Chicago’s downtown living scene has exploded within the last decade, thanks to great dining, shopping and entertainment options. Downtown living takes place around the perimeter of The Loop, the city’s central business district composed mostly of commercial high rises.
Here are seven reasons why many enjoy living in or near The Loop.
1. Car-less living
Photo by Jeremiah Higgins on Unsplash
Living in or near downtown affords many conveniences, namely the ability to walk, cab or take public transportation to nearby dining and entertainment options.
Easy access to Lake Michigan offers beautiful trails for biking, running or walking. It’s entirely possible to live without a car in this area since it has great connections to the city’s public transportation, from the “el” to the Metra Rail systems.
Some of the city’s best dining is located near downtown. There are Michelin-starred fine dining establishments along Restaurant Row in the West Loop and neighborhood favorites in the South Loop.
3. Farmers markets
Independent farmers markets can be found throughout downtown and nearby neighborhoods. Hit up Federal Plaza Market at Adams and Dearborn on Tuesdays, then check out the longest running farmers market in Chicago, the Daley Plaza Market on Thursdays.
The museum campus, which includes the Field Museum of Natural History, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium, are all within feet of each other in the South Loop. Just a few blocks north is The Art Institute of Chicago.
From Broadway plays in the Theater District, located within The Loop, to the Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier, downtown entertainment can’t be beat.
For those who prefer football and baseball, Soldier Field in the South Loop is home to the Chicago Bears and in neighboring Bridgeport, fans can watch the Chicago White Sox play baseball.
The shopping corridor along Roosevelt Road in the South Loop and extending west to Little Italy is where you’ll find big box retailers and grocery stores. Nestled within the neighborhoods are apparel boutiques, pet shops, fitness facilities and specialty boutiques.
Millennium Park, Grant Park and other nearby parks are among the city’s crown jewel of green spaces. In addition to the vast greenery available for impromptu picnics or strolls, the parks host free music, arts and other entertainment year-round.