College Towns: Bloomington, Indiana

Learn more about Bloomington, Indiana -- Home of Indiana University.

The Town: Bloomington, Indiana

Named by USA Today as one of the 10 friendliest college towns with a population under one million, Bloomington is a town of 80,500 located 50 miles south of Indianapolis. Situated on limestone terrain, streams, springs and caves line the town’s natural surroundings. The city’s humid year-round, and experiences cold and snow during the winter.

The School: Indiana University

Because of nearby rock quarries, buildings at Indiana University are constructed almost exclusively from limestone. The most impressive of these buildings is Memorial Union, the second-largest school union in the nation with more than half a million square feet.

Because of nearby rock quarries, buildings at Indiana University are constructed almost exclusively from limestone.

Renowned for the Kelley School of Business, IU is one of only three colleges in the country in which all undergraduate and graduate business programs rank in the top 10 of U.S. News & World Report. Basketball may be more popular in Indiana than any other state, and Indiana University has won five men’s national championships. The 1975-76 squad was the most recent men’s basketball team to finish a season undefeated.

What to Do

The biggest event of the year in Blooming is the Little 500 (often referred to simply as the “little five”), a bike race modeled after the Indianapolis 500. Bikers team up for a relay race on the school’s track, and students eventually converge in the stadium to watch the finish after a day-long, campus-wide celebration.

On an average night, you can’t go wrong with barhopping on Kirkwood Avenue or a basketball game at Assembly Hall.

Where to Eat and Drink

Nick’s English Hut is a pub/sports bar on Kirkwood Ave that serves everything from gumbo and jambalaya to burgers and pizza. If you go, make sure you learn how to play its unique drinking game, “Sink the Biz.”

Did You Know?

At least one IU alumni received a medal in every Olympics from the 1932 Los Angeles games to the 2004 Athens Olympics.

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