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.
RELATED CONTENT: The Bend's Best Breakfast Spots
Shiojiri Niwa Japanese Garden
Mishawaka is a city known for its parks. Shiojiri Niwa is a hidden gem and one of The Bend's most Instagrammable places.
Shop 'Til You Drop
If you're in the mood to shop, Indiana Rug Co. Studio and Gift Shop is a must-visit with its Mishawaka themed gifts, t-shirts, home décor, women's clothing and more.
You could also head toward the retail corridor on Grape Road and Main Street. It includes University Park Mall and several national brands, making it a regional shopping destination.
RELATED CONTENT: Shopping Mishawaka's Retail District
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 Mishawaka Parks
Shiojiri Niwa was a sneak peek at Mishawaka's calling card — parks. Several of them line the St. Joseph River and you'll be nearby when lunch at Chicory Café is finished.
Head the 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 new 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. If you're looking for an afternoon snack, Jack's Donuts (they serve ice cream too!)
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 fondido 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.
Stroll the River Walk
One thing we declined to mention earlier: Those riverside parks are connected by the Mishawaka River Walk, a favorite path for local walkers and runners. Maybe make time to catch sunset. But we're not done yet.
Dessert at Dari Fair
Did you think we were done eating? Dari Fair went viral online in 2020 after a video surface of its turtle cone. This delectable dessert is a vanilla cone with caramel inside, dipped in chocolate and rolled in pecans. For all of $3.99. Now that's a way to end the night.