Five Spots to Get Soaked Near South Bend

by Nick Molnar on January 10, 2007

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 BendWinona 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 BendSilver 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 BendTower 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 BendMagician 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 BendThe 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.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Nick Molnar January 30, 2007 at 3:11 pm

Thanks John for the correction: it is Winona Lake, not Lake Winona. I’ve fixed it above.


Anonymous May 28, 2017 at 1:47 pm

There is also Washington park on Lake Michigan in Michigan city, Indiana. The drive is 30 minutes of less from South Bend. There’s multiple beaches and sand dunes.


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