South Bend Overview
There’s a lot to consider when choosing your town – the place you want to work, eat, play, study and simply live. You may be looking for a city steeped in history, a community that is easy to get around or a hometown that appeals to residents and visitors alike with numerous attractions, activities and opportunities to socialize. If you want all three – or even more, in the way of accessibility to larger metropolitan areas, nearby vacation opportunities and a livable year-round climate – consider finding an apartment in South Bend, Indiana. The heart of Michiana, this vibrant city is a haven for those who enjoy bike riding, visiting art museums, commuting easily to work, watching top-notch college football or exploring more than 300 restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
South Bend History
South Bend, along with all of St. Joseph Valley, originally was inhabited by Native Americans, such as the Potawatomi people, who were later forcibly removed from northern Indiana. Fur traders were the next permanent residents in the area, according to The History Museum. Pierre Navarre, a white settler, opened a standing trading post in the 1820s. Alexis Coquillard is regarded as the city’s founder. He, along with Lathrop Taylor, filed the plat of South Bend in 1831, and it became the St. Joseph County seat. Over the next few decades, the city added a dam on the St. Joseph River, fire department, public grade school and bank. Because of its location on the river, South Bend thrived on heavy industrial development from groups such as the Studebaker Corporation and the Oliver Chilled Plow Company. By the 1940s, the city’s population exceeded 100,000, about the same number of current residents.
South Bend Weather
South Bend experiences a fairly wide climate range, with temperatures typically varying from 17 to 83 degrees Fahrenheit. The city has a humid continental climate with no dry season, according to WeatherSpark. It is uncommon for the region to experience temperatures above 90 or below freezing. South Bend residents can anticipate cold winters, with temperatures often hovering between the mid-teens and high 30s. The area has mild spring and fall seasons. South Bend’s warm season typically takes place from late May to mid-September, with daily high temperatures in the 70s.
Getting Around South Bend
It’s easy to get around South Bend, particularly via bike, mass transit or your own vehicle. The South Bend Public Transportation Corporation operates a bus system, nicknamed Transpo. South Bend International Airport, the city’s transportation hub, also offers intercity rail and interstate bus services. In 2010, South Bend received designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community from the League of American Bicyclists. The city is implementing a long-term plan to develop a 123-mile South Bend Bikeway network. About 72.5 miles of the route were established as of early 2016, with the city consistently adding new routes. Although it is easy to bike around South Bend most errands require a car or a bus trip.
Commuting in South Bend
South Bend is accessible from the east and west via the Indiana Toll Road 180-190. U.S. 31, from the north and south, leads travelers to the downtown convention and business district. U.S. 20 Business also cuts through the heart of South Bend and provides access to South Main Street, the McKinley Town & Country Shopping Centre, the St. Joseph River and other local destinations. Additionally, the South Shore electric rail line, operated by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, connects South Bend to cities throughout northwestern Indiana and is the top transportation choice for many commuters.
South Bend Media
The South Bend Tribune is the area’s main source of print news. The University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College also publish a student-run newspaper called The Observer. Popular television news stations include WNDU-TV NBC Channel 16, WSBT-TV CBS Channel 22, WBND-TV ABC Channel 57 and WSJV-TV Fox Channel 28. Popular radio stations include 95.3 MNC and 96.1 FM WSBT Radio.
When it comes to amenities and cost of living, South Bend ranks high. You can find great shopping, dining and recreation, all within an affordable community. In South Bend, you get the pleasures of an urban lifestyle – with year-round events, renowned entertainment, a robust downtown scene and historic buildings – but still have access to natural environments and outdoor activities. Lake Michigan is only a short drive away. And the East Race Waterway on Niles Avenue (one of many appealing city parks and recreation facilities) brings white water rafting and kayaking downtown during the summer.
South Bend Landmarks
South Bend is home to the top-rated University of Notre Dame and the Fighting Irish, as well as its sister school, Saint Mary’s College. The Notre Dame campus features one of South Bend’s most favored landmarks: the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. The city also contains campuses for Indiana University, the American National University and Purdue Polytechnic Institute. The city’s historic landmarks and museums include The History Museum, Kizer House, Studebaker National Museum, Palais Royale, Copshaholm, the Civil Rights Heritage Center, Tippecanoe Place (a historic family mansion-turned-restaurant) and The State Theater, among many others.
Things to do in South Bend
Both visitors and local apartment dwellers face no shortage of fun activities in South Bend. The Potawatomi Zoo, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, is a good place for field trips, birthday parties and family daytrips. The South Bend Chocolate Company is also a popular attraction. For sports fanatics, Notre Dame Stadium is home to the Fighting Irish football team. At the Morris Performing Arts Center, you can catch a wide variety of concerts, plays, ballets and other stage productions. The city’s newest attraction is the downtown South Bend River Lights, an installation comprised of interactive light sculptures on both sides of the St. Joseph River that illuminate the East Race Waterway and the “Keeper of the Fire” statue. The artistic lights turn on 30 minutes before sunset and stay on through sunrise.
South Bend Festivals
Popular festivals in the area include the South Bend International Festival, which began as the South Bend Reggae Festival. LeSEA Broadcasting network holds the annual World Pulse Festival, highlighting Contemporary Christian music. The Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival includes educational opportunities for young theatre artists and family friendly performances both on campus and throughout the Michiana area. Downtown South Bend also hosts First Fridays from 5 to 9 p.m. each month.
South Bend Vacation spots
South Bend in the epicenter of a region known as Michiana, and it provides easy access to great vacation spots in both Michigan and Indiana. Head over to the Indiana Dunes, comprised of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the Indiana Dunes State Park and featuring 15 miles of Lake Michigan coastline. If heritage and culture is your preference, take a journey of discovery along the new Art and Earth Trail. Want to get away to larger metropolitan areas? Chicago is less than 100 miles away and Indianapolis only about 140 miles.
Where to move in South Bend
There is a healthy supply of affordable apartments in South Bend to match any taste and many great neighborhoods that would suit any desire. For South Bend apartments that are within walking distance of museums and cultural attractions, check out the the historic West Washington district. If you desire an eclectic, urban lifestyle on the go, you might consider looking for a downtown apartment. Other good neighborhoods to search for apartments in South Bend include Harter Heights and North Shore Triangle.