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City of St. Charles

St. Charles Pride Of The Fox River Valley

Treasures from the past abound along the banks of the Fox River, where St. Charles is nestled in the quiet valley. From the first log cabin built in 1834 to the mixture of today’s national historical landmarks, quaint shops, and the thriving industry it enjoys today, St. Charles has embraced its past with an eye toward its future, truly making it the Pride of the Fox.

Business And Local Government

At the foundation of St. Charles’ beautiful and unique atmosphere are a thriving economy, stable government, diversified industry, modern infrastructure, low utility and tax rates, well-educated workforce, and easy access to thriving markets. The City has undertaken aggressive efforts to cultivate and expand economic opportunities with its first Economic Development Department. In 1997 St. Charles received the Outstanding (the highest) rating for its budget in three of four categories by the Government Finance Officers Association. Our Police Department became the first in Kane County to be accredited by the Committee on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. The St. Charles Fire Department is ranked among the upper 1% of all fire protection districts in Illinois. St. Charles has also embarked upon an initiative referred to as the Balanced Scorecard to make local government responsible for providing excellent municipal services. A cooperative effort by the Downtown St. Charles Partnership and the City resulted in St. Charles being awarded the Great American Main Street Award by the National Trust of Historic Preservation at the National Town Meeting in April 2000


The City offers a variety of activities and ways to relax. Downtown St. Charles is brimming with antiques, quaint shops, museums, and unique restaurants. For more than 30 years, the Kane County Flea Market has brought some of the best antiques, furniture, individual items, and treasures to the Kane County Fairgrounds, located in St. Charles. The Dellora A. Norris Cultural Arts Center includes a 1,000-seat theater and stage where audiences delight in famous entertainers, musicals, and children’s theater productions just minutes from Downtown. Pheasant Run Resort and Hotel Baker offer peaceful getaways and nightclubs, dinner theater, golf, and activities for the whole family. Paddlewheel riverboat cruises will take you for a leisurely trip down the beautiful Fox River. You can also follow the Fox River or Great Western Trails by bicycle to discover the beauty of the Fox River Valley.


Local festivals offer fun for the whole family. Pride of the Fox Riverfest, held in June, showcases the Mid-America Canoe Race, Dragon Boat races, and sand sculptures. The annual Scarecrow Festival is a one-of-a-kind event held in October featuring hand-crafted scarecrows, an arts & crafts show, live entertainment, and much more. The biennial international St. Charles Art & Music Festival beckons music lovers of all ages, offering more than 80 events, gala concerts, family programming, visual arts, theater productions, and music from all genres and competitions. More than 80 percent of festival events are free.

Historic Landmarks

Historic national landmarks represent the unique legacy that defines the city’s historic center. Built in 1928, the Hotel Baker, in Spanish-Baroque style, was fully restored in 1998 and now operates as a luxury hotel and fine restaurant. The Arcada Theater, built in the Venetian-Spanish style, remains one of the few grand movie palaces, with its original décor and magnificent organ ascending from the orchestra pit. The Primrose Farmstead consists of a barn, silo, milkhouse, chicken coop, privy, several other outbuildings, the original farmhouse, and Italianate Style L-plan built-in 1860. Managed and maintained by the St. Charles Park District, it is an intact example of a farmstead that experienced many agricultural transitions during the twentieth century. The Municipal Building’s glistening White Georgian marble and clock tower overlook the beautiful riverwalk along the Fox River. Area museums include the St. Charles Heritage Center Museum, Dunham-Hunt Museum, Garfield Farm Museum, Durant-Peterson House, Pioneer Sholes School, and William Beith House. The St. Charles Heritage Center works tirelessly to preserve the history and charming atmosphere of downtown St. Charles. (St. Charles Heritage Center, (630) 584-6967)

About the City of St. Charles

St. Charles is a vibrant city located 35 miles west of Chicago in the scenic Fox River Valley. With the Fox River running through the center of town, St. Charles, known as ‘The Pride of the Fox,” is a destination fo, food, fun, and entertainment.

What You Will Find Here

Visitors from all over come to St. Charles for its live entertainment venues, trendy downtown restaurant scene, and public plazas.

There’s also plenty to do outside around town with all the wonderful parks and trails. You can take a ride down the river with paddle boating at Pottawatomie Park, enjoy live music at the plaza on 1st Street, or enjoy a stroll through Mount St. Mary’s Park and enjoy some amazing outdoor sculptures.

Several events and festivals draw people here each year. Bring the family along to enjoy the St. Patrick’s parade and Electric Christmas parade, 4th of July fireworks, Scarecrow Fest, Holiday Homecoming events, and much more.

St. Charles is a city that celebrates its history and architecture. Take the self-guided walking tour of 27 his toric locations. Each sign is numbered, features a historical photograph, and information to keep you fol· lowing the trail.

Our residents are the heartbeat of the community. And in the last resident survey, conducted in 2020, 99% of residents surveyed feel St. Charles is an Excellent or Good place to live.

Guided by the four driving principles-Heritage. Community. Service. Opportunity-the City’s rich history unique architecture, friendly neighborhoods, excellent schools, top-notch entertainment, diverse busi­nesses, a beautiful downtown, and one of the finest public libraries in the country makes St. Charles a great place to live, work, and visit.

St. Charles Neighborhood.

There’s something exceptional about a neighborhood that’s charming, eclectic, and modern. The perfect blend of art, culture, big-city amenities, and small-town wonder keeps the energy alive in St. Charles, one of America’s safest cities and best places to call home.

To experience life to the fullest is to share a place full of possibilities. Amid the small-town charm of St. Charles,  every moment here is a pursuit of more. Imagine downtown shopping and dining at your leisure: endless history, art, and entertainment. And recreation made for the great outdoors. When you come home to one of America’s best and safest cities, you’re bound to find it all-and all awaiting you.

One of America's
Safest Cities.

Living close to downtown St. Charles and near the Metro, train means you’re only a decision away from the best local shops, one-of-a-kind boutiques, and even the famed shopping destinations of Chicago­ because you can never have too many ways to revitalize your day.

A diverse culinary scene is alive and well in St. Charles. From high-end restaurants, artsy bistros, and casual cafes to craft breweries and trendy bars, you’ll find the local flavor is one to be explored and meant to be savored.

Whether it’s outdoor museums, upscale parks, performing arts, or local favorites like the Riverwalk, there’s a place for every way you wish to spend your time so you can follow your interests, be you, and live in the moment

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