The Indiana Insider Blog

Bloomington’s Entertainment & Arts District (BEAD), Home to Unique Businesses in a College Setting

A last minute trip to visit friends at Indiana University—spontaneity at it’s finest. Friday afternoon rolls around and after a disappointing loss to Xavier Thursday night, my friends and I were ready to get out of the Butler bubble for a bit. My girlfriends had one destination in mind, the Acacia fraternity Christmas party, but being a Butler Blogger and all, decided to mix some responsibility in with our trip so we could truly discover Bloomington, not just IU.

Friday evening, we made our way to the popular bar Kilroy’s on Kirkwood. It had great atmosphere and plenty of space for social night owls.

Our Saturday afternoon was gloomy and we were all a bit downtrodden to say the least, but the Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District was on our itinerary if it was the last thing I did. I enticed my friends with the thought of grabbing lunch and doing some shopping. I had done my research and discovered that BEAD had an Urban Outfitters, which immediately sold my companions.

Strolling along, we found BEAD to be fairly clean and visually appealing, with a variety of shops, restaurants, delis, cafes and bars (the district spans 60 blocks). We stopped at Bloomington Sandwich Company for lunch where I inhaled an amazing corned beef sandwich. Then as promised, we headed to Urban Outfitters.

Urban Outfitters stores are very exclusive and hardly ever located at your traditional mall. Their Bloomington location is actually the only one in the entire state – there isn’t even one in Indianapolis! Being a favorite destination for apparel among college students, this was a gem and most definitely a highlight of our trip.

Although our time was short, we managed to get out and see a good amount of what BEAD had to offer. Given more time, I would gladly spend the day exploring the different Arts Galleries, maybe even hit up The Comedy Attic for a late-night comedy show. Either way, Bloomington is so much more than a college town. BEAD is a diverse and cultural area waiting to be explored.

Check out VisitBloomington.com for more information on things to do in this great college town.

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