Life in South Bend

You’ll experience the best of all worlds—in a college town like no other. Downtown South Bend is just a quick bike ride away and offers a vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene. You’ll fall in love with our corner of northern Indiana and its proximity to anything you need. Great shopping, miles of beaches on Lake Michigan, arts, and entertainment. You can even hop on a nearby train for an easy day trip to Chicago.

Affordable, Convenient Living

A low cost of living doesn’t mean a low quality of life. You can live comfortably in many neighborhoods that are close to Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame. With a wide range of housing options including off-campus apartments, condos, and houses for rent, students can find the right living accommodations at a reasonable price. Dining and entertainment costs are also modest. Eddy Street Commons is just south of the ND campus and is home to restaurants, bars, and shops, including a Trader Joes. An abundance of free events, concerts, and festivals take place throughout the year. South Bend, Mishawaka, Niles, and Granger have nearly any amenity you’ll need.

The Great Outdoors

Saint Mary’s picturesque campus includes 140 acres of trees, gardens, manicured lawns, and historic buildings for you to explore. Walk, run, or bike along the 34-mile trail that borders campus. Just beyond borders are several parks which offer something for everyone in each of Michiana’s distinct seasons. The St. Joseph River provides a great course for canoeing, kayaking and even whitewater rafting. The park system in South Bend, Mishawaka, and St. Joseph County offers myriad activities including mountain biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, tubing, disc golf, and camping. Additionally, there are many concerts, events, and festivals held in each of the parks in the region. Within an hour’s drive enjoy downhill skiing, the beautiful beaches of Lake Michigan, wine tasting, and much more.

Arts and Culture

If you enjoy art, theatre, live music, dance, or comedy, Michiana will keep you entertained. Venues throughout the region highlight the talents of local, regional, and national performers.

  • Moreau Center for the Arts — Located on the Saint Mary’s campus, Moreau is home to the Little Theatre, Moreau Art Galleries, and O’Laughlin Auditorium. Students can enjoy national touring productions, prominent lecturers, and student productions each year, many of them generously discounted or free.
  • Debartolo Performing Arts Center — Located on the Notre Dame campus, DeBartolo is the University’s arts center, with 7 venues including a THX cinema, 10-story concert hall and luxe theaters. Saint Mary’s students receive generous discounts on most performances here.
  • Morris Performing Arts Center — Nationally ranked, the Morris hosts a variety of performances including symphony, dance, national touring musical concerts, comedians, and Broadway theatre.
  • South Bend Civic Theatre — This community theatre company performs more than a dozen productions annually.
  • South Bend Museum of Art — Works on view include historical Indiana artists and contemporary works in all media by artists from South Bend and beyond.
  • South Bend Symphony Orchestra — The region’s premiere professional orchestra, the South Bend Symphony engages the community in the exploration of orchestral music in all its forms.
  • The Acorn Theater — A funky, industrial-chic atmosphere with a full bar, The Acorn brings in known performers, regional theatre, and open mic nights. Located in Three Oaks, Mich.