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Overview

Located on the south most turn in the St. Joseph River, South Bend is famed for its cars, chocolates and college. Hometown of the gold-domed University of Notre Dame and its Fighting Irish, South Bend boasts America's winningest college football team. Towering over Notre Dame Stadium is the 132-foot-tall mural of "Touchdown Jesus," so called because the resurrected Christ has his arms raised like a referee signifying a touchdown. In 1852, brothers Henry and Clem Studebaker started a blacksmith shop in South Bend and became the largest producer of horse-drawn vehicles in the world. In 1902, Studebaker joined the "horseless contraption" ...

Located on the south most turn in the St. Joseph River, South Bend is famed for its cars, chocolates and college. Hometown of the gold-domed University of Notre Dame and its Fighting Irish, South Bend boasts America's winningest college football team. Towering over Notre Dame Stadium is the 132-foot-tall mural of "Touchdown Jesus," so called because the resurrected Christ has his arms raised like a referee signifying a touchdown. In 1852, brothers Henry and Clem Studebaker started a blacksmith shop in South Bend and became the largest producer of horse-drawn vehicles in the world. In 1902, Studebaker joined the "horseless contraption" movement with its first automobile and became the only company to span the era from settlers' wagons to high performance automobiles. The South Bend Chocolate Company is chock full of chocolate-related items, including a 1,300-year-old Mayan chocolate pot — King Montezuma reportedly drank 50 or more cups daily. For recreation, a 5-mile system of interlocking parks stretches through downtown and along the St. Joseph River. One of the first man-made whitewater raceways in the world, the East Race Waterway, is said to match the Colorado River in power.

Jackie Finch
About the Expert

Jackie Sheckler Finch has written several guidebooks, including The Unofficial Guide to Campgrounds in the Great Lakes States, and four times she was named Travel Writer of the Year by Midwest Travel Writers Association.

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Jackie Finch for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring, autumn