Is Champaign-Urbana Illinois just a College Town?

Is Champaign-Urbana Illinois just a College Town?

Is Champaign-Urbana, IL, just a college town? I was invited by Visiting Champaign County visitors center to see for myself. I’ve heard about the University of Illinois basketball team for as long as I can remember. I saw a production of The Wiz during my first year of high school there. Whether you’re looking for something new to experience in Illinois or visiting your child in college during the weekend. Champagne-Urbana has something for everyone. Because I only had one full day to explore.

Until taking this trip, I thought that Champaign-Urbana was one city. In fact, it is two separate towns, and the University of Illinois campus extends on both. Some of the street names are the same. So when you visit a restaurant or store, you must distinguish if you’re going to be in Champaign or Urbana.

A friendly competition is going on between the residents of both towns on whether the name should be Champaign-Urbana or Urbana Champaign.

Things to do and Places to Eat in Champaign IL

Jane Addams Book Shop

I love bookstores, and it is getting harder to find. The Jane Addams Book Shop is a locally owned independent bookstore. The store carries over 70,000 titles in 15 rooms and three floors.


Champaign-Urbana has a variety of restaurants to choose from.

Big Grove Tavern

We stopped at the Big Grove Tavern for brunch before heading back home.

Black Dog Smoke & Ale House

On Saturday, we ate dinner at the Black Dog Smoke & Ale House. The restaurant is a renovated train station. I tried the unique black-eyed peas dip. It had a great flavor.

Black Dog Tavern – black-eyed peas with chips, catfish, mac & cheese, baked sweet potato

Downtown Urbana, IL Shops, Restaurants, and outdoor fun

Meadowbrook Park

While walking through Meadowbrook Park, you can enjoy the Wandell Sculpture garden.


The Wheelhouse

The Wheelhouse is located in the nearby town of St. Joseph, IL.

Seasonal Events

Folk & Roots Festival

The Folk & Roots Festival is a three-night event.

Urbana’s Market at the Square

The Urbana’s Market at the Square begins in the summer until late October.

Champaign has several hotel options, less than a 10-minute drive from most restaurants and activities. We stayed at the Comfort Inn & Suites in Urbana.

I couldn’t do everything. For more suggestions of things to do in Champaign here and Urbana here.

Is Champaign-Urbana, IL, is more than a college town?

Bisa Myles

I am a breast cancer survivor and plus-size adventurer traveling the world and capturing every mile as I go. I still have miles to travel.

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