Champaign is, ahem, bubbling with opportunity!
Home to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, this city consistently ranks highly on our list of best college towns and is full of opportunities for recent graduates and anyone looking for a great place to build their career. The University’s nearly 700-acre campus attracts talent and businesses from all over the country, and the city of Champaign has an exceptionally high employment rate (92%!) for those with bachelor’s degrees.
Champaign scored high in the infrastructure category, due in large part to its ease of access and close proximity to three major cities — St. Louis, Chicago and Indianapolis. Additionally, the city offers countless amenities for residents, including the Virginia Theater, which hosts the annual Roger Ebert Film Festival, and a downtown area that’s packed with cute local shops, bars and fantastic restaurants.
Local Obsession: The Fighting Illini! Whether it’s basketball, football or tennis, people are passionate about the Illini and for good reason — the university holds more than 25 National Championships in a variety of sports.
Climate Described in 6 Words or Less: Long fall and spring: two best seasons.
Top Industries: Seven Fortune 500 Companies are based out of Champaign, meaning job opportunities are plentiful. Manufacturing and education are the top industries here.
Local Dream Job: Farmer at Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery, where a herd of Nubian and LaMancha goats are living their best life by roaming free before their milk is turned into delicious cheese and gelato.
Quintessential Meal: A burger from Murphy’s Pub
Favorite Weekend Activity: Shopping on North Neil Street is a must.
After-Work Meetup Spot: Farren’s Pub & Eatery — a burger and beer (or a few beers, let’s be real) here is guaranteed to make you forget any workday drama.
Best Local Beer: The Scary Cherry Milk Stout from Blind Pig Brewery
Beloved Bookstore: Jane Addams Book Shop's catchphrase is ‘Three floors, booked solid’ — ‘nuf said.
Free Way to Have Fun: Champaign’s park system has more than 30 gorgeous parks and greenspaces throughout the city just waiting to be explored.
- Cara Sanders & Winona Dimeo-Ediger