Northward Bound

Appears in the June 2022 issue.

About 45 minutes north of Naperville, Higgins Road meets the Fox River and turns into Dundee township’s Main Street, with East Dundee on one bank and West Dundee on the other. The fast-moving waters and ample fish population make it a favorite spot of bald eagles and fishermen alike—and perfect for a fishing day trip.  

Pick up live bait from the minnow tank or fishing gear at Dundee Bait Shop (inside the gas station at 305 E. Main St., East Dundee, and head to the riverfront north of the bridge, where you can expect to catch walleye pike, northern pike, smallmouth bass, and bluegill. 

If you have kiddos in tow and energy left in the tank, it’s worth the 10-minute drive west to Randall Oaks Zoo (1180 N. Randall Rd., West Dundee, to take a pony ride (weather permitting) or scope out the camel, emu, wallabies, macaws, and potbellied pigs (plus other critters) in their exhibits. 

If shopping is more your style, browse some indie boutiques in West Dundee, such as the Half Full Nest Vintage Market (205 W. Main St., West Dundee, for sweet home accents or Trippots (102 W. Main St., West Dundee, for lovely greenery, accessories, Show & Grow classes, and even private parties.

Music fans can plan ahead and buy tickets to end the night at Rochaus (96 W. Main St., West Dundee,, an intimate music hot spot with historic roots right here on the riverfront. “It started as New Dundee Theater back at the turn of the century, and it opened as a vaudeville theater,” says Rochaus owner Kevin Krak. “The river adds an energy, regardless of the time of year, to what is happening in this community and this venue.”  

Photos courtesy of Randall Oaks Zoo, Rochaus, and Elder + Oat