The village of Rantoul, originally known as “Rantoul Station”, was officially established in 1862. In 1917, Rantoul was chosen by the United States Army to build the site of Chanute Field, a training camp during World War I, because of its short distance from the Illinois Central Railroad and the University of Illinois. At the time, the university served as the war department’s ground school. This boosted the economy in town due to the number of servicemen that were stationed in Rantoul to train young recruits.
Rantoul Illinois Parks and Recreation
There are many well – kept parks in Rantoul that offer amenities such as athletic fields and courts, handicapped playgrounds, bike trails, picnic areas, skateboard parks, fishing, and pavilions. The park district also has a campground, featuring 95 fully – equipped sites that include water and electricity. There are also nine miles of biking and running paths run through the village and connect to the campground and many of the parks. On hot summer days, residents can take advantage of Hap Parker Family Aquatic Center, a zero-depth pool that provides fun for the entire family.
Rantoul is home to the famous Hardy's Reindeer Ranch. Opened in 1995, the Hardy family acquired reindeer in order to build sales on their Christmas tree farm. Today, they have a tree farm on over 5 acres with 15 reindeer. They have a year-round rustic gift shop and a barn to entertain guests for every kind of occasion. Families can also partake in the “reindeer” tour and can first – hand interact with the animals on the farm.
School/Health/Transportation in Rantoul Illinois
The children that live in Rantoul attend school in the Rantoul City School District No. 137. The district is comprised of 1,691 students throughout four elementary and one middle school. When in high school, the children go to Rantoul Township High School 193. The high school is considered to be in the top ten in Champaign County. Also nearby in Champaign and Urbana is The University of Illinois. A part of the BIG 10 Conference, the university is considered to be in the top 50 public universities in the nation and it known to have one of the best engineering programs. Parkland College, is also located in Champaign and enrolls about 18,000 students annually.
The two main hospitals that serve Rantoul in Champaign County are Carle Foundation Hospital and OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center. At both hospitals, patients have access to a state-of-the-art Emergency Room, birthing clinic, cancer center and much more. Residents who are traveling out of town, and need to catch a flight, 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 Amtrak, which is located directly in the village.
Rantoul Illinois Shopping/Dining Options
Rantoul is full of wonderful, highly rated, family restaurants. Family-style favorites such as Red Wheel Restaurant and classic drive-ins like Ott's are town staples that have stood the test of time. El Toro serves authentic Mexican that both residents and those from out of town rave about. And, for those looking for a quality burger, look no further than Butcher Boy Burgers for a traditional taste and ET's Downtown for a burger and fries with a twist.
There are many wonderful antique and consignment shops around town, one of the most popular being The Whistle Stop Resale. Also, there is no shortage of quality shopping, at both boutiques and national retailers in both Champaign and Urbana. In the summer and fall, residents can drive to downtown Urbana to find quality produce and homemade goods at the Market at the Square. For upscale national retailers, shoppers will have limitless options at the Market Place Shopping Center. Here, you can find stores such as Gap, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Carter’s.
Living in Rantoul Illinois
The population in Rantoul is 13,190, which, in the last 10 years, is an overall increase of 5.1%. Both the cost of living and average commute time are significantly lower than the national average, while job opportunities have increased since 2010. The home value is $72,000, which has also increased by 4.3%. Rantoul is an up and coming community that has continued to see increasing value and, with being just a short distance away from Champaign and the University of Illinois, is a sought – after real estate opportunity for all families.
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