SYCAMORE – The city of Sycamore recently was named one of the most charming towns in Illinois by burgeoning online travel platform TripsToDiscover.
Area officials said there’s a good reason the city was included. Sycamore was named among 15 other cities the travel website deemed charming, which also included Galena, Woodstock, Ottawa, St. Charles, Geneva and Dixon, among others.
Cortney Strohacker, executive director of the DeKalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said she thinks of Sycamore in the same way she thinks of art.
“I mean, honestly, I feel like Sycamore is out of a Norman Rockwell painting,” said Strohacker, who raised two children in Sycamore. “It’s small enough that you recognize people when you’re walking down the street, but it’s big enough, and culturally diverse enough, that you don’t feel like you are just in the middle of nowhere.”
I think there’s just a lot of collaboration that makes the town the charming place that it is.”— Cortney Strohacker, DeKalb County Convention and Visitor's Bureau
When asked why Sycamore was selected as one of the most charming municipalities in Illinois, RoseMarie Treml, executive director of the Sycamore Chamber of Commerce, chalked it up to city leaders.
Considering Sycamore’s annual events, such as Walk with Santa and Sycamore Pumpkin Festival, Treml said Sycamore has become known for its charming hospitality – which she described as “quaint sophistication.”
Treml said it takes more than a bit of charm to spread the word far enough to reach travel blogs.
“The trick is ... to communicate that to people outside your area code,” Treml said. “And I think that Discover Sycamore and [the] Sycamore Chamber have gotten really good at doing that, getting the word out and promoting Sycamore as a great place.”
The city is known for its holiday events, and Strohacker said she thinks those event make it easy for outsiders who might flock to seasonal affairs to appreciate Sycamore.
“As an outsider, as a tourist coming in, I mean, you just go down the main street and fall in love with it. From the downtown restaurants, especially at Christmas when all the lights are lit up downtown,” Strohacker said. “The old traditions of Santa coming to town, the Chamber does a great job, the city does a great job. I think there’s just a lot of collaboration that makes the town the charming place that it is.”