When I returned to South Bend I was worried about living in a city so far from the ocean. After all, Indiana is in the landlocked Midwest and doesn’t even have a famous river like the Colorado or Mississippi. I’ve been here for seven months now, and I’m happy to report my fears were groundless. Here are five fun watery destinations within one tank of gas from South Bend:
- At 52 miles from South Bend – Winona Lake in Warsaw, Indiana. This smaller lake is ringed by cottages, art galleries and restaurants. Eat in a lakeside restaurant where you might catch the landing of a seaplane, or get a meal and bottle of wine to go from the French deli and eat it outside in a large park.
- At 38 miles from South Bend – Silver Beach in St. Joseph Michigan. This is a great family beach on Lake Michigan with volleyball, a playground, restrooms, concessions and lifeguards. St Joe is a walkable town with art galleries, shops and restaurants.
- At 36 miles from South Bend – Tower Hill at the Warren Dunes State Park in Michigan. This state park has mountains of sand to climb, vast expanses of freshwater to swim, forests to hike through, and hangliders to watch. Grab a burger at Redemaks on your way back to South bend and you have the classic South Bend beach trip.
- At 33 miles from South Bend – Magician Lake near Dowagiac, Michigan. This is a great lake for fishing. Michigan’s DNR stocks this lake with walleye, but people also catch bluegill, pike, perch and bass.
- At 0 miles from South Bend – The East Race in downtown South Bend. This artificial whitewater course is open to the public. You can rent a raft, bring your own kayak or just watch from one of the pedestrian bridges. Near downtown restaurants and entertainment.