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A suburb of Chicago, Naperville has managed to outrank its big sister city in a number of ways through the years. It’s been voted the second-best place to live in the entire United States by Money Magazine and one of the safest cities in the country by USAToday. Filled with more than 130 parks and green spaces, Naperville gives citizens access to urban lifestyles in a more laid back, comfortable setting. Its famous River Walk along the DuPage River was constructed by its citizens in 1981 and has since been recognized with many state and national awards. Along the river, residents will find the Millennium Carillon in Moser Tower, an unusual, 16-story construct housing a 72-bell instrument that can span six full octaves—one of very few in the world. On a clear day, the Chicago Skyline is visible from the top. In addition to the quaint and sonorous River Walk, Naperville’s downtown hosts over 600 historic buildings, and routinely puts on art, music, and cultural festivals.
College life in Naperville includes North Central College and many satellite campuses of larger schools. Additionally, students attending university in Chicago and other surrounding suburbs often elect to move to the quieter, quainter life in Naperville.
The city is divided down the middle by the DuPage River. On the west side, students can find housing options along West Ogden Avenue near Aurora Avenue and West Jefferson, each of which provides convenient access to downtown. Lake Osborne sits in this area, as does Wildflower Park, making it a great home base for students looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of campus life.
Also on the west side, the Hwy 59/I-88 area is popular for commuters. It’s close to the highways for quick travel time and filled with apartment options, but also immersed in green spaces such as the Country Lake Country Club and Country Lake Park.
East of the river, students of North Central College as well as nearby Benedictine University can find apartments within biking distance of campus. The Cress Creek neighborhood is popular among students for its proximity to campus, the West Ogden thoroughfare, and the Cress Creek Square Shopping Center.
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