This article is a part of our ongoing series on small town vacation spots. First up, Bloomington Illinois.
If you’re looking for a historic, small town with lots of character in the Midwest to visit for a vacation you should check out Bloomington, Illinois. The small town in the center of Illinois is a hub city that connects nearly all the major highways in the state including U.S. 51, I-55, I-74, and I-39. You can get the most out of your Midwest vacation by staying in Bloomington since it is less than three hours from Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis. Spend a week here and be able to visit some of the best cities in the Midwest easily.
The town is home to two major universities and a community college as well as a few trade schools and a branch of Lincoln College. The education system, as well as State Farm headquarters, brings people from all over the world to live in Bloomington, creating a culturally diverse town with a thriving arts community and plenty of options for entertainment.
Some fun things to do in Bloomington, Illinois:
Small Town Vacation Spots – Bloomington Illinois
Visit A Brewery
Bloomington has embraced the craft beer brewery trend and is home to several including Keg Grove Brewing Company, Lil Beaver Brewery, White Oak Brewery, DESTIHL Restaurant and Works, and the DESTIHL Brewery and Beer Hall. Bloomington is also only 20 minutes from Mackinaw Valley Vineyards.
See a Show
If you love concerts or performing arts, Bloomington is a great place to visit. The Grossinger Motors Arena in Downtown Bloomington hosts concerts with some of radio’s top artists including Sublime with Rome, Judas Priest, Brad Paisley, Hank Williams Jr. Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban, Alice Cooper, and John Mellencamp. You can catch a play or musical at The Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, or catch a rock, blues, or alternative show at the Castle Theater.
If you love golfing, Bloomington has seven golf courses including Prairie Vista Golf Course, Den at Fox Creek, Highland Park, and The Links. You can also have a blast with your family at Grady’s Family Fun Center which includes mini-golf, go-carts, bumper boats, an arcade, and carnival rides. Check out Pheasants Lanes Bowling Alley, and they’re recently added mini golf course while you’re in town.
Enjoy Fine Dining
Bloomington is home to Epiphany Farms Hospitality Group, a genuine farm-to-table enterprise where all the food is grown locally on the Farms at Epiphany Farms. They have several restaurants including the Epiphany Farms Restaurant, Anju Above, and, a 1920’s themed speakeasy called Bakery N Pickle, all in downtown Bloomington. A Korean Barbeque restaurant is also in the works.
Hang out at the Lake
If you love boating and fishing, there are several large lakes all within a half hour of Bloomington including Lake Bloomington and Lake Evergreen which are within 15 minutes and have marinas and boat docks. Moraine View State Park in Leroy is also close by as well as Clinton Lake where large party boats, jet skiing, and water sports are popular. If you want to make a short drive up to Starved Rock State Park, you can hop on I-39 for an hour and spend your day hiking in one of the most historic areas in Illinois.
Bloomington Illinois is one of the best small town vacation spots. It’s great to visit any time of the year but visiting during one of the festivals including the Sweet Corn Festival, Steam Punk Cogs, and Corsets Festival, Blues Festival, or Sugar Creek Arts Festival in the summer are the best times to vacation there.