Local Atmosphere

Peoria, IL
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3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: There is plenty of shopping and attractions, but the city is not very safe. I do not wander around the city alone.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Peoria is the town I grew up in. There is a lot to do and be involved in if you can find it. I think Peoria is a very affordable place to live and raise a family. The surrounding towns really add to the atmosphere of the city.

2 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: There is not much to do outside of campus. It is necessary to have a car or take the bus to any of the big shopping areas with different restaurants.

2 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Unless you have a car, I don't recommend off campus

4 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: I like because the Located id suitable


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Erin Wood
Peoria, Ill.
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Peoria isn't a college town, and Bradley is, by no means, the focal point of the city, which can be a good and bad thing. Peoria isn't accommodating to Bradley students in some aspects. There aren't tons of nearby attractions, and the neighborhoods that surround campus aren't the cleanest or the safest. On the other hand, it's nice to leave college life sometimes and pretend to be a real, functioning Peorian because the city has a lot to offer. Students from Chicago—and there are a lot of them—yawn at Peoria because it doesn't have all the draws of a hopping metropolis. However, Bradley attracts "farm kids" from all over who marvel at the fact that Bradley isn't even close to being in the middle of a cornfield. There's always something to do—no one dies of boredom or has to resort to cow tipping for lack of better entertainment.

Peoria has the attractions of a big city, with several malls, movie theaters, bowling alleys, bars, clubs, golf courses, parks, museums, and festivals. But as a mid-sized Midwestern city, the traffic is reasonable, and there are still good old-fashioned outdoor activities to enjoy in some of Peoria's scenic areas. Students can pick their own pumpkins and apples in the fall at local orchards and hit downtown clubs afterward. Many students appreciate Peoria's mix of small-town traditions and big-city attractions, but the lack of transportation to off-campus destinations is frustrating to those without cars. A lot of people find things to do on campus, but popping "the Bradley Bubble" and venturing outside is definitely worth the effort.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Peoria is home to the headquarters of Caterpillar Inc., "the world's largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, and industrial gas turbines," according to its website. Many Bradley students work at Caterpillar upon graduation.
  2. Peoria is the largest city on the Illinois River.
  3. During the days of Vaudeville, it was said if an act succeeded in Peoria, it would play anywhere, coining the question, "Will it play in Peoria?" The city is still considered a prototype of mainstream America, and Peoria is often used as a test market for new products and services. The city's general makeup is almost identical to that of the United States as a whole.
  4. In the past 60 years, Peoria has garnered the "All-American City" award three times.
  5. Grandview Drive, which runs through Peoria and Peoria Heights, is said to have been called "the world's most beautiful drive" by Teddy Roosevelt during a 1910 visit.
Notable Natives
  • Nancy Brinker – chief of protocol of the United States, United States ambassador to Hungary, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, sister of Susan G. Komen
  • John Coleman – meteorologist, founder of The Weather Channel
  • Dan Fogelberg – musician
  • The Forecast – indie rock band
  • Betty Friedan – feminist and author of "The Feminine Mystique"
  • Joe Girardi – former Major League Baseball catcher, manager of the New York Yankees
  • Tecumseh "Teck" Holmes III – MTV's "Real World: Hawaii" cast member and host of "Direct Effect"
  • Susan G. Komen – namesake of Susan G. Komen for the Cure
  • Camryn Manheim – actress
  • Elaine "Spanky" McFarlane – singer of '60s folk rock bands Spanky and Our Gang and The Mamas and the Papas
  • Mudvayne – metal band
  • Richard Pryor – comedian and actor
  • Gary Richrath – guitarist from REO Speedwagon
  • George D. Sax – banking entrepreneur, credited with the innovation of drive-through banking
  • Jim Thome – Chicago White Sox player
Local Slang
  • Cat: Caterpillar Inc.—Peoria is the headquarters of this manufacturing giant.
  • EP: East Peoria, which is just across the river, a few minutes from Bradley
  • P-Town: A nickname for Bradley's hometown of Peoria
  • Soda vs. Pop: You'll hear it both ways, so stick to whatever you're used to saying. Most people from Chicago call it "pop," but you can pick out the locals who call it "soda."
Points of Interest
  • "Peace" and "Harvest" statues
  • Apple Blossom Farm
  • East Peoria Festival of Lights
  • Madison Theatre
  • Tanners Orchard
Shopping Centers
  • Northwoods Mall
  • Shoppes at Grand Prairie
Movie Theaters
Goodrich Willow Knolls 14 Theater
4100 W. Willow Knolls Drive
(309) 689-8463
Movie Theaters
Rave Motion Pictures Grand Prairie 18
5311 W. American Prairie Drive
(309) 282-7300
Major Sports Teams
  • Peoria Chiefs: Minor League Baseball
  • Peoria Rivermen: American Hockey League
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Chicago: : 2 hours, 45 minutes
  • Springfield, Ill.: : 1 hour, 20 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 20 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 21 responses

  • 0% Painfully remote.
  • 48% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 5% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 29% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 19% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 21 responses

  • 14% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 33% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 52% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 21 responses

  • 19% No way.
  • 67% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 14% Totally.
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