Bloomington is best known as the home of Indiana University but there’s a lot more to this town than college life. Discover its natural beauty, outdoor recreation, thriving local arts scene and relaxed way of life.
Plan to spend some of your vacation time enjoying Bloomington’s outdoor escapes. Take one of the short walking trails through Griffy Lake Nature Preserve. See caves, wetlands and springs as you make your way along the 1.1-mile (1.7-kilometer) trail in Leonard Springs Nature Park, located about 15 minutes drive southwest of downtown. About 10 miles (16 kilometers) outside of Bloomington is Lake Monroe, Indiana’s largest lake. Dive in for a swim or go waterskiing, fishing or boating.
Bloomington’s downtown area is easily walkable. The network of bike lanes makes cycling a good option too. Visit the shops, restaurants and theaters to mingle with the international students and locals. View contemporary artworks on the Gallery Walk Bloomington that takes in 11 art galleries.
Enter the Sample Gates to explore Indiana University’s campus. Take a walking tour over the beautiful grounds and stroll along Old Crescent, part of the original 1820 campus. Admire the stonework of the Student Building with its clock tower. Relax in the Arboretum, an open green space.
Despite being a college town, Bloomington has many attractions for families too. WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology is full of interactive science exhibits, while Hoosier Heights has challenging climbing walls and structures for kids. Other attractions include a farm, an entertainment center with inflatable slides and a large obstacle course.
For your evening’s entertainment have a drink in a cozy bar and a meal on Fourth Street. This is nicknamed the “Restaurant Row,” with many restaurants housed in former homes. After dinner, catch a performance at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, a renovated vaudeville and silent movie house.
Situated in the American Midwest, Bloomington is about an hour’s drive from Indianapolis, which has an international airport. Thanks to a regular shuttle service, it’s easy to get to the artistic, cultural and natural attractions of Bloomington.