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Overview of Peoria

More than 300 years ago, the Native Americans and French traders who settled on the banks of the Illinois River - now known as Peoria - called the area Pimiteoui, or "fat lake," because of the fertile river valley. Today, the river still plays an important part in the lifestyle of residents in Peoria apartments for rent, and is the basis of the strong tourism industry within the local economy.

Quiet, family-oriented neighborhoods thrive on the outskirts of a busy downtown district, and numerous attractions and historical sites attract tourists to Peoria throughout the year. Riverfront development has contributed to the evolution of a small outpost settlement into a large metropolitan area in central Illinois.

Living in Peoria, IL

Downtown Peoria is a shopping and entertainment hub, and vendors at the Metro Centre shopping complex offer fashion, crafts, musical instruments and organic food to residents in nearby Peoria apartments. The Shoppes at Grand Prairie is an outdoor mall that includes Jillian's Sports Grille, an entertainment megaplex that includes bowling, arcade games, billiards and banquet facilities that can accommodate up to 2,000 guests. Sports enthusiasts can cheer on the Peoria Chiefs baseball team or the Peoria Rivermen hockey team, both of which enjoy a strong local fan base. The Peoria Symphony Orchestra and the Peoria Players Theatre offer live performances throughout the year.

Peoria's riverfront serves as a focal point for recreation, and features festivals, fine art fairs and live music performances. The riverfront is also home to boutique specialty shops and the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria, which hosts cultural events and offers art classes to the community.

Peoria Work and Study

Because Peoria's location in Illinois positions it at the center of major highways, its local businesses have flourished. It boasts a strong economy that is made up of a diverse mix of businesses. Major employers in the Peoria community include Caterpillar, St. Francis Hospital, Methodist Medical Center, Peoria School District 150 and G&D Integrated.

Peoria students in grades K-12 are served by Peoria Public Schools District 150. The official enrollment for Peoria Public Schools was 14,135 in the 2010-11 school year, and the fact that 42 distinct native languages are represented in the district showcases the diversity of the Peoria community. Illinois Central College, a community college, has its largest campus in Peoria. Midstate College, a private university in Peoria that offers education and vocational training, has provided an important link between students and the local business community since it opened in 1888. Founded in 1897, Bradley University is a private higher learning institution that offers undergraduate and graduate programs in a wide array of programs such as liberal and fine arts, sciences and business administration.

Rentals in Peoria, IL and Cost of Living

The Peoria Housing Authority helps Peoria residents enjoy a low cost of living by providing affordable housing opportunities. It manages mixed-use developments for low-income and elderly residents, and uses federal funding to offer vouchers through the Section 8 Program to assist low-income residents with the cost of rent. According to, the median gross rent for Peoria rentals was $688 in 2009.

Peoria Attractions and Special Events

The Taste of Peoria is an annual event that attracts spectators from the greater central Illinois region. Local restaurants provide an array of food samples, and the festival features live entertainment and craft cocktails.

Peoria is home to family-oriented attractions such as the Peoria Zoo at Glen Oak Park and Wildlife Prairie State Park. An impressive collection of animals can be found at both locations. Peoria's Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences attracts more than 125,000 visitors per year and is the largest private museum in downstate Illinois. It features a planetarium, discovery center, folk art gallery, and numerous exhibitions that include collections of fine arts and natural history.® can help you get settled in a Peoria apartment. Look through our apartment listings and find the perfect home for your needs.

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