With more than 70 communities in Northern Illinois, active adults can find age-restricted and active lifestyle communities throughout the Chicagoland area. One of the more unique regions worth exploring is the area along the Illinois–Wisconsin state lines, where there are six Northern Illinois communities within roughly 10 miles of the Wisconsin border.
Located in northern Lake and McHenry County, these active adult communities still provide access to downtown Chicago and O’Hare International Airport, but they offer lower taxes, a more affordable cost of living, and less traffic than Cook County. These communities also put residents close to the outdoor recreation opportunities found near Chain O’Lakes, Lake Michigan, and Southern Wisconsin. Active adults can also easily drive to Wisconsin cities such as Kenosha, Madison, and Milwaukee, all while living in Illinois.
If these Northern Illinois locations and lifestyle options pique your interest, keep reading for a detailed look at six Northern Illinois communities near the Wisconsin border.
Below $100k – Low $100s
One of the northernmost 55+ communities near the Wisconsin border also has some of the most affordable homes for sale in Northern Illinois. Leisure Village, a gated age-restricted community with 360 attached homes, is located just 4.2 miles from the border and less than 2 miles from Grass Lake, which is part of the Chain O’Lakes system.
At Leisure Village, residents have a variety of floor plans as well as an abundance of amenities. The well-maintained attached homes range from 755 to 1,705 square feet with one or two bedrooms, one to two bathrooms, and attached one-car garages. With options ideal for snowbirds and those who want to downsize, features in some homes include open floor plans, covered patios, dens, and master suites with en-suite bathrooms.
The amenities include a recreation center with an exercise room, a 250-seat lecture hall, a woodworking shop, an arts and crafts room, a ceramics studio, and multipurpose gathering spaces where residents participate in activities, clubs, and classes. Outside, residents can enjoy an Olympic-size pool, a nine-hole golf course, two private boating lakes, community gardens, athletic courts, and walking and biking trails.
Low $100s – Mid $200s
Carillon at Heatherstone is also just 4.2 miles from the Wisconsin border, surrounding residents with an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities. In addition to easy access to America’s Dairyland, active adults can reach the shores of Lake Michigan as well as the 4,160-acre Illinois Beach State Park, where residents can hike, fish, boat, and swim.
Built from 2003 to 2007, the gated 55+ community Carillon at Heatherstone consists of 173 low-maintenance single-family and attached homes within the master-planned Heatherstone development. The attached homes range from 1,107 to 1,332 square feet with one or two bedrooms, one to two bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. The ranch-style single-family homes range from 1,530 to 1,951 square feet with two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached two-car garages.
At the heart of the community, a 4,000-square-foot clubhouse provides amenities such as an exercise room, a ballroom, and rooms for billiards and cards. The outdoor amenities include a swimming pool, a patio, a tennis court, a walking trail, and a scenic pond.
Mid $100s – Low $300s
With 361 single-family and attached homes, Carillon North is a gated 55+ community that offers a low-maintenance lifestyle, resort-style amenities, and a full social calendar of clubs, classes, and activities. The location of Carillon North also puts residents 7.9 miles south of the Wisconsin border and adjacent to the Rollins Savanna Forest Preserve.
The attached homes offer the most low-maintenance lifestyle thanks to a homeowners’ association that takes care of all exterior home maintenance, landscaping, lawn care, and snow removal. These ranch-style homes range from 1,268 to 1,694 square feet. The single-family homes, which range from 1,680 to 2,322 square feet, provide low-maintenance living that covers lawn care, landscaping, and snow removal.
With a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse, a fitness center, an indoor pool and spa, and a nine-hole, par-3 golf course, residents have ample opportunities to enjoy the amenities throughout the seasons. At the clubhouse, neighbors gather for social activities that include bingo, painting, jewelry making, poker, computer club, and art class. Some of the regular social events include happy hours, live theater, Friday morning coffee meetups, and planned outings.