Taking some time to relax and reconnect means slowing life down for a few days. There's where The Bend is at its best. From destination dining to connecting with nature and accommodations that can double as welcome retreats, there are dozens of ways to plan a romantic getaway.
Let us show you how.
Where to Dine
Dinner has to be one of the main events of any getaway, right? Here are some of the best spots to enjoy a night out.
One of downtown South Bend's top dinner options, Café Navarre separates itself by specializing in seafood. Don't shy away from octopus on the small plates menu. It's difficult to beat the Faroe Island salmon as an entrée.
Carmela's at Macri's
There are too many Italian options to list, but few match Carmela's Old World vibe. Whatever you do, make sure the bruschetta is part of your meal. And pair your pasta with a bottle of red.
Carriage House Dining Room and Gardens
Dining outdoors is a must at Carriage House with its picturesque gardens. Once in full bloom, the gardens are unlike any of The Bend's other patio settings. House specialties include the lobster roll. You can't go wrong with the wood-fired pizzas either.
RELATED CONTENT: Find The Bend's Best Patios
Copper Rock Steakhouse
Here are the basics: Perfectly aged steaks (some aged up to 55 days), market fresh seafood galore, over 200 wines from which to choose. Copper Rock Steakhouse is located inside Four Winds Casino South Bend, which means ample opportunity to make it a night of entertainment.
Corndance leans on one of the area's most unique menus. Start with the Cajun bayou alligator. Local rave about the bison meatloaf. Lobster and shrimp rigatoni is another solid choice, as are any of the steaks. Corndance has its own dry-aging program for a decadent flavor.
Ironhand Wine Bar
South Bend's only winery (the vineyard is just north of the city) is situated on the banks of the St. Joseph River with a spacious patio. Pair your choice of wine with a handcrafted charcuterie board. If you're still hungry, move on to the flatbreads next.
RELATED CONTENT: Drink Local in The Bend
If you're looking for a steakhouse, this is your place. LaSalle Grill's specialty is anything from its hardwood grill — New York strip, filet or even an Amish chicken breast. Try the lobster mac and cheese if you want to go off the beaten path.
South Bend Chocolate
This might be more for the road. Make sure to stop in the South Bend Chocolate Café in downtown South Bend for a little something to take home. There are too many sweet options to list.
Where to Play
Your getaway should be all about relaxing, but you also need to explore. Here are some sights to see.
Four Winds Casino South Bend
Head to the newest Four Winds Casino for a night of gaming action. The expansive gaming floor includes over 1,400 games and some of the area's largest jackpots, plus there's a poker room. Copper Rock Steakhouse is located inside the casino, as is Kankakee Grille, another local dining favorite.
RELATED CONTENT: Win Big at Four Winds Casino South Bend
Explore the Outdoors
Exploring The Bend doesn't have to mean staying indoors. In fact, it shouldn't. There are some 90 parks in the area, headlined by Potato Creek State Park(photos below). It's about a 20 minute drive from South Bend. St. Patrick's County Park is among the most popular spots around and is just minutes from downtown South Bend.
RELATED CONTENT: A Guide to The Bend's County Parks
Shop 'Til You Drop
Heading to local shops is a can't-miss way to spend part of your getaway. Some of our favorites include Indiana Rug Co. in Mishawaka, Ali on the Boulevard (South Bend), Satori Boutique (Granger), Inspire Me! (South Bend), Brain Lair Books (South Bend), The Village Shoppes (New Carlisle) and Council Oaks Antiques (South Bend). You'll find all the retail you could want in Mishawaka's shopping district along Grape Road and Main Street, including University Park Mall.
Treat yourself to a little relaxation at Therapeutic Indulgence, a wellness center in the East Bank Village neighborhood of South Bend known for its high quality massage services. You'll be rejuvenated.
Head to Granger for a resort style spa day. You can pick from over 70 spa treatments. Your best bet: a Two's Company spa package. The quality time will have you feeling renewed and refreshed.
Where to Stay
Planning this type of getaway calls for booking a room that fits the bill. If you've never stayed in one, it's a perfect time to dial up one of our bed and breakfasts:
- Beiger Mansion Inn (Mishawaka)
- Innisfree Bed + Breakfast (South Bend)
- The Oliver Inn (South Bend)
If you're looking for an upbeat vibe, Aloft South Bend is in downtown South Bend along with a couple other options. You can find a measure of convenience at the Inn at Saint Mary's or Hilton Garden Inn near Notre Dame, just off the Indiana Toll Road.
RELATED CONTENT: Find Your Place to Stay