Life in Peoria, Illinois
Peoria loves to surprise people. It’s a community that features big-city advantages with a small-town vibe (goodbye, traffic!). Peoria has rich cultural amenities, low cost of living, family-friendly activities, multiple colleges and a variety of job opportunities. A best-kept secret along the Illinois River, discover what Peoria has to offer.
Nationally Ranked for Quality of Life
Peoria, a four-time recipient of the All-American City Award by the National Civic League, and its surrounding communities have earned national attention for affordability, health and safety, education, family recreation and more. Two great resources to help uncover the many eclectic reasons that make Peoria worthy of this honor can be found at the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and Peoria Life.
The Peoria area offers career opportunities, not only in medicine, but in technology, education and industry as well. Companies, both established and new, provide our area with a diverse, thriving economy.
A Hub for Healthcare
Peoria has job opportunities for residents after program completion. The Greater Peoria area has 708 health care establishments that employ 29,731 people, 25% above the national average. In addition to UnityPoint, OSF HealthCare is based here, including the world-class medical innovation space at Jump and the award-winning OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois.
The Middle of Everywhere
Peoria isn’t just the heart of Illinois. It’s the heart of the country. We’re roughly three hours to Chicago, three hours to Indianapolis and three hours to St. Louis. Our international airport (with free parking!) makes it easy to get where you need to go.
Outside Activities Galore
If being surrounded by nature is your idea of bliss, hike at Forest Park Nature Center or one of our many parks. Feeling exotic? Visit the Peoria Zoo or spot animals in their native habitats at the expansive Wildlife Prairie Park. Attend outdoor concerts along the riverfront or check out fun festivals like Erin Feis, Oktoberfest, Mardi Gras in May or WinterFest.
On the field or off, there are many choices when it comes to sports in the area. Take a swing at the Louisville Slugger Sports Complex. You can find your bliss with yoga or work off stress spiking a volleyball. These, along with many other sports for adults and kids, are available through the Peoria Park District. Feel like relaxing in the stands? Take in a Peoria Chiefs baseball game, see action on ice with the Peoria Rivermen or cheer on the Bradley Braves.
Experience Peoria’s rich art scene, from the Peoria Symphony or Heartland Festival Orchestra to one of the many Broadway shows or bands making tour stops at the Civic Center. Prefer the stage to a seat in the audience? You can participate in music, poetry or comedy open mic events or take on a role in our active community theater. Enjoy visual arts? Stroll the Sculpture Walk, attend the annual nationally recognized Fine Arts Fair or stop by the many monthly First Friday events.
Delectable Eats & Treats
Please your palate at one of Peoria’s many locally owned restaurants. Whether searching for a culinary adventure, a farm-to-table experience or something in between, you won’t be disappointed. Then, raise a glass at a microbrewery and vineyard in the area. Are you a chef yourself? Peruse local farmers’ markets for fresh ingredients for your next home-cooked meal.
Where Old Meets New
Peoria blends time-honored traditions with fresh, new fun. Our annual Santa Claus parade, first held in 1888, is the longest-running parade in the country. We’re reviving our whiskey city roots with a revitalized and updated warehouse district. We’ve even broken ground on a beautiful new park spanning our waterfront. With a strong foundation and bold exciting plans, we here in Peoria look to a bright future, which we invite you to be a part of.