The microurban twin cities of Champaign and Urbana combine to form a vibrant, innovative community in which our campus is the heart. As you explore the many perks of big-city living in this relaxed setting, you’ll quickly understand why we earn regular honors as a top college town.

#2 best college town in America


The Sipyard, Downtown Urbana

About Town

Living local is the culture in C-U, with 2 distinct downtowns that will enhance your campus experience. Discover live music, festivals, theaters, boutiques, and over 50 locally owned restaurants that can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Explore C-U

#1 Midwest food town

(Midwest Living)

What's going on?

Something's always happening in C-U. Get familiar with some of our yearly highlights.

Pygmalion crown


Rooted in music and happening each September across C-U, a festival that's expanded to include literature, makers, and local food—and it's still growing!

Illinois marathon runners

Illinois Marathon

A Boston Marathon qualifier bringing 20,000 runners from 48 states and 13 countries to C-U.


Boneyard Arts Festival

Held on Mom's Weekend, a county-wide festival featuring hundreds of local visual and music artists across a variety of venues.

Ebertfest at the Virginia Theater


A film festival created by film critic and Illinois alum Roger Ebert, hosted at the historic Virginia Theater in downtown Champaign.

residents shopping at the Market

Market at the Square

Located in downtown Urbana, one of the largest and most diverse farmers’ markets in Illinois.


Sweetcorn Festival

Annual Urbana event featuring live music, local art, and homegrown sweetcorn—yum!