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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2008, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Peoria, IL?

Anyone familiar with Peoria? Areas to avoid? Nice areas? Best school district in Peoria or it's "suburbs"?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2008, 07:54 PM
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Just moved here in July. I have no kids, but I have been told everyone wants to be in the Dunlap school district (NW side of town). Not sure why. The North, NorthWest and West is where they are building nice new big cookie cutter houses like in Chicago suburbs. On the east side of the river, people mention that Germantown hills is nice. But most everything (stores, etc) is located west of the river, so you would always be driving to get stuff. Economy, for whatever reason here, seems to be doing better than the Chicago area. And of course, virtually everyone here does work for,did work for, or knows someone that works for Caterpillar

Seems like a decent typical midwest town. Nothing to get super excited about, but definately better than middle of nowhere Nebraska. Still semi close to Chicago. It took me about 3 hours to get to downtown Chicago from Peoria for reference.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2008, 10:07 PM
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I lived in the dirty P for 4.5 years when I went to Bradley. You looking to move there? Bradley is on the hilltop, but pretty much right around there sucks. Down the hill is the hood, and the immediate area is mostly college/not too wealthy people/people from the hood looking to rob Bradley kids. If you got some cash, Peoria Heights is the place to be. Grandview Drive is in arguably the nicest neighborhood in the area. If you're just looking for a decent place to live, the north side of the city isn't bad. North of War Memorial Drive is where I would go. Or west on War Memorial towards the mall (shoppes at Grand Prairie) is nice too

If you're looking to live in the burbs, Dunlap is a nice place. I have a few friends from there.

If you're just looking to visit, downtown is fairly nice. It's nothing like Chicago, but it's decent. There are some fun bars down Main St. and on the riverfront.

And yes, everyone works for CAT. Think outside the triangle. PM me if you have any specific questions.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2008, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the replies! looks like the dunlap school district is actually pretty damn good which I am relieved since i have 2 kids already

I guess that narrows it down to NW peoria and burbs? not sure where the dunlap school d border cuts off...

Cost of living looks great as well

(would be a relo BTW)

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2008, 11:24 PM
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I haven't been there in 3 years, but it sure was cheap then. I didn't pay over 2 dollars a gallon until I came to Chicago :P Mixed drinks over $4 were a serious ripoff. Ah those were the days....

Peoria can be a fun town. Interesting tidbit, sometimes it smells outside. I never really found out why (have heard different theories), but some days it just smells there. It smells closer to the river/downtown though.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2008, 11:26 PM
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Does this help? No idea if it is accurate, but it looks like Dunlap is the yellow box with the yellow shading in it. The actual historical town of Dunlap is awfully small from what I saw (yellow shading), there is just a bunch of nice houses spread all over in new subdivisions that feed into that school district.

http://peoriacountypolitics.blogspot...-district.html

You will know if the house is Dunlap, the realtor will make sure to write that in the house ad and of course jack up the price of the house because it is in the Dunlap district. Its usually one of the first things in the ad... "4 bedroom in Dunlap schools blah blah blah".

+1 to what PatFitz said. Everyone generally told me to stay North of War Memorial. I don't think downtown Peoria is that bad. But I don't live there to see it everyday either.

By the way, roads here stink! Almost every road in town is just filled with frost heaves and potholes. Riding a bike around town is not much fun. Once outside of town its not so bad. Especially riding along the river.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2008, 11:28 PM
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I would guess it is the multiple CAT plants. Or I have a friend that lives in Alta that says it smells some days up by him. He says their is a tire/rubber plant near there that causes the smell if the wind is blowing his way. I think there is a tire factory downtown on the waterfront too, so that may be what you smelled.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2008, 11:57 PM
 
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i go to Bradley in peoria but out side of campus i have no idea
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2008, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 78montecarlo View Post
By the way, roads here stink! Almost every road in town is just filled with frost heaves and potholes. Riding a bike around town is not much fun. Once outside of town its not so bad. Especially riding along the river.
If you haven't been there for a winter, you're in for a treat. They usually take at least a week to get all the main streets plowed, and by then it's just a smooth sheet of ice. I mostly walked everywhere.

Have you ridden up route 8? I used to get on at the beginning by Crusens and just ride those country roads til I felt like going home. Not crazy turns, but it is a nice ride.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2008, 08:46 AM
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Peoria... we had a call center there back in the day... the csr's used to smear feces on the bathroom walls and stuff.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2008, 09:45 AM
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I have not been down 8 yet. I have been north up Rt 26 and Rt 29 to nearly I-80. Been west out 150 to Jubilee. Went south down 24/9 for a ways. No curvy roads, but they are just fun to go for a cruise and look around. I like that there are at least a few hills and forests in the area to look at.

A friend made tha same comment about the winter. He said that because the roads are so bad in town, and they do not have the money to fix them, they purposely set the plow blades high in winter. Then the blade does not tear up the potholes further or the frost heaves. But then the roads are never really plowed, more snow is just skimmed off. So the roads are never "clear" until the sun melts away the layer of snow the skim operation missed. Stinks but I am semi familiar with driving virtually everywhere on snow/ice coated roads. I spent 5 years in Houghton, MI in school. At times, we went weeks without seeing any pavement except on the main highway into and out of town. Just hard packed snow and ice with some sand on top everywhere you went.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2008, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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How about the actual town of dunlap as far as an area to live? To my surprise the dunlap school district is one of the best in the state.

Been browsing some of the homes, most look like brick fronts and vinyl or cedar sides and rears.... Do they not have full brick homes out there?
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-19-2008, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 78montecarlo View Post
Stinks but I am semi familiar with driving virtually everywhere on snow/ice coated roads. I spent 5 years in Houghton, MI in school. At times, we went weeks without seeing any pavement except on the main highway into and out of town. Just hard packed snow and ice with some sand on top everywhere you went.
Houghton eh? Were you at mi tech? My g/f has family up in Iron Mountain and her cousin went to school there. I love it in the U-P.

and about the houses in the area, they are all like that. Peoria and it's burbs are like a small town that keeps going. Dunlap is nice, pretty quiet.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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what about things to do? amusement parks, historical sites, hiking, biking, boating, etc.....
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 11:48 PM
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Yes, I am a former Mi Tech student. While there I wanted to be somewhere else. Now that I am gone I really miss the UP. It really is kind of a unique place. I even miss the snow sometimes. 0.5" of dirty snow in Joliet does not yield much of a Christmas feeling quite like the piles of fluffy fresh snow we got in Houghton. After Christmas though, I dont miss all that snow

Lots of things to do in Peoria as far as I can tell. I would say there just is not as many simultaneous events. In Chicago on any given weekend, there are probably 5+ major events and many smaller ones going on somewhere that you could choose to go to depending on your interest. In Peoria, there would be more like one major and a few small events happening each weekend. For example this weekend is Oktoberfest, hosted the the Peoria German society. Just got back from that, polka music and beer are always fun!

Every couple of days in summer they have concerts down at the waterfront on the CEFCU stage (Cat Employee Fed Credit Union). You just probably wont find headline bands down there though, but I am sure they are still fun. I think there are plenty of bars to hop around to if you like that. I just found there are several nice areas for mountain biking which made me happy. I am sure you can just hike many of the trails too. Lots of guys/gals like road biking down here. There are some small hills around here to make riding a little more fun. See here for biking:

http://www.pambamtb.org/

There are several historical sites I am sure. Check out the events and community tab on Peoria.com. The Peoris.org site has lots of good info too. There is also the Peoria Civic Center which has plays, ballets, concerts, etc. Lots of farmer markets go on all summer with lots of good veggies fruits and other things. There is the Par-A-Dice Casino here too if your into that.

http://www.peoria.com/
http://www.peoria.org/
www.peoriaciviccenter.com

I do not think there is any amusement park here. But Six flags in Chicago or St Louis are not too far away. There is a zoo here if you have kids, but I have not been there yet.

Not sure what else to tell you as I am kind of new here myself. I think the peoria.com and peoria.org would be good places to start. If you have any specific questions, I can do my best to try to help.

Lots of people do boating as we obviously have the river right there. I get conflicting stories on whether it is ok to swim in the river. Some say no way, others say it is fine to waterski/tube in, just dont drink it. I assume the official government line is that it is ok to swim in, since people do it.

Last edited by 78montecarlo; 09-20-2008 at 11:50 PM.
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