As the third largest city in the US, Chicago provides a seemingly endless number of attractions and amenities in its 100 different neighborhoods and 77 communities. Explore the beaches, theaters, and award-winning restaurants on the efficient public transportation connecting the city or bike through the city for an in-person feel of Chicago’s distinct cultural energy. If you need more convincing, here are some more reasons to move to this gorgeous metropolis.
City living perks
A huge perk of Chicago living are its city amenities. Whether you’re looking for a grocery store, somewhere to have a fun Friday night out, or an outdoor adventure, it’s easy to access. With an average biking commute time of 23 minutes and 303 miles of bike lanes throughout the city, residents can bike through Chicago with ease.
For those who aren’t keen on cycling, the public transportation system is one of the best in the country. Even if you plan on living in the suburbs, the metro system connects the outskirts to Chicago’s downtown. For travel out of the state, the Midway and O’Hare International Airport’s are nearby, providing 220+ nonstop flights.
Another reason residents love living in Chicago is the vibrant atmosphere inherent in the city. The arts and culture scene thrives with 36 annual parades, 74 music festivals, and 40 annual film festivals hosted in the city. Spend all summer attending music festivals like Lollapalooza for large-name headliners, Windy City Smokeout for the best country music and top barbecue, and the Pitchfork Music Festival for indie rock hits.
Chicago’s distinct atmosphere also comes from its iconic architecture, a rich and diverse blend of contemporary constructions, neo-Gothic skyscrapers, and Prairie School Buildings. Touring the work of famed architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Jeanne Gang, and Helmut Jahn is a great way of understanding the city’s history.
Spots like the Chicago Riverwalk provide the ultimate outdoor experience surrounded by a food and drink scene, public artwork, and other urban recreation. At 1.25 miles long, visitors can kayak down the bustling Chicago River, fish from The Jetty, or simply walk or bike down the path. Along the riverwalk, visitors can stop by popular destinations like the Chicago Architecture Center, the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum, grab some ice cream or sip on a glass of wine from City Winery.
There are several beaches in Chicago from the south, all the way up to the suburbs. North Avenue Beach is one of the more popular beaches due to the close proximity to downtown, tasty eats, the numerous beach volleyball leagues, bike rentals and easy access to public transportation and parking. A little further to the north is Chicago’s largest public beach, Montrose Avenue Beach, where they also have a popular dog beach! Visitors can expect migratory birds during the fall and spring, while the large, flat beach is perfect for an afternoon laying out next to the water. There is also live music in the evenings at The Dock!
It’s only natural that a city serving so many people has the neighborhood selection to match their needs. Picturesque options like Lincoln Park are perfect for buyers interested in access to lush greenery. Go for a walk along the 18.5 mile Lakefront Trail or walk to the Lincoln Park Zoo, the popular Diversey Driving Range, or walk farther north to the Sydney R Marovitz Golf Course.
Lincoln Park also offers a dynamic nightlife scene with historic improv clubs like Second City, boutiques along Halsted, Armitage and Lincoln. Enjoy casual dining or make it a special occasion and visit the only 3 Michelin-starred restaurant in the city - Alinea, or another restaurant with a Michelin Star - Boka. Just remember to book your reservations well in advance through Tock! In this neighborhood, houses for sale in Lincoln Park are known for their classic brownstone architecture, alongside luxury condos.
Another desirable Chicago neighborhood is the Gold Coast. This luxurious community features historic mansions, historic hotels, and designer boutiques. Celebrate the desirable nightlife by exploring the bars or keep it refined with a reservation at their highly celebrated restaurants. In this neighborhood, Gold Coast luxury homes include vintage row houses and modern condos.Other great Chicago neighborhoods include East Lakeview, Logan Square, River North, and Smith Park.
The Magnificent Mile is a must-visit. Located between the Michigan Avenue Bridge and Oak Street, this iconic shopping area is home to luxury boutiques, multi-story retail centers, and brand-name chains. Shop the world-class specialty stores at The Shops at North Bridge, or visit select luxury brands stores like Burberry, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany and Co., Cartier, and David Yurman.
Oak Street shopping is the best place to find luxury brands, with high-end boutiques like Vince, Morgenthal’s Frederics, and Loro Piana. Top designers like Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana are nearby, while high-end jewelry like Buccellati and Graff are also open to shoppers. Other shopping destinations include State Street, featuring mega-retailers and trendy shops, and the neighborhood Andersonville, showcasing local vendors.
Arts and culture scene
Buyers searching for Chicago luxury real estate can access nearly unlimited entertainment as Chicago’s arts and culture scene bursts with local talent and performances. Book a ticket for a performance at one of the city’s six Tony Award-winning theaters, including the critically acclaimed Steppenwolf Theatre, the historic Goodman Theatre, and the gorgeous Lookingglass Theatre.
Museums showcasing Chicago’s history and talent also abound, with top-ranked spots like the Art Institute of Chicago. Admire the greatest collection of impressionist paintings outside of Paris. The Chicago Cultural Center is another sight to see, with its Tiffany stained-glass dome - the largest in the world. Take the whole family to museums like the Museum of Science & Industry, which feature interactive exhibits explaining a wide range of scientific disciplines.
Chicago isn’t afraid to get creative regarding food, with more than 7,300 restaurants in the city, many of which are award-winning establishments. Enjoy fine dining destinations like Alinea for an avant-garde, multi-course tasting menu that’s been awarded three Michelin stars and six James Beard nods. You can also dig into Chicago’s classic flavors like the Mexican Frontera Grill, old-school steak houses like Gene & Georgetti, or world-famous burger spots like Au Cheval. Featuring cuisine from across the world, Chicago is by far the best foodie destination in the midwest.
Ready to live in Chicago?
The city of Chicago offers plenty for residents to enjoy. The large population benefits from city living perks like great public transportation and easily accessible amenities, while neighborhoods like Lincoln Park, Lakeview and the Gold Coast provide communities perfect for any buyer searching for more greenery. The city’s culture is showcased in the arts, culture, and music scene, which creates endless entertainment for residents. After a day out on the water or shopping in luxury centers, award-winning restaurants are only a walk away. When you’re ready to start your Chicago home search, contact one of the experienced agents at the Gillman Group to guide you through the process.