So what does Bloomington, Indiana have to offer?
I discovered that Bloomington offers more than I expected. Of course there is a lot of activity surrounded around the University of Indiana, but I think that only enhances your experience.
During my visit to Bloomington, I visited Oliver Winery the first evening. The grounds are absolutely gorgeous! I can see why this is a popular location for special events. The wine selection is also wonderful which gives plenty of options for every pallet. What started as a hobby for a former Indiana law professor in the 1960’s has grown into one of the largest wineries in the eastern United States.
The following day our group discovered downtown.
We started our downtown tour with lunch at Uptown Cafe. Uptown Cafe has been local favorite since it opened in 1976. The owner, Michael Cassidy fell in love with Louisiana style cooking and the menu and atmosphere reflect his love of New Orleans.
I opted for the Cajun Meatloaf that’s an Uptown Classic. (Char-grilled and served on a toasted brioche bun with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise.)
After lunch we walked to the Monroe County Courthouse, Pictura Gallery, and Bloomington Antique Mall. There are lots of unique shops on Morton Street that are worth checking out. If you love vintage items, you might want to allow more time to spend inside the Antique Mall. If you love architecture, you will really enjoy the detail of the courthouse.
After our walking tour I wandered solo for hours downtown discovering the Indiana University at my own pace. I didn’t use a map so I relied on random strangers to point me in the direction of interesting things. The campus of Indiana University is really beautiful. The free art museum on campus was definitely an additional SCORE!
I also loved this sculpture.
For dinner, we ate at a farm to table restaurant downtown called FARMbloomington. This restaurant has a very eclectic atmosphere and takes pride in creating “crowd pleasing recipes for every budget and taste using local foods with global flavors.”
After our meal we watched the performing arts group “Hudsucker Posse” outside in the back parking lot.
FARMbloomington also had another eclectic gem in the lower level called The Root Cellar Lounge. This speakeasy style bar has little seating nooks that create a cozy atmosphere for enjoying a drink.
The “Root Cellar” bar beneath Farm Bloomington is an eclectic speakeasy with several unique seating areas. #visitbtown #tmsbloomington A video posted by adventuremom (@adventuremom) on
The following day I had to try a Pineapple Dole Whip from the Chocolate Moose which is a beloved local favorite place to get a sweet treat.
All of the locations that I mentioned above were walkable from our stay at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Bloomington. The hotel is also right next to the Monroe County Convention Center.
I really enjoyed discovering Bloomington for the 1st time during my visit. You can find even more things to do in Bloomington from their website.