What to do
CircaArts Gallery A favorite among the boutiques and studios in the East Bank Village, Circa sells local art with emphasis on the Arts and Crafts style. Check website for hours. circaartsgallery.com
Circa Arts Gallery. Photo by EE Berger.
East Bank Village The shops feature artsy wares by designers of fashion, furniture and more. southbendin.gov
East Race Waterway Alongside the river, rafters and kayakers ride the white water of the narrow channels. sbpark.org
Morris Performing Arts Center A local philanthropist saved this former vaudeville theater from the wrecking ball, and it got a complete overhaul between 1998 and 2000 that restored the interior to its original 1921 palette of rose and cream. Highlights include performances by the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. morriscenter.org
The National Studebaker Museum Founded in South Bend in 1852, the Studebaker Corporation made buggies and wagons before transitioning into auto manufacturing. The museum, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2015, chronicles the company’s history and houses more than 120 vehicles. studebakermuseum.org
Oliver Mansion This Romanesque Queen Anne home, also known as Copshaholm, contains 38 rooms of original furnishings, intricate woodwork and leaded-glass windows. Built by industrialist J.D. Oliver in 1896 on the city’s mansion row, the home offers tours coordinated by The History Museum. historymuseumsb.org
Oliver Mansion. Photo courtesy of Visit South Bend Mishawaka.
South Bend Chocolate Company This fast-growing confectioner boasts Chocolate Cafe locations across the Midwest, but only in its hometown can you tour the factory. Free tours of the chocolate-making equipment last about 20 minutes. Afterward, browse the outlet store for deals on truffles, toffees and caramels—or chocolate Rocknes (truffles with cherry flavoring, coconuts and almonds) named in honor of legendary Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne. sbchocolate.com
South Bend Museum of Art Works of Hoosier Impressionism star among three stories of galleries. southbendart.org
South Bend Museum of Art. Photo by EE Berger.
South Bend River Lights This innovative project uses light sculptures to transform the St. Joseph River into “a canvas of living art.” The sculptures, equipped with motion sensors, change colors and project different shapes based on nearby movement. For the best view, head to Seitz Park, Island Park or the Colfax Bridge. downtownsouthbend.com
South Bend River Lights. Photo by EE Berger.
University of Notre Dame Guided tours lead visitors from the Eck Visitors Center past the Golden Dome, Basilica of the Sacred Heart and the Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes. tour.nd.edu
University of Notre Dame. Photo by EE Berger.
Where to eat
Cafe Navarre Local ingredients and international flavors fuse in dishes like the Amish chicken served with miso, jasmine rice and sweet curry peanuts. cafenavarre.co
Cafe Navarre. Photo by EE Berger.
LaSalle Grill The menu changes daily at this special-occasion spot where hardwood grilling imparts smoky flavor to many dishes. Reservations recommended. lasallegrill.com
Rocco’s Restaurant A favorite with Notre Dame students, families and alumni, Rocco’s serves Italian comfort food in a warm family setting. roccosoriginalpizza.com
Rocky River Tap and Table This farm-to-fork restaurant in nearby Granger offers a contemporary dining experience with seasonal entrees such as barbecue nachos with smoked Indiana duck. Bonus: Most of the 30 beers on tap are brewed in Indiana and neighboring Michigan. rockyrivertapandtable.com
South Bend Brew Werks Pair the smooth, smoky Mr. Elegante porter with a kicky smoked brisket flatbread. southbendbrewwerks.com
South Bend Brew Works
Tippecanoe Place Try herb-crusted prime rib, shrimp cocktail and other classics in an 1880s stone mansion. tippe.com
Tippecanoe Place Restaurant
Where to stay
Ivy Court Inn and Suites Fighting Irish fans wanting a homey stay can find lodging and breakfast here, plus tailgating in the parking lot. ivycourt.com
Morris Inn Stay on campus in AAA Four Diamond luxury. Grab a drink at Rohr’s, where legendary bartender Murf loves to dish on celebs he’s served. morrisinn.nd.edu
Oliver Inn Just two blocks from Copshaholm, this 1886 mansion built by J.D. Oliver’s sister, Josephine, is home to a romantic bed-and-breakfast. Most of the nine rooms include fireplaces, and some come with claw-foot tubs and private porches. oliverinn.com
For information: South Bend/Mishawaka Convention and Visitors Bureau visitsouthbend.com