A residency in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois
Bloomington-Normal is a medium-sized community of about 125,000 people. Each city has its own personality with thriving, distinct and local businesses, restaurants, coffee shops, and universities.
Although there are five trains a day to and from Bloomington-Normal and Chicago, the ease of transport between the two cities does not attenuate the decreased cost of living or the ability to get to know your neighbor and local community that Bloomington-Normal offers. Bloomington-Normal is also directly connected to St. Louis with five trains per day, so big-city getaways are easily accommodated.
Central Illinois contains some of the best soil in the world for farming and gardening, making support of local agriculture easy and important for the Bloomington-Normal area. There is a Farmer's Market in downtown Bloomington every Saturday and every Tuesday in Uptown Normal, during the growing season, in addition to various farms doing Community Supported Agriculture subscriptions.
Bloomington-Normal also has a rich culture of performance and artistic expression. In addition to the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts with a large array of musical and theatrical performances, Bloomington is home to the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Community Players Theatre, and U.S. Cellular Coliseum, to name just a few of the area's performing arts outlets. There are several street art festivals per year supported by the McLean County Arts Center, and Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan universities have active student artistic and theater communities. The University of Illinois campus community is also a rich source of artistic and cultural diversity and is only a 45 minute drive away.
Sports fans can enjoy Frontier League baseball from the Normal Cornbelters each summer, as well as Bloomington Blaze hockey at the Pepsi Ice Center, and numerous public golf courses and pools. Both universities also offer a full schedule of collegiate athletics, and the cities' Parks & Recreation departments provide a host of opportunities for amateurs of all ages. And of course, the Cubs, Cardinals, Bears, Rams and Colts are only a few hours away.
For those who love the great outdoors, Bloomington-Normal is about 4.5 hours from some of the most beautiful hiking grounds in the Midwest -- the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois -- which also boasts the Shawnee Wine Trail of beautiful vineyards in the sandstone bluff and river-hewn landscape. The popular Starved Rock State Park and Matthiessen State Park are only a little more than an hour's drive from Bloomington-Normal. The local community is home to Lake Bloomington, a 635-acre lake surrounded by camp grounds and perfect for water sports. You can also enjoy the outdoors on the Constitution Trail, a 22-mile long asphalt trail cut underneath a canopy of trees through Bloomington-Normal, perfect for running, biking, or cross-country skiing in the winter.
Neither town is slowing down in progress. Bloomington-Normal, home to a Mitsubishi Motors assembly plant, is a testing ground for Mitsubishi's new i-MiEV electric car; charging stations for electric cars are being put up throughout the town -- including three at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center. Mitsubishi also donated 1,000 i-MiEVs to the area to see how having all-electric cars would work in a town logistically, as demonstrated in this video.
Normal recently refurbished its uptown area to be even more beautiful and unique, and the mayor of Bloomington is running on a platform of enhancing the infrastructure of the city without increasing debt.
Come on out to see with the twin cities of Bloomington-Normal have to offer you and your family, we would love to provide a warm Midwestern welcome.