There are real advantages to living near a major American city like Chicago. A city this size has things to offer you would never find in smaller towns and possibly not even in the largest cities in other states; unless you live outside New York City or Los Angeles. Even then, you would be hard-pressed to match the benefits found living near Chicago.
Our Lexington Square locations are nestled 30 minutes outside of Chicago. One of the most obvious benefits to living near a city like Chicago is access to Arts & Entertainment. While many cities boast cultural experiences, Chicago is loaded with them from one end of the city to the other. There are literally thousands of artistic experiences to be had, and many that can be experienced nowhere else on Earth. So, no matter what type of art or culture you are interested in, there is sure to be an experience somewhere in the city that fits your taste exactly.
Chicago is home to some of the world’s finest museums. These institutions range from the commonplace to the extraordinary and house works covering every human endeavor – from painting to sculpture, technology to medicine. Whether you visit the Art Institute of Chicago with its tens of thousands of pieces on display, or the Million Dollar Cube housed in the Money Museum of the Federal Reserve Bank, there is a museum for every interest waiting, and many of them offer free or reduced-price passes for Chicago area residents.
If you love art, but not the crowds you find at most major museums, you can always find a gallery in the city showing incredible works of art. Chicago has over a thousand independent art galleries featuring an incredibly diverse collection of art and artists from across the city, the nation, and the world. The greatest collection of galleries can be found in River North, known locally as the Gallery District. While the majority of the biggest names can be found there, it would be a shame to not explore the many other offerings found throughout Chicago and the suburbs. Just take a look at this listing and find the gallery that interests you.
There are few things more satisfying than seeing a Broadway show at off-Broadway prices. That’s what you can expect from the theatres in and around Chicago. The best talent and the hottest shows – all brought to you at prices New Yorkers only dream of. The venues range from small to large, grand to quaint, and all of them are worth visiting. So, catch Love’s Labor Lost at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, or catch any current Broadway hit at the Chicago Theatre. You can easily find show times and dates by using ChicagoPlays helpful calendar.
Another benefit to living so close to a large city like Chicago is the opportunity to attend major sporting events. There are only a few cities in the nation that have all four major sports represented, and Chicago goes a step further with two Major League Baseball teams – the 2016 World Champion Chicago Cubs and the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox. Even if you are not a huge sports fan, there are few experiences that compare to sitting in the bleachers for a Cubs game at Wrigley Field in the springtime, or watching the Bears play at Soldier Field on Labor Day Weekend. Check out the Bulls or Blackhawks at the United Center, and see the statue of Michael Jordan out front. It is one of Chicago’s most-identifiable pictures after all.
Chicago may be best known, worldwide, for its dining – especially its unique takes on American classics – and the fact that so many come to try the food says more about the quality and assortment than any words we could include here. Everyone knows that a hotdog from Portillo’s, a pie from Lou Malnati’s, or a bag of Garret’s Popcorn is unique to Chicago, but there are also some of the world’s finest restaurants tucked all over the city – primarily in the Magnificent Mile. If Michelin Stars are what you crave, Chicago boasts 26 restaurants that were awarded stars in 2016. So, no matter what you are hungry for, and no matter what time, there is something delicious to be found in the city, and, if you’re lucky, they’ll even deliver.
Chicago is one of the world’s best cities for those who love to shop. One of the perks of being close to the city is the ability to access the shopping whenever you choose without the need to fight holiday crowds or tourist-y occasions. There is a night and day difference between living near the shops and traveling to them from afar. Never again will you have to fight through crowds to visit a specific shop during peak season. No, as a nearby resident, you’ll get to know the heartbeat of the city and find the perfect times to visit the shops you love. Whether you prefer the Magnificent Mile or the boutiques at Oak Street, looking through the consignment stores in Lincoln Park or the Malls on Michigan Avenue, there is a shopping destination of your dreams within the city of Chicago. All you have to do is decide which world-class destination you would like to visit first.
Most people never even think of medical facilities as amenities in a city. In fact, most people never think of them until they need care, and, if you live far from any major city, that care may be difficult to find. Chicago, like many major metropolitan centers, not only has a great many medical facilities, but boasts some of the finest facilities in the nation. The city is home to multiple university medical systems that rank as some of the best in the country – Rush, Northwestern, UIC – and offers specialists in every field imaginable. Living near to a city like Chicago allows for better and more proactive treatment regimens which can mean the difference between health and illness. There are holistic and alternative options available for those who prefer that approach as well. The truth is, as we get older, living near a major city is probably the wisest course of action if we have health issues and like having different options available.
Public transportation just may be the single biggest benefit to living near a major city. There is no arguing the cost of owning an automobile, not to mention the gasoline it takes to drive it anywhere. Living near a major city, especially one like Chicago, can save you thousands of dollars a year in travel-related expenses. Imagine never having to find a parking spot, or worrying about the high cost of gasoline and maintenance again. That is a real possibility in Chicago. With the CTA bus system, the Metra trains, and the “L” system, a person can make their way anywhere within the city and its suburbs in less than two hours. While that may seem like a long time, there really is only a slight difference between the time it takes to drive and the time it takes to ride. Plus, there is no traffic to sit through, and that is worth every extra second it takes.
The emergence of ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft, has improved the likelihood of finding a ride anywhere you need to go, and, unlike taxis, the fares are reliable and preset. Though when making your way around the Loop and other congested areas, a taxi may still be the best and most efficient way to get from Point A to Point B. Services like these are difficult to find in small towns, and the wait times associated with their use are greatly inflated due to lack of sufficient resources. That is definitely something living near a large city will solve, and you will never even have to think about getting around town again. The options available really do make owning an automobile more of a luxury than a necessity, and with the skyrocketing costs of ownership that’s not a bad thing at all.
Taking into account the benefits we have described, and the many we have not, there really is no comparison between living in a rural area and living in a suburb of a large city. The appeal of Small Town, USA has always been the neighborly feel and the familiarity of people and places, and, while that may be true, there is still the problem of all the times a person must leave their rural town to get things done. The hard truth is that small towns simply don’t offer everything a modern life requires, so, in order to live in one, we have to find alternatives to the things we want, or travel long distances to get our hands on whatever it is we need. Living near a major city solves these problems. It allows the peace and quiet of suburban life with all of the excitement, entertainment, and adventure a big city provides. It is, in effect, the best of both worlds.