Moving to Bloomington

Welcome! Considering a move to Bloomington, IL? Let us be your guide! Situated in the heart of the Prairie State, Bloomington brings together small-town charm and the progressive spirit of a vibrant city. With luscious parks, exciting cultural avenues, appealing job markets and warm neighbors who can't wait to greet you, life in Bloomington is a journey waiting to be unfurled. So whether you're here for the long haul or contemplating the next big move, our comprehensive Bloomington relocation guide is tailored to demystify your transition. Get ready to embrace all that Bloomington has to offer!

Moving to Bloomington, IL landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Bloomington

1. The "H" is Silent

First things first, let's get the pronunciation right. For many newcomers, it's tempting to pronounce the "h" in Bloomington, but locals will quickly correct you. The "h" is silent, so it's pronounced "Blumington." You'll fit right in once you master this little trick.

2. A Mecca for Art and Culture

Bloomington might not be the first place you think of when you think of burgeoning centers of art and culture, but you'd be wrong to overlook it. With an amazing array of local theater, artwork displays, and festivals, Bloomington boasts a rich and vibrant cultural scene. The city also houses the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, putting it on the map for art connoisseurs and enthusiasts.

3. Friendly Competition with Normal, IL

Adjacent to Bloomington is the town of Normal, IL. Yes, you heard it right - Normal! And what's even more fun is the playful and friendly rivalry between the two towns. Each town has its own unique charm and personality, and residents enjoy seeing which town can outshine the other.

4. Football is a Big Deal

Football is treated almost religiously in Bloomington. And the arena where these football battles are fought? It's none other than the Illinois State University's Hancock Stadium. Even if you aren't a big sports fan, the energetic and passionate atmosphere is contagious. Tailgating at ISU games should be on your to-do list when you move here.

5. An Unexpected Hub for Insurance

Here's a lesser-known fact about Bloomington - it's a major hub for insurance companies. This midwestern city is the headquarters for State Farm Insurance, and the local economy largely revolves around the insurance industry. So, if you're in the insurance business or looking for job opportunities, Bloomington could just be your mecca.

6. The Wildlife Experience

Last, but certainly not least, Bloomington's location in central Illinois offers a diverse wildlife experience. You may not get to see exotic animals like lions or elephants, but you'll be amazed by the diversity of bird species that inhabit the city's parks. Don't be surprised if you find yourself turning into a birdwatching enthusiast soon after moving to Bloomington!

So there you have it! These six features make Bloomington, Illinois a charming place, a hidden gem that lies undiscovered for many. Moving to Bloomington means you're going to enjoy the best of arts, sports, and wide-open natural spaces, with a dash of insurance and a pinch of friendly rivalry with Normal. While moving to a new place can be daunting, remember that Bloomington offers a plethora of unique experiences and an all-embracing community, waiting to welcome you with open arms.

What to know before moving to Bloomington, IL image
See the 10 Best Movers Nearest You
(Unbiased) Ranking of the top movers in every city.

Pros and Cons of Living in Bloomington

Pros of Living in Bloomington

Low Cost of Living

One major advantage of living in Bloomington is the relatively low cost of living. Expenses such as housing, utilities, and groceries tend to be lower than in many other U.S. cities, particularly those on the coasts. This makes the city an appealing choice for people who want to stretch their income further.

Strong Educational Opportunities

Bloomington is known for its strong educational system. The city is home to Illinois Wesleyan University and has a number of highly-rated K-12 schools. This makes it an attractive choice for families with children and those interested in furthering their education.

Wide Range of Recreational Activities

Bloomington offers a wide variety of outdoor and indoor activities. The city's proximity to extensive park systems and outdoor recreation areas, combined with a variety of dining and shopping options, means there's always something to do.

Varied Job Market

Bloomington has a diverse job market, with opportunities available in sectors such as education, insurance, healthcare, and retail. This diverse economic base can make it easier for individuals and families to find employment opportunities in their chosen fields.

Friendly and Inviting Community

Bloomington is noted for having a friendly and inviting community. The city prides itself on its Midwestern hospitality and this, along with a number of family-friendly events and community activities, can make it a great place to call home.

Cons of Living in Bloomington

Weather Variability

One downside to living in Bloomington is that the weather can be unpredictable. Summers can be hot and humid, while winters can be fairly cold with bouts of snow and ice. This can be off-putting for those who prefer milder climates.

Limited Public Transportation

Bloomington's public transportation options can be somewhat limited, which may prove challenging for those without their own vehicle. While the city does have a bus system, routes and schedules may not cater to everyone's needs.

Lack of Cultural Diversity

While not without its cultural events and landmarks, Bloomington doesn't compare in cultural diversity to larger, more cosmopolitan cities. Those used to a wider range of global cuisines, arts, and cultural events might feel the difference.

Somewhat Isolated Location

Bloomington's somewhat isolated location means it's not as near to other major cities as some might prefer. While Chicago is a manageable drive away, it could be considered too distant for regular visits.

Slow Pace of Life

While some may see it as a perk, others might find the slower pace of life in Bloomington a downside. Those who thrive in a fast-paced, bustling urban environment might find Bloomington a bit quiet and lacking in certain amenities.

Modern day picture of Bloomington, IL highlighting pros and cons of living in Bloomington, IL

Is Bloomington a Good Place to Live?

Bloomington, IL is a great place to live because of its fantastic educational opportunities, vibrant arts scene, and beautiful parks. Not to mention, it's home to a plethora of eateries offering a wide array of cuisines for all the foodies out there. Plus, the friendly community vibe makes it an easy place to call home. So pack your bags, we'll see you in Bloomington!

What Is Bloomington Famous For?

Home of Beer Nuts

In snack aisles across the country, you'll spot a classic treat that originates from Bloomington - Beer Nuts! This widely-loved cocktail peanut brand was started right here by the Shirk family in 1937. It's so popular, that millions of cans of deliciously sweet-and-salty Beer Nuts are shipped globally every year.

David Davis Mansion

Bloomington is home to the majestic David Davis Mansion - a historical gem that transports you back to the Victorian era. This stunning 36-room house is a preserved testament to the rise of the Midwest's agricultural economy following the Civil War. Think of it as Bloomington's version of Downton Abbey, just without the drama!

Heartland Community College

Established in 1991, Heartland Community College has become a vital part of Bloomington's character. Known for its commitment to inclusive education and community engagement, it's grown rapidly, now enrolling over 5,000 students every year. If learning is your thing, then you'll fit right in at Heartland!

Illinois Shakespeare Festival

Every summer, Bloomington comes alive with the enchanting words and characters of William Shakespeare. The Illinois Shakespeare Festival is an annual tradition that draws theater lovers from miles around for performances under the stars. Whether you're a casual observer or a die-hard Bard fan, it's the kind of event that keeps you coming back for more!

Capital building of Bloomington, IL in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, residents in Bloomington, IL have a median property tax rate of 2.16%, which is slightly higher than the national average property tax rate of 1.07%. This places Bloomington among the top 20% of the highest property taxes in the US.

Sales Tax

The combined sales tax rate for Bloomington, IL in 2023 is 8.75%, which is relatively above the average US combined sales tax rate of 7.12%. This rate accounts for the state, county, city, and special district rates.

Income Tax

In Illinois, the income tax rate in 2023 is a flat rate of 4.95%, which applies to all residents regardless of their income level. This rate is higher compared to the states that offer progressive tax rates or states with no income tax, but lower compared to states with higher flat rates.

Housing Market

The housing market in Bloomington, IL offers a lower cost of living compared to the national average. With a median home value around $165,000, purchasing a home in Bloomington is more affordable compared to the US median of $229,700. Rent prices also fall below average, with a median monthly rent of approximately $850, lower than the US median of around $1,000. This affordability, coupled with a strong job market and high quality of life, make Bloomington an attractive location for both buyers and renters.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Bloomington, IL is lower than the US average, providing residents with affordable housing, utilities, and groceries. Compared to larger cities like Chicago or Los Angeles, living expenses in Bloomington tend to be significantly less demanding. Despite the lower cost, Bloomington does not compromise on the quality of lifestyle or services. Thus, making it an attractive destination for individuals and families seeking a balanced work-life environment with plenty of amenities and good quality education.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Bloomington, Illinois, experiences a moderate continental climate, characterized by hot, humid summers and cold, sometimes harsh, winters. The average high temperature in July, the hottest month, is around 85degF, while the January, the coldest month, sees lows of approximately 18degF. Throughout the year, Bloomington accumulates an average of 36 inches of rainfall and a significant snowfall of about 22 inches. As part of Tornado Alley, Bloomington sees an occasional occurrence of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes especially during spring and early summer. Other natural disasters the city experiences include heavy snowfalls and blizzards in the winter, and periodic floods - largely due to its proximity to the Illinois River. Despite these, Bloomington's climate possesses an endearing variability that provides the city with a distinct charm across all four typically defined seasons.

Typical weather in Bloomington, IL

Economy & Job Market

Agriculture and Food Processing

• Manufacturing

• Healthcare and Social Assistance

• Retail Trade

Education Services

The economy in Bloomington, IL has long been rooted in the rich, fertile Midwestern soil that's made agriculture and related food processing ventures so successful. Think corn, soybeans, and more corn - you get the gist! Manufacturing also has a big presence in this vibrant city, including giants like State Farm Insurance and Country Financial. The latter, a testament to the insurance industry behemoths that call Bloomington home. Flash forward to today, and you'll find a thriving Healthcare and Social Assistance sector, as well as a bustling Retail Trade scene. And let's not forget Education - with Illinois State University residing here, education services play a huge role in Bloomington's economy.

If you're packing your bags and heading to Bloomington (hoo-ray, adventurous soul!), here are some job-hunting nuggets for you! As of 2021, unemployment rates in Bloomington are generally lower than the national average - that sounds promising, right? But wait, there's more! The city's major employers are in Healthcare, Education, Insurance, and Manufacturing. So, if your career alley is somewhere along these lines - you're in luck! However, budding entrepreneurs need not fear - the city is brimming with potential for small businesses and startups. So whether you're the next insurance guru, an aspiring educator, or the captain of your own enterprise, Bloomington is ready to welcome you aboard. Now that's what we call a peach of a job market!

Traffic and Transportation

Zooming through Bloomington, IL is a breeze! With an average commute time of a paltry 16.5 minutes, this city won't keep you caught in traffic hell. The Connect Transit buses are reliable associates for Bloomington residents providing affordable, accessible, and sustainable public transportation. Buy a day pass or a monthly membership and start exploring the city today. More of a flyer than a driver? You'll be pleased to know that we have Central Illinois Regional Airport, bringing the world to your doorstep. With regular flights to major hubs like Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Detroit, your travel bug can get its fix. In Bloomington, transportation is smooth sailing...or should we say, smooth driving and flying!

What is the traffic like in Bloomington, IL?

Best Neighborhoods in Bloomington

1. Downtown Bloomington

If you love being at the heart of the city's hustle and bustle, Downtown Bloomington should be on top of your list! Known for its beautifully preserved historic buildings and thriving arts scene, it has a vibrant, dynamic vibe that's hard to resist. Open-air concerts, farmers markets, and vibrant street festivals are aplenty here. The route 66 landmark, Miller Park Zoo, and the McLean County Museum of History are among the must-see places in this neighborhood.

2. White Place

For those looking for a cozier atmosphere, White Place is your go-to neighborhood. With its charming tree-lined streets and diverse architectural styles, it's a visually appealing neighborhood that's perfect for afternoon strolls or bike rides. It's known for its sense of community, with friendly neighbors and numerous community events organized throughout the year. Being walking distance to schools, parks, and local eateries, it's an ideal place for families and anyone who values convenience.

3. Founder's Grove

Founder's Grove is a historical neighborhood featuring a wide array of home styles from different eras. It's a treat for history and architecture lovers! Known for its quiet streets and ample green spaces, Founder's Grove is a serene place that offers a break from the city's hustle while being just minutes away from downtown amenities. It's well-suited for those seeking a peaceful, suburban vibe while staying connected to the city life.

4. Eastland Commons

Welcome to Eastland Commons, a community that exudes a blend of city and suburban lifestyle. It's close to major employers and shopping destinations, making it an excellent choice for young professionals. The neighborhood's top selling point is its sprawling park which showcases a charming lake and a scenic walking trail. With a variety of home styles and a tight-knit community, Eastland Commons is an inviting place to call home.

5. Dimmitt's Grove

Last but not least, Dimmitt's Grove is another historic neighborhood that's full of character. Known for its diverse mix of residents, from artists to academics, it offers a sense of inclusivity and community. With a blend of historic homes and modern condos, there's a place for everyone. Its close proximity to downtown coupled with its unique charm gives it an appealing balance of city and residential life.

There you have it, the five best neighborhoods in Bloomington, IL! Each one has a unique character and charm, offering something different for everyone. Despite their differences, these neighborhoods share a sense of community spirit and a love for Bloomington. So whether you crave the city's energy, or prefer a quieter, more suburban lifestyle, Bloomington, IL has a neighborhood ready to welcome you with open arms.

Best neighborhoods in Bloomington, IL image

Things to Do

Welcome to the land of corn, collegiate sports, and cultural treasures, Bloomington, IL! Considering a relocation to, or a lengthy sojourn within this pleasant Midwest city? Either way, this delightful mini-metropolis nestled in the heart of Illinois has something for everyone. Nestle in and let's explore 7 of the top things to do in Bloomington!

1. Check out the Beer Nuts Factory Tour

Go nuts at the Beer Nuts Factory right here in Bloomington! Beer Nuts, that iconic salty-and-sweet snack, was first concocted in Bloomington and continues to maintain its production base in this charming city. Book a factory tour to get a behind-the-scenes look at how these beloved nuts are made and yes, there are free samples!

2. Visit the Prairie Aviation Museum

A little-known hidden gem, the Prairie Aviation Museum offers a thorough look into the evolution of aviation. With extensive exhibits housing vintage aircraft, a military collection, and a space exploration wing, this is a haven for history buffs and aspiring astronauts alike. If you're lucky, you might even experience one of their "Open Cockpit Days" where visitors are allowed to climb aboard the exhibited aircraft!

3. Catch a Performance at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts

The crown jewel of Illinois's performing arts scene is undoubtedly the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts. From Broadway touring shows to children's theatre productions, the BCPA is a cultural hub, providing the community with a steady stream of high-quality live performances encompassing a wide range of genres.

4. Go Wild at Miller Park Zoo

Get up close and personal with exotic animals at Miller Park Zoo. The zoo provides an immersive experience, hosting over a hundred species of animals, including some endangered ones. The interactive exhibits and special kid-friendly sections make it a hit with families.

5. Enjoy a Meal at Epiphany Farms

A dining experience at Epiphany Farms is a must-do in Bloomington. Believe us, this is not your standard farm-to-table restaurant. Practicing a unique "Farm to Fork" service, they source ingredients directly from their local farms, ensuring every dish is peak freshness. Plus, the setting in an elegantly restored old manor offers an atmosphere unparalleled in the city.

6. Get Thrifty at The Garlic Press

Embark on a quaint shopping spree in downtown Bloomington. The Garlic Press Market Cafe, a tight-knit community favorite since 1974, is just the place to begin. It houses unique gifts and gourmet foods, kitchen gadgets, and even offers a cafe serving fresh, homemade food. Plus, the store's name itself is a local inside joke, making it worth a visit!

7. Explore the Constitution Trail

For those who prefer outdoor activities, Bloomington offers the Constitution Trail, a 24-mile rail-trail conversion ideal for running, biking, or walking. Cutting through the city's urban landscape, it offers a uniquely inspiring way to explore Bloomington, especially during the fall when the leaves are in full display.

Brimming with Midwestern charm, Bloomington provides both residents and visitors a taste of the authentic American heartland lifestyle with an added serve of culture, history, and culinary delights. By exploring these top picks, you'll quickly come to realize that there's a certain magic unique to this friendly city. Welcome home!

Things to do in Bloomington, IL?

Find Movers for Your Bloomington Relocation

Having explored the lifestyle, amenities, and opportunities Bloomington, IL offers, you're likely eager to begin your new chapter here. Engaging the services of a quality moving company will help make the relocation process smooth and stress-free. This is where Great Guys Moving can assist. Imagine receiving affordable quotes from a roster of top-rated, fully insured movers at the push of a button. Simplify your move to Bloomington by allowing Great Guys Moving to connect you to the best in the industry. Get started today and request your free moving quote!

See The Best Movers For Moving To Illinois From...

Find out how much your move costs!