About Bloomington

City of Bloomington sign
The City of Bloomington boasts services and leisure options that complement the university’s offerings. (Courtesy IU)

Life in Bloomington

Bloomington is the state’s magnet for cultural and entertainment amenities, from theaters, restaurants and nightlife to neighborhoods, shopping and healthcare. The area often makes lists of top places to live, and its assets make it attractive not only to college-age residents but also to retirees and families. People come to study, to advance their careers, to raise families and even to retire to this south central Indiana oasis in rolling hills.

Once you arrive, spend some time getting to know Bloomington. Take a photo tour of the area to get a taste of the local color. Better yet, visit the area to “taste” the city’s numerous international restaurants, including Tibetan, Turkish and Mediterranean. Visit one of the area’s numerous wineries or brewpubs. Many are within walking distance of campus, so no car necessary to enjoy Bloomington’s offerings.

The view from the Sample Gates, an entry to the IU campus, toward the city center. (Courtesy IU)
The view from the Sample Gates, an entry to the IU campus, toward the city center shows both Nick’s English Hut, a longtime favorite, and the courthouse dome. (Courtesy IU)

The arts are a driving force in the area, thanks to IU’s music and theater programs at the world-renowned Jacobs School of Music, as well as a tradition of music and theater performance in the city itself, such as the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival or the Bloomington Playwrights Project.

Hear one of several concerts — from alt bands to world music to classical recitals — available on any given night. Take in a Broadway show or an edgy experimental theater production. Attend a free lecture by a noted researcher or newsmaker. See a new or classic film at IU Cinema, then stick around for the director’s Q&A.

Sports fans will enjoy IU team and club sports, from the legendary men’s basketball team or top-ranked soccer team to the annual Little 500, the oldest and most famous “college weekend” that inspired the movie Breaking Away.  Or participate yourself through leagues and clubs, on campus and off.

Other assets:

  • Bloomington and Monroe County also offer public, private and parochial schools, an array of places to worship, and affordable housing both off and on campus.
  • Bloomington is just one hour’s drive from Indianapolis and the Indianapolis International Airport, two hours from Louisville, three from Cincinnati, and four from Chicago and St. Louis.
  • The area boasts an enormous outdoor playground, both within the city and county parks and extending to state and national forests and Lake Monroe, just minutes away from the city.

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