Road Trip - Notre Dame
Posted: Wednesday September 6, 2006 11:35AM; Updated: Wednesday September 27, 2006 3:06PM
One hundred years ago, South Bend stood as a leading industrial city at the crossroads of the United States. Americans today generally travel to South Bend for two reasons. The enlightened few make the trek to pay homage to the birthplace of NASCAR star Ryan Newman. The rest come for football.
The atmosphere in this small northern Indiana city turns electric on Notre Dame football weekends. The House that Rockne Built sits at the center of the attention and excitement, but numerous local spots combine to make up the perfect weekend.
Best place to go after a victory: The Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Mass begins in this beautiful, on-campus church 30 minutes after the conclusion of each game.
Best place to get your dance on: Club Fever. In just its second year of existence, located in the heart of downtown South Bend, it has already become one of the area's hotspots. Students and locals flock to Fever (especially on Thursdays) to get down to their favorite rap, techno and pop songs.
Best place to tailgate: Turtle Creek. This apartment complex hosts "kegs and eggs" the morning of each home game. Students arrive early in the morning and party right up until game time. Turtle Creek is just a short walk from the stadium.
Best place to grab a late night slice: Vesuvio's. This hole-in-the-wall pizzeria, within walking distance of many downtown South Bend bars, stays open until five in the morning. Vesuvio's authentic New York-style pizza is the perfect end to a long night out.
Best place to spend an authentic Irish evening: Fiddler's Hearth. Dine on shepherd's pie, enjoy a pint of Guinness, and listen to live Irish folk music at this traditional public house.
Best place to catch a glimpse of Brady Quinn: On the walk from the Basilica to Notre Dame Stadium three hours before kickoff. The football team attends Mass together before each home game. Fans line up to offer words of encouragement to Quinn and his teammates as they head for the stadium.
Best place to spend a crazy Saturday night: The Linebacker. Packed to the brim with alums, students, and fans after each game, the Backer -- located just a block from campus -- is a Notre Dame football institution. Enjoy a sweaty, classic rock-filled evening among Fighting Irish diehards and memorabilia.
Best place to brush up on your history: The College Football Hall of Fame. The downtown South Bend museum honors and showcases the stars of college football past. Visitors also have the opportunity to participate in passing, receiving,and punting games. The Hall is a must for any fan of the game.