walking tour of south bend
We’ve put together a walking tour of South Bend. You can also drive it if you prefer. This tour hits all the important Pete spots. There’s a 4.5 mile option and a shorter option that’s around 3 miles. You’ll see all the sites listed below.
The new South Bend Pete office is now open! Stop by for shirts, signs, information, and to talk to locals about Mayor Pete Buttigieg. The office is at 218 Sycamore St. South Bend.
Pete TOUR of south bend
If you can’t visit South Bend, or just want a head’s up on what to expect, these are the key sites in the downtown area. The sites are all on the Walking Tour.
127 N Main St. The walking tour begins at Fiddler’s Hearth at Colfax & Main Sts in downtown South Bend. In Pete’s book, “The Shortest Way Home",” Pete and Chasten go to Fiddler’s Hearth on their first date. It’s here where Chasten says the Scotch egg they shared appealed to his “Midwestern heart.”
2. CATHEDRAL OF ST JAMES
117 N Lafayette Blvd. The next stop is Cathedral of St. James. This is the Episcopal church Pete attends regularly when he’s in South Bend. It’s also were Pete and Chasten were married.
3. CITY HALL
The next stop is City Hall at the corner of Jefferson & Lafayette. This is where the mayor’s office is located.
4. FOUR WINDS FIELD
At Western & Lafayette. This is the local ball field where Pete and Chasten often attend games (photos on Instagram). They also went here on their first date and enjoyed the fireworks.
5. STUDEBAKER FACTORY
Visible from W South St between Lafayette and Taylor. The Studebaker Factory was one the heart of the town but it was shut down in 1963 and abandoned. Pete oversaw its restoration into a technology center. Union Station has also been remodeled and repurposed for tech. This is the location of Pete’s announcement speech.
6. BIKE PATHS
Notice the bike paths downtown. This was an initiative of Mayor Pete’s to make downtown more pedestrian, biker, and family-friendly. He took pride when the city won recognition for it. He tweeted this on Aug 15, 2018: “Our new Silver Level Bicycle Friendly designation marks South Bend as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the Midwest. Bicycle commuting makes us a healthier, greener and more inviting city for all!”
7. ST JOSEPH PUBLIC LIBRARY
304 S Main St. Mayor Pete was a big supporter of the library. This is where he read stories to the kids in videos. (Videos on The Pete Channel/Misc Videos)
8. STATE THEATER
214 S Michigan St. The State Theater is the site of our favorite South Bend pictures. And Pete is not even in it! The photo was taken after Pete wrote an editorial for the local newspaper and came out. South Benders showed up to demonstrate their support! Amazing.
9. PEGG’S RESTAURANT
127 S Michigan. PEGGS is a regular stop for Pete. And he’s been interviewed in the café, for example, for Military Times. (The Peggs logo on the window is visible in the screen shot below). There are Pete shirts for sale in Peggs and it’s a fine place to grab a bite to eat. They have a few Pete shirts here.
10. SOUTH BEND CHOCOLATE CAFE
122 S Michigan St. This cafe is also frequented by Pete and Chasten—check out the photo below. Definitely stop in for some sweets, coffee, or meals from the cafeteria style counter. Great selection of sodas too.
11. DR MARTIN LUTHER KING BLVD
DR MARTIN LUTHER KING BLVD was St. Joseph/Michigan. Residents had been trying to name a prominent city street after Dr. King for some years. Mayor Pete helped push through the name change.
12. JEFFERSON STREET BRIDGE
At Colfax & Doctor MLK Jr. Blvd. As you are standing on the Colfax Ave Bridge, look to your right. You can see the next bridge, Jefferson Blvd Bridge, which is the inspiration for Pete’s logo.
13. RIVERLIGHTS PLAZA
At Colfax & Doctor MLK Jr. Blvd. This park and the river lights were installed by Mayor Pete and the City of South Bend in 2015 as part of South Bend’s 150 year celebration. It was intended as a place where the community could come together. The river lights turn on ½ hour before sunset and stay on until midnight every night.
14. MORRIS PERFORMING ART CENTER
211 N Michigan St. Note the Morris Performing Art Center on the left. The Shortest Way Home Book Launch took place here.
On Doctor MLK Jr. Blvd at Marioin and at N Michigan St at Barlett. These were installed by Mayor Pete as part of his “smart streets” initiative to help slow down traffic in downtown and provide more pedestrian and bike friendly streets.
16. MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
615 N Michigan St. This ER is where the Mayor Pete story took place in which Pete translated for a Somali boy and his mother who came into the ER and only spoke Arabic. CLICK HERE for the story.
17. SOUTH BEND OVERPASS
On N. Michigan St. The “SOUTH BEND” overpass that has been shown in some Pete documentary footage. Walk closer to take a photo if you want, then return to Michigan & North Shore Dr.
18. LEEPER PARK / STUDEBAKER FOUNTAIN
Bewteen Michigan & Lafayette near Riverside Dr. LEEPER PARK is currently undergoing a $1.5 mill improvement to create a new playground and river overlook. The restored Studebaker fountain is part of the restoration. Many city parks have been improved under Mayor Pete.
19. SOUTH BEND CIVIC THEATER
403 N Main St. Mayor Pete held a recent Mayor’s Night Out here. Chasten has worked with kids in theater classes here.
20. SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE
225 W Colfax Ave. The SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE has been an important new source for many of Mayor Pete’s programs and initiatives during his tenure.