These days Instagram is one of the happiest places on social media. (Insert election/politics joke here). But sincerely, Instagram is usually filled with beautiful photos of Champaign-Urbana sunsets, smiling families and Illini love. It’s a far cry from what you find on some other channels. (If you want to follow us on Instagram, go to @Chambanamoms.)
From the University of Illinois campus to one of the area’s many parks, the Champaign-Urbana metro area and is filled with picture-perfect sites and hidden gems both professional and amateur photographers love. (Or just parent photographers like us.) So grab your camera or phone and visit these instagrammable spots around Champaign-Urbana.
1) Alma Mater
Just a guess that this is the most photographed location in Champaign-Urbana (it’s actually in Urbana, if we’re being specific.) From the long lines of graduates who stand there for the traditional cap and gown shot to general tourists, Alma certainly gets in a lot of selfies.
2) Grange Grove
In just a few short years, Grange Grove has become the spot for Illini football instagrammers. Whether it’s a fun tailgate shot, or the Illini walk before home games (the team walks through the center), Grange Grove has become the place to showcase Illini football pride.
No Instagram list would be complete without our friends at Curtis Orchard. From the adorable cutouts (the bus, or the Wizard of Oz characters, or the animals) where you do the old stick-your-face-in photo to the measuring stick apple, Curtis Orchard is one picturesque place. Add in apples and pumpkins and it’s undeniable. But we think the most photographed spot is the oversized “rocking” chair that seems ubiquitous for families, young people, and older visitors alike.
From the quirky musicians to the unique donuts to seasonal flowers to the gorgeous rainbow of produce, how can you resist taking photos at the market? This downtown Urbana staple may only be open from May through the beginning of November, but it is one of my favorite places to post on Instagram.
5) The alley in downtown Champaign with the city building behind it
I know that’s a really imprecise description of what I’m talking about. But if you get it, you get it. Many of these photos are tagged as being at the Blind Pig Brewery. Definitely a more “grownup” outing to grab this shot.
If we had to guess, Meadowbrook Park is the perhaps the most photographed park – and we have some AMAZING PARKS – in Champaign-Urbana. Between the prairie, the wildlife, the scultpure garden and the playground, what’s not to capture?
One word: GOATS! Spring is the best season for experiencing the goats at PFF … when they are just little kids (we couldn’t resist).
8) Roger Ebert at the Virginia Theatre
So the kids don’t really get this legend or why he has a statue right next to the Virginia Theatre. No worries, they do understand the legendary thumbs up. We love this spot for taking quintessential Champaign pics.
9) The Quad
I debated lumping this in with Alma Mater but really they are two separate things – and rank neck and neck in this “competition.” I think the University of Illinois Instagram posts a quad photo at least once a week. I love this one for fall.
10) The front of Urbana High School
You might be thinking, WHAT? The historic facade of Urbana High School is a beautiful landmark in our community. In fact, Superintendent Don Owen is working on a series of it. (Extra credit for Urbana #116. How cool is a superintendent with his own Instagram account?) We love this one from Homecoming 2016.
So 10 is a really artificial number for this list … we could go on. And on. And on. What would be on your list?