Is Bloomington best Hoosier city?

September 15, 2008
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Bloomington keeps racking up the accolades.

Over the weekend, a Wall Street Journal article focused on the city as a vibrant, low-cost alternative to Sun Belt locations for retirees. Congestion is low, there are two hospitals, and plenty of natural beauty is just beyond city limits.

Also late last week, the Federal Reserve Bank published a study showing Bloomington as one of the most prosperous university towns in the Midwest. This despite ongoing manufacturing losses like the closure of Thomson Consumer Electronicsâ?? television plant.

Has Bloomington become the best city its size in Indiana? Or is it the best city in the state, period?
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  • A fun, clean, compact college town with a scenic friendly vibe to it. The campus is amazing and packed with historic architecture and thousands of trees and the Square, shops, Kirkwood, bars, parks, and surrounding areas make Bloomington one of Indiana's finest cities without question.

    I loved my time there and make it an effort go several times a year. It is a unique city and there is a reason it boasts one of the finest campuses in the nation. The fringe areas are countless acres of State and National parks. It's close to Indy, Columbus, Nashville, Hoosier National Forest, Lake Monroe, etc...

    I can't argue with the study, it's one of my favorite cities without a doubt.
  • Yes. Period - and I'm from Lafayette.

    Friendly, convenient, shopping leaves a little to be desired, but is not far from Indy, and Greenwood is actually starting to make the trips from bloomington shorter for shopping.

    I love it, will plan on moving there or raising a family there at some point.
  • When it comes to neighborhoods, housing stock, K-12 schools, and just being a great family town, West Lafayyete is nicer than Bloomington. This is not to say that Bloomington isn't nice, because it is, but having spent lots of time in both, WL gets my vote. WL has NO scary or dangerous neighborhoods and that can't be said for Bloomington.
  • I want some of what Jim is smoking!
  • Something not legal I'm sure. I admit I have NEVER been to WL but Lafayette is no where near as nice as Bloomington.
  • The answer is yes. B'town has diversity, culture, free and forward thinking -- thanks obviously, to the presence of a strong liberal arts state university. Throw in some natural beauty, and close proximity to major metro areas, and you have a winner.

    All that said, you'd have to put Lafayette/West Lafayette in the top three for many of the same reasons -- but not quite to the same level. Columbus is also high on the list -- not as large or enlightened, but architecture, the downtown, and strong corporate citizenship make it a shining star.

    Being a big city boy, I could live in all three, but Bloomington would be the first choice, by far!
  • Bloomington is a wonderful college town and compares well to some (better than Champaign-Urbana, IL and Lexington, KY) and unfavorably to others (Austin, TX; Chapel Hill, NC). But I don't see any real competition in terms of city life and urban culture to Indianapolis, even with its hyperconservative and largley homogeneous suburbs. Bloomington is a wonderful place, a gem, but it's no city.

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