If you are moving to Illinois, chances are you are moving to Chicagoland - the compilation of the country's third most populated city and its array of suburbs. In fact, most people who live in northern Illinois claim that they are from Chicago, even if it takes an hour and a half to get to the city. While the vast majority of the state's residents live in Chicagoland, 80% of Illinois is farmland.
What to expect from life in Illinois completely depends on whether you will live in northern Illinois or in some other part of the state. Cost of living in Illinois varies greatly, with Chicago being the 11th highest city in the country in terms of cost of living. Life in small town Illinois can be much more affordable.
Home Services in Illinois
Moving to Chicagoland will give you easy access and great choice in home services like cable TV, high speed Internet, and monitored home security. Choosing to live in more rural parts of the state will mean that your options decrease. While Comcast is the largest provider of cable TV in the state, less populated areas may find that satellite TV is their best option. Similarly, satellite Internet is often the fastest, most reliable option in rural parts of Illinois where big name Internet providers don't serve. Use a zip code search tool to help you discover your options before your move.
Important Facts to Know About Illinois
- Sports is serious business in Illinois. You need to choose which camp you belong to: Cubs or Cardinals, Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, Illini or Northwestern. No matter which sports you love, living in Illinois offers plenty of opportunity to see quality professional and college action.
- Know your Illinois-specific food. Chicago-style pizza is a deep dish concoction that is huge. The Chicago Dog gets lots of toppings but never ketchup. Italian beef sandwiches are better dipped or wet than dry. Soda is called pop, especially in the north.
- The weather is no joke. Winters are harsh and summers are very hot. Spring and fall are barely mentionable because they are no short. Tornadoes are a reality, so be prepared to protect yourself and your loved ones.
- Busy roads and traffic in northern Illinois are compounded by tolls. Invest in an I-pass to avoid carrying tons of change when you drive.
- Despite the majority of the state being flat, Illinois offers some natural attractions. It boasts the Garden of the Gods with its impressive rock formations in the south, and the Starved Rock State Park with canyons and waterfalls in the central part of the state.
- Northern Illinois is rich in culture. Music venues abound, theater performances are top quality, festivals are legendary, and there are impressive museums to visit. Smaller college towns throughout the state also offer great cultural experiences as well.
As you prepare for your move to Illinois, take time to research your new town and have a list of things to check out, to heighten the excitement for your new hometown, and to help you adapt more easily to being an Illinoisan.