Vernon Hills, Illinois

Located roughly in between Chicago and Milwaukee, it’s possible to commute to either city from Vernon Hills. That, along with local employers, including American Hotel Register and Rust-Oleum, are a big reason this region has seen jobs grow by 9% in the past decade.

About 76% of Vernon Hills residents own their homes, thanks in part to median house prices of around $308,000, which is modest compared to the surrounding area.

On weekends, drive 20 minutes to one of the beaches that dot Lake Michigan or check out the Cuneo Mansion and Gardens. Built in 1916 for the founder of Commonwealth Edison, this Italianate mansion, now run by Loyola University Chicago, boasts murals, stained glass and a private chapel. — Mayra Paris

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