Originally inhabited by the Pottawatomie people, St. Charles boasts a rich Native American history that continues to be honored to this day. Following the Black Hawk War in 1832, the area was open for American settlement, which is when William Franklin and Evan Shelby staked a claim here in 1833. They brought their families with them and were joined by additional settlers the following year, naming the township Charleston. Since the name Charleston was already taken, however, a local suggested St. Charles, and the name was adopted in 1839.
The city played a huge role in the Underground Railroad's history, as many St. Charles homes served as stations for runaway slaves. Despite being very isolated early on, many diverse groups emigrated to St. Charles, contributing to its rich cultural heritage. Today, thanks to its affordable housing, friendly residents, and strong school systems, St. Charles has frequently been named one of America's best cities for families. It also offers unique shopping, recreation, and entertainment opportunities, making it a great place to visit, as well.
Whatever your reasons for planning a trip to St. Charles, it's important to find the right hotel that lets you enjoy everything this all-American city has to offer.
Best Time to Visit St. Charles, IL
Due to the city's proximity to Chicago, the best time to visit St. Charles is during the shoulder tourist seasons. Spring offers several advantages, including lower hotel rates, fewer crowds, and pleasant temperatures, although visitors should be prepared for rain. In April and May, you'll find several local events that make a trip here worthwhile, including the St. Charles Arbor Day Celebration, the Chair-ity downtown art exhibition, and the St. Charles Fine Art Show.
Fall is another sweet spot for visiting the greater Chicago area. Summer crowds start to wane in St. Charles and daytime temperatures remain pleasant, but be sure to pack layers as nighttime temperatures can get chilly. Festivals that take place during the fall months include the St. Charles Jazz Weekend and the ever-popular Scarecrow Fest. In Chicago, you'll also have an opportunity to visit Oktoberfest Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival.
Winters in St. Charles are frigid, resulting in plenty of hotel vacancies and rock-bottom rates. While the weather may deter some from visiting the Chicago area during this season, planning a trip from November to March comes with several advantages, especially if you're on a budget. While St. Charles offers a small-town holiday homecoming parade, Chicago is bustling with a number of events, including ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo, The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier, Chinese New Year, and the Chicago Auto Show. Just be sure to pack your warmest clothes and a pair of snow boots.
Summer is the most popular tourist season for St. Charles, so expect hotel rates to be at their highest. Since Chicago can get very crowded with summertime tourism, outlying cities like St. Charles receive a slew of hotel reservations for anyone looking to save a few bucks over Chicago's increased prices. If you do visit St. Charles during the summer, you'll be happy to know there are a number of festivals to help fill your days. Be sure to experience the city's Concerts in the Park series, the Farmer's Market, Festival of the Fox, and the popular Independence Day Celebration.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Saint Charles, IL:
Averate Rates by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs displaying average nightly cost patterns by star rating class in Saint Charles, IL. Analyze these charts to evaluate the cheapest dates to make a reservation in Saint Charles during the year.
Luxury Hotel Options in St. Charles, IL
4 Star Average Prices: $119.78
If you're looking for luxury hotels in St. Charles, you have a few options to choose from. Herrington Inn & Spa just down the river in Geneva is a beautiful riverfront boutique hotel within walking distance of restaurants and shops. Even better, it's located less than a mile from Geneva's rail station, which provides easy access to Chicago.
The Herrington Inn & Spa boasts elegant, upscale rooms with balconies or patios, whirlpool bathtubs, fireplaces, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and an available nightly turndown service with milk and cookies. Suites add separate living areas, wet bars, stereos, and DVD players. Guests are also provided with a complimentary continental breakfast and have access to the posh spa, the on-site restaurant, and meeting and event spaces.
Also located on the riverfront, Hotel Baker is an upscale boutique hotel set in a historic 1928 building. In keeping with its vibrant history, the Hotel Baker features period-inspired rooms furnished with antiques that date back to the property's opening. Guestrooms feature free Wi-Fi, Egyptian cotton linens, cable TV, and coffee makers. Upgraded suites include screened-in porches with whirlpool tubs that overlook the Fox River or the cityscape.
Hotel Baker also includes continental breakfast for guests, as well as a complimentary evening turndown service. Additional on-site amenities include a cocktail lounge, steakhouse, event space, and a fitness center.
Affordable Hotel Options in St. Charles, IL
3 Star Average Prices: $102.73
Finding an affordable hotel in St. Charles is easier than you might think. Geneva Motor Inn offers a convenient location close to retail shops, museums, golf courses, and restaurants. While guest rooms are basic, they offer pillowtop mattresses, fluffy towels, coffee makers, high-speed internet access, TVs with HBO, and irons with ironing boards. Guests will also love the free continental breakfast, heated indoor pool, and fitness facility.
Super 8 St. Charles is another straightforward accommodation designed to meet every need. Guestrooms feature en suite bathrooms with microwaves, minifridges, coffee makers, flat-screen TVs with premium cable, and free Wi-Fi. Amenities include free parking and a complimentary continental breakfast.
Quality Inn & Suites on Main Street is located near the Kane County Fairgrounds, offering a convenient location for exploring the city. This pet-friendly hotel features a hot breakfast, outdoor pool, fitness center, meeting space, free coffee, free newspapers, bus parking, and available guest laundry services.
2 Star Average Prices: $79.70
Saint Charles, IL Hotels with Discounts
If you plan your trip in advance, you can save even more money during your trip to St. Charles by taking advantage of discounts. Most area hotels, including the Quality Inn & Suites on Main Street, offer special rates to qualifying individuals. AARP members, seniors, AAA/CAA members, government employees, military service members, and corporate travelers may be able to save as much as 20 percent off a property's best available rates by booking the special rate and showing proof of eligibility at check-in.
Other area hotels may extend special seasonal offers to guests. For instance, Hilton Garden Inn St. Charles offers a variety of travel packages for families or travelers hoping to find accommodations with food and beverage packages. Most accommodations also offer rewards programs, so be sure to sign up with your favorite hotel to start earning points toward your next stay.
Best Value Options in St. Charles, IL
St. Charles features many mid-range hotels that give you plenty of value for your money. Hilton Garden Inn St. Charles is located across from the Pheasant Run Golf Course and the DuPage County Airport. This property features modern rooms and suites with custom-designed beds, minifridges, microwaves, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi access. Some rooms add whirlpool tubs and fireplaces. Guests can enjoy a cooked-to-order breakfast, an on-site bistro, a 24/7 pantry, an indoor pool, and a fitness center, not to mention 16 meeting rooms and a business center for corporate travelers.
Best Western Inn of St. Charles is a modern low-rise hotel situated near the Arcada Theater Building, the Fox River Trolley Museum, and Pottawatomie Park. It boasts contemporary guestrooms with flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, minifridges, microwaves, and optional Jacuzzi tubs. Parking and a cooked breakfast are also free.
Must-See Attractions in St. Charles, IL
Wherever you decide to stay in St. Charles, you'll have access to a number of must-see attractions that will make your trip a memorable one. The historic Arcada Theater Building on Main Street was a prominent venue for vaudeville acts and silent movies in its early days, but is now considered the best live concert venue in the Midwest. You can even enjoy a cabaret show with cocktails!
Pottawatomie Park is an ideal destination for families. Offering a pool, golf, minigolf, disc golf, riverboat cruises, and a native garden, this riverside area is St. Charles's outdoor gem. The park features a boat launch, bike trails, dog parks, tennis courts, an amphitheater, picnic pavilion, and stunning views of the Fox River, making Pottawatomie Park an ideal spot for photography, relaxation, and play.
Exploring St. Charles and Chicago is a tall order, but no matter what's on your itinerary, you'll enjoy a quaint, diverse city brimming with culture, entertainment, and beautiful scenery. Whether you're looking to splurge on an upscale riverfront hotel or you want a budget-friendly motel near the transit system, you can find the perfect hotel in St. Charles to meet your needs and budget.