Life in Bloomington
Small City, international flair. . . and conveniently located
Bloomington is a small city of about 70,000 with cultural resources and opportunities that rival cities many times its size. Bloomington is just one hour’s drive from Indianapolis and the Indianapolis International Airport, two hours from Louisville, three from Cincinnati, and four from Chicago and St. Louis.
Take a photo tour of our remarkable community. You will find coffeehouses, live music, festivals, bookstores, open-air markets, historic architecture, cafés, eclectic restaurants, boutiques, lakes, parks, museums, theatres, an excellent county school system, and top private schools. Essentially, Bloomington offers all the activities and conveniences of a major metropolitan area — including excellent public transportation — with the affordable housing and safety of a small town.
Uniquely Bloomington will help you find things you can't see or do anywhere else, such as the country's only Tibetan Cultural Center and the state's oldest and largest winery. The City of Bloomington Entertainment and Arts Districtwebsite provides all kinds of information on where to eat, shop, and spend time in the revitalized Downtown area.
Bloomington is an arts and culture mecca in the Midwest. It hosts world-class concerts, Broadway musicals, and community-wide events such as a mini marathon, a weekly farmer’s market, and more than 30 festivals (including Taste of Bloomington and the Lotus World Music Festival). World-famous speakers frequently visit our campus, from Indiana Law alumnus Michael Uslan (producer of the Batman films franchise) to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (also an IU alumnus). The IU Jacobs School of Music offers world-class opera, ballet, and musical performances throughout the year, plus amazing precollege programs for kids. Read more about our community and culture.
. . . with the great outdoors just minutes away
Home to the state's largest inland lake, only national forest, and a variety of city and county parks, Bloomington offers dozens of opportunities for outdoor excursions, from a picnic to a true natural adventure. Click below to find out more about the natural beauty of Bloomington and the many ways to enjoy it.
- Lake Monroe - the state's largest inland lake, with more than 10,000 acres of water for boating, fishing, and skiing
- Hoosier National Forest - 200,000 acres across nine counties with 230 miles of hiking, horseback, and mountain biking trails
- Brown County State Park - Indiana's largest state park welcomes five million visitors every year
- McCormick's Creek State Park - Hiking, horseback riding, fishing, camping, and picnicking just minutes from Bloomington
- Cedar Bluff Nature Preserve - 75-foot high bluffs with gnarled red cedars - a stunning display of species adaptation
- Bean Blossom Bottoms and Nature Preserve - 570 acres of hardwood forested wetland and more than 15 endangered or threatened plant and animal species
- Griffy Lake Nature Preserve - a 1,200 acre preserve just minutes from Downtown
- Bloomington Bicycle Club - promotes cycling through beautiful Southern Indiana
Housing and schools
Unlike the high cost of living on the East and West Coasts, or even Chicago or Cleveland, Bloomington is an inexpensive place to live while earning your law degree. In addition to on-campus university housing, you can live off-campus in an apartment or house. Most law students find housing within blocks of the Law School. IU’s Graduate and Professional Student Organization maintains a list of Web sites that can help you find rental housing or potential roommates.
If you have kids, Bloomington is an excellent place to raise them. Not only is our community made richer by the cultural amenities offered through IU, the Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC) is known statewide for providing students with an exceptional, culturally diverse education. Learn more about housing and schools.
Local job opportunities
If you or your spouse are interested in working while you’re in law school, Bloomington offers many on- and off-campus job opportunities. Beyond Indiana University, the area’s largest local employer, Bloomington is home to many locally owned business, as well as several large employers such as Bloomington Hospital, Monroe County Schools, Cook Inc., the Herald-Times, and the City of Bloomington. Some of our top students work as research assistants for Indiana Law professors. Find out more about local job opportunities.
Learn more about Bloomington
- Visitor’s Guide
- City of Bloomington
- Bloomington Herald-Times (subscription required)
- Indiana Daily Student
- Bloomington Alternative
Learn more about Indiana
- Explore Southern Indiana
- Indiana State Museum
- Indiana Department of Natural Resources