Showing 1-24 of 43 items found in History
Miller Park Zoo
Opened in the late 1800's, this city zoo began to house exotic animals after a traveling circus left behind a lion cub. Located on Historic Route 66 the zoo became a popular attraction among travelers. It is also the only Illinois zoo to feature the endangered Sumatran tiger. They offer many exhibits and zookeeper interaction opportunities that are enjoyed by the whole family. Some highlights include: sun bear, reindeer, Harbor Seals, red pandas, lemurs, Galapagos Tortoise, Bald Eagles, Pallas' Cat, Snow Leopards, gibbons, and Red Wolves. The Zoo features many large indoor and outdoor exhibits such as a Tropical America Rainforest, ZooLab, Katthoefer Animal Building, Wallaby WalkAbout, Children's Zoo, and Animals of Asia.
Prairie Aviation Museum
Prairie Aviation Museum has displays, static aircraft, education programs, air shows, group tours, and special aviation events for over 30 years. As an aviation and space museum, we honor military and civilian aviation. While visitors are quick to notice our displays, we love to tell the stories of the men and women who have contributed to the creation, development, expansion, and promise of aviation and space exploration. We are a family friendly museum, where visitors of all ages can touch our displays and static aircraft and visit with members who flew and maintained the aircraft in the Air Park. We love to hear visitor’s stories about experiences that they and/or members of their family have had related to aviation and space.
McLean County Museum of History
Founded in 1904, the museum is housed in a magnificent courthouse that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Located in downtown Bloomington, the museum reveals the lives of the people who shaped McLean County, including those who encountered and knew Abraham Lincoln.
State Farm Insurance Tour
State Farm is Bloomington-Normal's largest employer and the nation's largest insurance company. Tours are offered at the Corporate Building on State Farm Plaza and the historic Fire Building.
Stevenson Graves/Evergreen Cemetery
The Stevenson family brought honor to McLean County for three generations. Buried at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery are Adlai I, Vice President to Grover Cleveland, and Adlai II, Governor of Illinois, Ambassador to the United Nations and twice Democratic candidate for the United States Presidency. Also buried here are Adlai's wife, Letitia Green Stevenson, and many other important figures from Bloomington- Normal history. A discovery walk takes place here annually to celebrate the lives of these historical figures.
Miller Park Pavilion
This unique landmark was restored in 1977, with its Korean/Vietnam War Memorial dedicated in May of 1988.
The Lucca Grill was established in 1936 by brothers Fred and John Baldini and was named for their hometown of Lucca, Italy. Located on Historic Route 66, customers enjoy the delicious thin-crust pizza as much as they appreciate the ornate tin ceiling and antique mahogany bar.
The McLean County Courthouse, capped by a stately dome, serves as a landmark to identify the historic core of the city. Turn-of-the century buildings, many with interesting historical pasts, flank the courthouse square. A visitor can find museums, banks, a legal and governmental center, residential living, a large artists' community, plus an assortment of specialty retail businesses and supportive services in Downtown Bloomington. There is an abundance of restaurants and a lively night scene. Discover all that downtown Bloomington has to offer by shopping, dining, working and playing in this great historical district!
Ewing Cultural Center
Located on the wooded Sunset Hill estate of the late Hazle Buck Ewing, the Ewing Cultural Center encompasses the open-air Theatre at Ewing (summer home of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival), the elegant Ewing Manor (which is open for tours) and the beautiful Genevieve Green Gardens.
Beningo's was established in the early 1970s, the tradition goes on four generations, specializing in homemade dishes from scratch for your dining pleasure. Among restaurants in Bloomington, let Beningo's take the worry and stress out of your busy schedule by simply ordering our famous lasagna, or choose from our wide variety of authentic entrees that are sure to make your family dinner or party unique and delicious, but most importantly, enjoyable! Click through our website to view our menu, read about our history, and learn more about one of the most respected and beloved dining establishments and restaurants in Bloomington IL and in Central Illinois. Come by Beningo's today to try our signature "sweet Sicilian" sauce, true to our Sicilian heritage.
Cruisin' with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center
Located in the heart of Downtown Bloomington on Historic Route 66, the Cruisin with Lincoln on 66 Visitor Center exhibits cover stories about dining, lodging and travel, which were experienced by both Abraham Lincoln and Route 66 travelers. These are supplemented by local items, books, cards, maps and more!
Cruisin' With Lincoln on 66
The main source for information about McLean County’s historic and modern attractions in the Bloomington-Normal area is the "Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66" Visitors Center. Located in Downtown Bloomington, the Visitors Center provides information on all of the wonderful attractions, events, dining and lodging available in McLean County. Their exhibits highlight two types of heritage tourism that is integral to Central Illinois: Historic Route 66 and Abraham Lincoln. The gift shop is filled with local products, memorabilia and more!
Beer Nuts Company Store - Plant
Bloomington, Illinois is the only city in the world where beer nuts are made! A video presentation on the making of beer nuts can be viewed in the gift shop, and nuts are available to sample in the Company Store.
American taphouse serving flatbreads, burgers & pasta. Located in Downtown Bloomington in Abraham Lincoln's former law office.
Parkview Food and Pub
This locally-owned pub traces its roots back to 1928. Its scenic location across from Miller Park, Forrest Park and on Historic Route 66 makes this restaurant a popular stop for Route 66 travelers. They offer a variety of food specials, drink specials, video gaming, and lottery. Plus you can watch the game on the big screens. Stop by and try some delicious broasted chicken, walleye, burger's and more!
Behind the Curtain Tour - Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts
The fascinating history of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts comes to life in the Behind the Curtain historic tour program. Led by a group of specially trained docents, you'll not only see the beautiful neo-Classical interior design of the BCPA, but also learn all about the many technical and patron service updates achieved in the building's significant renovation. You won't want to miss this surprising, fascinating, and fun-filled look at one of Bloomington's historic and most thriving buildings. Bring your stories, your questions, and, above all, your curiosity. Behind the Curtain tours are one hour in length and can accommodate a wide variety of group sizes.
Looking for Lincoln Audio Tour
This CD-based audio tour presents President Lincoln as a returning visitor, talking about the places he visited and their meaning to him. Whether you drive the route or enjoy the tour from your favorite armchair, the audio tour is a special and novel way to learn about the history of Lincoln and the role Bloomington-Normal played in his life. The CD can be purchased at the McLean County Museum of History
David Foster Wallace Tour
A self guided tour of places in Bloomington-Normal was developed with a map and description of the sites to explore the life of David Foster Wallace who was an American author of novels, short stories and essays, as well as a professor of English and creative writing. Wallace is widely known for his 1996 novel Infinite Jest, which was cited by Time magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. Infinite Jest was completed while Wallace was living in Bloomington and employed in the Illinois State University English Department. In 2013, Illinois State created an annual David Foster Wallace Conference to celebrate his life and review his works.
Matthew T. Scott Home
The traditional Victorian home belonged to Matthew T. Scott, a well-known agriculturalist, and his wife Julia Green, one of the founders of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Twin Groves Wind Farm
Twin Groves Wind Farm features 240 turbines across 22,000 acres of land. The wind farm generates 396 megawatts of affordable, pollution-free wind energy, which is enough to meet the annual energy needs of about 120,000 homes. Learn more about this exciting new facility with a guided tour which begins at the Twin Groves Lookout Visitor Center.
Dominy Memorial Library
A resource to encourage education and to promote research, the library acts as a cultural center, housing 18,709 books. It is also home to large print books, audio books, newspapers, magazines, music cassettes, videos, bifocal kits, and art prints. Patrons have access to a fax machine, copy machine, microfilm printer-reader, genealogy materials, and the internet through two computers. The library offers a meeting room, outreach programs, children's programs, and a children's library.
Fairbury Echoes Museum
This local museum features a Fairbury Room and exhibits that change periodically. Open Wednesday and Fridays, or by appointment.
The Patton Cabin was built in June 1829 by John Patton, one of the area's first settlers. The cabin was constructed with the help of Native Americans who lived in the area.
Children's Discovery Museum
Come experience three floors of unique, hands-on, larger-than-life exhibits! This museum is designed to create a sense of wonder that excites the love of learning in children of all ages. Be sure to discover the new Children's Discovery Museum.