Best neighbourhoods to move to in Chicago
Chicago is one of the largest cities in the United States and has a reputation for being a hard-working epicentre for business. Living in coastal cities such as New York and Los Angeles certainly has its advantages; however, you can find Chicago conveniently situated between the two.
This means that most cities in Northern America are within easy reach. Not only that, but with O’Hare International Airport on the doorstep, getting anywhere in the world is relatively easy.
Chicago, as a whole, is also very popular amongst visitors because there is no shortage of entertainment on offer. From regular top-flight baseball (with the Cubs and White Sox), American Football (with Chicago Bears) and Basketball (hosted by Chicago Bulls).
Chicago is also home to some of the world’s finest art collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
We also need to mention the 26 miles of beautiful public beaches of Lake Michigan with expansive areas of green space and trails for hiking, biking, and more.
In the Loop
With wonderful views of Lake Michigan and access to some of the world’s largest companies, The Loop is often the first choice of neighbourhood for people moving to Chicago.
Because of the built-up metropolis feel of the Loop, most accommodation in the area is within apartment blocks. However, finding converted former warehouses and factory lofts that are now residential buildings is easy, especially in the South Loop area.
The South Loop was once known for being an area of vice until its clean-up in the 1970s. Nowadays it is one of the most in-demand areas of Central Chicago. The Loop has easy access to major employers and also some of the best schools in the city – in particular the Phillips Academy High School and Jones College Prep High School.
As previously mentioned, the Art Institute of Chicago is a must-visit for art-lovers in Chicago. Visitors can find this iconic gallery next to the Millenium Park (which itself is a beautiful and expansive green area). In fact, visitors and residents have many cultural hotspots within the Loop District of the city to visit; not only is there the Art Institute, but you will also find the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Theatre and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion Amphitheatre.
Then there is the hard-working side to the Loop District, with many major companies being based there. It is home to a number of multinational companies, such as; AON Corporation (risk management and insurance), Leo Burnett Worldwide (advertising), Miller Coors (beverages), United Continental Holdings (owner of United Airlines), Private Bancorp (personal and private banking and wealth management).
For the quiet life, head West
If the Loop is a bit too busy and built-up for you, head to West Chicago where there is a growing neighbourhood near the DuPage Airport. The airport itself is open to corporate and private aviation.
There is also a large 640 acre business park on-site – home to various manufacturing, distribution and light Industrial companies, the DuPage Park also houses offices, R&D, data centres, medical facilities and retail & commercial businesses.
If golf is your choice of weekend activity, you have the choice of the 18-hole Prairie Landing Golf Club along Kautz Road and the 36-hole St. Andrews Golf and Country Club.
In the West Chicago area, there are plenty of highly respected schools, particularly the West Chicago Community High School, which specialises in the sciences. Residents can find alternatives to the public schools at the reputable Wheaton Academy and St. Francis High School in Wheaton. The area of West Chicago is also spoilt for choice when it comes to housing with avenues of beautiful old Victorian-style manor homes neighbouring quaint bungalows and smaller starter homes.
New to the Old Town
Another low-key choice for those considering a move to Chicago is the Old Town district. The Old Town has one of the widest selections of restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, historic buildings, green spaces and businesses in the city. Old Town has easy access to The Loop district and is home to around 36,000 people with a median age of 36 and most households having at least one child.
One of the main reasons for people moving to Old Town Chicago is that it is within walking distance of the heart of the city, Michigan Avenue, and Lake Michigan. The majority of accommodation in the Old Town is apartments, of varying sizes. However, the blocks are much smaller than the apartment blocks found in the loop and are a little more affordable.
There is also a vast selection of bars, clubs and venues in the area, most notably the famous Second City comedy club. The Second City boasts being the career springboard of Dan Aykroyd, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, and Mike Myers and many others.
The Hip Side
Home to around 26,000 people, Wicker Park is one of the trendiest areas of Chicago and just two miles from Chicago’s CBD. Awash with music bars, quirky shops, speciality grocers and fashion boutiques, Wicker Park is very popular amongst young professionals. Its location to the North West of the Loop just off Route 90 means that residents are well connected for transport links to all over the city.
Although there are a few pockets of luxury residential accommodation in Wicker Park, the majority is within easy reach of many young professionals, especially considering its proximity to Downtown Chicago. Because of the cultural diversity of its residents at the time of the Chicago fire of 1871, there is a broad mix of housing styles.
Properties in the area range from being made of brick and stone to those with a more modern condominium construction. With a wide selection of property types, plenty of grocery stores and easy access to the city, Wicker Park is certainly a hot contender for one of the best areas of Chicago to live in.
There is a lot to love about ‘The Windy City’. It has an ideal location, some of the biggest companies on the doorstep and offers a selection of beautiful houses and apartments in a variety of neighbourhoods. If you are thinking of moving to Chicago, this city certainly has plenty to offer and we should know, we have one of our art storage facilities there.
If you’re moving to the USA, find out how our international removals team can help to arrange packing, storage and transportation on your behalf.