The Vrooman Mansion, nestled in the residential neighborhood of Dimmitt’s Grove, is very close to many diverse places that you can see and explore in and around Bloomington, Illinois right off of historic Route 66. Whether we’re your destination for a wedding or other special event, you’re stopping through town on a roadtrip, or you simply wanted a few nights stay to reconnect… you’re guaranteed to find something to do in the area that fits your personality and preferences.
Our top 10 favorite things to do… (okay, there are more than 10 here, we know!)
- Stroll through historic Dimmitt’s Grove on a self-guided walking tour to downtown Bloomington. Enjoy the outdoor Farmer’s Market on a sunny Saturday morning in the summer, or view one of the many rotating exhibits at the McLean County Museum of History on the square in the old courthouse where Abraham Lincoln used to spend some time. Consider a casual and delicious lunch at Reality Bites, Brass Pig Smoke & Alehouse, Lucca Grill or Rosie’s Pub. Or find your afternoon sugar or caffeine pick-me-up at the Coffee Hound, Ivy Lane Bakery or Main Street Scoop.
- Plan an excursion to one of the local wineries like Mackinaw Valley Vineyard which often has live music. (Check out our expanded list under Adventure.) Bring back a bottle of wine and have a relaxing evening sitting on the side porch (or soaking in a tub!)
- Relive the area’s rich history by taking a tour through the David Davis Mansion and learn about Sarah Davis, one of Julia’s social rivals. Take the ‘Searching for Lincoln’ audio walking tour around the historic downtown.
- Go biking, jogging, cross-country skiing, or walking down our award-winning Constitution Trail or at other local hiking spots close to town. Be sure to stop and rest at historic Franklin Park and experience the simple joy of park swings. In the fall the trees in the park are amazing!
- Spend the day shopping or antiquing in downtown Bloomington. Check out A. Gridley Antiques, Par’s Rug Warehouse, or Main Street Treasures. Explore local artists at the many galleries and the newly opened Hangar Art Company. Then stay downtown and enjoy a scrumptious farm-to-fork dinner at Epiphany Farms Restaurant or Anju Above, or share tapas-style small plates at Reality Bites or Mystic Kitchen.
- Remember your childhood. Spend some time with the monkeys and wallabies at Miller Park Zoo. Ride the paddle boats and go for ice cream at Gene’s Dairy Delight, Carl’s Ice Cream or Main Street Scoop, all locally-owned businesses.
- Take a road trip for the day to Springfield (only an hour away) to see the amazing Lincoln Museum. Visit the Dana Thomas House and enjoy lunch or dinner at Maldaner’s. Or if you’re into craft breweries consider Buzz Bomb Brewing, Obed & Isaac’s or Engrained Brewing, or Anvil & Forge.
- Make an excursion to the Third Sunday Market for that great deal or for something unique, antique or special you can’t pass up.
- Enjoy a picnic and show at Ewing Manor before an evening at the Shakespeare Festival, or have pizza at the iconic Lucca Grill before a concert, sporting event or comedian at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts or Grossinger Arena.
- Go rock climbing any time of the year at Upper Limits — the nation’s tallest indoor climbing gym built inside grain silos! — and then return to your room for a long soak in the tub or an in-room massage.