Oh Chicago, my home sweet home. Although I love traveling and I travel quite a bit (especially these past three years), there’s no place I’d rather call my home then the good ole Windy City. Quick fun fact, we’re known as the “Windy City” because of our politicians NOT because of the weather. I’ve lived in Chicago for 22 years now (since I was three) so maybe that makes be a bit bias but there’s no city quite like Chicago, in my opinion. One of the greatest things about living in Chicago is the fact that it combines that big city/urban feel with the Midwestern charm! It’s like living in a small town but a big city all at the same time (if that makes sense!). It took leaving Chicago for a period of time (during the four years I was in college) to truly realize just how lucky us Chicagoans have it! Here are ten reasons why I love living in Chicago (although I could probably name 100):
1. Architecture. Chicago is world-famous for its amazing and unique architectural styles (just look at that skyline!). In fact, Chicago is home to some of the first ever modern skyscrapers. I HIGHLY recommend heading over to Navy Pier (600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL) and checking out the Shoreline Sightseeing Chicago Architecture Tour (trust me, you won’t be disappointed!).
2. Food. No one does pizza quite like Chicago. Being able to grab some of Chicago’s famous deep dish pizza at any given time is a huge perk of living in Chicago (I recommend trying Pizzeria Uno or Lou Malnati’s, they make the BEST deep dish pizza in my opinion!). Even if you’re not a huge deep dish pizza fan, Chicago’s many fine dining options are sure to satisfy even the pickiest eater, no matter what you’re in the mood for!
3. Broadway/Theatre. Chicago’s cultural offerings are second to none, and its theatre scene is easily one of the best perks of living in the city! As many of you know, I LOVE Broadway. In fact, this month (July) alone I’m seeing Something Rotten!, Hamilton (for the THIRD time) and an American in Paris. Another thing I love about the Broadway scene here in Chicago is the fact that there’s always a ton of great promotions going on so it’s easy to save money on tickets. One of my favorite monthly promotions is Broadway in Chicago’s “$25 on the 25th” deal. Each month on the 25th, Broadway in Chicago sells $25 tickets to select shows (but tickets sale out fast so make sure to jump on this deal as soon as it hits midnight on the 25th!). Broadway isn’t the city’s only great theater aspect, Chicago just so happens to be the birthplace of modern improv comedy!
4. Affordable Rent. When moving to Chicago, you’ll reap the benefits of urban/city living at a price much lower than the East or West Coast. If you’re thinking about relocating to Chicago, I HIGHLY recommend checking out ForRent.com. ForRent has all the information you need to help you decide which area and neighborhood in Chicago best fits your lifestyle. Including the cost of living in the Chicago area, average rental costs and more.
5. Museums. Not only do a plethora of world-class museums call Chicago home but a lot of them offer FREE admission/discount days. Two of my personal favorite museums, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Institute of Chicago, offer free admission on Tuesdays (the MCA) and Thursdays (Art Institute) to Illinois residents!
6. Free Things To Do. You’ll never be left with nothing to do when living in Chicago. Along with free admission to several museums, there’s a handful of other exciting FREE things to do and places to explore here in Chicago. Some of my favorite (free) places to visit include Navy Pier (600 E Grand Ave, Chicago), Lincoln Park Zoo and Conservatory (2001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL), Millennium Park (201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL) and the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL).
7. Festivals. Summer in the city means lots of exciting festivals. No really, during the summertime in Chicago there’s practically some sort of festival going on each weekend. There’s the Chicago Blues Festival, the Logan Square Arts Festival, Mamby On the Beach, Windy City Rifest, the Millennium Art Festival, Pitchfork Music Festival, the Chicago Craft Beer Festival and the Chicago Food Truck Festival just to name a few! Two of my favorite Chicago festivals are Lollapalooza (this year will be my third time attending) and the Taste of Chicago (which starts TODAY!). The Taste (that’s what us Chicagoans refer to it as) is the world’s largest food festival (held for five days in July in Chicago’s Grant Park) and a few years ago The Taste started having amazing (FREE) concerts! Tonight I’m seeing Alessia Cara (for FREE) and later this week I’m seeing Passion Pit (for FREE!).
8. Dog-Friendly. Not only is Chicago a super dog-friendly city but the city often tops the “Top Ten Dog-Friendlies Cities in the United States” list each year! Doggy dining is now officially legal and sanctioned by the city, provided the restaurant files for a petmit to allow dogs at outdoor tables, meaning your dog can come to lunch with you. There’s also tons of dog parks in the city and several stores that allow small dogs to accompany you while you’re shopping. I can’t think of any city I’d rather be raising my little furbaby, Loki, than Chicago!
9. Diverse Neighborhoods. Did you know that there are more than 200 neighborhoods in Chicago (we’re known as the “City of neighborhoods” for a reason!)? Chicago is made up of dozens of neighborhoods built on a grid-like street system. Chicagoans get around easily from one area to the next riding the city’s sophisticated public transit system (our awesome transit system is another thing I LOVE about Chicago!). I love how each different neighborhood has its own unique vibe and feel to it.
10. Sports. Chicago is famous for having some of the most beloved sports teams in the world (and some of the most dedicated sports fans!). It’s home to the Chicago Bulls, the Cubs, the White Sox, the Bears and, my favorite, the Blackhawks!
All this, and more, contributes to Chicago’s unique multi-cultural, cosmopolitan flair! Thinking about moving to Chicago? Make sure to head over to ForRent.com for more information about the cost of living in the Chicago area, average rental costs, neighborhood guides and more!
What are some of the things you love about living in YOUR city?