By Paul Colbert
The U.S. has a lot of beautiful places to visit, and it’s easy to get caught up in the dream — what would it be like to live here? In Chicago and its surrounding neighborhoods, you get the best of both worlds; the big city and the simpler suburban way of life.
There are a number of reasons to move to the Chicagoland area, and you won’t be alone. Chicago is a popular place to live in. Just look at the U.S. Census figures from earlier this decade. Chicago grew by more than 41,000 residents between 2010 and 2016. The growth is slowing down. Crain’s Chicago Business reports the numbers have dropped over the last few years.
It’s not surprising so many millennials and retirees are moving to Chicago. The city has a lot to offer. One thing to keep in mind, though: They don’t call it the Windy City for nothing!
1. Culture and Sports
The city is home to world-class museums, such as The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art. As you walk through the city, you’ll see sculptures and murals in most public places. There’s no shortage of live theater, live music, comedy shows, and dance performances.
Whether you like football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, and whatever else, Chicago has a team for you to follow. The Bears, Bulls, Cubs, White Sox, Blackhawks, and the Fire all call Chicago home. The city is a sports fanatic’s dream with a team in every major sport in the United States. College sports don’t go unnoticed, especially with Northwestern in The Big Ten.
Chicagoland draws companies of various sizes. It’s easy to discover work opportunities in various fields. Government figures for Chicago area employment show an increase from the previous year. In the metropolitan area alone, the fields of health and education had the largest number of job gains (18,700 more from February 2018 to February 2019). The suburbs of Naperville and Arlington Heights added 51,600 jobs from the previous year. Finding work in the Chicago area is not difficult, thanks to the many city resources to help with the process.
Two major universities are within the Chicago area; Northwestern (in Evanston), and the University of Chicago (in Hyde Park). But these aren’t the only opportunities for higher education; students may find their niche at:
- City Colleges of Chicago
- Argosy University
- Adler University
- Sanford-Brown College- Chicago
- MacCormac College
- College of DuPage
- The University of Illinois at Chicago
- DeVry University – Illinois
- DePaul University
- Loyola University, Chicago
Of course, there are many other choices for finding the perfect school to further your education. Join The Big Ten and the Fighting Illini at the University of Illinois!
4. Shopping and Dining
Chicago has its share of luxury brand shopping, upscale centers, and fashion outlets. The Magnificent Mile is a stellar shopping area along Michigan Avenue. You’ll find a long stretch of boutiques and shops for the ultimate consumer. The area is also a foodie’s paradise. Whether you prefer vegetarian, famous Chicago deep-dish pizza, those tasty all-beef hot dogs, or just about everything else. Your culinary desires are sure to be satisfied!
If you want to be close enough to enjoy Chicago’s sports, culture and work opportunities but still far enough away to live a simpler suburban life, a few options to consider are the older areas, such as Evanston and Oak Park.
Beautiful new homes and neighborhood developments are now in Aurora, Naperville, and Glenview. And they’re all just a transit ride away from the big city.
Metropolitan Chicago offers people of all ages an opportunity to experience life in America’s heartland. An added perk? Lake Michigan. The city also has a stellar transportation system, including the “L” train around the Loop and many bus routes. Chicago is also bike-friendly with dedicated lanes, parks, and trails. So what are you waiting for? Start packing!
Paul Colbert is a travel blogger and nature enthusiast. He loves exploring new places and new ways to enjoy the outdoors