Things to know before moving to Illinois

Blog - October 20, 2018

So, you are thinking about moving to Illinois? Well, fasten your seatbelts then, because you are in for quite an adventure! Whether you are moving for work or something else is the reason for moving, this state has everything you need! From agricultural regions and industrial cities to the great lake Michigan that connects Chicago and the rest of the state with the entire world. So, it is clear why people describe Illinois as the microcosm of the United States. There are hills, rivers, farmlands, and forests spread all across the state, providing a wonderful contrast to big cities and colorful towns. Also, this country is blessed with having all four seasons, giving its landscape four distinct looks throughout the year. You can call it Prairie State and the Land of Lincoln, and also, it is very important how you pronounce “Illinois” (it’s IL-ih-NOY)!

Now that we have gotten that out of our way, let’s delve into the matter more deeply. Before you make a checklist for moving to Illinois, here are some basic information about it.

Chicago during the night
Chicago is the most important city in Illinois

Geography and history of Illinois

The rivers of Mississippi, Ohio, and Wabash form a part of the boundaries of Illinois. The Port connects Chicago and the whole state with international waters through the area of Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway to the Atlantic Ocean. The Illinois River is also a very important waterway further establishing the country’s connectivity. The state’s capital is Springfield, located in the central area of Illinois. Of course, today the main area is the one on the northeast, around Chicago, and it is well as the most populated one.

As far as history is concerned, the French were the ones who first colonized the areas around the Mississippi River, and named the are Illinois country. As the 18th century was ending and after the US gained their independence, settlers started arriving from Kentucky. Illinois become a state in 1818. The city of Chicago was founded during the fourth decade of the 19th century. The construction of the Erie Canal increased commerce and trade across the Great Lakes, which led to Chicago’s founding.

Nature is one the best reasons for moving to Illinois

The United States is blessed with mesmerizing landscapes of all types, and Illinois is no exception. Nature is precious for Illinoisans, which is best seen through the fact that there are over 60 national parks here. There are approximately as much wildlife and recreational areas also. Since its beginnings in 1908, Illinois parks system is among the best-organized systems of this kind in the world.

A city square
Chicago is beautiful

There are many notable areas under the protection of the National Park Service. Among these are Shawnee National Forest, the Trail of Tears, American Discovery Trail and Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. Fort Massac State Park was the first park in the system and is one of the most beautiful ones. Lake Michigan is the only one of Great Lakes that is completely in the USA. It is among the top places to spend a day or two at in the state of Illinois.

The educational system is great

If you are thinking about moving to Illinois, this is probably one of the main questions that may concern you. If you move here, you won’t have to worry about it at all. Your kids will be able to choose among a number of quality educational institutions. There are as much as 49 community colleges across the state, that fully follow the modern academical standards. Some of the best National Universities in the United States are in Illinois according to U.S. News and World Report. Some of these are University of Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Loyola University Chicago. Kellogg School of Management consistently ranks within the top 10 business schools globally.

Transportation infrastructure is very reliable


There was a period between 1962 and 1998 during which O’Hare International Airport in Chicago was the world’s busiest airport. Ever since, though it never reclaimed the top spot, it is among the top 3 busiest airports at all times. It is a major checkpoint for United Airlines and American Airlines. The second most important airport is the Midway Airport, which was the world leading airport until 1962 when O’Hare supplanted it.


The railway system is really developed across the USA, and that is even more so the case of moving to Illinois. Transportation network here is very expansive and well-organized. Almost all of the North American railway lines meet at Chicago, which makes it the largest and most active railway hub in the country.

Interstate highway system

Highway interstate system is of the highest quality too. Another reason why Illinois is such an important state is the fact that has the most primary interstates passing through of all 50 states (13 interstates). Most important interstate highways include I-24, I-39, I-41, I-55, I-57, I-64, I-70, I-72, I-74, I-80, I-88, I-90, and I-94. The Mississippi and Illinois rivers represent crucial transportation routes for the state’s agricultural system.  Lake Michigan also connects Illinois with the Atlantic Ocean through Saint Lawrence Seaway.

things to know before moving to Illinois
Culture is very important in Illinois

Moving to Illinois for the culture

Let’s be honest, Chicago equals Illinois. From its earliest days, it was the central point of practically everything important in Illinois. This city offers so many possibilities in all the aspects of society – professional movers Chicago included. This is particularly true when talking about culture. The theater is very important here. There are four major theater companies in Chicago: Goodman Theatre in the Loop, Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier, and Steppenwolf Theatre and Victory Gardens Theater in Lincoln Park.

New York’s Broadway is probably the most famous theater in the USA, but the Broadway in Chicago offers the same quality of entertainment. One of the best orchestras in the world plays in the Symphony Center and that is the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. There are also many museums in the city, with the Chicago History Museum and the Driehaus Museum being the most important.

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