Welcome to our town.

Located in the heart of the Midwest, Urbana-Champaign has all the richness of life in a big city without the headaches. The community has something for everyone: art, nightlife, music and restaurants, plus easy access to outdoor recreation and larger metropolitan centers. 


Unique "Micro-Urban" Community

Urbana-Champaign is on an accelerated development track, emerging as a leading example of a "micro-urban" community—a population center of less than 250,000 with a set of highly desirable attributes commonly found in larger cities. Our vibrant arts/culture/nightlife scene, internationally diverse population, strong technology base, easy access to outdoor activities and commitment to societal issues coupled with a world-class university make this an ideal place to live, study and work.

Top 5 Program in a Top 5 Town

  • #2 on American Institute of Economic Research's Best College Towns based on demographics, quality of life and economics.
  • 80 parks spanning nearly 1,000 acres in Urbana-Champaign alone (and many more within a short drive)  provide an abundance of swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, camping and biking opportunities.
  • 19 intercollegiate sports programs keeps the excitement of Big Ten athletics ever-present on campus.

Around campus.

Spanning 160 acres on campus, the University of Illinois Arboretum is both a tranquil place to relax and a living research laboratory. 

UI Arboretum

Middle of Everywhere

  • With campus straddling Urbana and Champaign, everything is nearby. Easy commutes, a designated "bike friendly" community, and an award winning mass transit system (free with campus ID), make it quick and simple to get around town.
  • Urbana-Champaign is centrally located in Illinois, with Chicago, Indianapolis and St. Louis an easy drive away. Travel options also include an Amtrak station/bus depot in downtown Champaign and a local airport in neighboring Savoy, Ill.
  • A multi-cultural population means Urbana-Champaign is home to a wide variety of ethnic cuisines, grocery stores and social events.
  • Escaping to nature is easy, with six forest preserves, covering almost 4,000 acres, located in Champaign County. A little further afield there are several state and national forests ready to explore.

Points of Interest

  • Ebertfest was started by Illinois alum Roger Ebert. It brings together writers, producers, actors, directors and film buffs to celebrate films that haven't received the recognition they deserved during their original runs.
  • ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival brings leading guitarists from around the world to play blues, jazz, bluegrass, classical, folk and other styles during this biennial musical event.
  • The Illinois Marathon offers races for all skill levels from 5K to a full 26.2 mile race. This scenic course takes you through Champaign-Urbana, and can even help you qualify for the Boston Marathon. 
  • PYGMALION Festival brings hundreds of musicians, innovators, artists, comedians, and more to the local area. 
  • The Spurlock and Krannert Museums hold archaeological and art collections from throughout history and across the globe.

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

The Krannert Center at the University of Illinois is a nationally renowned venue, attracting theater, musical, and dance performances from entertainers from around the world.

Krannert Center

Around campus.

Green Street, which runs through campus, is home to hi-rise apartment buildings, national food chains, local restaurants and other commercial spaces.

Winter Weather

Urbana-Champaign has four distinct seasons, including hot summers and cold, snowy winters. Pack a warm coat for those chilly months!