Originally named “West Urbana”, the city of Champaign was founded in 1855, due to the laying of the Illinois Central Railroad Track just outside of Urbana. Located 135 miles south of Chicago and 125 miles west of Indianapolis, it is the 10th most populated city in Illinois and the 4th outside of the Chicago metropolitan area. Its name officially changed to Champaign when it acquired a city charter in 1860. The name for both the city and its county had been derived from Champaign County, Ohio. The city is also home to the University of Illinois, sharing the campus with neighboring city Urbana. In recent years, Champaign has become a hub in Illinois for startups, as well as fortune 500 companies such as State Farm, John Deere, and Caterpillar.
Parks and Recreation of Champaign IL
There are over 50 parks in Champaign that offer many features such as athletic courts/fields, bike paths, fishing, disc golfing, splash pads and more. There are also three off-leash dog parks and three public swimming pools. There are also ten paved running/bike trails that range in distance from .25 to 2 miles. Those looking to golf can choose from three golf courses within the city and nine located within 20 miles from the city.
There are many theaters and museums in the city, including the Virginia Theatre, the Krannert Art Museum and the Champaign County History Museum. Residents can also take advantage of the sporting events in town due to the University of Illinois. There is always an opportunity to catch a highly competitive college football or basketball game.
Champaign IL School/Health/Transportation
The children in Champaign attend school in the Champaign Community Unit School District No. 4. The district is comprised of 10,179 students and contains 13 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, and 2 high schools. It is considered to be in the top ten most diverse districts in the state and is the #2 district in Champaign county. Champaign is also home to The University of Illinois. The University is a part of the Big 10 conference and is often considered to be one of the top 50 public universities in the country. It is most known for its engineering program and its correlating research. Also located in Champaign is Parkland College, a college that enrolls about 18,000 students annually.
There are two main hospitals in the Champaign area: Carle Foundation Hospital and OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center. Each of these hospitals offer patients a state-of-the-art Emergency Room, birthing clinic, cancer center and much more. Travelers can fly out of University of Illinois - Willard Airport to get to both O’Hare International and Dallas Fort – Worth. From these airports, passengers can get to anywhere in the world. Residents can also travel by using the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District or the Amtrak, which are both located directly in the city.
Shopping/Dining Options in Champaign IL
There are many highly rated and diverse restaurants in Champaign, across downtown and around the University. Very popular options such as Seven Saints and Black Dog offer diners quality American style food such as barbeque, burgers and fish, while putting an individual touch to every item on the menu. For a more lively atmosphere, Farren's Pub and Eatery and Destihl Brewery serve upscale pub fare and boast extensive drink menus. For those looking for something outside of the box, look no further than KoFusion and Sakanaya. Both restaurants have been known to have the best sushi in the city and give their guests to-of-the-line service.
Champaign has wonderful shopping that will leave every customer satisfied. In the summer and fall seasons, locals can enjoy Market at the Square, a top-notch farmer’s market in Urbana. Those looking to find a mall that has national retailers selling clothing, jewelry and accessories will love shopping at the Market Place Shopping Center. Here, you can find stores such as Gap, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Carter’s. Jane Addam's Bookshop and Circles Boutique are locally owned stores located in the heart of downtown.
Living in Champaign IL
With a population of 85,710, Champaign has seen an overall residential increase of about 7.9% since 2010. Due to its continuously growing economy and being a home-base for many Fortune 500 companies, it has become a highly in-demand college town with two sought-after higher education institutions. The average age of residents is 27, 10 years younger than the national average. Both the average commute time and the cost of living are also significantly lower than the national average, making Champaign highly sought-after real estate.
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