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Top Things to Do in Champaign-Urbana

The University of Illinois anchors the two-in-one metro area, 150 miles southwest of Chicago, that was voted our best Midwest food town.

What To Do

Allerton Park and Retreat Center Robert Henry Allerton, an avid art collector, filled the gardens of his estate with more than 100 lovingly placed sculptures.

Cinema Gallery The theater, built in 1870 as Busey's Opera Hall, now houses pieces from more than 50 local artists working in ceramics, paint and sculpture.

Krannert Art Museum More than 10,000 works of art are housed here, including ancient Egyptian sculptures and pieces by Andy Warhol.

Market at the Square Music hums and shoppers browse local goods on Saturday mornings.

Spurlock Museum The mix of art and anthropological artifacts from around the world feels like a miniature of Chicago's Field Museum.

University of Illinois Arboretum At the campus arboretum, flowerbeds bloom in geometric patterns and paths wind throug cherry trees.

University of Illinois Arboretum

University of Illinois arboretum

Wandell Sculpture Garden Contemporary sculptures (mostly abstract, geometric and metal) jut out of the prairie grass.

What To Eat

Black Dog Smoke and Ale House If you're lucky, you can snag their burnt ends before their daily sell-out.

The Blind Pig Co. Try a microbrew under the twinkle lights on the patio.

Courier Cafe An on-site garden feeds their salad bar.

Golden Harbor The menu has over 3,000 dishes and an entire section dedicated to sea cucumber. (217) 398-8988

Miga Asian-influenced dishes such as black cod with mustard shine at this restaurant.

Papa Del's Pizza Pies are slung with puffy crusts and bold sauce here.

V. Picasso Seasonal dishes such as braised pork belly and butternut squash gnocchi highlight ingredients from their sister property, Willow Creek Farm, 8 miles away.

V. Picasso patio

V. Picasso patio

Where To Stay

Illini Union Hotel Located near the University of Illinois campus, the 72 simple guest rooms have free Wi-Fi and reserved parking.

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