Chicago is one of the largest cities in the United States. The city comprises several neighborhoods, each with a unique personality. If you're moving to Chicago and don't have much experience with the city, it is important to educate yourself about Chicago's transportation, housing, weather and entertainment options.
Proximity to Public Transportation
Chicago's public rail system, known simply as the "L", is a convenient way to travel around the city without using a car. Because parking in Chicago can be difficult, public transportation is often a must. The "L" takes you to directly into the loop, which is considered downtown Chicago. It also branches to the many different neighborhoods of the city.
When moving to Chicago and choosing a place to live, choosing a location close to a train stop can be incredibly beneficial. If you live eight city blocks, approximately one mile, from a train stop, you can walk to the stop in about 15 minutes.
Choose a Neighborhood Wisely
Chicago is a city full of many different neighborhoods. Young urban professionals often flock to neighborhoods on the north side of Chicago, such as Lakeview, Lincoln Park or Wrigleyville. However, neighborhoods on the west and south sides, like Logan Square or Bronzeville, offer a bit more diversity.
You should choose a neighborhood that best suits your personality. Furthermore, it's also important to do some research and find out what kind of commercial offerings each neighborhood provides. For example, some neighborhoods are full of restaurants, movie theaters and grocery stores, while others are not.
Dress for All Seasons
The winters in Chicago are notoriously cold. If you are moving from a warmer climate, you should never underestimate a Chicago winter. Be sure to purchase or pack your warmest winter clothes. On the other hand, summers can get extremely hot. Therefore, you'll need to pack or purchase summer clothes. Chicago weather is very unpredictable, so being prepared with the proper wardrobe is important.
Take Advantage of Cheap and Free Offerings
Chicago is a city that can get very expensive. However, you can live in Chicago affordably by participating in free activities. The Chicago Park District offers free movies in the park in the summer. In addition, several free and cheap street festivals occur throughout the summer. These festivals often offer live music. The Chicago Park District website can point you to several free and cheap activities.