09/10/2014 05:56 pm ET Updated Nov 10, 2014

5 of the Most Exciting Cities in Illinois

Despite the Movoto real estate blog calling some places in Illinois boring for their nonexistent nightlife and sparse food offerings (plus corn fields and flat expanses won't hold many people's attention for long), the blog also named some of the most exciting places in Illinois -- the state has some happening areas!

Movoto made the list by ranking the 100 most populous cities in Illinois, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, on the following criteria:

  • Most nightlife and live music venues per capita
  • Most active life options per capita
  • Fewest fast food venues per capita
  • Highest percentage of non-fast food restaurants
  • Highest percentage of residents ages 18 to 34

10) Downers Grove Population 50,000.

Nightlife: 39th
Music venues per capita: 13th
Active life options: 14th
Fast food venues: 37th
Non-fast food options: 15th
Youth population: 81st
Attractions: Movoto recommends the restaurants Taste, Los Dos, Chama Gucha Brazilian Steakhouse, and Borrowed Earth Cafe.

9) Bloomington Population 79,000.

Nightlife: 7th
Music venues per capita: 12th
Active life options: 34th
Fast food venues: 71st
Non-fast food options: 52nd
Youth population: 12th
Attractions: Movoto recommends Laugh Comedy Club, Rosie's Pub, Entourage Lounge, C II East Lounge and Ottodog. Additionally, both Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University are located in or near Bloomington.

8) Edwardsville Population 25,000.

Nightlife: 12th
Music venues per capita: 5th
Active life options: 26th
Fast food venues: 80th
Non-fast food options: 48th
Youth population: 7th
Attractions: Edwardsville is home to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Movoto recommends the music venues Laurie's Place and Wildey Theater.

7) Champaign Population 83,000.

Nightlife: 3rd
Music venues per capita: 15th
Active life options: 37th
Fast food venues: 75th
Non-fast food options: 34th
Youth population: 6th
Attractions: Champaign, along with its sister city Urbana, is home to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Movoto recommends bars such as the Tumble Inn Tavern, the Blind Pig Pub, Mike N Molly's, and Cowboy Monkey.

6) Carbondale Population 26,000.

Nightlife: 2nd
Music venues per capita: 25th
Active life options: 60th
Fast food venues: 48th
Non-fast food options: 16th
Youth population: 1st
Attractions: Carbondale is home to Southern Illinois University's main campus. Movoto recommends the bars Pinch Penny Pub, PK's, the Blue Martin, and the Cellar, as well as the restaurants Newell House and Thai Taste.

See the top five most exciting places in Illinois at Reboot Illinois--you might be surprised to see which is number one. (Plus, find out which Illinois city ranks as number one in nightlife fun.)

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