Live as a local in your Urbana neighborhood

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Mark Capapas

Students sit in the outdoor seating of Espresso Royale in Urbana on May 5.

By Katie Powers, buzz Editor

With the construction of new high-rises and bars, it feels like Campustown is moving west. But living east of Lincoln Avenue in Urbana is still an excellent option for plenty of students. It offers a nice break from apartment living, plus it allows you to experience the culture and quirkiness of neighborhood life. Check out this guide to Urbana living so you can make the most of your time as a resident.

Learn to navigate the bus system

Although the Urbana is still walking distance from just about anywhere on campus, it’s helpful to understand the MTD bus system for days when the weather is bad, you’re in a hurry to get to your destination or you need to get home after a late night. Download the MTD app or take advantage of the online trip planner to figure out which route will be most convenient for you.  Most Urbana residences are easily accessible by 50 Green or the 22 Illini. Planning ahead will make your travel around campus far easier.

Find quick eats and coffee spots

Coffee shops provide some of the best spots on campus to study, meet up with friends or head out on a first date. Maybe the bar scene is moving west but with the closing of the Starbucks on Green Street and the Daniel Street Espresso Royale, the coffee scene is certainly moving east. Enjoy the spaciousness and ambiance of Caffe Paradiso on Lincoln Avenue or grab a sandwich and unique drink at the remaining stand-alone Espresso Royale on Oregon Street. For your bubble tea fix, there’s also Caffe Bene on Gregory and Nevada streets. If you just want something to eat, there are plenty of options on Gregory Street such as Basil Thai. There are also a few shops to explore in the area if you need a last-minute gift and, of course, you’re close to the entertainment options at The Canopy Club and Krannert Center.

Get out and explore the downtown life

If you’re new to living in Urbana, you might not realize how close you are to the city’s downtown. If you need a break from Green Street and student life, don’t hesitate to take a walk to the bars, stores and restaurants in that area. Enjoy breakfast with friends at Courier Cafe or take in a local band at the Rose Bowl Tavern just across the street. And if you need a quiet place to study that isn’t the Undergraduate Library quiet floor or the Illini Union, check out the Urbana Free Library on Green Street. Plus, when you have parents or other guests in town, you’ll be prepared as on where to take them.

Katie is a Senior in LAS.

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