Home to a thriving arts and food scene, Berwyn, Illinois is a great destination on the outskirts of Chicago. For many, Berwyn might be overlooked as an unassuming suburb on the way in and out of Chicago’s major attractions. Yet for those who choose to stop and linger, Berwyn has a lot of great places that offer insight into the local culture of Chicago. For starters, visitors can hang out at the numerous art galleries that also serve as pubs, coffee houses, and concert venues. And in nearby Brookfield, guests can spend the day in one of the country’s premier zoos, Brookfield Zoo. Close by in the suburb of Oak Park, visitors can tour museums that celebrate world renowned artists such as Ernest Hemingway and Frank Lloyd Wright. In addition to all this, nearby Chicago offers numerous day tours that can provide a bird’s eye view of the city and its surroundings. With all this and more, there’s no denying that Berwyn is a great destination with easy proximity to Chicago’s big city flair.
1. Enjoy the music at Fitzgerald's Nightclub
This classic music venue has been a go to spot for many hot bands. If you feel like hearing music in a setting where everyone is welcome, then this is your place. The fact that Fitzgerald’s is close to some amazing restaurants also makes for an easy night out, filled with lots of good times.
Address: 6615 W Roosevelt Rd, Berwyn, IL 60402
Website: Fitzgerald’s Nightclub
2. Hang out at Friendly Music Community
Berwyn is home to a really innovative arts scene and the Friendly Music Community is a staple for a good percentage of those artists. During the day you can have some coffee or learn some music, but by night you’ll want to grab a drink and catch a band!
Friendly Music Community
Address: 6731 W Roosevelt Rd, Berwyn, IL 60402
Website: Friendly Music Community
3. Go shopping like never before at Reel Art
For those out there who are looking for rare pop art collectibles, Reel Art in Berwyn is going to be your special place. This one of a kind store has a large collection of movie posters that you won’t be able to find anywhere else, as well as rare and beloved toys from past generations.
Address: 6727 Stanley Ave, Berwyn, IL 60402
Website: Reel Art
4. Catch a play at 16th Street Theater
Berwyn has one of Chicago’s best theaters for independent productions, allowing for the perfect venue to showcase local talent. The 16th Street Theater has unique shows that provide audiences with the sort of perspective that can only be found at a small, intimate venue. This is definitely a worthwhile stop during your trip to Berwyn.
16th Street Theater
Address: 6420 16th St, Berwyn, IL 60402
Website: 16th Street Theater
5. Be in the arts crowd at The Outtaspace
This arts hub in Berwyn has opportunities for either watching a show or being part of one. Enjoy the on site bar after taking a class or just take in the surrounding vibrant art!
Address: 6840 32nd St, Berwyn, IL 60402
Website: The Outtaspace
6. Take a wild walk through Brookfield Zoo
Brookfield Zoo is a short drive from Berwyn and can easily make for a well spent day. This vast zoo has animal exhibits, houses, and learning centers spread across a beautifully landscaped environment. Watch out for the wandering peacocks!
Address: 8400 W 31st St, Brookfield, IL 60513
Website: Brookfield Zoo
7. Discover what inspired Hemingway at The Hemingway Museum
Nearby Oak Park is the birthplace of Ernest Hemingway and if you have any literature buffs traveling with you, then count this as a definite must-see. The museum showcases where Hemingway was born and houses artifacts as well as curated displays on the legendary author’s life.
The Hemingway Museum
Address: 200 N Oak Park Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302
Website: The Hemingway Museum
8. Tour the famous home of Frank Lloyd Wright
Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright lived in his Oak Park home for the first twenty years of his career. It was here where he developed and designed some of his most famous works. Take this tour of his home and see where the ingenuity took place. If you still have time afterward, look for his other treasures around the Chicagoland area.
Frank Lloyd Wright Home
Address: 951 Chicago Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302
Website: Frank Lloyd Wright Home
Chicago may a quick trip from Berwyn, but it can also be a daunting task when it comes to sightseeing. Take advantage of a hop on, hop off tour so that you can explore the city on your own time and still make it to the next amazing attraction!
Chicago City Hop On Hop Off Tour
Address: Chicago, IL
Enjoy a beautiful day riding through Chicago on a Segway with a tour that will be a guaranteed unique experience. With paths along the lakefront that showcase the incredible skyline, this tour will make your trip a memorable one.
Amazing Lakefront Segway in Chicago
Address: Chicago, IL
This cruise will take you through the city, along the Chicago River. From this vantage point, you’ll learn all about the landmarks that provide Chicago with its renowned reputation for architecture. This cruise is definitely a favorite for tourists and locals alike, thanks to the incredible history of so many of the city’s buildings.
Chicago Architectural River Cruise
Address: Chicago, IL
Berwyn has many local favorites, with quick access to tourist hot spots
If you’re looking for a unique trip that includes art galleries, cozy concert venues and an overall flair for the artistic, then head on over to Berwyn, Illinois. Take your time and enjoy Berwyn’s small city charm, while still being close to the big city highlights of Chicago.
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