For most travelers trooping in and out of South Bend, the city is one of the few treasures in the United States!
South Bend is one of the cities on the St. Joseph River, Indiana.
With its plenteous attraction site, it is recognized as one of the top attraction sites in the United States.
No matter what it is you desire, South Bend offers it all and more.
Explore our list of the best and most fun things to do in South Bend, Indiana!
Things To Do In South Bend, Indiana
1. Studebaker National Museum
This tourist attraction site in South Bend is a beautiful and huge 3-story automobile museum.
The Studebaker National Museum is a museum in South Bend, Indiana, that displays automobiles, wagons, carriages, and military vehicles.
It is quite the history catch since it showcases souvenirs of the Studebaker Corporation and other aspects of American history.
For tourists, this isn’t only just a historical site but one of the best places to grab a hold of American history to an extent.
Things to do and see in this museum are not only plenteous but also informative.
In this museum with over a century on wheels, you will find memorable displays from the Studebaker family’s c. Conestoga Wagon to the last car to roll off the Studebaker assembly line.
If you go on a tour here, you will learn how the world-famous Studebaker Corporation and the phases and stages of growth leading to its success.
Apart from being the only company to do so successfully, it is one of the first wagon makers to craft automobiles of the modern era.
For history lovers, this isn’t just a sight to gaze at but a full treasure spot.
Presidential Carriages and a lot more will thrill car enthusiasts!
Make sure to go here if you ever come on a visit to South Bend.
Address: 201 Chapin St, South Bend, IN 46601, United States
2. Snite Museum of Art
Snite Museum of Art is another famous museum in South Bend with displays of both classical and modern artworks.
It is the famous fine art museum on the University of Notre Dame campus, near South Bend, Indiana.
With over 30,000 works of art, this museum showcases cultures, eras, and media.
Did you know this museum is one of America’s finest university art museums and has over 25,000 objects that represent many of the cultures and periods of world art history?
Not only this, but its permanent collection displays one of the richest resources for audiences on campus and beyond to explore.
Students here are not only active facilitators but also provide reliable and efficient services as gallery guides and as student advisory members.
History and art lovers, this is just the place for you to satisfy your curiosity!
There are over ten galleries here containing highlights of the collection that are open throughout the year, plus five galleries change in August, January, and April.
Explore options here to engage in its special exhibitions, art education programs, and events for adults.
Moreover, they also go on occasional bus trips to other museums, so you should just grab the opportunity to explore South Bend and beyond.
If you are visiting South Bend or Notre Dame, the Snite is a wonderful place to visit.
It is indeed an asset. Don’t miss the chance to unravel beauty in one of the finest university’s art museums!
Address: 100 Moose Krause Cir, Notre Dame, IN 46556, United States
3. Potawatomi Zoo
Have you ever thought about visiting old and ancient zoos? Do you know there is a fun place in South Bend of over a hundred years old?
Yes, there is and even though it is one of the oldest zoos, it is still bustling with visitors and tourists who come to admire its assets!
The Potawatomi Zoo is Indiana’s oldest animal park and a fun zoo in South Bend.
This 23-acre zoological park is found in Potawatomi Park between the St. Joseph River and the Grand Trunk railroad in the east side neighborhood of River Park.
Founded in 1921, it boasts of being Indiana’s oldest Zoo with over a 100 years of history.
It features over 400 animals and also receives over 200,000 visitors each year. Isn’t that mind blowing?!
There are lots of places to stop and enjoy the scenery of this place and it has just the right amount of shade.
You can rent carts, strollers and electric wheelchairs, although at a cost, but it is really affordable! Meanwhile, regular wheelchairs are for free.
Apart from tours, this is a fun little zoo with lots of construction, but is a good spot for small kids.
Bring quarters so you can feed the fish and animals!
Moreover, there is also a merry-go-round and zoo train ride! Don’t forget to visit the gift shop and pick up some souvenirs, so you don’t forget this place.
It’s a whole ocean of fun in South Bend! Mark it up now and plan a visit!
Address: 500 S Greenlawn Ave, South Bend, IN 46615, United States
4. South Bend Museum of Art
Are you looking for somewhere you can find both local and regional art in a modern space?
Is art your thing and you are looking for somewhere with the very feel of art? Then you need to check out South Bend Museum of Art!
The South Bend Museum of Art is an art museum in South Bend, founded in 1947.
This museum showcases both historical and contemporary art in five galleries, and offers instruction in its studios.
It displays its permanent collection in the Carmichael Gallery and also a mix of styles and imagery by American artists from the 19th century to present day.
If you explore or go on a tour in this museum, you will find historical paintings by the Hoosier Group of Impressionists as well as works by living Midwestern artists.
Moreover, regularly, the museum galleries are full of new work and displays that reveal art on a paper.
In addition, a lot of top artists perform traveling shows and thematic exhibitions in the Warner Gallery here.
Also, the Art League Gallery displays solo and group exhibitions by professional artists living and working in the Midwest.
You will love touring this place.
While watching the art pieces, you can also take advantage of their art classes.
Take your time to tour this museum, then enjoy downtown restaurants and stretch your legs on the river walk.
Address: 120 Doctor M.L.K. Jr Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601, United States
5. Basilica of the Sacred Heart
Have you ever wondered what a neo-gothic church would look like?
Do you love unique architecture and just want to see it in a church setting? In South Bend, this is a one of a kind setting you need to explore!
Basilica of the Sacred Heart is a soaring Roman catholic neo-Gothic campus church in Notre Dame.
Also, it serves as the mother church of the Congregation of Holy Cross in the United States.
The Vatican painter Luigi Gregori put up the 44 large stained glass windows and murals in the neo-gothic church over a 17-year period.
With its basilica bell tower 230 feet tall, it is America’s tallest university chapel. It is a contributing structure in Notre Dame’s National Register of Historic Places-listed historic district.
This church in South Bend is a major tourist attraction site in Northern Indiana, with over 100,000 visitors every year.
Moreover, this place is just too majestic, you definitely don’t have to be a Catholic to appreciate to the artwork work that is in this place.
It is very peaceful and has a lot of historical and religious significance.
However, keep in mind that there are always people having a wedding photoshoot, so keep scheduled times and church sessions in mind.
Make out time to explore this place in South Bend. You will be amazed!
Address: 101 Basilica Dr, Notre Dame, IN 46556, United States
6. The History Museum
This is another great find in South Bend for history lovers and collectors!
The History museum in South Bend, Indiana is a popular and well-known museum that tells the story of the oliver family.
In this museum, you will find the thirty-eight room mansion left by the Oliver family. With everything in its original to the house, it is a worthy find in south bend.
Tourists troop into this place to explore and go through the unique pieces here to see.
Go here and check out the “Manufacturing Victory”, a collaboration between the Studebaker National Museum and The History Museum.
You will be able to explore the history of this region’s manufacturers’ unwavering response to America’s call during times of military conflict.
Vehicles, munitions, textiles, jet engines, and horse-drawn wagons are among the artifacts on display.
In addition, other exhibits like the exhibit chronicles showcasing the region’s long and rich history of defense production from 1857 to the present day.
Moreover, the carriage house and museum contained many wings on prohibition, Notre Dame, the women’s professional baseball league, and the circus are great things to see too.
You can’t just have enough of this place, take your time to explore!
Address: 808 W Washington St, South Bend, IN 46601, United States
7. St. Patrick’s County Park
The St. Patrick’s County Park is a riverfront park with wooden trails and a large barn for activities.
This outdoor recreational and fun area also has a boat ramp and several play equipment to keep everyone busy.
Multipurpose trails are here just in case you want to go hiking or biking around this park.
If you are looking for somewhere to just stretch your legs after a long journey that is absolutely safe and calm, then this place should come to your mind.
Trails here aren’t difficult and considering the fact that they are well taken care of, you can comfortably use it.
For fun and exercises, there is a disc golf course where you can keep yourself busy on a hot day.
Several pavilions are here and are cool enough for you to use.
Having picnics here is also something you can do, since the environment is scenic and very quiet.
Moreover, if it’s a very hot day, you can use the boat ramps or just come to sit under tree shades and just watch the variety of birds here.
Bird watching is a common sight to see, as you can also take good photos here.
Additionally, it is very dog friendly so if you want to walk a dog or play frisbee here you can do so freely.
An interesting fact about this park is that if you start at Madeline Bertrand in Michigan and walk along the river trail, you will be able to connect to this trail system.
Overall, it is a stunning location on the Indiana-Michigan border at every season.
Relax in the hammocks, play volleyball in the woods and go fishing on the river. Just relax!
Address: 50651 Laurel Rd, South Bend, IN 46637, United States
8. Four Winds Casino South Bend
Casino lovers, this is a top spot for you in South Bend! It is little Las Vegas, so get ready to explore its menu!
Four Winds Casino South Bend is the hottest spot in Northeast Indiana for fun and great dining.
There are 1,400 games to choose from, including progressives with life-changing jackpots and a Live Poker room with 12 tables.
They have a nice selection of slot machines, as well as some carnival games and a poker room. Excellent dining options, as well as a secure and convenient parking garage.
Perfect place for a staycation or a weekend away.
Additionally, there is a full thrill facility in this casino you should check out, the Copper Rock Steakhouse”.
Copper Rock Steakhouse is the place to go if you want a world-class menu and over 200 wines!
Every weekend, you will be able to enjoy comfort food with a modern twist and introduce you to thrilling live entertainment and performances.
Also, if you want, you can take a break from the action by visiting Timbers Fast Food and Deli or White Birch Market, both of which are located just steps away from the gaming floor. ”
Address: 3000 Prairie Ave, South Bend, IN 46614, United States
9. Madeline Bertrand County Park
The Madeline Bertrand County Park is a park in South Bend offering an 18 hole of disc golf, hiking and a creative playground, in forested environs along the St. Joseph River.
Madeline Bertrand County Park is located just south of Niles and provides a public area of natural beauty along the St. Joseph River.
Trails in this county park wind through pine and oak forests, providing hiking and biking opportunities.
Also, in the winter, cross-country ski trails are groomed and lighted, and ski rentals are available.
You can rent one and try skiing. Even if you’ve never done one, its trails are pretty easy to use so you can manage.
A challenging 18-hole disc golf course is also one of the park’s unique and popular features.
It has a wide variety of short, technical holes: 250′ or less, wooded, all tee pads are cement, signage at every hole, and all baskets are in good condition.
Moreover, the course is always in good condition, and there’s even a pro shop. They have a decent selection of discs as well.
Bertrand is a popular destination for family and group outings thanks to covered shelters, an indoor lodge, scenic picnic areas, and a children’s playground structure.
This is a great park for relaxing. Take time to check it out!
Address: 3038 Adams Rd #4115, Niles, MI 49120, United States
10. Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes
Have you heard about the popular Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes?
Looking for an amazing spot in South Bend to shoot beautiful photography at night? Check the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes!
Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes is a shrine in Notre Dame, Indiana.
The University of Notre Dame’s Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes is a replica of the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.
It is a must-see attraction on the Notre Dame campus. Apart from that, it is a wonderful place to visit and reflect.
Moreover, if you appreciate its beauty that much, you can always make a donation for a candle as a kind gesture.
Visiting the Grotto by the Lakes on the Notre Dame campus is a wonderful, beautiful, and peaceful place to spend time at any time of day or season.
Take photos and quick shots while here. You can’t afford to escape making memories with such beauty.
People light candles here day or night, but it is much prettier at night.
Make this a must-see on the list to visit while on campus.
Additionally, it is a perfect place to stop and pray, ask for the intercession of Notre Dame, and thank God for His unending blessings.
Peaceful, beautiful, and perfect for quiet reflection and prayer, make sure to go!
Address: Notre Dame, IN 46556, United States
11. River Lights Plaza
The River Lights Plaza is one of the scenic points in the whole of South Bend.
With a whole list of things to do, wonderful spots to photograph and an exquisite trend, it is one of South Bend most visited sites.
If you’re looking for a quick night time activity in South Bend, I recommend this.
Light displays here are lovely, and its uniquely changing colors are strangely soothing.
Exploring the five structures here can also be something fun to do here. Each of these structures has interesting backstories that you can read about on the signs as you move through.
Considering that the entire walk is only a few tenths of a mile long, it’d be really fun to take some air here.
Moreover, this is a really wonderful place for a leisurely stroll, a brisk jog, or even biking.
When the lights go on at night, this is a must-see! Beautiful place to sit and chill, listen to the water. It is one of the highlights that makes the city more beautiful and standing out.
There is also convenient parking nearby. Family-friendly, for example.
A wonderful place for a leisurely stroll, a brisk jog, or even biking. When the lights go on at night, this is a must-see!
Cool colored lights and its scenery make it a nice way to explore downtown!
Overall, it connects to Howard Park, Seitz Park, and East Race, so a decent amount of trails and walking paths to run or walk! Go on and go for walks!
Address: 340 E Colfax Ave, South Bend, IN 46617, United States
12. The Oliver Mansion
Are you a fan of the famous South Bend’s J.D. Oliver?
Have you ever wondered what it’d feel like to go back in time and stroll through his collections and home? Here at the Oliver Mansion, history meets satisfaction!
This is a famous museum in South Bend offering tours of the J.D. Oliver family’s 38-room, 1897 home, with its original interiors and woodwork all intact and original.
For architecture and furniture lovers, this place may just be the gold mine you’ve been looking forward to creative ideas.
Hands down, this is almost the best deal you’ll ever explore on a property tour in South Bend.
In addition to its beauty, it is relatively cheap to explore. So, for as low as $10 per adult, you can see a short film about the family’s history and their legacies.
Also, you will be able to explore this home and all of its original antique furnishings.
Finding such an immaculate home in pristine condition, as if frozen in time, is an opportunity you should not miss for any reason.
It is a great way to spend a leisurely half-day or just learn about some new things in South Bend history.
If you take the tour, you can get all kinds of information about the Oliver’s and about the Studebaker auto industry.
They have lots of information podiums along the way that explain how they lived and how it started.
Additionally, since the museum has a lot of space and beautiful environments, you can host weddings or even engagement parties here.
Make sure to buy some souvenirs before you leave. There is a gift shop where you can get some unique buys too.
Address: 808 W Washington St, South Bend, IN 46601, United States
13. Battell Park
Battell Park is a riverside green space in South Bend featuring a historic band shell for summer concerts, picnic areas and play spots.
This park is one of the fun parks in South Bend with a lot of things to do.
Tourists and visitors visiting South Bend fun spots for the first time will quickly agree and adjust to the wonders of this park.
For athletes and sports lover, there are facilities and areas here where they’ll be able to do a thing or two.
The lighted tennis courts here is a good option for people to play tennis or at least hone their skills.
Also, the area here is beautifully decorated and grasses mown properly for picnics, picnicking can be a fun thing to do here.
Grill barbecues here too and host a little get together. However, dispose the hot coals properly after use.
Moreover, there is a terraced rock garden and a nearby gazebo you can rent to host weddings and parties.
If it’s too hot and you just need to cool off, there is also a splash pad close by here.
Overall, you will love to see the civil war statue, and a historic band shell popular for summer concerts and theatrical productions. The park is on the Riverwalk system.
Plan to hang out here and access unlimited fun!
Address: 301 W Mishawaka Ave, Mishawaka, IN 46545, United States
14. South Bend Chocolate Factory
The South Bend Chocolate Factory and Museum is a must-see for anyone with a sweet tooth!
South Bend Chocolate Company was established in 1991, and the facility measures 60,000 square feet.
In addition to a wide range of chocolates, the company also sells coffee, fruits, nuts, and gift bags.
This chocolate factory, which opened in 1991, spans over 60,000 square feet and produces a wide range of chocolate products as well as coffee, dried fruit, and nuts.
For travelers, this factory in South Bend also offers tours of its facilities from Monday through Saturday.
If you visit the company, you can go on two tours: the Inside Scoop Tour, which lasts 45 minutes, and the Basic Tour, which lasts 20 minutes.
There are basic tours for guests in a hurry that provide a sugar-coated overview, or a more in-depth tour that immerses guests in the chocolaty delights of the factory.
Also, there are a variety of goodies that guests can purchase to take home.
Private guided tours are also available for groups of ten or more people. It is home to all things chocolate has a variety of public tours.
Go here and satisfy your cravings!
Address: 3300 West Sample Street South Bend, Indiana
15. East Race Waterway
Are you looking for a fun place to explore the waters? Wondering where in South Bend you can raft to your delight?
Check out the East Race Waterway!
You might not think of white water rafting when you think of South Bend, but at the East Race Waterway, that is exactly what you can do for an afternoon.
This rafting course has been a fixture on the adventure games trail since it first opened in the 1980s.
One of its distinguishing features is that both beginners and experienced white water rafters are welcome, so no matter your experience, you can still join in the fun.
There are over three miles of walkways, an amphitheater, picnic tables, and restrooms in addition to the waterway course.
Moreover, visitors can watch the competitions that the waterway hosts from the paths. From June to August, the waterway is open on Saturdays and Sundays.
If you want to kayak on the rapids, you can do so as long as you bring your own kayak, and the waterway lasts for more than five minutes of white water fun.
Above all, there are rafting equipment is available for participants, and after riding the rapids, you can take a walk around the walkways that surround the waterway or use the picnic areas.
Good way to spend the afternoon!
Address: 109 S Niles Ave, South Bend, IN 46617, United States
16. Hall of Heroes
Do you love comic series? Are you looking for somewhere in South Bend where you can see action figures? Check the Hall of Heroes!
Hall of Heroes is in Elkhart, Indiana, just 13 miles from South Bend.
This famous hall houses the world’s only comic book and superhero museum in a rural courthouse.
The homemade Hall of Heroes in Elkhart, Indiana, contains more comic book champions than any sprawling cityscape.
It was inspired by Allen Stewart’s lifelong love of superhero comic books.
Notable amongst all you will find in this hall are thousands of action figures, props, collectibles, and comic books from the genre’s 70-year history.
Among the noteworthy items also are a Batarang from the film Batman and Robin and one of only two remaining costumes from the television show The Greatest American Hero.
In addition, you will see over a hundred pieces of original comic book art by artists such as Alex Toth and Curt Swan.
Aside from shelves and cases full of brawny action figures, there’s a small replica of the Batcave from the 1960s Batman show, complete with a fire-pole that visitors can slide down between floors.
While the museum’s massive collection of nerdery is impressive, the grandest feature is outside!
Just outside the facility, you will find the remodeled Hall of Heroes facade that looks exactly like the Hall of Justice from the Superfriends cartoon.
Furthermore, tours of the Hall of Heroes must be scheduled in advance, so visitors should give the bat signal before arriving.
Address: 1915 Cassopolis St, Elkhart, IN 46514, United States
17. Strikes &Spares Entertainment Center
Strikes and Spares Entertainment Center is a bowling alley in South Bend.
This family fun center features bowling, go-karts, bumper cars, mini-golf, and an arcade, plus a sports bar.
If you’re looking for a place to entertain family, friends, or co-workers, the Mishawaka Strikes & Spares Entertainment Center is the place to be.
You can play a lot of virtual games here or even try out the go-carts, bumper cars, or blacklight golf.
The Ninja Warrior area is a lot of fun. Even if you’ve never done one before, you will thoroughly enjoy it.
It is an excellent one-stop-shop for the entire family. Everyone will find something to their liking.
Even if you get hungry from all the exercise, you can visit the snacks bar, they sell good pizza!
Address: 5419 N, Grape Rd, Mishawaka, IN 46545, United States
18. Notre Dame Golden Dome
This historical landmark in Notre Dame, Indiana, is one of the popular tourist attraction sites in South Bend.
The Golden Dome, the Notre Dames university’s most recognizable landmark, stands atop a building.
Its prominent statue, the statue of Mary stands atop the golden dome that was added to Notre Dame’s Main Building in 1882.
It is a truly inspiring structure, with a gold dome visible for miles around.
For travelers, this statue is a notable structure to look out for on a visit to South Bend.
Although this structure is very iconic, the dome appears to have its own personality.
Just when you think you can’t see anything more beautiful or it can’t get any more beautiful, the sun shines down and catches it just right, making it shine like a beacon.
In all weather conditions and seasons, it looks are all perfect.
Moreover, for the love of architecture, check out the interior and exterior designs.
When visiting South Bend, this is a must-see attraction.
Walking in and seeing Notre Dame’s rich history puts everything into perspective.
From beautiful paintings, sculptures, and school-related historical artifacts you will find everything here.
Take photographs here and just stroll around its environment.
Address: Main Building, Notre Dame, IN 46556, United States
19. Shiojiri Garden
This is a traditional Japanese garden featuring symbolic rocks, meandering paths, and a teahouse on 1.3 acres.
Shiojiri Niwa is one of Indiana’s few Japanese-style gardens. It is a strolling Garden in which the constant unfolding of new scenes draws one from one point to the next.
It is a Japanese strolling garden commemorating the Sister City relationship between Mishawaka, Indiana, and Shiojiri City, Nagano Prefecture, Japan.
Noteworthy, it has over twenty different types of large plant material, over 200 large boulders, a donated statue, and a teahouse pavilion.
It’s an expression of Japanese love and this is why it is also a popular wedding location amongst locals.
In addition, this park is considered being one of the most beautiful in the state of Indiana.
Little wonder, this beautiful little piece of land has hosted thousands of weddings, with far too many people seeking solace, peace, and calming energy, as well as local photographers looking for those one-of-a-kind photos of beauty.
Moreover, its quiet, high vibrational beauty is a great place to fall into the deeply meditative, relaxed state of self that allows one to undergo a perfect past life regression session.
Let yourself explore every plant, flower, rock, small bridge, tree, rock with a plaque of names from the locals.
You can also rest under the huge covered gazebo as you take a few deep breaths of the fresh, crisp, clean air.
Check it out as soon as you can and share the love with anyone who needs a ray of sunshine in their lives!
Address: 450 N Niles Ave, Mishawaka, IN 46544, United States
20. Potawatomi Conservatories
This is popular tourist attraction site is a botanical garden in South Bend, Indiana.
The Potawatomi Conservatories are a group of three indoor conservatories and botanical gardens in South Bend, Indiana, united states.
It is made up of the Ella Morris Conservatory, the Muessel-Ellison Botanical Conservatory, and the Muessel-Ellison Desert Dome.
In the winter, this is a fantastic space. It’s a great place to visit if you enjoy the arts and nature. F
amilies frequently visit for photo shoots, and their online prices are extremely reasonable.
Although the admission fee is $3, it’s a good place to spend a couple of hours if you’re on a tight budget.
Moreover, there’s a heater here too if it gets too cold.
Yoga classes here are amazing and restorative.
Furthermore, blocks, blankets, straps, etc. are available for yoga.
It’s also located close to a Subway, a park, and the zoo.
Plants here are very beautiful and it’s a great place for portrait photography.
Possibly, you can also come here to learn about different plants or to take a stroll when it’s cold outside.
Mark up your books and prepare to come!
Address: 2105 E Mishawaka Ave, South Bend, IN 46615, United States
21. Rum Village Nature Center
This is a nature center with a bird-watching window, an animal feeding station, a beehive, and so much to make outdoor recreational activities fun.
Rum Village Nature Center, located not far from the heart of South Bend, is a wildlife oasis.
Here you will find hiking trails, biking trails, picnic areas, and the opportunity to escape to the quiet calm of one of South Bend’s nicest woodlands.
Deer, foxes, reptiles, amphibians, and numerous bird species live on the 160 acres of rolling woodlands.
It’s no surprise that so many people are touring the Rum Village, with so much to see and so many programs and activities to participate in.
Visit the exhibit area, sit at the bird-viewing window, or enjoy a leisurely stroll on the trails in the woods.
You can also visit the nature center to explore the flora and fauna of northern Indiana.
For fun, you can crawl through an animal burrow and explore the underground lifestyle of animals.
Just go here for a stroll or play nature games. It is worth every dime!
Address: 2626 S Gertrude St, South Bend, IN 46614, United States.
We hope you find this list tremendously helpful while exploring South Bend!