Why Greater Peoria?

Simantel proudly calls Peoria, Illinois, our home. Why? Let us try to recount all the reasons life is greater here. In our fine city — and the larger Greater Peoria region — work/life balance is easier. We enjoy all the benefits of city living, but with a small-town feel. Cost of living is low. Quality of life is high. With short commutes and so many things to do, you can build your career and still have plenty of time for your family and hobbies. Your opportunities are greater here, and your efforts go further. And on and on and on.

Nestled beautifully along the Illinois River, Peoria was once known as the “Whiskey Capital of the World.” Due to our unique supply of grains, spring water and access to dependable fuels and transportation, we had 24 breweries and 73 distilleries — in fact, Peoria’s tax collection accounted for nearly half of the federal government’s entire revenue at one time! That’s a lot of booze (and quite a few gangsters, too.) Though Prohibition changed all that, Peoria still found a way to still roar in the 1920s with the growth of manufacturing.

Today our economy is much more diverse, boasting not only world-class manufacturers like Caterpillar, Komatsu and Maui Jim, but also outstanding healthcare systems, the nation's largest USDA research facility, technology start-ups and an arts community that rivals much larger cities. And of course, you can still find unique microbreweries and craft distilleries popping up around town. From our network of world-class employers to our many unique amenities and overall quality of life, it's easy to find your place in Greater Peoria — and live, work and play greater!

Greater Recreational Options

If you hike or bike, you’re going to be blown away by your options for amazing outdoor experiences! With over 50 miles of hiking and biking trails, the Peoria Park District is the largest park system in the state of Illinois. If wildlife is what you’re looking for, just venture out to Wildlife Prairie Park and experience dozens of animals in their natural habitats. A trip to Peoria Zoo will have you feeling like you’re on an African safari, and a quick walk next door from there to The Peoria Playhouse Children’s Museum makes for a full day of fun for the whole family. From camping to kayaking to all manners of sports at all levels of play, you're sure to find whatever fun you seek.

Greater Arts & Culture

You won't believe the arts and cultural events you can experience right here in our midsized city! Check out our Smithsonian-affiliated Peoria Riverfront Museum — the only multidisciplinary museum of its kind in the nation — with world-class exhibits, an incredible planetarium and the largest giant-screen theater in Illinois. Dress up for a night on the town with Heartland Festival Orchestra or The Peoria Symphony Orchestra…yep, that's two outstanding orchestras right here in our area! The nationally ranked Fine Art Fair makes its home on Peoria's riverfront, while performing arts groups like The Peoria Ballet and Corn Stock Theatre attract the finest regional and national talent. The Peoria Civic Center brings in top concerts and performers from all over the world, while a number of  smaller venues feature more intimate entertainment options. If you want to enjoy some awesome public art, take a stroll around Downtown Peoria and check out our growing collection of murals and sculptures — including a bronze depiction of Peoria's native son and the greatest comedian the world has ever seen, Richard Pryor! And speaking of comedy, don't miss regional and national touring acts at the Jukebox Comedy Club four nights a week.

Greater Eats & Drinks

Simantel is so lucky to call Downtown Peoria our home. Our offices are located right along the Illinois River, and, not coincidentally, so are quite a few of our favorite restaurants, pubs, breweries and distilleries — as well as one of the best outdoor markets in the entire state. On occasion, we even venture out of our neighborhood to experience the corridor of culinary excellence in Peoria Heights, sometimes called "Restaurant Row." Of course, there are plenty of other fine restaurants and other establishments around the region, on both sides of the river. No matter what you choose, you can expect to get awesome food and friendly service (except that one place…we’ll just let you find it on your own).

Greater Living...Lower Cost

You won’t come across a region with more affordable and beautiful housing options than Greater Peoria. With a media sale price 71% lower than the national average, you can really live it up here without the stress of a huge mortgage. (Bonus: the overall cost of living in Peoria is 10% lower than the national average.) Choose from gorgeous historic homes, trendy downtown apartments and lofts, and quaint and friendly neighborhoods of all kinds, all around the area. There are so many options in Peoria, and they're all just minutes away from everything. And speaking of minutes, if you like a long commute then Peoria is definitely not for you. (But really, who likes a long commute?!) There's no need to waste precious minutes (or hours) of your life stuck in traffic because you can get just about anywhere in the region in less than twenty minutes.

Greater Giving

We could go on and on about the places you could go and the unique experiences you could have here in Greater Peoria. Really, we could. But if you truly want to know the one thing that makes our region unique, it’s the people. Hearts are huge here and we make a difference in this world with our involvement and giving. Just ask Susan G. Komen Memorial. The original “Race for the Cure” started right here, and breast cancer research has benefited greatly from our efforts. Or ask St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis — as our community rallies around the fight against childhood cancer like no other in the country. Even kids in Haiti have felt the compassion of Peorians through Friends of the Children of Haiti. We have an amazing infrastructure of community service organizations to help those in need. It doesn’t matter if it’s next door or the other side of the world, Peoria and its people make an impact. We are so very proud of that.

Learn more about why Simantel loves Peoria.

Don’t believe us? Check out what others are saying about Peoria:

  • Four-time All-America City Winner (National Civic League)
  • Top 10 Best Towns for Families (Family Circle)
  • Top 10 Best Art Fairs in America (ArtFairCalendar.com)
  • Best Children’s Hospitals (U.S. News & World)
  •  Top 10 Best Cities for Starting a Business (Forbes)
  •  Top Performing Healthcare Systems (Truven)