Located 120 miles southwest of Chicago, Bloomington covers slightly more than 22 square miles and serves as the county seat of McLean County, the largest county in Illinois. Due to their close proximity, Bloomington and its twin city Normal are often referred to as the Bloomington-Normal Metropolitan Area.
Bloomington has a rich history that dates back to July 4, 1831, when hopeful pioneers purchased lots during a land auction that sold off sections of a 60-acre plot donated by Bloomington's biggest supporter of the day, James Allin. Soon, this small settlement became a rapidly growing center of commerce, and many historical figures, including Abraham Lincoln, conducted business here.
No longer a rustic frontier town, today's Bloomington is a sophisticated metropolis that offers visitors ample opportunities for fun and relaxation with activities that vary from paintball and arena football to art exhibits, jazz ensembles, and a month-long Shakespeare festival. Regardless of what brings you to Bloomington, finding the right hotel in a location close to everything you'd like to see and do will allow you to better enjoy everything this vital region has to offer.
When to Visit Bloomington, IL
Early fall and late spring are beautiful in Bloomington. The average weather is sunny with mild temperatures and low humidity so you can fully enjoy all the outdoor activities this city has to offer. Whether you hit the greens at The Den at Fox Creek Golf Course or spend the afternoon wandering through Miller Park Zoo with your family, you won't need more than a light jacket most days.
Spring and fall are also when most prospective college students and their families tour Illinois Wesleyan University and Illinois State University, so the most affordable rooms can book up quickly, and the rates usually rise with the increased demand. If you'd like to visit Bloomington during these times, make your hotel reservations early to get the best prices.
Summer in Bloomington is hot and humid, especially in August, but that doesn't stop tourists from descending on the city as the annual Illinois Shakespeare Festival gets under way. Between shows, guests can soak up even more culture at one of the many local art galleries or take a break from more intellectual pursuits at the nearby Arcadia: America's Playable Arcade Museum. With so much to do and see, this is still peak season for Bloomington area hotels, so plan accordingly with early reservations to avoid higher rates.
Due to the colder, more unpredictable weather, winter is the most affordable and least crowded time to visit Bloomington. Snow is always a possibility, so bring your cold-weather gear or plan to spend most of your time inside. Use the money you save on the lower room rates to buy a family heirloom from Cydney's Antiques or by upgrading your stay to a luxury hotel with all the amenities.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Bloomington, IL:
Bloomington by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts demonstrating mean nightly cost trends by star rating class in Bloomington, IL. You can use these illustrations to evaluate the most cost effective dates to stay in Bloomington for upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in Bloomington, IL
4 Star Average Prices: $130.35
If you're planning to splurge during your stay in Bloomington, book your stay in one of the area's high-end hotels. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel is a stylish property located less than two miles from the city center. The staff is friendly but unobtrusive, and offers concierge services and amenities like fresh cookies at check-in, complimentary newspapers, and free transportation to and from the airport and train station. Choose from an individual room or a suite, many of which include fireplaces, whirlpool baths and roll-in showers for disabled guests. The breakfast banquet is a real feast, and they allow pets for an additional fee.
The Residence Inn by Marriott is better than a home away from home if you're planning to spend more than a few days in Bloomington. This is an all-suite, luxury hotel with accommodations that vary from studio size to full, two-bedroom apartments. Premium features include fireplaces, pillow-top beds, flat-screen televisions, and spa tubs. Indoors, when not enjoying the pool or sauna, guests can make new connections at the nightly social hour or partake in a cocktail at the onsite bar. A barbecue and picnic area complete with a fire pit is available for either individual or group use.
Affordable Hotel Options in Bloomington, IL
3 Star Average Prices: $100.53
If you're looking for an affordable hotel for your stay in Bloomington, there are plenty of choices. Located close to the Miller Park Zoo and both local universities, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham charges budget-friendly rates while still offering several upscale amenities like an indoor pool, room service, and an onsite bar. This hotel can also help you stretch your funds with free Wi-Fi and free breakfast, but thrifty guests can reserve a room with a full kitchenette and dine in during their entire stay to save even more.
A clean, no-frills hotel, The Red Roof Inn of Bloomington is a great choice if you plan to spend most of your time seeing the sights instead of lounging in your room. This hotel has one of the best rates in the area, and it's conveniently located near I-75 and I-54, within easy driving distance of the city center and all major attractions. They have plenty of parking even if you're driving a big recreational vehicle, and pet-friendly rooms as well as all your basic amenities like free coffee, tea, breakfast, and Wi-Fi.