Let’s face it… campustown can be a daunting destination if you don’t frequent this neighborhood regularly. Whether it’s navigating through the maze of university students during the academic year, finding a decent parking space, or just locating the nearest restroom there seems to be plenty of excuses about avoiding this neighborhood.
Trust us – you won’t want to skip over campustown.
When you pass up Green Street, you’d missing out on big city vibes, diverse and delicious restaurants, open bike lanes, attractive streetscapes and campus scenes, surprisingly convenient transportation options, and so much more! Sure, it may not be the same as it used to be, but the dynamism of campustown is what gives it life and vibrancy that always keep us coming back for more.
So, in an effort to break down barriers and dispel pervasive misconceptions, we’ve created this handy guide to welcome you back to Green Street so that you can truly enjoy the best that Champaign has to offer. Keep reading to learn about how you can get around, park, sit and freshen up in campustown. Visit our campustown business directory to learn about businesses and organizes invested in the neighborhood!
Summer is the best time to visit campustown. Explore businesses participating in 13 Thursdays before students return! Get discounts, free parking, and win prizes every Thursday.
While having access to a car may seem like the easiest way to get around, when it comes to campustown, that may prove to be untrue. Luckily there are tons of ways to get to and around campus without the use of an automobile.
Bus routes like the Green, Gold, Yellow, and Teal, create a box pattern and connect the four corners of campus with the Champaign and Urbana downtown areas. These are high-frequency routes with 10-minute service. There are several other bus routes that connect our campus to the communities. The Illini and Silver routes are dedicated to serving the campus and have bus service every 10-minute during the academic year. Learn more about MTD bus routes and services.
If you have a bicycle, then hop on and come over! The best bicycle lanes in Champaign are found in campustown. If you are trying to avoid cars altogether, we recommend taking the Boneyard Greenway, which runs parallel to Green Street between First and Sixth Streets. Need a bike tune-up? Visit the Bike Project, also in campustown, located at 51 E Gregory. Another recommendation: take Logan Street in Downtown, which turns to White Street heading east into Midtown, and head over to Wright Street — here are some of the most open streets with few cars.
A few years ago, you may have noticed the appearance, almost over night, of VEO Ride bikes all over Champaign-Urbana. In spring 2022, new e-bikes showed up, called Cosmos, which give you a huge selection of bikes to share. These bikes, both electric and pedal, can take you from point A to point B in no time and a fairly inexpensive a small fee to unlock the bikes and flat rate per minute. Learn more about rideshare bikes in Champaign.
Sidewalks run up and down every street and you also have the lovely Quad and Boneyard Greenway as “off-street” pedestrian walkways. Our favorite long walk combines the Boneyard Creek 2nd Street Basin in Midtown, Scott Park, the Greenway, and the Main Quad by Illini Union.
DRIVING & PARKING
Did you know there are 800 metered parking spaces in Champaign’s campustown? The doesn’t include University-enforced parking spots. Despite this, parking is the number one complaint we hear from Champaign residents. So, we drove around campus to create a list of parking spots plus their enforcement times, to guarantee parking next time you visit.
- Campus Center Parking Deck located on Healey between Sixth and Fifth; rate = $1.50/hour. Get free 2-hour parking validation here during 13 Thursdays this summer.
- Lot A3 – Metered spaces, free after 5 pm and on weekends. Located off Healey and Sixth.
- Lot A9 – Metered spaces, free after 5 pm and weekends. Located off Healey and Sixth.
- Lot B1 – Metered spaces, free after 5 pm and weekends. Located near the Bardeen Quad off Matthews in Urbana.
- Lot D10 – Illini Union metered spots.
- Matthews Ave. street parking – free after 5pm and weekends. One-way going North and one-way going South off Green St.
For most weekdays, bring change or download the Mobile Meter app to park at any of the hundreds — over 800 City-owned street parking spots in fact.
Sometimes you just have to sit down. Whether you are people watching or relaxing, there are plenty of benches and picnic tables located all over.
- Picnic tables along Boneyard Greenway off Fifth (available this summer only).
- U of I Main Quad and Illini Union.
- Bardeen Quad
- Scott Park
When you got to go, you got to go. Luckily for you the University of Illinois Student Union is open all day and well into the night (the official hours 7am – 11pm every day of the week) in case you find yourself on campus and in need of a pitstop. Otherwise, almost all businesses have restrooms available for customers.
SHARE YOUR CAMPUSTOWN FAVORITES
We want to hear from you! Share a photo and description of your favorite campustown spots and we will feature it here and share it with others. Click the button below to be redirected to submission form or email us at info(at)champaigncenter.com. Thanks for being a campustown ambassador.