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Moving to Chicago: Everything You Must Know

Located in northeastern Illinois along the banks of Lake Michigan, Chicago is the most populated city in the Midwest. As one of the largest cities in the country, Chicago has everything you would expect from a big city, including a strong economy, vibrant culture, great food, and exciting attractions. It is best known for its incredible architecture, loyal sports fans, deep-dish pizza, and delicious hot dogs. It provides residents with the perfect blend of bustling city life and family-friendly neighborhoods, making it an ideal location for young professionals and families alike.

Chicago Movers

What It's Like to Live in Chicago

Chicago is the third largest city in the U.S., boasting a dynamic and diverse population of people from all different backgrounds. Here you will get to experience the thrill of big city life, immerse yourself in international culture and cuisine, and enjoy all the amenities that surround this incredible city.

Nicknamed the “Windy City,” Chicago is known for being cold and windy during the winter months. Though the winter temperatures can be frigid, the incredible summer weather more than makes up for it. Residents can also expect to enjoy all four seasons and the many activities that come with each.

Navigating the city is easy with the various forms of transportation available. You can travel about the city by car, train, bus, bike, or scooter. Chicago is also a very walkable city, making it fun and easy to explore each neighborhood and its shops and restaurants.

Neighborhoods in Chicago

Chicago is a large city and has 77 different neighborhoods. Each one is unique, so choosing the perfect neighborhood will depend on your budget and lifestyle. If you prefer to be close to all the action, River North might be just the right fit. It offers a variety of nightlife and entertainment options and is perfect for those looking for that vibe and energy. Edgewater is a great place for those who enjoy walking or jogging near the lake but don’t want to be too close to downtown. Roscoe Village is a great neighborhood that offers quiet streets and quaint shopping. Chicago’s North Side is a mix of young college students, professionals, and families who enjoy concerts, street festivals, or catching a game at Wrigley Field.

Chicago’s Job Market

As one of the nation’s largest cities, Chicago has one of the largest and most diversified economies in the country. The robust job market attracts thousands of new employees every year, with various companies seeking top talent. Some of the biggest corporations located in the city include Morningstar, United, Boeing, Walgreens, Allstate, and so many more. Some of the most popular industries include marketing, technology, sports entertainment, healthcare, finance, manufacturing, and agriculture.

Chicago Schools

The Chicago public school system has some excellent schools and award-winning staff. Some of the most notable public schools include Waters Elementary, Poe Elementary, Lane Tech High School, and Walter Peyton College Preparatory.

Chicago also has some outstanding private schools, including the Waldorf School, the Latin School, and the Chicago Archdiocese, which is a network of Catholic schools in the area.

For those looking to further their education. Chicago is home to many renowned colleges and universities. These schools include Northwestern University, DePaul University, Loyola University, and the University of Chicago. There are also smaller liberal arts schools like North Park University and St. Xavier University.

Dining in Chicago

Chicago is known for having one of the best dining scenes in the country. With more than 8,000 restaurants, there’s bound to be something for every palate. The city even features 23 Michelin-starred restaurants, including Alinea (Lincoln Park), Ever (West Loop), Moody Tongue (South Loop), and Claudia (Wicker Park), just to name a few. This prestigious dining award is proof that Chicago is a mecca for fine dining. There are loads of other more casual restaurants throughout the city, featuring food from every ethnicity.

Things to Do in Chicago

The Beach Scene

Chicago may not be located along the ocean, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the beach! Chicago boasts 18.5 miles of sand along Lake Michigan which makes for an impressive summer beach scene. Montrose Beach is the only dog-friendly beach, while North Avenue Beach offers volleyball courts and impressive skyline views. Oak Street Beach is another great spot to soak up the sun while checking out views of downtown.


Chicago is arguably one of the top shopping destinations in the country. Michigan Avenue features a mile-long stretch of boutiques, restaurants, and malls and has even been dubbed the “Magnificent Mile.” There are other excellent shopping spots in the city, including the high-end shops located on Oak Street. Wicker Park also has local boutiques, thrift stores, and some of the city’s trendiest shopping spots. State Street is also home to Macy’s, one of the largest department stores in the world.

Sports and Recreation

The lake, rivers, and local bike trails provide the perfect setting for outdoor activities. Chicago is a major bike-friendly city with both lakefront trails and trails connecting the city’s various neighborhoods. Kayaking is another popular activity and is a great way to take in the incredible views of downtown at sunset. Chicago is also a haven for sports lovers. Whether you want to sit right in the stands or cheer along with hundreds of fellow fans at a local bar, the sports culture in Chicago is unlike any other. The city is home to a number of professional sports teams, including the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bears, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Sky, and Chicago Fire. No matter what sport you prefer, there is always a way to enjoy the sports experience with friends and family.

Family Activities

If you are looking for fun things to do with the family, you don’t have to look far. The Navy Pier has been a Chicago landmark for years and includes a 50-acre playground, 150-foot Ferris wheel, and impressive views of the skyline. Millennium Park is a 25-acre park that offers live music, winding paths, a large playground, rock climbing, and a mini golf course. Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, is the second tallest building in the U.S. and remains one of the city's most popular attractions. The Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in America and is a great way to spend a summer day.

Helpful guides

We have put together several guides on moving to Chicago from some popular cities. Read these for more information:

Ready to Move to Chicago?

Allied Van Lines Can Help Get ready to immerse yourself in the excitement and culture of life in the big city. As you prepare for your move to Chicago, start by calling the trusted professionals at Allied Van Lines. As a leader in the moving industry for more than 95 years, we know exactly what it takes to plan and execute a seamless move. Call today to find out how we can help with your exciting move to Chicago.