BringFido’s Best of Indiana

Posted by Lauren Barker

Looking for the dog-friendliest things to do in Indiana? Well, you've come to the right place. The editors at BringFido have dedicated themselves to digging up the most dog-friendly places to visit in the Hoosier State, as well as the rest of the country. In the latest edition of our book, Ruff Guide to the United States, you'll find our collection of the best places to stay and play with your dog in all 50 states. You can order a copy today for just $10.00 (a savings of 63% off the retail price) when you use the discount code BEST.

Read on to learn about some of the Indiana attractions that rose to the top of our list this year.

Best Dog-Friendly Brewery

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Metazoa Brewing Co. in Indianapolis is more than just a neighborhood hangout for humans. The dog-loving staff at Indiana’s best pet-friendly brewery love it when guests bring pups inside the taproom to meet the regulars. From malty beers to light and hoppy ales, there’s something for everyone on tap at Metazoa. The best part is the awesome astroturf dog park behind the brewery that’s open to customers and their canines during regular business hours. Every Wednesday and Sunday, the brewery highlights a dog breed and encourages people to bring pups along, but all breeds are still welcome at all times.

Book a stay at Residence Inn Indianapolis Downtown on the Canal and enjoy a beautiful walk by the canal just beyond the door.

Most Dog-Friendly State Park

Photo by @hillogie86

Escape the fast-paced life of Indiana’s capital city with your four-legged park enthusiast at Fort Harrison State Park, the most dog-friendly state park in Indiana. Leashed dogs are welcome on all walking and jogging trails in the 1700-acre park, and permitted off leash in the three separate play areas of the state park’s dog park. Each section features different attractions like a dog pond, beach, a shelter with a fireplace, agility equipment, and more. A pass is required to visit the dog park, and weekly and annual options are available.

Ironworks Hotel is a boutique hotel with an industrial vibe just north of downtown. Canine guests are welcomed with treats, a bed, and bowls.

Most Dog-Friendly Attraction

Photo by BringFido/Lauren

Fido is going to dig Indiana Dunes National Park in Porter. Extending 15 miles along the Lake Michigan coast, this beautiful and biodiverse park is the state’s most dog-friendly attraction and contains marshes, prairies, bogs, savannas and, of course, dunes. Leashed dogs are permitted everywhere except the lifeguard swim area. From the moderate Cowles Bog Trail, famed for sandhill crane sightings, to the easy Diana of the Dunes Dare, a self-guided hike that teaches visitors about dune development, the park’s trails offer something for all visitors. While you’re in the area, take on the Three-Dune Challenge, a hike up the three tallest dunes in the state park at neighboring Indiana Dunes State Park.

Paddle with your pup at Kayaker’s Dune Cottage in Marquette Park lagoon. Located next to the national park, guests have free use of the cottage’s five kayaks during their stay. Don’t forget to bring your canine life jacket along.

Most Dog-Friendly Campground

Photo by Sun Outdoors Lake Rudolph

It’s Christmas year-round at Sun Outdoors Lake Rudolph campground and RV resort in Santa Claus, Indiana. Bring Fido along to fish or paddle boat on the lake, hike through nature on the Dasher or Prancer Path trails, and run leash-free on the canine obstacle course at the on-site dog park located right next to the beach. If he’s lucky, your pooch might meet Rudolph himself when he rides through Indiana’s most dog-friendly campground on a golf cart. During your visit, take your pup hiking at nearby Lincoln State Park, Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home, and check out the World’s Oldest Santa Claus Statue. Pets are welcome at RV and tent sites for no additional fee and in select cabins for an additional fee of $50 per stay.

Best Dog Park

Photo by @kombo_and_mix

After a day on the pet-friendly trails at Fort Harrison State Park, let your dog play off-leash at the Hoosier State’s best dog park, Fort Harrison State Park Dog Park. Divided into three sections, there’s an area to suit every pooch. Platoon Run is 3.6 acres and contains large trees for shade, agility equipment, a water station, benches and a fireplace for humans, plus woodlands to explore. Herrin Hill is a grassy patch in the middle of the park, ideal for a game of fetch. Brigade Landing is the largest section at five acres and includes a pond, a dog beach, and a wooded adventure area. Passes to play are available for purchase from the park office.

Book a room for you and your pooch at Candlewood Suites Indianapolis. This affordable hotel has a convenient pet relief area and is just a short drive away from Fort Harrison.

Top Trail to Hike With Your Dog

Photo by Leah Howard

Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres at Newfields in Indianapolis is one of the largest contemporary sculpture parks in the world and features a number of unique displays designed for human (and canine) interaction. Take to Indiana’s top dog-friendly trail and get up close to a variety of amazing exhibits, including playful yellow benches around a 35-acre lake, a secret tunnel that leads to a quiet garden full of colorful flowers and plants, and a huge skeleton called Funky Bones that pups can hop around for a great photo opportunity. In addition to the unique artwork, the nature park is home to the largest native pollinator meadow in Indianapolis.

Looking for a luxury Airbnb? Book this Butler-Tarkington Neighborhood home with a big fenced backyard and hardwood floors throughout.

Best Pet-Friendly B&B

Photo by BringFido/Marci

Wake up to beautiful vista views at the Lighthouse Lodge B&B on Lake Shafer in Monticello, Indiana’s best dog-friendly B&B. Boldly claiming to be the area’s “newest and most luxurious bed and breakfast,” this lovely lodge sits at lake level and features a historical stone lighthouse that was built in the 1930s. Book a garden view room for you and your pooch or look out on Lake Shafer from the pet-friendly cottage. Get out on the water with your Weimaraner in the lodge’s pet-friendly pontoon, available for rent. Then, gather around one of the communal fire pits outside when the sun goes down.

The Lighthouse Lodge B&B welcomes two dogs of any size for an additional fee of $25 per stay in Garden Suites and $50 per stay in Cottages.

Can’t Miss Dog Event

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Hop on over to Westfield, for Egg-Paw-Looza, Indiana’s can’t miss dog-friendly event. In addition to Easter egg hunts, professional photos with the Easter Bunny, and a dog toy craft station, the hound who finds the golden egg wins a special gift basket. In between the hunts, pooches can participate in the Egg-Paw-Looza Talent Show. Showcase your pup's best or most unique talent in 30 seconds or less for a chance to win.

While you’re in the area, be sure to check out pet-friendly Indianapolis, and spend the night at Staybridge Suites Indianapolis Carmel.

Ready for a Road Trip?

Life’s “ruff.” Photo by Linda Segerfeldt

If our Best of Indiana preview left your dog drooling for more, we hope you check out our book - Ruff Guide to the United States. Remember to use gift code BEST to get a copy for just $10. Happy Travels!

Where is your favorite dog-friendly place to visit in Indiana? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by Becky.