Moving to Gary

Have you ever considered packing up your life and relocating to an exciting, emerging city? How about Gary, Indiana? Overlooked by many, but truly a speckled gem in a state touched by the Great Lakes. This industrious city, wrapped in natural beauty and steeped in rich culture and history, beckons welcomingly to those seeking new frontiers. Our comprehensive Gary relocation guide is your step-by-step roadmap to navigate the move seamlessly. Let's embark on this journey together as we uncover the hidden charms of Gary, making it not just an ordinary city... but your new home.

Moving to Gary, IN landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Gary

1. History and Culture Everywhere

First off, know that you'll be moving to a city steeped in history and culture. Gary, incorporated in 1906, was named after a founding chairman of the U.S. Steel Corporation. Beyond this rich industrial history, the city is also the birthplace of the iconic musical family The Jackson 5. Discover Gary's past in the heritage-rich neighborhoods and the local museums, including the Gary Historical and Cultural Society.

2. The Jewel of the Midwest - The Lakefront

Perhaps the biggest surprise in moving to Gary is discovering the city's incredibly beautiful beachfront. Gary, Indiana is snuggled up on the southern tip of Lake Michigan and home to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, a treasure trove of sandy beaches, hiking trails, and bird-watching opportunities. The city's Marquette Park is a favorite local haunt, perfect for family picnics, water sports, and soaking up the Midwestern sun.

3. Steel City Music Scene

Given its Jackson 5 heritage, it's not surprising that Gary has a booming music scene. The city's soulful rhythm can be felt in everything from local bars to large music festivals. Don't miss the annual Gary's Musical Festival, held in July at the Genesis Convention Center. The festival sees performances across various genres, including blues, gospel, jazz, and of course, some Motown influence. So polish off those dancing shoes!

4. You're Going to Love the Food

One cannot mention Gary without talking about the food scene! The city presents a melting pot of different culinary styles, as it is home to a diverse population. Culinary gems include ethnic favorites like Roxana's Restaurant that caters delicious European cuisine and Miller Bakery Cafe that serves American comfort food.

5. The Gary Aquatorium

Say what? An aquatorium, you ask? Yes, you read it correctly, welcome to one of Gary's little-known secrets. The Gary Aquatorium, originally built in 1921 as a bathhouse, has been beautifully restored and now houses a stunning event venue. With panoramic views of the lake and Chicago skyline, it's the perfect spot to admire the scenery.

6. The City is a Giant Canvas

One of the unique things you'll notice upon moving to Gary are the compelling murals that grace the sides of city buildings. These aren't random acts of graffiti, but part of the city's ongoing public art initiative. This ambitious project, Gary Public Art, enlists local artists to fill the city with thought-provoking and vibrant artwork. The initiative not only beautifies the city but also helps to spark conversation and foster community. Be prepared to turn a corner and come face-to-face with a towering, colorful masterpiece!

From its rich history and breathtaking lake views to a booming music scene and incredible food, Gary, Indiana has a lot to offer. As for those unexpected surprises, like aquatoriums and urban murals, those are just the icing on your welcome cake. So, pack your bags, your appetite, and your sense of adventure: it's time to make Gary your home!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Gary

Pros of Living in Gary

Proximity to Chicago

One of the benefits of living in Gary, Indiana, is its close proximity to the city of Chicago. It is just around 25 miles southeast of downtown Chicago. This allows for an easy commute for work or pleasure while avoiding the higher cost of living found in the big city.


Another advantage is the relatively low cost of living. Compared to national averages and especially to nearby cities like Chicago, Gary offers affordable housing and living expenses. This makes it an appealing place for individuals and families on a budget.

Outdoor Activities

Gary offers numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation. In particular, it's home to the Indiana Dunes National Park, which is great for hiking, camping, and water-based activities, providing an enjoyable weekend escape for residents.

Cultural Heritage

As the birthplace of the Jackson Five and a preserved site of U.S Steel's Gary Works, the city brims with rich cultural and industrial history. The city's emphasis on preserving and showcasing its history gives residents a sense of pride and place.

Revitalization Efforts

Over the past few years, the city has been making efforts to revitalize and improve. New developments and improvements to infrastructure indicate a bright future for residents and businesses.

Cons of Living in Gary

Economic Challenges

While the cost of living is low, Gary also faces some economic challenges. There is a high rate of unemployment and poverty in the city, which reflects in poor socioeconomic conditions.

Safety Concerns

Crime rate is an issue in Gary, and it's higher than the national average. It is advisable to research the safest neighborhoods in the city before considering a move.

Education Quality

The quality of public education can vary within the state, and some schools in Gary may not have the best ratings. This can be a concern for families with children moving to the city.

Lack of Amenities

Despite recent revitalization efforts, some areas of Gary are lacking in amenities like convenient grocery stores, restaurants, and shopping options. Depending on where you live in the city, amenities could be a driving distance away.

Urban Decay

Due to economic challenges in the past and a shrinking population, there are areas of Gary struggling with urban decay, including abandoned buildings and lots. This can detract from the overall aesthetics and feel of the city.

Modern day picture of Gary, IN highlighting pros and cons of living in Gary, IN

Is Gary a Good Place to Live?

Gary, IN is a great place to live because of its strong sense of community, cost-effective living, and close proximity to Chicago. It's a place that wears its rich industrial history with pride and boasts beautiful natural landscapes such as the Indiana Dunes. Moreover, its burgeoning arts scene and evolving culinary world are quickly making Gary an exciting place to call home.

What Is Gary Famous For?

Birthplace of the Jackson 5

One of the things that Gary, IN is famous for is being the birthplace of one of the most notable American pop bands, The Jackson 5. This band included the king of pop himself, Michael Jackson. Their childhood home still stands in Gary and attracts fans from around the world.

The Steel City

Gary, Indiana, is often referred to as the "Steel City" because of its long history with the steel industry. Established by the United States Steel Corporation in 1906, Gary's economy was primarily driven by the steel mills, and at one time, it was the largest in the world.

Indiana Dunes National Park

While not directly in Gary, the Indiana Dunes National Park is a major draw within the immediate area. More than two million people visit this Midwest treasure on the southern shore of Lake Michigan each year. It brims with beautiful dunes, paths, beaches, and diverse wildlife.

Gary's Architectural Marvels

The city of Gary is known for its notable architecture, particularly its majestic churches and the beautifully designed buildings downtown. One such iconic building is the Genesis Convention Center, which boasts an impressive Brutalist architectural style and hosts numerous events every year.

Capital building of Gary, IN in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

The current property tax rate for residents in Gary, IN as of 2023 is 1.78%, which is relatively high compared to the national average of 1.07%.

Sales Tax

Gary's sales tax rate stands at 7% in 2023. This rate is slightly lower than the national median sales tax rate which is around 7.12%.

Income Tax

Income tax in Gary, IN follows Indiana's state rate of 3.23% as of 2023. Compared to other states, this is quite low- the highest state income tax rate as of 2023 is held by California, with a rate of 13.3%.

Housing Market

Compared to other regions in the US, Gary, IN's housing market offers relatively affordable options for renters and buyers. The median home price is approximately $67,000, significantly lower than the national average of $231,200. For renters, the median monthly rent in Gary is about $745, in sharp contrast to the national median of $1,012. However, prospective residents should note the area's higher-than-average crime rates and lower employment opportunities. Though housing may be budget-friendly, it's crucial to consider these other factors to ensure a safe and comfortable living experience.

Cost of Living

Despite witnessing economic challenges, Gary, IN remains one of the most affordable cities in the United States. The overall cost of living is significantly lower than the national average, primarily due to housing prices which are amongst the lowest in the country. However, Gary's affordability comes with challenges including high unemployment and crime rates. Compared to cities with similar population, the cost of living in Gary is relatively low, making it an appealing prospect for those seeking a lower cost lifestyle. The quality and cost of living should be considered together when evaluating life in Gary.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Located in the Great Lakes region, Gary, Indiana has a humid continental climate characterized by hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. Average high temperatures peak in the mid-80s Fahrenheit in the summer, dropping to the low 30s in winter. The city is known for its significant snowfall, receiving an average of 40 inches per year. Gary is also susceptible to a wide range of natural disasters, including blizzards, floods, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. The city's proximity to the southern tip of Lake Michigan brings lake-effect snow in the winter and can contribute to the severe weather in the warmer months. Despite this, Gary's climate offers distinct, beautiful seasons, with vibrant autumns and balmy summers, making it a city of year-round natural beauty.

Typical weather in Gary, IN

Economy & Job Market

* Steel Manufacturing

* Healthcare

* Education

* Retail Trade

* Transportation and Warehousing

Often dubbed "Steel City", Gary, IN has a rich industrial history, largely hinged on its steel manufacturing legacy. Grit and grind are baked into Gary - and its U.S. Steel Gary Works plant is testimony to that, still standing as one of the country's largest steel mills. Today, while maintaining its roots in steel manufacturing, the city's economy has impressively diversified. Healthcare, education, retail trade, and transportation and warehousing are other key pillars underpinning Gary's economy. Hospitals and schools abound in this city, buzzing with eager minds ready to heal and teach. Meanwhile, retail stores are keeping the city's pulse racing showing the power of commerce and individual entrepreneurship.

If you're toting your suitcase to Gary, shop around for your dream job without fret! The city offers a relatively equal balance between blue-collar and white-collar jobs. Unemployment rate trends slightly above the national average, but don't let that deter you; it simply means more motivation to hone your skills and get competitive. Steel may still reign supreme, but there's no limit to explore, with healthcare and education sectors, particularly, constantly on a talent hunt. Various retail trades and transportation jobs are also up for grabs, owing to the city's strategic location on Lake Michigan with its bustling ports. Gary is eager for your input and innovation. Put on your game-face and dive into this down-to-earth, industrious city; who knows, you might be the next ingredient making Gary shine!

Traffic and Transportation

Travelling in Gary, IN? Buckle up for a trip that's easy-peasy! Navigating our humble city is smooth sailing. With an average commute time of 25.9 minutes, Gary is a whisker below the U.S. average. We'd say that's not too shabby! Need to hop around town? You're covered, with our fabulous public transportation option - the Gary Public Transportation Corporation (GPTC). This trusty service assures you a fun ride across a variety of routes. If you're more of an international jet-setter, the Gary/Chicago International Airport awaits, just minutes from downtown. You can catch regular charter flights or go posh with private aviation services. In Gary, your journey is always as enjoyable as your destination!

What is the traffic like in Gary, IN?

Best Neighborhoods in Gary


1. Miller Beach

Are you a beach bum at heart? Start packing because Miller Beach is just the place for you! This artsy neighborhood has Gary's most beautiful beach at its doorstep and is practically dripping with charm. It's known for its unique collection of galleries, quaint boutiques, and an eclectic mix of dining options. Plus, it's smack-dab on the southern shores of Lake Michigan which means... hello, breathtaking lake views! Miller Beach's residents are a close-knit bunch, so expect plenty of community events and festivals throughout the year.

2. Emerson

If you appreciate history and architecture, you'll love the Emerson neighborhood. One of the city's oldest communities, this area boasts stately houses and historical buildings just ripe for exploring. Emerson showcases a harmonious blend of a rich historical past and an energetic present day. Think ivy-covered walls, picturesque parks perfect for afternoon strolls, and a community committed to revitalization and preservation. It's an absolute paradise for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike!

3. Aetna

Imagine being surrounded by lush green nature every day. Sounds dreamy, doesn't it? Welcome to Aetna, a neighborhood set amidst some stunning natural backdrops including the gorgeous Gibson Woods Nature Preserve. With trails you can get lost in, vibrant flora, and an almost constant serenade by birds, this neighborhood is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Aetna enjoys a diverse community that does their utmost to preserve and celebrate the natural beauty of the area.

4. Downtown Gary

Downtown Gary is where the magic happens! It's vibrant, it's energetic, and it sure knows how to party. With its tantalizing mix of restaurants, shopping outlets, and nightclubs, the downtown area offers some of the best urban living we've seen. The neighborhood displays spectacular street art that gives it a dynamic, edgy vibe. The best part? It's all conveniently walkable! Folks in Downtown Gary are ardent supporters of local businesses and take pride in their active urban community.

5. Ambridge Mann

No list of Gary's best neighborhoods would be complete without Ambridge Mann. Known for its peaceful, tree-lined streets and friendly, welcoming community, it's a neighborhood that feels a lot like home. The residents of Ambridge Mann are known for their community spirit, where neighborhood cookouts and block parties are commonplace. It's the perfect place for families who want a tight-knit community with a sublime suburban feel.

Each neighborhood in Gary, Indiana has a distinct personality and a different slice of life to offer. Whether it's the artistic and beachy vibes of Miller Beach, the historical enchantment of Emerson, the natural paradise of Aetna, the walkable city life in Downtown Gary, or the close-knit, suburban ideal of Ambridge Mann, I hope you find the perfect fit in one of these stellar neighborhoods. Welcome to Gary!

' Best neighborhoods in Gary, IN image

Things to Do

Welcome to Gary, Indiana - a city with a rich history, vibrant culture, and countless attractions that are sure to keep both new residents and visitors on their toes. From local gastronomical treats to charming off-the-beaten-path activities, here are seven must-try activities to help you get to know the city better. Read on and have fun exploring your new home!

1. Step back in time at the Gary Aquatorium

The Gary Aquatorium is a true architectural gem that provides a stunning view of Lake Michigan. Here, you can also learn about local heroes and their contributions through informative displays. It's rich in history and perfect for a relaxing day by the beach.

2. Taste delectable pierogis at Miller's Bakery

When in Gary, a visit to Miller's Bakery for a taste of their mouth-watering pierogis is a must. The bakery has been the city's long-standing institution, offering a wide variety of baked goods, but the pierogis have truly become legendary amongst locals and newcomers alike.

3. Experience the thrill at Majestic Star Casino

Feeling lucky? Then head over to Majestic Star Casino! With hundreds of slot machines and table games, you're certain to have a thrilling time. Don't forget to check out their fantastic dining options too!

4. Support local artisans at Lake Street Gallery

If you're a fan of local arts and crafts, a visit to the Lake Street Gallery is a must. Here, you can find unique handmade goods created by talented local artisans along with regular exhibitions on various art forms. It's a great way to support the local community and bring home a piece of Gary.

5. Explore the unknown at Adam Benjamin Metro Center

Experience something unique and less known to most people by visiting the Adam Benjamin Metro Center. This multi-use facility offers access to public transportation, along with a variety of health and recreation services. It's an interesting blend of utilitarian function and community gathering spot, presenting a different side of Gary's personality.

6. Delve into the past at Gary Historical & Cultural Society

Learn about the city's history and culture at Gary Historical & Cultural Society. Their collection of artifacts and photographs offer an intimate look into Gary's past, and the staff's deep knowledge of the city is sure to engage history buffs.

7. Discover urban nature in Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education

Last but not least, discover the beauty of urban nature at the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education. Part of the Indiana Dunes National Park, it offers hands-on nature experiences with exhibits, trails, and workshops - a truly hidden gem in the city!

There you have it, seven unique and exciting ways to experience all that Gary, Indiana has to offer. So, don your explorer's hat, soak in the city's charm, and make the most of your move. Welcome to Gary-we know you're going to love calling this town home!

Things to do in Gary, IN?

Find Movers for Your Gary Relocation

As your journey brings you towards the vibrant city of Gary, IN, Great Guys Moving is ready to support your venture. Embrace this new chapter by starting it right - let us assist you with the logistical challenges you face. Great Guys Moving has made a name through fostering partnerships with the industry's most reliable movers known for quality service and affordable rates. We connect you swiftly with movers capable of meeting your unique needs - all licensed, insured, and ready to deliver. Make your move to Gary as smooth as possible and request your free moving quote with Great Guys Moving today.

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