Notre Dame Loop
The legendary University of Notre Dame campus in South Bend is just one of the incredible finds in this region which celebrates its past in so many ways. Take a tour of the campus and then spend the night in an elegant 1886 inn with antique-filled rooms and candlelit breakfasts. State-of-the-art museums feature fancy roadsters, presidential carriages and the history of local families that built empires. There's a lively, ever-emerging art scene, too, with a downtown festival that celebrates the creations of local artists and live entertainment. Visit artists' galleries where you can shop for everything from pottery and paintings to photography and folk art, including one where the owner makes unique furniture. Enjoy concerts, symphonies and Broadway touring shows at the largest theater in the Northern Indiana region. Stock up on blueberries and other produce at a long-time farmers market or pick your own on a farm that offers organic blueberries in several varieties.Your journey starts at…
Visit South Bend Mishawaka
401 E. Colfax Avenue, Suite 310
South Bend, IN 46634-1677
||1. Art Beat
Downtown South Bend (along Michigan Street), South Bend, IN 46601
(574) 282-1110; ArtBeatSouthBend.org
The last Saturday in August.
The beat definitely goes on in downtown South Bend and you’re in for a day of every kind of artistic endeavor imaginable. The event features over 300 visual, performing and culinary arts. Browse booths along the street for locally-created arts such as watercolors, photography and jewelry. Take in a performance of song, dance or spoken word at one of three performance stages. Enjoy a tasty bite to eat and fun demonstrations in Culinary Village.
||2. BlackTree Studio Pottery
BlackTree Studio Pottery and Kiln
8988 E 350 N, New Carlisle
Open Memorial Day through Labor Day, Thursday-Sunday 10am to 4pm; please call to be sure the potter is in.
The Potter's Wife (BlackTree Studio Gallery and Shop)
111 E Michigan St., New Carlisle
(773) 318-9161; BlackTreeStudio.com
Open Thursday - Saturday 10am to 5pm EST year round; open Thursday - Sunday 10am to 5pm October 1 through December 24
The feeling of nature swirls through the earthy colors and shapes of Steve Skinner’s unique works. This potter, who holds an Indiana Artisan designation, creates functional pieces, wheel-thrown and sculpted, using porcelain and stoneware clay. His wife, Louise Belmont-Skinner, an artist herself who manages The Potter’s Wife in historic New Carlisle, sells Steve’s wares, such as stoneware crucibles (great for baking bread), sculpted wrapped bowls, platters, shell bowls and more. You’ll learn about the materials and methods used in creating the pottery, and at BlackTree Studio (down a beautiful rural road) you might see Steve at work on yet another unique piece
||3. Blueberry Ranch
54743 Buckeye Rd., Mishawaka, IN 46545
(574) 255-5773; BlueberryRanch.com
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 7am to 7pm; Tuesday, Thursday 7am to 9pm. Saturday 7am to 5pm
See, taste and enjoy nature's delicious and healthy fruit at one of the largest u-pick blueberry farms in the Midwest. They went certified organic 20 years ago, and today you can take home blueberries that you pick yourself, those already packaged for you off the bush, frozen blueberries and even blueberry bushes so you can try your hand growing at home.
||4. Bluebird House Guest House
107 E Market St, North Liberty
(574) 656-8093; BluebirdHouseIndiana.com
You have this lovingly restored 1890s home all to yourself when you check into this soothing environment, filled with antiques and whimsical murals tucked here and there, many featuring bluebirds. With four bedrooms, there’s plenty of room for the whole family. You’ll enjoy the fully equipped kitchen and living room with cable TV. Gourmet coffees, hot chocolates, and homemade baked goods fuel you for the day ahead. Hot breakfast is available by special arrangement for an additional fee. Relax in one of the wicker rockers on the front porch, grill on the back porch, and enjoy the fire ring in the back yard.
||5. Bright and Beautiful Plants
69241 SR 23, Walkerton
(574) 586-3858; BrightandBeautifulPlants.com
Open June 1-October 15 (other times by appointment); 10am to 7pm Wednesday-Friday, 10am to 5pm Saturday.
It’s all fun and family-oriented, plus a great place to find an array of flowers and ideas to create your own oasis at home! Daylilies, many bred on site, abound, along with late-season perennials. The staff is happy to give you instructions. You can also shop for dried flowers, hand-painted slates and artwork, mosaics, recycled glass and ceramic works in the “Little House,” a one-room vintage school house on the grounds. Visitors can walk all the gardens, view the many water features, see the pet chickens, roam the pasture and on Saturdays, view the G-scale garden train.
||6. Center for History
808 W. Washington, South Bend, IN 46601
(574) 235-9664; CenterForHistory.org
Open year-round; Monday-Saturday 10am to 5pm; Sundays 12pm to 5pm; Mondays-Saturdays house tours 11am, 1pm and 2pm; Sundays 1pm and 2:30pm.
The J.D. Oliver family definitely left their mark on South Bend and the world, making plows that greatly influenced agriculture. You can tour their elegant 38-room Victorian mansion, known as Copshaholm, which retains its original furnishings, plus a charming cottage reflecting the 1930s, a gallery that chronicles local history, a gallery of Notre Dame history and a children's museum all at this location just west of downtown. On the historic house tour, docents provide interesting facts about both the mansion and the family so deeply rooted in Northern Indiana. Stroll thru two acres of historic gardens also on the site.
||7. Circa Arts Gallery
528 E. Colfax Ave., Suite 1, South Bend, IN 46617
(574) 233-8400; CircaArtsGallery.com
Open year-round; Wednesday-Friday 10am to 6pm; Saturday 11am to 3pm; extended hours in December.
The gallery features the works of over 40 artists, both well-known and emerging. The newest addition to the gallery is a concentration on local artists creating works in the Arts and Crafts tradition, made famous by Frank Lloyd Wright. These artists are featured on the new website, along with Motawi and Pewabic tiles. Both artists were leaders in the Arts and Crafts movement. Kathy Reddy White, owner of the gallery, is featured with her line called Ziggurat Tiles. Get a preview on the website and then come to the gallery and see it all.
||8. Fire Arts Inc.
305 E. Colfax Ave., South Bend, IN 46617
(574) 282-2787; FireArtsInc.com
Open year-round; Tuesday and Thursday 12pm
to 9pm; first Friday of each month 5pm to 9pm; 11am to 4pm Saturday; or by appointment.
Tour work space for three dimensional artists; they may be working on sculpture, pottery or jewelry, allowing an opportunity to watch and ask questions. The processes might include sculpting in clay, creating molds, pouring bronze, carving stone, copper enameling, making glass beads, or cutting and welding metal. Visit the showroom for display and purchase of the artists' work and special exhibitions by nationally recognized artists. There is also an occasional lecture or artist demonstration.
9. Hesters Farm-Log Homes Rendezvous - Historical Reenactment
71880 SR 23, Walkerton, IN 46574
(574) 586-2105 or (574) 910-2105; HestersFarmLogHomes.com
Special events for 2012: Spring Fling, May 11-13, 10am-5pm; Berry Feis, June 8-17, 10am-5pm; Freedom Fest, July 4, 10am-5pm; Americana 1800, October 12-14, 10am-5pm.
Step into the past when you attend one of the special events staged at this Jersey dairy farm. During the Spring Fling, learn about life 150 years ago with a visit to a one-room schoolhouse, tours of two 1830 log homes and demonstrations of old-time skills such as blacksmithing and spinning. Medieval times rule at the June Berry Feis, a nine-day event complete with kings, knights, princesses and maidens. Celebrate an old-time Christmas in summer at the July 4 Freedom Fest. Wrap it up with the Americana 1800 encampment in October where archery and black powder enthusiasts show their skills.
||10. Morris Performing Arts Center
211 N. Michigan St., South Bend, IN 46601
(574) 235-9198; box office (800) 537-6415 or (574) 235-9190; MorrisCenter.org
Open year-round; call for performance times.
Concerts, symphony, comedians, Broadway touring shows, dance and family entertainment all grace the stage at the largest historic theater in the Northern Indiana region. Located in the heart of downtown South Bend, its roots go back to vaudeville, when it opened as the Palace Theater in 1921. Dinner and show ticket packages are available for most shows, featuring a buffet at the Morris Bistro Restaurant before you watch performers take to the stage. Historic theater tours by appointment Tuesday-Friday.
||11. Piser Designs
516 E. Colfax Ave., South Bend, IN 46617
(888) 527-7477; PiserDesigns.com
Open year-round; Monday-Saturday 9am to 6pm;
other times by appointment.
When you enter this century-old house, you're in for a treat. It's been renovated to showcase owner Larry's one-of-a-kind Modern Asian-style furniture, customized for each room. The clean lines echo a Shaker style as well, that emerges in everything from dining room tables to elegant stools. The showhouse also features pottery and paintings that local artists create, along with high-end lighting and plumbing fixtures, all for sale.
||12. r j clark studio/gallery
125 W. Michigan St., New Carlisle, IN 46552-0063
Thursday, Friday & Saturday 11am to 7pm. Sunday 12pm to 5pm; other times by appointment
Viewing the works of Northern Indiana artists is reason enough to stop at this fine art gallery, but you get an even deeper insight into what went into each creation. The artists' profiles, techniques and inspirations are posted next to their works, which include sculpture, watercolors, oils, prints and ceramics. Owner R.J. Clark loves to provide visitors with additional information and give tours of his studio.
||13. South Bend Farmers Market
1105 E. Northside Blvd., South Bend, IN 46615
(574) 282-1259, SouthBendFarmersMarket.com
Open year-round; Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Special hours for May-September, Tuesdays, Thursday, Friday 7am to 2pm and Saturday, 7am to 3pm.
It's been 85 years since local farmers started bringing their goods to town for this longtime farmers market. Residents rave that you can get the best breakfast in the city here before you start perusing all the vendors have to offer. Depending on the season, you'll find everything from beans, corn and squash to sweet blueberries, a Northern Indiana staple. Also stock up on fresh meats and poultry and shop for handmade jewelry that local artisans create.
||14. South Bend Museum of Art
120 S. St. Joseph St., South Bend, IN 46601
(574) 235-9102; SouthBendArt.org
Open year-round; Wednesday-Sunday 12pm to 5pm.
Discover the spirit of the Indiana artist and experience compelling contemporary works by nationally renowned artists. A full spectrum of historical and contemporary American art is featured in five galleries, and a wide-range of artistic traditions are taught in the world-class art studios. Visitors will encounter exhibitions by professional artists living and working in the Midwest, or stroll through a gallery filled with work by local artists. Located inside the Century Center, the SBMA is an architectural delight. Designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee, the museum occupies three levels in the northern wing of the building. The Dot Shop offers local art work for sale.
||15. St. Patrick’s County Park
50651 Laurel Rd., South Bend, IN 46637
(574) 277-4828; SJCParks.org
Open year-round; fall and winter 10am to 5:30pm; spring and summer 10am to 8:30pm;
closed on major holidays.
The hard-working Sisters of the Holy Cross grew crops and raised livestock for the Saint Mary's College back in the 1930s and their legacy lives on in this 398-acre park. Visitors view the old farm buildings, including the Red Barn, one of the largest wooden barns in the county. The Adair Orchard features vintage varieties of apple trees and berry bushes. Interpretive signs along the way tell you the history. But there are lots of modern-day pleasures, including picnicking, hiking and fishing, canoeing the St. Joseph River in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter. Gate fee on weekends and special events.
||16. Studebaker National Museum
201 S. Chapin St., South Bend, IN 46601
(574) 235-9714; StudebakerMuseum.org
Open daily year-round; Monday-Saturday 10am to 5pm; Sunday 12pm to 5pm.
The design and craftsmanship of the Studebaker family's stunning creations still stands out today when you roam past more than 100 pristinely restored vehicles, such as the 1934 Bendix and the 1935 Commander Roadster. The Conestoga wagon that first brought the Studebakers to South Bend in 1852 is on display, along with carriages that the family created for presidents, including the one that Abraham Lincoln took to Ford's theater on his last ride.
||17. Sugar Camp Days Festival
Bendix Woods County Park
32132 SR 2, New Carlisle, IN 36552
(574) 654-3155; SJCParks.org
Open Saturday and Sunday 8am to 4pm, the third weekend in March; other maple syrup programs held February-March, including Tapping Day, Maple by Moonlight and Maple Chili Luncheon – call or check Web site for details.
Maple syrup runs deep in Northern Indiana's heritage, right back to Native Americans. For more than 25 years this festival has been celebrating that delicious treat, where visitors view sap collection, old-time cooking methods (both early American kettle cooking and Native American rocks-and-trough method) before they sample the results at a pancake breakfast. Artists demonstrate woodcarving, blacksmithing, spinning and other crafts. Load up on syrup, maple baked goods and other treats to take home.
||18. The Oliver Inn
630 W. Washington, South Bend, IN 46601
(574) 232-4545; OliverInn.com
From the moment you pull into the stately circular drive, The Oliver Inn gently nudges you back into the grandeur of another time and gives you a glimpse of Indiana life at the turn of the century. Built in 1886, it was the home of the Oliver family, which created plows that revolutionized agriculture. Visitors choose from nine antique-filled guest rooms and enjoy a candlelight breakfast in the opulent dining room. Alice Erlandson, who owns the inn with husband Tom, always includes one of her specialties, perhaps caramel pecan French toast. Museums are just a