Relocating to Chicago? Get a taste of what the city has to offer with our guide below.
Here are some tips to prepare you for the move to Chicago.
Get ready to experience all four seasons.
Chicago may be known as the “Windy City,” but it’s not because of the weather. Actually, the average wind speed in Chicago is no greater than other parts of the country. Chicago experiences all four seasons to their fullest, so prepare for all extremes. That means frigid winters with heavy snowfall, hot and humid summers, and rainy springs. You’ll get to experience the best weather in the fall, especially in September.
And just in case you’re wondering, Chicago was first called the “Windy City” in 1893 during the Columbian Exposition. Charles Dana, former editor of The New York Sun, was tired of hearing politicians brag about hosting the event. He started using the phrase “Windy City” to describe Chicago, and it has stuck ever since.
Become familiar with public transportation.
If you don’t have a driver’s license or don’t know how to drive — fear not! Chicago has the second largest public transportation system in the United States. The Chicago Transit Authority provides a 24-hour rail system, known as the “L.” There are also 140 bus routes to get around the city and several of them operate through the night for “Owl Service.”
But if you’re looking for a more active way to get around, Chicago also has a bike share system called “Divvy,” which provides more than 3,000 bikes at 300 stations across the city. Chicago was named second best city for cycling in America by Bicycling Magazine this year.
Get to know the regions and their neighborhoods.
Chicago is sometimes known as a “city of neighborhoods.” The city has a total of 77 neighborhoods in four different regions: North, South, West, and Downtown. Every region has its own distinct features. North Chicago features baseball and jazz. South Chicago has numerous art galleries and monuments. West Chicago can be described as a “melting pot” for its diverse setting, and Downtown Chicago is home to some of the city’s top tourist attractions. Check out this map to get to know all of the regions and neighborhoods in more detail.
Indulge in deep-dish pizza (and everything else).
The city is famously known for its deep-dish pizza, but don’t let that fool you; Chicago isn’t a one-trick pony. In 2013, Chicago was named “Best Food City in America” by Andrew Zimmern’s “Munchies Awards,” leaving other big cities like New York and San Francisco in the dust. The city was also named GQ’s “Greatest Drinking City in America” in 2014.
Enjoy the art the city has to offer.
It may come as a surprise, but Chicago is home to the “best museum on Earth,” according to TripAdvisor. The website named Art Institute of Chicago the best on the planet. With more than 300,000 pieces of art for viewing, you might need more than one day to take it all in.
- Chicago’s Government Website
- Illinois Secretary of State Office
- Illinois Public Utility
- Illinois Department of Transportation
- Chicago Public Schools
- Extra Space Storage