Day trips are simple yet complex. They're designed to be efficient ways to explore, yet require some planning to get everything in during a short period of time.

It's important to have a game plan. If you're in The Bend for only a day, here are some suggestions for spending all of it in Mishawaka.

Macadoo's for Breakfast

Breakfast isn't to be missed, especially when you head to Macadoo's Family Restaurant. Locals in 2018 voted it The Bend's best breakfast spot. Some say it offers the best biscuits and gravy in the area. If you can't get in, head down Lincoln Way and try Curve Café.

If you're on the move, pop into West End Bakery for some of the area's best donuts.

Shiojiri Niwa Japanese Garden

Shiojiri Niwa is a hidden gem in a city known for its parks. It's particularly beautiful in the spring when everything comes into bloom. Stop on the red bridge as you walk for an Instagram-worthy moment.

Shopping in Mishawaka

If you're in the mood to shop, Indiana Rug Co. Studio and Gift Shop is a must-visit with its Mishawaka themed gifts, locally themed t-shirts, women's clothing, home décor, men's outdoor clothing and more.

You could also head toward Mishawaka's retail district on Grape Road and Main Street. It includes University Park Mall and several national brands, making it a regional shopping destination.

Lunch at Chicory Café

Either you'll still be near Chicory Café or it's worth heading back downtown from the mall. The New Orleans-inspired coffee house and restaurant is so popular in downtown South Bend that it opened another location in Mishawaka. Whatever you order, save room for beignets.

Visit More Mishawaka Parks

Shiojiri Niwa was a sneak peek at Mishawaka's calling card — abundant outdoor spaces. Several of parks line the St. Joseph River to form the Mishawaka Riverwalk. You'll be nearby when lunch at Chicory Café is finished.

Head to Central Park (photos below) with the family for the splash pad and bountiful playground equipment on warm days. Beutter Park is home to sweeping water displays, plus the Ball Band Biergarten, which hosts live music on summer nights. Nearby, at Ironworks Plaza, is the site of the Mishawaka Farmers Market. It's open Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. between May and September. You can stop at Sun King for craft beer or a quick snack.

If you're not quite done wandering through green spaces, historic Battell Park and Kamm Island are worth a visit too.

Dinner at Jesús Latin Grill and Tequila Bar

Jesús Latin Grill and Tequila Bar is known for its bold offerings inspired by Latin American influences. Whatever you choose to order —from the queso fundido to the can pork chop — will take your taste buds for a wild yet delicious ride. One suggestion: If you're inclined, go with the Jesús Classico margarita.

Explore the Mishawaka Riverwalk

A little more on the previously mentioned Mishawaka Riverwalk: It's a favorite path for walkers, runners and bikers. Along the way you'll visit several parks and catch sweeping views of the St. Joseph River. It's a great place to catch the sunset.