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com-west-elm-streetscape-img-20190207Nestled along Lake Michigan’s North Shore, Winnetka is a community of tree-lined streets, sandy beaches, renowned schools, outstanding parks, quality recreation facilities, and plentiful non-profit and religious organizations. Founded in 1869, the name given to the community was a Native American word meaning “beautiful land.” Natural beauty brought early settlers, but through careful planning, Winnetka has maintained a historic, small town charm, as well as family-oriented neighborhoods, while developing into a thriving village for people to live, work, and visit.

Winnetka was named “one of the best places to live” by CNN Money in 2011. It is located in Cook County, less than 20 miles north of the City of Chicago and is accessible from the Eden’s Expressway (I-94).

Visitors of all types and ages will find an array of activities available—be it leisure time in nature, shopping, or dining. Winnetka boasts numerous shops, restaurants, and specialty merchants in the Village’s four distinct shopping districts (Hubbard Woods, East Elm, West Elm, and Indian Hill). Shops here are frequent stops for local residents, but also destinations for many in the surrounding area.


Things To Do

The Winnetka Park District (WPD) operates and maintains a total of 27 parks—encompassing over 242 acres. The Park District primarily serves the Village of Winnetka, but also includes portions of the Village of Glencoe and Village of Northfield.  The WPD interactive map of the current park facilities.

Within Winnetka, there is also forest preserve land operated by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC). The District maintains over 68,000 acres of land in Cook County, 80% of which is estimated to remain in a wild or semi-wild, natural state. Forest preserve areas are open sunrise to sunset 365 days a year.

The FPDCC’s district wide map displays the many natural areas and activities available at its numerous facilities. Winnetka is located in FPDCC’s Region 4 or “North Cook County.” Located within Winnetka are the Skokie Lagoons—a Forest Preserve site that offers picnicking, trail hiking/riding, horseback riding, fishing, and birdwatching opportunities.

Community Events

At virtually any time of the year, local activities and events abound for residents and visitors alike. Below is a small sampling of the events that are part of the unique Winnetka tradition:


  • Memorial Day Parade- a Winnetka Park District event, with appearances from the U.S Coast Guard, military units, veterans, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and more
  • Winnetka Children’s Fair- a 65-year tradition of community and family fun, fellowship, and participation. The Fair is coordinated by the Board of Directors of the Winnetka Community Nursery School and is attended by people throughout the North Shore annually at the Winnetka Village Green
  • Winnetka Music Fest is a two day fesitval in June that blends great new music in a walkable business district that is home to a variety of shops and parks.  
  • Firecracker 5K- a Winnetka Park District 5K races for runners of all ages, which is help around the 4th of July
  • 4th of July Parade, Fest at Duke Childs Field, and Fireworks- Winnetka Park District events to celebrate America’s Independencecom-4th-july-parade-img-20190207
  • Sidewalk Sale- the North Shore’s premier Sidewalk Sale held by the Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce in late spring or early summer. Local retailers display a wide range of goods—from fashion and jewelry to sporting goods and books—at discounted prices
  • Veteran’s Day Observance- a special remembrance ceremony, with guest speakers and refreshments, honors the nation’s veterans
  • Police and Fire Open House- Local visitors are able to see all of the fire apparatus and rescue equipment as well as participate in live demonstrations. The Police also offer tours of the Communications Center, Lockup, Firearms Range, and Fitness Center as well as display their vehicles and equipment
  • Winnetka Tree Lighting- the annual lighting of the tree at Station Park, followed by caroling and hot cocoa
  • Holiday Red Invitation Sale- the Winnetka-Northfield Chamber’s annual holiday sale, which follows all weekend long after the tree lighting

Transporation Options

Winnetka is conveniently accessed by a variety of transportation options, including METRA commuter rail and PACE suburban bus routes.    The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) website provides trip planning tools to assist you when traveling anywhere within the region.

Business District Visitor Parking

Parking around Winnetka is easy and accessible.  Whether you are parking to shop, run errands, or do business, there are options to suit all needs.

The Village provides unreserved, on-street and off-street parking for various users. On-street parking is permitted, unless otherwise signed, daily from 6:00 AM to 2:00 AM. Off-street parking is permitted in select parking lots for train commuters, employees in the business districts, and other users. Please read Village signs carefully before parking your vehicle.


Elm Street District

Google Parking Map

Winnetka’s main downtown area centers around Elm Street, running on both the west and east side of Green Bay Road and the train tracks.  Visitors will find on-street parallel parking on almost all streets of this district—allowing 90 minutes per space.  Even on busy summer days, patrons will find parking to grab a quick coffee or to visit several shops and conduct appointments.

Should you need a spot for a slightly longer period, look for one of the Village’s designated off-street lots.  There are two lots in both West and East Elm.  Again in downtown, please be aware of spots reserved for commuter parking around the Winnetka Metra Station between Green Bay Road and Lincoln Avenue.

Hubbard Woods District

Google Parking Map

At Winnetka’s northern border is the art and design district of Hubbard Woods.  Small, independent shops, service providers, and local restaurants line Green Bay Road.  On-street parking is available for both north and south traveling cars.  Tucked away off of Green Bay, between Gage Street and Scott Avenue, is the Village’s two-level parking deck.

Indian Hill District

Google Parking Map

Winnetka’s southern border includes a number of businesses and eateries along the Green Bay Road corridor.  Patrons and customers have easy access to businesses with short-term on-street parking, as well as in some of the off-street lots along the east side of Green Bay Road.  Please be aware some of the off-street parking is specifically reserved for commuters utilizing the Indian Hill Metra Station as well as for New Trier High School students.


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Community Conversations

Event's details

Time:10:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Location: Peet's Coffee, Winnetka, IL -60093

Is something on your mind about the Village of Winnetka? Questions? Suggestions? Concerns? Your Trustees want to hear about it. Join Village Council members at Peet's Coffee at the corner of Elm and Chestnut on the second Saturday of each month from 10:00-11:00 AM. Discuss the hot issues, share your thoughts about our Village, get to know your elected officials.

(10:00 AM - 11:00 PM)

04/13/2019 10:00 AM

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