I spend time in Waukegan for my work. You do NOT want Waukegan. I have friends who live in Gurnee (which is nicer) and are even moving from there b/c of how bad the schools are. Evanston is very crunchy (TWO Whole Foods & a Trader Joe's!) and tons to do (we just moved from there b/c we didn't want the high school but otherwise I love Evanston), but probably more $$ than you want. phunkymama1's recos re: Batavia & surrounding sound great (I'm not familiar with those areas).
10/17/13 at 9:57am