Campus is the epicenter of activity during a Notre Dame football game weekend. But if you're looking to explore more of The Bend, there is plenty to see. These are some of our top things to do and places to see before and after the game.

Eat at Some Local Spots

Are you the type to plan your trips around the next meal? Then you've come to the right place. South Bend and Mishawaka are made for foodies. Downtown South Bend buzzes with local restaurants like Fiddler's Hearth, Café Navarre, LaSalle Grill, Woochi Japanese Fusion, LaSalle Kitchen & Tavern and dozens of other options.

Grab a burger at The View for a quintessentially local experience. Barnaby's is nearby for pizza. Howard Park Public House offers views of the nearby park. The Lauber has a fantastic patio. The list goes on. 

Near campus places like Rocco's Restaurant, O'Rourke's Public House, BRU Burger Bar, Brothers Bar & Grill and Taphouse on the Edge are worth checking out. 

If you're staying in Mishawaka these should be on your list: Jesus Latin Grill & Tequila Bar, Evil Czech Brewery & Public House, Corndance, Papa Vino's.

Grab a Drink

There are few better ways to experience the flavor of an area than through its breweries, wineries, craft cocktail bars and distilleries. 

Beer lovers might want to bounce between several local craft breweries. Crooked Ewe Brewery & Ale House, South Bend Brew Werks and Studebaker Brewing Co. are just minutes from campus in and around downtown South Bend. Along grab a beer at Corby's Irish Pub (of Rudy fame) or have a proper pint at Fiddler's Hearth.

Evil Czech Brewery and Sun King are highlights in Mishawaka. Same goes for Hop Station Craft Bar, one of the best beer-focused bars in the area. If you're up for a little bit of a drive, Bare Hands Brewery in Granger is the biggest and most well-known brewery here. 

Ironhand Wine Bar and The Cellar are both spots wine lovers won't want to miss. If you're looking for craft cocktails, here's a starter list: The Exchange Whiskey Bar, The Hideaway at the LaSalle, Spirited, Hammer & Quill. 

See the Sights

Downtown South Bend isn’t just a destination for food and drink. It’s also home to some of our best attractions.

Studebaker National Museum and The History Museum spotlight The Bend’s roots. Studebaker National Museum takes you inside an industrial giant of yesteryear: Studebaker Corporation, a wagon and automobile manufacturer based in South Bend from 1852 to 1967.

Situated next to Studebaker National Museum, the History Museum is another fun stop.

It displays several permanent and temporary exhibits. One permanent exhibit features the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which the hit film A League of Their Own detailed. You can also tour the Oliver Mansion, a 38-room estate left in pristine condition. 

Depending on the timing of your visit, other options include the Civil Rights Heritage CenterPotawatomi Zoo, the South Bend Museum of Art and South Bend Chocolate Factory. You should also take some time to walk the Colfax or Jefferson bridges in South Bend to view the River Lights.

Explore the Outdoors

There is no shortage of places to explore if you're looking to get into nature before or after the game, especially as the leaves start to turn vibrant colors

Beutter Park in Mishawaka is just one option along the Riverwalk. You can take a loop along the St. Joseph River and explore several parks in a short period of time. Howard Park and Rum Village Park are great places in South Bend to visit. 

St. Patrick's County Park sits along the river as well. Spicer Lake Nature Preserve is an underrated option. The fall foliage there is fantastic during peak season. If you have more time, make the trek to Potato Creek State Park for miles of trail and fantastic views across Worster Lake.

Embrace Autumn 

Autumn in The Bend means football season, cooler temps, beautiful fall foliage and harvest season celebrations. Why not get into every last bit of it? You can do all the fall things at Thistleberry Farm. It has a pumpkin patch, corn mazes, hayrides and more. There are picking opportunities at Leman's Orchard and plenty of produce at the South Bend Farmers Market