Picture of buildings in Chicago

Welcome to Chicago! As a new resident, you will have a number of online platforms for urban exploration and cultural immersion. This guide will help you discover everything you need to explore as a new resident in Chicago. Whether you’re a history buff, art lover, or outdoor enthusiast, Chicago offers a wealth of opportunities to enhance your city life.

Why is Chicago So Special?

Founded in 1833 near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed, Chicago developed rapidly due to its strategic location, growing to a population of over 2.7 million people today, and still growing every year by at least 0.14%. If you decide to get moving solutions tailored to your needs, you will join this growth trend, too.

It’s a city of firsts—home to the first skyscraper and influential in industries from rail to retail. Chicago’s deep-dish pizza, iconic jazz and blues scenes, and landmarks like the Willis Tower and Millennium Park highlight its cultural offerings. 

Picture a street that you need to explore in Chicago as a new resident
Chicago is a very important city in the USA

Historic Sites and Museums

One of the first things that you need to explore in Chicago as a new resident – the Art Institute of Chicago, home to thousands of artworks spanning thousands of years. Here, you can see everything from ancient artifacts to modern masterpieces. In 2019, it was named the top museum in the world by Trip Advisor, so you know it’s a must-visit. Next, the Museum of Science and Industry offers you a hands-on approach with its engaging exhibits like a mirror maze and an indoor tornado. It’s not only fun but also educational, making it perfect for families or curious minds. Lastly, don’t miss the chance to go up the Willis Tower Skydeck. Standing 1,353 feet above the city streets, it offers panoramic views of Lake Michigan and beyond.

Cultural Experiences to Enrich Your Life

The Chicago Cultural Center presents a variety of free art exhibitions and musical performances throughout the year. Meanwhile, the Pilsen neighborhood showcases its strong Mexican heritage with murals and some of the city’s best tacos. Also, blues music fans should visit Kingston Mines or Buddy Guy’s Legends to experience live music that’s part of the city’s soul.

Parks and Outdoor Activities

Moreover, enjoy Chicago’s green spaces like Lincoln Park, a sprawling oasis with a free zoo, ponds, and jogging paths. Also, the Lakefront Trail is a scenic route that stretches for 18 miles along Lake Michigan, ideal for biking, jogging, or just taking a leisurely stroll. Additionally, try kayaking on the Chicago River to see the city from a fresh perspective and learn about the architectural history along its banks.

Chicago’s Food Scene

Also, when it comes to food, Chicago is more than just deep-dish pizza. While you should definitely try a slice at Lou Malnati’s or Giordano’s, there’s much more to savor. The city is also famous for its hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches. Food enthusiasts can explore local breweries or enjoy the city’s diversity at food festivals like the Taste of Chicago, where you can sample dishes with the world’s most beloved sauces or unique local treats.

Picture of a slice of pizza
One of the things that you need to explore in Chicago as a new resident is the local pizza

Shopping and Fashion Highlights

Next, take the time to explore Chicago’s fashion scene. The Magnificent Mile is a true shopper’s haven, featuring high-end retailers and chic boutiques. Here’s what you can find:

  • Designer brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton for luxury shopping.
  • Popular department stores such as Macy’s have a range of options from affordable to upscale.
  • Specialty shops which offer everything from local crafts to high-tech gadgets.

Meanwhile, in neighborhoods like Wicker Park, independent boutiques showcase local designers and unique fashion finds. Seasonal markets and fairs also offer a chance to pick up unique items:

  • Christkindlmarket for handcrafted goods and holiday gifts.
  • Randolph Street Market for vintage clothing and antiques.
  • Green City Market is perfect for locally produced food and artisan products.

Sports and Recreation

Also, Chicago’s sports culture is deeply rooted in its community. Whether you’re watching the Cubs at Wrigley Field or catching a Bulls game at the United Center, there’s always something going on. Here’s how you can engage:

  • Join local sports leagues to meet people and stay active.
  • Check out fitness classes in Millennium Park, great for elevating your fitness routine with yoga or pilates against a skyline backdrop.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Then, for nightlife, head over to River North, where you can experience some of the city’s best bars and clubs. If you’re in the mood for laughter, The Second City or Improv Olympics are must-visits to see where many famous comedians started. Each year, Chicago hosts various festivals and events that reflect the city’s love for music and art, such as:

  • Lollapalooza is one of the largest music festivals in the USA.
  • Chicago Jazz Festival is a celebration of jazz music in Millennium Park.

How Can You Become a New Resident Of Chicago?

Moving to Chicago can be an exhilarating experience, and exploring your new city is even more enjoyable when you’re not overwhelmed by logistics. Golans Moving and Storage advice using storage solutions that simplify your move, allowing you to settle in at your own pace. Since starting in 1990 with just one truck, Golan’s has expanded significantly due to their commitment to easing the moving process. Their flexible storage options mean you can take your time discovering Chicago’s neighborhoods and attractions without the clutter of unpacked boxes in your new home.

Make An Effort To Feel Like A Local From The Beginning

There are certain things that only locals know, but luckily, you have us to tell you that you need to do the following:

  • Get a Ventra Card: Register for a Ventra Card to efficiently use Chicago’s extensive public transportation system.
  • Visit farmers’ markets: Explore local farmers’ markets, like the Green City Market, to indulge in local produce and connect with the community.
  • Think about winter preparedness: Invest in a quality coat and familiarize yourself with Chicago’s snow removal policies to navigate winters comfortably.
  • Visit public libraries: Utilize the Chicago Public Library system, a great resource for community events and workshops that help new residents integrate.
Picture of tourists in Chicago
There are certain things that will make your beginning in the Windy City easier

Enjoy While You Explore in Chicago as a New Resident

As you explore Chicago as a new resident, the city offers countless ways to immerse yourself in its culture, meet new people, and have a healthy and happy life in your new city. Embrace all that Chicago has to offer and make your transition not just about finding a place to live but creating a home.