10 Things to Know about the Chicago Metro Area

by Mahogany WaldonAugust 13, 2018

Chicago has always been a highly sought-after tourist destination and a booming metropolitan area. The city is well-known for its industrial antiquity, from being a meat-packing haven to its world-renowned architecture. While you may know some cool facts about the ‘Windy City’ – Al Capone comes to mind – there’s a lot to love about the Chicago Metro Area. Here are 10 things you need to know about Chicago if you plan on making this ‘Prairie State’ region your next home.

A map highlighting the Chicago Metro Area including Chicago, Elgin and Naperville, IL.

Chicago, Illinois

The City of Chicago, itself, is the major seat in the metro. Nestled on Lake Michigan, the city is nicknamed the ‘Windy City’ for its icy, cold winters. If you’re a lover of the snow, you’re in luck! Winters in Chicago bring, on average, about 21 snowy days. For those who prefer more moderate temperatures, summertime in the city is beautiful as the high averages 90 degrees at its hottest peak. In the early days of its history, Chicago was one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, this was due in part from the American Industrial Revolution that solidified the city as a manufacturing, retail, and finance epicenter. In addition, steel and meat-packing were major industries that attracted factory workers to this waterfront region. For families, the economic advancements in the city made for great potential for getting ahead and today, people from all over still flourish here.

  • Average home Price in Chicago – $218,000
  • Best neighborhood in Chicago – West Loop and Hyde Park
  • Biggest employer in Chicago – U.S. Government and Chicago Public Schools

Things to do in Chicago

  • Chicago Riverwalk and Navy Pier
  • Visit Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower)
  • Visit Millennium Park
  • Have a slice of famous Chicago-style deep dish pizza at Giordano’s

Naperville, Illinois

This Chicago suburb is one of the safest cities in the nation. Naperville also has a great school district and the unemployment rate is low, making it a great city for families. On a good day, the commute from Naperville to Chicago can range from half an hour (by bus) to over an hour (by car, factor in traffic). If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, Naperville has plenty of nature reserves and parks, perfect for an afternoon on the lake! There’s also the Centennial Beach, the Naper Settlement, and the Naperville Historic District.

  • Average home price in Naperville – $392,200
  • Best neighborhood in Naperville – Acorn Hill Estates
  • Biggest employer in Naperville – Edward Hospital and Health Services

Things to do in Naperville

  • Walking tours of the Naperville Historic Distric
  • Food tours
  • Visit Cantigny Park
  • Visit the Morton Arboretum
  • Have lunch at the White Chocolate Grill

Elgin, Illinois

With a booming housing market and local economy, the City of Elgin is a thriving Chicago suburb that boasts of many amazing characteristics that appeal to its residents and visitors, alike. If you’re looking for the arts and recreation of the big city, but you don’t want to necessarily live in the big city, then you have a winner! Elgin has its own Symphony Orchestra, Riverboat Casino, and Community College (which hosts special performances throughout the year). The city also prides itself with an amazing school district and its Elgin Academy. Elgin is just a little over an hour from Chicago.

  • Average home price in Elgin – $182,800
  • Best neighborhood in Elgin – Almora
  • Biggest employer in Elgin – Sherman Hospital

Things to do in Elgin

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About The Author
Mahogany Waldon
Mahogany is a Content Marketing Coordinator for Homes.com. In her spare time, Mahogany enjoys reading, writing poetry, blogging, traveling, and loves a good southern idiom. Mahogany is also a certified Reiki practitioner and enjoys all things supernatural.