When you think of South Bend, what springs to mind is its art, history, sports, and spirituality. Situated on the St. Joseph river and located in Indiana, this suburb is known as a city that has plenty for you to do and indulge in!
However, South Bend is also known for its array of tertiary institutions – boasting a rich history of traditionalism and the best that education has to offer. From the University of Notre Dame to the Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, the higher education seeker is truly spoilt for choice.
South Bend is a city with plenty to do! Everyone, from kids to car enthusiasts, hikers, and art lovers, there is something for everyone. The closest airport to South Bend, Indiana, is the International Airport.
From the minute you arrive at South Bend Airport, you will see why the city is so popular and why the Airport is the 3rd busiest airport in Indiana. The airport is at 799 feet and covers 2,200 acres to accommodate this busyness.
- Departures and Arrivals
- South Bend Airport Parking
- South Bend Airport Train Station
- South Bend Airport Car Rental
- Bus Services From Airport
- Hotels near South Bend International Airport
- Attractions to visit near South Bend International Airport (SBN)
- Studebaker National Museum
- Snite Museum of Art
- Potawatomi Zoo
- St Patrick’s County Park
- Notre Dame Stadium
- The University of Notre Dame
- South Bend Farmers’ Market
- Compton Family Ice Arena
It also has three tarmac runways servicing four popular airlines – Delta, United, Allegiant, and American, and the flights have worldwide connections and access to 12 nonstop destinations.
Departures and Arrivals
South Bend airport has recently installed two new 3-D scanners, and this is expected to make things easier and faster for passengers to pass through the security checkpoints.
For example, laptops will no longer have to be removed as the new scanners provide a realistic image of what is packed inside the carry-on bags. This is the same procedure the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) used to screen checked baggage.
Once you’ve arrived and gone through the security checkpoints, there are many ways to get from the airport to the lovely city of South Bend, just 3.6 miles away.
Perhaps you have friends or family in South Bend – you can all experience a no-hassle, no-fuss reunion when they come to collect you and make use of the South Bend International Airport Parking facilities.
South Bend Airport Parking
South Bend airport parking offers three options, long-term, short-term, and economy parking.
South Bend airport parking rates are very reasonable, with the first 30 minutes being free. The Economy Lot is only 3 – 4 minutes away from the terminal, while the Long-Term Lot is only 2 – 6 minutes away.
And if you don’t feel like walking, there’s a parking valet service that has been reinstated after being discontinued during covid.
If you avail yourself of this service, South Bend airport parking has to be the easiest in-and-out experience at an airport that you could hope for!
To take advantage of this fantastic Valet Parking Service, you have to drive up to the front drive booth and hand your flight information and car keys to one of South Bend’s efficient valets.
When you return, you will find your vehicle waiting at the curb! South Bend valets even clean off the snow and warm up your car for you in winter. I doubt you will find a better parking experience at any other airport!
Parking at the airport is simply a pleasure! Alternatively, If you have decided to rent a car for your stay in South Bend, you will need to take advantage of the South Bend airport car rental services.
South Bend Airport Car Rental
Nothing could be easier than a car rental at South Bend airport. More than ten well-known car rental agencies offer vehicles for hire at South Bend International.
Avoid disappointment due to lack of availability by making sure you book a car well before your arrival.
You can find out more information or book the car of your choice by clicking the links below.
- Avis Car Rental, South Bend Airport
- Alamo Car Rental, South Bend Airport
- Bidvest Car Rental, South Bend Airport
- Budget Car Rental, South Bend Airport
- Hertz Rental Car, South Bend Airport
- Enterprise, South Bend Airport
- Europcar, South Bend Airport
- Firefly, South Bend Airport
- National Car Rental, South Bend Airport
- Sixt, South Bend Airport
- Thrifty Car Rental, South Bend Airport
Now, driving is not the only way in and out of South Bend airport!
South Bend Airport Train Station
South Bend Airport Train Station is the eastern terminus of the South Shore Line and a commuter train station servicing the airport. It is only 3 miles (4.8 km) from Downtown South Bend, Indiana.
The great thing about this particular train station is that being part of the South Bend airport building, besides the usual waiting room and the ticket office, commuters are entitled to use the airport’s many comfortable lounging areas and facilities.
Bus Services From Airport
South Bend International also offers a bus service from South Bend to Midway airport, and a bus service from South Bend to O’Hare airport, among other possible destinations.
The bus from South Bend to Midway airport covers the necessary 92 miles in 3 hrs and 25 mins and is the second cheapest option after the train. The fastest bus service from South Bend to Chicago, O’Hare Airport, takes around 2 hrs and 25 minutes.
If you’re at South Bend airport and you want a bus to Chicago, there are several bus companies to choose from, including Barons and Millers, so you can be sure the prices are competitive.
If you want to get from South Bend airport to Notre Dame Stadium, you must forgo the bus and choose between a taxi, town car, or even an enjoyable, refreshing walk.
Instead of providing a South Bend Airport Hotel Shuttle, South Bend International works hand in hand with Epic Limos to deliver you in style!
There are so many hotels near South Bend airport that you will have no problem finding one that suits your needs and budget.
Hotels near South Bend International Airport
With the first lockdown, many people were disappointed and angry that they had to forfeit their planned trips.
Some folks were already packed and on their way to the airport when they were informed there would be no other international flights until further notice due to the corona pandemic.
Most South Bend International Airport hotels offer free cancellations and no booking fees. This was a huge plus during the uncertain times of Covid-19 and continues to be an advantage with the many twist and turns of life in the 21st century.
The wonderful thing about South Bend is the huge selection of pet-friendly hotels. So if you want to bring your beloved pet along, the establishments below can accommodate that.
- Sleep Inn, South Bend Airport
- La Quinta by Wyndham, South Bend
- Quality Inn & Suites, South Bend Airport
- Candlewood Suites, South Bend Airport
- Super 8 by Wyndham, South Bend
- Hilton Garden Inn, South Bend
- The Inn at Saint Mary’s, South Bend
- Quality Inn University Area, South Bend
Each of the hotels mentioned above offers free wifi, free cable, TV, a fridge, a fitness center, and most of them have an indoor swimming pool!
The most convenient thing about these hotels is that they are all within walking distance of at least some of the many attractions of South Bend.
You will find many luxury hotels in South Bend and more modestly priced but excellent family hotels and inns.
Attractions to visit near South Bend International Airport (SBN)
Following a list of attractions with the best things to do in South Bend:
Studebaker National Museum
If you are an avid car enthusiast, you will want to visit the Studebaker National Museum! The Studebaker family put South Bend on the map, first manufacturing and supplying the U.S. Army with horse-drawn carriages.
They also produced their first electric car in 1902, followed by a gas-powered car in 1904 that was sold under the name of Studebaker-Garford.
Although Studebaker started marketing gas-powered cars in 1913, it continued making and supplying horse carts until the 1920s.
In 1966, the Studebaker Corporation gifted its 33-vehicle collection to the city of South Bend. This donation included the family’s Conestoga wagon and the presidential carriages. These vehicles created the basis for the Studebaker National Museum.
The Studebaker’s also sponsored several building programs in South Bend and the surrounding areas. The family assisted many religious, civic, residential, and commercial ventures.
Studebaker ceased production of vehicles in the US in 1963, so treat yourself to a trip to visit these vintage vehicles proudly on display at Studebaker Museum.
Snite Museum of Art
Suppose you are an art lover, particularly of cultural arts. In that case, Snite’s Museum of Art is strong in Baroque period paintings, African art, Olmec and Mesoamerican art, Native American art, and 20th-Century art.
Jack and Alfreda Fedderson donated their collection of Rembrandt Etchings to the Snite Museum; a collection of 19th-Century French art was also gifted to Snite by Noah and Muriel Butkin. This renowned Museum of Art also holds the John D. Reilly Collection of 19th-Century and Old Master Drawings.
The Museum’s art dates back to the Virginia Martin Collection of 18th-Century Decorative Arts. Mr. and Mrs. Russell G. Ashbaugh Jr were among those patrons who kindly donated their collections to The Snite Museum of Art.
The museum even boasts a collection of 19th-Century European Photographs. If you are not yet an art lover, I think perhaps you will be after visiting this well-known Museum of Art.
Potawatomi Zoo has a little something for everyone, from toddlers to school groups to senior citizens. It is very accessible to those facing physical and mental challenges, offering free standard wheelchairs and catering to those with sensory processing disorders.
The zoo is open from 1st April until the 31st of October every year. Besides the usual day trip visits, Potawatomi zoo offers Senior Citizen Strolls and a Curious Conservationist Class for adults.
The Youth have a variety of Zoo Camps to choose from, including a Discovery Summer Camp, for the little ones; to the Heroes Summer Camp for kids in grades 4 – 6.
Youth have the option to experience a day in the life of a zoo vet and learn about how animals adapt to their environment to survive.
Animal Detectives is a family program where a ticket includes one adult and one child. Aimed at pre-schoolers, this class teaches how animals use their five senses to explore the world around them.
Potawatomi Zoo carries a wealth of knowledge and interesting facts about the animal kingdom.
St Patrick’s County Park
St Patrick’s County Park covers 398 acres of wooded trails with ponds on the St Joseph River frontage. It is one of the most sought-after destinations on the Indiana Birding Trail and even boasts a live Bald Eagle Cam.
The fantastic live cam offers footage of bald eagles building their nest and laying eggs, and it shows close-ups of the eaglet chicks hatching. You will also see the eaglets feeding and learning to fly.
You can watch the live cam feed to see precisely what nest-living is like for these bald eagles, an opportunity not offered very often in our world.
If you are a bird lover, I strongly suggest that you get to St Patrick’s County Park as soon as possible to take advantage of their bird watching facilities.
Besides bald eagles, you can expect to catch sight of Baltimore Orioles, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, and Ospreys.
St Patrick’s also offers Hiking trails, picnic sites, canoe rentals, inner-tubing, cross country ski trails, and playground equipment for the little ones.
This county park is also home to one of the largest wooden barns in the county, known simply as ‘The Red Barn.’
Notre Dame Stadium
The Notre Dame Stadium was built in 1930 as the home of the Fighting Irish football team from the University of Notre Dame.
The stadium is famous for its view of the “Touchdown Jesus” mural. The stadium was built in 1930 as the home of the Fighting Irish football team from the University.
It began with a seating capacity of 60 000 people, but between 1994 and 1997, major renovations took place, increasing the seating capacity to over 80 000 with the addition of an Upper Bowl.
In 2014, the seating capacity diminished to 77 622 due to the Campus Crossroads renovation plan.
Now let’s take a look at the University of Notre Dame.
The University of Notre Dame
Rev Edward Sorin, a priest of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, founded The University in November of 1842.
Father Sorin had a vision; he wanted to establish a great Catholic University in America, which he did, and up until 1967, the University was governed by the Holy Cross Priests.
After 1967, control and governance of the University were handed over to a mixed board of religious trustees and fellows. The University is one of the leading research universities in America.
Notre Dame has world-renowned theological departments, and its researchers are advancing in leaps and bounds in astrophysics, environmental sciences, tropical disease transmission, cancer, robotics, and nanoelectronics.
Even more interesting is that the formulae for synthetic rubber and the transmission of wireless messages were pioneered at this University!
Notre Dame University has remained true to its intellectual and religious traditions. All departments are dedicated to ensuring that Notre Dame’s Catholic character informs all of their endeavors.
The synagogue building also hosts an annual town ball in July.
South Bend Farmers’ Market
The South Bend Farmers’ Market came into being on the Colfax Street Bridge, which opened on 25th July 1911.
This market is a South Bend landmark and still opens every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday as it did when it began.
At South Bend Farmers’ market, you will be able to choose from the finest selection of fresh fruit and veg, eggs, dairy products, meats, jams, jellies, flowers, artwork, gift items, and many more unique goods, and yummy foods, on display.
If you’re in South Bend, visiting this market is a must!
Compton Family Ice Arena
On the University of Notre Dame campus, you will find the Compton Family Ice Arena. This is a 2-rink ice facility that hosted its first game on 21st October 2011.
This Arena boasts 5022 seats, making it much larger than the old Joyce Center Ice Facility, which could only seat 2857 spectators.
This $50 million facility also serves as a local meeting place, serving both the Notre Dame and South Bend communities.
The attractions above are certainly not exhaustive, and this destination is an exciting and culturally rich one for tourists, residents, and property investors alike. South Bend airport is like your welcome mat into the city – a city you’re sure to fall in love with.