Historical Bed and Breakfast with Spacious Apartments and Michelin-Rated Restaurant
During their honeymoon in 1926, Philip and Ruby Danielson hatched a plan to design and build a family hotel in Evanston, Illinois. The couple—he an architect, she an artist—envisioned 18th-century colonial accommodations suitable “for a night or a year." Two years later, their dream was realized when they opened The Homestead on a quiet residential street two blocks from Lake Michigan. In order to create the home-away-from-home vibe the Danielsons were after, the design incorporated extended-stay apartments, a communal dining room, and a sweeping front porch. Today, more than 75 years since first opening its doors, the inn and residence still feels like a private family home.
Standing almost 10 stories tall, the red-brick hotel is surrounded by shady trees and manicured walkways. Inside, a mix of 90 traditional guest rooms and apartments feature elegant furnishings and original moldings. Country kitchens in the one-bedroom apartments come stocked with pots, pans, dishes, and flatware. Those who stay in the apartments can enjoy home-cooked meals and a complimentary bottle of champagne at the dining-room table.
If you'd rather dine out, The Homestead's Michelin-rated restaurant, Quince, serves contemporary cuisine hailed by the Chicago Reader as “completely transforming and refreshingly gimmick-free.” Chef Andy Motto—whose resumé includes stints at The French Laundry and Les Nomades—prepares beautiful dishes such as scallops topped with a curry-caper emulsion and duck foie gras with seasonal fruit. An award-winning wine list features more than 200 selections by the glass or bottle.
Evanston, Illinois: Historical College Town with Gourmet Restaurants and Vintage Shops
Evanston, one of Chicago's North Shore suburbs, is located 20 minutes from the downtown Loop. The picturesque college town—home to Northwestern University—occupies a prime spot along Lake Michigan, which washes onto 4 miles' worth of sandy beaches. In 2010, the city was named one of the coolest suburbs in the country by Travel + Leisure, thanks to its intellectual culture and vintage vibe.
Located two blocks from the hotel, Northwestern's campus is home to beautiful buildings such as the imposing Alice Millar Chapel and the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, which boasts a 5,000-piece art collection including works by Mary Cassatt and Andy Warhol. Nearby downtown Evanston offers an eclectic assortment of specialty shops and dining venues. The Stained Glass Bistro, for instance, pours 32 different wines by the glass. Downtown is also where you'll find Purple Line CTA trains heading south to Chicago.