Welcome to my home. For 20 years of my life - the first 18 and the last 2 - I’ve enjoyed being a part of this unique community. In many ways it has the amenities of a large city - thanks, in part, to IU - but jam-packed into a small town where if you have a drive of more than 10 minutes, you’re doing something wrong.
If you’ve never been to Bloomington before, I highly encourage you to throw away whatever mental pictures you have of what it must be like. While Bloomington is located in south-central Indiana, it definitely does not act like the rest of Indiana. It has managed to create a personality and style that is unique. As you spend the next few days here, I encourage you to take some time to explore as much as you can. I think you’ll be amazed at how great this town is.
For this page, the IU staff has picked out some of their personal recommendations of places to eat and drink that are in the downtown area. We’ve also got some links to other establishments based on whatever it is you’re looking for.
food recommendations from the locals
(click on each button)
a few recommended places in bloomington
The Bloomington Community Farmers' Market is one of the areas most beloved traditions. Every Saturday April - November over 100 local vendors sell a variety of foods and goods that are grown and or made in Indiana. You can shop for fresh fruits and vegetables, local dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese, eggs, fresh and/or frozen meats including beef, pork, poultry, and lamb. You can also find locally made salsa, jam, jelly, honey, maple syrup, relish, and vinegar. If you have a green thumb, make sure to explore the plant vendors that offer a variety of non-invasive plants, flowers, and herbs, and non-food products like beeswax, and bar soaps.
Don't forget to bring your appetite too. Ten prepared food vendors can be found at the Farmers’ Market Plaza on the B-Line Trail, serving up delicious food and drink items for attendees to enjoy while shopping at the Market. Most of the time the food sells out before the market ends so get there early to ensure you get your favorite treat.
The Lilly Library is the principal rare books, manuscripts, and special collections repository of Indiana University, serving as a resource for scholars throughout the world as well as a center of cultural enrichment. The Library is open to anyone interested in its collections.
The TMBCC was founded in Bloomington, Indiana by Thubten Jigme Norbu, brother of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. Under the leadership of Venerable Arjia Rinpoche, it nurtures and preserves the cultures of Tibet and Mongolia.
please note: the cultural center is located on the southeast side of town and will probably only be accessible to Summit attendees via car.
The B-Line Trail extends a total of 3.1 miles from Adams Street to Country Club Drive. The B-Line connects to the Bloomington Rail Trail at Country Club Drive, offering a total of 5.1 miles of trail.
The trail is lighted with energy-efficient LED lights. The lights are on from dusk to dawn. The B-Line Trail is paved and is completely accessible. Motorized vehicles are not permitted on the B-Line Trail, with the exception of pedal-assist electric bikes and motorized wheelchairs.
please note: access to the trail is approximately .2 miles west of the Graduate hotel and .6 miles west of the IMU Biddle Hotel
The Grunwald Gallery of Art is home to contemporary works by both professional and student artists. Exhibits incorporate art from a variety of contemporary genres and approaches, and can be experimental or traditional.
The gallery space allows artists to participate in the installation of their works and to interact with students and the public. The gallery hosts more than thirty exhibits annually by students, focusing on work by B.F.A. and M.F.A. students.
The Grunwald Gallery frequently collaborates with artists, scientists, and scholars to produce exhibits that interpret visual art in a broader scientific or humanities context.