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10 Things to Know Before Moving to Springfield, IL

10 Things to Know Before Moving to Springfield, IL Written by Allie Gardner

Springfield is not just the second-largest city in Illinois but also the state capital. This city is always bustling with visitors because it was Lincoln’s home.

Springfield is a great place to settle down if you’re looking for a city that combines suburban amenities with a low cost of living, low housing prices, and a wide range of cultural offerings. It has above-average public schools and is home to numerous highly regarded educational institutions. Many people, especially those with families, find the city’s pleasant summers and chilly winters to be quite ideal.

Here are ten things to know before moving to Springfield, IL!

1. Springfield is the hometown of Abraham Lincoln

Springfield was once the home of one of the nation’s most beloved presidents. When traveling to or settling in this state known as the “Land of Lincoln,” many people make a point of visiting the New Salem Historic Village, the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, the Lincoln-Herndon Law Office, the Old State Capitol, the Lincoln Tomb, the Lincoln Depot, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, and the various “Here I Have Lived” exhibits located throughout the city. 

Also, you can meet (and take photos with) actors portraying Lincoln or even statues of the entire Lincoln family, in addition to seeing all these locations.

2. The city has a great biking system

Really dislike having to drive everywhere? The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) created and maintains miles of bike routes leading into and out of the city, so you won’t have to worry about getting lost. These paths, which often make use of unused sections of abandoned railroads, are constantly expanding and improving to resemble a roadway system reserved only for bikes and pedestrians. 

The Interurban Trail, Lost Bridge Trail, Bunn to Lost Bridge Trail, Wabash Trail, and Sangamon Valley Trail are all examples.

3. Don’t miss the Oakridge Cemetery

Oakridge Cemetery, which was founded in the 1860s, is the largest municipal cemetery in the state. Every year, one million people pay their respects at the graves of President Abraham Lincoln, First Lady Mary Lincoln, and three of their four sons, Edward, William, and Thomas (the fourth son, Robert, is buried in Arlington National Cemetery). 

The Tomb has been designated as a National Historic Landmark and is included in the United States’s list of Historic Places. The state memorials for World War II, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War are all located in the cemetery as well.

4. The nightlife scene is relaxing yet fun

Springfield’s nightlife scene is the perfect blend of relaxation and excitement that will leave you wanting more. The nightlife scene in this city is a true reflection of its unique vibe and preferences. You’ll find a plethora of cozy pubs, charming taverns, and trendy bars that are perfect for a night out with friends.

However, if you’re looking for a wild night of dancing to techno beats, you might have to search a little harder. If you’re looking for a good time, check out the Celtic Mist Pub, Norb Andy’s, the Brewhaus, Floyd’s Thirst Parlor, Freebirds Tavern, Capital City Bar & Grill and DH Brown. 

5. The city has a thriving arts council

The city council of Springfield recognizes the importance of fostering a creative community. It shows its support for the arts by sponsoring events like the “First Night” celebration on December 31 and the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest, which is presented in collaboration with the Illinois Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation. 

Additionally, it has art shows, free public concerts, and even an “Adult Prom.”

6. The cost of living is 25% lower than the national average

Springfield has one of the lowest cost of living averages in the state. The city has a cost of living index of 75, which is 25% less than the average for the United States (100). 

When compared to other densely populated locations of the state, such as Chicago, Naperville, or Aurora, real estate costs in Springfield are far more affordable. Compared to the rest of the country, housing expenses are far lower, but almost everything else is about the same price. The city has a median home price of  $136,874.

7. The city enjoys all four seasons

In Springfield, winter highs average around 46 degrees Fahrenheit, while lows average around 21 degrees Fahrenheit, with the coldest months being between the months of November and February. The spring season will be wet and chilly at times. Storms are also common in the late afternoons during the hot and sunny summers. 

Late May through late September are the warmest months, with July being the warmest overall. Temperatures in July typically reach highs of 85 degrees Fahrenheit and dip to lows of 66 degrees. The excessive humidity during this time of year can be unpleasant if you aren’t used to it. As the leaves on the trees change from green to gold, autumn is a gorgeous season with warm temperatures. You can expect some quite pleasant fall days despite the clear, crisp air that gives a glimpse of the coming winter.

8. Springfield is the Chilli Capital of the World

Springfield was named the “Chilli Capital of the Civilized World” by the state senate in 1993.  The origin of the extra “l” is unclear; some point to the 1909 misspelling on the sign of the Dew Chilli Parlor, while others think it refers to the “Ill” in “Illinois.”

 Either way, the Dew Chilli Parlor is the best spot to get chili, and their new food truck makes it much easier to do so.

9. Attend the Route 66 Mother Road Festival

Famous Route 66 passes through Springfield, bringing tourists and providing entertainment for locals alike. 

Every year in late September, Springfield presents the Route 66 Mother Road Festival to honor America’s Main Street. The Route 66 Twin Drive-In Theater, the Cozy Drive-In, Die Cast Auto Sales, the Pig Hip Restaurant, and Shea’s Gas Station Museum are well-known stops along the historic highway.

10. Springfield is a college town

Higher education has a strong foothold in Springfield because of the presence of several universities and colleges, including the University of Illinois Springfield, Benedictine University at Springfield, Robert Morris University, Southern Illinois University, St. John’s College, and Lincoln Land Community College.

 The cultural, artistic, and social life of the region benefits from the presence of these universities.

In Conclusion

Springfield has a lot to offer, from its low cost of living to excellent higher education opportunities. The city’s festivals and events are a mark of its rich history and culture. If you’d love to live in a town where history thrives to the fullest, Springfield is just the place for you.  

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