Cities are the New Suburbs

Is your local hardware store now a branch of Jamba Juice? Here’s where to flee.

__THE CITY: CHICAGO

THE ESCAPE: NAPERVILLE__

Naperville, 30 miles west of Chicago, has the character—innovative restaurants, independent shops, fairs and festivals—that the city has started to lose.

__THE CITY: LOS ANGELES

THE ESCAPE: MONTROSE__

Set in the foothills of the San Gabriel and Verdugo mountains, Montrose is just 20 minutes by car from downtown L.A. It feels more like a small town than a suburb—albeit one with a nationally recognized wine and cheese shop, Goudas & Vines.

__THE CITY: NEW YORK

THE ESCAPE: COLD SPRING__

An hour from Grand Central on the Metro-North railroad, Cold Spring has panoramic views of the Hudson River, good restaurants, downshifting creative types from the city, and proximity to the vibrant art scene of Beacon.

__THE CITY: SAN FRANCISCO

THE ESCAPE: MILL VALLEY__

Mill Valley: Across the Golden Gate, 10 minutes north of San Francisco, you’ll find a renowned farmer’s market, outdoor tai chi classes, redwoods, and canyons—and not a Gap store in sight.

__THE CITY: WASHINGTON, D.C.

THE ESCAPE: TAKOMA PARK, MARYLAND__

Takoma Park, Maryland, one of Washington’s first suburbs, is more affordable than other neighborhoods and has a great variety of restaurants. It’s a little crunchy, but it’s hard to argue with the well-regarded schools and impressive music and arts festivals.

__THE CITY: BOSTON

THE ESCAPE: WALTHAM__

Twenty minutes west of Boston, Waltham is home to Brandeis University and has the sophistication of a college town without Boston’s hordes of overserved undergraduates. The restaurants around Moody Street provide city-quality offerings.

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