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There are three school districts in Wilmette. District 37 has just one school, Avoca School. Wilmette School District 39 has six elementary schools. School District 203 includes New Trier Township High School, with its main campus for sophomores through seniors in Winnetka and a freshman campus in Northfield. Loyola Academy is a private co-educational Jesuit college preparatory high school also located in Wilmette.
Wilmette is located in Cook County. The suburb is unique among other North Shore communities because it was created by the 1924 merger of two older villages, Wilmette and Gross Point. On the east side, Wilmette developed on a wooded tract bordering Lake Michigan and on the west, Gross Point was the center of a German immigrant, farming community that spread across the open fields west of what is now Ridge Road. The first people to inhabit this region were Native Americans. French explorers later began settling. The village was actually named after Antoine Ouilmette, a French-Canadian fur trader who settled with his part Potawatomi wife in 1790 on the north bank of the Chicago River. In 1826, Antoine and his wife, Archange Chevallier, moved to the Lake Michigan shore of what is now Wilmette. In 1869, a group of five men formed a land syndicate to promote residential development on the former Ouilmette Reservation. The village was incorporated in 1872. The Edens Expressway opened in 1951. Farmland began to disappear and new streets with homes and parks began popping up. An iconic landmark of Wilmette is the Baha’i House of Worship, which is a temple that was finally completed in 1953 after its initial construction 40 years ago. Wilmette’s population is about 27,400.
Wilmette has plenty of shopping areas. The main central business district is Village Center, which is located east of Green Bay Road and centered around the Metra station. Heading east toward Lake Michigan is Linden Square, which provides convenient shopping and services to Wilmette residents, as well as Purple Line commuters. Plaza del Lago, located in Wilmette, is the second oldest shopping center in the U.S. The area was once a 22-acre unincorporated plot of land that was unwanted by the neighboring towns of Wilmette, Kenilworth, Evanston, and Winnetka. This Spanish-style complex now has unique boutiques, restaurants, grocery, and services. Located in Plaza del Lago is Convito Café & Market. The Convito Café features a regional European menu with a focus on French & Italian cuisines. If you’re looking to take some fresh goods home, the Convito Food & Wine Market features wonderful prepared foods, fresh pasta and sauces, baked goods, imported groceries, deli meats, cheese, and fine Italian wines. For some great Japanese food, visit Akai Hana Japanese Restaurant and AO Sushi, also located in Wilmette.
35 minutes to Chicago Loop
25 minutes to O’Hare Airport
45 minutes to Midway Airport
Distance to Downtown
Wilmette is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan. It is bordered by Evanston to the south and Kenilworth to the north. Metra’s Union Pacific North Line runs from Kenosha, WI to downtown Chicago making stops in Wilmette. Wilmette is also served by the CTA Purple Line, which provides rapid train service from the Linden station in Wilmette through Evanston, to the Howard station in Chicago. In addition to the Metra and CTA, the Pace bus also serves four routes, including Route 213 – Green Bay Road, Route 421 – Wilmette Avenue, Route 422 – Linden CTA – Glenview – Northbrook Court, and Route 423 – Linden CTA – The Glen – Harlem CTA.
If you want to enjoy the outdoors, go to Gillson Park, which offers 60 acres of beautiful lakefront property, where you can go biking, play volleyball, soccer, tennis, have a picnic, or just lie on the beach. Be sure to check out the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette. It is one of ten dedicated temples of the Baha’i Faith and it is the oldest surviving Baha’i House of Worship in the world.