Chicago is a city known for its delicious deep-dish pizza, beautiful architecture, and stunning lakeside views. Often called the “Windy City,” there are many reasons why locals love Chicago and choose to call it home. If you’re a local renting an apartment in West Loop or a tourist just visiting for the week, or planning to move here and you’re just wondering what locals love about living in Chicago, this is the article for you. Redfin reached out to locals, including us, to share our favorite reasons why we love Chicago. From the distinct neighborhoods to the vibrant arts and entertainment scene, Check out The Windy City Debunked – What Locals Love About Chicago to see what we had to say.
What makes Chicago great is the many neighborhoods in and around the city. Each neighborhood offers distinct landmarks, beautiful greenery, and a bustling atmosphere. Karen Shoufler, a local Chicago photographer shares, “my favorite thing about the city is that each neighborhood is so unique and offers up different aesthetics, unique food choices, and an interesting blend of people. I’m constantly finding and falling in love with different parts of the city and learning about the history of the neighborhood and its people.” Wicker Park Inn, a boutique bed and breakfast, adds, “Each neighborhood has a unique story narrated by architecture, stores, and food. There is a strong sense of community and pride in our city.”
With more than 200 neighborhoods to choose from, you’ll be sure to find something to do. “Each neighborhood has so many unique restaurants, shops, and activities to do. I could neighborhood hop every time I am in the city and have a totally different and fun experience,” says Mackenzie Maeder, a Chicago photographer and videographer.
Some notable neighborhoods to check out include Streeterville, which is great for young professionals and offers easy access to the lake and the Navy Pier, as well as Lake View which has excellent nightlife. There are even many hidden gems within each neighborhood to explore too. One that’s filled with history is Pickwick Place, a hidden coffee shop located in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood. “I love Pickwick Place – a little half-alley hidden between State and Wabash on Jackson,” shares Adam Selzer of Mysterious Chicago. “It was named that in the 1800s because it looked like something out of Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers and the tiny building at the back was an English chophouse. Today’s it’s a lovely nook with a coffee shop where the chophouse was.”
Chicago experiences all four seasons. Winters are typically cold and consist of freezing temperatures, snow, and high winds, while summers are warm, wet, and humid. The fall and spring seasons bring a mix of cold and hot temperatures with plenty of sunny skies.
Hyde Bark Dog Walking & Pet Care + Hyde Bark Play Park boasts, “We love Chicago because we get to experience all the weather while out walking dogs. We like to take dogs out on perfect sunny day walks, and also see their joy playing in the snow, splashing in puddles, or chasing fallen leaves.”
Chicago is filled with iconic architecture throughout the city. Hillary Marzec of Inside Chicago Walking Tours shares that her favorite aspect of Chicago is the architecture. “I’m in love with Chicago’s architecture, and I especially like introducing locals to buildings they pass every day without ever peeking inside.” Some buildings that visitors and locals can pay a visit to include the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, TheMART, Marina City, and the Rookery Building.
Bozena Voytko also raves about “the stunning iron staircase in the Rookery Building that winds down from floor 12 to floor 2. As a wedding and real estate photographer, I’m constantly discovering new spots in Chicago and its suburbs that are worth seeing and contributing to the city’s uniqueness.”
While walking by foot or taking public transportation is an easy way of checking out Chicago’s architecture, one lesser-known option is taking an architectural boat tour. “We love taking a boat tour in the summer in Chicago because you can travel through the city and view the unique architecture. It’s the best way to view the city in 90 minutes,” shares Chicago Line, an architectural river cruise.
Head to the Redfin blog to read the rest of the reasons why so many people love Chicago.