A Guide to Bloomington Apartment Neighborhoods
Becoming familiar with the different neighborhoods in Bloomington will help to determine which neighborhood will be the best fit for you, along with knowing how far your commute to the Indiana University Bloomington campus will be. To help make your search off-campus housing in Bloomington easier, we have put together a list of neighborhoods that surround the Indiana University Bloomington. Each of these neighborhoods is within walking distance to campus, or just a short bike, car, or bus ride away.
The city of Bloomington is split up into five different sections, all surrounding the Indiana University Bloomington campus. This area surrounding IU has a collection of names given by the locals like Campus, the“Student Ghetto”, or The Hill. Bloomington is a true college town and the enormous campus that has about 35,000 students is located just northeast of Downtown Bloomington. This neighborhood is heavily dominated by undergraduate students and the area spans from Hillside Drive and 17th Street to Walnut and Henderson. The entire neighborhood borders the IU campus so getting to classes is easily walkable. The north end of Campus is home to Memorial Stadium, or “The Rock”, where you can catch thousands during the football season cheering on the Indiana Hoosiers. The housing in this area ranges from houses, duplexes, smaller apartment buildings, to larger luxury student housing complexes. Downtown Bloomington borders Campus so getting to all the hot bars and restaurants is really accessible. This area of town is to be “avoided” by the locals because they know how many students live in this area. If you’re looking for the whole college experience with the crazy parties and loud music this is it.
Downtown Bloomington is the area south of 8th Street and west of the Indiana University campus. Due to the fact that Downtown is so close to the IU campus, most of the housing in this area are rentals and most of those rentals are occupied by students. Being that the city is a college town, it brings a variety of entertainment and culture to the city. Downtown has more than 200 specialty shops from galleries, antique stores, boutique shops, and home furnishings, you can find it all. There is an abundance of restaurants and whatever cuisine you are in the mood for there is a place for you, whether is be Greek, Italian, or Turkish and beyond. Throughout the entire year, the Downtown area hosts several events. The first Friday of every month is the Gallery Walk where you can spend your night walking through many of the art galleries. For foodies, they have the Taste of Bloomington, Soul Food Festival, Grub Crawl, and the Week of Chocolate. Bloomington is said to have a great bus system from both the city and campus routes, however, the city is recognized as a Silver “Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. Bloomington even plays host to the Little 500 bicycle race. There is a 3.1-mile long trail system called the B-line that runs through the heart of Downtown and allows cyclists, runners, walkers, and skaters to get through the city at their speed. To end out the night, there are several nightclubs, karaoke bars, comedy clubs, or live music venues to hit up.
The Eastside of Bloomington can be more defined as the area east of the Indiana University campus and the 45/46 highway bypass. This area is much quieter and woodsy but is a short five-minute commute into town. It’s not really as walkable as many of the other neighborhoods since the highway runs right between the neighborhood and campus. Although, rent prices in this area tend to be a little cheaper than other areas and getting to Campus or Downtown is only a matter of hopping on one of the six bus routes that run through the Eastside. The College Mall, Best Buy, multiple grocery stores, a movie theater, and Target are all on the Eastside. This neighborhood has been described as the “ typical midwest city side of Bloomington.”
South of the IU campus and Kirkwood Avenue is the Southside neighborhood of Bloomington. Many of the homes in this area were built from the 1970s through the 1990s, and the neighborhood has a lot more houses than apartment buildings. Many of theses houses are rented out and split into duplexes. The Southside has a great mix of faculty, family, and both undergrad and grad students. Even though there is a good amount of students in the neighborhood, many more are graduate students, the area is a lot more calm and quiet compared to the Campus and stadium area. The area surrounding Bryan Park is a highly desired place to live and is about a fifteen-minute bike ride to campus. The Southside is close to Downtown and depending on where you live you can easily walk there or to campus. If you move to this neighborhood and don’t have a car and are intending on using the bus system, make sure to see where the bus stops are because some places in the neighborhood can be a bit of a walk.
The Near Westside area of town is adjacent to Downtown Bloomington and the Westside runs just west of the Near Westside. The near West Side is only a mile away from the IU campus, and getting to classes on a bike takes anywhere between ten to twenty minutes depending on what building your class is in. Many students in this area either ride their bike, take the bus, and walk depending on the weather. From the Near Westside, you can walk Downtown in five minutes. The housing in this area has more rental houses and some housing units that have been constructed into apartment units. The Near Westside and Prospect Hill is a quieter area compared to the Southside and Bryan Park, mainly because the residents in the neighborhood are grad students and older empty-nesters. There are several parks that run along the north and south sides of the neighborhood. Residents are also close to Kroger and the B-line.
To recap, here are some helpful tips/reminders:
All housing in the Bloomington neighborhoods mentioned are accessible to the Indiana University Bloomington campus by the Bloomington Transit
Most students living off-campus in Bloomington live in the Campus neighborhood surrounding Indiana University
Housing in different areas, besides Campus and Downtown, will require bike, car or bus transportation
Make sure your new place is easily accessible to shopping and grocery stores for running errands
Use Google Maps to determine the distance of a property you are considering to the Indiana University campus
Bloomington Crime Statistics:
The City of Bloomington has had a higher theft crime rate than the State of Indiana. However, both rates have been following a downward trend since 2012. Theft crimes are reported by a combination of various types of property damage and burglaries.
The City of Bloomington has been showing an increasing trend in a violent crime from 2012-2014 along with the rate for the State of Indiana. Bloomington was able to drop below the state crime rate in 2012 and remain below it up to 2014.