BringFido’s Ruff Guide to Indiana

Posted by Jason Halliburton

Thinking of spoiling your Scottie with a trip to Indiana? If so, he’s one lucky dog. The editors at BringFido have dedicated themselves to digging up the dog-friendliest things to do in the Hoosier State, as well as the rest of the country. And we've assembled it all in the 2021 edition of our book, Ruff Guide to the United States.

Now in its second edition, the book features over 365 of the best places to stay and play with your dog in all 50 states. Order your copy today and save 50% off the retail price when you use the discount code HOOSIER.

For a preview of the book, here are a few of our editors' top picks for dog-friendly things to do in Indiana:

See Sculptures at the 100 Acres at Newfields

Indianapolis, IN
"Doing our best sculpture impression." Photo by @georgia.the.berner

Art lovers will want to bring their cultured critters to Indianapolis for a pair of outdoor exhibitions. The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres at Newfields is one of the largest contemporary sculpture parks in the world and features a number of unique displays designed for human (and canine) interaction. At Indianapolis Art Center ArtsPark, more than 27 interactive sculptures dot the landscape of its 9.5-acre property. Both parks are open daily from sunrise to sunset and are free to enter. For an active day of sightseeing, ditch the car and walk Fido along a 4.5-mile stretch of trails connecting the two campuses. The Central Canal Towpath and the Monon Trail both offer scenic views and smooth walking surfaces. Break up the hike with a stop for lunch on the pet-friendly patio at Flatwater, located in the Broad Ripple district where the two trails intersect.

Inspired by the industrial heritage that Indiana is built upon, the Ironworks Hotel in Indianapolis is a work of art in its own right. The boutique property offers light-filled rooms with large industrial-style windows and stylish common spaces that invite guests to stay and socialize. Your pooch will find a dog water station and tasty treat awaiting him in the main lobby, and complimentary pet beds and bowls are also available.

Check Out the RV Motorhome Hall of Fame & Museum

Elkhart, IN
"RV gonna go inside now?" Photo by @munsonandthebear

Canine campers and RV enthusiasts will enjoy taking a detour to the RV Motorhome Hall of Fame & Museum in Elkhart. The museum features a rotating assortment of vintage recreational vehicles from Airstream, Winnebago and other American makers. Stroll with Fido through the RV Founders Hall to explore vehicles and memorabilia dating back to the 1920s, including Mae West’s 1931 Chevrolet Housecar, a 1931 Tennessee Traveler Motorhome, and a 1969 Fleetwood Pace Arrow. In the Exhibitor Hall, view displays illustrating the history and products of the manufactured housing industry. Before concluding your tour, be sure to check out the selection of shiny new motorhomes on showcase. The museum is open daily (except Sundays in winter).

Conclude your stay in the RV Capital of the World with an overnight stop at the Elkhart Campground. Fido will love romping around the on-site dog park, and humans will enjoy the heated swimming pool, miniature golf course, and other recreational amenities. Full hook-up and pull-through sites are available. If you don’t have an RV, you can stay in one of their pet-friendly cabins.

Explore the Indiana Dunes

Chesterton, IN
"Can we stay here forever?" Photo by @loveknowsnosize

Sand dunes bordering the southern shore of Lake Michigan in Chesterton provide endless recreational opportunities for you and your pooch. Begin your trip at Indiana Dunes State Park where Fido can accept the Three-Dune Challenge, a hike up the three tallest dunes in the park. The 1.5-mile trail climbs 552 vertical feet and ends with breathtaking views. After conquering the dune challenge, venture over to Indiana Dunes National Park for an afternoon swim. Dogs are permitted on all beaches in the park except the West Beach swimming area. Before departing, stop by the visitor center to have your pooch certified as an official National Park B.A.R.K. Ranger.

For a unique stay in Chesterton, spend the night with Fido in a repurposed New York Central Boxcar at Riley’s Railhouse. Two- and four-legged train fans can marvel at decades’ worth of railroad antiques, art, and memorabilia. Sit on the property’s large covered deck along the Northfolk Southern line and watch as an average of 97 trains pass by daily.

Ready for a Road Trip?

Photo by Linda Segerfeldt


If this Ruff Guide to Indiana preview left your dog drooling for more, we hope you check out our new book - Ruff Guide to the United States. Remember to use discount code HOOSIER to save 50% on your copy. Happy Travels!

Have you been to dog-friendly Indiana? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

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