the suburbs were small towns built around train stations, with nice little squares surrounded by nice houses, which are now all connected by ubiquitous strip malls and fast food joints filled in by sections of close-set houses.
Des Plaines is one of the older suburbs, only about 20 miles from Chicago. I had occassion to drive from there to Crystal Lake. Out there it gets pretty empty. Or rather, everything gets lower and less defined, until the buildings fade into cornfields.
On the way, though, there are more pancake houses than can possibly be supported. And it's not just pancake houses, nearly every restaurant is "Restaurant and Pancake House." On the other hand, there are few visible nail salons. There are also a lot of small places called "Spunky Dunkers Donuts" and "Grammy's Lounge (and Pancake House)."
"Voted #1 by Chicago Sun Times for BEST hot dog" If you can put it on a bun they serve it, with all kinds of toppings... more travel advice
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