You may not have heard of Mishawka, Indiana, but chalk that up to Midwest modesty — the city has plenty to brag about. Nicknamed the Princess City, the mini metropolis is a big draw for college football fans because it’s just down the road from a gridiron stronghold that knows how to put the fight in the Irish. But beyond that, this neighbor of South Bend has many hidden gems that reward curious travelers driving along I-80/90.
Fans of green and gold come to Mishawaka for tailgating at the university, which also draws crowds for concerts, art shows and campus tours. There’s something about college events that inspires cravings for pizza or a pint, and you can find both at the university’s walkable downtown area.
Keep enjoying a golden Indiana afternoon with a stroll along the riverwalk with a walking and biking trail on both banks. Along the way, stop by one of many riverside parks to enjoy a picnic, toss a Frisbee or look for wildlife. For guaranteed critter sightings, head to the zoo, which is home to more than 400 animals including monkeys, zebras, emus, bearded dragons and penguins.
No matter the weather or season, there’s something to do in Mishawaka thanks to a variety of museums. Manufacturing heritage is on display at a museum that showcases the history of the area’s auto industry with more than 120 vehicles from the 1860s to the 1960s. The history museum features objects of interest big and small, from authentic artifacts to historical homes. The interactive kids’ museum lets children explore important topics like healthy eating and the human body in a fun way.
For times when kids (or parents) just want to let loose, the indoor trampoline park is a great place to have the most enjoyable workout of your life. We suggest practicing your aerial flips into the foam pit.
Sound tiring? Don’t worry, we’ve got one last recommendation: For a comfy place to get a good night’s rest, book a room at the Country Inn & Suites By Carlson®, Mishawaka, IN. The pet-friendly hotel features a heated indoor pool where you can unwind while your furry friend naps back in your room. The next morning, fill up on waffles, omelets, cereal and gourmet coffee at our complimentary Be Our Guest Breakfast. It’s a hearty way to start the day, whether you’re taking advantage of the hotel’s 1,200 square feet of available event space or heading out for a day of tailgating and exploring some of the Midwest’s best.