Woodstock’s charming downtown is right out of central casting. The city’s historic turn-of-the-century town square, landmark Woodstock Opera House and Old McHenry County Courthouse have a certain star quality.

It’s no wonder Woodstock made its way onto the big screen. The city was the hometown featured in the movie Groundhog Day and also appeared in Plains, Trains and Automobiles.

Woodstock’s connection to Hollywood actually dates back to 1926 when young Orson Welles attended the Todd School for Boys here; it is said to be the famed director’s only formal education.

Located 51 miles northwest of Chicago, the community was incorporated in 1852. A direct train line to and from Chicago led to the McHenry County town’s growth as an industrial center.

At one time Woodstock was known as the “typewriter city”, home to two major typewriter factories. Woodstock workers built more than half the world’s typewriters by the early 1920s. The factories played an active role in the community with social clubs, baseball teams and a well-regarded band that played at special events. The city flourished with increasing demand for Woodstock typewriters through the war and after. The factory eventually closed in 1970; and later converted to lofts.

Woodstock is a popular destination for live music featuring local, national and international artists. The Woodstock City Band is one of the longest-standing traditions with concerts every summer dating back to 1885. The free Wednesday night concerts are held in the Square and often accompanied by an ice cream social. Woodstock also hosts a folk festival in July and Jazz on the Square Festival in August.

Woodstock Community Unit School District 200 serves students with six elementary schools, two middle schools and two high schools, Woodstock High School and Woodstock North High School.

Commuters have direct access to downtown Chicago from the Woodstock Metra station along Metra’s Union Pacific Northwest Line. The direct rail line was instrumental in Woodstock’s growth and continues to provide a convenient option with numerous trains running to and from the city daily.

Nearby Public Transportation

Union Pacific Northwest

at Woodstock Metra

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