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Plan a Fall Weekend Getaway 

Fall is perhaps The Bend's most special season. Things seem to slow down a bit even as Notre Dame football season picks up its pace. Are you ready to take it easy for a few days and explore South Bend and Mishawaka? Here are some of the best things to do and places to stay during a fall getaway.

Things to Do

If you're the type to spend fall weekends exploring the outdoors, The Bend is your kind of place. Sign up for the #OnlyinTheBend Parks Pass to check in at some of our favorite green spaces and win prizes along the way. Potato Creek State Park is an outdoor lover's paradise with miles of hiking and biking trails, plus Lake Worster at its center. You can fish and paddle out on the lake.

Rum Village Park is another favorite for hikers, disc golfers and mountain bikers. It's also home to Edge Adventures Aerial Park, where visitors can tackle obstacles and zip lines from the treetops. 

If you want to find more places to paddle, you can do so at Ferrettie-Baugo County Park. There are also self-serve rentals at Pinhook Park in South Bend. 

History lovers don't want to miss a trip to the museum district. Studebaker National Museum, The History Museum and the Civil Rights Heritage Center all offer unique perspectives on local history.

Thistleberry Farm is a local favorite for fall activities like a pumpkin patch, corn mazes, hayrides and more. It's also a great idea to to visit Potawatomi Zoo for up-close encounters with giraffes, red pandas, rhinoceros and more.

Anyone looking to get on the golf course will find top-notch options. The Warren Course at Notre Dame hosted the 2019 U.S. Senior Open. Blackthorn, Elbel and Erskine are all challenging yet fun options.

Worried about a rainy day? Head to Mishawaka for axe throwing, bowling, bumper cars and trampolines at Generations AdventurePlex, Strikes and Spares Entertainment Center and Sky Zone.  

Eat & Drink

Head to downtown South Bend for a variety of eateries — breweries, coffee shops, cocktail spots, brunch places, fine dining restaurants and more. Fiddler’s Hearth offers an authentic Celtic experience, Woochi Japanese Fusion specializes in sushi. PEGGS and The Early Bird Eatery serve up delicious breakfast. Café Navarre, LaSalle Grill and LaSalle Kitchen & Tavern serve up some of the area’s best menus.  

South Bend Brew Werks is a popular choice for beer lovers. Looking for cocktails? Check out The Hideaway at The LaSalle, The Exchange Whiskey Bar and Spirited.  

Mishawaka is bustling with great places to eat. Jesús Latin Grill has one of the most unique menus in the area. Nearby, Chicory Café is more than just a coffee shop. Evil Czech Brewery has craft beer and one of the best menus around.  

Places to Stay

Looking for a place to crash before your next adventure? A place to really unwind? Either way, The Bend has great options for your summer trip.

Downtown South Bend Hotels — Aloft, DoubleTree by Hilton and Courtyard by Marriott — put you right in the middle of the action. Near the University of Notre Dame, there is a beautiful Embassy Suites. You could even stay on campus at the Morris Inn, a AAA Four Diamond property. Mishawaka has a great collection of brand names like Varsity Clubs of America, Hyatt Place and Home2 Suites.  

If you want something a little out of the box, the Oliver Inn, Beiger Mansion and Innisfree Bed & Breakfast all offer a unique experience.

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