When you love to travel, it can be hard to decide which city you should base yourself out of. You’ve got to consider how easy it is to get around, the cost of living, if there is an international airport nearby, and what things there are to do when you’re not traveling. When considering the options for these, Chicago should definitely be at the top of your list. Despite its reputation, Chicago is a great city with so many benefits. Here are the top reasons why travelers should be living in Chicago.
1. Quality Transportation System
One of the most important things for travelers is how easy it is to get around a place. Home shouldn’t be any different and Chicago does not disappoint. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has eight train lines and 140 bus routes that run often and on schedule. Chicago takes pride in having a transit system that is reliable, comprehensive, and inexpensive. A single pass for the subway costs $2.50 and a single pass for a bus is $2.25. To transfer to another train line or bus is just a quarter more. Not bad.
When using the transit system, visitors and residents alike can get to most major destinations in the city. The main commercial areas and most of the major entertainment areas are easily accessible via train and/or bus, which makes the daily commute nearly stress-free. With a lot of popular destinations within easy walking distance, this makes living in Chicago a great choice if you want the option to leave the car at home.
2. Inexpensive Housing
Having a home base include the really important aspect of owning a home. Chicago allows renters and homebuyers the advantage finding homes with more space for less money. The median rent for a two-bedroom is $2,160 with rental prices trending downwards as more people buy homes. There are a lot of rentals to choose from in Chicago and Zumper is a great choice to help you find the perfect home.
3. Easy Access to an International Airport
The fact that two international airports are easily accessible from the city is a huge plus for living in Chicago. Midway International is a lesser-known international airport south of Chicago O’Hare. Both are fairly easy to access, though most travelers go with O’Hare. 2018 saw over 903,747 flights leaving O’Hare during the year, which averages out to around 2,465 flights per day. This allows travelers the advantage of multiple flights on any given day to any destination they can think of. That’s definitely something worth having when traveling as much as possible is your goal.
4. Global Cuisine
One thing that I miss a lot about traveling is all the amazing food. In Chicago, this is not a problem. This proud city of immigrants has a thriving global food scene that provides authentic experiences for those who want to relive their travel food memories. You’ll find the famous Chicago hot dogs and deep-dish pizza right alongside award-winning Mexican, Indian, Pakistani, Vietnamese, Polish, Italian, French, Peruvian, and Japanese restaurants, among others. You’ll never miss out on your favorite foods from around the world while living in Chicago.
5. Plenty to Do When Not Traveling
Chicago is famous for their sports. It’s one of the biggest pastimes for the city. From eight major league sports teams, five colleges and universities, and the Chicago Marathon, sports enthusiasts will love living in Chicago.
But that’s not all there is to do in this fascinating city. Outdoor junkies will enjoy the 600+ parks and 70 nature/bird sanctuaries that total 7,600 acres of parkland. Art and history enthusiasts will be in heaven at the Art Institute of Chicago, or one of the other 67 incredible museums. History buffs will have plenty to keep them occupied with Chicago’s 350 registered historic sites and 83 historic districts. Architecture lovers will have countless hours of entertainment while exploring the many iconic examples of Chicago architecture.
Chicago is Pretty Great
Like so many other major cities, Chicago has its challenges. But spend time here and you’ll see why Chicagoans love their city: the clear and open lakefront, affordability, and abundant transportation options. Each neighborhood has something to love, from historic theaters to beautiful gardens to sports stadiums. Travelers will love living in Chicago and making it their home. This city is full of heart, culture, and an undeniable character that goes back generations. Give this beautiful city a chance and you won’t regret it.