Apartments in Normal

Normal, IL Local Guide

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A Local Perspective

Normal IL
Normal is located in McLean County and has an estimated population of about 53,000 people. Normal is home to Illinois State University. Normal is one of those towns where you feel like everyone knows each other. While it is a sizeable town you get that quaint charm and appeal of a Norman Rockwell painting in this town. Normal has that rustic charm while offering the amenities of most of the larger cities. It's a great place to call home because there is so much to see and do. You won't miss the comforts of the big city when you move to Normal because you will have all you need here.

Finding a Normal Apartment

When to search

Apartments in normal can sometimes be hard to find just because this is a smaller area. People have a tendency to move in and stay for a while. So turn to your local student life director on campus to see if they can assist you with locating openings in the area. There is no ideal time to look for a unit but you're best bet is to look as soon as you know you are moving into the area.

Staying in the know

Applying for housing in Normal is a fairly simple process. Keep an eye out for any conditions that need to be met. You may need to bring in proof of income as well as verifiable references. The fewer questions a potential landlord has the better your chances are of getting the unit you want.


Life in Normal

Transportation

Normal has public transportation readily available for its residents and visitors. You can check www.connect-transit.com/ or www.bloomingtontransit.com/ for coverage areas as well as schedules and fare information. Ideally having your own means of transportation would be the way to go but at least you can have peace of mind in knowing the city does have transportation available when you need it.

Where to play

Normal is a charming town with many things to see and do. Visit the Normal Theater to see a great film. This beautifully restored theater still has it's original "old school" feel. Take a tour of one of the many bars and pubs in the area. Grab some fresh fruits and vegetables from local stores and enjoy a great meal in one of the local eateries.

Attractions

The Children’s Discovery Museum is the most well known attraction in the city of Normal. If you have kids or younger relatives, this would be the perfect way to spend an enjoyable day in the city. The Normal Theatre is another of the attractions that the town is proudest of. This is a beautiful, restored movie theatre that takes visitors back to the golden age of cinema. To honour the traditions behind the theatre, it plays movies that you don't see in first-run theatres, including classics, art films, and films from around the world.

Dining

The Rock is a great lunch spot located near the University campus. Specializing in gyros, falafel, and hot dogs, it is the perfect place to grab a bite between classes, or when on your way to one of the many museums contained within the University grounds. Every town needs a great Italian restaurant or two. You will find several in Normal, but one good bet is Avanti’s. There are also a lot of great lunch places in Normal where you can grab a great sandwich or a quick lunch. Jason’s Deli is one great spot like this.

Bars

DESTIHL Restaurant & Brew Works is a great place to go if you're looking for food and drink a cut above what you get in your normal corner pub. If you're looking for the most laid back, regular Joe’s bar in the city, Mugsy’s might be right up your alley. If you prefer pizza with your beer instead of a burger, then you should head to the Firehouse Pizza & Pub. Pub II is popular with college students, because above anything else, this place is known for some of the cheapest beer in town. Mulligan’s is another college bar, but the outdoor patio makes it a great place to go in the summer time.

Culture

The Ewing Cultural Center is one of the important cultural institutions in the area. The Center itself is historic, and made up of beautifully preserved buildings on Sunset Hill Estate. It is also home to the Ewing Theatre, which is the venue used for the Illinois Shakespeare festival, one of the most well regarded Shakespeare presentations in the area. Being a college town, there are lots of pubs and bars that feature live music throughout the week, as the concerts are very popular with the college aged crowd. The Mclean County Museum of History is also a great place to visit, as it will give you all the insight you require into the history of the region.

Events

The Sugar Creek Arts Festival takes place in Uptown Normal, and provides an opportunity for local artists, and those from across the country, to get their work seen and celebrated. This is a huge, juried festival that takes place in July of each year. St. Patrick’s Day is also a big event in Normal, and the town now throws a large parade, sponsored by the McLean County Irish Heritage Society among others, in order to celebrate everything Irish each March. Culture Fest is held in July, and features family friendly events, music, and dance from different global traditions.

Shopping

The Sugar Creek Arts Festival takes place in Uptown Normal, and provides an opportunity for local artists, and those from across the country, to get their work seen and celebrated. This is a huge, juried festival that takes place in July of each year. St. Patrick’s Day is also a big event in Normal, and the town now throws a large parade, sponsored by the McLean County Irish Heritage Society among others, in order to celebrate everything Irish each March. Culture Fest is held in July, and features family friendly events, music, and dance from different global traditions.

Sports

Illinois State University is found within the town of Normal. ISU has been around since 1857, and it's athletic program, the Illinois Redbirds, have history that stretches back more than a century. The football and basketball teams are very popular with local fans. The Football team plays at Hancock Stadium, and the basketball team takes the court at Redbird Arena. The football team won the conference title as recently as 2014. The basketball team was a perennial contender in the 1990s, winning the conference four times and appearing three times in the NCAA tournament. The school has produced a handful of athletes who went on to MLB and NFL careers.

Outdoors

The Constitution Trail is the best place to get outside and wind through the twin cities of Bloomington and Normal. The trail is paved throughout, and is over 30 miles in length. The portions of the trail in Normal wind by several major stops in the city, making it a useful transportation thoroughfare for walkers and cyclists, as well as a recreational facility. There are several other beautiful parks within the city, such as the Fransen Nature area, a beautiful five and a half acre preserve with an observation deck that looks at the local pond. Underwood Park is a larger park with typical town recreation facilities like ball diamonds available.

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