Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, I will always offer my readers an unbiased and honest account of my experiences. Your trust is very appreciated, and never taken for granted. ~Tonya, Dexter and Angel Nutter
For the last six years, we Cavalier King Charles Spaniel parents have been gathering at the Indiana Dunes State Park for a Cavaween Halloween party. The Indiana Dunes has such a great dog-friendly beach, walking trails, and covered shelter house with a fireplace, it is a great destination for our party. Cavalier families travel from all across the Midwest to meet up and celebrate our love for our dogs.
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Taking a road trip with my dog, Dexter, is one of my favorite activities. I’ve always found that traveling with dogs is a wonderful way to experience a new destination and to think outside of the box when planning a road trip. I’ve been known to hit the open road with just Dexter, but it is a lot of fun to travel with friends so, I invited Dexter’s BFF, Levi, and his mom, Chris, along on our dog-friendly vacation in the Midwest.
Dog-friendly beaches can be tricky to find. Personally, I prefer dog beaches that require dogs to stay on their leash vs. off-leash dog beaches. Maybe it’s my 20+ years as a professional dog trainer and having heard about so many bad experiences from clients or that Dexter isn’t a romper, but I tend to stick to beaches with an on-leash rule. This is why I love and appreciate the Indiana Dunes. They offer plenty of pristine and beautiful dog-friendly beach areas but require dogs to stay on a 6′ leash.
After our Cavaween party, we decided to continue our dunes adventure. We walked the dogs along the State Park. It was truly enjoyable to see the diverse ecosystem. The birds were bustling around, and the milkweed seed pods were opening and blowing in the wind. Dexter loves to smell and really enjoyed smelling the cool lake breeze.
The one thing we knew we wanted to do with the dogs at the Indiana Dunes was to see the sunset on Lake Michigan. The weather was going to cooperate, so we packed a picnic and ate dinner on the beach, bundled up against the evening breeze. The Indiana Dunes is an all-season destination, not just a summer adventure.
Our sunset picnic was such a serene experience. We enjoyed watching the families run up and down the beach. Kids were skipping rocks in the lake, and couples were capturing their evening with selfies on the beach as the sun set behind them.
I could see the Chicago coastline as the sunset. The colors were incredible. It started as a soft purple-and-pink sky and then shifted from light purple to brilliant red and orange. I’ve never experienced such a bright red sky. It was an extraordinary way to end our night.
The Indiana Dunes encompasses more than 15,000 acres of beaches, savannas, forests, prairies, and wetlands. With more than 70 miles of trails stretching up and around Lake Michigan’s breathtaking coastline, it’s definitely one of my favorite dog-friendly beach vacations.
When planning your pet-friendly Indiana Dunes vacation, visit Indiana Dunes Visitor Center for your Pet Guide and The Top Ten Pet-Friendly Stops. The Indiana Dunes Visitor Center offers helpful advice, brochures, and coupons you won’t want to miss.
Do you travel with your dog? Tell me in the comments.
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41 thoughts on “Dog-Friendly Indiana Dunes Beaches | Dog-Friendly Road Trip on Lake Michigan”
What a cute dog! Looks like you had a great time at the beach.
There is something amazing about seeing a dog at the beach, it has been a while since I managed to take Sal but she used to get so excited by the sea! These sound like some great locations near Indiana.
Thanks, Sarah. I totally agree. Dexter and I are always drawn to water and sand.
It’s always nice being at the beach! This looks like a great place to relax! I’m glad your dogs are having fun.
I agree! Beaches are such a great spot to chill and relax. The waves are mesmerizing.
I have not come across dog-friendly beaches near my area, so it’s good to know they exist. I think keeping them on a leash would be best too.
Hi, Natalie. I’m super lucky that the Indiana Dunes is about 4 hours away. It makes for a great weekend trip. Yes, I’m a leash gal.
Oh wow, I love cavaliers so beautiful and there’s nothing better than seeing a happy dog on the beach.
Thank, you Joan. They really are a great breed.
It looks like your dogs had a very relaxing and fun holiday at the beach. The seem so happy. I don’t have dogs but I do dog sit for a friend from time to time and I love to take her to the beach with me.
Oh, taking your friends dog to the beach would probably make the pup’s day!
I wish I could go to this beach with my dog. It looks so relaxing and enjoyable for everyone. I totally agree with you to hold our dogs in a leach.
Beach time is amazing~! The Indiana Dunes and Lake Michigan is so clean and refreshing. Beautiful spot.
I’m confused when did the Dunes allow dogs as the signs all say no dogs or alcohol .
In fact I have been asked to leave when walking the dunes shore with my dog on a leash.
There is a section at the Dunes to the left that is dog-free. I believe this is the swimming area. Please feel free to reach out to the visitor center for a detailed map.
Your fur babies are beautiful. I love finding little places like this for my fur baby, Sandy!
Thank you. I just love finding spots that I can take Dexter and enjoy our time together. The Indiana Dunes is an amazing spot.
I haven’t met a dog who doesn’t like the beach. It seems that they love it so much and makes them more happy.
I think you are right! I’m sure they are smelling something in the air.
Oh my gosh those EARS! So cute! I would love to bring my dog to the beach but being a beagle I’m pretty sure he’d catch a scent and I’d never see him again
lol That’s why there is a leash rule, so you won’t need to worry. We always say Dexter is 1/2 beagle!
Your dogs look so cute 🙂 I wish I could take my dogs to something like this but they need to be a bit better behaved first 🙂
Thank you. I have loads of training and behavior articles and videos. 😉 https://raisingyourpetsnaturally.com/blog-s-post-lis/pet-behavior/
Where I am from, beaches are never dog friendly. It’s great that there are dog friendly beaches!
We love exploring beaches. So much fun.
Those dogs are adorable! They are so precious!
I prefer dog friendly places. We don’t have a dog yet, but we will soon! I can’t wait.
Oh, how exciting!
So sweet! Your dog is beautiful and that looks like an amazing day out. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you. It was such an amazing day. We really love the Indiana Dunes and the beach. Beautiful.
You bet. I love sharing great dog-friendly destinations.
Yay! They are so good and they also love the beach! It’s nice to know that the beach is a pet-friendly one.
Yes. We hit the doggie jackpot with the Indian Dunes. A very dog-friendly destination.
This is awesome! I’ve only visited two beaches and they both say no pets!
Oh, no. I hate that. Keep looking, they are out there. 🙂
In India we don’t have dog friendly beaches. Its always fun and relax to spend some time on beaches. But there are other places where we can take our dog for some fun and enjoy. We are totally hooked on to your blog. No wonder we are coming back again and again for more info.
Thank you for coming back. I love hearing India stories. My roommate in college was from India. We’d always hash about the differences. 🙂
I visited Indiana Dunes this summer! Didn’t see the sunset though, looks lovely! Your picnic is so cute! I remember we tried to have a BBQ on a beach in the UK and the burgers and sausages were a bit gritty…bit of a disaster but happy memories!
Isn’t the Indiana Dunes such a great destination? My first time catching the sunset too. It was amazing. Funny experiences are always the best.
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