If you’re looking for the perfect college town, look no further than Bloomington, Indiana. With a population of about 70,000, Bloomington has all the convenience of a big town with a small town feel. Indiana University adds prestige to your resume without the cost of prestigious private colleges. According to the IU-Bloomington website, “Indiana University Bloomington attracts students from around the globe who want the ideal college experience – great traditions, a gorgeous campus, international culture, Big Ten sports, and an active academic climate.”
Undergraduate students can choose between 180 majors and 330 degree programs. Indiana University Bloomington also offers more than 190 masters, doctoral, and professional degrees. With this many choices, Indiana University attracts a diverse, intellectual student population. Campus traditions include the famous Little 500 bike race. Enjoy the beautiful campus if the weather’s fair, or take advantage of the Indiana Memorial Union’s bowling alley and arcade if bad weather keeps you indoors. Add to this Big Ten sports in your back yard, and you’ll find campus life far from ordinary.
Like IU, Bloomington, Indiana has something for everyone. Among native Bloomington residents, you’ll find students, grad students, and professors – both Indiana University profs and those from neighboring colleges like DePauw University in Greencastle. You’ll also find liberal refugees from across the otherwise somewhat conservative state of Indiana. Overall, Bloomington, like IU, is home to a diverse population. Spend sunny days walking down Kirkwood between the IU campus and the square, and you’ll find thriving, eccentric local shops and hippie eateries. Hop over to 4th street for a series of tiny ethnic restaurants; don’t miss the Snow Lion’s authentic Tibetan cuisine. Or, meander up to the square for more traditional sports bars and clubs. The Oliver Winery is located just north on 37, for wine enthusiasts, and Bloomington hosts more than 30 festivals each year, including art, beer, and music. At Christmas time, Bloomington’s downtown square dons a magical light show. If you want to get away from downtown Bloomington, head east for the mall and movie theater on highway 46. If you really want to get away from it all, head north on highway 37 for 15 minutes to visit the Hoosier National Forest, or east on 46 to get to Brown County State Park, home of some of the most spectacular views that Indiana has to offer. Whether you consider yourself a hippie, jock, frat boy, or perfectly normal, Bloomington, Indiana is the best college town.