When is the best time to visit Bloomington?
For its small size of only 76,000 people, the little city of Bloomington, Illinois is home to a remarkably strong and diverse business community. Top tier insurance, automobile and financial industries are headquartered in Bloomington, making it a hub for business travel throughout the year. Daily flights from Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta provide constant transportation for the frequent business travellers and cheap flights to Bloomington can often be found by taking advantage of last minute seat sales connecting through these airports. Bloomington is also home to Illinois Wesleyan University, a large American arts school, and sees peak travel during the late April school break, late November when the students return home for a Thanksgiving celebration, and late December for a Christmas break. Flights to Bloomington are cheapest just before and after these times, with the lowest cost flights occurring in the first two weeks of December.
Cheap flights to Bloomington in December and August coincide with some of the city's best attractions. The weather in Bloomington is mild for most of the year, but can go well below zero in December and January. This is an ideal time for winter sports in the area. Snowshoeing, cross country skiing and snowmobiling are popular local sports. A nationally renowned Shakespeare Festival occurs in August, as does the County Fair.
Why visit Bloomington?
While business and education are the biggest reasons to visit Bloomington, the city has much to offer recreational tourists as well. Sports enthusiasts will find that Bloomington has several top-rate public and private golf courses. Golf Digest named the Bloomington Country Golf Club as one of the Unites State's best places to golf. Two city-owned lakes are popular places for boating and fishing, with boat rentals available through most of the year. The city is also home to the biggest indoor rock climbing facility in the United States and top athletes come to Bloomington to test their skills.
Located the heartland of America, Bloomington is also an ideal place to experience American Midwest culture. The annual County Fair is one of the largest and oldest agricultural fairs in the country. Farmers bring in their best livestock and produce for show but the fair also has a carnival like atmosphere with live acts at the grandstand, amusement park rides and contests. The fair's events are diverse with special shows for everything from antiques to tractor-pulls.
Getting around Bloomington
Bloomington is serviced by an extensive public transit system. Taxi service should be phoned when needed as locating a vacant cab on the street is difficult.
Getting from the Airport to Bloomington
Bloomington is serviced by the Central Illinois Regional Airport (BMI). There are five car rental agencies that are located in the baggage claim area at the airport terminal. The city is only a few minutes from the airport. Exit the airport on Highway 51 North and turn right on Veteran's Parkway which will take you into the city.
The Greater Peoria Airport (PIA) is a 45 minute drive from Bloomington via highways I-74 and I-474 West.