Let’s be honest, county lines don’t mean much when it comes to your travel itinerary.

Perhaps The Bend is the focal point of your trip, whether it’s a visit to the University of Notre Dame or visiting relatives for a week during the summer. We think there’s plenty here to keep you entertained. But we expect hopping in the car to explore the region is part of the plan.

Unsure what’s out there? We have some suggestions. Open the GPS and punch in these destinations during your trip.

Indiana Dunes State Park

The southern tip of Lake Michigan is less than an hour from The Bend, and its beauty is stunning. Indiana Dunes State Park sits inside the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The park covers over 2,000 acres and features 16.5 miles of trails. Be sure to climb some dunes. The views are unmatched.

Round Barn Winery, Distillery & Brewery

Round Barn is an institution in Southwest Michigan. Its vineyards are legendary, producing some of the finest wines anywhere. During summer, the property comes to life with events that include live music. Round Barn is in the heart of wine country — Dablon, Gravity, Tabor Hill, Red Top and Lemon Creek are all nearby.


Looking for bargains? One of the largest flea markets in the Midwest awaits here, as does a lineup of quaint shops and the charm of Amish culture. Shipshewana is a great place to slow your pace down a bit. Shop around, grab a bite to eat and enjoy a relaxing day.

Blueberry Festival

Held annually during Labor Day weekend, this festival has deep roots in the area. More than 300 food and craft vendors are featured over the course of four days. But make no mistake, it’s the blueberry doughnuts that are the main draw. Devotees stand in line for the fresh, homemade treats.

Wellfield Botanic Gardens

Natural beauty awaits at these gardens, which cover 36 acres. Wellfield hosts community events — bird walks, plays, live music and more — all year. That’s right, the gardens aren’t just a summertime destination. Sop by during winter for a spectacular holiday lights display.