Bloomington seems to have it all. The town itself is lovely and surrounded by picturesque rolling hills. Downtown is alive and vibrant, a rarity in this day and age. Two absolutely gorgeous state parks within short driving distance and Monroe Lake, located a short drive south, offers boating, swimming, fishing. Although Indiana is a four seasons state, winters seem to be less harsh in southern Indiana where Bloomington is located. Spring and autumn in the area are a photographer's delight.
On the downside, Indiana University is located here and that drives rental prices up. Home prices are also more expensive if you intend to purchase, however cheap compared to other states. And because of the proximity of IU, traffic can be a challenge from August through May. Also, be aware of where you are renting/buying. Although the students are generally well-behaved, kids will be kids. The further away from IU you find a place to live, the more quiet it will be. However, that is a generality, so scope out apartment complexes, neighborhoods etc, before you rent/buy. Nightlife tends to be geared towards the student population, but there are places where adults can enjoy a quiet drink and listen to some good music.
Because of current economic conditions countrywide, jobs can be difficult to find but with due diligence and patience, available.
Excellent public transportation system, good public schools, great restaurants and shopping, friendly locals, diverse population, good medical care all add up to a wonderful place to live.
In early June 2010 my husband and I spent three days visiting Bloomington, Indiana. This was the perfect time to visit, because the weather was warm, but not overly hot. We stayed at the Fairfield Inn Bloomington located at 120 Fairfield Drive. This was a very nice and reasonably priced hotel.
The second day of our trip to Bloomington we went to the Oliver Winery. The gardens surrounding the winery were beautiful. My husband and I were surprised at how much the people at the winery new about the different types of wines. Even though I'm not a regular wine drinker, I had a really nice time visiting this winery. That evening we went to Samira's Restaurant for dinner. This was a great buffet restaurant. My husband really enjoyed it, because it had a lot of vegetarian options to chose from.
The third of our trip we spent strolling around the downtown area of Bloomington. We really enjoyed shopping at the different shops in the downtown area. Besides shopping we liked looking at different historical buildings in the area. We also enjoyed having pastries and coffee at one of the small coffee shops downtown.
While we enjoyed our stay in the city of Bloomington, Indiana, my husband and I wished there was more nightlife in the area.