Courtesy South Bend/Mishawaka CVB
South Bend, home of the famous University of Notre Dame, has a downtown rich in history, cuisine and even outdoor adventure. Many groups visiting downtown South Bend begin at the Studebaker National Museum and Center for History.
“We were the home to the Studebaker Automobile Company,” said Lindsey Talboom, communications and public relations coordinator for the South Bend Mishawaka Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The Studebaker museum has all sorts of things on display, all the way up to the last Studebaker model that the company ever made. They also have the largest presidential-carriage collection, and the actual carriage that took Lincoln to Ford’s Theater on the night that he was assassinated.”
After a museum visit, downtown affords numerous opportunities for interesting dining experiences. LaSalle Grill is the city’s pre-eminent fine-dining destination, having won the Four Diamond award from AAA. For an experience more fitting with the nearby university, many visitors choose Kildare’s Irish Pub, a Celtic public house that serves typical Irish food and drinks. The restaurant is especially popular among Notre Dame fans on game day.
For an unexpected downtown experience, adventure lovers can take a paddle in a kayak or a raft.
“We’re home to the first-ever man-made white-water course in America: the East Race Waterway,” Talboom said. “It just celebrated its 30th anniversary. It starts downtown, flows out a bit to the St. Joseph River and then comes back downtown.”