Chicago is lively and vibrant. A culture-rich hot spot.
With relatively inexpensive housing costs, excellent food, museums, and heritage – not to mention sprawling freshwater beaches – Chicago may just have it all.
It also boasts a robust economy which makes it an in-demand business destination, both nationally and internationally.
We understand that finding temporary housing for employees in an unfamiliar city is overwhelming – especially in one as big as Chicago – so we’re here to make it easier.
We’re treating you to a birds-eye view of the city. Helping you get the lay of the land by showcasing the best of Chicagoland – zooming in on various neighborhoods as well as fun things to see and do.
Making it easy to find the perfect corporate housing for you or your employees.
Let’s break your search down like this:
- Know what you’re looking for
- Downtown neighborhoods
- Suburban neighborhoods
- Common cost of living factors
- Corporate housing costs
- Save money and cut overhead on corporate housing
- Things to do
- Emergency services
You’re going to love Chicago. Let’s dive in!
Know What You’re Looking For
Before beginning the search for temporary housing solutions, consider your employees’ needs. You want to factor in things like:
- Proximity to work
- Amenities, such as in-unit washers, fully furnished digs (including dishes and fresh, clean linens), high-speed wi-fi, and walking distance to deep-dish pizza
- Lifestyle perks, such as fitness center and – yes, again – walking distance to deep-dish pizza
We’re looking at some of the most favored neighborhoods, and briefly touch on what’s typically associated with each one.
Popular Downtown Chicago Neighborhoods
Because the windy city is such a popular business destination, there is no shortage of corporate housing and short-term housing solutions available.
At Travelers Haven, our goal is to find you and your team the perfect short-term furnished apartment or suitable option in the Chicago area.
Our team takes your must-haves and uses that to find the perfect temporary housing solution, wherever you’re doing business.
Wicker Park – The Place to Be
Wicker Park is one of those neighborhoods that make people fall in love with city life. It’s loaded with cool boutiques and vintage stores. There’s a variety of artisan coffee shops, clubs, art, and bars.
It’s got that up-and-coming vibe – that influx of energy and creativity – that leads to cutting-edge restaurants and small venues showcasing the best live music. It’s eclectic and hip. These factors make the resident demographic predominantly young working professionals.
Bucktown – Working Professionals
Bucktown is adjacent to Wicker Park and has some of the same feel mixed with a little less city and a little more ‘burb.
It’s chill, yet still very walkable and enjoyable.
Here you’ll find Chicago’s newest park The 606, which follows 2.7 miles of the old rail line through beautiful green space.
Bucktown is near enough the action without being as fast-paced.
Streeterville – Tourists & Business Professionals
Located north of downtown bordering Lake Michigan, Streeterville is composed of a mix of tourists and locals. There’s a high concentration of things to do here, from sightseeing to listening to jazz.
It’s where the Navy Pier, Chicago’s most visited summer tourist attraction, is located. A place where you’ll find food, a Ferris wheel, great people-watching, and fun.
The dense urban development of this area is offset with parks and, of course, the lake, so it’s easy to get away from it all without really going anywhere at all.
Lakeview – Nightclubs, Sports, and Views
Close to downtown and about a block away from Lake Michigan, Lake View is a rare treat. It has some of the best nightclubs the city has to offer, and is home to the Wrigley Field ballpark.
With all that, it still has a somewhat laid-back vibe, and most of the residents are young professionals in their 20s and 30s.
River North – World-Class Art and Culture
Showcasing the most art galleries anywhere outside of Manhattan, this is where the art and design folk convene by day. At night, this neighborhood stays awake long after the stroke of midnight and is known as the place where Chicago’s single residents gather.
Here you’ll find the Chicago House of Blues, comedy clubs, and a massive gym that stretches across two city blocks.
Like the other urban areas, accessing public transportation in this area is relatively pain-free.
The Loop – Business
Saved the best for last, did we?
All roads lead to Rome, and all of Chicago’s public transportation tracks lead here: The Loop.
Coined “the heartbeat of Chicago,” The Chicago Loop is where most of the business action is.
It’s home to some of Chicago’s finest cultural institutions and offers the perfect blend of beautiful parks and river walks combined with restaurants and stores galore.
Residents don’t even need to own a car — everything they could possibly need is within walking distance.
It’s home to Millennium Park and the glass viewing ledge on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower.
Popular Suburban Neighborhoods
City life isn’t for everyone, and Chicago has some suburban destinations that are close to the city, but have the added benefit of being quieter, leaning more toward that whole ‘people should sleep at night’ mentality.
Located 40 minutes from the city center, Buffalo Grove is much more tranquil. The housing consists of new development, as well as updated Colonial homes and Craftsman-style dwellings.
The school districts are well-ranked, and there are some beautiful parks and other outdoor recreation-friendly places, including Buffalo Grove Golf.
And it wouldn’t be Chicago without a variety of restaurants now, would it? Buffalo Grove has numerous eateries to choose from.
Because it’s near Northwestern University, Evanston is a suburban environment with a college town feel. Ever beautiful with renovated Victorian homes and bungalows, the streets are friendly whether you’re on foot or bike. Plus, it’s near to public transportation that whisks you into the city, about a 30-minute drive away.
With stunning views of Lake Michigan, residents of Evanston can mosey down to Greenwood Street Beach to swim or rent kayaks.
There are books stores, museums, and a weekly farmers market among the restaurants and bars that traditionally appeal to the college crowd.
Costs: What to Expect
Chicago is ranked as the 11th most expensive city in the USA, which isn’t bad considering it’s the 3rd largest.
Additional expenses such as groceries aren’t exorbitant, and depending on your diet, a month of groceries may cost $300. Because of the plethora of restaurants, you may want to factor eating out into your budget. Additionally, the sales tax is 10.25%, and restaurants charge a 0.5% restaurant tax on top of that.
Public transportation is relatively inexpensive; a 30-day pass for busses and trains comes in at $75.
Chicago Corporate Housing Costs
Corporate housing rentals usually start at around $1,600 for a month’s rate.
Chicago corporate apartments run the gamut from basic to high-end corporate suites boasting top-notch business centers and other amenities.
There are a lot of Airbnb rentals too. They work for a shorter stay, but long term, those can be a hassle.
Simplify Corporate Housing
At Travelers Haven, our goal is to find you the perfect living space that checks off all your boxes at the best price possible. We custom furnish it to your needs, too.
With a huge inventory to choose from, you can customize furnishings and amenities down to the very last detail.
Unlike traditional corporate housing, which is primarily concentrated in big cities, we have suburban and rural locations, so no matter where you’re doing business in Chicago, we’ll help you find the perfect home.
Oh, and we offer convenient bundled billing, too.
Due to our on-demand model and extensive vendor relationships, we receive valuable discounts that we pass on to our customers. We then just charge a small fee for the services we provide.
Things to Do
Business travelers who have more than a couple of weeks in Chicago, be grateful. No matter what you’re into, you’re guaranteed to find it — and more — and will need some time to explore.
Here are some wonderful things to do, but be aware we’re just scratching the surface.
Chicago has a ton of museums, 67 to be exact. It’s easy to get lost in the Hyde Park Museum of Science and Industry or spend a day in the Field Museum of Natural History.
There are art museums galore. If you’re up for it, be sure to stop by The International Museum of Surgical Science. It’s exactly what it sounds like.
Architecture River Cruise
Give your legs a break and enjoy Chicago’s famous architecture via a river cruise.
Departing from either Michigan Avenue or Navy Pier, Shoreline Sightseeing offers a fun, low-key way to sightsee. View over 40 landmarks, and hear the stories behind them. Drinks and snacks are available to sip and munch as you take it all in.
See Live Music
Did you know Chicago is considered the jazz capital of the world and is where “boogie-woogie” was injected into the blues?
It doesn’t stop there.
No matter what genre you’re into, there are over 30 live music venues, from little hole-in-the-wall joints to venues that have become household names.
No matter where you go though, each venue is equally noteworthy (pun intended).
Go to a Comedy Show
Many comedians and SNL sketch artists got their start in Chicago.
The Second City, located on the historic N Wells St., not only presents hilarious shows seven nights a week, but it also offers classes!
It’s always a good time and is conveniently located in Old Town, a Victorian German neighborhood from the 1850s (before the Great Chicago Fire).
If food is the way to your heart, prepare to fall in love.
Barbeque, pizza, southern cooking, and international cuisine …
With so much competition, Chicago chefs work extra hard to keep you coming back, whether it’s to a food truck or Michelin star experience.
Unsure of where to eat? Stroll down the magnificent mile — the heart of Chicago’s culinary scene — and let your stomach make the decision for you.
And, of course, there are more than enough places to drink and make merry, too. With craft breweries, distilleries, cool pubs, and bars everywhere, you’ll always have a fantastic time meeting new friends after work.
Chill in a Park
If the hustle and bustle get to be too much, know that in Chicago, a quiet park is just moments away.
Lincoln Park (named after one of Illinois’ famous residents, not the band bearing the same name) stretches 6.5 miles along the lakeshore. With walking trails, a skatepark, basketball hoops, and a golf course, there are more than enough ways to unwind, regardless of whether you choose to do it on a picnic blanket or not.
Go to the Beach
Many people don’t associate Chicago with beaches which is odd, since it has so many. Columbia Beach is a hidden gem with full cityscape views, minus the crowds.
Play some rounds of golf at the South Shore Beach — full-lake views with a country club vibe.
Stay Up Late
We’ve covered music venues, but that’s not all there is. Chicago has a relatively young demographic which probably explains its many nightclubs.
For an urgent emergency, please dial 911.
Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) supports public safety and responds to citizens in distress round the clock, 365 days a year. Their dedicated dispatchers coordinate with citywide departments, such as the police and fire departments.
Further reading: What is a Corporate Lease?
We hope you’re excited; we’re excited for you!
If you want more of our expertise, give us a call.
At Travelers Haven, we have a huge inventory of housing options. That, combined with our ability to simplify the process (get things arranged quickly and easily at discounted rates), means all you have to do is let us know where you’re going and what you’re looking for.