Located about 50 miles southwest of Indianapolis is the Indiana city of Bloomington, which is also the county seat of Monroe County. Incorporated as a city in 1818, Bloomington got its start as a settlement when U.S. President James Munroe selected the site as the location of a seminary, originally known as Indiana Seminary. The seminary later became a college and in 1848 finally became Indiana University (IU). The first college west of the Allegheny Mountains, the University has evolved into one of the most beautiful university campuses in the U.S. offering several nationally recognized programs for students. Owing to its location in the heart of the Midwest, Bloomington is within a day’s drive of over half of the U.S. population. The city can be accessed from two major state highways: Indiana State Highways 37 and 46, both of which provide easy access to several Interstates including I-69. The primary source of air service to Bloomington is the Indianapolis International Airport, located just 50 miles to the north, although private aircraft can fly to and from Monroe County Airport, located just west of Bloomington.
Today, Bloomington is a regional center for industry and commerce. Ranked No. 3 for “Best Places For Business Careers” by Forbes, as well as one of the Top 50 “Hottest Small Cities for Entrepreneurs” by Entrepreneur Magazine, Bloomington has developed into a great place to live and work. The Mill, Bloomington’s center for entrepreneurship serves as the heart of the area’s startup ecosystem. The city is also home to a growing tech industry as well as medical manufacturing with major employers such as Cook, Catelent, and Baxter present in the area.
The area’s natural beauty makes Bloomington ideal for an outdoor excursion. Home to the state’s only national forest, its largest inland lake, and a large number of parks including Switchyard Park and Lower Cascades Park, Bloomington offers a wide variety of outdoor recreational opportunities. The Hoosier National Forest offers over 230 miles of hiking, horseback and mountain biking trails. Seasonal recreation is found on lakes Lemon and Griffy while Lake Monroe is a large and popular venue for boating, fishing, water-skiing, and more.