South Bend, Indiana
A famous former Mayor (now Transportation Secretary), an iconic auto plant, a memorable fight song for a storied football team, South Bend is a fairly well-known Midwestern city for its size. If you would like to learn a little more about the city's recent history before you visit, you might be interested in viewing the documentary Big Enough, Small Enough - South Bend in Transition by IU South Bend Associate Professor Ryan Blaske.
Map of direct flights to SBN
Getting Here by Air
South Bend has an Airport (SBN) with flights on Delta, American Airlines, United, and Allegiant: https://flysbn.com/
Alternatively, Chicago is relatively close. If flying into Chicago, you can take the regional rail, the South Shore Line, from downtown Chicago directly to the South Bend Airport: https://www.mysouthshoreline.com/
If renting a car, you could also explore flying into Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, or Kalamazoo (MI).
Getting Around SB
While there is public transportation around town through Transpo: https://www.sbtranspo.com/, unfortunately, routes are limited, and they have been plagued with staffing shortages. Be sure to check their website to see which lines are running.
Like many American cities, South Bend is still a car-oriented city. You may wish to rent a car to maximize your freedom and utility around town.
You can order a rideshare service (Lyft & Uber) to and from all festival venues. Taxis are available in the city, but I wouldn't rely on being able to hail one from the street.
For a more comprehensive listing of transportation options, see the airport's page: https://flysbn.com/taxi-train-bus-ridesharing/
Where to Stay
Hotels are centered in three locations (all within a 15-minute drive of festival venues): Downtown South Bend, near Notre Dame University, and Northern Mishawaka.
Staying in Downtown South Bend (DTSB) would provide you with the most access to restaurants, bars, and sights within walking distance, including one of the [PMF~ 2023] venues, the South Bend Museum of Art! Just remember that South Bend can be cold even in March.
Thanks to a loyal ND fanbase is a fairly healthy short-term vacation rental market. You may wish to explore what options might be available on Airbnb or Vrbo.
Where to eat
More than any of the other tips on this page, these recommendations are simply my personal suggestions. To view a regularly updated publication of local eats and drinks, be sure to check Edible Michiana.
Many local restaurants are eager to cater to visitors, especially after a rough few years.
Below is my Ryan Recommends list of places to eat near the festival venues.
Purple Porch Co-Op: GF & Vegan Options, Simple Groceries, Salads and Soups to-go, Breakfast Burritos and Coffee in the morning.
Oh Mama's: Local cheese monger with made-to-order paninis.
Cloud Walking Collective: Coffee, Breads/Fresh Bakes, and Macaroons.
Crooked Ewe: Local Brewery with excellent food. GF & Vegan food options.
What Else Is There?
In addition to experiencing the festival events, you may wish to explore South Bend, Notre Dame, and nearby Mishawaka while you are here. Visit South Bend & Mishawaka has up-to-date information to help you make your plans. https://www.visitsouthbend.com/