When people think about tourism around The Bend, they automatically turn to  Notre Dame football season.

But what if we told you the busiest time for visitors is actually during the summer? True story. Visitor spending for a Notre Dame football home game checks in at about $17 million. Yet it's just one piece to the tourism puzzle. Around 4.8 million visitors came to St. Joseph County in 2017, spending approximately $621.9 million. In fact, June, July and August are the biggest months for out-of-town visitors.

So, we decided to kick off travel season with a celebration. National Tourism Week runs May 5-11 and we're doing our part to showcase The Bend as a destination. Several area bars, restaurants, hotels and attractions are running deals and discounts during the week. Haven't been to Studebaker National Museum in awhile? Now's the time to check it out. Ready to explore the trails and Potato Creek State Park? Free entry awaits.

Even better, some #OnlyinTheBend experiences will be available during National Tourism Week and, in some cases, even longer. Here's what you need to know:

  • We've partnered with South Bend Brew Werks, one of our fantastic craft breweries, on its May Beer of the Month. Mondays Can Wait IPA is a nod to our tag line — because who wants weekends to end, ever? — and a truly local beer. It features hops grown by two producers right in The Bend. You can kick back with a Mondays Can Wait IPA all month.

Visit Indiana is promoting tourism through over 175 discounts and deals throughout the state. Many of them can be found right here in The Bend. They are also listed below, along with the many other things going on throughout the week.

Weeklong Promotions 

  • Bistro 933: Choose from a complimentary dessert, appetizer or bottle of wine when you purchase two entrees.
  • Holiday Inn Mishawaka-Conference Center: 15 percent off any room.
  • LaSalle Kitchen & Tavern: Poblano Paloma cocktail (featuring El Jimador Reposado) for $7, available all month.
  • Peggs: This downtown South Bend breakfast and lunch spot is running tourism-themed specials all week. More info below.
    • Golden Dome Pancakes
    • Potato Creek Fries
    • South Bendedict
    • Studebaker Salad
    • Four Winds Smoothie
    • Saus Edge Edge Sandwich
  • Potato Creek State Park: Rent one canoe, kayak, paddle boat or rowboat and get the second one free. Two hour maximum; one coupon per family or group.
  • Traditions Restaurant & Bar: Complimentary Frosé or Sparkling Sip (non-alcoholic) with the purchase of an appetizer.

Sunday, May 5 

  • Aloft South Bend: $5 martinis and Potato Creek tots for $1.
  • Hyatt Place South Bend/Mishawaka: Channel your childhood camping trip by indulging in a s'mores latte, whether it's iced or hot.
  • Potato Creek State Park: Free entry into the park for State Parks Sunday.
  • St. Patrick's County Park: Start paddling season off from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with beginner canoe and kayak lessons. $15 per person.

Monday, May 6

  • Aloft South Bend: $5 skinny margaritas.
  • Tapastrie: 10 percent off vegan plates.

Tuesday, May 7

  • Aloft South Bend: Budweiser and Bud Light for $3; wing special; live music.
  • DoubleTree by Hilton South Bend: Cookies at the front desk with the password "cookierific."
  • Hyatt Place South Bend/Mishawaka: Half off wings.
  • Rohr's at the Morris Inn: $3 taco special; tiki-inspired cocktails.
  • Tapastrie: 10 percent off the signature paella.

Wednesday, May 8

  • Aloft South Bend: Half off bottles of wine or $5 for a glass; 80s music night
  • DTSB Wine Walk: Sip your way through downtown South Bend from 5-9 p.m. by enjoying wine and food pairings at several bars and restaurants. $40 for wine and food; $25 for food only.
  • The History Museum/Studebaker National Museum: Buy one admission, get a second free for the entire museum campus.

Thursday, May 9

  • Aloft South Bend: Half off flatbreads; $2 draft beer.
  • Bare Hands Brewery: $5 off any flight with five or more samples; 15 percent off merchandise.
  • Hyatt Place South Bend/Mishawaka: Half off Bud Light and Budweiser bottles.
  • LaSalle Kitchen & Tavern: $5 any mule.
  • South Bend Brew Werks: $4 pints all day.
  • South Bend Cubs vs. Peoria: Get $2 fountain sodas (24 oz.) and $2 domestic draft beer (16 oz.) all game.
  • Tapastrie: 10 percent off wine tasting machines.

Friday, May 10 

  • Aloft South Bend: Scotch Flight Night; live music.
  • Hyatt Place South Bend/Mishawaka: Decorate your choice of a spring-themed cookie from 6-8 p.m. in the hotel lobby.
  • Ninja Golf: Enjoy unlimited mini-golf in Granger for $7 (adult) or $5 (kids); free laser maze run for each child; free Frisbee giveaway for every family.
  • Potawatomi Zoo: Buy one, get one free train and carousel rides.
  • Tapastrie: Pasta night, family style.

Saturday, May 11

  • Aloft South Bend: $4 champagne spritzer.
  • Chick-fil-A Mishawaka: Free chocolate chunk cookie to anyone that mentions the National Tourism Week promotion.
  • The Dinner Detective: Get 10 percent off tickets to The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Show with the promo code SLEUTH101. Use the discount code at checkout for a hilarious evening of murder mystery, a 4-course meal and a prize package for the top sleuth.
  • DoubleTree by Hilton South Bend: Cookies at the front desk with the password "cookierific."
  • Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park: Head outside for a disc golf tournament from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with proceeds going toward improvements to the course. Registration ranges between $35 and $45.
  • South Bend Symphony Orchestra: 10 percent off tickets for SBSO's performance at the Morris Performing Arts Center.