Oak Brook, Illinois, situated in the northeastern part of the state, is a charming village that boasts a rich history and a reputation for affluence and corporate presence.
Located about 19 miles west of downtown Chicago, Oak Brook offers a balance between suburban tranquility and accessibility to the bustling city.
Oak Brook’s history can be traced back to the early 1900s when Paul Butler, a real estate developer, purchased the land and began transforming it into a residential community.
The village’s growth was further spurred by the construction of the Oakbrook Center, one of the nation’s first outdoor shopping centers. This development set the stage for Oak Brook’s continued expansion and evolving identity.
Oak Brook is known for its upscale residential neighborhoods and luxurious estates. The village’s focus on quality of life, excellent schools, and proximity to corporate headquarters has attracted a thriving population seeking both convenience and elegance.
Typically not known as a major tech hub compared to cities like Silicon Valley or Seattle, Oak Brook is a headquarters hub, home to numerous corporate headquarters, including several Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, Comcast, Apple and many others. It serves as a prominent business and commercial center in the Chicago metropolitan area.
Its proximity to Chicago played a role in attracting tech companies and helped Oak Brook develop over time. Besides being a technological hub, there are some activities you can do as a tourist if you visit Oak Brook.
Let’s dive together and see what are the best 13 things you to do in Oak Brook, IL:
Things to Do in Oak Brook
1. Visit Oak Brook Center
Oak Brook Center is a premier shopping destination located in Oak Brook. It offers a wide range of retail stores, boutiques, and upscale shops, making it a paradise for shopping enthusiasts.
Here you can explore a variety of high-end fashion brands, luxury goods, home decor, accessories, and more so if you are into some shopping this is the right spot for you.
When you get tired you can stop for a meal at one of the casual eateries to fine dining restaurants, Oak Brook Center has.
Address: 100 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, IL 60523, USA
2. Explore the historic Mayslake Peabody Estate
This is a magnificent estate that was built in the early 20th century by coal magnate Francis Stuyvesant Peabody. The estate features a grand Tudor Revival-style mansion surrounded by picturesque grounds and gardens.
It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is known for its architectural beauty and cultural significance.
The mansion itself is open for tours, allowing visitors to explore its elegant rooms, exquisite woodwork, and stunning stained glass windows.
Address: 1717 31st St, Oak Brook, IL 60523, United States
3. Step back in time at Graue Mill
Graue Mill dates back to the 19th century. The mill played an important role in the local community, providing a vital service of grinding grain into flour for the surrounding farmers.
When visiting Graue Mill, you can explore the mill itself and see the impressive machinery in action. The mill’s wheel turns and powers the grinding stones, demonstrating the traditional process of milling grain. Inside, you’ll find exhibits and displays that showcase the history and significance of the mill, including artifacts and photographs.
Beyond the mill, the surrounding area offers beautiful natural scenery and recreational opportunities. The mill is situated on the banks of Salt Creek, and there are walking trails that wind through the nearby woods and along the creek.
It’s a lovely spot for a peaceful stroll and a chance to appreciate the natural beauty of the area.
Address: 3800 York Rd, Oak Brook, IL 60523, United States
4. Discover the natural beauty of Fullersburg Woods
Fullersburg Woods is home to the historic Graue Mill, an adjacent attraction that showcases the area’s milling history. Fullersburg Woods is a scenic forest that encompasses a diverse ecosystem of woodlands, wetlands, and meadows, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers.
The creek provides a serene setting for activities such as fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.
5. Play a round of golf at Oak Brook Golf Club
This is a premier golfing destination located in Oak Brook. The golf course at Oak Brook Golf Club is known for its meticulously maintained fairways, manicured greens, and stunning scenic views.
Designed by renowned architect Roger Packard, the course seamlessly blends with the natural surroundings, incorporating mature trees, water features, and strategically placed bunkers.
The layout offers a variety of hole designs, requiring players to showcase their accuracy, skill, and strategic thinking.
Address: 2606 York Rd, Oak Brook, IL 60523, USA
6. Experience world-class theater at Drury Lane Theatre
Drury Lane Theatre offers a captivating theater experience that combines outstanding performances, stunning sets, and top-notch production values.
The theater has a rich history dating back to 1949 when it first opened its doors. Since then, it has established itself as a premier destination for both classic and contemporary theatrical productions.
Drury Lane Theatre showcases a diverse range of shows, including Broadway musicals, plays, and special events, attracting theater enthusiasts from near and far.
Make sure you check their calendar in advance and plan your trip ahead of time.
Address: 100 Drury Ln, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181, USA
7. Attend a thrilling polo match at the Oak Brook Polo Club
If you are a polo fan then attending a match at the Oak Brook Polo Club can be a unique and enjoyable experience. The Oak Brook Polo Club boasts a strong team with skilled players who participate in competitive matches.
Make sure you check their calendar in advance.
Address: 700 Oak Brook Rd, Oak Brook, IL 60523, USA
8. Visit the Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, which is approximately 11 miles northwest of Oak Brook, this is a rehabilitation facility and education center operated by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County in Illinois.
They provide medical treatment, rehabilitation, and eventual release back into their natural habitats for a wide range of animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. While the entrance is free you are encouraged to make a donation while visiting to help support the center.
Address: 525 S Park Blvd, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137, USA
9. Have a fun-filled evening at Pinstripes Oak Brook
Looking for an indoor entertainment center? Pinstripes Oak Brook is a super unique entertainment venue that combines the sophistication of a bowling alley, the elegance of a bocce court, and the flavors of a gourmet Italian-American restaurant.
This incredible, good-looking place can be used as a wedding venue too that can host up to 1,000 people.
For bocce and bowling hours and prices, I advise you always check their page for the most accurate information.
Address: 7 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, IL 60523, USA
10. Take a trip to the Oakbrook Terrace Tower Observation Deck
On clear days, you can see the iconic Chicago skyline in the distance, with its towering skyscrapers and architectural landmarks. The panoramic view extends beyond the city, allowing you to appreciate the sprawling suburban neighborhoods, lush green spaces, and the shimmering waters of nearby lakes and rivers.
The observation deck provides an opportunity to witness the vibrant tapestry of the changing seasons, from the vibrant colors of fall foliage to the glistening snow-covered landscape in winter.
Address: 1 Tower Ln, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181, USA
11. Feel like an Italian tourist at Maggiano’s Little Italy
If you are in the mood for the city life of Chicago, Maggiano’s Little Italy should be on your list of places to stop for a bite. This place is a popular Italian restaurant chain known for its classic dishes and warm, inviting atmosphere.
The first Maggiano’s restaurant was opened in Chicago in 1991 by Rich Melman, the founder of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises.
The concept behind Maggiano’s Little Italy was to recreate the nostalgic experience of dining at an Italian-American family gathering. The restaurant’s name pays homage to the old-fashioned Italian-American “red-sauce” joints that were a staple of many neighborhoods in the early 20th century.
Who said you have to travel all the way to Europe to enjoy the Italian spirit and delicious food?
Address: 516 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654, USA
12. Visit the Oak Brook Public Library
The Oak Brook Public Library building itself is a modern and welcoming facility designed to provide a comfortable environment. While it may not have any distinctive architectural features, it offers a spacious and well-organized layout, creating a pleasant atmosphere for browsing and reading.
One notable aspect of the Oak Brook Public Library is its emphasis on providing resources and programs related to professional development, entrepreneurship, and business.
If you happen to be interested in getting guidance and support regarding your career make sure you check their website first and add this one to your list.
Address: 600 Oak Brook Rd, Oak Brook, IL 60523, USA
13. Have some food at Labriola Oak Brook
This restaurant is a popular dining destination known for its delectable menu offerings and delightful culinary experience. Their menu features a mix of Italian-inspired dishes, comfort food classics, and modern American cuisine.
One dish that stands out at Labriola Oak Brook is their renowned deep-dish pizza. Made with a thick, buttery crust, flavorful tomato sauce, and a generous amount of gooey cheese, this iconic Chicago-style pizza is a local favorite. It’s a must-try for anyone looking to savor the authentic taste of the region.
Address: 3021 Butterfield Rd, Oak Brook, IL 60523, USA
In conclusion, Oak Brook is a hidden gem that seamlessly blends elegance with a touch of playfulness. It’s a place where business suits and laughter coexist, where you can enjoy a gourmet meal and then stroll through nature’s embrace.
Prepare to be captivated by the charm and allure of Oak Brook—a place where sophistication meets joy in the most delightful way.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Oak Brook Illinois known for?
Oak Brook, Illinois is known for its upscale residential neighborhoods, corporate headquarters of major companies like McDonald’s and Ace Hardware, as well as its luxurious shopping centers like Oakbrook Center.
Is Oak Brook expensive to live?
Yes, Oak Brook is generally considered an affluent area with upscale housing, luxurious amenities, and a higher cost of living compared to some other regions.
Is Oak Brook a good area?
Oak Brook is often considered a desirable area due to its quality of life, excellent schools, corporate presence, and proximity to Chicago. However, “good” can be subjective based on individual preferences and priorities.
What town is near Oak Brook?
Some towns near Oak Brook include Hinsdale, Elmhurst, Lombard, and Westmont, among others. The proximity to Chicago means that several suburban communities are within a relatively short commuting distance.