Want to know what it is about the Second City that makes it a stand out place to stay? It’s not only the world-class museums, renowned food scene, impressive architecture, more events than you’ll have time for, and all the other hidden gems. There are also 77 neighborhoods, all unique in identity, with plenty of hidden gems to discover. As well as growing employment opportunities, easy transportation, and warm Midwestern friendliness – you’ll soon see it’s no second-best.
You don’t have to second-guess what the Chicago lifestyle is like, because we’ve rounded up the top things about living in Chicago for you. But you will have to familiarize yourself with essential phrases if you want to fit it!
With its convenient central location, Chicago is ideally situated for fast internal flights around the country. The city’s two main airports – O’Hare International and Midway – are easily accessible too, within an hour of the downtown area. Public transport is another perk for people living in Chicago. Parking and traffic can be problematic, so it can be easier to get around without a car. Chicago is very walkable, with L trains, the Metra train and CTA buses operating across the city. Many who aren’t traveling by public transport often choose to bike as most streets have bike lanes and rental bike stations.
There are many desirable areas to live in Chicago. Housing can be more affordable than L.A. or NYC, with just as many public parks, cool cafes and ethnic enclaves. Each neighborhood has a unique identity and selling-point for city-dwellers to explore. Whether you’re looking for luxurious urban living in the Loop, a family-friendly area like Lincoln Park, or a trendsetting environment typical of Wicker Park. Pilsen, Andersonville and Boystown also host colorful and open LGBT communities.
Living in Chicago comes lakeside. Along Lake Michigan there’s 26 miles of sandy beaches and biking paths to get out and enjoy in the good-weather months. Or wrap up warm in the winter for romantic river walks down Navy Pier to take in the stunning sea views. There’s also public parkland that converges by the water including Millennium Park and River Park, offering many outdoor amenities and natural habitats to explore.
If you’ve fallen in love with the idea of living lakeside, make it a reality with Blueground’s beautifully furnished apartments by the water. Browse their furnished apartment listings in Lincoln Park and Streeterville that not only afford you a view of the lake but excellent jogging trail options.
In Chicago, the museums and art galleries range from cultural heavyweights with world-class collections to thriving artist-run spaces and communities. Must-sees include The Art Institute of Chicago, along with contemporary spaces like Gallery 400 and Atlas Galleries. A museum membership can be a great way to get to know the city’s creative side. Living in Chicago you’ll also be surrounded by free public art. Landmarks include The Bean in Millennium Park, The Picasso sculpture and The Four Seasons mosaic, both located in the Chicago Loop.
Living in Chicago, you can drink and eat at some of the most exciting and innovative culinary spots in the country. From Michelin-starred fine dining or the brewing scene, to classic meatpacked comfort foods and speakeasy-style cocktail bars. Aside from the quintessential Chicago eats – hot dogs, deep-dish pizzas and doughnuts – you can dine international. There’s a bunch of culinary treasures to discover from Polish pierogi, ramen, Mexican and more.
Chicago is a culturally rich city. It can be experienced through year-round festivals from Chicago Pride Fest to Oktoberfest. In the summer there’s the annual Chicago Gospel Music Festival and country music Country LakeShake Festival. As well the city’s musical roots in house music, blues, and jazz, there’s also a lively stand-up comedy scene. Living in Chicago, you’re bound to come across comedy clubs and open mics showcasing the country’s best emerging comedians.
If you’re a sports fan, you’ll feel at home in Chicago. It has one of the nation’s most vibrant professional sporting scenes. With some of the best teams in the world, the local stadiums are treasured as national landmarks. Whether it’s the Bulls or the Cubs, the White Sox or the Chicago Bears – whoever’s playing, the city is buzzing whenever there’s a game on.
Chicago offers an abundance of professional opportunities in areas such as finance, publishing, and tech. With a strong economy and low unemployment rates, many early-stage tech companies and large, well-established companies are based here. The city hosts networking groups for entrepreneurs and has a thriving co-workers scene that fosters a community for Chicago freelancers. When looking for a job in Chicago, wages generally provide a comfortable standard of living.