Summertime has a way of bringing The Bend to life. Pops of color come back in full, especially at some of our most scenic landscapes. Baseball at one of America’s best minor league ballparks turns into a centerpiece activity. Patios open for the season.
There are certain sights and sounds we associate with summer around here. Let us show you some of the best.
Splash down the East Race
If part of your travel planning is to seek out the occasional thrill, the East Race Waterway is your type of place. Hop in a raft solo or with friends. Then gear yourself up for the challenge of Class 2 rapids right in the heart of downtown South Bend. You’re going to feel the water as you work through the twists and turns. And you might just fall out of the raft. But it’s all in good fun. Navigating the East Race is an exhilarating experience.
Aerial adventure awaits
Looking for a different type of challenge? You might want to go airborne rather than get down in the water. Edge Adventures South Bend is located at Rum Village, a 160-acre park with mountain bike trials, disc golf and more. It offers aerial ropes courses for kids and adults with different skill levels. Consider it perfect for families, friends or even team building events.
Explore nature around The Bend
Warmer temperatures beckon people outside for all sorts of activities. Dozens of parks — city, county and state — afford many different opportunities to seek out nature in whatever way you desire. Worster Lake, all 327 acres, serves as the focal point at Potato Creek State Park in nearby North Liberty. The park overflows with opportunities to hike, bird watch, fish, kayak and more. South Bend, Mishawaka and St. Joseph County are home to dozens more parks where visitors can connect with nature. Looking for a gem? Head to Shiojiri Niwa Japanese Garden (pictured below) in Mishawaka. Its beauty is hard to match.
Listen for live music
Live music in The Bend is about more than what’s scheduled at the Morris Performing Arts Center, although there are always great shows planned there. Performances big and small can be found nightly throughout the area. Mishawaka Parks hold outdoor concerts all summer. Downtown does the same with concerts at Fridays by the Fountain and with the Red Table Plaza concert series.
There are also headlining shows in The Bend during summer — legendary rapper Snoop Dogg is set to play Four Winds Field on Aug. 17.
Tour a beautiful campus
There’s never a bad time of year to visit an iconic college campus. In fact, summer is perfect to explore Notre Dame’s landmarks as it’s a quiet period before students return for the fall semester. Want to show yourself around? Self-guided walking tours are a great way to experience campus. If you’re interested in a guided tour, start your day at the Eck Visitors Center. Public tours are held Monday through Friday at specific times.
Dine al fresco
Patio season is the perfect time to pair The Bend’s foodie culture with its best weather and scenery. Head to the Emporium Restaurant for a view of the St. Joseph River while nibbling on an appetizer or South Bend Brew Werks for a downtown vibe over a craft brew. There are several great patios in the area for parties of all sizes. Check out our guide to some of the best in The Bend.
Swing into baseball season
Baseball is the sport of summer across the country. It’s no different in The Bend, where the South Bend Cubs have a loyal following. Fans flock to Four Winds Field, which was recently named the best Single-A ballpark in the country, with their friends and family. Kids need not stay in their seats — there’s a large fun zone at one end of the ballpark and a splash pad at another for those warm nights. Don’t miss out on one of the many promotions available throughout the season. Four Winds Field offers America’s past time in its purest form.