Champaign-Urbana is home to some unique and iconic backdrops recognized around the world — perfect for your Instagram feed
From the University of Illinois campus to one of the area’s many parks, the Champaign-Urbana metro area 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 Instagram-ready spots around Champaign-Urbana.
Just a guess that this is probably 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.
Market at the Square
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 a favorite place to post on Instagram.
The alley in downtown Champaign with the city building behind it
Yes, we know that’s a really imprecise description of what we’re talking about, but once you see it, you’ll know what we are talking about. Many of these photos are tagged as being at the Blind Pig Brewery Beer Garden. Definitely a more “grownup” outing to grab this shot, as the more iconic version has a string of lights with the lit-up city building behind that.
University of Illinois Instagram tends to post frequent photos on the quad, but it is instantly a sight that both fans and alums of Illinois recognize almost immediately. Remember studying, picnic lunches, weddings, leisurely walks across the quad?? Oh yes … memories.
If we had to guess, Urbana Park District’s Meadowbrook Park is the perhaps the most photographed park in the area — and Champaign-Urbana is home to some AMAZING PARKS. Between the prairie, wildlife, sculpture garden, beautiful scenery, and ample walking paths, what’s not to capture?
Prairie Fruits Farm
Fun on the farm — who could resist selfies with goats? Spring is a great time to visit the farm if you want to see the goats, because they are just little kids … cheesy, yes … Of course, there’s also the goat holiday photo booth, too, which is always a crowd pleaser.
Roger Ebert Statue at the Virginia Theatre
So the kids don’t really quite get this legend, or why he has a statue right next to the Virginia Theatre, but they do understand the legendary thumbs up. Many pictures have been taken outside of the theater in wind and snow. We love this spot for taking quintessential Champaign pics.
Japan House and the Arboretum
There’s nothing quite like the cherry blossoms in early spring to show the true beauty of nature. Make sure to catch them while they are in bloom for some fantastic photo opportunities.
The covered bridge at Lake of the Woods
You might think that you need to travel outside of the Champaign-Urbana area to see beautiful covered bridges, but Lake of the Woods is home to one. Seen in holiday photo cards and engagement photos, it has seen a camera or two in its day.
The sight of this picture alone brings back the instant roar of the crowd, the smiles of tailgating friends, the energy of an Illinois football game, and more. Make sure to take a picture beside the big Block I, too!
Whether you take a picture along the yellow brick road, in the giant rocking chair, or with the roaming kittens, chances are pretty high that you’ve seen a picture pop up in your Facebook or Instagram feed from Curtis Orchard. Maybe you are more familiar with the name because of their apple cider slushies, donuts, apples, or peaches? Either way, take advantage of the photo opportunities and enjoy some delicious treats while you are at it.
Outside of Ordinary – Visit Champaign County
Visit Champaign County helped to envision and bring to reality this mural to life at 16 E. Taylor, Champaign. The mural was created by local artist David Michael Moore. It is bright, vibrant, and contains many of the things that make Champaign-Urbana a great place to live.
Where can’t you take an Instagrammable photo on the Allerton grounds? Home to many formal dance pictures, weddings, and more, the park boasts photo opportunities near the floral gardens, mansion, and various statues. The holiday lights trails are also noteworthy and show up in many an Instagram feed.
Alumni Fountain/Arches at Alice Campbell Alumni Center
We love the beautiful fountains and scenery located around the Alice Campbell Alumni Center. During homecoming week, the water in the fountain is often dyed orange to celebrate the special occasion.
Featuring an outdoor beer garden that operates out of a shipping container, Sipyard has become a favorite location for senior portraits. Located in downtown Urbana, Sipyard sits within an outdoor graffiti gallery.
Krannert Art Museum
One look at the beautiful geometric designed wall, statues, and pristine landscaping and it is easy to see why Krannert Art Museum is a favorite destination for wedding photography, senior pictures, and more.