We look forward to safely welcoming you back to Bloomington.

Read More

Head Backstage to be in the know. 

We want to take you behind the scenes, to give you insider information you won't find anywhere else. This is where we pull Bloomington's hip happenings together with recommendations from our team, first-hand accounts from project producers, and guest blogs by local gurus.  The Backstage Blog helps you stay in front of it all.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Plan the Ultimate Bloomington, Indiana Adventure

Categories: Outdoors, Wine & Culinary

Bloomington is full of adventure and exploration to help you reach new heights. Whether you want to clear your mind or get your heart racing, Bloomington can get you there.

What To Do

Man and woman hiking hoosier national forest

Hikers and trail runners chasing new personal bests will enjoy time spent in the Hoosier National Forest. Crisscrossed with trails for all experience levels, this 202,000-acre park has everything for the deep woods enthusiast, including beautiful views and free and legal backwoods camping. 

Related content: Hard to Find Hoosier Hikes

If you’re drawn to the water, be sure to check out Monroe Lake—a destination in itself—for all activities water-based and exhilarating. Rent a speedboat or pontoon for tubing and water skiing, spike your adrenaline on a jet ski, or perfect your windsurfing form. Kayaks and paddleboards are available to rent for a more peaceful excursion, or go the complete opposite route and rent a double-decker party boat, water slide included.

Note: Bloomington lakes may currently be above regular levels. This would mean beaches, docks, and possibly other amenities are not available. For the most up-to-date information, check here.

  pontoon boat

If you prefer to stick closer to town, Bloomington has you covered. The modern new Hoosier Heights gym, inside a beautifully repurposed church facility, stained glass windows included, is popular with visitors and locals who enjoy bouldering, rock climbing, and yoga.

Woman climbing rock wall

RELATED CONTENT: Must Try Indoor Activities

For an urban adventure, grab your running shoes or rent a bike, and get a front-row view of downtown along the B-Line Trail. And if evening rolls around and you want to keep the energy high, take in a show at The Bluebird to round out the action-packed day.

What To Eat

Salad and drinks at Cardinal Spirits

Stay fueled no matter where Bloomington takes you. Start your day at Hopscotch Coffee, also conveniently located on the B-Line, right next to Salt Creek Cycles and Cardinal Spirits. If you’re camping or going the cabin route, stop by the farmers' market or natural foods co-op, Bloomingfoods Market, and Deli, for some light groceries, snacks, or prepared meals and salads. Inbloom Juicery serves up smoothies and cold-pressed juices to the most discerning and health conscious in Bloomington—using only locally sourced fruits and vegetables.

RELATED: Bloomington Made Craft Beer, Wine, & Spirits

Need to refuel after a day on the lake? Head to Trailhead Pizzeria for homemade specialty pizzas and hearty take out near Monroe Lake. Or head into town for a bite and a beer at the Upland Brewing Company Brewpub, one of the largest craft breweries in Indiana. Be sure to stop by next door for a tasting at Upland’s all-sours facility, The Wood Shop. With 20 rotating taps often showcasing their latest exclusive brews, you’re bound to discover a new favorite.

Men cheers-ing at The Wood Shop

Where To Stay

hyatt place

RELATED CONTENT: Self-Care Retreat in Bloomington

When it comes time to call it a night, Bloomington has a range of overnight options, perfect for recharging. The outdoor adventurer may prefer backpacking (or bikepacking) in the Hoosier National Forest, where hike- and bike-in camping affords a truly secluded overnight experience. Pull-up camping options are also available for those who want just a touch of civilization. For those who enjoy an added layer of comfort, and a hot shower at the end of the day, Bloomington has plenty of rustic and romantic cabins available for rent. Of course, there’s nothing like roughing it all day, then returning home to a little in-town luxury at the Hyatt Place on the B-Line, where they will happily store bikes overnight for guests.