If you are planning on moving to the city of Chicago, Illinois, get ready to fall in love with Chitown. Not only is it the third-largest city in the United States, but Chicago is also the largest city in the entire Midwest. And unlike most big cities, you will come to learn that it is way cleaner.
Since moving can end up being emotionally and physically exhausting, we highly recommend that you hire professional Chicago movers to help you with this transition. Moving companies are reliable and efficient, and contrary to popular belief, they will end up saving you loads of time and money than if you were to pack and transport your personal belongings all by yourself.
Before you make your big move to your new home, we suggest you learn a few things about the Home of Skyscrapers. So read on to find out the most important things you need to know before moving to Chicago!
1.Chicago is all about the neighborhood experience
Chicago is a city with 77 community areas and 245 different neighborhoods. And every neighborhood is more diverse and different from the next. So whether you are single and moving for a new job wanting a nightlife, have a family and prefer peace and quiet, or are into music, food or art, there is a neighborhood for everyone.
More often than not, people in Chicago will end up associating you with where you live. So be sure to start looking for a place at least 2 months prior to moving, thoroughly research the area, and consider renting with a roommate if you want to cut down on expenses.
No matter where you choose to live, whether it’s the north, south or west side or even downtown, you will end up finding your people and will soon fall in love with this beautiful city.
2.Chicago has a grid system
Chicago is built on a grid system, with the epicenter at Madison and State. All the streets north, south, east, and west are labeled in relation to the epicenter. You will find odd-numbered streets on the south and east ends of the city, and even-numbered streets on the north and west side.
Additionally, knowing that there are eight blocks to a mile in the grid system helps you calculate how far off you are from your destination. And since every city block rises by a 100, this means that if you are 8 blocks from north Madison, essentially, you would be at 800 North Madison, and exactly a mile away from the epicenter.
While this may seem overwhelming at first, it is a very easy system to follow once you get the hang of it. Consider navigating with the help of a Chicago grid map before you become a pro.
3.You will never get bored
Although most people will agree that the city really comes alive during the summer, there is always something to do all year round.
You can hang out at Millenium Park and take a picture with Cloud gate or the bean, roam around the navy pier and catch a boat tour, get a spectacular view from the Willis tower or 360 Chicago, or visit world-class museums. In summer, you can also head to the beach along Lake Michigan!
Since you are headed to the city that is home to some of the top comedians in the world, be sure to experience the comedy scene in Chicago. Head to Second City or the UP Comedy Club for a good laugh and a great night.
And that’s not it – the city is extremely proud of its numerous festivals, events, and fairs, such as the South Side Irish Parade in March, Andersonville Midsommarfest in June, and West Town Art Walk and Food Truck Social in October. Also, don’t miss out on St. Patrick’s Day because they end up dying the Chicago River green!
4.It is a city for foodies
The Chicago food scene really is all that. Rest assured, you will always end up discovering amazing new places from its more than 8000 restaurants!
Moving to Chicago, you will end up finding loads of carts and snack stands, so be sure you try out the local food. Other than that, there are some Chicago staples such as the deep-dish pizza, Italian beef sandwiches, the Chicago style dog and Jibarito that you must try!
Apart from this, you can find many trendy places for specific cuisines, such as Devon Avenue for Indian food or Chinatown on the Southside. If you want to splash on a special occasion, consider visiting the more than 20 Michelin starred restaurants in Chicago, including Chef Grant Achatz world-famous Alinea.
5.You don’t really need a car
When in Chicago, you will learn that taking the “L” is the most convenient way to get around. This is the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), and is the cheapest way to travel in Chicago. Since it is not always known to be on time, always add at least 10 minutes to your travel time. All you need is a Ventra Card – just load it up, tap it at the station and travel hassle-free!
Chicago also has a great bike route, so consider cycling. Or better yet, familiarize yourself with the underground tunnels and bridges, known as the Pedway, and walk around different parts of the city.
Additionally, owning a car is a hassle in Chicago, due to traffic jams, expensive parking, and towing in winters, so consider yourself warned!
6.Chicagoans take their sports seriously
Chicago is known to have some seriously die-hard sports fans. Even if you don’t follow sports as religious as they do, we assure you that you will be swept away by the sheer energy of the crowd during professional sporting events.
Basically, you have the MLB rivalry between the Cubs from the Northside and the White Sox from the Southside. Baseball aside, there are the Bears (NFL), the Sky (WNBA), the Fire (MLS) and the Bulls (NBA).
So you are bound to find a crowd that loves and supports the same team as you do. Even if you aren’t a fan, we highly suggest that you catch a game at Wrigley Field!
7.The weather is really not as bad
Although we admit that Chicago winters can be brutal, the summer season makes up for it. That being said, be prepared to witness weather that has its own mood. You can expect it to be sunny one minute and then experience a heavy downpour the next minute, only to find the sun shining again after a couple of hours.
The best months are between May and October, and this is when the city comes alive. Be prepared to attend tons of music festivals such as Lollapalooza, Riot Fest, and Spring Awakening during the summer.
As for the winter, we suggest to pack your warmest jackets and coats and get ready to face sub-zero temperatures between December and February.
We are sure that you will thoroughly enjoy all that Chicago has to offer. It is undoubtedly one of the greatest cities in the world! So don’t get too stressed about shifting, and get excited to start this new chapter in your life.
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