How to Visit Notre Dame University. Situated on over 1200 beautiful acres in South Bend, Indiana, The University of Notre Dame is full of tradition, history and prestige. There are many interesting and exciting things to see while visiting the University. Follow these steps to make your visit to Notre Dame memorable.
Plan your trip during the off season-the end of May thru the beginning of August-for the cheapest airfare, least amount of traffic and fewer crowds. Of course, for a true Notre Dame fan, football season is the best time to visit. You may have to deal with more people, but it's worth it for those seeking the quintessential ND experience.
Begin at The Eck Visitor's Center located on Notre Dame Avenue just north of the main gate. The center has a wide variety of useful tools and information for visitors as well as a beautiful historic tribute to the University. If you want a guided tour, The Eck Center offers them all weekdays during the summer or by appointment in season. Often, guided tours may include entrance to areas you will not have access to on your own (like the football stadium.)
Tour the campus on foot beginning at The Eck Center. Most of the campus can not be seen by car. Use your map from the visitor's center to hit all of the major sites including the following: The Basilica of the Sacred Heart which features neo-Gothic architecture and serves as the main campus Church; The Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, a scaled down replica of the famous shrine in France (where the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette 18 times in 1858); the Golden Dome; and, the Hesburgh Library who's south side features "The Word of Life" Christ mosaic (often referred to as Touchdown Jesus).
Pick up one-of-a-kind Notre Dame products at the Hammes Bookstore located next to the visitor's center on campus. This large building features two stories of unique University items.
Visit area off-campus restaurants and hot spots. South Bend is full of Notre Dame and Irish tradition and many restaurants, bars and shops cater to the devoted University fan or visitor. Legends of Notre Dame Restaurant and Alehouse Pub is a great place to grab a bite, and Corby's Irish Pub (featured in the film "Rudy") serves up cold brews seven days a week. Both establishments feature tons of Notre Dame memorabilia.