Nice little town for stopping in to see. You could spend a few hours strolling the small but very nice downtown. Bigger than I expected and worth a visit
Just heard Champaign described as "a small town" on the Chicago news today - really, it's anything but! Roughly the same distance from Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis, the twin cities of Champaign-Urbana is strategically located to accommodate travelers from all over. With the University of Illinois situated at the heart of these two cities, the resources, activities, and dining experiences available in this "small town" are far more impressive than one might expect for an area in the middle of Central Illinois (i.e. nowhere). Champaign-Urbana maintains a strong sense of community while still offering a great amount of diversity.
Champaign is too often over-looked by UofI students- it's a small town, but it has a lot to offer! I'd recommend Cowboy Monkey for Salsa on Wednesday nights, and Radio Maria for delicious tapas. It also has plenty of great cafes and bakeries with wifi for all you students looking to get away from studying at Grainger..
I'm a townie, which means I'm from there... but I didn't go to the U of I (even though sometimes I feel like I did). It's a great little town really, especially if you know where to go!