Bloomington, Indiana, is a lovely city about 50 miles south of Indianapolis. It is a city in and also the county seat of Monroe County in the central region of the U.S. state of Indiana.
Also, the seventh-largest city in Indiana and the fourth-largest outside the Indianapolis metropolitan area
Bloomington is known as the “Gateway to Scenic Southern Indiana”.
A very interesting fact about this city is that it was established in 1818 by a group of settlers from Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Virginia. They were so impressed with “a haven of blooms” that they called it Bloomington.
Bloomington has also been designated a Tree City because of the abundance of trees in the city.
You can spend a weekend on vacation here to learn more about the city and its wonderful attractions.
The WonderLab Museum of Science, Monroe Lake, and the Bloomington Farmers Market are among the best activities to do with kids in Bloomington, Indiana.
Things To Do In Bloomington
1. Eskenazi Museum of Art
The Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University was opened in 1941. It is the country’s leading university art museum.
It is also a small and newly renovated art museum. However, it has some interesting pieces such as a Duchamp fountain and a Monet.
This place is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Bloomington, Indiana.
The museum houses an internationally acclaimed collection of over 45,000 works of art.
Some of which include paintings by Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso, African masks, and jewelry. And it is housed in I. M. Pei’s iconic triangular building on the campus of Indiana University.
They also have amazing ancient artwork. And the most incredible part about all this is that access to the museum is free!.
Coupled with that, the staff here are super-nice too.
Few university art museums have a collection as wide-ranging as the Eskenazi’s.
Using the museum’s own words, its “thoughtfully collected objects represent nearly every art-producing culture throughout history.”
That is no exaggeration. The African and the Oceanic collections here are impressively diverse.
How often do you get to see a carving from Madagascar, or a figure from Atauro Island in an U.S. art museum, let alone one in a university?
The very well-written and detailed labels of exhibits are a huge plus point.
Not only are they arranged by geographic regions and cultural groups, but they are also supplemented by educational and interesting themes.
A visit here will be totally worth it.
Address: Eskenazi Museum of Art, 1133 E 7th St, Bloomington, IN 47405, United States
2. The Buskirk-Chumley Theater
The Buskirk-Chumley Theater, BCT for shorts, is located in the heart of downtown Bloomington.
It hosts a variety of stage performances, shows, and entertainment for the local community each year.
The location also serves as a performance venue for both local and national artists. As well as a welcoming space for the community to appreciate the arts.
The BCT is a great place to watch intimate shows from theater, dance or music.
They also show classic movies throughout the year. Some of which includes internationally recognized plays such as Of Mice and Men and Mary Poppins.
Coupled with that, the theater is also located near several of the city’s central attractions.
Additionally, the concession stand offers reasonably priced items and customer service is always great.
You should attend a show at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater with your partner. Especially if you’re seeking for a perfect place for a romantic date night in Bloomington.
The building is a historical building with a gorgeous interior. And the inside of the Buskirk Chumley is elegant and classy.
If you’ve never been, you at least need to go once in your life. We highly recommend checking out the Buskirk Chumley.
Address: 114 E Kirkwood Ave, Bloomington, IN 47408, United States
3. Bloomington Community Farmers Market
The Bloomington Farmers Market is a weekly market in Bloomington.
Here, local farmers, artisans, and artists sell a variety of farm-fresh produce, handcrafted products, and other organic items.
Fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers, as well as dairy, charcuterie, homemade honey, jam, jellies, and pickles, are among the excellent locally grown products available in the market.
Also, there are usually approximately 40 vendors stands in the market
The market offers a variety of winter fruit, cheese, chocolates, coffee, and arts and crafts during the months of November and December.
Generally, the selections are often amazing and they all taste absolutely delicious!.
This is simply one of the best farmer’s markets in the entire region.
Live music and other forms of entertainment are also available at the market.
Address: 401 N Morton St, Bloomington, IN 47404, United States
4. The Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center
The Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center was founded by Thubten Jigme Norbu, brother of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet.
It is one of the oldest and largest Buddhist centers in the United States.
The institution was established with the goal of cultivating and maintaining Mongolian and Tibetan culture and heritage. It includes shrines, stupas, statues, and prayer wheels.
The Kumbum Chamtse Ling Temple (Tibetan for “Field of Compassion”) and monks’ dormitories are the center’s pulsating heart.
Visitors can take guided tours of the center, which include stops at a reception room, a unique shrine room, and a bookstore.
Therefore, providing them with the opportunity to learn more about Buddhism’s old culture.
The center is absolutely beautiful. In addition, the grounds and different things to experience here are wonderful.
Quiet. That is the literal essence of this place, and you really can’t find a place like it.
The monks and those who care for the ground are great people. And everyone is interested in continuing to progress down the path of enlightenment and self-betterment.
Upon visiting here, the staff here will take took you around and explain everything and they’ll also answer your questions.
Address: 3655 S Snoddy Rd, Bloomington, IN 47401, United States
5. Wylie House Museum, Bloomington
The Wylie House Museum was built in 1835 and is now owned and administered by Indiana University Libraries.
It was the home of Andrew Wylie, Indiana University’s first president, and his family.
The historic house is now a museum dedicated to displaying life at the Wylie residence in the mid-nineteenth century, with public tours available.
The museum offers educational activities and research opportunities for students and faculty of the University. And it is aligned with the campus curriculum.
From May to November, free guided tours are given every day of the week, so visitors are highly welcome
The Wylie House also has a small gift shop where visitors can buy heirloom seeds cultivated in the museum gardens.
Address: 307 E 2nd St, Bloomington, IN 47401, United States
6. IndiGo Birding Nature Tours
IndiGo Birding Nature tours in south-central Indiana provide individualized, guided birding and nature tours.
Birding trips, photography tours, historical tours of Brown County, and naturalist treks through some of the region’s most spectacular natural settings are all available to visitors.
Indiana is home to an amazing array of nesting and migrant birds. And IndiGo Birding Nature Tours offers trips to some of the best locations for finding these birds.
Locations such as Yellowwood State Forest, Lake Monroe, Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area, and many other local forests, preserves, and parks.
IndiGo Birding Nature Tours may also arrange custom trips to some of the area’s most popular locations.
Areas such as Brown County State Park, Hoosier National Forest, as well as Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge.
They also offer guided kayak trips to the most scenic and beautiful places in Indiana.
Each trip includes drinks and refreshments, as well as high-tech binoculars and spotting scopes.
Address: Bloomington, IN 47401, United States
7. Bloomington’s BBQ Train
BBQ Train is a casual cafe in Bloomington, Indiana.
The restaurant is conveniently located in the Food Mart and it serves a variety of barbecue, including pulled pork, ribs, and chicken.
As well as burgers and brisket, all of which are served with scrumptious sides like mac-and-cheese, baked beans, and coleslaw.
They offer pickup and catering year-round, so if you’re in the mood for some delicious BBQ, give them a call or visit here when you’re in Bloomington
BBQ Train also provides catering as well as barbecue home delivery.
Address: 905 N Smith Rd, Bloomington, IN 47408, United States
8. Tranquil Vibe Day Spa
In an exquisite and opulent atmosphere, Tranquil Vibe Day Spa provides a variety of relaxing and therapeutic treatments, massages, and facial services.
Facial and skin treatments, body treatments, therapeutic and relaxation massages, waxing services, and restorative and healing hydrotherapy treatments are among the spa services or special spa packages available.
The transitions between appointments are usually seamless, and the masseuses are really amazing.
The spa provides a custom-designed hydrotherapy suite, a serene space for pre and post-treatment or service relaxation, and a magnificent patio overlooking a tinkling creek on which to rest in the summer.
I had my first ever facial a “Customized Dermasound”, and was a little hesitant at first. I was greeted by friendly staff. Bri made me feel comfortable, guided me through the process, and helped select a cleanser/moisturizer. I would highly recommend her for any needs. My face feels healthy, and can’t wait to see the additional results along the way.Alicia Flynn
9. Bloomington’s WonderLab Museum of Science, Health, and Technology
Visit Bloomington’s WonderLab Museum of Science, Health, and Technology
The WonderLab Museum of Science, Health, and Technology is a fantastic science museum in Bloomington that is dedicated to allowing visitors of all ages to explore the wonders of science.
The museum achieves its purpose by offering a wide range of immersive and hands-on exhibits, displays, and events that arouse interest, motivate inquiry and foster scientific and technological study.
The George and Evelyn Brabson Discovery Garden, the Bubble-arium, the Fitzgerald Hall of Natural Science, and the Lester P. Bushnell WonderGarden are among the exhibits.
It also includes “How Things Work” and a variety of art exhibitions.
This place has so many things to do! So much learning to be had!
There is a water table, air tunnels, pulley chairs, a nail bed, a climbing structure, bubbles, magnetism activities, and so much more just on the first floor.
On the second floor, there is a saltwater aquarium, snakes, lizards, an ant farm, engineering activities, hissing cockroaches, building activities and more, including a beehive!
This is an excellent spot to visit if you’re particularly looking for things to do in Bloomington with kids.
Throughout the year, WonderLab offers a variety of educational and age-appropriate programs, hands-on workshops, innovative activities, and live animal programs for both adults and children.
There’s something for all ages, which means the adults won’t be left out of the fun here
Address: 308 W 4th St, Bloomington, IN 47404, United States
10. Monroe Lake
Monroe Lake is a 10,750-acre reservoir in Bloomington, Indiana. It is a huge and beautiful lake.
Also, it is surrounded by approximately 24,000 acres of protected forests and wilderness areas.
The lake, which spans the counties of Monroe and Brown, provides beautiful and natural recreational areas for local residents to enjoy the great outdoors.
You’ll love camping and boating on Monroe Lake campground.
There are also sites in the campground where you can dock your boat near your site.
Equally important, on the eastern shore, you’ll find the Ransburg Scout Reservation, as well as the Fourwinds Resort and Marina, which has over 800 boats.
The lake is open all year for fishing, as well as other leisure activities like water skiing and kayaking.
Also, throughout the summer, expert interpretive naturalists provide a variety of activities at the visitor’s center.
Address: 4850 S State Road 446, Bloomington, IN 47401
11. Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University
The Musical Arts Center (MAC), which is housed within Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, is one of America’s most prestigious performing venues.
It houses the Jacobs School of Music Ballet Department and can hold up to 1,460 people.
The MAC easily holds its own with the Metropolitan Opera in acoustics, decor, and architecture.
It’s also very affordable and convenient, which is an added bonus.
In addition to that, the performers and productions are absolutely professional, as are the sets, lighting and orchestra. It’s undoubtedly one of the gems of Bloomington!
You can buy both the Opera and Ballet Series as well as The Concert Series each season.
The Nutcracker, The Barber of Seville, Carmen, and Oklahoma are among the internationally acclaimed shows offered by the Musical Arts Center and Ballet Department throughout the year.
The Jacobs School of Music also offers a variety of music programs, summer academies, and adult summer workshops. As well as pre-college and adult music classes.
This school of music draws people from all across the world, so you should definitely check it out
Address: 205 S Jordan Ave, Bloomington, IN 47405, United States
12. Indiana University, Bloomington
Indiana University Bloomington is a public research university in Bloomington, Indiana.
It is the flagship campus of Indiana University and, with over 40,000 students, its largest campus.
Discover the University of Indiana on a daily campus visit and tour.
On this tour, you can learn about the university’s history and the vibrant community that calls it home. You can as well as view the beautiful campus grounds.
There are three types of tours available:
The first is a group information session that provides an overview of the university from an academic, cultural, and social standpoint.
Secondly, there’s an overall campus tour led by current students that covers the layout of the school, its buildings, faculties, and residences, as well as its beautifully maintained grounds; and lastly, a residence hall tour.
Address: 107 S Indiana Ave, Bloomington, IN 47405, United States
13. Anatolia Restaurant
Anatolia, named for the vast peninsula that spans between the Black and Mediterranean Seas, has been lauded as one of Bloomington’s top ethnic restaurants.
It is a Turkish cuisine restaurant, located in the middle of Fourth Street’s already eclectic dining scene.
They serve classic Turkish and Mediterranean food, including baked dolma (Turkish filled grape leaves), moussaka, and lamb kebabs, as well as stuffed eggplant, veggie guvec, and baked tilapia. Also, their Mediterranean cuisines are very delicious.
You’ll really enjoy the Turkish tea and red lentil soup. The Guvec has also never disappointed customers here.
In addition, alcoholic beverages are not served in the restaurant, although soft drinks and fruit juices are offered.
Address: 405 E 4th St, Bloomington, IN 47408, United States
14. Oliver Winery
Oliver Winery was started in the 1960s by Indiana University law professor William Oliver, and it has been producing exceptional wines ever since.
The Winery is one of the largest wineries in the United States and it strives to create wines that capture the flavor of the vineyard’s high-quality grapes.
For a number of visitors, Oliver’s sweet wine is their favourite. And it has a really great taste, so if you’ll be visiting, you should try this out.
The vineyard also offers daily wine tastings and weekend tours of the production plant and cellar
On the farm, visitors may also enjoy gourmet picnics and buy wine-related things.
Oliver Winery was a great experience. They were offering a wine flight. We decided to reserve a spot because we wanted to do a wine tasting.We loved Oliver. It was such a beautiful setting. The fall foliage around the pond they have was spectacular. There were little paths to walk in and picnic tables. It was so lovely and relaxing. We took the wine flight and really enjoyed our wine tasting. I love how they tell you about the different wines you are tasting.My fiancé and I loved the sweet and dry wine tasting. After our wine tasting we reserved a picnic. They set it up on an outdoor patio for us overlooking the fall foliage and pond. There was so much food on our tray and we sat and enjoyed a couple glasses of wine. I learned that Brie is my favorite cheese!!Everything was clean, organized and the price was fair. We loved our trip to Oliver and plan on coming back very soon.Alyssa Barnes
Address: 200 E Winery Rd, Bloomington, IN 47404, United States
15. Bloomington Cardinal Spirits
Cardinal Spirits is a Bloomington-based artisan distillery that specializes in high-quality whiskey, rum, gin, vodka, and specialty liqueurs.
They use locally sourced ingredients and goods to create a range of spirits with the goal of “increasing a connection between people.”
In addition, they arguably have the best combination of both food and service in Bloomington
It’s 10/10 every single time visitors come here. The drinks, the food, the service, and the ambience, all are phenomenal.
The staff are also very friendly and very knowledgeable about products and menu.
They also use a continuous column to ferment and distill all of their products on site.
Whiskey, vodka, gin, rum, and bourbon are among the spirits available, as are seasonal spirits and Songbird liqueurs.
Visitors can enjoy the best distillery tours, cocktails, amazing food, and wonderful service at Cardinal Spirits.
Address: 922 S Morton St, Bloomington, IN 47403, United States
16. Bub’s Burgers and Ice Cream
Bub’s Burgers and Ice Cream is a renowned franchise in Bloomington.
It was founded in 2003 and is noted for its All-American menu of classic burgers, fries, and ice cream.
Burgers are the restaurant’s specialty, and it also has locations in Carmel and Zionsville, asides from the award-winning franchise in Bloomington (which has won multiple accolades).
They have great customer service, however; they need more organization when putting out orders.
The food here also tastes really great, definitely better than average burgers and the price is not bad.
Hand-ground beef patties, freshly baked buns, and crisp salads and sides are all created from scratch here by amazing chefs.
Chicken sandwiches, grilled Mahi Mahi, elk burgers, and the legendary Bub’s Hotdog are also among the other items on the menu.
In summary, if you want a burger joint, nothing more, nothing less, this is it!
They have great choices in sizes, and you can choose from beef or elk. Their waffle fries are also on point!
Address: 480 N Morton St, Bloomington, IN 47404, United States
17. Butler Winery Bloomington, Indiana
Jim and Susan opened Butler Winery in downtown Bloomington on North College Avenue in 1983, along with Jim’s father, John.
They planted their first grapes on their Robinson Road property in 1992 and moved all the wine production to that location in 1995.
The downtown Bloomington location still serves as a satellite tasting room selling wines produced at the vineyard and an extensive line of home-brewing and winemaking supplies.
Butler Winery is also Indiana’s fourth oldest operating winery.
The winery, which is located in the heart of Indiana’s viticultural region, makes wines with distinct personalities based on the belief that wine made from locally grown grapes reflects the climate, soil, and people who grow them.
Since 1983, Butler Winery has been producing award-winning wines from Indiana grown grapes.
And they are extremely are proud to showcase the terroir and unique flavors that Southern Indiana has to offer.
They use a range of grapes to make wine, including Chambourcin, Chardonel, Cabernet Franc, and Tannat, in both stainless steel and American oak barrels.
Also, on Saturdays and Sundays, the winery offers cellar tours and wine tastings, and wines, as well as a selection of unique wine accessories, can be purchased at the farm and in-town shop.
Address: 6200 E. Robinson Rd. Bloomington, IN 47408
18. Lennie’s Gourmet Pizza
Lennie’s Gourmet Pizza delivers a variety of excellent, wood-fired pizzas with gourmet toppings.
They also serve a varied choice of entrées, for lunch, dinner, and brunch.
Lennie’s menus include favorites like chicken wings, meatballs, pasta, soups, salads, and, of course, pizza, all made with only the freshest ingredients gathered from local farmers and producers.
Overall, the food is outstanding, and the service is also wonderful.
In addition, the restaurant is very clean although it is a little pricey for lunch, but of course, you’ll get free glasses of wine which in turn adds to the expense of the lunch.
Gourmet toppings such as blue cheese and apple or Portobello mushrooms and goat’s cheese are available on pizzas, and all meals are accompanied by Bloomington Brewery craft beer, one of Lennie’s Gourmet Pizza’s partners.
We highly recommend this place!
Address: 514 E Kirkwood Ave, Bloomington, IN 47408, United States
19. Bloomington Upland Brewpub
The Upland Brewpub is the Upland Brewing Company’s headquarters and main tasting room.
The brewery has been producing beer for over 14 years.
Upland Brewpub attracts beer enthusiasts and foodies alike with its quaint, pleasant pub-like restaurant.
Upland Brewing Co was excellent! We sat on the patio, and it was very spacious. Our server was friendly and tentative. We tried the classic beef burger and the three little pigs sandwich, and both came with the brewery fries and a pickle. The food was top notch! We were impressed that they had a ton of vegan and vegetarian options as well
So it’s obviously tough not to adore the huge selections of both imaginative and original beer and food.
Coupled with that, the service here is also quick. And the servers are usually friendly.
You can also sit out on the patio and enjoy its nice ambience.
The pub also has a great range of local and international wines. As well as 6-packs, bombers, and growlers available for takeout.
At the same time, every Saturday and Sunday, visitors can take a guided tour of the brewery.
This is generally done to learn more about the brewing process and how the ale is prepared.
Address: 350 W 11th St, Bloomington, IN 47404, United States
20. The Runcible Spoon, Bloomington
The Runcible Spoon is a charming café in Bloomington’s downtown district.
They are particularly known for serving delicious food and freshly made coffee.
The restaurant, which first opened in 1976, quickly became known for having the town’s only coffee roaster, a legacy that continues today.
With its delicious cups of coffee, this establishment attracts both locals and travelers.
This place is amazing all around, and the staff are also super accommodating and kind.
The cafe’s interior is quite lovely and quaint. And it makes the experience feel like breakfast in an old charming bookstore.
Also The food! OMG, the food is so amazing!
From homemade pancakes and freshly baked pies to soups, salads, sandwiches and burgers, pasta, vegetarian and seafood specialties.
The Runcible Spoon is open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to midnight.
Address: 412 E 6th St, Bloomington, IN 47408, United States
21. Bloomington Grunwald Gallery of Art
The Grunwald Gallery of Art is one of the most notable galleries in Bloomington.
This organization focuses primarily on displaying student works of art and facility art
Besides, special exhibits are also held from time to time.
The Grunwald gallery is also the home to a rarely displayed clothing collection.
They also present contemporary works by both professional and student artists in a special exhibition format.
In this, exhibits incorporate art from a variety of contemporary genres and approaches, and can be experimental or traditional.
The Gallery also hosts over thirty exhibits annually of students from the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design, focusing on work by advanced undergraduate, BFA and MFA students.
It’s definitely a place you should check out!
Address: Fine Arts Building, 1201 E 7th St, Bloomington, IN 47405, United States
Bloomington, Indiana is indeed an amazing place to visit
Therefore, for your next vacation, plan a visit to this beautiful city.
Pack your bags, invite your family and friends and get ready to move.