Bloomington, pop. 77,000(2010 census), is a city in the Midwest state of Illinois in the United States of America, on the classic Route 66 highway across the country. With neighboring Normal, pop. 52,000(2010 census), it forms a combined community of about 130,000 known locally as the Twin Cities. Illinois Wesleyan University is in Bloomington, and is not to be confused with Illinois State University in Normal.

The community is in the heart of Central Illinois, approximately 125 miles southwest of Chicago, 155 miles northeast of St. Louis, and 64 miles northeast of Springfield, the State Capital. Bloomington is the County Seat of McLean County, the largest county in Illinois (approximately 762,240 acres). Interstates 39, 55 and 74 converge on Bloomington-Normal, as well as US Route 51 and State Route 9.

Bloomington-Normal is also serviced by four major railroad lines and Amtrak, as well as air transportation at the Central Illinois Regional Airport, one of the fastest growing airports in the country, which services commuter, corporate, and private aircraft.

The Twin Cities are located in one of the most productive agricultural areas in the nation, but the economy is diverse and well-balanced. In addition to the major manufacturers and industries, there are two universities, two hospitals, a convention center, two indoor malls, an outdoor outlet mall, and many banks and Savings & Loan Associations located in Bloomington-Normal. The City of Bloomington is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in Illinois with an estimated 20.25% increase in population between 1986 and 1995. New construction continues to enhance residential, industrial and commercial growth.

Get in

By plane

The   Central Illinois Regional Airport at Bloomington-Normal (IATA: BMI) has daily arrivals from Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, and Dallas, along with 4-times-a-week service from Orlando and Denver. A smaller airport, Peoria International Airport (IATA: PIA) is 45 minutes away and offers arrivals from additional cities. Parking is free at both airports.

By car

Interstate highways 39, 55 and 74 converge on the south side of Bloomington and divide again on the north side of Normal. I-55 follows the historic route of Route 66 through central Illinois, except that Route 66 bypassed Bloomington-Normal on the east rather than on the west as the interstates do. Veterans Parkway, the east-side bypass (formerly called "Belt Line Road", was renamed in the 1980s), was the Route 66 route in the immediate pre-Interstate period. Earlier, 66 passed through downtown Bloomington and into residential Normal. The route given in the Route 66 page reflects this original alignment, known as "Business 66" after Veterans Parkway was built.

By train

By bus

Get around





Downtown Bloomington has shops, including some that sell beads, crafts, used books, used clothes and other funky items. For more mainstream shopping, most of what you want can be found on the stores lining Veteran's Parkway.



All bars close at 1AM Sunday - Thursday 2AM Friday and Saturday, no smoking

Downtown Bloomington

The following downtown bars are all walking distance from each other...Townie populated.

Uptown Normal


All bars close at 1:30, no smoking allowed



Go next

Routes through Bloomington-Normal

St. Louis Lincoln  S/SW  N/NE  Pontiac Chicago
Rockford El Paso  N  S  END
Chicago Lexington  N  S  McLean Springfield
Peoria East Peoria  W  E  Champaign Indianapolis
Rockford El Paso  N  S  Jct W DecaturCarbondale
Springfield McLean  W  E  Lexington Chicago

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