Moving to Evanston

Welcome to the commencement of your engaging journey to Evanston, Illinois! Known for its enchanting charm, robust cultural scene, and top-tier universities, it's no wonder you're considering this stunning city as your new home. Moving can be a complex labyrinth, but fear not, we've got you covered with this comprehensive relocation guide. We'll unpack everything you need to know about Evanston in a playful yet professional manner, from the best neighborhoods to settle in, to local eateries you simply can't miss. So, let's dive in and start exploring the allure of Evanston together!

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What to Know Before Moving to Evanston

1. The Diversity is Worth Celebrating

If diversity in every aspect of life is your thing, then Evanston, IL is the right place for you. One of the major highlights of this city is its incredible diversity. The city is an amalgamation of different races, religions, and cultures. Deeply enriched with multicultural vibrancy, Evanston effortlessly brings everyone together. This is the spot where you can enjoy a variety of authentic cuisines from different parts of the world, all while taking a leisurely stroll downtown.

2. The Educational Opportunities Are Top-Notch

Evanston happens to be home to Northwestern University, one of the top-ranking universities in the United States. If you're considering attending or sending your child to an institution that challenges minds and broadens horizons, Northwestern University is a fantastic option. And even if you're past your school days, the prestigious university brings a youthful energy that the entire city benefits from.

3. The Lakefront Is Everything You Can Dream Of

Now, this is no secret, but it's definitely worth mentioning. Lake Michigan's shoreline is one of Evanston's prime jewels. Get ready to spend countless hours picnicking, relaxing, and breathing in the panoramic lake views at the Dawes Park or Clark Street Beach. The city's lakefront provides opportunities for numerous water-related activities too. Summertime in Evanston is almost synonymous with the lakefront.

4. It Holds Historical Importance

For the history buffs out there, Evanston has a lot to offer. Known for its historical significance, it's not uncommon to find grand architecturally unique buildings strewn across the city. You can take a peek into the city's past at the accessible Evanston History Center housed in the national historic landmark, Charles Gates Dawes House. This might be your chance to fall in love with the old-world charm.

5. Literary Titans Once Strolled These Paths

This might be known to few, but if you're a literary aficionado, this detail might enthrall you. Great authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway have spent significant time in Evanston. Imagine strolling the same paths as some of the greatest literary minds of our time. What's more, the city's public library system is robust and supports many community programs.

6. The City's Love for Arts and Theater

Last but not least, and possibly unknown to some, Evanston is a hub for thriving arts and theatre scene. With multiple live-performance theaters, art studios, galleries, and a dedicated district for the arts, Evanston breathes creativity. If you're an art-lover, you'll find yourself amidst music, dance, and literary festivals throughout the city, happening all year round.

To sum up, Evanston, IL is a gem of a city, full of diversity, prestigious education institutes, a scenic lakefront, historical buildings, literary connections, and a strong base for arts and theatre. So, are you ready to pack your bags and join the fun?

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Pros and Cons of Living in Evanston

Pros of Living in Evanston

High Quality of Education

Evanston is renowned for its highly-rated public schools and prestigious universities. Northwestern University, one of the top-ranked universities in the country, is located in Evanston, offering numerous opportunities for education, employment, and cultural events.

Rich Cultural Life

If you love arts and culture, Evanston won't disappoint. Home to a diverse and thriving arts scene, the city has numerous art galleries, theaters, and music venues. Annual events like the Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival, attract artists and patrons alike.

Access to Beautiful Beaches and Parks

Evanston is nestled along Lake Michigan, which means residents have access to several beautiful beaches and water activities. The city also boasts a large number of parks, providing plenty of green space for outdoor enjoyment.

Vibrant Downtown Area

The downtown area of Evanston is bustling with a wide variety of restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues. From farmers' markets to movie theaters, there's always something happening in downtown Evanston.

Accessibility to Chicago

Located just north of Chicago, Evanston residents have easy access to the big city via public transportation. This proximity provides the best of both worlds - a small-town feel with the benefits of a big city just a train ride away.

Cons of Living in Evanston

High Cost of Living

Evanston is one of the most expensive cities in Illinois to live in. The cost of goods and services, as well as housing, is significantly higher than the national average, which can be a deterrent for some.

Traffic and Parking

Like many cities, Evanston can suffer from heavy traffic, particularly during rush hour. Additionally, parking, especially in the downtown area or near popular beaches, can be challenging to find and expensive.

Noisy due to Universities

Being a college town, Evanston can get quite noisy, especially during the school year. This comes with the territory, and while some may love the buzz of student life, others may find it intrusive.

High Property Taxes

Evanston residents typically face high property taxes. While these taxes contribute to the high-quality public services the city offers, they can make owning a home more costly.

Weather Conditions

Evanston experiences a broad range of weather conditions from hot, humid summers to cold, snowy winters. The harsh winter weather, in particular, is a factor that some individuals may find unappealing.

Modern day picture of Evanston, IL highlighting pros and cons of living in Evanston, IL

Is Evanston a Good Place to Live?

Evanston, IL is a great place to live because of its vibrant arts scene, top-rated schools, and proximity to Chicago. This scenic suburb boasts beautiful lakefront views and an abundance of parks and recreation opportunities. Add in a diverse restaurant scene, community-driven events, and friendly neighborhoods, and you've got yourself a charming hometown!

What Is Evanston Famous For?


Northwestern University

Evanston, IL is renowned for being the home of Northwestern University, an institution that consistently ranks among the top universities in the U.S. and the world. The university contributes significantly to Evanston's economy and culture, offering internationally renowned programs in areas such as journalism, engineering, and law.

Historic Architecture

Architecture enthusiasts flock to Evanston to see the numerous well-preserved historic buildings, featuring styles that range from Victorian to mid-century modern. Designated landmarks include the Frances Willard House, the Charles G. Dawes House, and the ornate Mitchell Museum of the American Indian.

The Baha'i House of Worship

While we're not focusing on religion, the architectural significance of the Baha'i House of Worship makes it noteworthy. It's one of only eight Baha'i temples in the world, and the only one in North America. Its stunning white design, surrounded by gorgeous gardens, makes it a must-see in Evanston.

Gilson Park Beach

Evanston's eastern border is a Lake Michigan shoreline that boasts several lovely beaches, with Gilson Park Beach being one of the most popular. This stretch of sand offers visitors a chance to relax, swim, and even go sailing, providing a refreshing contrast to the urban dynamism of nearby Chicago.

' Capital building of Evanston, IL in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, the property tax rate in Evanston, IL is approximately 2.72%. This is notably higher than the national average of around 1.07%, making Evanston one of the areas with the highest property tax rates in the U.S.

Sales Tax

In Evanston, the total sales tax rate is currently 10.25% as of 2023. This is relatively high as compared to the national median of 6.9%. Therefore, goods and services in Evanston are more expensive due to the higher sales tax rate.

Income Tax

The income tax rate for Evanston residents, as part of Illinois, is a flat rate of 4.95% as of 2023. In comparison, seven states in the U.S. have no income taxes at all, whilst others range from 1% to 13.3% for the highest earners.

Housing Market

The housing market in Evanston, IL is notably more expensive compared to other parts of the US. As of late 2021, the median listing price for homes sits around $475,000. This correlates to a price per square foot almost double the national average. Rental, too are steep with a median monthly rent of $1,995. However, Evanston offers a variety of housing sizes and styles, excellent education opportunities, and a close proximity to Chicago, factors which are attractive to many buyers and renters.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Evanston, IL, is significantly higher than the national average, reflecting its status as an affluent suburb of Chicago. Housing takes up the largest share of an Evanston resident's income, with median home prices considerably above national figures. Meanwhile, the cost of transportation, groceries, health care, and utilities are also above the U.S. average, making Evanston an expensive city to live in compared to many others. Still, residents often find these costs justified by the high quality of life, excellent public schools, and proximity to both downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan that Evanston offers.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Evanston, IL experiences a temperate climate characterized by four distinct seasons. Chillier weather prevails during winters with average temperatures dipping to around 14degF, while the summers range in the mid-70s, providing a comfortable warmth. Spring and fall traditionally bring a balance of precipitation and mild temperatures. The city gathers moderate rainfall, distributed fairly throughout the year. Snowfall is a frequent occurrence in the winter season too. Natural disasters, although not frequent, can take forms of severe storms, floods, and tornadoes. As part of the midwestern "Tornado Alley," Evanston does have a mildly higher risk of intense thunderstorms and associated tornadoes, especially during spring and summer. Flooding risks primarily emanate from heavy rains and snowmelts. In summary, Evanston's climate is generally predictable, yet it is not immune to a variety of extreme weather events.

Typical weather in Evanston, IL

Economy & Job Market

* Healthcare and Social Assistance

* Educational Services

* Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

* Retail Trade

* Accommodation and Food Services

Howdy, let's journey into Evanston, IL, a city that's been playfully dubbed a sleeper suburb with a lively economic pulse! Its economic gears have evolved over the years, transitioning from manufacturing and retail in its early days to focusing more on health, education, and technology sectors today. The presence of Northwestern University has made a significant imprint on the economy, not just from the standpoint of education, but also by providing a steady pipeline of talent and creating avenues for research and development. The healthcare and social assistance industry is also a leading economic propeller in the city, largely due to Evanston Hospital. Modern day Evanston swings a beautiful balance, managing to preserve its rich past while embracing growth and innovation.

If you're on the prowl for a job and considering a hop, skip, and a jump to Evanston, we've got the 411 for you. Firstly, be elated! The employment rate in Evanston outpaces the national average, indicating a robust job market. The strength of the healthcare and education sectors offers ample opportunities for job seekers with relevant skills. Professionals in the scientific or technical field will also find the city welcoming. The retail trade, food, and accommodation sectors also hold some promise, especially if you've got a knack for excellent customer service. Evanston, with its mix of innovation, education, and community spirit, is a splendid choice for the aspirational job seeker. Welcome, future Evanstonian!

Traffic and Transportation

Oh, Evanston! Nestled just north of the Windy City, this vibrant locale boasts a traffic and transportation scene as lively as its community. Don't get too comfy with those average commute times though - clocking in at about 25 minutes, you'll barely get through a podcast episode! But no fear, the city offers a host of public transport options too. Hop aboard the CTA Purple Line, have a rendezvous with the Metra UP-N, or try your hand at one of the numerous Pace bus routes. Craving a bit of jet-set glamour? O'Hare and Midway Airports are close neighbors, with commercial and private flights ready to whisk you away! Whether you're a commuter, a public transport patron, or an aviation enthusiast, Evanston, IL ticks all your boxes.

What is the traffic like in Evanston, IL?

Best Neighborhoods in Evanston

1. Downtown Evanston

First stop on our magical mystery tour, Downtown Evanston. If you're one for hustle and bustle, look no further. It's a hub for retail, restaurants, and theater. Downtown Evanston is essentially the city's beating heart-putting access to a diverse selection of shops, eateries, and performances right in residents' backyards. Walkability is a key perk to downtown living, with most amenities within walking distance, which takes off a lot of pressure if you're used to the relentless city rush! Local artists bring life and color to the neighborhood through public art installations and seasonal events . It's a great place to work, play, and catch a wave of the vibrant energy that buzzes throughout the city streets!

2. Central Street

Number two on our list is Central Street. This charming neighborhood is an enchanting blend of old-world charm and modern convenience. Central Street is filled with locally owned specialty shops, cafes and restaurants serving every cuisine you can imagine. If you're a fan of fresh produce, the area also hosts a famous outdoor farmer's market during the summers. Central Street's strong community spirit is palpable, making it a perfect place for those who value connectivity and a small-town feeling in a city setting.

3. Central Park

Greenery galore, we present you, Central Park. A neighborhood that revolves around its massive, multi-purpose park with the same name. Central Park is a dream-come-true for outdoor lovers and families. There are great schools, ample running and cycling paths, sports fields, and even a lagoon. The neighborhood also hosts various community events at the Central Park Auditorium, making it both a fun and family-friendly place to live.

4. Lakeshore Historic District

Fourth on the list, we have the Lakeshore Historic District. As the name suggests, this neighborhood is brimming with history and old-world vibes. The residential area is filled with stately homes, some of which date back to the early 20th century. Aside from the architectural eye candy, the area also boasts beautiful parks and easy access to the Evanston Lighthouse and Elliot Park. It's the perfect locale for history buffs and people looking for a laid-back living amongst stunning surroundings.

5. Northwestern University/East Evanston

Lastly, but definitely not least, the Northwestern University/East Evanston area. This neighborhood is home to the renowned Northwestern University and offers a cultured, energetic vibe. You'll find a rich blend of students, academics, and families coexisting harmoniously. Residents have access to the University's library, coffee shops, artistic performances, and the breath-taking lakefront. Don't miss out on the numerous restaurants and indie shops that add character to this quintessentially college-town neighborhood.

There you have it, the top five neighborhoods in Evanston that are simply too hard to resist. Each neighborhood bristles with its own charm and activity, ensuring that there's a perfect corner for everyone! Don't just take our word for it, come and explore Evanston, and navigate these areas on your own. This lakefront city is teeming with opportunities to create your own unique experience and craft the life you've always wanted. Happy moving!

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Things to Do

Welcome to Evanston, IL, the vibrant city appearing modestly on the Northern suburbs of Chicago! Known for its splendid lakeshore and the prestigious Northwestern University, Evanston offers an exciting blend of cultural, historical, and natural attractions. Whether you're venturing into the city's historic district, engaging in its thrilling festivals, or enjoying a tranquil retreat at its beaches, Evanston has something for everyone. Here are seven top things to do in Evanston, IL. You may want to check off this list!

1. Pay a Visit to the Northwestern University Campus

First stop: Northwestern University. Roam around the iconic campus that boasts stunning architecture, sprawling lawns, and serene Lake Michigan views. Don't forget to check out The Block Museum of Art, which features ever-changing exhibitions, and the Shakespeare Garden, a secluded gem dedicated to the plants mentioned in Shakespeare's works.

2. Embrace the Natural Beauty of the Evanston Lakeshore

Get your daily dose of vitamin sea by strolling along Evanston's lakeshore. With eight stunning beaches to choose from, you can sunbathe, kayak, or picnic while savoring the tranquil Lake Michigan views. Lighthouse Beach, with the historic Grosse Point Lighthouse, is a must-visit.

3. Discover the Secrets of the Frances Willard House Museum

Explore a lesser-known side of Evanston by visiting the Frances Willard House Museum. This 1865 treasure served as the home and workplace of Frances Willard, a social reform leader. Get to know her life's work and the Progressive Era through guided tours and interactive exhibits.

4. Enjoy a Show at the Evanston Space

Fill your evenings with exhilarating music at The Evanston Space, a renowned concert hall offering an intimate setting. From blues, jazz, rock to folk, and classical music, the variety is bound to impress. Don't miss out on some pre-show dinner at the Union Pizzeria right next door!

5. Unleash Your Inner Picasso at the Evanston Art Center

Nurture your creative instincts at the Evanston Art Center. Attend any of the diverse art classes or workshops. If you're not into creating, tour the fantastic rotating exhibits or pick up local artwork from their sales gallery.

6. Smell the Blooms at Merrick Rose Garden

Another hidden gem is the Merrick Rose Garden. An oasis of tranquility away from the city buzz, this garden houses over 1,000 rose bushes. Visit in the summer, admire the colorful blooms, and feel inspired by the beautiful sculptures and fountain.

7. Experience Evanston's Brewery Scene at Temperance Beer Co.

Finally, unwind at the Temperance Beer Co., Evanston's first craft Brewery. Have a guided tour to get a behind-the-scenes look into the beer-making process. Then, sit back and enjoy their unique brews in the spacious taproom or their outdoor deck.

These Evanston gems offer a diverse mix of cultural, historical, and natural experiences that embody the city's spirit. Cherish these attractions, dive into the community events, relish the local cuisine, and you'll comfortably slide into the Evanston life. Welcome to the neighborhood, it's about to be an adventurous ride...

Things to do in Evanston, IL?

Find Movers for Your Evanston Relocation

After immersing yourself in all the wondrous aspects Evanston, IL offers, it's clear why it attracts relocators like you. The next logical step in making Evanston your new home is ensuring a smooth transition. Worry not, because Great Guys Moving can make this step hassle-free for you. By offering access to top-notch, licensed, and insured movers that fit your budget, our service connects you with the best in the business. We save you time and prevent worry, making your move an enjoyable experience. Waste no time and start your exciting journey right away--request your free moving quote from Great Guys Moving today.

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