Champaign, Illinois is centrally located a few hours south of Chicago, and a few hours west of Indianapolis in Indiana. This exciting little city was once called West Urbana after the first railway tracks reached the area from nearby Urbana, Illinois. The name of the town would later be changed to Champaign in 1860 when it officially became chartered as a city.
This vibrant community revolves around a buzzing downtown that is hectic in the best possible way. Champaign is an important hub both culturally and economically, representing central Illinois in every way. Champaign is located in an area sometimes referred to as the “Silicon Prairie”, a play on Silicon Valley; several tech giants, startups, and Fortune 500 companies call the city home, as do several colleges and universities. The mass transit and public transportation options in Champaign are excellent and make navigating about the metro area as easy as can be. Three different interstates criss-cross through Champaign making it a fantastic place to rent an RV, with tons of things to explore with your Champaign RV rental by owner.
When you book an RV in Champaign, you’ll have numerous opportunities to soak up the local culture, catch some minor league baseball or basketball games, see some historic buildings and neighborhoods, and much more.
Experience the Sites and Scenery
There are some exceptional parks located in Champaign that can be used and enjoyed by all. The Parks Department of Champaign masterfully presides over a series of impressive parks with equally impressive features, like Centennial Park in the heart of the city. Centennial Park is peaceful and benefits from several walking paths, large picnic pavilions, several baseball and soccer fields, and playscapes for kids to climb on. Dodds Park and Heritage Park are conjoined to create one of the largest public recreation spaces in town, with ponds and trickling streams to walk alongside on elegant pathways. Dodds Park even has a disc golf course, several different athletic fields for various sports activities and many acres of open grassy spaces for dog walks or reading a book beneath the midday sun.
Clinton Lake State Recreation is a local favorite popular with residents of the Champaign-Urbana metro area. The recreation area wraps around scenic Clinton Lake where there is a lot to do. Guests to the park like to fish for a variety of fish in the lake in addition to swimming, hiking around the lake, lounging on the beach, or utilizing the marina and boat launch for your personal watercraft. Clinton Lake is also home to a massive campground capable of comfortable housing both you and your Champaign camper rental overnight. Kankakee River State Park to the north is a similarly great place to bring your Champaign motorhome rental with the intention of enjoying the great outdoors while camping. This spectacular park is made up of lots of riverfront acreage alongside the Kankakee River, as well as several islands in the middle of the river itself. Hiking and horseback riding are great ways to tour the park and see the beautiful migratory birds that stop and seek shelter during their winter journeys.
Shawnee National Forest is one of the biggest and best instances of nature in the entire state, so heading there when you book a motorhome rental in Champaign is a no-brainer. If you do find yourself headed to this incredible natural area, you should be comfortable with driving for several hours to the south of Illinois. The park is riddled with scenic geological features perfect for spying the land around you. The “Little Grand Canyon” is one of the most popular features in Shawnee National Forest, despite being nowhere the size as its Arizona counterpart. There are entirely too many waterfalls to possibly mention, so you are better off wandering and seeing how many you can discover yourself.
Champaign is a happening little city with lots going on. An eclectic mix of Mexican food, American barbecue, Italian, Chicago-style pizza, and many other interesting eateries can be seen while walking through the historic downtown, which is full of old buildings like the Cattle Bank Building built in 1858. The Virginia Theatre in Champaign has been operating since 1921, showing movies to packed houses. For the last several years, Virginia Theatre has transitioned back into a center for live performances and theatrical productions. The ornate setting and elegant decoration make you feel right at home while watching one of the many plays and musical performances that happen here.
Krannert Art Museum is a wonderful museum small in size but culturally significant. The museum operates in conjunction with the University of Illinois and is home to several galleries featuring local art, international art, and much more. Spurlock Museum is another great feature in the area, concentrating on potent world cultures from the past, like ancient Rome, Egypt, China, India, and the American Indians of North America. The museum masterfully weaves a story of how people lived in these societies, what they did for fun, and highlighting the similarities they have with modern day people. Champaign County Historical Museum is full of treasures, like important artifacts from the past. The museum is housed in the Cattle Bank Building mentioned before, and the brickwork is absolutely incredible to see up close and personal.
Where to Park It
Visitors to Champaign are often pleasantly surprised to find out that there are several parks and campgrounds in the area, making their Champaign travel trailer rental vacation that much easier to plan for.
D & W Lake Camping and RV Park is a place to start and can accommodate the largest RVs and travel campers in its spacious sites. The picturesque lake is great for fishing, and the park rents out boats for guests to take out and explore the water.
Champaign Sportsman’s Club Campground is located on the outskirts of Champaign and provides all of its guests a tranquil experience with beautiful ambiance and scenery. Prairie Pines Campground has all the usual amenities. This peaceful park on the prairie is relaxing and beautiful. Kickapoo State Recreation Area to the east has two campgrounds that can be used for all types of camping. Visitors to this park pass the time by hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, and mountain biking the many wooded trails that can be found on site.