Moving to Peoria

Welcome to the start of your new adventure: moving to Peoria, IL! Straddling the Illinois River, Peoria is a gem tucked amongst the heartland's sprawling cornfields. With its charming downtown, rich history, and thriving art scene, it's a city that seamlessly blends small-town charm with big-city amenities. Unsure about relocating? Well, the whispers of Mark Twain's 'paradise of the west' ring truer than ever today. This comprehensive relocation guide is your friendly Peoria primer, dedicated to helping you navigate and settle into your new town with ease. Get ready to embrace Peoria's teeming life, where the river flows and opportunities abound.

Moving to Peoria, IL landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Peoria

1. Midwest charm meets big city perks

First things first, you need to know that Peoria isn't just a sleepy Midwestern city. It's vibrant and full of life, with all the conveniences of a big city, without the stress or cost of living of larger metropolitan areas. You'll find an array of impressive museums, diverse restaurants, lively music scenes, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures.

2. It's surprisingly affordable

Peoria's cost of living index is below the national average, which means you won't have to break the bank to maintain a good lifestyle here. Housing is especially affordable, with both rental and purchase prices considerably lower than the national average. So, if you're looking to move into a spacious new home, Peoria may just be the place for you.

3. It's home to the "Mother Road"

Here's one for the history buffs! A large portion of the original American Route 66, lovingly referred to as the "Mother Road", passed right through Peoria. While you can no longer travel the original route (the Interstate Highway System took its place), you can still trace its path through the city and soak up some of Peoria's rich history.

4. Try the local cuisine

Leave your diet at the door. Peoria is home to some unique food you won't find anywhere else. The horseshoe sandwich, for example, is a local favourite that features a burger patty or other choice of meat placed on a slice of bread, piled high with fries, and smothered in cheese sauce. And don't forget to try the famed local whiskey - a popular choice for locals and tourists alike!

5. Healthcare and education are top notch

You'll be glad to know that Peoria prides itself on its high-quality healthcare and education. The city is home to the University of Illinois College of Medicine - one of the nation's largest medical schools by class size. Likewise, the city hosts some of the best schools in the state, promising a quality education for every age.

6. Say 'hello' to wildlife

One lesser-known fact about Peoria is its wildlife diversity! It is teeming with wildlife parks and rescue centres, making it a haven for nature lovers. Its most famous wildlife institution, the Peoria Zoo, houses over 100 species, bringing global wildlife to the heart of Illinois. Fun fact: it's home to one of the largest giraffe herds in North America!

So there you have it! Moving to Peoria, IL offers a bit of everything: history, culture, affordability, and even a vibrant wildlife scene. Above all, you will find a warm and welcoming community that is proud to call this city home. Peoria truly is the epitome of what makes the Midwest special. You'll love becoming a part of this remarkable city.

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Pros and Cons of Living in Peoria

Pros of Living in Peoria

Affordable Cost of Living

One of the major advantages of living in Peoria, IL is the affordable cost of living. While some places in the U.S. have sky-high housing and living costs, Peoria offers affordability that is friendly to a range of budget options. From groceries to housing expenses, you can generally expect to pay less than the national average.

Rich Cultural Heritage

Peoria is a place with a rich and diverse cultural heritage. This lends to a variety of museums, cultural centers, and historical places to visit. The town boasts everything from historical theaters to Native American archaeological sites, offering opportunities for entertainment and education about the area's historical and cultural heritage.

Strong Educational Opportunities

Peoria is home to several high-quality educational institutions at every level. For families, the city offers good public and private schools. For higher education, Peoria is home to Bradley University and a community college, affording residents various opportunity to further their studies and skills.

Outdoor Recreation

For nature and outdoor lovers, Peoria offers parks, nature centers, and other recreational spaces. The city is nestled along the Illinois River which provides opportunities for kayaking, fishing, or just relaxing by the water. Additionally, there are extensive biking and hiking trails for those who prefer land-based adventures.

Small City Feel with Large City Amenities

Peoria can offer residents the best of both worlds. Though it's a smaller city, it still offers the amenities you'd expect to find in a larger city. This includes good healthcare facilities, shopping centers, and a variety of dining destinations, so residents can get the urban feel without the sizable crowds and the hustle and bustle.

Cons of Living in Peoria

Limited Public Transit System

Public transit in Peoria is somewhat limited. While there is a bus system, its coverage is not as extensive as in larger cities. Therefore, a personal vehicle is almost a necessity for getting around, especially for those living or working outside of the city center.

Seasonal Weather

Peoria experiences all four seasons, and while some may consider this a pro, others may find it challenging. Winters can be harsh with snow and cold temperatures, which might not be comfortable for everyone, particularly those who prefer milder, consistent climates.

Limited Entertainment and Nightlife

While Peoria does have its cultural advantages and some local entertainment, the nightlife scene is relatively limited. For residents who crave a vibrant nightlife, they may have to travel to larger cities like Chicago for a wider selection of dance clubs, concert venues and bars.

Economy Dependent on Several Large Employers

A large portion of Peoria's economy relies on a few large employers such as Caterpillar Inc. While this does provide job opportunities, it also means the local economy could be vulnerable if one of these companies were to downsize or relocate.

Higher than Average Crime Rate

Like many urban areas, Peoria does have a higher-than-average crime rate. While many residents live their lives without incident, it's advisable to research neighborhoods thoroughly before choosing a place to live and remain vigilant about personal safety.

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

Is Peoria a Good Place to Live?

Peoria, IL is a great place to live because it offers a flourishing arts and culture scene, high-quality healthcare institutions, excellent schools and a low cost of living. Additionally, the city is teeming with unique attractions such as the famous Peoria Riverfront Museum, The Peoria Zoo, and stunning hiking trails, so there is always something fun to do. Not to mention its friendly community that's sure to make anyone feel right at home!

What Is Peoria Famous For?

Origin of the "Will it play in Peoria?" Phrase

The well-known phrase "Will it play in Peoria?" originated in Peoria during the vaudeville days. It represents the city's role as a litmus test for the average American's response to a product, service, or idea due to its representation of mainstream American attitudes and values.

Peoria's Rich History in Distilling

Beyond its vaudeville fame, Peoria boasts a rich history of being the 'Whiskey Capital of the World.' At one point, there were 24 breweries and 73 distilleries in the city, and it was producing more alcohol than any other place in the world. The city's legacy in distilling and brewing continues with contemporary craft breweries and wine and liquor brands.

Caterpillar Inc. Headquarters

Peoria serves as the original global headquarters of Caterpillar Inc., the world's largest construction equipment manufacturer. This gave the city a significant boost in its economy and fame. Even though Caterpillar recently moved its global headquarters to Deerfield, IL, it still maintains a strong presence in Peoria.

Home to the World's Tallest Man

The city was the home to Robert Wadlow, the "Alton giant" who holds the record as the world's tallest man at 8 feet 11.1 inches tall. His shoe was 37AA, the equivalent of an unfathomable size 18. A life-sized statue of him, made to commemorate his outstanding height, attracts visitors to Peoria every year.

Capital building of Peoria, IL in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, the average property tax rate in Peoria, IL is approximately 2.31% of the property's assessed fair market value. This is higher than the national average property tax rate, which is approximately 1.07%.

Sales Tax

In 2023, the sales tax rate in Peoria, IL is 8.75%, which includes the state tax of 6.25% and the local tax of 2.5%. This is slightly higher than the average sales tax rate in the US, which is around 7.12%.

Income Tax

Peoria, IL is subject to the Illinois state income tax of 4.95% as of 2023. This is lower than the average state income tax in the US, but Illinois is one of the few states with a flat income tax rate regardless of income.

Housing Market

The housing market in Peoria, IL is notably more affordable than many parts of the U.S, with a median home value of $82,200 and rent averaging $752 per month. Although this is lower compared to the national averages ($231,200 for home value and $1,062 for rent), potential homeowners and renters should consider local economic conditions. Peoria has experienced a job market decrease by 1.3% over the last year. With a plan to revitalize downtown Peoria, however, the city may see an uptick in property values and improved economic conditions in the future.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Peoria, IL is generally lower than the national average, making it more affordable compared to other U.S. cities. While housing constitutes the largest cost factor, it is significantly cheaper in Peoria, with median home costs well below the national average. This favorable housing cost largely influences the overall cost of living index. However, costs in categories like groceries, utilities, transportation, and healthcare are close to or slightly above the national average. Overall, your dollar tends to stretch further in Peoria, providing a comfortable lifestyle at a relatively lower cost.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Peoria, IL experiences a humid continental climate with significant seasonal variations. Summers are typically hot and humid with temperature above 80deg F, while winters are cold with temperature regularly dipping below freezing. The city sees an average annual rainfall of approximately 36 inches, spread fairly evenly throughout the year but the spring months are often the wettest. Occasional thunderstorms during summer and early fall can bring heavy downpours and sometimes hail. During winter months, Peoria often faces snowfall which averages around 24 inches annually. As for natural disasters, tornadoes are a potential risk, with the area located in the infamous "Tornado Alley". However, comprehensive warning and response systems are in place to manage such events. From warm summer breezes to snowy winter landscapes, Peoria's climate offers a diverse range of weather experiences.

Typical weather in Peoria, IL

Economy & Job Market

* Healthcare and social assistance industry

* Manufacturing industry

* Educational services industry

* Retail trade industry

* Accommodation and food services industry

Peoria, located along the Illinois River, has a rich history that has greatly influenced its industrial landscape. It was once the world's whiskey capital, but today, it's largely recognized for its diverse economy, which spans healthcare, manufacturing, educational services, retail trade and hospitality. It's home to Caterpillar Inc., a Fortune 100 company and a leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment. However, over recent years, the city has seen a substantial growth in the healthcare and social assistance industry, with organizations like OSF Saint Francis Medical Center and UnityPoint Health being two of its top employers. Educational services is another dominant industry, thanks largely to the presence of Bradley University and Illinois Central College.

If you're planning a move to Peoria and job hunting is on your list, welcome to a city with opportunities aplenty! Peoria's unemployment rate usually stays below the national average, which means there's a good chance you'll score your dream job here. While manufacturing is a significant part of the economy, the boom in healthcare and educational services means anyone with qualifications in these areas could find promising prospects. Caterpillar Inc. offers lucrative opportunities for skilled workers, engineers, and professionals. However, don't overlook the retail sector and hospitality either--there's plenty of part-time, full-time, and seasonal opportunities on offer there, whether you're a student, looking for a career change, or in search of a new adventure in this charming riverside city.

Traffic and Transportation

Peoria, IL is a city that knows the rhythm of traffic. The average commute time is a breeze at 17.2 minutes, beating the national average. For those who prefer to ditch the driver's seat, the perks of the public transportation are aplenty. CityLink offers reliable bus service across the city. It's less fuss, less rush, and a lot more fun. Scheduled routes, ADA services, and their savory CityLift option make getting around as easy as pie. Need to reach the skies? Peoria International Airport has you covered! Offering a range of flight options, it makes your departure swift and your arrival sweeter - it's an absolute dream for city-folk and country kids alike! So buckle up, or sit back, and enjoy the ride. Peoria sure knows how to make your journey smooth sailing!

What is the traffic like in Peoria, IL?

Best Neighborhoods in Peoria

1. Grandview Drive

Known for its unrivaled scenic views, Grandview Drive is often billed as the "world's most beautiful drive." Promising serene surroundings, it's a neighborhood that exudes a laid-back, peaceful vibe. You'll find stately, meticulously maintained homes, many with panoramic views of the Illinois River. With its winding, tree-lined roads, Grandview Drive appeals to outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy biking, jogging, or just leisurely walking in their neighborhood. The area boasts close proximity to gourmet dining options and boutique shopping too, making it an inviting place for individuals or families seeking tranquility mixed with a little suburban excitement.

2. Moss-Bradley

Moss-Bradley is the epitome of charm, home to a cluster of historical homes with niche architectural features that resemble a picture from a storybook. It's a close-knit community, where porch conversations are a favorite pastime and block parties are a much-anticipated annual event. The neighborhood is within walking distance of Bradley University, lending a youthful, vibrant flair to the surroundings. Impressive art festivals, farmer's markets, and Bradley Braves' athletic games, all add to the rich tapestry of experiences one can indulge in while residing in Moss-Bradley.

3. The Uplands

Rapidly mounting as a popular choice, the Uplanders offers a lively, vibrant atmosphere and a friendly community. Located adjacent to Bradley University, it has something for every age group. Packed with family-friendly parks, desirable restaurants, and accessible public transportation, the convenience is unparalleled. Plus, cultural enthusiasts can get their fix with Art-in-the-Park -- an open-air fair that showcases local artists and musicians each summer.

4. The West Bluff

The West Bluff neighborhood is a bewitching blend of urban and suburban lifestyles, guaranteed to cast a beguiling spell on newcomers. Walking through this neighborhood, you'll see an enchanting mix of large, historic homes and modern apartments, often just steps away from welcoming local businesses. With Bradley University's campus nearby, this neighborhood pulses with an energetic vibe, further enhanced by spirited coffee shops, trendy boutiques, and dynamic sports bars. Often host to engaging community events, West Bluff is perfect for those who appreciate the vibe of a college town.

5. North Peoria

For those after modern lifestyle with a hint of suburban feel, North Peoria is the perfect fit. This residential haven offers large, picturesque homes graced with an aura of newness. North Peoria thrives on its community spirit with plenty of recreational parks, golf courses, popular restaurants, shopping centers, and even a community theater. Excellent school systems make it a popular choice among families, and its easy access to downtown Peorian ensures you still have the pulse of the city at your fingertips.

Whether you're seeking the allure of historic charm, the energy of a vibrant university town, or the serenity of suburban life with city amenities nearby, Peoria, IL truly offers a neighborhood for every taste. All that is left for you to decide is which neighborhood vibes with you the most.

Best neighborhoods in Peoria, IL image

Things to Do

Welcome to Peoria, Illinois: a city that brims with Midwestern charm, natural beauty, and an array of fun and interesting attractions just waiting to be explored. So, strap on your adventure boots and get ready to dive into the heartland of America. Unearth the hidden secrets of your new hometown with this list of top things to do in Peoria.

1. Delve into History at the Peoria Riverfront Museum

This is not your average museum. Peoria Riverfront Museum offers interactive exhibits that engage visitors in history, science, art, and Planetarium shows. The museum hosts collections from different time periods and cultures, as well as providing educational programs and special events.

2. Unwind at the George L. Luthy Memorial Botanical Garden

Located within Glen Oak Park, this picturesque 4.5-acre garden is a hidden urban paradise. The botanical garden offers themed gardens, a tropical conservatory, and beautiful pavilions. You can enjoy a leisurely stroll here any time of the year or attend free horticultural workshops.

3. Propel Your Adrenaline at Kartville

If you're looking for a heart-pumping adventure, Kartville is the place to be! From go-karting and mini-golf to batting cages and bumper boats, this amusement park offers activities for the entire family. Unleash your competitive spirit and have a blast.

4. Bask in the Iconic Peoria Riverfront

A blend of natural beauty and urban sophistication, Peoria Riverfront offers an eclectic mix of restaurants, shops, and live entertainment. The scenic riverwalk trails offer an ideal setting for bicycling or a peaceful jog.

5. Sip Some Craft Beers at Rhodell Brewery

What might seem like your normal brewery has a fantastic twist. At Rhodell Brewery you can brew your own beer! Apart from offering a wide array of craft beers, Rhodell allows enthusiasts to try their hand at the brewing process, making it a must-visit for craft beer lovers.

6. Discover the Wildlife at Wildlife Prairie Park

Spread over 2,000 acres of lush land, Wildlife Prairie Park homes many species of native animals. With miles of hiking trails, fishing lakes, animal exhibits and more, it's an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

7. Visit the Oldest family-run theatre in America

You might not know that Peoria is home to the oldest community theater in the nation. Founded in 1919, the Peoria Players Theatre offers a range of performances from comedies, dramas to musicals, offering the residents high-quality local theatre within their reach. So, grab some popcorn and prepare for a unique theatre experience.

Unveiling the gems of Peoria will undoubtedly fill your days with excitement and discovery. Whether you are a history buff, a nature enthusiast, a fearless adventurer, or a culture vulture, Peoria has something for everyone. Encouraging the exploration of the little-known facts and unique experiences of this great city, this list serves as a perfect starting point. Enjoy the journey as you make Peoria your home.

Things to do in Peoria, IL?

Find Movers for Your Peoria Relocation

As you anticipate your upcoming relocation to Peoria, let Great Guys Moving simplify the process for you. We connect you with top-tier licensed and insured movers, who are ready to make your move smooth and cost-effective. With our extended network of reputable movers, you're assured of an uncomplicated transition to your next destination. Submit the details of your move, and let us link you up with the perfect moving company. Your exciting journey to Peoria is just around the corner, so go ahead, secure your peace of mind and request your free moving quote today.

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