Champaign, Illinois is primarily known for being the home of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a prestigious public research university. However, just south of the university lies a quaint neighborhood known as Sunnyside. This hidden gem is a charming and vibrant community that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and entertainment. In this blog post, we will explore the various attractions and activities that make Sunnyside a must-visit destination in Champaign, IL.

History of Sunnyside

Sunnyside was established in the late 19th century as a planned residential community for middle-class families. The neighborhood features a mix of architectural styles, including Victorian, Colonial Revival, and Craftsman homes, giving it a distinctive charm and character. Many of these historic homes have been lovingly preserved and restored, adding to the neighborhood’s appeal.

Things to Do in Sunnyside

1. Sunnyside Historical Mural

One of the highlights of Sunnyside is the Sunnyside Historical Mural, located on the side of a building on Main Street. The mural depicts the history of the neighborhood, showcasing key events and landmarks from its past. It’s a great spot for history buffs and art enthusiasts alike.

2. Sunnyside Park

Sunnyside Park is a beautiful green space in the heart of the neighborhood. The park offers a playground, picnic areas, and walking paths, making it a popular spot for families and outdoor enthusiasts. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy nature.

3. Local Restaurants and Cafes

Sunnyside is home to a variety of local restaurants and cafes that cater to diverse tastes. Whether you’re in the mood for comfort food, international cuisine, or gourmet coffee, you’ll find something to satisfy your cravings in Sunnyside.

Shopping in Sunnyside

From boutique shops to vintage stores, Sunnyside offers a unique shopping experience for visitors. Explore the local shops to discover one-of-a-kind items and support small businesses in the community.

Events and Festivals

Sunnyside hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, including music concerts, art fairs, and community gatherings. Check the local events calendar to see what’s happening during your visit.

Accommodations in Sunnyside

While Sunnyside doesn’t have any major hotels, there are several bed and breakfasts and guesthouses in the area that offer cozy accommodations and personalized service. Staying in Sunnyside allows you to immerse yourself in the local charm and hospitality of the neighborhood.

Getting Around Sunnyside

Sunnyside is a walkable neighborhood with tree-lined streets and well-maintained sidewalks. You can easily explore the area on foot or rent a bike to cover more ground. Public transportation options are also available for those who prefer not to drive.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is Sunnyside a safe neighborhood to visit?

  • Yes, Sunnyside is considered a safe and family-friendly neighborhood with low crime rates.

2. Are there any historical sites to visit in Sunnyside?

  • Yes, the Sunnyside Historical Mural and several historic homes in the neighborhood are worth visiting for history buffs.

3. What are the best places to eat in Sunnyside?

  • Some popular restaurants in Sunnyside include Sunnyside Cafe, The Grove Tavern, and Cucina di Sunnyside.

4. Is there parking available in Sunnyside?

  • Street parking is available in most parts of Sunnyside, but it can be limited during peak hours.

5. Are there any parks or green spaces in Sunnyside?

  • Yes, Sunnyside Park is a lovely green space in the neighborhood where you can relax and enjoy nature.

Explore Sunnyside on your next visit to Champaign, IL, and discover the hidden gem that awaits you in this charming neighborhood!

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