Bloomington was rated the No. 10 best college sports town by Forbes.com.
I have to say the reputation is deserved. B-town has a great bar scene, i.e. Kirkwood Avenue, as well as top-quality sports. The town also is beautiful, especially in the fall during football season.
The IU music school, rated among the best in the nation, also lends itself to a cool music scene. I can remember sitting in Bear's Place for the weekly Jazz Fables show, listening to the music school's jazz masters students. They were a group that would cost $50 to see in New York, but my friends and I paid $5. The musicians didn't like to advertise the show because the small pizza place couldn't handle the mass of people who would attend.
The room was so crowded the host asked patrons to let strangers sit with them in their boothes. We had to arrive an hour before show time to get seats. We felt like we were in on a little Bloomington secret.
Hat tip: ESPN.com's Big Ten blog