The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Day Tripper

Scene Staff Report | Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day trips are a perfect way to get away from school during your week off. With easy access to Chicago, Michigan and of course the rest of Indiana, the possibilities for exploration are endless. Borrow a friend’s car or find trains and buses to get out and see something new.

Indiana University

Our friends to the south are lucky to call Bloomington, Ind. home. This town, seamlessly integrated with the IU campus, is full of restaurants, shops, bars and cafes for a real college town atmosphere. It should be a little warmer down in Southern Indiana and the IU campus is simply beautiful to walk around. If you don’t know someone who goes there, one of your friends most likely does, so carpool down for a change of scenery.


Yes, there are wineries in Indiana and surprisingly quite a few that are close by. You may not be in Napa Valley or the Italian countryside, but visiting a winery for a day can offer a quick but sophisticated vacation from South Bend. Most offer tours and tastings that are less than $20. One of the closest is Fruit Hills Winery & Orchard in the heart of Amish country. Shady Creek Winery in Michigan City offers wine pairing plates with decadent foods such as brie, chocolate truffles and marinated olives. Anderson’s Vineyard & Winery offers a wagon ride through its rolling hills in Valparaiso. Grab your over-21 friends and head to a close winery that will be sure to make your break a little more luxe. Find more wineries at indianawines.org

Michigan Breweries

It may seem like Michigan doesn’t have much to offer, but for those over 21, the Lower Peninsula features over 20 micro-breweries, featuring beers like the Pickaxe Blonder, Red Tulip and Ring of Fire. Dewey Cannon Winery & Brewery is the closest to South Bend in Three Oaks, Mich. They pair their artisan beers with delicious food native to the area. Featured beers include Captain Easy, an Irish-American Pale Ale, Dewey Cannon IPA, “Chucker” Brown Ale and Dublin Porter. Check out michigan.org for a full listing of other breweries that are worth checking out.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Chicago

Will you be at Notre Dame for Spring Break? Would you like to feel a little more Irish than even campus will allow? Then plan a trip to Chicago for St. Patty’s Day. Chicago’s annual festivities begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 17 with the dyeing of the Chicago River. Each year, the Chicago River is dyed a bright shade of kelly green to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day. This tradition began over 40 years ago when Chicago’s plumbers were using a green dye to detect leaks in the river’s waste system. Since then, the Chicago Journeyman Plumbers Local Union has upheld this tradition. If you’d like to see the river dyeing, head to the intersection of Michigan Avenue, Wacker Drive and the river. Following the river dyeing, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade steps off at 12 p.m. Saturday. The parade starts at the intersection of Balbo Drive and Columbus Drive and heads north. The viewing station is located at Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park. If you are taking the South Shore Line from South Bend to the Van Buren Street stop, Grant Park is about a six-minute walk away. More information on Chicago’s parade festivities can be found at


Art Institute

The Art Institute is less than a five-minute walk from the Van Buren stop on the train from South Bend to Chicago. Holding one of the best collections of Impressionist art in the country, the Art Institute has extensive rooms of European, East Asian, and American art. The displays are informative and visually stunning, and the museum is located right on Michigan Avenue. Take an early train in to beat the museum rush and grab a light breakfast at Corner Bakery Cafe. They serve paninis, eggs and unlimited coffee that’s actually good. After taking some time at the museum, walk down to Giordano’s for a late lunch and enjoy the rest of Millennium Park. Taking an early train back is preferable, since you still have to get back to campus from South Bend Station.