50 Hot Spots for Summer


President Lincoln’s carriage, Zombie Dust beer, blueberry sausage and quilts made of marigolds are just a few of the 50 hot things to taste, see, hear and experience this  summer. You don’t have to get a hotel reservation, either. Our staff “insider picks” will charm and delight you – and it’s all local!


1. Kelly Jae’s Café

133 S. Main St., Goshen IN

This little restaurant serves up HUGE flavors – a tapas concept with an Asian influence. Kelly Graf previously ran the popular Checkerberry Inn. Kelly grew up at her parents’ Anguilla resort and has been called one of Indiana’s top 15 chefs. Try the Wasabi-Pea Encrusted Salmon with Soy Ginger Sauce. How about some Key Lime-White Chocolate Mousse Cake with a Ginger Snap Crust?



2. Farmers Market Restaurant

1105 Northside Blvd., South Bend IN 

Located in the heart of the historic market, this restaurant has been operating for 85 years. Your servers’, cooks’ and dishwashers’ names are listed on the white board along with specials like meatloaf, swiss steak, silver dollar potato pancakes and homemade pies. Seasonal produce, fresh ingredients and reasonable prices are hallmarks of this popular eatery. Come early on Saturday mornings if you want a seat!



3. The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

303 Pearl St., Grand Rapids MI

Discover more about our 38th president at this impressive museum featuring a full-scale replica of President Ford’s Oval Office. The museum is also a tribute to First Lady Betty Ford. Both are buried on the grounds.



4.Journeyman Distillery

109 Generations Dr., Three Oaks MI

Handcrafted, organic spirits such as Ravenswood Rye Whiskey and Red Arrow Vodka are lovingly made in the historic Featherbone Factory building (formerly the site of a corset factory). The tasting room/bar serves vintage cocktails such as Bee’s Knees, Cider Car and Fire & Ice. 



5. Southwest Michigan Meat Markets

- Bullseye Marketplace - 59283 Temple Rd., Vandalia MI

- Drake’s Country Cuts - 18437 Mt. Zion Rd., Cassopolis MI

- Gary’s Meat Market - 16237 Mason St., Union MI

Fresh, local, organic meat is all the rage and you can’t go wrong at these three businesses in southwest Michigan. Blueberry brats are savory and sweet at the same time.  What could be tastier?

facebook:  “Drake’s Country Cuts”

facebook:  “Gary’s Custom Meats”



6. The Lerner Theater 

410 S. Main St., Elkhart IN  

An $18 million renovation of this historic Elkhart theater has made this facility shine as bright as any gem.  The new facility is compared to a European opera house in the 1800s and is complete with a mushroom chandelier, artwork in the lobby and the new Crystal Ballroom. For a schedule of performances, visit their website.



7. {Behind the Scenes} Amish & Mennonite Country

Don’t think touristy places are all that you’ll find in this area. The Menno-Hof Amish & Mennonite Cultural Center is a must to learn more about the history and customs of the Amish and Mennonite.  The Mennonite Relief Sale is in its 47th year. Beautiful handmade quilts are auctioned at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds and the proceeds benefit domestic and overseas relief efforts. Chairs for 1,300 people are set up, so this is a popular event, scheduled for September 27 this year.



8. Langlab

1302 High St., South Bend IN 

Langlab is not easy to describe, but here it goes: a new evolving space for creative people to put their ideas out into the community without judgment or critique, whether through concerts, forums, poetry readings, film screenings, art exhibits, debates, theater or community gatherings (no limit to the uses). It is housed in an old warehouse. Learn more at the website.



9. Designer Desserts

56 Lincolnway, Valparaiso IN

Owner/Designer Adam Wilfang does amazing things with desserts. Drool over some cupcake choices: pink champagne, coconut cream pie, orange dreamsicle or chocolate chili. The décor is whimsical and inviting.



10. Shakespeare at Notre Dame

Don’t miss the chance to see actors from the London Stage performing Richard III (now is the winter of our discontent) at the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, August 10 – September 1. This is the way to experience Shakespeare. 



11. Bamber’s Superette

1145 W. Mishawaka Ave., South Bend IN 

Gene and Gini run this upscale grocery store that feels almost like it could be in an urban neighborhood, but it’s in River Park in South Bend. Owned by the same family for 63 years, it is an oasis of fresh meats, cheeses, homemade pasta salads, chocolate and pretty much anything Italian.  Need something quick but delicious for a party? Bamber’s is the place. By the way, their soda selection is astounding. Ever had Berghoff’s Root Beer anywhere but Berghoff’s?

facebook:  “Bamber Superette”


12. Civil Rights Heritage Center

1040 W. Washington St., South Bend IN

The site of a former segregated swimming pool, this Indiana University South Bend facility now celebrates, records and preserves the achievements of local citizens fighting for social justice. You’ll find exhibits, a library and an oral history project there. Tours will be available soon.



13. {Behind the Scenes} University of Notre Dame

Everyone knows about the Grotto and the Golden Dome, but did you know about the midnight drummer’s circle the night before a home football game on the steps of the Main building (Golden Dome)? How about the solar system on the floor at Jordan Hall? St. Edward’s Hall is the oldest residence hall and the only ND building on the National Register of Historic Places. Knute Rockne received his First Communion there. The Coleman-Morse Center contains a 1,300 pound granite ball supported on a plume of water! The South Dining Hall is something right out of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts. 



14. Silver Beach Carousel

333 Broad St., St. Joseph MI 

Take a seat on an otter, panda, or giraffe at this historic carousel on Lake Michigan. You know it’s good if the National Carousel Association had a conference there! Silver Beach has been rated by Parents Magazine as one of the top 10 places for families to visit. This carousel is a blast for the young and the not-so-young. It also is handicapped accessible.



15. Beutter Park, Kamm Island & the Riverwalk

Mishawaka IN

Mishawaka’s former Uniroyal factory is now a public space akin to something you might find in a much bigger city. Jog or bike on the three-mile riverwalk and you’ll go by several city parks, sculptures and wildlife. Kamm Island, which was overgrown and in disrepair until the redevelopment, is now a lush, thriving place. Beutter Riverfront Park hosts Thursday evening concerts in the summer and features fiberoptic underwater lighting, two bridges and a large perennial garden.



16. Purple Porch Co-op

1302 High St., South Bend, IN


With more than 300 members, this local food co-op offers organic, local produce, pasteurized meats, eggs, cheese, bagels, honey and tea (among lots of other things). Anyone can visit this community-created venture on Wednesday nights. Online ordering is also offered. 



17. Three Floyds

9750 Indiana Parkway, Munster IN 

This brewery, started in 1996 by Nick, Simon and Mike Floyd, gets a lot of respect in the craft beer world. Three Floyds sell tickets once a year to purchase the Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout, which is served to the “golden ticket” winners at the Dark Lord Festival the last Saturday in April. It is considered one of the most famous beers in the world. Don’t show up though - all 6,000 tickets were sold online in four minutes. Three Floyds opened a brewpub in 2005. Try the Zombie Dust – you won’t be disappointed.



18. The Riverview Tavern (aka Ma’s Place)

12394 Riverside Dr., White Pigeon MI

The Riverview Tavern has been operated by the same family for 75 years and was cooking comfort foods long before they were called that. Don’t miss the famous chicken served on Wednesdays and Thursdays – it’s still cooked the way Ma cooked it. This little family spot is only open Wednesdays through Sundays and is cash only. 

facebook: “Riverview Tavern 


19. Oinks Dutch Treat Ice Cream & Yogurt Shop

227 W. Buffalo St., New Buffalo MI

Don’t worry when you take a number at this popular ice cream shop by the beach. The lines move quickly and it will be worth it when you have your grasshopper, chocolate peanut butter or birthday cake ice cream in a waffle cone.  The opening of Oinks is a sign that summer is here. The lemon frozen custard comes highly recommended.



20. The Village Shoppes

129 E.  Michigan St., New Carlisle IN 

The Village Shoppes evolved into a shopping destination as the owners kept buying up nearby buildings and expanding from the original Village Florist, which opened up in 1975. Today there are 27,000 square feet of shopping surprises, whether it be gifts, furniture, home decorating or apparel.  Read “Bella’s Blog” online to get some great tips on refreshing your décor. (Bella is one smart canine).



21. Mt. Baldy - Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

1100 N. Mineral Springs Rd., Porter IN

The 126-foot moving sand dune shifts about four feet per year. Hikers use the designated trails to conserve the dune, which has been “fed” with additional sand four times since 1974. The dune is on the south shore of Lake Michigan. 



22. B-K Root Beer Drive-In

1020 N. Logan St., Mishawaka IN

This little root beer stand is a Mishawaka institution. You can still get coney dogs for $1.25 and ice cold root beer in glass mugs. This place = summer.

facebook: “BK Root Beer Drive In”


23. Saint Patrick and Saint Hedwig Catholic Churches

South Bend IN

Both are within a block of one another: one was built for the Irish immigrants and the other for the Poles who immigrated to South Bend. Saint Patrick’s is Gothic made with Notre Dame brick and Bedford limestone. St. Hedwig is an example of Romanesque architecture. Both have beautiful stained glass windows.



24. Our Lady of Hungary

829 W. Calvert St., South Bend IN  

If you want to see some vibrant, colorful and rather unexpected artwork, Our Lady will not disappoint. The frescoes were painted by Father Peter Prokop, an artist born in Hungary who lived in exile in Rome after the 1956 Hungarian uprising. In 1961 he unveiled his masterpieces: the triptych portraying Our Lady surrounded by saints−the Annunciation, the Birth of the Savior, and the Flight into Egypt. Many other colorful frescoes depict important religious moments in a bold, dynamic and contemporary style.



25. Heart’s Desire Antique Mall

3030 Old U.S. 20 (Mckinley), Elkhart IN

If you like antiques, if you want to remember your childhood or if you are a fan of history, peruse the 30,000 square feet of this antique mall-but don’t do it 20 minutes before closing!  Vintage purses,  a bright red wicker chair with a brand new  floral cushion and carnival glass are just a minute sampling of the massive amount of collectibles in this oasis of the past.

facebook: “Heart’s Desire Antique Mall”


26. Lunker’s

26324 U.S. 12, Edwardsburg MI

It’s hard to describe this place because you kind of have to see it to believe it. It’s not only for fishing and hunting enthusiasts, although it is one of the largest stores of its kind in the country. It has 23 aquariums, a 600-gallon saltwater tank, a hand-painted sky, and by the way, a river runs through it. The Anglers Inn Restaurant is now a sports bar. 



27. Oh Mamma’s Deli Cheese Shop

1212 Beyer Ave., South Bend, IN (between Farmer's Market and Mishawaka Ave.)

Now you don’t have to wait for the market to be open to get gourmet cheeses in this brand new shop. Goats from the family farm are responsible for contributing some really creamy, flavorful goat cheese. Specialty sandwiches are on the menu.

facebook: “Oh Mamma’s”


28. Bit of Swiss

4333 Ridge Rd., Stevensville MI

This bakery began back in 1967 to create desserts for Tosi’s, its next door neighbor. Named Modern Baking Magazine’s 2012 Retail Bakery of the Year, Bit of Swiss owner Tim Foley has appeared on The Today Show, the History Channel and The Food Network. Almond croissants, Bavarian cream cakes, pear almond tarts or French bread  - it’s almost impossible to choose. Their bread is described as “heavenly.” 



29. Sawyer Garden Center

5865 Sawyer Rd., Sawyer MI 

Don’t expect to find only plants and flowers here, although the gardening gadgets and blooming stuff is unbelievable. How about a pair of flip flops, woodpecker food, or an Elegant Farmer apple pie – called the best apple pie in the country by the Wall Street Journal? The new gift shop is now open. Don’t forget to stop next door at the Greenbush Brewing Company for a Red Bud. 



30. German Township Library

52807 Lynnewood, South Bend, IN

This cottage in the woods is a perfect place to sit and reread The Great Gatsby.  Built five years ago, Foegley Landscape made the outside as magical as the books inside. A human sundial allows you to tell the time by looking at your shadow. 



31. Shiojiri Niwa Garden

1000 E. Mishawaka Ave., Mishawaka IN 

Located in Merrifield Park, this Japanese strolling garden celebrates the Sister-City relationship with Shiojiri City, Japan. The garden contains 200 varieties of plants, a teahouse and a zigzag bridge. This garden is tranquil, calm and serene. 



32. Rabbit Moon Bakery

These labor-intensive authentic French macarons (without the colorful preservatives you see in Parisian windows) are so light they disappear right before your eyes! Try the lavender-blueberry bliss, Irish Crème or Cinnamon Cappacino. Sold at the Purple Porch and South Bend Farmers Market. They sell out quickly, so don’t dawdle. 

facebook: “Rabbit Moon Bakery”


33. Local Frank Lloyd Wright Homes

The Hermann D. Mossberg home, built in 1948 is located at 1404 Ridgedale Road on the south side of South Bend. The owner, Jill Hillman, is the granddaughter of the original owner, who lived to be 100. Jill is somewhat of a FLW expert and gives tours. Wright designed not only the house but the bookshelves, furniture, and garden. 


Other local Wright homes: K.C. DeRhodes House (1906), 715 W. Washington St, South Bend and the Armstrong House (1939), Ogden Dunes.


34. Marigold’s

722 E. Jefferson Blvd., South Bend IN 

Located in the historic East Bank Village in a house built with Frank Lloyd Wright influences, this home and garden accessory shop is beyond charming. You’ll discover table linens, Jelly Bean rugs, fairy garden accessories and Tokyo Milk Perfumes. 



35. Old Bag Factory

1100 N. Chicago Ave., Goshen IN 

New life has been given to this former 1896 factory, which has evolved into a place where artists, antiques, cafes and shops come together under one roof. Some of the tenants include: Goertzen Pottery, Legacy Home Furniture, Bread & Chocolate Caterers, Rolling Scones and John Mishler sculpture. 



36. The Elkhart Jazz Festival

downtown Elkhart

This popular three-day downtown festival brings together the likes of Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Orchestra. More than 100 acclaimed musicians performed this summer. Don’t miss the great party every June.



37. The Michigan City Public Library

100 E. 4th St., Michigan City IN

World-renowned architect Helmut Jahn designed this contemporary library built in 1977. Its translucent exterior fiberglass walls draw attention to its interior courtyard and honey locust tree. It won several top awards from the American Institute of Architects when it was built.



38. The Potawatomi Zoo

500 S. Greenlawn, South Bend IN 

This zoo just east of the downtown, is the oldest zoo in Indiana. Its 400 residents include river otters, white-faced saki monkeys and red pandas. Join them for their annual Zoo Boo or Zoo Brew (adults only!). 



39. DeBrand Fine Chocolates

10105 Auburn Park Dr., Fort Wayne IN 

Donald Trump and Oprah love these chocolates, so take a tour and start salivating at rhubarb caramel, mocha cream, caramel apple cream, and the most amazing chocolate boxes you’ve ever seen.



40. The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum

1600 Wayne St., Auburn IN

The former headquarters of the legendary Auburn Automobile Company is the home of 120 antique, classic vintage cars in the 1930s Art Deco company showroom. 



41. Elkhart Quilt Garden Tour along the Heritage Trail

Quilting, gardening and art merge in this garden tour inspired by patchwork quilts. Some of the locations for the 2013 tour: the Old Bag Factory, the Elkhart County Courthouse and the Nappanee Heritage Center. See a million blooms, 19 gardens, and 20 murals, May 30-October 1.



42. Constant Spring

219 S. Main St., Goshen IN

This popular local restaurant and bar features 50 varieties of beer, 18 on tap, soon to include Three Floyds’ Zombie Dust (see #17). Some past specials: Ethiopian stew, Korean fried chicken, veggie Reuben sandwich and honey bourbon barbequed pulled pork.



43. Gene Stratton Porter Historic Site

1205 Pleasant Point, Rome City IN 

Visit “The Cabin at Wildflowers Woods” to see the home of one of Indiana’s most prolific 20th Century writers.  Gene Stratton Porter wrote “A Girl of the Limberlost” and “The Song of the Cardinal” and also was a nature photographer and conservationist – long before that was in vogue. The site is open from April 1 to December 1, Tuesdays through Saturdays and tours take place on the hour.



44. Fernwood Botanical & Nature Preserve

13988 Rangeline Rd., Niles MI 

People, plants and nature converge at this peaceful oasis on 105 acres along the St. Joseph River valley. The Herb Garden alone features 200 different kinds of herbs. Botanical architect Paul Busse designed two railway gardens and model trains run through them. An outdoor sculpture exhibit can be viewed through Labor Day.



45. Cindy’s Diner

830 S. Harrison St., Fort Wayne IN

This teeny tiny diner will take you back to the 1950s. It was lovingly restored in 1990 and moved to its present location. The diner’s motto: “We serve the whole world – 15 at a time.” 

Try the famous garbage breakfast – a scrumptious mix of eggs, potatoes, cheese, onions and ham.

facebook: “Cindy’s Diner”


46. South Bend Silverhawk’s Tiki Bar

501 W. South St., South Bend IN 

If you’re craving a fruity drink with an umbrella try the new Tiki Bar at the Class A baseball team’s stadium. It should be on your list of things to do this summer!  The new owner, Andrew Berlin, put in a splash pad for kids last summer, so it was only fitting that the over 21 crowd got something this year. Fireworks light up the sky after every Friday game this year, too. 



47. Sechler’s Pickles

5686 State Rd. 1, St. Joseph IN

Who doesn’t like pickles? Sechler’s has been making them here for 85 years. The house where Anna Sechler hand packed the original pickles is now an office. Try the Sweet or Hot Cauliflower, Polish Wyrob or Garlic Dills.



48. The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo

3411 Sherman Blvd., Fort Wayne IN

Parents Magazine rates this zoo one of the top ten zoos for kids in the country. Some favorites: the Indonesian Rainforest, the Australian Adventure and hand feeding a giraffe! 



49. The Hall of Heroes Super Hero Museum

58005 County Rd. 105, Elkhart IN 

Oh my stars and garters! You have to see this place to believe it! Allen Stewart houses his extensive comic book collection in this museum devoted to all things superhero.  The two-story building is a recreation of the Hall of Justice from the Superfriends series of the 70s. A batcave replica is inside along with a 50,000 piece comic book collection. supermansupersite.com/hallofheroes.html


50. The Studebaker National Museum

201 S. Chapin St., South Bend IN

This iconic automobile company comes to life at its museum where you can see the carriage that President Lincoln rode in on his ill-fated journey to Ford’s Theater on April 14, 1865.



What Did We Miss?

If you can’t believe we neglected to mention your favorite little café, email us at  Kathy@monkeyhousemarketing.com and we’ll try and do better next time!