You packed walking shoes and your Fitbit, right, for visiting South Bend? Because racking up the steps is a great way to see the city. Then and Now: A Downtown South Bend Architectural Walking Tour covers the city’s origins as a trading post on up to its current role as a center of learning and industry. The 1-mile loop incorporates two dozen landmarks, including a fully restored 1921 theater. Learn about the University of Notre Dame’s rich religious history on 2-mile walking tours starting from the Eck Visitors Center. After watching a video introducing the history of the campus, you’ll go see highlights such as the Golden Dome, Basilica of the Sacred Heart, “Touchdown Jesus” and the Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes.
Shiojiri Niwa Japanese Gardens honors Mishawaka’s sister-city relationship with Shiojiri City, Japan. Views from the teahouse take in the 1.3 acres of traditional Japanese design, featuring bridges, rock gardens and 20 types of plants. Fifteen miles west of South Bend, head to New Carlisle’s Michigan Street. Along this main drag, you’ll find ethnic restaurants and charming stores like The Village Shoppes, filled with gifts and home furnishings.
LEEPER PARK ART FAIR / (JUNE 17 – 18) More than 120 artists from across the country show and sell their pottery, sculpture, watercolors, jewelry and more. Walk the shady paths between the booths, check out ethnic eats, and groove to DJ music.
NEW CARLISLE HOMETOWN DAYS / (JULY 28–30) A parade, car and bike shows, Wiffle Ball championship, fireworks and bounce houses add up to fun for the whole family at Memorial Park. Grown-ups can listen to Elvis impersonators; kids can launch water balloons at the popular Water Wars attraction.
ART BEAT / (AUGUST 19) In downtown South Bend, watch painters splash color on a canvas, hear the beat of African drumming, taste dishes from area chefs, and design a masterpiece at a community art-project booth. There are more than 200 booths at this family-friendly event.
From the editors of Midwest Living, Visit South Bend brings you your guide to getting active in the South Bend area! Whether you want to hike, paddle, spin, run, explore, play, eat or celebrate, get it all here.