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10 Things to Know Before Moving to Chicago, Illinois

Published by Chris Townsend

10 Things to Know Before Moving to Chicago, Illinois

Moving to a new city can be exciting, or scary. There’s a lot that you need to know about their culture, ways to move around, and activities before you decide to settle on a new home.

With that in mind, we have started a new series of posts with the aim of teaching our readers about cities in the USA and what to expect when moving to them. So, without further ado, here are 10 things to know before moving to Chicago, Illinois.

1. Food to Try

Chicago has long been known for its culinary prowess. Chicago was even named the best culinary city in the world by Bon Appétit Magazine, beating out New York City and other excellent candidates. Lettuce Entertain You, Sun Wah BBQ, Arun's, and Parachute are just a few of Chicago's James Beard Award winners.

You can't live in Chicago without developing a taste for deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs, of course. Add yellow mustard, white onions, green sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices, and pickled sport peppers to your next steamed hot dog. Topping your classic Chicago hot dog with a dab of celery salt is essential.

The cocktail culture in Chicago is thriving, with everything from crafted blends to tiki-inspired beverages. Get a drink at Time Out Market Bar, try a spirit-infused cocktail at Scofflaw, or dance the night away at The Whistler with your favorite local DJs.

At Tastes of Chicago, the world's largest food festival, savor the city's delights. Every year in Grant Park, you may sample some of the city's best delicacies while listening to live music and watching performances.

2. Migration

Chicago is a varied city, with people arriving and departing from all over the world. If you're looking to migrate from a nearby midwestern city, you're not alone. According to the most current migration study from Apartment List, the cities with the largest percentage of people relocating to Chicago are Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Detroit.

Outbound migrations are also taking place in Chicago. Renters in Chicago who are considering relocating to a warmer environment, such as Phoenix, Miami, or Los Angeles, are looking for flats in these cities.

3. Transportation

The L trains, CTA buses, and certain suburban choices are all run by the Chicago Transit Authority. You can also use the Metro Rail to travel between Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. You can take a water taxi to work if you live near the water near Michigan Avenue, the Chicago Riverwalk, Ogilvie, or Chinatown.

If you live near public transportation, living in Chicago without a car isn't difficult at all. For service on the L train, Chicago Public Transportation charges around $105 each trip. To compensate for the lack of a vehicle, you can use Uber, Lyft, taxis, cycling, and urban walking.

In comparison to other cities, transportation will consume a larger portion of your budget. As a single adult, you can expect to spend roughly $5,149 on transportation; families with two working adults and a child would need at least $11,753.

4. Parks to Visit

Despite Chicago's reputation as a concrete jungle, the city has 570 parks. Downtown Chicago is surrounded by parks, green space, and paths. The waterfront locations, which are ideal for a day of jogging and cycling, are the most popular options.

Chicago's parks are also brimming with treasures. The DuSable Museum, a bird and butterfly refuge, and a few lagoons are all located in Washington Park, which was built by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

You can also go to the beach without actually leaving the city. Try the beaches on North Avenue, 12th Street, and Montrose Avenue, as well as the dozens of lake pathways that make life in Chicago a distinct, waterside experience. North Avenue Beach has 22,000 square feet of area with higher decks and portholes for taking in the view of the sparkling water.

Spending time outside is an important part of life in Chicago. You'll understand why it's known as "the city in a garden."

5. Events to Participate In

The annual Lollapalooza music festival began in Grant Park in Chicago in 1991 and has since extended across the country. Rock, heavy metal, punk, electronic music, hip hop, and other genres are all represented. Summer dates last four days and attract tens of thousands of people.

The annual Chicago Jazz Festival, which takes place over Labor Day Weekend, is a popular Labor Day Weekend tradition that promotes jazz appreciation. The free festival at Millennium Park offers both seasoned and up-and-coming jazz musicians.

Every October, runners and fans assemble in Chicago for the Chicago Marathon. The marathon is the world's fourth-largest race and a runner's peak achievement.

6. Sightseeing and Activities

Chicago is a world-class metropolis with year-round attractions and activities. Wrigley Field, located on Chicago's North Side, is the home of the Chicago Cubs. Built in 1914, Wrigley Field has been home to the Chicago Cubs for nearly a century.

Sears Tower, commonly known as Willis Tower, is 1,450 feet tall and contains 108 floors. Take a tour of the Ledge Skydeck to see the vistas, get a unique photo opportunity, and learn more about the tower and the city's history.

In the center of Chicago, the famed Bean, also known as Cloud Gate, is the epitome of public art. The artwork is the focal point of AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park in Chicago's Loop neighborhood. The stainless steel reflecting Bean entices visitors to engage with its shiny surface.

In Chicago, admiring the city's architecture is a popular activity. Photograph the Aqua Building, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Carbide and Carbon Building in a self-guided walking tour.

Take a stroll around Navy Pier for the day. The amusement park and shipping terminal, which opened in 1916, has 50 acres of gardens, venues, shops, and restaurants. There's also a classic carousel and a 150-foot Ferris wheel.

7. Life in Chicago

Chicago has a population of 2.71 million people, making it one of the largest cities in the United States and the most populated metropolis in the Midwest. People come to Chicago from all over the world to live, work, or simply visit beautiful lakeside metropolis. Around Chicago's varied neighborhoods, you may hear a variety of languages spoken.

With strong businesses, higher education possibilities, and urban beaches along the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago is also renowned as the Midwest's epicenter. Students, employees, and corporate career climbers in banking, leisure, hospitality, and other fields flock to the city.

Chicago has long been a pillar of the United States' booming urban hubs. In the 17th century, French explorers, missionaries, and fur traders arrived, followed by a US Army fort. By 1837, commerce had picked up as Northern investors saw the real estate potential in Chicago's burgeoning transportation hub. In 1871, a fire devastated much of Chicago's business area, but the city continued to thrive as a major Midwestern center for business, athletics, jazz, and culture.

You might be surprised by a few things in the Windy City. It has the clearest water outside of the Caribbean and 37 movable bridges that span the Chicago River. After a sewage problem threatened the city in the 1900s, the flow of the Chicago River reversed. Engineers directed the water to flow into the Mississippi River watershed in the opposite direction.

8. Sports and Activities

Chicago is a large sports city with a strong sense of community. The Bears, Bulls, Cubs, White Sox, Blackhawks, Sky, and Fire FC are all available. Even if you aren't a basketball enthusiast, Chicagoans are devoted to Michael Jordan, a 15-year NBA veteran. With the Chicago Bulls, he helped them win six championships, and his presence is felt all across the city.

Wrigley Field is a historic venue that has hosted the Chicago Cubs for over a century. You can go on a tour of the stadium and discover more about its history.

Whirlyball, a newcomer to the Brooklyn scene, launched in Bucktown to provide locals bowling, laser tag, and whirly ball all in one location. Brooklyn Boulders Chicago also offers rock climbing, yoga, and other activities.

9. Higher Education

For students in higher education, Chicago is great. Pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree at one of Chicago's prestigious colleges.

The University of Chicago is in the Near West neighborhood, which is close to the Chicago Loop. Public policy is one of the most important topics of study. Formerly, President Barack Obama was a professor at its Law School.

Northeastern Illinois Institution is a Hispanic Serving Institution and a public university with 8,000 students. Speech, Psychology, Health, and Engineering degrees are well-known in the learning and research sector.

DePaul University is a private university in Chicago that is the largest Catholic university in the United States. It is well-known for its studies in business, management, marketing, journalism, the arts, and science.

Loyola University is a Catholic Jesuit university with programs in biology, science, nursing, psychology, marketing, and finance. On-campus students appreciate the waterfront and accessibility to attractions such as Hartigan Beach and Tobey Prinz Beach Park.

10. Weather in Chicago

Although the city has altered over time, Chicago still lives up to its reputation of "The Windy City." It's thought that the term came from a stereotype of residents who loved to brag a lot. During the summer, however, Chicago's closeness to the shoreline of Lake Michigan makes it cool. Inclement weather can bring strong winds, and winters are bitterly cold.

Winters in Chicago are notoriously harsh. January is the city's coldest month, with average temperatures of 0 degrees. The hottest months are July and August, with temperatures averaging around 81 degrees. Chicago's temperate summers make it a popular destination to live, work, and play, however it's still necessary to layer up even in the summer.


Chicago has plenty to offer, from beautiful parks to exciting events, and delicious food. If you decide to move to this city, you definitely won’t regret it. As for the moving part, you’ll need the assistant of an experienced moving company. On that front, don’t hesitate to contact Three Movers.

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Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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