Founded in 1833, Urbana became the cultural and economic center of the region just south of Chicago. Although it's still the county seat, the Urbana area is usually called Champaign-Urbana, as Champaign borders it to the west. There's still a bitter rivalry between the two towns, which started when the Illinois Central Railroad passed on plans to build a depot in Urbana, opting instead for Champaign. However, despite its close ties to Champaign, the Urbana area has its own unique identity and contains most of the University of Illinois campus. Today, Urbana is a popular spot for sporting events, dining, and night life for all kinds of crowds. No matter what you choose to do in town, you need a hotel that fits your budget and lifestyle.
When to Visit Urbana, IL
It's hard to pinpoint exactly when to visit Urbana, as it varies greatly depending on your interest. If you want to avoid the crowds and students, the summer is the ideal time to head to Urbana. From May to September, the temperature hits a comfortable high in the mid-80s, while the nights only drop to around 60 degrees. During this time, Urbana offers tons of free activities for kids, superb canoeing and kayaking at Crystal Lake Park, or antiquing downtown. Rainfall during this time averages over 4 four inches a month, so you may want to check the weather before planning an outdoor outing. However, demand for hotels is at an annual low, so it's probably the best time to score a phenomenal deal on a hotel.
For the avid college sports or Fighting Illini fan, the fall and winter offer dozens of chances to catch some of the best football and basketball action in the Big Ten. Although attendance may fall during this time if the teams aren't performing to their highest level, there are still several rivalry games that pack the State Farm Center and Memorial Stadium. When the basketball team has an away game, there are also crowds from far and wide to see various concerts at the State Farm Center. If you're planning to attend a specific game or concert, you may want to book your hotel far in advance, as rooms tend to fill quickly and at a higher rate than other times of the year. You should also check the weather, as the average snowfall can reach up to 7 inches.
In the spring, things slow down a bit in Urbana, although college life is still in full swing. However, temperatures reach into the mid-60s during the day, making it a perfect time to hit the links, go for a hike, or do some fishing at Kaufman Lake.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Urbana, IL:
Averate Rates by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts displaying average rate trends by star rating class in Urbana, IL. Analyze these charts to evaluate the cheapest dates to stay in Urbana for any future trips.
Luxury Hotel Options in Urbana, IL
4 Star Average Prices: $138.56
Whether you're looking for the ultimate relaxing stay or you just love the comfort of staying at high-end hotels, Urbana offers a few solutions to meet your tastes. At the Comfort Suites Urbana Champaign, you'll love the numerous amenities and spacious rooms offered. Once you check-in at their 24-hour desk, you'll head off to the room of your choice, which is either a king bed or two queen beds. In your room, you'll have access to a free Wi-Fi, a microwave, a mini-fridge, an MP3 dock, and cable television. Perhaps the best part of this hotel is that it has a 24-hour heated indoor pool and whirlpool, in addition to a complimentary shuttle, free pickup from the train station, an exercise room, and free breakfast. This hotel also puts you right in the thick of things with attractions such as the Market Place, which functions as a farmers' market throughout the year; the university; and Crystal Lake Park.
Another solid luxury hotel option is the Hilton Garden Inn Champaign/Urbana. Conveniently located equidistant from downtown and the University of Illinois, the Hilton Garden Inn offers top-notch accommodation to suit your tastes. The hotel has 99 rooms that each offer a 32-inch, flat-screen television with cable programming, free wired and Wi-Fi internet access, a work desk, a safe, and a hair dryer. There are also superb recreational perks on-site that include a 24-hour fitness center, a hot tub, and an indoor pool. Plus, this hotel is ideal for those wanting to attend a Fighting Illini football game, as it's in proximity to the stadium. Other nearby attractions include the Krannert Art Museum and the Research Center at the University of Illinois.
Budget Hotel Options in Urbana, Illinois
3 Star Average Prices: $108.11
Finding budget accommodation in Urbana is actually much easier than you'd think. The Sleep Inn Champaign Urbana - University Area offers low-cost lodging with some superb standard amenities. Some of these attributes include a 24-hour fitness facility with cardiovascular equipment and weights, a heated indoor pool, a free continental breakfast, free coffee, free Wi-Fi, and a free copier and fax machine. In addition, it's close to some of the biggest attractions in the area. This includes the University of Illinois, the Lincoln Square Mall, Meadowbrook Park, and the Krannert Center for Performing Arts.
If you're looking for another conveniently located hotel, the Ramada Inn fits the bill. Located just 1.5 miles from downtown Urbana, the Ramada is even within walking distance from many of Urbana's points of interest. This includes places such as Crystal Lake Park, the university, and the university observatory. You'll enjoy in-room features such as free Wi-Fi, a refrigerator, a microwave, and a flat-screen television with cable programming. Guest amenities at the Ramada Inn include a 24-hour fitness center, an indoor pool, and a spa tub to relax after a long day.
2 Star Average Prices: $73.71
Where are the real discounts in Urbana
If you want to put a few extra dollars in your pocket, it's in your best interest to seek out discounts on hotels in the Urbana area. Located 3 miles from campus and 3.5 miles from the Parkland Staerkel Planetarium, the Courtyard Champaign offers sizable discounts to AAA members, seniors, and AARP members. On-site facilities include an indoor pool, a hot tub, complimentary Wi-Fi, a hotel gym, and a restaurant. In each room, the Courtyard provides an LCD television with satellite programming, a mini-fridge, a microwave, coffeemaker, iron, and hair dryer. It's just 3 miles from the university and downtown Urbana, as well as a stone's throw from the State Farm Center.
Sometimes, a hotel just doesn't feel like home, but that's not the case at the Residence Inn Champaign. This aparthotel provides basic amenities you'd find at in apartment but within the confines of a hotel. Each room is a spacious suite that comes with a fully equipped kitchen; a full-size refrigerator; free Wi-Fi; a 37-inch, flat-screen television; and extra comfy beds. On-site, guests have access to a full basketball court, free meals, drinks, and snacks on Monday through Wednesday, a complimentary breakfast buffet each day, a picnic area, an indoor pool, a spa tub, and a 24-hour fitness center. Here, you'll also receive deep discounts for an extended stay with your AAA card, as well as group discounts of up to a whopping 46.7 percent during non-peak times.
Midrange Options in Urbana, IL
Urbana has many value options to fit your budget if you don't want to splurge, yet you have some extra money for the nicer things in life. One of these options is the Hyatt Place Champaign/Urbana, which is a beautiful, new hotel right near the university. As the official partner of Fighting Illini athletics, the Hyatt Place is the place to be when it comes to sporting events. Here, you'll find yourself a short distance from campus, as well as steps from one of the 36 bars and restaurants within a two-block radius. Each room has luxurious features you don't often see in a midrange option, including a Cozy Corner sofa bed; a 42-inch, HD television; a 24-hour fitness gym; a Starbucks; and specialty drinks and beverages at the Coffee to Cocktails Bar. Before you head off for the day, make sure you stop by the Kitchen Skillet for a free hot breakfast.
Things to Do in Urbana, Illinois
While campus life and sporting events are the obvious choices for entertainment in Urbana, there are still many interesting things to do. Throughout the year, Urbana welcomes various musical and theater acts to the nearby Virginia Theatre and Art Theater. If you love catching a live show, these venues are the best in the region.
For the diehard food and drink enthusiast, Urbana also offers many options that will electrify the palate and excite the taste buds. This includes the Black Dog, which is a famous beer and barbecue joint, as well as the Silver Creek, which serves delicious upscale cuisine.
Regardless of whether you're looking for a luxury hotel, budget accommodation, or you're just passing through, make sure you find the perfect hotel to make your entire experience a pleasant one.
Recent traveler guest reviews of Urbana, IL
Below are reviews of the city of Urbana, IL from an actual visitor's perspective.
"Really Convenient "
Score 5.0 / 5
Hotel was close to everything we were never more than 5 mins away from a location - the city had a little bit of everything everywhere.
"A Nice Town"
Score 5.0 / 5
The weekend we were there, there was an abundance of people everywhere especially around dinner time.
The average traveler rating of the city of Urbana, IL shown above is 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 reviews