Moving to Springfield

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Ah, yes! Springfield, IL -- a city as charming as it is innovative. Whether you're drawn by its rich history, unique opportunities, or simply the tantalizing scent of a fresh horseshoe sandwich, moving to Illinois' capital city is a journey of discovery! But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Before we explore every nook and cranny of this vibrant Midwestern gem, we must prepare for the voyage. In this comprehensive Springfield relocation guide, we're going to facilitate your move, making it as smooth and enjoyable as a slice of the city's signature coconut cream pie. Buckle up -- Springfield awaits!

" Moving to Springfield, IL landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Springfield

1. A City Steeped in History

If you're someone who enjoys a bold blend of history, culture, and good old-fashioned Midwestern charm, then Springfield, IL could be the perfect place for you to call home. As the capital of Illinois, and the longtime home of none other than Abraham Lincoln, it's a city that's steeped in history and offers plenty of captivating stories to dive into.

2. Horseshoes Are More than Just a Gambling Game Here

When in Springfield, do like the Springfielders, which means eating a horseshoe! And no, we don't mean the metallic U-shaped object. We're talking about a unique and delectable local meal which is an open-faced sandwich with meat (usually hamburger or ham) topped with fries and bathed in cheese sauce. Does that sound heavenly or what? Try it and thank us later.

3. A Surprising Hub for Art and Creativity

Springfield might seemingly be a quiet Midwestern town, but it is bursting with creative energy. The city has numerous art galleries, music festivals, and theater productions, offering a vibrant arts scene that will keep your cultural calendar filled throughout the year. Museums like the Springfield Art Association and the Dana-Thomas House, designed by the renowned Frank Lloyd Wright, further cement the city's artistic standing.

4. The Land of Lincoln

Did we mention that Springfield was home to Abraham Lincoln? The city is affectionately known as the 'Land of Lincoln', and you'll find many attractions paying homage to the 16th U.S President. From the Lincoln Home National Historic Site to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, these landmarks provide an incredible journey back in time for history enthusiasts of all ages.

5. Experience all Four Seasons

One great aspect of living in Springfield is that you get to enjoy all four seasons, each one distinct and beautiful in its own right. Summers are warm but rarely scorching, perfect for enjoying the outdoors, while winters can get downright frosty - calling all snow lovers! Autumn in Springfield is absolutely stunning with its riot of colors, and spring is when the city comes alive with blooming flowers.

6. The Legend of the 'Haunted' Cemeteries

For those who enjoy a good ghostly legend, Springfield delivers. The Oak Ridge Cemetery is said to be haunted by the ghosts of soldiers from the Civil War era. On certain nights, people claim to have witnessed ghostly soldiers patrolling the grounds. There's also the story of Wade Hampton, whose legend has it, drives a horse-drawn hearse around the cemetery on misty nights. Creepy or captivating, it's certainly a unique aspect of Springfield lore.

Whether you love history, appreciate art, enjoy culinary adventures, or harbor a bit of a fascination for ghostly legends, Springfield, Illinois offers a captivating blend of experiences that makes it a great place to live. This city has a welcoming Midwestern charm paired with a rich cultural backdrop. So, pack your bags and come embrace all that life in Springfield has to offer!

What to know before moving to Springfield, IL image
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Pros and Cons of Living in Springfield

Pros of Living in Springfield

Rich In History

Springfield is widely known for its abundant history, especially as the home of former President Abraham Lincoln. His house, now a museum, and his tomb are particularly popular tourist attractions. This provides an enriching environment for both children and adults to learn about history.

Lower Cost of Living

Living in Springfield is generally cheaper than in many other parts of Illinois, especially Chicago. Everything from food and healthcare to housing and utilities tends to be more affordable, making it an attractive location for families and retirees alike.

Good Education System

Springfield boasts of a robust education system with a number of public and private schools offering quality education. Also, it is home to several colleges and universities, offering various opportunities for higher education.

Natural Beauty

The city offers ample opportunities to those who enjoy outdoor activities, with its numerous parks, gardens and the beautiful Lake Springfield. The natural beauty here is a constant source of serenity and inspiration to its inhabitants.

Active Cultural Scene

Springfield offers a lively cultural scene with art museums, music festivals, and performing arts centers. This tends to attract a diverse crowd who have an appreciation for arts and culture.

Cons of Living in Springfield

Criminal Activity

Unfortunately, Springfield does have a relatively high crime rate when compared with other cities in Illinois. This includes both violent crimes and property crimes, which can be a cause for concern for potential residents.

Economic Challenges

Springfield faces a number of economic challenges, including high unemployment rates and a lack of opportunities in certain sectors. This can, unfortunately, limit job potential for individuals in certain fields.

Severe Weather

Springfield experiences extreme weather conditions during certain times of the year, including harsh winters and hot, humid summers. This can be uncomfortable for those who are not used to such varying climates.

Quality of Infrastructure

Some parts of Springfield suffer from poor infrastructure, including older roads and public transportation systems. This can make commuting and travel more difficult for residents.

Lack of Entertainment Options

Though Springfield has a fair share of cultural scene, it might lack in terms of major shopping centers, amusement parks and other large-scale entertainment options. This can sometimes make it feel like a smaller town than it is.

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

Is Springfield a Good Place to Live?

Springfield, IL is a great place to live because of its rich historical heritage, top-notch schools and affordability. It boasts of a plethora of museums, parks, delicious local restaurants and Abraham Lincoln's home- you're guaranteed to have a rewarding cultural experience. Springfield is a friendly, welcoming city with a strong sense of community which is reflected in numerous family-friendly events throughout the year.


What Is Springfield Famous For?

Historical Landmarks

Springfield is a treasure trove of historical landmarks, with the most noteworthy being the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. This state-of-the-art facility offers an interactive, immersive exploration of the life and legacy of America's 16th president. Additionally, the city also houses the Old State Capitol, where Lincoln delivered his "House Divided" speech.

A Strong Connection to Abraham Lincoln

Before he became President and one of the most influential figures in American history, Abraham Lincoln called Springfield home. He lived there for 17 years, and today, you can visit his perfectly preserved house. The city is rich in Lincoln lore and relics, making it a must-visit for history buffs and Lincoln admirers alike.

Route 66 Nostalgia

Springfield is a gem located along the historic Route 66, America's most famous highway. Route 66 enthusiasts and motor history lovers who visit the city can revel in vintage diners and drive-ins, retro motels, ghost towns, and other uniquely American sights that harken back to the golden age of the open road.

The Illinois State Fair

Each summer, Springfield hosts the Illinois State Fair, a ten-day extravaganza full of agricultural exhibits, carnival games, and live music. Whether you're a fan of deep-fried treats, farm animals, or epic concerts, there's something for everyone to enjoy. This grand fair has been a staple in Springfield since 1853, attracting visitors from across the state and beyond.

Capital building of Springfield, IL in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Springfield, IL, the average property tax rate is roughly 2.3% as of 2023. This is slightly higher compared to the average property tax rate in the other parts of the United States, which is approximately 1.1%.

Sales Tax

The sales tax rate in Springfield, IL is 8.5% as of 2023. Compared to the average sales tax rate in the United States, which is about 7.12%, Springfield, IL is on the higher side.

Income Tax

For the year 2023, the income tax rate in Springfield, IL is at a flat rate of 4.95%. This is relatively low compared to the rest of the US, where the average effective state and local tax rates vary between 0% and 13.3%, depending on the state.


Housing Market

The housing market in Springfield, IL presents a unique opportunity for both renters and buyers. With a median home value significantly lower than the national average, it's an appealing market for prospective homeowners. Meanwhile, rental prices are competitive, offering affordable options for those not yet ready to buy. The cost of living also trends below the national average. However, growth rates are relatively slow, and the market is less competitive than larger, more active areas. Whether you're looking to rent or buy, a detailed study of the Springfield market compared to your needs and financial ability is crucial before making a decision.


Cost of Living

The cost of living in Springfield, IL is significantly lower than in many other cities across the United States. Housing is especially affordable, with median home prices well below the national average. Groceries, healthcare, and transportation also tend to be less expensive. However, income levels in Springfield are also lower, which balance out the lower expenses. Relative affordability makes Springfield an attractive option for those seeking to maximize their purchasing power, especially families and retirees. Overall, Springfield, IL offers a lower cost of living which can be an advantage depending on one's income level and lifestyle.


Weather & Natural Disasters

Springfield, IL experiences a humid continental climate, characterized by hot, humid summers and cold winters. Temperatures during summer peak around 86degF, while winters can be as low as 18degF. Rainfall is fairly spread throughout the year, with May being the wettest month. Severe weather incidents - such as thunderstorms, hailstorms, and tornadoes - are relatively common, primarily during spring and summer. In fact, Illinois is part of "tornado alley," attracting a significant amount of these windstorms. Additionally, the region is susceptible to blizzards in winter and occasional flooding along its rivers and streams. Despite the occasional extreme weather incidents, Springfield boasts a large number of sunny days and experiences all four distinct seasons, making it a place of rich natural beauty.

Typical weather in Springfield, IL

Economy & Job Market

Health Care and Social Assistance

Public Administration

Education Services, and Health Care and Social Assistance

Retail Trade

Manufacturing

Springfield, Illinois, known as the Land of Lincoln, has an economy deeply rooted in government, healthcare, and education, both in history and in today's world. The economy's bedrock is public administration, fitting for a city that serves as the state capital and boasts a rich political history. However, it's not all courtrooms and legislation; the city also teems with healthcare professionals, bustling hospitals, and committed social workers, making health and social assistance another key pillar of the local economy. Education services are another important player, and for those with a penchant for retail or manufacturing, there's a vibrant market for both!

If you're considering packing up your bags and heading to Springfield, you'll be thrilled to know the job market here is as welcoming as its midwestern charm! The city boasts an impressive employment rate aligned with national averages. With government services being the backbone of the city, positions within the public administration industry are abundant from working in the governor's office to city planning or even law enforcement. If focusing on healthcare is more your style, the hospitals, medical facilities and social work agencies might be your best bet. Education services also provide plenty of opportunities for those with a passion for knowledge and nurturing young minds. Lastly, don't discount the retail and manufacturing sectors. Whether it's running a storefront on the bustling Sixth Street or working with one of the local manufacturers, the possibilities are vast and varied.


Traffic and Transportation

Welcome to the heartbeat of Illinois, Springfield! Now buckle up, let's talk traffic and transportation. Typically, lucky ducks here in Springfield enjoy an average commute time of 15-20 minutes! Yep, you read that correctly. Say goodbye to road-rage-filled hours and hello to that extra cup of morning joe. Alternatively, breathe easy and go green with Springfield's public transportation options - provided by the Sangamon Mass Transit District (SMTD). Busses run frequent routes making public travel a breeze. But perhaps Illinois' horizon doesn't satisfy your wanderlust. No worries! The Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport is ready to whisk you away across the country with major airlines at your service. In the land of Lincoln, traveling is nothing but a sweet prairie breeze. So, do come and experience the charm of Illinois' capital and its hassle-free transport yourself!

What is the traffic like in Springfield, IL?

Best Neighborhoods in Springfield

1. Downtown Springfield

Let's kick off with the heart of the city! Known as the business and cultural hub of Springfield, IL, the downtown area is vibrant, lively, and carries a unique blend of modernism mixed with history. With the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Old Capitol Building nearby, history buffs will love this locality. But don't worry, adventurers! With unlimited fine dining, unique boutiques, and buzzing music festivals, you won't be out of your element. And those who dig the nightlife will fit right in with the scene is as lively as any. The community is as diverse as its offering, so get ready for an exciting ride if this is your chosen neighborhood!

2. Westchester

Westchester is the go-to neighborhood if you value lots of green spaces and an active lifestyle. Home to an abundance of parks, Westchester is perfect for families with children or pets, or anyone who loves to be outdoors, really. Westchester Community Park is a standout, along with the interconnecting bike trails that extend throughout the town. This warm and welcoming neighborhood gives off a classic suburban vibe but don't be fooled--there's plenty of shops, unique eateries, and entertainment options to keep you busy. The sense of community is palpable in Westchester: get ready to feel right at home as soon as you move in!

3. Jerome

Ever dreamed of a picturesque neighborhood, with well-maintained streets lined with beautiful houses and friendly neighbors? Welcome to Jerome! Considered to be one of the safest neighborhoods of Springfield, it's great for those looking for a peaceful atmosphere and strong community ties. Jerome also has convenient access to recreational amenities and excellent schools making it ideal for families and retirees alike. If tranquility, safety, and charm are what you're after, Jerome is the place for you.

4. Twin Lakes

Nature lovers, pack your bags because Twin Lakes is calling your name! Named after two adjacent lakes, this neighborhood offers a serene living space for residents who enjoy a blissful escape from the city's hustle-bustle. This suburb is characterized by luxurious single-family homes clustered around the lakes, with breathtaking views of natural beauty abounding. Plus, with opportunities for fishing, biking, or simply picnicking by the lake, you'll never run out of ways to enjoy the great outdoors!

5. Harvard Park

Harvard Park is a bustling, vivacious neighborhood with a mix of newly arrived young professionals, families, and long-time residents. The heart of this neighborhood is Harvard Park itself, providing a safe place for kids to play and community events to be held. The neighborhood proudly hosts fun-filled seasonal events that foster a robust sense of community. Bottom line? If you're seeking diversity, a strong community, and easy access to downtown, this unique blend makes Harvard Park a fantastic choice!

So, that's our whistle-stop tour of five desirable neighborhoods in Springfield, IL. Each has its own distinct flavor and unique offerings, so you are sure to find one that aligns with your lifestyle and needs. Happy moving, and welcome to your new home in Springfield!

Best neighborhoods in Springfield, IL image

Things to Do

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Springfield, IL is a delightful mix of historical richness, nature, and [contemporary fun](https://www.visitspringfieldillinois.com/ThingsToDo/Fun/). Whether you're a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or a foodie, this city has something for you. So, buckle up and let's explore seven must-experience things to do in the Land of Lincoln that will blow your socks off!

1. Immerse Yourself in History at Lincoln Home National Historic Site

The [Abraham Lincoln Home](https://www.nps.gov/liho/index.htm) is a must-visit on any Springfield itinerary. This is where the 16th U.S. President lived before he made his way to the White House. Take a guided tour, walk through the beautifully preserved rooms, and imagine what life was like for Lincoln in the mid-1800s.

2. Visit the "Wide-Open Spaces" at Adams Wildlife Sanctuary

If you need a break from city life, [Adams Wildlife Sanctuary](https://www.illinoisaudubon.org/places-to-go/sanctuaries/adams-wildlife-sanctuary/) is your perfect escape. This 40-acre sanctuary offers a network of walking trails through a diverse range of habitats including woodlands, prairies, and wetlands. Don't forget your binoculars for bird spotting!

3. Delight your Taste Buds with a Horseshoe Sandwich

No move to Springfield is complete without trying the city's signature horseshoe sandwich. But, what is it, you may ask? Picture this: a slice of toasted bread topped with your choice of meat, french fries, and slathered in delectable, creamy cheese sauce. Mmmm, bet you're hungry now!

4. Uncover Hidden History at the Lincoln Tomb and War Memorials

The [Lincoln Tomb](https://www2.illinois.gov/dnrhistoric/experience/sites/central/pages/lincoln-tomb.aspx), located in Oak Ridge Cemetery, is the final resting place of Abraham Lincoln, his wife, and three of their four sons. Also scattered throughout the tranquil grounds are numerous memorials to those who served in WWII, Vietnam, and Korea, creating a poignant and thought-provoking atmosphere.

5. Revel in the Art of Frank Lloyd Wright's Dana-Thomas House

Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture fans are in for a real treat. The [Dana-Thomas House](https://www.dana-thomas.org/), a meticulously preserved example of Wright's "Prairie School" style, provides an engaging and educational tour. This hidden gem is one of Springfield's best-kept secrets.

6. Exercise Your Retail Therapy at White Oaks Mall

If shopping's your thing, you won't want to miss a visit to [White Oaks Mall](https://www.simon.com/mall/white-oaks-mall). With over 115 stores and restaurants, it's the largest indoor mall in central Illinois. Don't forget to check out the local boutiques for a unique and personal shopping experience.

7. Experience the Quirkier Side at the Pharmacy Museum

And now for something completely different! Springfield's [Pharmacy Museum](http://www.pharmacyillinois.org/virtual%20tour/virtual_tour_start.htm) is an unusual and fascinating destination. It houses an extensive collection of pharmaceutical equipment and artifacts dating back to the 1800s. This oddity is not widely known, making it an exciting discovery for new locals and visitors alike.

Well, there you have it- the top must-see places and experiences in Springfield, IL. However, this list only scratches the surface of what the city offers. So, wear your adventure hat and take a leap into Springfield's intriguing harmony of [history, natural beauty, and contemporary lifestyle](https://www.visitspringfieldillinois.com/ThingsToDo/).Congratulations on your move, now get out there and start exploring!

' Things to do in Springfield, IL?

Find Movers for Your Springfield Relocation

Now that you're equipped with the essential guide to relocating to Springfield, IL, it's time to gear up for the next step. Whatever your moving needs, Great Guys Moving is here to facilitate the process by connecting you with reputable, insured, and licensed movers. This streamlined service permits quick and easy access to quality and affordable moving services that best fit your requirements. Your new chapter in Springfield is about to unfold, let us help you get there. Don't hesitate to request your free moving quote today and make your move to Springfield as smooth as possible.

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