With a population over 40,000, Quincy is the perfect size for someone who wants to maintain a low-key lifestyle, but wants services that a big city can provide. There's plenty to like about Quincy. Here are some of the top reasons to live in the Gem City.

Kurt Parsons

The Food

If you're in the mood for a quick meal then you have a large variety of options. Just driving down Broadway, you can't take a cruise without encountering a fast food drive-thru on every block. If you're in the mood to sit-down and enjoy a meal then you have quality offerings. There is Gem City Pizzeria & Mexican which, aside from its food offerings, has a jukebox at each booth to listen to music. If you're in the mood for something sweet, try out Underbrink's Bakery. They've been using some of the same recipes since the bakery opened in 1929. Try out their Angel Food Cupcake to get a taste of how sweet Quincy can be. Of course you can't talk about eating in Quincy without mentioning Maid Rite, which has been cultural touchstone in Quincy since 1928 – even once being featured on the Food Network.

The Parks

The Quincy Park District works all-year round to keep up the beauty of Quincy's parks. Quincy contains lots of green canopy and open space that make it ripe for recreational areas. There's Berrian Park near the local university which doubles as a great sledding spot during the winter time, Westview Park which is an ideal spot for ultimate frisbee, and my favorite, Upper Morman park which hosts lots of activities. There's a nice trail to run/walk, paddle boats, a batting cage, and concessions. There's even more parks in town to have a barbecue or frolic on its playground.

The Karaoke

At one point in our lives, we all aspired to be rock stars. But then reality sets in and that dream becomes unrealistic. However, Quincy gives each and every one of us the chance to channel our inner David Lee Roth through the magic of karaoke. You have a few options to take part in the sing-along in Quincy. There's the Heartland Saloon near downtown which has karaoke on the weekends and The Abbey restaurant on Wednesday nights.

The Downtown District

Quincy's downtown district has been burgeoning over the last few years. More businesses and apartments have opened up that highlight the unique aspects of Quincy. In the center is Washington Park which hosts events featuring live music and activities throughout the year, then surrounding it are locations like Krazy Cakes for specialized baked goods (Bacon Topped French Toast Muffin anyone?) or Thyme Square if you want to enjoy an elegant sit-down dining experience. And with the Avenue of Lights coming to the downtown this holiday season, there is even more reason to explore the district and see how Quincy can service you.

The Riverfront

Quincy sits right on the western edge of Illinois and right on the Mississippi river. It provides a beautiful scenery that lets you enjoy its view from Clat Adams park as you watch the barges float by. If you feel inclined to do more than just spectate, you can go jet skiing provided you have the resources. And it's a constant reminder that you're just a short drive across the bridge to America's Hometown of Hannibal. The riverfront is just another reminder of what makes Quincy unique and ties the city together.