The area is the second most visited shopping district in Indiana. Mishawaka's retail center is along Grape Road and Main Street in the north part of town. University Park Mall offers everything from major retail stores to local boutiques. The area also has a wide variety of restaurants from which to choose. Downtown Mishawaka is easy to walk around, and provides shopping and nightlife. Mishawaka has an educated workforce due to the five major universities and other colleges in the area, including Notre Dame, Bethel College and IU South Bend. The proximity to Notre Dame also adds college culture and national sports programs to the vicinity.

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Mishawaka is a midsized college town with a population of just under 50,000 residents and boasting 29 parks. The prime community feature is The Riverwalk, which has numerous walking and biking trails that cross the St. Joseph river over several bridges and connect to area parks. The town has a low cost of living, even compared to other cities in Indiana, and a violent crime rate 20% lower than the rest of the state. Homes in Mishawaka are often designed in Cape Cod style, in neighborhoods with close access to shopping and highways while still retaining a rural feel with nearby parks, hiking trails and waterfronts.

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