Best Places to Live

Bloomington, IN

Population: 86,048
Susan Vineyard/Shutterstock

Home to more than 80,000 residents and Indiana University, Bloomington is a bustling city in southern Indiana. It offers Hoosiers a high quality of life, with more than 2,300 acres of parks and recreational space, 63 miles of biking and walking trails and more than 140 restaurants, bars and coffee shops. This affordable city offers jobs in education, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and medical services.

Top Industries and Employers: Indiana University, Baxter Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, General Electric and the county school district are all major employers here.

Best Coffee Shop: There’s plenty of indoor and outdoor seating at Hopscotch Coffee, so pull up a chair and stay a while. It’s just off the B-Line Trail, so you can walk or bike here.

Best Local Beer/Brewery: Any of the sours from Upland Brewing Company, which are best enjoyed while sitting on the patio with your dog.

Must-Have Meal: The Divine Swine from Mother Bear’s Pizza, topped with pepperoni, ground sausage, ham and smoked bacon.

Best Co-Working Space: The Mill, which offers 19,000 square feet of space for co-working and business innovation in a historic factory building. 

Best Meetup Spot (When Meeting Up Is a Thing Again): The Orbit Room, for a hot dog (beef or vegan), a beer, some pinball and live music.

Creative Hub: Indiana University Auditorium, where you’ll find musicals, concerts, guest speakers and other community events.

Favorite Weekend Activity: Hiking, camping, forest bathing, horseback riding or fishing at Hoosier National Forest, a 203,000-acre local treasure. 

Free Way to Have Fun: Browse the impressive collection at the Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University.

Local Dream Job: Financial wellbeing consultant for the MoneySmart program at Indiana University, a financial literacy initiative that has helped students reduce their borrowing by $126.4 million since 2011.

Read More:

6 Things To Do in Bloomington

How Much Does it Cost to Live in Bloomington, IN?

5 Surprisingly LGBTQ-Friendly Small Cities


- Sarah Kuta

"It’s a great place to be, regardless of your stage in life. Smart people move here to be part of a community they are creating in real-time. They are making their own 'best place to live.'"

Erin Predmore
President & CEO, The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce

Bloomington, IN Ranking Data