Federal-Style Hotel near University of Notre Dame
Iconic blue and gold memorabilia lines the walls at Stadium Sports Bar, and on football game days, there's no use asking to change the channel: the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will be the stars of the big-screen TVs. This bar, part of the Varsity Clubs of America–South Bend hotel, sits just a few miles east of Notre Dame's iconic gilded dome and sprawling campus. The hotel's Federal-style lodging welcomes visitors as a quiet, convenient retreat, its stately entrance studded with four columns and a wide set of doors beneath a semicircular window.
Overnighters staying in one-bedroom suites can uncork the included bottle of Crane Lake cabernet and soak in the bathtub outfitted with whirlpool jets. In select units, open balconies or patios allow guests to hear freestyle soliloquies from lovelorn mail carriers before retiring to a king-size bed or a sleeper sofa. Come morning, a heated indoor pool and a fitness center help to maintain exercise regimens.
Mishawaka, Indiana: Historical Town near Notre Dame
Mishawaka is home to more than 25 public parks, including Battell Park, an 11-acre swath of greenery located on the banks of the St. Joseph River. Established in 1881 and inducted into the National Register of Historic Places in 1996, Battell Park features a Civil War memorial statue, terraced rock gardens, lighted tennis courts, and a band shell built by the Depression-era Works Progress Administration.
South Bend's unofficial centerpiece, the University of Notre Dame, resides fewer than 5 miles west of the hotel, where its iconic Golden Dome is visible from surrounding streets. Nearby, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart welcomes all denominations inside for a glimpse of its 42 stained-glass windows designed by Carmelite French nuns in the late 19th century. Visitors can also swing by the football stadium, stroll around the campus's lakes, or hang up finger paintings of Joe Montana at the Snite Museum of Art.
About 70 vintage vehicles twinkle in the displays at the Studebaker National Museum at any given time, with an additional 40 cruisers located in visible storage on the museum's lower level. Car enthusiasts will appreciate one-of-a-kind cars, including the 1956 Packard Predictor and the 1934 Bendix SWC. Permanently on display are four Studebaker presidential carriages, including the one Lincoln rode in the night he was shot at Ford's Theater. A temporary exhibit running through the end of 2011 showcases the automotive sketches of veteran designer Theodore Pietsch II.