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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.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tourism Week 2010: Downtown Shopping Tour

Categories: Arts & Culture

It was so much fun on Wednesday to explore the downtown square with some of our industry partners from Bloomington area lodging properties. The goal of the tour was to familiarize them with downtown shops so that it would be easier to make recommendations to hotel guests looking for something to do during their stay. B-Line Trail

We began the tour at the Bloomington Convention Center, where Downtown Bloomington, Inc. director Talisha Coppock gave us a quick history of downtown, the center, and the new B-Line Trail. We then hopped on the B-Line and began our journey into the heart of downtown. 

Animal IslandThe B-Line Trail passes right next to WonderLab Museum and showcases a number of public art installations along the way. Here, our group posed with the brightly colored Animal Island sculpture.

From there, we continued on the trail up to Sixth Street, where we entered the northwest corner of the square.

Indiana Running CompanyThe first stop on our shopping tour was the Indiana Running Company. This specialty store for runners (and walker) will custom fit your feet and give you recommendations on what type of shoe would be best for your individual needs. They also have a strict rule of thumb for athletic shoes: Never buy them for their color!

Goods for CooksNext door, we headed into Goods for Cooks, the oldest kitchen themed specialty store in B-town. Goods for Cooks offers a wide variety of fun kitchen items, include the ones shown here, as well as gourmet food items.

JL WatersNext stop: JL Watters. The oldest outdoors shop in Indiana, JL Watters has everything you need to enjoy the great outdoors, from kayaks to fishing lures. Plus, you'll find outdoor apparel to keep you stylish from your head to your toes!

InnerChefNext up was Inner Chef, where it's worth the trip just to look at the fun display designs! This fun shop also offers 45-minute "Skills Session" classes for only $15 per person.

O'Child Children's BoutiqueA quick turn around the corner brought us to Fountain Square Mall, where we all basked in the cuteness of O'Child Children's Boutique. It's the perfect place to find just the right gift for those special little ones in your life.

Yarns UnlimitedYarns Unlimited, just across the mall, was the next stop on our tour. The oldest yarn store in Bloomington, Yarns Unlimited has been around since the 1970's offering quality yarns and accessories for crafty folks, including a selection of locally-dyed yarns.

Global GiftsThen, it was onward to Global Gifts, where you can find gift items from around the world. A  non-profit store, Global Gifts features Fair Trade merchandise and offer something for everyone, from great children's items to incredible jewelry.

Wandering TurtleOur next stop was Wandering Turtle, one of Bloomington's favorite galleries, where you can pick up anything from a quick gift and greeting card to a major work of art, or just grab a cool bumper sticker for your vehicle!

GalleryN orthRight next door is Gallery North, owned and operated by a cooperative of local artists. The variety of works in this single gallery is simply astounding! Don't miss the sculptures carved from locally-quarried limestone.

pictura galleryWe arrived at our final stop, picture gallery, just in time for the 2010 Tourism Awards!

Check out our Facebook page for even more great pictures from our tour, as well as from the awards presentation.



Tosha Daugherty

Tosha Daugherty

Tosha was the primary contributor to the B-town Blog during her tenure as content coordinator. Her blogs covered a number of topics, from family activities to outdoor excursions.