By Tracey Minkin
These layers add to the charm of this town of about 5,800 residents. Grand homes, from sprawling Queen Anne to Midwestern Prairie-style, keep company with seasonal cottages, most in walking distance of the beach. Locals enjoy seven city parks, outdoor concerts on the village green, and the annual 4th of July parade. Plus, the schools are ranked among the best on our list.
Where to Stay: The Tudor-style Deer Path Inn is a historic retreat just south of town. Rooms are grand but cozy. Rates start at $170; 847/234-2280 or dpihotel.com.