Find your adventurous side on the rapids at
East Race Waterway, take your chances at a
casino, head downtown to enjoy River Lights,
and be sure to get some sweets at South
Bend Chocolate Company.
The reason a city in northern Indiana has “south” in its name is because it’s on the south bend of the St. Joseph River. And there's lots to do at that bend. Take on the whitewater rapids of the East Race Waterway — America’s first artificial whitewater course. Rivaling the rapids of the Colorado River, the waves can reach six feet! The banks of the East Race also have more than five miles of paved and lighted paths. Be sure to come back at night to experience South Bend River Lights, where color splashes from two interactive light sculptures on either side of the river, highlighting a third sculpture: the exquisite “Keeper of the Fire.” River Lights is like no other display in the world.
Get a bag for your visit and more to take home when you go to South Bend Chocolate Company. The 60,000-square-foot factory rolls out more than 500 different sweets, known nationwide. See what wines pair well with chocolate at Ironhand Vineyard, whose wine bar is next to the St. Joseph River. You’ll want to stay a few days to do justice to the local dining scene. Like downtown’s LaSalle Grill, a AAA Four Diamond restaurant featuring delicious cuisine that’s dramatically presented. Or The Carriage House Dining Room & Gardens, located in a historic church and offering French-inflected American fare. And speaking of history, you’ll love the setting of Tippecanoe Place Restaurant: a late 1880s mansion built by Clem Studebaker.
Whether you like historic homes or contemporary design, you're in luck in South Bend. The romantic Oliver Inn Bed & Breakfast is a short walk from downtown, with 10 well-appointed rooms offering views of the magnificent grounds. Start your morning with a self-guided walking tour of campus when you stay at Morris Inn at Notre Dame, a boutique hotel with AAA Four Diamond accommodations. Aloft South Bend is your hip downtown option, featuring chic rooms with walk-in showers and plug & play connectivity stations. Their W XYZ® bar serves tapas and cocktails, and it's a preferred hotel for the nearby Four Winds Casino
For arts, shopping and lakeside dining, take a little side trip about an hour southeast to The Village at Winona. There, more than 20 renovated Victorian homes have been made into a thriving destination with locally owned dining options and unique retail shops. There are lots of events to enjoy throughout the year. Meanwhile, you can find your favorite brands at the super-regional University Park Mall, with more than 120 retailers and popular dining spots.
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