Known for its beautiful lakefront, the Village of Wilmette is located approximately 16 miles north of downtown Chicago and extends about 5 miles west from Lake Michigan. Residents enjoy diverse architecture, tree-lined brick streets, well maintained parks and excellent public and private schools.
The community is also committed to its history, preserving its brick streets and old fashioned street lights. In 1674, Father Marquette and his expedition beached their canoes and spent the night on the shores of present day Wilmette. In 1829, Antoine Ouilmette, a French-Canadian fur trader and his part-Indian wife, Archange, moved their family to a cabin near the foot of present day Lake Avenue. The first Wilmette public school opened in 1871. In 1872, the village was incorporated.
Over 300 acres of parks and open land are managed by the Wilmette Park District. Perennial favorites include Gillson Park and Beaches, Keay Nature Center, Community Playfields, and Mallinckrodt Park. A wide range of recreation programming encompasses children and adults from newborn to seniors. The Wilmette Golf Club is billed as the best public golf course challenge in town! While Wilmette Golf Club's total yardage is only 6,400 from the back tees, it plays to much greater length. The short par 4's and the fact that there are only two par 5's in this par 70 track make Wilmette play like a 7,000 yard layout.
The Village of Wilmette offers wonderful shopping opportunities in four distinct shopping districts, a beautiful lakefront, various cultural opportunities, great dining, and a magnificent French Market that runs from May through October.
Each of Wilmette's seven commercial districts has its own unique identity to provide a distinctively different shopping experience. Public transportation and free street parking provide convenience and accessibility. The number of specialty shops, restaurants and boutiques in the Village's traditional business districts create a destination for those who appreciate the energy of a thriving, North Shore community.
Serving more than 3,500 students in grades K - 8, Wilmette Public School District 39 includes a significant portion of Wilmette and a small portion of adjacent Glenview. Children in grades K-4 attend one of four existing neighborhood elementary schools: Central School, Harper School, McKenzie School, or Romona School. Students in grades 5 and 6 attend Highcrest Middle School while grades 7 and 8 attend Wilmette Junior High. Student test scores consistently reflect achievement well above state and national norms.
The Avoca School District 37 serves students from parts of four surrounding communities: Glenview, Northfield, Wilmette, and Winnetka. The greatest number of our students live in Wilmette. There are two schools in the district: Avoca West, a K-5 elementary school; and Marie Murphy, a 6-8 middle school.
New Trier High School is one of the most highly acclaimed public high schools in the State of Illinois. The major campus is located in Winnetka and freshman students attend the Northfied campus.