The Five (Relatively) Hidden Gems of Bloomington

Here is my list of five hidden gems in Bloomington, Indiana:
  1. The Chocolate Moose. Located at 401 South Walnut Street, the Moose is a smallish stand that serves phenomenal ice cream and for us ladies, nonfat froyo. It's fun to walk there, especially this time of year, whether it's with a group of friends, your parents, or a date.
  2. Cactus Flower. Not only does this small retailer sell big brands, such as Free People, it also sells kick ass jewelry and sunglasses for cheap. However, it's the upstairs vintage section that I love most. They have a wide variety of used clothes, shoes, and accessories, particularly from the 1950s-present. I even found a fantastic Armani blazer there for only $35! Whether you're looking for a serious statement piece, or need a ridiculous costume for Halloween or a themed party, I highly recommend this place on the corner of Kirkwood and Grant.
  3. If you haven't noticed already, this post is primarily directed towards women. Anyway, the next on my list is VIP Nails, located at 116 West 6th St # 100. This place is incredibly cheap and if you're getting acrylics or gels, ask for Huy. He's incredibly precise and is the best manicurist I've ever had. I do recommend making an appointment though if you don't want to wait because it does tend to get a lot of walk-ins and the staff is quick, but small in number.
  4. Roots on the Square located at 124 North Walnut Street. Roots is a vegetarian restaurant that serves a wide variety of cuisine, from Mediterranean to Asian. Even if you are not vegetarian, the food here is hearty and extremely tasty (check out the menu). Because Roots doesn't serve meat, you can expect a great meal for much cheaper.
  5. If you're looking for a more scenic place to walk, run, or bike, I'd recommend giving the Bloomington B-Line Trail a try. Running from Adams Street to Country Club Drive, the trail is approximately 3.1 miles. It's also decorated with public art, is pet-friendly, and lit with LED lights "from dusk to dawn". To learn more about the trail, click here.

Do you have any hidden gems around Bloomington you'd like to share?

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