Considered one of the best places to live in the state of Illinois, Springfield is the ultimate suburban escape. It’s best known as the home of Abraham Lincoln before he moved into the White House. Oh, and we obviously can’t forget The Simpsons! So, if you’re looking for a room to rent in Springfield, here’s everything you need to know about the capital of Illinois.
Getting to know Springfield, IL
Springfield is the capital of the U.S. state of Illinois and the county seat and largest city of Sangamon County. Present-day Springfield was settled by European Americans in the late 1810s, around the time Illinois became a state.
The most famous historic resident of Springfield is Abraham Lincoln. He lived here from 1837 until 1861 when he went to the White House as President. So, some of the most popular tourist attractions you will find here are museums dedicated to the legacy of Abraham Lincoln.
Specifically, the city lies in a valley and plain near the Sangamon River. The weather in Springfield is also fairly typical for middle latitude locations. There are four distinct seasons, including hot summers and cold winters.
Finding rooms for rent in Springfield, IL
The main Springfield area is also based on a handy grid street system, with numbered streets starting with the longitudinal First Street. This part of the city leads to the Illinois State Capitol. Then further into 32nd Street in the far eastern part of the city. Before, the city had four distinct boundary streets. These included: North, South, East, and West Grand Avenues. Since the expansion, West Grand Avenue became MacArthur Boulevard. And then East Grand became 19th Street on the north side, and 18th Street on the south side.
Springfield has at least twenty separately designated neighborhoods, though not all are incorporated with associations. Additionally, Springfield encompasses four different suburban villages that have their own municipal governments. They include Jerome, Leland Grove, Southern View, and Grandview. It’s known as a very ethnically diverse city, with notable ancestries of people here including German, Irish, English, Italian and French.
If you’re ready to move here and are looking for rooms to rent in Springfield, here are the top neighborhoods in the city!
Top neighborhoods in Springfield, IL
If you’re a young adult moving to Springfield for work or school, you may want to consider finding a room for rent in Downtown, Springfield. Downtown’s close to restaurants and other fun activities. With a walk score of 77, it’s the most walkable neighborhood in the city. While it does have a high walk score and a bike score of 44, most downtown residents claim it’s still necessary to have a car. Interstate 55 runs north-south intersecting east-west highway 97 right in the middle of downtown.
The Old State Capitol building, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, and Museum, and HSHS St. John’s Hospital are downtown. There isn’t a lot of housing available downtown, and except for Springfield High School, schools rate below average.
Enos Park is directly north of downtown and encompasses 36 square blocks of homes and businesses. It was known as the “Jewel of Springfield,” and was home to both wealthy and working-class alike. Even today, it’s the most socio-economically and ethnically diverse neighborhood in Springfield. So, to find a room to rent in this part of town is fairly easy. You’ll find many styles of early 19th century homes, some of which owners have beautifully restored. If you prefer to purchase a fixer-upper, some are still waiting for some TLC.
Old Aristocracy Hill
Springfield’s neighborhood is known for its active neighborhood association dedicated to maintaining a safe, beautiful and friendly place to live and work. They also strive to preserve the historic nature of the area where you’ll find a mix of owner-occupied homes and multi-family dwellings. Old Aristocracy Hill lies just south of downtown, between Capitol Ave to South Grand and S Second to S Ninth. It has a healthy walk score of 62 and a bike score of 60.
The neighborhood is especially convenient if you work in downtown government administration or one of the large hospitals!
Average rent in Springfield, IL
Springfield is infamous for having rental rates much below the national average. The most prevalent building size and type in Springfield are three and four-bedroom dwellings, chiefly found in single-family detached homes. The city has a mixture of owners and renters, with 59.44% owning and 40.56% renting.
There is also a lot of housing in Springfield built from 1970 to 1999 so parts of town may have that “Brady Bunch” look of homes popular in the ’70s and early ’80s, although some of these houses were built up through the early ’90s as well. Finding a room for rent in Springfield, IL can be a fairly easy task, and there’s a high chance it’ll be a great fit for your budget!
Here are the average rent statistics of Springfield, IL
|Rooms For Rent in Springfield||Average Rent|
|1 Bedroom Apartment For Rent in Springfield||$586|
|2 Bedroom Apartment For Rent in Springfield||$1,405|
University life in Springfield, IL
Springfield hosts one University – The University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS, formerly Sangamon State University), which is located on the southeast side of the city. Springfield is also home to a junior college Lincoln Land Community College, located just south of UIS. From 1875 to 1976, Springfield was also home to Concordia Theological Seminary. The seminary was moved back to its original home of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and the campus now serves as the Illinois Department of Corrections Academy.
For all students looking for rooms to rent in Springfield because schools are finally opening up, here’s what you need to know!
Cost of living in Springfield, IL: In comparison to the rest of the state, Springfield has a relatively low cost of living. With 100 being the US average score, Best Places assigns Springfield a cost of living index of 81.1, 15% lower than the national average. Even with Illinois’ high taxes, you’ll find that Springfield is inexpensive, especially when it comes to renting and housing.
Weather in Springfield, IL: The weather in central Illinois is like most of the Midwest. It can be super cold in the winter, especially with the wind whipping across the prairie. The coldest months are from the end of November to the end of February, where you’ll have average winter highs of 46° F and average lows of about 21° F. Spring will be rainy with both cool and warm days.
Top universities in Springfield, IL:
- University of Illinois Springfield
- Southern Illinois University School of Medicine: Springfield Campus
- Lincoln Land Community College
How transit-friendly is Springfield?
According to stats provided by Walk Score, Springfield has an average Walk Score of 35 with 116,250 residents. While Springfield does not have many bike lanes, it does have some very walkable neighborhoods. Some of the most convenient neighborhoods in Springfield to go for a stroll include Downtown, Enos Park, Old Aristocracy Hill.
Roads and traffic
Springfield is in central Illinois at the crossroads of Interstates 55 and 97. There’s also the I-72, which is concurrent with U.S. Route 36 from the Missouri state line to Decatur, which runs from east to west. The Sangamon Mass Transit District (SMTD) operates Springfield’s bus system. The city also lies along the historic Route 66.
Amtrak serves Springfield daily with its Lincoln Service and Texas Eagle routes. Service consists of four Lincoln Service round-trips between Chicago and St. Louis, and one Texas Eagle round-trip between San Antonio and Chicago. Additionally, three days a week, the Eagle continues on to Los Angeles.
Springfield is also served by the following freight railroads: Canadian National Illinois, and Midland Railroad, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern, and Union Pacific. Travelers can also catch Greyhound buses at a station on North Dirksen Parkway.
The major airports in and around Springfield (Illinois) are:
- Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport (SPI / KSPI) This airport is located at 4 miles driving distance from Springfield (Illinois). It runs domestic flights from cities like Dallas, Chicago, Punta Gorda, and Sanford.
- Decatur Airport (DEC / KDEC) This airport is located at 44 miles driving distance from Springfield (Illinois), with domestic flights from cities like Saint Louis.
When you’re ready for a vacation, here are some of the airports with international flights serving Springfield (Illinois):
- Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL / KSTL) This airport is located 106 miles’ driving distance from Springfield (Illinois), with international and domestic flights from cities like Toronto, Montego Bay, Puerto Vallarta, and Cancun.
- Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW / KMDW) This airport is located 194 miles’ driving distance from Springfield (Illinois), with international and domestic flights from cities like Punta Cana and Silao.
Springfield and the surrounding metropolitan area have constructed bike trails and bike lanes on a number of streets. Currently, four main trails exist; two significant paved trails, the Interurban Trail and the Lost Bridge Trail serve Springfield and its suburbs of Chatham, Illinois, and Rochester, Illinois respectively. The Lost Bridge Trail has been extended further into Springfield by the Bunn to Lost Bridge Trail, which follows a stretch of Ash Street and Taylor Avenue.
Historical and Cultural Spots in Springfield, IL
Springfield has been home to a wide array of individuals, who, in one way or another, contributed to the broader American culture.
The Hoogland Center for the Arts in downtown Springfield is a centerpiece for performing arts. Before being purchased and renamed, the Hoogland Center was Springfield’s Masonic Temple. Prior to the Hoogland, the Springfield Theatre Centre was housed in the nearby Legacy Theatre. Sangamon Auditorium, located on the campus of the University of Illinois at Springfield also serves as a larger venue for musical and performing acts, both touring and local.
Springfield is also home to the annual Springfield Old Capitol Art Fair, a spring festival held annually on the third weekend of May. And more interestingly so, since 2002, Springfield has also hosted the ‘Route 66 Film Festival’, set to celebrate films routed in, based on, or taking part on the famous Route 66.
Another thing about the rich history of Springfield is that it comes with some major historical tourist attractions. There are multiple sites connected with Lincoln, including:
- Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
- Lincoln Home National Historic Site
- Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Site
- The Lincoln Tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery
Nightlife in Springfield, IL
Except for neighborhood bars, Springfield’s nightlife is mostly clustered downtown where a number of bars offer live music and late night fun. One exception is the Break Time Entertainment Center in southwest Springfield, the home of Donnie B’s Comedy Club which presents nationally known comedians each Friday and Saturday night. Live music performances also take place at lunchtime on weekdays at Trout Lily Cafe and on Friday evening’s at Robbie’s, which features jazz.
Popular bars in Springfield include:
D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its readers find rooms for rent in Springfield? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match!