North-central Indiana is home to South Bend, a historic city not far from the state line with Michigan. One of the most prestigious universities in the country, Notre Dame University, is located there. There were many factories and manufacturing facilities in South Bend in its heyday. The city is currently undergoing a period of revitalization, evidenced by the expansion of its downtown area, which now hosts numerous retail establishments, eateries, and cultural venues. South Bend is home to the scenic St. Joseph River, which serves as one of the city’s main attractions. The river is a great place to go kayaking, fishing, or any other water sport because it offers such beautiful scenery and the chance to get out and about.
The South Bend Museum of Art, the Studebaker National Museum, and the Morris Performing Arts Center are just some of the cultural institutions that call South Bend home. These landmarks showcase the city’s cultural and historical significance. South Bend is a great place to visit if you’re a fan of both culture and sports. The city is also home to the minor league baseball South Bend Cubs and the Notre Dame football team.
15. Grotto of Our Lady Lourdes
The Grotto of Our Lady Lourdes in South Bend, Indiana is a replica of the original grotto in Lourdes, France. It was built in the early 1900s by the Sisters of the Holy Cross and is located on the grounds of Saint Mary’s College.
The grotto is a popular pilgrimage site for Catholics and other visitors who come to pray and meditate. The grotto features a statue of the Virgin Mary, a fountain, and a small chapel. The grotto is open to the public and is a peaceful and spiritual place to visit.
14. Basilica of the Sacred Heart
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart is a Roman Catholic church located in South Bend, Indiana. It is the mother church of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and the seat of the Bishop of the diocese. The basilica was built in 1888 and is a beautiful example of Gothic Revival architecture.
The basilica is home to a variety of religious artifacts, including a relic of the True Cross, a relic of St. Therese of Lisieux, and a relic of St. John Vianney. The basilica also houses a number of works of art, including a painting of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and a statue of the Virgin Mary. The basilica is open to the public for Mass and other services and is a popular destination for visitors to South Bend.
13. East Race Waterway Park
East Race Waterway Park is a recreational area located in South Bend, Indiana. It is situated along the St. Joseph River and features a 1.5-mile whitewater course, a beach, a boat launch, and a variety of trails.
The park is a popular spot for kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding. It also offers a variety of other activities, such as fishing, picnicking, and bird watching. The park is open year-round and is free to the public.
12. South Bend Farmers Market
The South Bend Farmers Market is a vibrant and bustling farmers market located in South Bend, Indiana. It is open year-round and offers a wide variety of fresh, locally grown produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, and other products.
The market also features live music, food trucks, and other entertainment. The South Bend Farmers Market is a great place to find fresh, local ingredients for your next meal or to pick up a unique gift for a friend.
11. Palais Royale
The Palais Royale is a historic venue located in South Bend, Indiana. It was built in 1924 and is one of the oldest surviving ballrooms in the Midwest. It has hosted a variety of events over the years, including concerts, dances, and weddings.
The Palais Royale is a popular destination for wedding receptions and other special events. It features a large dance floor, a stage, and a full-service bar. The venue is also home to a variety of live music acts, including jazz, blues, and rock bands. The Palais Royale is a great place to experience the history and culture of South Bend.
10. South Bend Chocolate Company
The South Bend Chocolate Company is a family-owned business that has been making chocolates since 1991. Located in South Bend, Indiana, the company specializes in hand-crafted chocolates, truffles, and other confections. The company is known for its unique flavors and creative packaging.
The company also offers a variety of gift baskets and corporate gifts. The South Bend Chocolate Company is committed to using only the finest ingredients and is dedicated to providing customers with the highest quality products.
9. South Bend Cubs Baseball Stadium
The South Bend Cubs Baseball Stadium is a Minor League Baseball stadium located in South Bend, Indiana. It is the home of the South Bend Cubs, a Class A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. The stadium opened in 1987 and has a capacity of 4,500. It features a natural grass playing surface, a full-service concession stand, and a variety of seating options.
The stadium also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and other community events. The South Bend Cubs have won the Midwest League Championship three times since the stadium opened.
8. Take a scenic drive along the St. Joseph River
The St. Joseph River is a beautiful scenic drive in South Bend, Indiana. It runs through the city and is lined with lush trees and greenery. Along the way, you can take in the sights of the city, including the University of Notre Dame, the Morris Performing Arts Center, and the South Bend Museum of Art.
You can also stop at the St. Joseph County Parks for a picnic or a hike. The river is also home to a variety of wildlife, including bald eagles, ospreys, and beavers. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful drive or an adventure, the St. Joseph River is the perfect place to explore.
7. Copshaholm House Museum
The Copshaholm – Oliver Mansion is a historic house museum located in South Bend, Indiana. It was built in 1895 by J.D. Oliver, a prominent industrialist, and philanthropist. The mansion is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The mansion is a three-story, brick and limestone structure with a slate roof.
It features a grand entrance hall, a formal dining room, a library, and a grand staircase. The mansion also contains a collection of original furnishings, artwork, and artifacts from the Oliver family. Visitors can take guided tours of the mansion and learn about the history of the Oliver family and the mansion.
6. South Bend Museum of Art
The South Bend Museum of Art is a non-profit art museum located in South Bend, Indiana. Founded in 1967, the museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and exhibiting works of art from around the world. The museum’s permanent collection includes works from the 19th century to the present day, with a focus on American art.
The museum also hosts a variety of special exhibitions, educational programs, and community events throughout the year. The museum is open to the public and admission is free.
5. Morris Performing Arts Center
The Morris Performing Arts Center is a historic theater located in South Bend, Indiana. It was built in 1922 and is one of the oldest theaters in the state. The theater has hosted a variety of events over the years, including concerts, plays, musicals, and more.
It is also home to the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. The theater has been renovated several times over the years and is now a popular venue for both local and national acts.
4. Center for History
The Center for History in South Bend, Indiana is a museum and research center dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history of the city and the surrounding region. The Center offers a variety of educational programs, exhibits, and events that explore the history of the area.
The Center also houses a research library and archives, which contain a wealth of primary source material related to the history of South Bend and the surrounding region. The Center for History is a great resource for anyone interested in learning more about the history of South Bend and the surrounding area.
3. Potawatomi Park Zoo
Potawatomi Park Zoo is a small zoo located in South Bend, Indiana. It is home to over 100 species of animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. The zoo is open year-round and offers educational programs, special events, and a variety of exhibits.
Visitors can explore the zoo’s habitats, which include a tropical rainforest, a desert, and a savanna. The zoo also features a petting zoo, a carousel, and a playground. Potawatomi Park Zoo is a great place to explore and learn about animals and their habitats.
2. Studebaker National Museum
The Studebaker National Museum is a museum located in South Bend, Indiana. It is dedicated to the history of the Studebaker Corporation, which was a major American automobile manufacturer from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century.
The museum houses a collection of over 100 vehicles, including cars, trucks, and wagons, as well as a variety of artifacts related to the company’s history. The museum also offers educational programs, special events, and tours.
1. University of Notre Dame
The University of Notre Dame is a private Catholic research university located in South Bend, Indiana. Founded in 1842, it is the oldest Catholic university in the United States. Notre Dame is known for its academic excellence, its strong athletics program, and its commitment to service and faith. The university offers over 80 majors and minors, and its student body is composed of over 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
Notre Dame is home to the Fighting Irish football team, which has won 11 national championships. The university also has a strong commitment to service, with over 80 student-run service organizations and a variety of service-learning opportunities.
As you can see, South Bend has a lot to offer everyone. If you are looking to do more in the surrounding area, check out other weekend trips from nearby South Bend, Indiana.
These areas are perfect for a quick day trip or a long weekend getaway. Explore our favorite things to do or peruse some pre-built itineraries.