Bloomington Travel Guide

  • Bloomington
    by Mikivoyageur
  • Allan Walking  Illinois Wesleyan University Campus
    Allan Walking Illinois Wesleyan...
    by deecat
  • Fort Natatorium
    Fort Natatorium
    by deecat

Bloomington Things to Do

  • Enjoy the "Eye Candy" Architecture

    While visiting the campus of Illinois Wesleyan University, I really enjoyed all the beautiful buildings. Some is quite old; others are quite new; however, they all blend beautifully.I am able to show only five [limitation on photographs]1. A striking modern building with an unusual piece of art atop the portico is the McPherson Theatre which is...

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  • An afternoon at State Farm Insurance

    The story of State Farm starts with George J. Mecherle, one of the leading farmers of Bloomington. When after 20 years of faming, his wife wasn’t able to help him anymore, he took a job in a small company selling insurance. He soon felt that the rates proposed by the company didn’t suit the needs of farmers and suggested a better way to sell...

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  • The Adlai Stevenson House

    The Stevensons are one of the great dynasties of Illinois politics. (I'm told that there is a family in the city of Chicago which has had a certain minor impact on political developments there.) The roots of the family are here in Central Illinois, as Bloomington was their power base at the turn of the 19th century to the 20th. It's easy today to...

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Bloomington Hotels

Bloomington Restaurants

  • Established in 1936

    While staying in Bloomington, Illinois, we were interested in a great place to eat. We asked about three different people, including the people at our hotel, and they all agreed that the best place in town was Lucca Grill for Pizza and other Italian American Food.The background information about this 70+ establishment is worth noting. It was...

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  • Try corn sticks !

    Well after spending the afternoon at the pool and miniature golf, we went for refreshments in the little room next to the pool. Of course burgers and fries were added to the order, and I couldn't help trying those corn sticks... I had never seen this before, but I really loved them !

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  • The Dr. is IN

    This restraunt has become a second home to my husband and I. The food is fantastic, the service is first rate, and the Margarita's are the best on the planet. I have so many favorites, I can't give you a special one to try. The prices are resonable and the chips and salsa are great. Don't forget to try a margarita. There are over 200 tequilas to...

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  • Avoid it ...

    The place used to be a chinese restaurant, and it looks as though most of the furniture was salvaged from it.I wouldn't go so far as to say it's authentic. The food has plenty of spice but is otherwise bland. The margaritas were watery. The salsa is great but the chips are chewy (a lot of them bend).My dish was the Acapulco style beef with chiles...

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  • Historic Building, Excellent Food

    I always like to dine in historic settings, so it was a treat to eat at Central Station, a restaurant in a meticulously restored firehouse on the east side of downtown Bloomington. This is no small scale refurbishment: someone poured a bundle into making this place special. I especially like the bronze canopy over the gorgeous bar. If I lived in...

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  • Best Club Sandwich

    It's the closest to a diner I found. The club sandwich is GOOD, although you can't get it with chips. Fine toast, not too much bacon and you can take off the extra turkey if you want. I also tried the club at Tom's where the bread was stale and the lettuce funky tasting.

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Bloomington Nightlife

  • Not so good brewpub

    Oooh, I can't recommend this place. I hate it when a place that advertises itself as a brewpub turns out to be your basic college frat boy bar. The beer was stale and skanky, the service slow and wilted, the food your standard bar fare (though I really enjoyed the home fries.) I understand this is a good place to hear local garage bands, but if you...

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  • A good gay bar

    Wow. You know the times they are 'a changing. There is a good gay bar in Bloomington Illinois - the kind I would take my parents to, or my lover (if I had one), or my lesbian friends from Sweden, or the nice boy from next door who is just coming out. The Bistro shows that "the life" has come home to the midwest, and is doing quite well, thank you....

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  • Bloomington Hotels

    28 Hotels in Bloomington

Bloomington Transportation

  • deecat's Profile Photo

    by deecat Written Nov 4, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Although you could take an Amtrack Train from Chicago to Bloomington, to peruse the town of Bloomington, a car is necessary.

    We, of course, drove from our home to Bloomington via Route 294 and Route I55. It took us about two or two and one half hours to get their. We were not going too fast because we are "breaking in" our new automobile.

    Our hotel was very close to I55 [that's why we chose it] and not within walking distance of the town and the university.

    We drove into town and ate lunch at the Subway because we knew we would not be eating until eight that night. Then we parked our car on a side street near the campus. I would warn that parking could be a problem because most of the parking on campus is for students and faculty only.

    Allan and the Camry
    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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Bloomington Warnings and Dangers

  • tjk75's Profile Photo

    by tjk75 Updated Jul 4, 2007

    I have lived here most of my life and as of 6/07 the roughest area that i see is along market street between Lee st. and Morris Ave.This area is so so during the day and more than likely nothing would happen. However at night time theres a lot of thug types hanging out especially at pops grocery store. The side streets close to this area are shady too. There is also plenty of small pockets of shady areas throughout the bloomington/normal area like Orlando avenue apt. complex which has a police sub station there.In bloomington the apts. across from lowes off of empire can have trouble at times also.We have plenty of projects too market street projects are pretty quiet but can be seedy at night. Sunnyside projects I hear is pretty quiet at day but at night time can be a lil rough. Its always best to be aware of your surroundings and know some level of self defense.

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    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel

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Bloomington Off The Beaten Path

  • Sister City: Normal and Illinois State...

    If you look at the map enlarged, you will see how close Bloomington and Normalreally are. We visited Normal on Thursday night after eating dinner in Bloomington. It was dark outside; thus, the photographs are not so grand.We walked the campus at Illinois State University. Illinois State University was the state of Illinois' first public university...

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  • Arrive the 4th of July !

    I can’t believe we arrived on the 4th of July and missed the fireworks and stuff because we were suffering jetlag !!!!!!We really couldn't keep our eyes opened...

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  • Interesting Cellular Tower

    I think this is a very successful design - it shows that cellular towers can actually be attractive objects in themselves. Maybe the locals regard this as the Eiffel Tower of Bloomington?

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Bloomington Sports & Outdoors

  • deecat's Profile Photo

    by deecat Updated Nov 4, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While visiting the Illinois Wesleyan campus, Allan and I were impressed by the wonderful Sport Facilities.
    The interesting fact is that all the the facilities have been recently constructed or renovated. In 2000, the University completed a $6 million renovation of its entire outdoor complex also.

    Photographs:

    1. Fort Natatorium is an eight-lane, 25 yeard by six-lane, 25-meter swimming pool that is equipped with one meter and three meter diving boards and seating for 300 spectators.

    2. The Shirk Activity Center contains a six-lane, 200-meter indoor track plus full indoor track and field facilities. It also has two baseball/softball batting cages, four multi-purpose courts for tennis, basketball, volleyball, and badminton. In addition, it has a putting surface for golf. There are facilities for baseball/softball indoor practice and indoor soccer.

    Equipment: In addition to these two pictured facilities, we also noticed:

    a. Beadles-Morse Tennis Courts. There are seven outdoor tennis courts, and four of these courts are lighted.

    b. Jack Horenberger Field [1999] has a stadium-style seating for up to 500. This lighted fild features a traditional brick backstop, a press box, & manicured grass infield.

    c. Neis Soccer Field [1999] This is for men's and women's soccer teams. It is a lighted facility with bleacher seating for 300 spectators.

    d. Wilder Field "is the fifth oldest college football field in the country. First used in 1893, and the Illinois Wesleyan Stadium was built in 1939. Re-installation of lights and major renovation was done in 2000. The stadium seats 3,500 for track and field and football.

    e. Wilder Track: because of major renovations and completed in 2001, this track features an eight-lane 400-meter, NCAA?IAAF santioned track and new field facilities.

    f. The Softball Field was opened in 2000 and features stadium lighting, press box, dugouts, and seating for 200.

    g. Shirk Center Arena has a wood-floored court for basketball, volleyball, and other physical education activities. It seats 2,500 for the athletic events. Concerts and special events also take place here.

    h. Shirk Fitness Center in the Shirk Center includes three racquetball courts as well as a weight/exercise room with cardiovascular machines, free weights, and Nautilus equipment.

    I have to tell you that all of this was quite impressive.

    Fort Natatorium Inside Shirk Activity Center
    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Architecture
    • Water Sports

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Bloomington Favorites

  • Illinois Wesleyan University

    If you are one who loves schools and higher education as my husband and I do [teachers for over 30 years], you would no doubt love visiting the campus of a private Liberal Arts university called Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois.In a book by Jay Mathews called "Harvard Schmarvard: Getting Beyond the Ivy League to the College...

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  • Residential Bloomington - Prairie Style

    That's an exceptionally large tree! And it's an elm, too. Most of the elms in the midwest were lost long ago. I wonder how this giant managed to survive.

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  • Residential Bloomington - the Castle

    Bloomington has an abundance of well-preserved leafy residential neighborhoods. I took a stroll around the neighborhood where the Stevenson house sits. There's a beautiful square surrounded by interesting homes of a variety of styles and sizes. For example, this is an outstanding example of Richardsonian Romanesque design.

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