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South Bend, Indiana, is the county seat of St. Joseph County, and it’s located on the St. Joseph River in northern Indiana. Originally a fur trading settlement, South Bend grew up around the river. South Bend remains a thriving community that is home to several large corporations. The University of Notre Dame plays a big role in the overall culture and personality of South Bend.
South Bend History
The Potawatomi were the first inhabitants of the area that would eventually become South Bend. This group lived along the river that would later be named the St. Joseph River. In 1679, explorer René-Robert Cavelier was the first white person to arrive in the area. Much later, in 1820, Pierre Navarre built a cabin on the river, and then he set up one of the earliest fur trading posts. Shortly thereafter, South Bend was officially named for the bend in the river and established as the county seat. In 1842, the University of Notre Dame was founded.
South Bend bustles with a wide array of attractions located both in the city proper and within easy driving distance. From cultural excursions to fun in the sun, South Bend won’t disappoint!
- The Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend keeps daily hours between early April and the end of October. The zoo boasts more than 400 animals spread out over 23 acres, and exhibits include mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians, and invertebrates.
- An afternoon at the Potawatomi Park promises to be memorable. A splash pad offers relief from the heat during the summer months, and the exercise track is a popular destination for people of all ages. Several different playgrounds are situated in the park, and there’s an outdoor pavilion for performances, too.
- The Morris Performing Arts Center hosts many different concerts and shows. The South Bend Symphony Orchestra performs regularly here, and touring Broadway shows also visit regularly. The event schedule often includes comedians and lecturers, too.
- The Eck Visitors Center on the University of Notre Dame campus is both a museum and an event center. Special events are held in the visitors’ center, and you can also take a tour of the campus starting from the visitors’ center.
Where to Eat in South Bend
Whether you’re a discerning foodie or someone who will eat just about anything, there’s plenty to choose from in South Bend. Restaurants of all styles and price points offer patrons appealing dining options. Family-style eateries are perfect for the entire family, and pubs are also plentiful.
- Café Navarre in downtown South Bend is locally owned and operated and successfully combines top-notch service with delicious cuisine. A seasonal menu incorporates local and fresh ingredients, and the executive chef’s recipes are world-class.
- Barnaby’s in South Bend is the place to go for pizza and sandwiches. Open for both lunch and dinner, Barnaby’s has been serving South Bend since 1969. The atmosphere is casual and welcoming, and many residents head to Barnaby’s after sporting events.
- Carlisle Coffee and Sweets is just 15 miles west of South Bend and worth the drive. The shop stocks an impressive selection of coffees and teas, and patrons are welcome to sip at either indoor or outdoor tables. Don’t miss the delicious selection of baked goods, too.
Where to Stay in South Bend
The thriving community of South Bend is full of appealing places to stay. The city has a wide variety of well-known hotel chains at various price points to fit every budget. There are also options for those who prefer something with a bit more character.
- Innisfree Bed & Breakfast in South Bend opened in 2004, and the current owners took over in 2016. The house has numerous suites, or you could even book the entire house for an event. Breakfast is served daily, and the chef will happily cater to dietary restrictions.
- The Inn at Saint Mary’s is the place to go for visitors to the University of Notre Dame or Saint Mary’s College. Luxury rooms have plenty of amenities, and onsite dining is also available.
- The Beiger Mansion is a historic bed-and-breakfast that doubles as an event facility. Guests are served a home-cooked breakfast every morning, and a full workout room is also on site.
South Bend has warm and wet summers and cold and windy winters. The city has a fair amount of clouds throughout the year, and about 40 inches of rain falls here annually. Winters in South Bend can be snowy, with an average of 63 inches of snow falling each year. July is the warmest month, with highs around 83 degrees Fahrenheit, and the coldest month is January.
High-Quality South Bend Children’s Dentistry
When families need a dentist in South Bend that can take care of their children’s needs gently and capably, they know they can count on the Dental Center of South Bend. We offer skilled pediatric dental care for children and teens, including checkups and cleanings, braces, and emergency dentistry. We work hard to provide the best dental experience for every patient. Call us to book an appointment today with our South Bend children’s dentistry practice.