Plan a Summer Weekend Getaway
Summertime might be The Bend's sweetest season. Whether you're looking for a splash of adventure or the perfect patio for dinner, there is no shortage of options in South Bend and Mishawaka for your itinerary. Here are some of the best things to do and places to stay during a summer getaway.
Things to Do
If you're the type to spend summer weekends outside, 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 on the lake all summer long. Rum Village Park is another favorite for hikers and disc golfers. It's also home to Edge Adventures Aerial Park, where visitors can tackle obstacles and zip lines from the treetops.
Adventure seekers also don't want to miss our biggest summer attraction: Whitewater rafting at the East Race Waterway. Located right in downtown South Bend, it's a mile-long thrill ride.
If you want to find more places to paddle, rentals are available at Ferrettie-Baugo County Park all summer. There are also self-serve rentals at Pinhook Park in South Bend.
Sports fans might think things are quiet when Notre Dame football season is still months away. Not so much. America's pastime is alive and well at Four Winds Field as the South Bend Cubs, an affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, play in one of the nation's top Minor League parks.
Potawatomi Zoo is open for extended hours in the summer and that means it’s time to go meet its newest additions: giraffes. You also don't want to miss the Southern White Rhino, red pandas and so many other animals.
Studebaker National Museum and The History Museum have new exhibits going all summer, plus the Concours d'Elegance at Copshaholm. This stunning car show takes place July 9.
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
Summer might be less about the food and more about where to sit, but why not have both? Patio season well underway come summertime, with options ranging from along the St. Joseph River to near the Golden Dome.
It can't be summer without finding some ice cream. La Rosita might be the most underrated ice cream spot among many great options.
Head to downtown South Bend for a variety of eaters — 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 coffeeshop. 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 a 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.