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08 Popular Places to live in Illinois

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A Cook, Software analyst & Blogger.

Popular Places to live in Illinois: With rolling hills, sprawling farmland, and abundant forests, Illinois boasts of lush natural beauty. Nestled in the Great Lakes region of North America, this picturesque state offers a host of outdoor recreation activities to indulge in. 

It also has a rich history and a highly-rated school system. There are many Fortune 500 companies that call it home, leading to an array of job opportunities.

Couple that with numerous universities, plenty of entertainment venues, and a vibrant arts and culture scene. 

Planning to move to Prairie State?

We’ve got you covered with our list of the popular places to live in Illinois: – 

Chicago #1

Love to be in the middle of all the action?

Chicago is one of the best-known cities in Illinois.

It is home to a vibrant Downtown area that has a plethora of restaurants, nightclubs, and the popular shopping destination Michigan Avenue.

Popular Places to live in Illinois
This large metropolis offers a bustling entertainment scene.

It also features the beautiful Chicago Riverwalk that features many impressive museums, art galleries, and cafes, and offers an array of outdoor recreational activities.

The city has decent public transportation and residents enjoy seamless international travel with the O’Hare International Airport.

Couple that with numerous excellent schools and an affordable cost of living.

Just like any big city, certain neighbourhoods are safer than others so keep that in mind while choosing a location here. 

Naperville #2

Attractive job opportunities, a vibrant entertainment scene, and a host of outdoor recreational opportunities make Naperville one of the most popular places to settle down in Illinois.

Many Fortune 500 companies call the city home, leading to many lucrative job opportunities.

Popular Places to live in Illinois
This contributes to the high median household income here.

What’s more?

There are multiple shopping districts, sports complexes, and more than 130 parks, offering something for everyone.

Relocating with family?

The city is home to over eight college campuses and many highly-rated schools. Couple that with a low crime rate and proximity to Chicago.

Housing prices are almost double the national average but the offerings make it worth the splurge. It is one of the most popular places to live in Illinois. 

Champaign Urbana #3

Looking for a vibrant college town vibe?

Head to Champaign Urbana.

Two cities merge to form this area which is home to the University of Illinois. With its sizeable student population, the place features a thriving arts and culture scene.

From appreciating artefacts at Spurlock Museum, enjoying your favourite book at the Champaign Public Library to catching a great performance at the Virginia Theatre, there is an array of activities to enjoy here.

Popular Places to live in Illinois

Various street festivals, events, and concerts are also held throughout the year.

Love spending time amidst nature?

With agriculture being a major industry here, you’ll find sprawling farmland around the area.

There are also sports venues, stadiums, and parks here. You can enjoy all this without breaking the bank since housing is affordable here. 

Springfield #4

The capital of Illinois comes with a host of unique offerings.

Once the home of Abraham Lincoln, the capital has a rich history which is showcased in its numerous fascinating museums and historic sites.

With popular attractions such as the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Springfield Theatre Centre, Caribbean Adventure Amusement Park, and a host of restaurants, nightclubs, and bars, the city offers a thriving entertainment scene.

Popular Places to live in Illinois
Numerous beautiful parks and excellent schools draw a lot of families to put down their roots here.

With rental options at prices below the national average, this vibrant city is a perfect choice for those who are just starting out. 

Peoria #5

Perched on the banks of the beautiful Peoria Lake, this city exudes an old-world charm with its historic buildings.

It is home to numerous impressive museums, bountiful parks, excellent schools, and thriving businesses. Its stunning waterfront offers a host of outdoor recreational activities to enjoy. 

Popular Places to live in Illinois
The city perfectly blends the Old and the New, combining its rich heritage with modern amenities.

What’s more?

You can find affordable housing options here along with many A-rated schools.  Some neighbourhoods are less safe than others, so make sure you consider that while picking the perfect location here.

Galena #6

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or an adventure junkie, this stunning small town won’t disappoint.

Popular Places to live in Illinois

Located in the northwest corner of Illinois, Galena is home to many buildings that feature exquisite 19th-century architecture.

With the beautiful Galena river running through the town, there is no dearth of opportunities for outdoor adventure.

From exploring various shops, and restaurants in century-old buildings to getting some adrenaline rush with a variety of adventure sports, the town offers something for everyone.

There are plenty of highly rated schools and an affordable cost of living, which makes it a great choice for young professionals and families alike. 

Schaumburg #7

This suburb is located northwest of Downtown Chicago and is considered one of the best places for raising a family in the state.

It is home to numerous top-rated schools, plenty of parks, and has a low crime rate.

There are many outdoor family-friendly activities to enjoy here with the Spring Valley Nature Centre’s vast parklands.

Popular Places to live in Illinois
The suburb also has a low unemployment rate and affordable housing options that add to its desirability. 

The place is also home to plenty of excellent restaurants and bars that make up its vibrant entertainment scene.

Many lively festivals and concerts are held throughout the year that brings the community together.

Glenview #8

This suburb in Cook County exudes a tranquil vibe and is home to a tight-knit community.

Popular Places to live in Illinois
There are plenty of recreational activities to indulge in here.

From enjoying a fun outing at the suburb’s multi-purpose community centre which also features a fitness centre, a pool, a preschool, and more, to playing volleyball at the Park Centre, there is something here for everyone. 

Although the cost of living is higher than in many other places in the state, the high median household income makes up for it.

With so much to offer, it is one of the best places to live in Illinois. 

So, pick the one that ticks off all the boxes on your checklist and get ready to begin the next chapter of your life in your brand-new home. 

Follow us for more such insights!


Q. Where is the safest place to live in Illinois?

Naperville is considered the safest place to live in Illinois. 

Q. What is the best place in Illinois to raise a family?

Clarendon Hills, Schaumburg, and Elmhurst are some of the best places to raise a family in Illinois. 

Q. What is the #1 suburb in Illinois?

Naperville is the best suburb in Illinois. 

Q. Is Illinois a great place to live?

With rich natural beauty, fascinating historic sites, a vibrant arts and culture scene, excellent job opportunities, and great schools, Illinois is a great place to live. 

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