The city of Joliet is located in both Will and Kendall County, Illinois and is a suburb southwest of Chicago. It is the fourth largest city in the state and home to over 150,000 residents. Joliet was once known as an industrial city; today the community reinvented itself as a tourist destination with many entertainment opportunities to experience. Some of the major attractions include two major casinos, performance theatre, NASCAR racing track, NHRA dragstrip, a huge waterpark, and a professional minor league baseball team.
In addition to the thriving attractions, Joliet is a great place to live. The Joliet real estate market offers a nice mix of new housing developments and historical architectural properties. It’s a great place to raise a family with great schools, libraries, and a wonderful park district that provides a variety of activities all year round. Joliet is less than an hour from downtown Chicago by car or commuter rail.
Joliet is located approximately 45 miles southwest of Chicago’s Loop. The township is in the heart of the crossroads of MidAmerica where, interstates, waterways, and railways meet. The city of Joliet is:
• within an hour's drive of both O'Hare and Midway Airports
• served by Interstates 80 and 55, with interchanges at I-80 and I-55, I-55 and Route 6
• minutes from Interstate 355
• home to the Des Plaines river, Illinois River, and I&M Canal, all major Illinois Waterway Systems
• linked to freight rail connections to local and regional carriers.
Outlying communities around the Joliet area:
• Crest Hill
• Homer Glen
• New Lenox
• Rock Dale
The city of Joliet is the fourth largest city in the state of Illinois.
As of 2009, Joliet is the 159th most populous city in the United States.
Founded in 1901, Joliet Junior College is America's oldest public junior college.
The famous Joliet Prison located near downtown Joliet was featured in the FOX television show Prison Break popular and in the 1980 movie, The Blues Brothers, which starred John Belushi as "Joliet" Jake Blues and Dan Aykroyd as "Elwood" Blues.
In 1940, Dairy Queen opened its first store in Joliet.
The popular card game "UNO" created in Joliet.
The Joliet real estate offers a variety of housing options from single family homes, multifamily dwelling to condos, townhomes, commercial, and vacant land for either commercial or residential development.
Within the historic district of Joliet’s downtown area, you’ll discover many beautiful homes of various architectural designs built in the early 1800s.
Condominiums and townhouses start from $100,000 to over $300,000, while the Joliet single-family real estate market values range from $75,000 to over $1.5 million.
The median home cost in Joliet is $133,850.
Joliet remains one of the fastest growing cities in Illinois and in the United States. Travelling to or out of the Joliet area is simple with easy access to major highways like I-80, I-55 and I-355, Route 52, Route 53 and Route 59, as well as the convenience of commuter transportation from Metra Rail and Amtrak service.
Plus there are two major arteries run from Chicago to Joliet: Interstate 55 on the north and west, and Interstate 80 bisects the city and will connect you to I57 to the Dan Ryan Expressway.
Major highways in the Joliet area:
• Interstate 80
• Interstate 55
• U.S. Route 66
• U.S. Route 52
• U.S. Route 30
• U.S. Route 6
Joliet Union Station:
Railway passenger service is provided by Amtrak and Metra. Freight service is available from CSX, Santa Fe, Southern Pacific, EJ&E, Illinois Central, and Joliet Junction Railways
Joliet is on TWO METRA routes: Rock Island and Heritage Corridor.
Joliet is the first Northern League location conveniently accessible by AMTRAK. Union Station is a stop on the Illinois Service and Texas Eagle lines heading southwest out of Chicago.
For additional information on available public transportation in Joliet please visit the following web sites:
Metra Railroad Service
Pace Bus Service
The Joliet Regional Airport is located off of Jefferson Street near Interstate 55. Lewis University Airport is located to the north in the nearby village of Romeoville and is owned by the Joliet Regional Port District.
Joliet Elementary School District 86
There are 21 schools in the Joliet Elementary School District 86. The school district offers traditional basics skills curriculum focusing on mastering reading, writing, math and science, and a second curriculum which is offered by two magnet schools that covers the basic skills with more elective courses and intense parental involvement.
Joliet Township High School District 204
There are two high school campuses in Joliet: Central and West. The Joliet high school district’s curriculum strongly focuses on computer technology, foreign language skills, and a variety of electives that suit individual students' needs and objectives. JTHS’ goal is to prepare Joliet students for higher education and the workforce.
The City of Joliet shopping districts are filled with vibrant and a unique blend of upscale specialty shops, fashion boutiques, major retail stores, and restaurants.
Westfield Louis Joliet 3340 Mall Loop Dr #1249 815-439-1000. Joliet’s largest indoor mall, located at I-55 and Rt. 30, features more than 100 modern stores, kiosks, and amenities. Anchored by major department stores like Carson Pirie Scoot, Sears Roebuck, JC Penny, and Macy’s, and offer a food court with numerous fast-food restaurants.
Marsha Lega Studio/Gallery 28 & Forge Gallery 28 W. Crowley Ave 815/727-5255. Open Tuesday – Friday from 1:30pm to 5:30pm or by appointment, the fine craft gallery feature sculptures, tables, mirrors, greeting cards, jewelry, home accessories and artwork from Friends of Community Public Art. Great Joliet souvenirs too! Visa & Mastercard accepted.
Joliet Area Historical Museum Gift Shop 204 N Ottawa Street 815-723-5201 ext 226. Located in the City Center, the Historical Museum Gift Shop offers greeting cards and distinctive gifts including Joliet area and Route 66 souvenir items. Open Tuesday - Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 12pm-5pm.
If you can’t go to Las Vegas then let the City of Joliet bring the Vegas night life to you! Enjoy a night of live entertainment and gambling at either the Empress Casino or Harrah’s Casino. Stay and play in Joliet!
Empress Casino Joliet 2300 Empress Drive 815-744-9400 or 1-888-4-EMPRESS. Empress is a 50,000-square foot land-based casino pavilion with over 1,100 of the newest and most popular slot and video poker machines. Plus a variety of action-packed table games with a multiple outdoor smoking accommodations. Relax and spend a night at the Empress Hotel. The rooms are comfortable and spacious, and include satellite television and high-speed Internet.
Harrah's Joliet Casino & Hotel 151 N Joliet St 815-740-7800 or 1-800-HARRAHS. Hottest casino action in Chicagoland located along Des Plaines River in Joliet, Harrah’s offers Las Vegas style gaming with 1,100 slot machines, old favorites and new, video poker, and exciting table games. Enjoy the live entertainment at Stage 151, or grab a quick bit to eat at Ace’s Diner or Union Station’s Buffet. For an upscale dinner make your reservations for The Reserve steakhouse. To tired to go home, spend a night in a luxurious room at Harrah’s hotel.
Rialto Square Theatre 102 N Chicago St 815-726-7171. The Rialto built in 1926 is located in the heart of Joliet’s downtown entertainment district. The theatre known as ‘The Jewel of Joliet’ once featured vaudeville performances and then later transformed into a movie palace. Today, the 1,900 seat-venue showcases a variety of live entertainment from musical/dance programs, concerts, dramas, and stand-up comedy acts. Past headliners include Los Lobos, Bill Cosby, Kenny Rogers, Hubbard Street Dance, Leann Womack and many others. For more information on upcoming shows visit the Rialto website.
Fun & Games
Challenge Park Extreme 2903 Schweitzer Rd 815-726-2800. Looking for the ultimate experience in paintball excitement? CPX Sports is Chicago’s premier paintball field that offers 150 acres of pure adrenalin fun and action. Sign up your friends, family, or co-workers and let the paintball games begin! Open year round Wednesday – Sunday. Just south of I-80 off Route 53.
Inwood Ice Arena 3000 W Jefferson St 815-741-7275. A Joliet Park District program, the ice arena is open to the public year round. Visitors can enjoy ice skating programs such as figure skating, hockey, and public skating.
Joliet JackHammers Professional Baseball Silver Cross Field One Mayor Art Schultz Dr 815-726-2255.
Take me out to the ball game! Joliet’s professional minor league baseball team, the JackHammers of the independent Northern League, provide affordable, family entertainment in a clean, safe environment.
Visit the JackHammers website for ticket information and upcoming games.
Splash Station Waterpark 2780 US Rt 6 815-741-7250. Splish! Splash! Have fun and cool down at Joliet’s waterpark. Featuring 20 acres of water rides, including the Midwest’s only 200 foot six lane racing slide. There’s a sandy play area for the little ones. And a full service concession stands serving food and cold beverages.
Barolo Ristorante 2765 Black Rd 815-729-3606. Barolo offers the best home-made Italian food in Joliet! CBS 2 Chicago featured the restaurant in their “Where 2 Go” segment series. Visitors will enjoy the quaint European atmosphere and Barolo’s unique spin on authentic Italian cuisine. Their chefs use only the freshest ingredients to make their home-made pastas and Italian dishes. Plus they feature fresh seafood which is flown in daily and the best dry-aged steaks and chops in the area. And keep your eyes open for celebrity sightings! Celebrities like Tony Bennett, Brad Garrett, Eddie Money, Glen Campbell, Lily Tomlin, and the band Los Lobos have dined at Barolo’s
Truth Restaurant 808 W Jefferson St 815-744-5901. Established in 2003, Truth is a quaint friendly neighborhood restaurant located in Joliet’s historic Cathedral area, offering an American menu. Visitors will enjoy their cozy and comfortable dining room and their full service bar. Plus, they offer “steak of the month” and “martini of the month” specials.
Al’s Steakhouse 1990 W. Jefferson Street 815-725-2388. Opened since 1964, Al’s is one of the oldest fining dining restaurants in Joliet. The neighborhood restaurant features the best charbroiled steaks, chops, and seafood. Plus they offer daily lunch and dinner specials including a delicious Friday seafood buffet. Try the house specialty, the Grecian style steak served with Al’s own double baked potato! And don’t forget to eat your vegetables at Al’s generous salad bar offered nightly.
Enjoy family fun and entertainment in the City of Joliet. For a list of Joliet’s year round festivals, events, and tourists attractions visit Joliet Visitors Bureau calendar schedule for more information.