Summertime has a way of bringing The Bend to life. Here are some of the things you must  to see and do in South Bend, Mishawaka and beyond during a summer visit.

Raft Down the East Race

If part of your travel planning is to seek out the occasional thrill, the East Race Waterway is your type of place. Hop in a raft solo or with friends. Then gear yourself up for the challenge of Class 2 rapids right in the heart of downtown South Bend. Navigating the East Race is an exhilarating experience.

South Bend Cubs Baseball

America's pastime on a South Bend scale. A minor league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, the South Bend Cubs have a loyal following here. Fans flock to Four Winds Field, which is considered one of the best minor league parks in the country with their friends and family. There's a play area for kids, splash pad, batting cages, fantastic ballpark food and promotions every night. 

Patio Dining

Patio season is the perfect time to pair The Bend’s foodie culture with its best weather and scenery. Head to the The Bucket for a view of the St. Joseph River while nibbling on an appetizer or South Bend Brew Werks for a downtown vibe over a craft brew.

Explore The Bend's Parks and Trails

Warmer temperatures beckon people outside for all sorts of activities. Dozens of parks — city, county and state — afford many different opportunities to seek out nature in whatever way you desire. Worster Lake, all 327 acres, serves as the focal point at Potato Creek State Park in nearby North Liberty. The park overflows with opportunities to hike, bird watch, fish, kayak and more. South Bend, Mishawaka and St. Joseph County are home to dozens more parks where visitors can connect with nature. Looking for a gem? Head to Shiojiri Niwa Japanese Garden (pictured below) in Mishawaka. Its beauty is hard to match.

Live Music Around The Bend

Live music in The Bend is about more than what’s scheduled at the Morris Performing Arts Center as live shows return from a pandemic pause. Performances big and small can be found nightly throughout the area. Mishawaka Parks hold outdoor concerts all summer. Downtown South Bend does the same with concerts at Fridays by the Fountain and with the Red Table Plaza concert series. You can also catch live music Sundays from late June through the end of August at Potawatomi Park.

Tour the Notre Dame Campus

There’s never a bad time of year to visit an iconic college campus. In fact, summer is perfect to explore Notre Dame’s landmarks as it’s a quiet period before students return for the fall semester. Self-guided tours are a great way to experience the nature, architecture and art around campus.