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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Peoria, IL

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Named after the Peoria tribe, the city of Peoria is located on the Illinois River and is the seventh most populated city in the state of Illinois. Once thought of as the perfect representation of the average American city, Peoria was considered the heart of the American Midwest both culturally and economically and was central to American mainstream culture in the early part of the century.

Peoria is the largest city that is located on the Illinois River and it was founded in 1691 by the French explorer Henri de Tonti, making it the oldest European settlement in the state of Illinois. The name of the city is derived from the Native American word "pim-e-ti-we" which means "fat lake" and it has a sister city in Arizona because the two men that founded Peoria, Arizona wanted to name it after their hometown back in Illinois.

This guide will provide you with a good deal of helpful information about the city of Peoria and you can find just about anything you need to know about the city's schools, neighborhoods and employment market if you're planning on making the move to Peoria in the near future.

Peoria Climate

Cold winters and warm summers characterize the humid continental climate of Peoria. Minor fluctuations in temperature, humidity, cloudiness, and wind direction are observed habitually. The spring and fall seasons feature comfortably warm sunny days and a crisp breeze, and are considered a pleasant time to visit Peoria.

The weather in the city is typical of most Midwest cities in this region, and is also influenced by Lake Michigan, which moderates the temperature and boosts the snowfall for the city significantly during the winter months.

Peoria Neighborhoods

The city of Peoria borders the Illinois River on the east side of town, and four bridges span the river connecting Peoria to East Peoria, which lies on the other side of the river. Bartonville and West Peoria are located to the south of the city's western border. The city of Peoria has plans to expand northwest in the coming years and has grown steadily in the past decade, with new neighborhoods springing up in all areas of the city.

The downtown area of Peoria is by far the busiest part of town, with corporate, government, educational and medical facilities. The bustling downtown area is also home to the Peoria Civic Center and a blossoming arts and culture scene. Adding to the big-city feel of downtown Peoria are the many high-rise residential developments that have gone up around the city, including condominiums, apartments, and riverfront lofts with a view overlooking the Illinois River. Grandview Drive is a road that runs through Peoria and was once called the "world's most beautiful drive" by former president Theodore Roosevelt.

Living Costs in the City

The city of Peoria has a moderate cost of living, which is much lower than the cost of a bigger city like Chicago, but slightly higher than average. The median family income of Peoria residents is $61,510 and the median home price is $117,500. The job growth in Peoria is certainly nothing to write home about though, and like much of the country, the city has struggled with creating new jobs in the past few years. According to CNN Money the city's job growth is currently at a rate of 1.27%.

Compared to the national average job growth of24.63%, Peoria has run into much of the same problem that many moderately sized Midwestern cities have witnessed since the recession, which is generating new jobs and employment opportunities. This situation can make things difficult if you are going to be moving to the city without a job. Because of this low figure, it might be a wise idea to procure employment before making your move to Peoria, or else it would be best to seek employment elsewhere in a neighboring town or city.

Registering Your Car

Upon your arrival in Illinois after moving to the state permanently, you have a total of 30 days to update your registration and have your vehicle registered in the state before you may be required to pay a penalty.

An Illinois Driver's License can be obtained at any Illinois DMV location. The state requires new Illinois residents to update their license from their previous state to an Illinois driver's license within 90 days of moving. If you fail to update your driver's license within this 90-day window, you may have to pay a fine. Also, there is a $10 fee to update your driver's license.

Peoria Moving Resources

Moving and storage companies are ready and willing to help you with your move to Peoria, whether you're moving from out of state or from another county in Illinois. Make sure you get estimates from multiple moving services before you commit to hiring any (at least three estimates). Check back to our guides for tips on how to choose your moving service wisely with important questions to ask, differentiating between types of estimates, and mistakes to avoid. Visit the following pages at Movers.com to get quotes for the following services:

Peoria Schools

A total of four public school district serve the residents of Peoria, including the Peoria Public Schools District 150, the Dunlap Community Unit School District 323, Limestone Community School District 310 and Peoria Heights School District 325. Peoria Public Schools District 150 is the largest of all the districts in the city and serves the majority of the city with dozens of elementary schools and middle schools and three public high schools that include Richwoods High School, Manual High School and Peoria High School (Central), which owns the distinction of being the oldest high school in the state of Illinois.

There are also several private schools located throughout the city, including Concordia Lutheran School, Peoria Academy, Christ Lutheran School, and Peoria Notre Dame High School, among many others.

As for the city's institutes of higher education, Bradley University, Methodist College, the Downtown and North campuses of Illinois Central College, Midstate College, Robert Morris University and the University Of Illinois School Of Medicine have campuses in the city.

Peoria Employment

Peoria is the home of the corporate headquarters of Caterpillar, Inc. which is one of the 30 companies that comprise the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The city has a rich industrial history, dating back to the 1830s when John Hamlin opened his flour mill. Since then, companies like Archer Daniels Midland, Komatsu America Corporation, Maui Jim and Bergner's have made Peoria their home.

Peoria was also one of the first world leaders in the distilling industry in the earlier part of the 19th century. In fact, Peoria was home to at least 22 different distilleries as well as multiple breweries and they earned the distinction of producing the highest amount of internal revenue tax on alcohol of any district in the entire United States. Things have changed since then, however, and now Peoria is more well-known for its emerging companies in the equipment manufacturing industry, including the aforementioned Caterpillar and Komatsu America.

Public Transportation

The Peoria metropolitan area is served by three major interstate highways, Interstate 74, Interstate 474 and Interstate 155. Also, a public bus service run by the Greater Peoria Mass Transit District currently operates in Peoria, along with 10 different railroad services. Daily commercial flights are available out of the General Wayne Downing Peoria International Airport, located nearby.

The Greater Peoria Mass Transit District operates a total of 21 different bus routes throughout the city. The bus routes, which are often referred to as CityLink, also connect Peoria residents to Illinois Central College, as well as other neighboring towns like East Peoria, Peoria Heights, West Peoria, and all points between Peoria and Pekin.

In addition to the General Wayne Downing Peoria International Airport, there is also Mount Hawley Auxiliary Airport, which is used for general aviation purposes, as well as Pekin Municipal Airport, located across the Illinois River in Pekin.

Culture and Contemporary Life

Peoria is home to several great museums like the Lakeview Museum for the Arts and Sciences and the Wheels o' Time Museum. Recently, in 2012, the city opened up a new area called Museum Square, which contains a brand new regional museum, a planetarium, and the Caterpillar World Visitors Center.

One of the best annual events held in Peoria is the Steamboat Classic, which is the world's largest four-mile race and is held in the town every summer. If running is not your cup of tea, there's always the great performing arts scene to keep you busy. You can visit the Peoria Symphony Orchestra and catch a show from the 10th oldest symphony orchestra in the nation.

If history is your thing, you're in luck as there are over 20 registered historic places located within the city limits of Peoria and you'll find everything from the old Peoria City Hall to the Peoria Mineral Springs and the Pere Marquette Hotel. You can also catch some minor league hockey and minor league baseball, with the Peoria Rivermen and the Peoria Chiefs in town.

Moving to Peoria

Whatever your reasons for moving to Peoria, whether it be for a change of scenery or for employment, the city beckons you with its charm. The first step in the process of moving to Peoria is choosing a moving company after first checking their BBB ratings, insurance and license. The moving rates are charged by the hour if you are moving within the state boundary, while for a long distance move the charges will depend on the total weight or volume in cubic feet of your belongings. In the latter case, you can ask about a flat rate or any special discounts that are available with the mover.

Robert Moreschi  Posted by Robert Moreschi on May 16, 2013

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