The Bloomington-Normal area is a vibrant community offering a remarkable quality of life and a traditional Midwestern lifestyle and values. We’re proud of our Midwestern hospitality. Whether you are here for a weekend, attending an event, or on business, we hope you enjoy your visit and return often.
We invite you to discover the wealth of exciting attractions BN has to offer. BN is home to a multitude of arts, culture and entertainment, trails and parks, fairs and festivals, restaurants, hotels, and shopping centers.
Plan a meeting in BN
BN is ideal for meetings and conventions. Located at the interchanges of Interstates 55, 74, and 39, and only two hours from Chicago and St. Louis, we are the destination for maximum attendance in the state of Illinois. We can help coordinate the details of your next meeting from site selection to post-convention follow up.
Plan a sporting event in BN
BN is a world class sporting event destination. We have hosted numerous successful international, national and regional tournaments and sporting events. Teams love our central location. Our outstanding range of sporting facilities, include US Cellular Coliseum, stadiums, arenas, baseball, softball and soccer fields and complexes, an ice center, swimming pools, university facilities, and parks and recreation grounds.
The Bloomington-Normal Area Sports Commission can help you plan your sporting event, and ensure your teams have a wonderful experience when they come to BN.
BN is located in the heart of Central Illinois, approximately 125 miles southwest of Chicago, 155 miles northeast of St. Louis and 64 miles northeast of Springfield, the State Capital.
BN is easily accessible from any city, with access from Interstates 39, 55 and 74, as well as daily Amtrak service and flights through the Central Illinois Regional Airport. See our guide to getting here and getting around for more information.
Living in BN
The stability of our major employers, the choice of healthcare professionals, locally owned businesses, numerous media providers, and our central location in the state all make BN an exceptional place to call home. 174,061 people live in the area.
Our institutions of higher education include Illinois State University, Illinois Wesleyan University, Heartland Community College and Lincoln College-Normal. Our world-class healthcare institutions include Advocate BroMenn Medical Center and OSF St. Joseph.
Our community is also the proud home of the headquarters for State Farm Insurance and COUNTRY Financial.
Population of BN
City of Bloomington – 78,730
Town of Normal – 54,594
McLean County – 174,061
*Source: EDC Demographic Profile
BN’s quality of life, attractions and events are consistently regarded as among the best in the nation. The following awards and accolades confirm our conviction that BN is a great place to live and work!
- In 2016, Huffington Post named Bloomington one of the “11 Amazing Cities You’ve Never Thought To Live In, But Should.”
- In 2015, The Town of Normal was ranked #3 on the list of Best Small College Towns in America by College Values Online.
- In 2014, Movoto.com, a real-estate research blog, recently ranked Illinois’ 50 most-populated cities looking at factors including crime, education, home values, amenities, cost of living and employment. Normal was considered the best place to live in downstate Illinois. Bloomington followed closely in the #2 position.
- In 2013, The City of Bloomington recently announced that the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) has scored the City’s website for transparency at 77.2. Bloomington currently ranks 11th out of the 25 Largest Illinois Municipalities. The average score of the top 25 is 67.2, exactly 10 points less than Bloomington. The IPI rates each municipality based on the documentation available to the public in the following 10 categories: Elected & Administrative Officials, Meeting Information, Public Records, Budgets, Financial Audits, Expenditures, Salary & Benefits, Contracts, Lobbying, and Taxes & Fees.
- In 2013, Venues Today, an international trade magazine ranked the US Cellular Coliseum among the top venues in the Midwest.
- Even as other municipalities face challenges in the wake of the recession, Bloomington stands among the country’s fastest-growing cities. According to the Financial website, NerdWallet, Bloomington ranked as number 11 based on a ranking of U.S. cities by growth in population, rate of employment and median income from 2007-2011.
- In 2012, Illinois State University’s College of Business was listed ninth in The Princeton Review’s 2013 ranking of best-administered MBA programs, part of The Best 296 Business Schools: 2013 Edition, published by The Princeton Review. Illinois State is the only public university in Illinois to be listed in the top 10 in any of the categories.
- In 2012, the design of the Uptown Circle in Uptown Normal won a Transportation Planning Excellence Award from the Federal Transit Administration and Federal Highway Administration. The Uptown Circle was only one of nine projects to receive the award, given to projects that show more than an exceptional level of innovation and creativity.
- In 2012, University High School in Normal was ranked as one of the best 1,000 high schools in the United States by Newsweek. The laboratory school of Illinois State University has made the ranking at least four years in a row, this year at No. 547.
- In 2012, Bloomington was ranked the 2nd best city for singles by Kiplinger. In their “Best Cities for Singles” rankings, Kiplinger explained, “Bloomington singles hearken back to some charming heartland ideal: Well educated, well paid and exceptionally nice.”
- In 2011, “The Circle” in Uptown Normal was ranked #1 on the list of the Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S. and Canada by the Project for Public Spaces. “Normal’s Circle isn’t just any old roundabout. It’s a multifunctional shared space that provides entertainment and activities for the community and visitors alike all year along. The Circle also has sustainability cred: It recycles storm water, recirculating it into the public drinking fountains and irrigation system. It’s a pleasant place to sit and relax, and it’s home to a farmers market as well.”
- In 2011, “Convergence of Purpose,” the Lincoln-Fell-Davis statuary group in front of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts was honored with a 2011 Governor’s Home Town Award. The life-size statuary group was honored in “recognition of the effort that went into the planning, fundraising and installation of this unique tribute to the local Lincoln legacy.”
- In 2011, State Farm Insurance Cos. was ranked second in a J.D. Power and Associates survey of auto insurance customers, jumping five places from last year. COUNTRY Financial ranked sixth, up five places since 2009.In 2011, State Farm Insurance Cos. was ranked second in a J.D. Power and Associates survey of auto insurance customers, jumping five places from last year. COUNTRY Financial ranked sixth, up five places since 2009.
- In 2011, Illinois Wesleyan University was named the 57th-best value among private liberal arts colleges in the latest Kiplinger’s Personal Finances Best Values in Private Colleges listing. Kiplinger’s names the top 100 private liberal arts colleges based on a combination of factors intended to measure academic quality and affordability.
- In 2011, Bloomington-Normal was named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People, according to The America’s Promise Alliance and ING. Bloomington-Normal was the only community in Illinois to receive the designation.
- In 2011, Bloomington-Normal was ranked the 17th geekiest city in the United States by The U.S. National Science Foundation. In the “Science and Engineering Indicators 2010,” the NSF ranked the top cities by percentage of workers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics occupation.
- In 2011, Bloomington-Normal was ranked the 22nd best small place in which to do business by Forbes Magazine. Forbes considered 12 metrics in compiling the rankings including: past and projected job growth, the cost of doing business and the cost of living, quality of life, and cultural and recreational opportunities.
- In 2011, Illinois State University was ranked 95th on the list of the 100 best values in public colleges in the country by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Illinois State was only one of two public colleges in the state to make the list.
- In 2011, Illinois State University’s College of Business was ranked by BusinessWeek magazine as one of the top 100 undergraduate business schools nationwide. Illinois State placed 93rd out of all public and private universities and 46th among public undergraduate business programs.
- In 2011, Illinois State University was ranked 83rd on the list of the nation’s top public schools by U.S. News & World Report.
- In 2011, Illinois Wesleyan University was ranked 62nd on the list of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges according to the U.S. News & World Report.
- In 2010, Bloomington-Normal was ranked the 15th best college town with under 250,000 residents by the American Institute for Economic Research. The 2010-2011 College Destination Index assessed college locations’ broader learning environment and focused on 12 measures including academic environment, quality of life and professional opportunities.
- In 2010, the Children’s Discovery Museum in Normal was deemed the best creative children’s experience in Illinois by Media World USA’s “Best of” Series. The Children’s Discovery Museum was subsequently featured on a Best of Illinois television program on CBS 2 WBBM Chicago and on the Travel Channel.
- In 2010, the McLean County Museum of History’s exhibit, A Turbulent Time: Perspectives of the Vietnam War, received the prestigious Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History. This national award is presented as part of the organization’s Leadership in History Awards which encourages standards of excellence in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history, publically recognizing superior and innovative achievements in the field.
- In 2010, State Farm was ranked #1 by DiversityBusiness.com for its active and visible role in promoting diversity, inclusion and engagement in the multicultural communities throughout the country.
- In 2010, Illinois Wesleyan University was ranked 32nd among Kiplinger’s Personal Finance 100 Best Values in Private Colleges for 2010-2011.
- In 2010, Illinois Wesleyan University was ranked 60th on the list of the top 100 liberal arts colleges according to the U.S. News & World Report. A total of five colleges from the state of Illinois made the list.
- In 2010, Illinois State University was ranked as one of 100 best values in public colleges in the country according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Illinois State ranked 89th and was only one of two public colleges in the state to make the list.
Our mission is to enhance the economy of McLean County through promotion, attraction and retention of events, conventions and tourism.
Welcome to BN!
This website is created by the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.