Plan a Dog Friendly Trip to The Bend
Planning vacation doesn’t have to mean leaving a part of the family back at home. Isn’t it extra special having your pet (or pets!) along for the ride? South Bend and Mishawaka are dog-friendly destinations. Our assortment of bars, restaurants and parks offer plenty of things to do for you and your four-legged friend.
Dog-Friendly Hotels in The Bend
The Bend is home to many hotels that accommodate pets and they are spread around the area, meaning it’s all but certain you’ll find one that fits your itinerary. Options include Aloft South Bend in downtown South Bend, the Inn at Saint Mary's near Notre Dame and the Home2 Suites by Hilton in Mishawaka.
If you have questions about fees or accommodations, it’s best to contact hotels directly. Now that you have a place to stay, it’s time to explore with your dog.
Outdoor Activities with Your Dog
Is your dog always eager to head outside? Perfect. There’s no shortage of trails around The Bend.
You can start by exploring the University of Notre Dame. There are two landmarks that often inspire people to take photos of their pets: The Golden Dome and the “Word of Life” mural, commonly known as Touchdown Jesus. You could also line your visit up with a South Bend Cubs game. A Minor League affiliate Chicago Cubs, these Cubs host dog friendly nights every Tuesday throughout the season.
Area parks offer endless outdoor opportunities. Bendix Woods and St. Patrick’s County parks are local favorites for dogs. Downtown Mishawaka features multiple parks – Battell, Kamm Island, Beutter, Central, Merrifield – that run along the St. Joseph River. Rum Village Park in South Bend woodsy, although it sits within the city limits.
If you’re looking for something a little more secluded, Potato Creek State Park is a gem. It features the 327-acre Worster Lake and a wide variety of trails. Remember to be mindful of leash rules in these public spaces.
Party at the Dog Park
Niles Avenue (South Bend), Rum Village (South Bend) and Prickett Park (Mishawaka) all have popular dog parks if you're looking for some social time.
Niles Avenue was South Bend’s first dog park and is just off the East Bank Trail, a popular running route. Rum Village is newer and features a larger small pet area. Prickett Park is along the St. Joseph River next to the Bodine State Fish Hatchery.
Dining with Your Dog
After all that activity, you might need a bite to eat. Several area bars and restaurants are open for dogs, particularly during patio season.
Popular spots include South Bend Brew Werks, Chicory Café, Peggs, Brothers Bar & Grill, The Hammer & Quill, Tony Sacco’s, Uptown Kitchen, Villa Macri and Fiddler’s Hearth. That’s just a partial list. Call ahead to any area restaurant to ask about bringing your pup along.