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Notre Dame, Weekend Guide |


5 amazing South Bend activities you've never heard of

Hank Greene

A few weeks ago, we gave you 7 South Bend activities to add to your next Notre Dame weekend.

And while that list included some of South Bend's most popular attractions - from the Studebaker Museum, to South Bend Chocolate Company, to the St. Joseph River - what about some things to do off the beaten path?

Here are a few of our favorite South Bend hidden gems...

First Fridays

Coming into town on Friday, and looking for something to do before game day?

On the first Friday of every month, Downtown South Bend comes alive with free programming and entertainment for the whole family! From music, to movies, to special one night only promotions at downtown shops - this is the perfect way to kick off your weekend.

Here's a list of upcoming first Fridays for you to plan around...

  • June 1: Kids Night Out - featuring face painting, dance areas, and kid-friendly entertainment
  • July 6: Classic Downtown - go back in time as classic Studebaker cars line the streets of South Bend
  • August 3: Arts Alive - preview "Art Beat" with performances and entertainment from the upcoming festival on August 18
  • September 7: Dog Days of Summer - local animal rescues will have booths for guests to learn more about their work, as well as pets they have available for adoption
  • October 5: "Fall" in Love with Downtown - celebrate fall with pumpkin carving and autumn specials throughout South Bend
  • November 2: Taste of the Town - culinary delights throughout the downtown area, with bite-sized samples from some of the city's best restaurants

Mishawaka Drive-Ins

Though drive-in restaurants in the area are much harder to find these days - with many having closed their doors in recent years - these classic establishments are still a great way to get out of town for a little adventure!

They're open throughout the summer and into the fall season, so check out BK Drive In, Simonton Lake Drive-in, or Original Root Beer Stand (this last one is about an hour south of South Bend, so make sure to stop on your way home). 

Island Park

Though this new development along the St. Joseph River was named one of the "25 must-see buildings in Indiana" by USA Today, somehow this extraordinarily beautiful South Bend oasis is still flying under the radar.

From hosting large-scale events like the Meet Me on the Island and Riverlights Music Festival, to just providing a peaceful place to stroll along the river - this gorgeous space will become your own special spot in South Bend.

Taco Trek

Believe it or not, South Bend has some of the best tacos you'll find anywhere, as 2017's Northern Indiana Taco Wars plainly showed us.

And now, thanks to Visit South Bend, you've got a guide to every one of the city's best taquerias with "Taco Trek" - a self-guided excursion through all 11 finalists in last year's contest.

Whether you're looking to grab a pint with your taco at Crooked Ewe Brewery and Ale House, want the variety of Cinco 5, or just want a taste of the championship at Los Aces, this unique trip through South Bend will delight (and feed) your whole group!

Wednesday Wine Walk

If a culinary adventure through South Bend sounds fun... but you want to take it up a notch, consider the Wednesday Wine Walks throughout the downtown area.

For just $40 per person ($25 for eating only), you can sample some of the city's best wine and food over the course of an evening. You'll arrive and receive a list of participating restaurants for you to visit, and each stop along your journey offers three 2 oz samples with a food pairing.

From there, it's up to you! Dive into the unique experience on one of these upcoming dates:

  • June 13
  • August 8
  • September 12

Plus! Even if you're not able to make it on one of the available nights, you can find all the restaurants on their website, and visit each one next time you're in town...


No matter what experience you're planning for your next trip to campus, make sure to stay close to the action with a home from Rent Like A Champion!

With more than 1,000 weekend vacation rentals in South Bend, there's a home that's sure to be perfect for your group...

View South Bend Homes

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Here are the State College activities you MUST add to your weekend itinerary

About Author

Hank Greene
Hank Greene

Hank Greene is the Content Strategist for Rent Like A Champion, where he writes about travel, college football, and RLAC's offerings across the country. He believes every college football stadium should sell footlong hot dogs, and that every tailgate should include pulled pork sandwiches.

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