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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Guy's Trip to Bloomington, IN

Categories: General

Whether it’s to watch the seasons change or shake up the every day, there’s a reason people flock to Bloomington during times of transformation. An oasis for cyclists, foodies, hikers, beer enthusiasts, boaters, and adventurers, Bloomington is an idyllic destination for a weekend of reconnecting with friends and nature alike. Whether you want to test your limits or take it easy, we’ve got some ideas to get you started.

 

BIKE ON, FELLAS

biking bloomington indiana

Everything looks better from a bicycle. Bring your own or rent some wheels from one of the many Bloomington vendors. Map your own ride through the hills and invite some friends to tour up and down the rolling southern roads or stay in town and explore the B-Line Trail. Plan pit stops along the way at one of the bars and restaurants located right on the B-Line Trail like Cardinal Spirits, Hopscotch (they serve local beer now), Friendly Beasts CiderFarmers Market (Saturdays), or Upland Brewing Company. Plan to break for some cool and colorful mural photo ops on the ride as well.  

hilly hundred bloomington

Plan a trip with your crew around the famous Hilly Hundred ride. Thousands of riders participate in this ride to experience the scenic rolling hills during peak fall color. Routes range from 30-50 miles a day but relax, it's not a race. If you like a little excitement with your biking, come for the annual Little 500—the largest collegiate bike race in the U.S. (25,000 people). The event is held the third weekend of April on the IU campus and has been described by Lance Armstrong thusly, "I've attended Super Bowls, World Series, and the Monaco Grand Prix, but the coolest event I ever attended was the Little 500."

 

STAY GROUNDED

Hiking

If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, lose yourself in the vast woodlands surrounding Bloomington, the Hoosier National Forest is crisscrossed with miles of hiking trails, both deep in the woods and near Monroe Lake, and beautiful valleys and vistas. Both forest and lake are dotted with campgrounds and more scenic views than you could squeeze into a single trip. Campsites and park cabins can be reserved online in advance for a grounding escape from the city.

Related content: Favorite cabins & campsites near Bloomington

YOU GOTTA EAT

trojan horse

All that adventuring is bound to make you hungry and Bloomington never disappoints in the food and drink department. Grab a lunch gyro at the Trojan Horse, then make your way to Crazy Horse for a table on the patio to taste some whiskeys or join the Around the World in 80 Beers Club. No trip to Bloomington is complete without a trip to the Irish Lion; save room for some hearty traditional Irish fare. In fact, you can eat your way through the cuisines of 18 countries at more than 80 international restaurants, many of which can be found on Fourth Street.

YOU ALSO GOTTA DRINK

cardinal spirits

If you want some drink with your eat, make a day of it at one of Bloomington’s brewpubs, where you can grab a bite while you sample some drinks. Tour the Upland brewery and tasting room, then take a load off in their brewpub for a well-deserved meal. Visit Function Brewing, which offers 12 made-in-house beers and sophisticated bar snacks, or The Tap, which features a selection of guest drafts, house brews, and frequent live musical performances. And don’t miss Cardinal Spirits, a popular distillery (tours available) on the B-Line Trail that uses only natural ingredients for their offerings, which all scored a 90 or above on the Wine Enthusiast list.

 

Want something a little more unusual? Try the unique cysers from Oddball Fermentables and dry cider from Friendly Beasts Cider Company, or sample the sour beers the Huffington Post deem some of the "most sought-after craft beers in America" at The Wood Shop, Upland’s sour brewery.

 

LAKE LIFE

kayaking bloomington indiana

If you’re looking for a little more adrenaline in your getaway, there are three popular lakes located within minutes of Bloomington: Griffy Lake, Lake Lemon, and Monroe Lake, which is visited by more than 1.5 million people every year. It’s Indiana’s largest body of water, with 10,750 acres of water surface, and is surrounded by the 202,000-acre Hoosier National Forest. All three lakes offer boats, kayaks, and paddle boards for rent, so slather on that SPF because you’ll be hard-pressed to run out of things to do.

 

HOME BASE

yurts bloomington indiana

Whether you want to be in the thick of it, or away from it all, Bloomington has more than enough accommodation options to suit your style. If you prefer the simple life, pitch a tent at one of the many nearby campgrounds, or search our extensive list of large private cabin rentals for a classic Indiana lake house experience with everyone under one roof. If you’re more at home in the heart of the action, find a room in one of the many hotels on the B-Line Trail  (like Hyatt Place or Hilton Garden Inn) for easy bike access to city amenities.

 

REHAB

Salt Cave

For some lower-commitment relaxation, indulge in a 45-minute session in the pink Himalayan salt caves for some halotherapy. It’s said to be beneficial for relieving sinus inflammation, respiratory inflammation, and skin inflammation, which will come in handy after a weekend of indulgence. 

Explore the Visit Bloomington site for more weekend trip ideas or give us a call for personal recommendations.

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