One of the oldest European settlements established in Illinois, Peoria is located in the heart of the Illinois River valley in central Illinois. The fertile soil and easy transportation the the river provided to the earlier settlers of this area created the perfect home for a city rich in heritage, commerce, and industry.
Peoria, the largest Illinois metropolitan area outside of Chicago and St. Louis, is home to a variety of commercial and industrial businesses. The Peoria region tri-county area consists of Tazewell, Woodford, and Peoria counties.
The city is also full of recreational and cultural activities for anyone looking to pass the time. On any given day, you can find festivals, concerts, art fairs, farmer's markets, performances, and more! Peoria is also home to a number of performance venues, museums, art galleries, and more than two dozen historic landmarks of both local and national fame. We also enjoy a wide variety of culinary experiences from Mexican, Vietnamese, and Thai to Italian, American home-style, and even a few local dishes only available here.
Peoria boasts a large collection of medical and health care research, educational, and clinical facilities including the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria and Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center. In addition, Bradley University, one of the top ten private universities in the Midwest, is located right in the heart of the city as are a number of other higher education institutions.
Peoria is served by four public school districts for students K-12. The largest public district, Peoria Public School District 150, includes dozens of primary and middle schools and three high schools and serves over 14,000 students a year. In addition, Dunlap Community School District 323, Limestone Community School District 310, and Peoria Heights School District 325 provide access to over ten schools and serve more than 5,000 students a year.
There are also a number of public schools supporting the smaller communities surrounding the Peoria including East Peoria School District 86, Morton School District 709, and Metamora Township High School. In addition to public schools, the Peoria area is also home to Peoria Notre Dame High School, a Catholic high school, as well as a variety of private Catholic, Christian, and non-denominational private grade and middle schools.
For those who are seeking higher education, Peoria is home to Bradley University, Midstate College, Illinois Central College (Downtown & North Campuses), the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria (UICOMP), and a branch of Robert Morris College. Eureka College and the main campus of Illinois Central College are also within driving distance of the city.
As one of the largest cities in Illinois and located on the banks of the Illinois River, Peoria is a melting pot of the best the region has to offer. For those with the shopping bug, there are a number of shopping districts and plazas including one indoor and one outdoor "walking" mall, The Shoppes at Grand Prairie. The city is also home to a wide variety of culinary experiences ranging from steakhouses to fine dining to foreign cuisine.
When in the Peoria area, there is always something to do. The community plays host to a number of events including art fairs, music festivals, parades, farmers' markets, and more. For the outdoors lovers, the Peoria Park District, the first and largest park district in Illinois and winner of the 2001 Winner of the National Gold Medal Award for Excellence, maintains over 9,000 acres of park land, the recently upgraded Peoria Zoo, and five public golf courses.
Sports buffs will be glad to know that Peoria is home to both the Peoria Chiefs baseball team and the Peoria Rivermen, an American Hockey League Midwest Division ice hockey team. The city is also home to the Peoria Civic Center, which houses a concert arena, exposition halls, ballrooms, and a theatre.
As one of the oldest settlements in Illinois and the largest city on the Illinois river, Peoria is highly diverse in its artistic and cultural offerings. For the art lover in the family, there are many events such as the Peoria Fine Art Fair and organizations like the Peoria Art Guild that serve the needs and promote the arts community. There are also a large number of local artisan workshops, classes, galleries, and tours that take place throughout the year.
Museums in Peoria include Pettengill-Morron House and Flanagan House, both operated by the Peoria Historical Society, as well as Lakeview Museum for the Arts and Sciences. In addition, the Peoria Riverfront Museum, a complex in downtown Peoria is home to the the Caterpillar World Visitors Center, a planetarium, and an IMAX-style theatre.
The Peoria area is home to over 50 different churches and houses of worship covering a range of faiths from Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian and Methodist to Hindu, Muslim and Judaism.
Peoria, Illinois offers a range of residential opportunities, combining the best of city life surrounded by a rural countryside. Whether you are looking for something out of the way, in the woods, along the river, or right in the heart of the city, Peoria has it all.