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College Should Be Like This

A place to celebrate new ideas and practice old traditions, a place that connects you to the world and feels like home.

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An Exciting City to Explore

Your IU experience begins on campus and continues in Bloomington.

When you choose a college, you’re also choosing a community—a place where you’ll live, explore, and grow.

A city of 81,000, Bloomington has perfected the balance between big-city opportunities and small-town livability. In B-town, you can eat your favorite international cuisine (or try a new one), volunteer for nonprofits, discover new musicians and comedians, explore 30 miles of trails, and unwind at Indiana’s largest lake, Lake Monroe. It’s all a short walk or ride from your residence hall.

Kirkwood Avenue and downtown B-town

Just outside IU’s Sample Gates is Kirkwood Avenue (above), home of many students’ off-campus hangouts. Along the tree-lined brick sidewalks, you’ll find coffee shops, quirky stores, delicious food, and the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, which hosts everything from film festivals to big-name musicians.

Walk one street south to reach “Restaurant Row,” famous for international restaurants ranging from Turkish to Thai. Or keep walking straight to the courthouse square, the heart of downtown. Bookstores and galleries, along with more shops, restaurants, and performance spaces, line the square and the surrounding blocks.

One of the nation’s best small cities

Bloomington is a fixture on “best of” lists, from PETA’s tally of North America’s most vegetarian-friendly small cities to National Geographic Adventure’s top 100 adventure towns. Read more Bloomington accolades.

How will you live it up in Bloomington?

Visit IU—and Bloomington—to find out. You could even plan your visit around a local event, such as the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival (late September) or the Week of Chocolate (early February).

  • The scenic B-Line Trail passes just one block from the courthouse square. It’s a great place for a walk, run, or ride.
  • Keep your eyes peeled: You might see Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (and area resident) John Mellencamp around town.
  • If you’re here on a Saturday morning, check out the local food and performances at Bloomington’s farmers’ market.