Dog-Friendly Vacations in the Midwest | Dog-Friendly Carmel, Indiana Road Trip
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
Dexter and I were ready to hit the road again, but this time we grabbed my mom and stepdad to join us on our adventure. We were heading to Carmel, Indiana, for our next dog-friendly road trip. Our main objective when choosing where to explore, was to be close to Indianapolis, Indiana, so that we could participate in Indy Humane’s yearly Mutt Strut event. Carmel is located just minutes north of Indianapolis, so we felt it would be the perfect location. But Carmel had more to offer than I had ever dreamed.
Watch the vlog below and don’t forget to subscribe!
We arrived in Carmel, bright and early, so we found ourselves at Indie Coffee Roasters. Located in the heart of Carmel on Main Street, Indie Coffee Roasters welcomed us with their company logo of their lively dachshund named Indie.
Indie Coffee Roasters specializes in roasting single origin coffee. Single origin is the practice of roasting one origin at a time, from one farm, in one country. This practice allows the coffee flavor to shine. We ordered their coffee of the day, a latte, green-mint hot tea, lemon-and-blueberry scone and a cinnamon muffin.
India Coffee Roasters encourages dogs on their outside patio. However, we were getting some rain, so we decided to take our order to go and head to Central Dog Park to enjoy our morning drinks inside the covered picnic area. One of my favorite smells is the aroma of fresh coffee. My coffee was rich and full of flavor. My mom was very happy with her latte, and my stepdad said his green tea was minty and fresh. The scone and muffin were delicious. My cinnamon muffin was so moist, I could have eaten another one!
After our morning treats, we checked out Central Dog Park. This Indiana dog park offers both small and large dog areas. Both sections offered a large greenspace for the dogs to run and play. Throughout the fully fenced-in areas were benches, covered shelters, and dog waste stations. If you would like to partake in the dog park, you would need to register ahead of time for a membership.
After Central Dog Park, we were ready for a nice walk, so we headed to the Monon Community Center, which connects to the Monon Trail. The Monon Trail is a very unique walking trail. This former railroad route has been paved, making it a great biking, walking, or running destination for locals and travelers alike. The Monon Trail portion in Hamilton County starts at the 96th Street trailhead in Carmel and stretches more than 20 miles north. The Monon Community Center is a 146,000-square-foot facility that features a fitness area, an indoor pool, outdoor waterpark, outside skate park, and what we came for, access to the Monon Trail.
Because Dexter has a mobility issue, I always gravitate toward paved trails and walking opportunities. That way I can take his dog stroller when needed. Monon Trail would be the perfect spot to explore with Dexter. Dexter was in go-mode and had a very nice pace during our walk. I loved how part of the area was a “Grow Don’t Mow” area, allowing the wildlife plenty of unaltered habitat.
After our jaunt around the community center, we hopped in our car and headed to the Monon Greenway, which runs five miles from 146th Street to 96th Street. This part of the Monon Trail was amazing. The greenway was surrounded by wooded areas, flowers, and rabbits, birds, and I’m sure other critters that were nestled away under the plants. We truly enjoyed our time walking the trail.
We did work up quite an appetite, so we headed to Clay Terrace mall to look for a nice outdoor patio for dining. There were quite a few great-smelling restaurants to choose from, but we decide to give Pies & Pints a go. Their patio was not only dog-friendly, but fully covered with plastic side walls, making it an ideal location for lunch.
The staff welcomed Dexter with open arms and a nice bowl of water. Their menu offered a great selection of craft taps and crafted sandwiches and pizza pies. I went for the Garden Grinder. This sandwich was filled with spinach, roasted mushrooms, artichoke hearts, Mama Lil’s Sweet Hot Peppers, fresh mozzarella, and aioli. My Mom ordered the Cuban pulled pork with provolone, caramelized onions, jalapeños, and aioli. Our lunch was made to perfection. The big chunks of artichoke hearts paired with a little kick from the aioli made my taste buds scream for more! Bite after bite just kept getting better.
After our bellies were content, we needed to walk it off. We strolled around Clay Terrace shops and found out a lot of the stores allowed Dexter to come in for a little shopping. Dexter enjoyed all the attention he received from the local boutiques, and some even had a treat for him. He was in heaven.
The most unique aspect of Clay Terrace was that they offered a free dog park on premise! The 423square-foot park can be found behind the Kona Grill and next to the St. Vincent sports performance center. The park is open to the public and even provides tennis balls and agility equipment for the dogs to play on. This has to be the most unusual location I’ve seen for a dog park, pretty cool.
By this time, we were ready to unwind and check into the Old Towne Carmel Bed and Breakfast (now closed until 2020).
The dog-friendly B&B was very warm and inviting. When we walked inside, we were greeted with a sense of peace and serenity. A spiral staircase led us to our dog-friendly private rooms with private baths.
The beds were large and fitted with lovely white bedding. Each bath was stocked with plenty of large towels, soap, shampoo, and liquid bath soap. A true sanctuary to call home for a couple of nights.
We all crashed for a quick power nap to rejuvenate our bodies and minds. After a nice rest, we were ready to grab some dinner, so we went to Books & Brews. Books and Brews proved to be a really fun experience. It’s a bookstore that sells gently used books and also features a bar in the back that sells their own craft beers and food.
The outside covered patio was dog-friendly and even had a dog bowl filled with water. I ordered something different for me, the Wilbur. Their classic naan flatbread topped with mozzarella and cheddar cheese, pulled pork, and garlic salt and grilled to perfection. It was seriously delicious! I love it when I try something new and it tastes as good as it sounds. This was definitely a hit.
My mom ordered the Babe sandwich, pulled pork covered in BBQ sauce & topped with provolone cheese. My stepdad went for the Chicken Sandwich for the Soul. Chicken, Swiss cheese, bacon, and spicy mustard. All the food was superb. A perfect way to end our first day in Carmel, Indiana.
After a restful night’s sleep, we had a wonderful breakfast made by our host, Kelly. Kelly knows how to make a guest feel welcome. She was a great conversationalist and told us some fun tidbits about the town. Her dog, Ted, was a real treat, too! She served us up some great egg souffles along with fresh fruit, hot out-of-the-oven muffins, orange juice and fresh coffee and espresso. Everything was divine! The muffins were top notch.
After breakfast, we headed uptown to the Arts and Design District for a little shopping and sightseeing. I thoroughly enjoyed walking the happening streets and seeing all the public art and life-sized sculptures up and down the streets. Dexter was his typical hit with the locals and store owners who welcomed him inside their shops with open arms.
We ate lunch at Donatello’s Italian Restaurant. They offered great outdoor seating with umbrellas for shade.
The server brought Dexter a water bowl to quench his thirst. I ordered their daily special, a ravioli filled with mushrooms and topped with a creamy white sauce. My mom ordered the beef ravioli, jumbo ravioli stuffed with beef and spices and topped with their homemade tomato sauce. Ed ordered their veal Parmesan special.
Carmel, Indiana, in Hamilton County was named one of the “Best Places to Live in America” by Money magazine. After spending a fun-filled weekend there with Dexter, I can totally understand why. I would add that Carmel is a wonderful dog-friendly destination. Dexter enjoyed his time in Hamilton County and was welcomed by all.
When planning your pet-friendly Hamilton County, Indiana, excursion, visit Hamilton County Tourism’s website to plan the perfect trip.
Do you travel with your dog? Tell me in the comments.
Are you looking for even more ways to stay up to date with Raising Your Pets Naturally? Sign up for the newsletter for more tips and promotions. Don’t forget to be social and Like, Follow and Subscribe. Comments below are always welcome.