Traveling with Dogs in Northern Indiana | Dog-Friendly Attractions and Photo Ops

Dog-Friendly South Shore Along Lake Michigan: a Dog-Friendly Destination | Traveling with Dogs in Northern Indiana

Dog-friendly Northern Indiana things to do along Lake Michigan. Dog-friendly South Shore things to see and do. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Dog-Friendly South Shore Indiana

 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored. 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 The Dog and his travel companion Levi wrapped up their 2018 dog-friendly vacations with a visit to The South Shore along Lake Michigan. The South Shore along Lake Michigan is a perfect pet-friendly destination to relax and enjoy what the Midwest has to offer dog families.

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Dog-friendly Northern Indiana things to do along Lake Michigan. Dog-friendly South Shore things to see and do. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Dog-Friendly Indiana Attractions

The South Shore offers something for everyone, especially the well-traveled canine. We started our South Shore adventure in Whiting, Indiana, at Whiting Lakefront Park. When we arrived, we were blown away at how expansive the dog-friendly park was. Whiting Lakefront Park consists of 15 acres of walking paths, picnic areas, a concession stand, a fishing pier, volleyball and tennis courts all along a great walking path on Lake Michigan.

Dog-friendly Northern Indiana things to do along Lake Michigan. Dog-friendly South Shore things to see and do. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Whiting Lakefront Park

There were some spots that the dogs were not permitted, but they were welcome in most areas. We had a great view of the Chicago skyline and saw lots of ships on the lake. Dexter and Levi particularly enjoyed walking along the paths and had plenty of photo-ops. If it wasn’t for a sudden downpour of rain, we would have spent a few hours enjoying all that the park had to offer.

Dog-friendly Northern Indiana things to do along Lake Michigan. Dog-friendly South Shore things to see and do. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Great views

We decided to jump into the car and head to downtown Whiting. The Whiting community was filled with local business, quaint shops, a historic movie theater, and restaurants as well as Bulldog Brewing Company. We decided the Bulldog Brewing Company would be a great place for takeout.

Dog-friendly Northern Indiana things to do along Lake Michigan. Dog-friendly South Shore things to see and do. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Historic Whiting Indiana
Dog-friendly Northern Indiana things to do along Lake Michigan. Dog-friendly South Shore things to see and do. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Great Food

I ordered the “Lil” Bulldog. This wasn’t your typical bar burger. This beef was 28-day aged ground chuck and brisket, apple-wood smoked bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion on a Kaiser roll. The burger was thick, juicy, and fresh. An order of French fries and a soda made this the perfect meal for a rainy day. Because it was raining and we had the dogs, we took the food just around the corner and sat under the covered amphitheater. It was an ideal nook for lunch.

Dog-friendly Northern Indiana things to do along Lake Michigan. Dog-friendly South Shore things to see and do. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Rain doesn’t get us down

A little sightseeing and some photo-ops were in order, so we decided to check out the Kissing Couple. This 25′ statue is currently located in Crown Point, Indiana, so it was a real treat to be able to see it in person. The statue represents a famous photograph of a sailor kissing a nurse at the end of World War II. I knew it was going to be large, but I had no idea how large until I stood next to the statue. It was quite a spectacular site.

Dog-friendly Northern Indiana things to do along Lake Michigan. Dog-friendly South Shore things to see and do. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
The Kissing Couple

Next up was Merrillville to check out Albanese Confectionery, home of the World’s Best Gummies. For over 30 years, Albanese has been making these tasty little treats. All of their gummies and candies are made at their factory, using the highest quality ingredients sourced from America and Europe, nothing from China. They offer both guided and unguided tours, because it’s a food production facility, pets are not permitted. That didn’t stop us from getting a cute photo-op of their Halloween gummy cutout.

Dog-friendly Northern Indiana things to do along Lake Michigan. Dog-friendly South Shore things to see and do. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
We love quirky photo ops!

It was time to check into our pet-friendly hotel, Home2 Suites in Merrillville. This isn’t the first time I’ve stayed at a Home2 Suites by Hilton. I have been so happy with my experiences with this chain; I was tickled to see that Merrillville had opened a location earlier this year.

This dog-friendly hotel is conveniently located at I-65 and US 30. The modern suites offer an abundance of room for both dogs to walk around. The storage areas are huge and offered more than enough room for all of our luggage and gear. My favorite aspect of Home2 Suites is the in-suite full kitchen that includes a sink, dishwasher, microwave, cookware, plates, and full-size refrigerator. The full-size refrigerator is such a bonus since both Dexter and Levi eat fresh food.

 

Dog-friendly Northern Indiana things to do along Lake Michigan. Dog-friendly South Shore things to see and do. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Dog-Friendly Home 2 Suites Indiana

 

Home2 Suites also offers a large, well-lit dog potty area which is fully stocked with pickup bags. I really appreciate that the dog potty area is close to the hotel and has lots of grass. It’s always stressful when traveling with a dog, and they need a midnight break, and the potty area is dark.

We stayed two nights at Home2 Suites Merrillville, and each morning when Dexter and I walked passed the concierge, he was greeted with a big smile, welcome, and doggie treats. The nice lady even gave me two treats to bring back to Levi.

The free breakfast was delicious. They offered artisan-style sandwiches, oatmeal, a variety of fruit and nut toppings, cereals, hard-boiled eggs, waffles, fruit, coffee, juice, and water. I enjoyed the fresh waffles with blueberries and almonds one morning and oatmeal and cranberries the next. Each pup enjoyed a hard-boiled egg. They love their eggies!

For those people traveling who like to stay fit, Home2 Suites also offers a heated indoor pool, Spin2 Cycle, and treadmill. Or you can relax out on their patio, light up the barbecue, or just sit and enjoy the fire pit. There’s something for every traveler.

On day two, we went to Friendship Botanic Gardens in Michigan City. This dog-friendly attraction was a real delight. With over 105 acres of botanical gardens, woodlands, trails, and sprawling open spaces, this is a must-do for anyone traveling along the South Shore of Lake Michigan.

Dog-friendly Northern Indiana things to do along Lake Michigan. Dog-friendly South Shore things to see and do. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Dog-friendly Friendship Botanic Gardens

Friendship Botanic Gardens has been a destination spot since 1936, and when you drive up the winding path, you will soon learn why. It’s such a lovely park, and it’s filled with so many unique sculptures and themed and interactive gardens. We really enjoyed the historic Heritage Gardens commemorating cultures around the world.

Dog-friendly Northern Indiana things to do along Lake Michigan. Dog-friendly South Shore things to see and do. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Friendship Botanic Gardens

Friendship Botanic Gardens hosts events such as Lyric Opera of Chicago concert, yoga in the garden, holiday festivities, weddings, and even a dog adoption event. It’s an ideal location for picnics, meditation, and hiking.

Wildlife, you bet. The ecologically rich forests and gardens are home to muskrats, turtles, groundhogs, squirrels, wild turkeys, deer, trout, salmon, birds, and butterflies, including monarchs. Dexter and Levi really enjoyed walking and sniffing, I’m sure they were smelling the wildlife’s trails.

After Friendship Botanic Gardens we thought we would head to Bartlett’s Fish Camp and Restaurant. This dog-friendly restaurant went out of their way to accommodate us and the pups. Even though their outside seating area was basically closed for the winter, they fired up the heaters and served us hot coffee and tea. Oh, and the waiter brought the pups cheese to snack on.

Dog-friendly Northern Indiana things to do along Lake Michigan. Dog-friendly South Shore things to see and do. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Outdoor restaurant

I ordered the Gooey Grilled Cheese. Really, that’s the name of the sandwich. Melted Havarti and American cheese with pickled onion, avocado, tomato and bacon melted between two pieces of bread. It was gooey and good all in one.

Dog-friendly Northern Indiana things to do along Lake Michigan. Dog-friendly South Shore things to see and do. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Great food

After lunch, we took a decent drive to Fair Oaks Farm. When I saw all that this dog-friendly Indiana attraction had to offer, I knew it was a must see. One of the largest working dairy farms in the nation, Fair Oaks Farms encourages visitors to spend the day exploring and learning about farming practices throughout the Fair Oaks Farm campus.

Dog-friendly Northern Indiana things to do along Lake Michigan. Dog-friendly South Shore things to see and do. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Dog-Friendly Fair Oaks Farm
Dog-friendly Northern Indiana things to do along Lake Michigan. Dog-friendly South Shore things to see and do. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Loads of photo ops

Dogs are allowed to tour the outside of the area, which offers plenty of things to see and photo-ops. The Farmhouse Restaurant’s outdoor seating is also dog-friendly. To top it off, they offer Central Bark Dog Park, which features an agility tunnel and shaded benches. We had a great time exploring, walking, and learning about Fair Oaks Farm and farming in general.

Dog-friendly Northern Indiana things to do along Lake Michigan. Dog-friendly South Shore things to see and do. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
They had a blast!
Dog-friendly Northern Indiana things to do along Lake Michigan. Dog-friendly South Shore things to see and do. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Off for a drive

We had another full day of adventures and decided to head back to Home2 Suites to settle in for the night. The South Shore really is a great dog-friendly Indiana destination. We were welcomed with gracious Midwest hospitality at each of our adventures. We definitely plan on visiting again, maybe in the spring.

Dog-friendly Northern Indiana things to do along Lake Michigan. Dog-friendly South Shore things to see and do. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Quality Dog-Friendly Hotel

When planning your dog-friendly South Shore Indiana vacation, visit AlongtheSouthShore.com for helpful advice, brochures, and coupons.


Do you travel with your dog? Tell me in the comments.

Dog-friendly Northern Indiana things to do along Lake Michigan. Dog-friendly South Shore things to see and do. #raisingyourpetsnaturally #dogfriendlyvacations #dogfriendlyindiana #midwestvacations #dogfriendlymidwest
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60 thoughts on “Traveling with Dogs in Northern Indiana | Dog-Friendly Attractions and Photo Ops

  1. If I had a dog, I would have brought him/her here and would be all over this place. Do not even need to worry about “No Pets Allowed” thing or something like that. Hope there are more places for dog vacations.

  2. Ah your dogs are SO cute!! My neighbour has the same dog, called Truffles – they are just the most beautiful natured dogs 🙂 Thanks for the useful information!

  3. What a cool place to explore! I always love checking out botanical gardens. I’m glad these places are pet friendly. We don’t bring ours with us on vacation, but my daughter always likes seeing all the dogs out.

  4. Your dogs are the cutest! I love all of the different activities that you were able to experience with them while on vacation. It’s also super nice that Hilton has hotel options that are pet-friendly.

    I need to get my mitts on one of those burgers!!!

  5. When I travel I always have difficult time to find dog friendly hotels. But those suits look amazing! Haven’t been to Northern Indiana but I would love to visit with my two dogs and I don’t need to put them in kennel for long time. This is so informative!

  6. I’m so glad you wrote about this because there are so many people out there that travel with their pups. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a post with this perspective. Awesome!

  7. Your dogs are so so cute and it’s amazing you can travel with them. I think more and more places should be pets friendly nowadays.

  8. I didn’t even know there was a kissing couple statue designed after the famous photo op (adding to my bucket list). The dog friendly vacation sounds so nice! P.S. You dogs are so cute!!!!

  9. Your dogs are so cute, especially in their little raincoats! And they look so well behaved. I love how they are posing for the photos! It’s great to find ways to travel with your pets and enjoy time together.

  10. It is a great relief to find a place that is pet-friendly. Our pets are like family, and we dont want them to leave behind.

  11. It looks like such a fun spot out there. And great to be able to go with your pets. I know Oreo would love going with us on a trip like that. That burger though is making my mouth water. I would love it for sure.

  12. I live in Indiana, but I no longer have a dog because of allergies. However, I’d have to tell my oldest brother about these places since he has been looking for dog-friendly places.

  13. It’s so much better to take your pets with you then leave them home with someone else watching them. Way better than boarding them.

  14. I love the picture where your dog is driving the truck, such a poser. I love when I see people traveling with their dogs and not leaving them behind with friends or relatives.

  15. This is such a great post! Many people love traveling with their pets but not too many attractions accommodate that. I didn’t know that Home 2 suites were pet friendly, I will definitely have to keep that in mind when traveling. Thanks for sharing!

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