Although Bloomington, Illinois might not be the state's most popular city, there are a number of attractions that might make it worth a visit. Bloomington, Illinois is home to the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, which is one of the most respected Shakespearean festivals in North America. The Illinois Shakespeare Festival represents a long-established tradition of professional theatre devoted to performing the plays of Shakespeare. The Festival began in 1978 as a joint enterprise between the Illinois State University Department of Theatre and the College of Fine Arts and the Illinois State University Foundation. The productions are performed in an open-air, Elizabethan-style theatre that was constructed on the site of the abandoned tennis court on the grounds of Ewing Manor in Bloomington, Illinois. Since its completion in 1929, Ewing Manor, which is a Channel Norman mansion with exquisite English and Japanese gardens, has been a Bloomington, Illinois landmark, as well as a major location for Bloomington Illinois tourism.
Hazle and Davis Ewing built Ewing Manor. It was originally
called "Sunset Hill." Mrs. Ewing was a pioneer
in the fields of women's rights, community action and
world peace. The Illinois State University Foundation
now administers the property. It is maintained through
an endowment willed to the foundation by Hazle Buck Ewing.
the University itself is also a popular site for Bloomington
The Festival has grown to around 40 performances with an annual attendance of over 12,000 people who enjoy the performances as well as other aspects of Bloomington Illinois tourism. The company of top-quality actors, directors, designers, and staff are recruited from all over the nation, as well as from other countries. The quality of the performances has achieved acclaim from the Chicago and New York media. They performances at the Bloomington, Illinois Shakespeare Festival have also been discussed in scholarly Shakespeare journals and libraries as far away as England.
If Shakespeare is not your thing, The Upper Limits Rock Climbing Gym is another are that attracts a considerable amount of Bloomington Illinois tourism. The Upper Limits is one of the tallest indoor climbing gyms in the world. They offer indoor climbing, ice climbing and rappelling to children and adults. If you are taking an Illinois camping trip, and would like to do some rock climbing in the Shawnee National Forest, the Upper Limits may be a good place to learn the basic skills.
Bloomington Illinois is accessible by the Bloomington Illinois Airport, which is also known as the Central Illinois regional Airport. Air Tran Airways, American Eagle, United, Northwest Airlines, United Express and Delta Airlines all fly into the Bloomington Illinois Airport. Hertz, Avis, National, Enterprise and Alamo all have rental agencies at the Bloomington Illinois Airport. Free parking is a unique feature of the Bloomington Illinois Airport. If friends in the area are picking you up, they can save money on parking and take you out for a Bloomington Illinois restaurant experience.