Written by Maura Johnson
IU and its surrounding towns have so much to offer to both students and visitors throughout the week and especially on the weekends. Whether you’re a homebody, nature lover, or adventure-seeker, there’s something for everyone.
1. Visit Brown County:
Just east of the city of Bloomington is Brown County State Park and the town of Nashville, Indiana. Loved by visitors and locals, this destination is ideal for nature lovers and those fond of quaint small towns. The state park itself is great for hiking and exploring, and once you’re done, Nashville has plenty of small shops and restaurants that are easy to get lost in for a few hours. I think the area looks and performs its best in the fall, but it’s a great weekend destination no matter the season.
2. Order Baked! of Bloomington cookies to-go and have a night in:
Baked! is a bakery that specializes in late-night cookie deliveries to campus and the town of Bloomington. Located right downtown, you can call ahead or order in-store and choose between a list of doughs, toppings, and add-ins. You don’t even have to share with your friends: Baked! gives you the option of choosing different types of cookies depending on what you and your party want, but there’s really no bad combination. These cookies are perfect after a late night out, or for a cozy night in.
3. See a show at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater:
Located on Kirkwood close to the square in downtown Bloomington is a historic theater that still does shows and movies throughout the week and weekends. Whether it be a band, guest lecturer, or classic movie, there are so many options at the Buskirk-Chumley, so you’re sure to find something you enjoy. Once the performance is over, walk over to the Blu Boy Cafe & Cakery and pick out a dessert (I recommend their truffles and ice cream sandwich!).
4. Try out a new restaurant on 4th Street:
If you’re hungry, you really can’t go wrong choosing a restaurant along 4th Street. Filled with ethnically diverse options, 4th Street is filled with some of the tastiest food Bloomington has to offer. Whether you’re in the mood for Indian, Thai, or Mediterranean food, there’s an option for you. My roommates and I personally loved going to Siam House for Thai food, but there are too many restaurant options to go through in one day.
5. Grab a coffee and explore downtown Bloomington:
You sincerely can’t go wrong with simply wandering around downtown Bloomington, no matter the season or time of day. My favorite part of the day in Bloomington is the late morning, where I can grab an iced coffee from my favorite coffee shop and roam around the shops around downtown. I’m a lover of vintage clothing and antiques, so I always loved visiting the Bloomington Antique Mall, Cherry Canary Vintage, and The Warehouse, but there are so many options in the realm of apparel, book stores, and restaurants.