South Bend is named for the “bend” in the St. Joseph River (speaking of interesting flows). South Bend is an excellent one-two punch of food, tradition, and good times.
With a population of around 100,000, South Bend is 272nd in the U.S. in terms of people – a bit on the smaller size, but there are a surprising number of distinct neighborhoods and respective neighborhood associations here – although often close to one another. Almost every rental is a duplex or single family home.
Downtown: Not really sprawling or far from many other South Bend neighborhoods, the downtown area is the hub of South Bend business and nightlife. In the most technical terms, “Downtown” arguably gobbles up some individually named South Bend neighborhoods (like East Bank Village), however, it is in this section of South Bend you will find a couple of major hotels, over 50 restaurants, and most of the city's cultural venues. 1 BR apartments go for about $800 in a managed building; $500 otherwise, 2 BR $1,200 (managed building); $725 otherwise, 3 BR around $850 (non-managed).
Near Northwest: about 16 percent of all South Bend residents make their homes on the outskirts of downtown in Near Northwest. Near Northwest (still only a couple miles from the hub of downtown South Bend), this very walkable neighborhood has lots of tree lined streets, parks, and places to appreciate the St. Joseph River – Leeper Park is especially attractive and hosts the aptly named Leeper Park Art Fair annually. There are numerous architectural styles to be appreciated in Near Northwest. The numerous styles of housing in this neighborhood are inversely proportional to pricing – they're all cheap. 1 BR $450, 2 BR $550, 3 BR $750
Twyckenham Hills: The Southeast side of the city is sometimes described as “a best kept secret.” Maybe that's because Twyckenham is so hard to spell so people never discuss it. The Twyckenham Hills community pool is the unofficial neighborhood hub. The pool is shaped like a giant apple pie on top of a Studebaker (the company was headquartered in South Bend). Despite its proximity to downtown, it has its own vibe and Twyckenham Hills dwellers no longer have to truck all the way to downtown (4 miles) for shopping and a night out. They can visit Erskine Village for big-box shopping and chain restaurants galore. 1 BR $500, 2 BR $625, 3 BR $775.
Rum Village: Here we have a modest neighborhood that is best described as emerging. On the Southwest side of town, Rum Village (how can one go wrong with a name like that?) has the 160 acre Rum Village Park with wildlife, hiking, picnicking, and elusive morel mushroom hunting opportunities, really (don't eat the mushroom you encounter by trial and error, fyi). Rum Village is exceptionally affordable. 1 BR (rare) $400, 2 BR $550, 3 BR $700.