Welcome to Bloomington: A Guide to Living in Bloomington

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Welcome to Bloomington: A Guide to Living in Bloomington

Whether you just moved, are interested in moving or planning a move, this is our guide to why we and so many others of all ages and backgrounds call Bloomington, Indiana home. Bloomington offers a way of life that combines a strong sense of community with intellectual stimulation, business opportunities and a plethora of natural beauty.

“The settlers were so impressed with ‘a haven of blooms’ they called it Bloomington. In more recent times Bloomington has been designated as a ‘Tree City USA’”, reads an article on Bloomington’s city website.

Students, young professionals, families and retirees fall in love with the city’s picturesque landscapes and cultural attractions. In this article, we guide you through what to expect upon moving here and several local restaurants, places and events to add to the top of your “must-do” list.

About Bloomington

Bloomington is a vibrant, friendly, historic and inclusive city in Monroe County, established in southern Indiana in 1818. It is considered a small urban city with a population of around 85,000 people. Consistently ranked as one of the most beautiful campuses and best college towns in the United States. Home to Indiana University Bloomington, a prestigious public research university that attracts students from all over the world. The city is also known for its natural beauty, with several state parks and nature reserves nearby.

Living in Bloomington

Bloomington offers a high quality of life with a low cost of living in contrast to many other comparable cities within the United States. The city has a strong economy with job opportunities in industries such as healthcare, education, and technology. Bloomington is dubbed a “Biker’s Paradise” and is relatively walkable with a Walk Score of 56 out of 100 and many amenities within walking distance of residential areas.

As mentioned, the city is home to a diverse population including a mix of students, families, and retirees. There are many options for housing from apartments, single-family homes and senior living to student housing with a variety of neighborhoods to choose from. 

What Neighborhood is Right For You?

Bloomington is divided into several distinct neighborhoods, each with its own character and benefits. Among many, some of the most popular neighborhoods include:

  • Downtown: The heart of Bloomington, with many restaurants, bars, and shops.
  • Near West Side: A historic neighborhood with beautiful homes and easy access to downtown.
  • Prospect Hill: A popular neighborhood for students and young professionals, with a mix of apartments and homes.
  • Bryan Park: A family-friendly neighborhood with a large park and community center.
  • Elm Heights: A historic neighborhood with beautiful homes and easy access to campus.

Things to do in Bloomington

Bloomington offers a wide range of activities and attractions like outdoor recreation and cultural events. The city has a strong sense of community and you can attend events and activities year-round that bring people together.

  • Outdoor Recreation: For the outdoorsy-types, there are plenty of gorgeous local trails found in state parks and nearby state and national forests. The city itself is surrounded by rolling hills, forests, and lakes, making it a great place for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Sports: If you enjoy live sports, as a member of The Big Ten Conference, you can visit the IU campus and attend Division 1 sporting events. 
  • Concerts/Shows: Bloomington is also home to concerts and shows which you can attend at one of the many music venues, art galleries and theaters in the city, such as the Buskirk-Chumley Theater or the Bluebird.

Where to Eat, First!

Bloomington is known for its diverse and delicious food scene, with many options for all tastes and budgets. Some of the must-try food scenes include:

  • Farm Bloomington: A farm-to-table restaurant that serves fresh, seasonal dishes.
  • Lennie’s: A local favorite that serves pizzas, sandwiches, and salads.
  • Uptown Cafe: A breakfast and brunch spot with a cozy atmosphere.
  • Malibu Grill: A seafood and steakhouse with a beautiful outdoor patio.
  • Restaurant Tallent: A fine dining restaurant that offers an elevated culinary experience.
  • Local Breweries: Enjoying a craft beer at one of the many breweries in town.
  • Bloomington Farmers’ Market: Every Saturday morning during the warmer months.

Annual and Regular Events

Bloomington hosts many annual and regular events throughout the year. Whether you’re interested in music, art, sports, or food, there’s always something happening. Here are some of our most popular events that draw locals and tourists to the area:

  • Lotus World Music and Arts Festival: A four-day event held every September that celebrates global music and art. The festival features performances by musicians from all over the world, as well as art exhibits, workshops, and food vendors.
  • Little 500: A bicycle race that takes place every spring at the Indiana University campus. The race is a tradition that dates back to 1951 and is one of the biggest events in Bloomington.
  • Fourth Street Festival of the Arts and Crafts: A two-day event held every Labor Day weekend that showcases the work of local artists and craftspeople. The festival features live music, food vendors, and activities for children.
  • Bloomington Craft Beer Festival: A one-day event held every April that features over 100 craft beers from breweries across Indiana and the Midwest. The festival also features live music and food vendors.
  • Indiana University Homecoming: A week-long celebration that takes place every fall and includes events such as a parade, pep rally, and football game.
  • Taste of Bloomington: A food festival held every June that features samples from some of Bloomington’s best restaurants. The festival also includes live music and a beer garden.
  • Hoosier to Hoosier Community Sale: A community-wide yard sale held every August that encourages recycling and sustainability. The sale features items donated by students and community members. All proceeds go to local nonprofits.

We sure hope our guide helps you in getting familiar with our home city. We would love to help you in your next transition, contact us to learn more about our storage services. 

Welcome to the neighborhood!


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