South Bend Lakes

Lakes Close to South Bend

Sometimes you just need to pack up and find a spot near the water. A stay at a lake can be perfect for people who love getting outside too, because they offer opportunities to take in the local scenery and all that nature has to offer.

It doesn’t matter if you’re itching to float in a tube with a book, get active with water skiing, swim, or just lounge at the beach, the lakes near South Bend provide you with lots of beautiful locations for outdoor fun. Has there ever been a better time? Load up the car with sunscreen and a cooler then make the trip on your next vacation and discover your own favorite spot on the water!

Nearby Lakes for South Bend

A Day at the Lake: An Itinerary

A day trip, or a longer getaway provides an almost limitless list of things to do for families, couples, or even those looking for some quality alone time.

A day, weekend, or a week on or in the water offers you everything from fun to relaxation.

Start paddling. If paddling is your thing, pack up your board of choice and find yourself a lake near South Bend that has a public boat launch you can use and start paddling around to soak up nature’s beauty on the waterfront.

Picnic time. The lakes near South Bend offer all sorts of top-notch picnic areas for you to pack up some tasty treats, or a quick snack as you enjoy the view. For a romantic evening, good food and a view should be suitably romantic.

Swimming. Finding a swimming lake near South Bend will offer all kinds of fun for the big kids and little ones, or plenty of exercise for those looking to be active in between getting that perfect golden tan. Make sure to do your research and verify that your lake has a nice swimming area and a sandy beach to spread out on before you make the trip! You know as well as we do that a swimming pool doesn’t offer as much to do as a magnificent public beach on a lake near South Bend!

Preparing for a Day on the Lake

A lake day itinerary can vary quite a bit depending on the specific lake you’ll be visiting, the season, and the activities on your to-do list. However, we’ve built out a short list of some of the most common lake and beach-related necessities that you can use as a checklist before you hit the road.

General items

If the plan is to be in the sun for the vast majority of the vacation, the list below should be an excellent place to start for essentials you are likely to need.

  • Swimsuits
  • Portable phone charger
  • Sweatshirt and sweatpants
  • Something to eat
  • A fully stocked cooler
  • Beach blanket
  • Radio or speaker
  • Sunblock
  • Plates, bowls, utensils, cups
  • Proper footwear

More lake gear

Take into consideration what you’ll be doing for the day and who will be joining you, the following items will likely be helpful and worth packing before you make the trip.

  • Games for the beach
  • Goggles or masks
  • Wine key
  • Legal flotation devices
  • Something to clean up with like sanitizers or wet wipes
  • Tackle box
  • Bait
  • Rafts and floaties
  • Licenses and registration for boating and fishing
  • Your favorite magazine or book

Lake Safety Tips

Of course a day on a lake in South Bend can provide ample amounts of fun, safety should remain top of mind at all times. When you decide to spend a day at the lake these are some extremely important tips for keeping everyone safe.

  • Make sure no one swims alone
  • Always wear sunblock
  • Avoid alcohol consumption before swimming, as it can impair judgment and result in drowning
  • Have an escape plan for what to do if you get stuck on a boat that capsizes or tips over
  • Make sure you have a life jacket for every person on the boat
  • Stay close to shore and avoid areas with shallow water or where the current is strong
  • Make sure children have swimmies or other approved flotation devices

More South Bend Lake Tips

If you’re going to visit the fabulous lakes near South Bend, there are a few things that will make your itinerary much more successful. For example, each individual lake near South Bend has unique qualities which makes it important to take into account what will make for a memorable getaway as you plan yours.

  1. Research your beaches. If you pick the wrong time of year, occasionally beaches can get exceptionally crowded. If you want some space to yourself, research a variety of lakes in the area to learn about how busy they are if you want a more relaxing vibe. If you want to be where the party’s at, search out the busiest, most popular beach!
  2. No boat, no problem. Many lakes have nearby marinas that offer boat rentals. Boats are expensive to own, but a rental will still allow you to enjoy a day fishing on the lake or tubing with the kids. Doing a quick Google search can typically allow you to find a marina that has what you need.
  3. Make the most of unique local resources. When you have time for a lengthier trip, find local recreational areas, state parks, and campgrounds which give you the ability to camp right on the water at an affordable price.