A short drive or train ride from Chicago, the southwest suburb of Lemont, Illinois offers historic charm, must-see murals, tranquil quarries and an aerial adventure park for the whole family. If you’re visiting for the day or the weekend, be sure to check out the shops, restaurants and attractions listed below (we love supporting local!)
Start your day with coffee at Rustic Knead (1130 State St.) or have a full breakfast at Fork & Spoon Café (1264 State St.) before driving downtown Lemont. Or if you’re arriving mid-day, don’t miss "Our Famous Butter Garlic Fries" at the family-owned counter service Lemon Tree (1035 State St.) They're famous for a reason.
Lemont offers some of its best dining options in the quaint downtown area that looks reminiscent of a film studio backlot. There’s legendary, white-tablecloth Italian dining La Dolce Vita (107 Stephen St.) or a wood-fired pizza favorite Wooden Paddle (212 Stephen St.). Along Main Street, there’s one of the oldest taverns in town - serving the biggest burger - Nick’s Tavern (221 Main St.) and newly added craft-cocktail restaurant Barrel & Vine (206 Main St.)
Honorable mentions include the out-of-downtown 3 Corners Grill & Tap (12371 Derby Rd) which has an extensive beer selection, tasty burgers and a surprisingly good lobster roll (not what you’d expect to be the best menu item at a sports bar, but it’s that good).
Take-out or delivery options default to Lemont’s two best, family-run pizza places: Jimbo’s Pizza (12257 Walker Rd) and Turnabout Pizza (1000 Main St.), both completely different and both worth checking out. There’s also Gelsosomo's Pizzeria & Pub Featuring Smokey Row BBQ (316 Canal St.), a great option to take with you before heading over to hot spot Pollyanna Brewing Company (431 Talcott Ave).
Walking around downtown Lemont is worth the experience just for the historic murals located in, out and throughout the area. The central mural (pictured above) is located at 110 Main St. You can schedule a tour of historic downtown and learn more about the murals, quarries and limestone. More information is available at the Lemont Area Historical Society.
You can walk along the Heritage Quarries Recreation Area I&M Canal Trail Loop (a 2.9 mile loop trail) or zipline through the most popular new attraction and largest aerial adventure park in the United States, The Forge (1001 Main Street).
In between murals and views of the I&M Canal, Downtown Lemont offers a variety of shopping options: For retail, there’s one-of-a-kind boutique stores like Jilley’s Boutique (117 Stephen St.) and 1 Happy Girl (314 Canal St.), or bridal shop Martellen’s Bridal Boutique (220 Main Street).
For trinket and treasure seekers, stop into Mabel’s Market (307 Canal Street), Smokey Row Antiques (112 Stephen Street) and B-Side Records (114 Canal St.) If you have little ones with you, a visit to Three Stories Books (310 Canal St.) is a must.
Whether you’re a nature lover, craft beer drinker, longtime resident or first-time visitor, there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy in Lemont. Have questions? Did I leave anything out? Let me know in the comments below.