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Serving as the county seat of Monroe County, Bloomington is a picturesque city in southern Indiana and home to the main campus of the Indiana University. It was established in 1818 by a group of settlers from Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Virginia who named it after the impressive blooms that ignited the city.
With lakeside camping grounds on its doorstep, Bloomington is the perfect place to rent an RV while exploring Monroe County. It’s home to fascinating museums and historic residences while being within easy access to hiking and mountain biking trails.
Book an RV rental in Bloomington, and drive northeast to Lake Lemon, which sprawls across 1,650 acres and 24 miles of shoreline. It’s a recreational hub, with two public parks and a marina for getting out on the water, as well as an aquatic center that organizes rowing, water skiing, and sailing activities. If you want to stretch your legs, follow the nature trail that winds through the Little Africa Wildlife Viewing Area or head to Riddle Point Park, which also features a native prairie grass demonstration area.
RVers wanting to explore on two wheels should visit the Wapehani Mountain Bike Park, which lies in the southwest of Bloomington. It encompasses around five miles of rolling single-track trails that are designed for intermediate to advanced bikers, traversing a combination of wooded and grassy areas. The park is also accessible to hikers, with dog-friendly trails that lead around the waters of Weimer Lake.
If you’re after a longer hike, you can tackle the 20-mile-long Ten O’Clock Line Hiking Trail that connects Yellowwood State Forest to Brown County State Park. The Yellowwood State Forest is renowned for its yellowwood trees that flower only every three to five years, as well as the boulders weighing up to 200 pounds that have been mysteriously found in chestnut oaks and American sycamores. Keep your eyes peeled for deer, foxes, raccoons, and squirrels that inhabit the reserve, with hunting and fishing also permitted.
Pick up your motorhome rental in Warsaw and drive south to Lake Monroe Village, which offers 124 full hookup RV sites overlooking the water. There’s a swimming pool, a children’s playground, and direct access to numerous hiking trails, as well as a newly-built laundry area with double-load machines.
Another option at Lake Monroe is Jellystone Park, a family-friendly campground with just over 100 RV sites. It’s pet-friendly and features an outdoor pool, splash area, and a children’s playground, as well as a jumping pillow, train rides, and wagon rides.
Alternatively, drive east to the Brown County/Nashville KOA, which is just a few miles from the charming town of Nashville. There’s a large swimming pool, a basketball court, and a fenced pet park where your four-legged friends can run free, as well as nearby access to the Brown County State Park.
Park your RV rental near Bloomington and head to the Monroe County History Center to learn about the people and events that have shaped the region’s past. Tour the period-furnished room of the Wylie House Museum that was built in 1835 for a university president, or visit the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, which showcases traditional and folk arts. Another Bloomington museum not to miss is the Farmer House Museum, a mid-19th-century residence where original furniture, clothing, and household items are exhibited.
Bloomington is home to the Indiana University whose historic main campus centers around The Old Crescent. Admire the heritage-listed Collegiate Gothic-style Student Service Building and the Richardsonian Romanesque Maxwell Building, as well as the turn-of-the-20th-century Kirkwood Observatory. See the university’s basketball team in action at the 17,000-seat Assembly Hall or browse the global art collection at the Eskenazi Museum of Art.
If you’re traveling with kids, don’t miss a visit to the WonderLab Science Museum, which features two floors of hands-on science exhibits. They can clamber atop the Grapevine Climber and discover how to form bubbles at the Bubble-Airium, as well as dam and divert water at the innovative Lego Water Table. After exploring the interior of the museum, stroll through the Lester P. Bushnell WonderGarden, which features outdoor science exhibits and an amphitheater where practical shows are regularly held.
There are plenty of supermarkets in Bloomington where you’ll find all the grocery supplies you need, together with fast food eateries and restaurants if you want to eat out. There are also numerous gas stations if you need to fill up your camper rental in Bloomington.
Whether you’re visiting Monroe County for its historic university or mountain biking trails, book an RV in Bloomington and start planning your next adventure.