The beauty of the Bloomington campus does not end at the campus gates; it extends to all of southern Indiana, an area characterized by rolling hills, hardwood forests, rushing streams and limestone caves.
Cultural attractions – you will find them on campus, off campus and in surrounding towns and cities. All that the campus and this area has to offer can be experienced without much traffic, without much congestion and often at minimal or no expense.
Here’s a sampling of what awaits you.
Activities On Campus
- IU Art Museum
Designed by I.M. Pei, the building itself is a work of art. Galleries include Western Art, Ancient and Asian Art, Africa, Oceaniana and the Americas, and Special Exhibitions. Excellent gift shop.
- Lilly Library
View rare and historic books, manuscripts and letters, as well as an extensive collection of mechanical puzzles.
- Mathers Museum of World Cultures
Travel the world from Australia to Zanzibar without leaving Bloomington.
- School of Fine Arts (SoFA) Gallery
Enjoy contemporary art by nationally known artists and IU’s own students.
- Jordan Hall Greenhouse
IU Biology provides space to grow plants that serve the teaching and research needs of the Department. The greenhouses contain many plants from around the world, which are grown in conservatory rooms open to the public.
- Kirkwood Observatory
Observe the skies on a summer evening. Check web site for schedule.
- Jacobs School of Music
Attend an opera, recital concert, band performance from a world class school of music performed by world class musicians.
- Department of Theatre & Drama
Experience award-winning classics and bold new premieres on three different stages.
Physical Fitmess Activities
The Bloomington campus has miles of scenic paths which are ideal for running, walking or strolling. Many of these paths meander alongside streams, through woods and across grassy meadows.
Two sports facilities (HPER and SRSC) offer passes to visiting guests for a nominal fee of $5.00 or less per day.
- HPER (Health, Physical Education and Recreation) Facility
Basketball, handball, squash, tennis courts; weight room, indoor track; weight room. Days passes may be purchased at the check-in desk. Equipment is available for check-out.
- Student Recreational Sports Center (SRSC)
New, modern, state of the art athletic facility. Basketball, handball, squash courts, weight room, indoor track, weight room, table tennis. Day passes may be purchased at the check-in desk. Equipment is available for check-out.
- IU Golf Course
Features a beautiful and challenging 18-hole championship course, a nine hole executive course and a lighted driving range. Open to the public. A short drive from campus.
Activities in the surrounding area
The Bloomington Visitors and Convention Bureau’s web site identifies a number of places of interest in and around Bloomington. Some places of particular interest are:
- (Bloomington) Oliver Winery
Locally owned, Award winning wines. A tasting room. Lovely setting and beautifully landscaped grounds. Located 7 miles from campus.
- French Lick Resort and Casino
Famous during the early 1900s as a getaway for the famous and infamous, French Lick has recently been restored into a beautiful resort, spa (mineral baths) , golf course, horse back riding and casino. Driving time from Bloomington is about 1 ½ hrs.
- Lower Cascades Park
Has an AMAZING playground in a beautiful wooded setting with picnic area, a stream and short hike to a waterfalls.
- Cascades Golf Course
Open to the public. 27-hole facility that rests on 200 acres of beautiful rolling hills filled with native trees and natural topography.
- Lake Monroe
The largest reservoir lake in Indiana. Has beaches, boat rentals (including pontoon party boats), camping and hiking trails. Approximately 10 miles south of Bloomington.
- Brown County State Park
Provides a taste of the scenic beauty of southern Indiana – rolling hills, hardwood forests, hiking and horseback riding. About 20 miles east of Bloomington.
- McCormick’s Creek State Park & Spring Mill State Park
If you are interested in seeing some of the unique geology of southern Indiana, these parks provide that opportunity - limestone caves, sink holes, natural bridges. The wooded trail down the canyon in McCormick’s Creek is a walk through the geologist history of southern Indiana. Spring Mill has a pioneer village with a functioning grist mill, grinding corn into true ‘stone ground cornmeal. Both parks are about 20 miles from Bloomington.
- (Bloomington) Wylie House Museum
Take a step back in time to the early 1800’s by visiting the home of IU’s first president.
- (Bloomington) WonderLab Museum of Health, Science and Technology
Interactive non-profit children’s museum….for all ages. Rivals the Boston Children’s Museum – on a smaller scale.
- (Indianapolis) Eiteljorg Museum of American Indiana and Western Art
The only museum of its kind in the Midwest and one of only two museums east of the Mississippi that showcases both native American and Western art, culture and history.
- (Indianapolis) Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
Home of the Indianapolis 500. One of the most highly visible museums dedicated to automobiles and auto racing.
- (Indianapolis) Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens
White River State Park is located in downtown Indianapolis, along the banks of the White River. Within the park complex are the Indianapolis Zoo, the White River Botanical Gardens, as well as an IMAX theatre and the Eiteljorg Museum. The zoo is AZA accredited – thus assuring that the facility is dedicated to providing excellent care for animals. The Gardens inspire, impress, enliven and entertain.
- (Indianapolis) The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Located in downtown Indianapolis. Interactive, entertaining, educational and fun.