Illinois has something for everyone. Illinois is known as the Prairie State, due to its diverse tallgrass and ample farmland. The state is best known to many as home to Chicago, the third largest city in the United States.
Many people move to Illinois for the big city, but there is so much more here. The state is also home to Springfield, the home of Abraham Lincoln, friendly St. Louis suburbs on the southwestern side of the state, the prestigious University of Illinois in Champaign and natural wonders like Shawnee National Park in Southern Illinois.
Whether for work, school or just a change of pace, the full-service movers at Mayflower can help you decide if moving to Illinois is right for you.
Life in Chicago
Chicago is a big, impressive city with lots to see and do. It’s also a popular place to work. Large corporations headquartered in Chicago include Boeing, United Airlines, Exelon, Kraft Heinz and McDonald’s.
Living in Chicago allows people to enjoy much more than a great job.
The Lower West side includes the Chicago Arts District, and is home to over 30 galleries. The neighborhood reflects the vibrant multicultural population of Chicago and includes live-work spaces, lofts, studios, and exhibition spaces.
Downtown in the Loop District, residents will find the renowned Art Institute of Chicago – a fixture since 1879. The Loop District is home to iconic attractions including the Chicago Riverwalk, Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (better known as “The Bean”).
Whether you’re looking for Michelin Stars or food trucks, foodies will find plenty to delight their taste buds in Chicago. The city is best known to outsiders for its deep dish pizza, Italian beef sandwiches and hot dogs but there is really something for everyone here.
Music lovers will be happy to know that Chicago is the birthplace to Jazz music, but also has a history rooted in Blues. If you are an aspiring musician moving to Chicago, the Wicker Park neighborhoo may be a great place to move, with music venues surrounding all six corners.
Chicago is a passionate sports town, with an NFL team (Bears), NHL team (Blackhawks), NBA team (Bulls), MLS team (Fire) and two MLB teams (Cubs and White Sox). Moving to Chicago means a chance to catch your favorite team on the road at historic venues like the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field, the “Madhouse at Madison” (the United Center) or Soldier Field. To become a true Chicagoan, you could also adopt one, or all of these teams as your own.
Think beaches are only for the coast? Chicago’s 26-mile lakefront includes free public beaches and sandy waterfronts. It is also home to the Shedd Aquarium, Lincoln Park Zoo, Navy Pier and plenty of trails to enjoy. As a bonus, cost of living in Chicago is just slightly above the national average. This may be a welcome surprise to someone moving to Chicago from New York or the West Coast.
There’s More to Illinois Than Chicago!
While Chicago boasts the highest population in Illinois, there’s so much more to the Prairie State.
The State’s other nickname, the “Land of Lincoln” was coined in honor of Abraham Lincoln, who spent many years living here. You’ll find plenty of evidence that “Lincoln was here” with historic sites, such as the Lincoln Depot, Lincoln Home site, Lincoln Presidential Library & more.
Springfield has a small town feel with big city benefits due to its central location. Springfield is close enough to Chicago (about 200 miles) and St. Louis (about 100 miles) but is far enough away at the same time.
Springfield has 34 parks, making it a great place for outdoor enthusiasts.
For a smaller city, Springfield doesn’t lack in its unique foods. Some claim the corn dog and drive-thru were both born here. Try a horseshoe, which includes bread, meat, fries and cheese sauce all in one dish.
If you’re moving to St. Louis, don’t forget about Illinois. Many choose to commute to neighboring Missouri from the thriving eastern suburbs. Look into places like O’Fallon, Edwardsville, Belleville and Alton.
Nature lovers have plenty to explore in Illinois. Popular places to escape include Shawnee National Forest and Starved Rock State Park.
Education in Illinois
Illinois has more than 100 public, private, and for-profit education institutions offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the largest university in the State, and with a 2020 enrollment of over 52,000 students.
Aside from Champaign, there are plenty of cities in Illinois that offer a college town vibe. These include Bloomington-Normal (Illinois State), Charleston (Eastern Illinois), Carbondale (Southern Illinois Carbondale) and Macomb (Western Illinois). Springfield is also home to the University of Illinois Springfield.
Chicago and its suburbs are home to several great universities, including the University of Illinois-Chicago, Loyola, DePaul, Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern (Evanston) and Northern Illinois University (Dekalb).
Weathering the Move to Illinois
Illinois is a four-season state. Living in Illinois, you’ll experience extremely hot and humid summers and frigid winters.
The further North you go, the more extreme winters can be. They don’t call Chicago “The Windy City” for nothing. The tradeoff for cold winters in Chicago is pleasant weather in the spring and summer.
If you can time your move to Illinois, the ideal time is in the late Spring (April through mid-May) and in the fall (September and October).
No matter when you plan to move to Illinois, be sure to watch the forecast, as conditions can change rapidly. Check out Mayflower’s tips and tricks for how to pack like a pro, no matter the weather.
Planning a Move to Illinois?
If you’re ready to move to Illinois, using a professional moving company can make all the difference. Our full service movers at Mayflower can help you plan, store and pack for your big move to Illinois. View our moving services and complete an online quote form to get started.
Mayflower makes it easy to coordinate your move to Illinois and stay organized along the way. The MyMayflower Move Portal can be personalized and streamlines your moving experience. Use customized tools to keep track of all major moving milestones, organize contacts, and book your move online.
Get started today with the movers at Mayflower.