There are not many places where you'll find pet-friendliness, an active community, and an Amish blend of culture all in one place like in Shipshewana, Indiana. The town is a 3-hour drive from the capital and lies in the heart of Amish land. It's not uncommon to drive through Shipshewana and see a horse and buggy — a testament to the old way of living that contributes to Shipshewana's rustic charm. You'll find a fusion of culture between Downtown Shipshewana's commerce centers and the outskirts, which the Amish community calls home. The town plays host to attractions like the Blue Gate Theater, Dutch Creek Farm Animal Park, and Hosteler Hudson Auto Museum.
Dog owners love living here in Shipshewana! There are 3 veterinarians in the greater La Grange County area. There are also 2 pet shops right in town, so you'll have everything you need to take care of your puppers here! To get out of the house, pet owners have a choice between the 6 parks, 3 trails, and 1 pet-friendly restaurant right in the heart of town. You'll never run out of things to do with your four-legged best friend in this historic dog-friendly "Hoosier" town! Just grab the leash and head down the road!
Does your dog really appreciate food made from scratch? Off Milton, in the Amish backdrop of Shipshewana, you can find the Bread Box Bakery, which has been making traditional foods from scratch since 1984. Many folks stop by just to pick up the authentic jams and jellies or the Bread Box's baked goods to take home. You and Fido can stop by for a pet-friendly meal where your dog can pull his tail up to the outside seating area. You can try traditional meals like a turkey Waldorf, BBQ pork, or Mandarin almond chicken salad — all made by Amish hands, in an Amish kitchen.
Does your dog like exploring nature preserves and swimming in one of the tributaries of the Great Lakes? If you live in the northern segment of town, in North Village, you can head up to Shipshewana Lake Park. The park covers 23 acres of land flushed up against the Shipshewana Lake. A little further south, on the lake's edge, you can find Beatys Beach. This watering hole has a little community living around the river's bank and is the pawfect place to take Fido for a swim! Just make sure to pack plenty of waste bags, water, and a leash for your lakeside adventures.
Does your dog like nature trails complete with autumnal scenery? If you live off Middlebury Street, you and Fido can travel down to a trailhead that epitomizes the fall season, year-round. This historic trail connects 4 communities through 25 miles of trail system, connecting with the Mapleheart Trail and the Wilden Avenue Trail. Walking with Fido along the path, you'll see cedars, maples, and pines swaying in the Indiana wind. During the fall, when the foliage changes colors, the Pumpkinvine Trail becomes a communal spot for locals to exploe — doggos included! Leashes are required on all the trails.
Does your dog love vintage crafts and vendor booths? If his bark means yes, then he'll love visiting the outdoor and dog-friendly Shipshewana Auction & Flea Market! You and Fido can get some massive retail therapy done at the flea market, which is famous for offering antiquities and personalized arts and crafts. The flea market opens during the summer months, from May through September. You and your dog can wind your way through the vendor booths to find novelty items you can't find anywhere else. When you get hungry, you can head to the Backyard Barnyard for food that's "The Best of the Farm." Or, you can try the Finer Swiner Diner, which has award-winning pulled pork sandwiches.
Does your dog love wandering through densely forested parks? If you live down off Pine Knob, you and Fido can delve into 229 acres of oak trees, pines, maples, and prairie oak in Pine Knob Park. There is a 3-D archery trail, walking trails, and fishing docks within the park, which makes it a furrific place to take the whole pack for a day in the great outdoors. On top of this, there are picnic areas and grills that are perfect for a picnic with your pooch! Dogs need to be kept on their leash and well-behaved, but other than that, they're more than welcome in Pine Knob!