Living in C-U

Combining natural Midwestern beauty with cultural resources typically found in larger metropolitan areas, the twin cities of Urbana-Champaign retain the charm, friendliness, safety and affordability of smaller communities. Housing, entertainment, and living expenses are comparatively low. That translates into fewer dollars spent on staples and more in your pocket to explore your passions. Champaign County is home to many award winning public and private schools.  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 from here to there.



Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy 80 parks spanning nearly 1,000 acres in Champaign-Urbana maintained by the Champaign Park District and Urbana Park District.  In just minutes’ drive, you can enjoy outdoor sports and activities such as swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, camping, biking and cross-country skiing at one of three major forest preserves in Champaign County. Or take an afternoon to explore thousands more acres of natural areas in our neighboring counties. Golfers enjoy nine public golf courses within 15 miles of Champaign, and three private clubs. The annual Illinois Marathon starts and finishes on campus, and has become a destination race in the Midwest.

With 19 intercollegiate sports programs, the excitement of Big Ten athletics is never far away on the campus. And while championships are abundant, Illinois retains a reputation for excellence and integrity – and we take pride in knowing that our athletes are students first. Illinois also promotes active learning and self-discovery opportunities to the entire campus community. Our outstanding campus recreation facilities boast 500,000 square feet of state-of-the-art space available to concentrate on wellness and healthy lifestyles.



Downtown Champaign is a thriving mixture of commercial and residential. Strolling through the downtown district, you will discover upscale restaurants, art galleries, boutiques, locally owned retail stores and nightlife. Or you might prefer a visit to downtown Urbana with its own eclectic mix of restaurants, bars, retail and more.

Champaign-Urbana 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, and commitment to societal issues coupled with a world-class university make this community a destination for professionals of all kinds.

For those with a travelling spirit, in three hours or less, you could be in Chicago, St. Louis or Indianapolis, enjoying a major sporting event, world-class museums or dinner at a renowned restaurant. Or choose to venture along a different path and enjoy national treasures like Shawnee National Forest or historic Lincoln sites. Amtrak, Greyhound, and American Airlines offer daily transportation so you can very quickly be on your way to almost anywhere.