Summer Fun in Fort Wayne, Indiana

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Just three hours from Chicago is the 2nd largest city in Indiana: Fort Wayne. Not really on my travel radar before, but the theme of my summer is the “Best of the Midwest” and I wanted to see it all! When the folks at Visit Fort Wayne invited me to visit and shared a list of options, I was overwhelmed by the choices! My first impression of Fort Wayne is that it’s a lot larger than I imagined. At 250,000 people, this is no po-dunk farm town. From my two-night visit, here are a few fun things to do in Fort Wayne.

Fort Wayne Baseball

My first stop in Fort Wayne was Parkview Field for a Friday night Tin Caps game. Parkview Field is rated the #1 Minor League ballpark experience in the country, and I’m not surprised! The park, built in 2009, has a ton of options for watching the game. I thought the lawn section in the outfield looked pretty fun. There are plenty of food and drink stalls, along with games and activities for the kids. Parking in a nearby lot was $5, but I’m sure you could also find street parking if you arrived early enough. When I visited, it was 70’s Night, and there was plenty of disco entertainment, and good 70’s jams between plays.

Tin Caps Game at Parkview Field in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Fort Wayne Outfitters

Fort Wayne Outfitters is your one-stop shop for outdoor fun in Fort Wayne. Their location in the Cass St. Depot offers a gear shop, boat rental and bike rental. I was able to take a kayak out on the St Mary’s river, and given a tour by local river enthusiast, Aaron, who regularly paddles the area, picking up trash along the way. Like many Midwest towns, the rivers in Fort Wayne weren’t always valued for recreational opportunities, but are now seeing a resurgence in funding and conservation. We paddled along Headwaters Park, where the Three Rivers Festival was taking place, with boat tours and helicopter rides. The river was abuzz with activity!

Kayaking St Mary's River, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Arts United Center

If you are a theater buff, go see a performance at the Arts United Center. If you prefer architecture, get yourself on a tour of this unique building! The Arts United Center was designed by world-famous architect Louis Kahn as part of a larger Arts Campus in the 1960’s. The 655-seat theater features performances by Fort Wayne Ballet, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Fort Wayne Dance Collective, and more! The building is an architectural marvel, with folded concrete walls and brick arches throughout. Next door at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, you will find two special exhibits highlighting Louis Kahn and his work in the community.

Arts United Center, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Arts United Center, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Fort Wayne Festivals

The Fort Wayne calendar is chock full of festivals. When I visited, the Three Rivers Festival was in full swing. This 9-day festival draws nearly half a million visitors each summer! There are over 80 events including Food Alley, Art in the Park, the Three Rivers Festival Parade, the Raft Race, Children’s Fest, and the Chalk Walk at the Arts Campus! Evening concerts highlighting artists like The Purple Xperience (Prince tribute band) and Rock of the 80’s Tour had crowds dancing until dark! Three Rivers Festival is more like a ton of festivals within a festival as there seemed to be events all over town.

Image Courtesy of Visit Fort Wayne

Image Courtesy of Visit Fort Wayne

Bicentennial Woods

Bicentennial Woods is one of many properties in the ACRES Land Trust, and is a wonderful respite from urban activity. Located on the north end of town, Bicentennial Woods features 2.6 miles of hilly hiking trails along a shallow creek that is perfect for splashing around on a hot summer day. We found many intersecting, unmarked trails, so a good sense of direction (or a GPS unit) is a good idea, although you’re never too far from civilization to get lost. When in doubt, follow the creek!

Dog-Friendly Hike at Bicentennial Woods, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Fox Island County Park

Fox Island is a great little park on the edge of town with a swimming beach, seven miles of hiking trails, wildlife observation towers and a doggy beach! A $2 entrance fee provides access to the park for the entire day, even if you leave and come back. We visited on a warm summer Sunday and there were lots of families enjoying the beach and nearby picnic shelters. Fox Island is a great place to take your pup when it’s hot out.

Fort Wayne Hotel

During my visit, I stayed at the Ramada Plaza Fort Wayne Hotel and Conference Center. Pet friendly is the #1 hotel requirement for me when traveling, and the Ramada allows dogs up to 80 pounds for a $50 pet fee. The outside of the hotel is not much to look at, as it’s one of those large convention hotels on the northern edge of town. However, the interior has been updated more recently, and there’s a pretty cool indoor/outdoor pool with a nice sundeck. The hotel is about 15 minutes from the downtown area.

Ramada Fort Wayne

More Fort Wayne…

For all that I saw in Fort Wayne, I feel that I missed even more! There’s the Children’s Zoo, Science Central, the Genealogy Center, the Botanical Conservatory, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, DeBrand Chocolate Factory tours, 12 free splash pads and over a dozen farmers markets!

Fort Wayne also appears to have a serious foodie fling going on. There are plenty of brewpubs, food trucks, cafes and ethnic dining available for all kinds of tastebuds!

Image Courtesy of Visit Fort Wayne

Since there are so many fun things to do in Fort Wayne, I recommend starting at Visit Fort Wayne to plan out an itinerary of your interests. Feel free to contact them via Facebook or Twitter as they are a great resource for information, and can help you narrow down the many, many options in the area!

So many fun things to do in Fort Wayne, Indiana! @visitfortwayne #myfortwayne Click To Tweet


Summer Fun in Fort Wayne

I was a guest of Visit Fort Wayne. These are solely my personal opinions and I was not financially compensated for this post.

I’m participating in The Weekly Postcard blog roundup. Click the photo below to check out other posts this week!


Two Traveling Texans

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31 thoughts on “Summer Fun in Fort Wayne, Indiana

  1. I’ve never hear about Fort Wayne before reading your post and this city has never been on my US travel radar. I have to admit that your visit to Fort Wayne really surprised me. I had no idea that the downtown had so much to offer ! There are so many activities, especially during the summer, that are perfect for young adults 🙂

    • I didn’t get to try any – didn’t want to leave the dog (or chocolate!) in the hot car! Next time…

    • Definitely! Like many Midwest states, there are some pretty cool areas. The interstate part that separates Chicago from Michigan? Not so much!

  2. Looks like fun! Thanks for the dog tips as well- I’ve always wondered about taking our 4-legged family member on our travels too! My kids would definitely enjoy escaping the heat at the shady canopy of Bicentennial Woods or jumping in the water at Fox Island.

    • I am lucky my dog is a good traveler! If I wear her out in the morning, she is good to snooze all day back at the hotel while I explore.

  3. What a fun adventure! I can’t believe how much there is to see and do there- that list at the end just keeps on going 🙂 I absolutely love that you bring your dog on these hosted trips too- it’s so fun to see and before babe I used to travel everywhere with my pup too.

    • She’s a good traveler, but we’ll both be happy when we get some fall weather so we can hike a bit longer!

  4. Wow theres so much to do in Fort Wayne! I’ve never been there, but if I ever get a chance, I will definitely check all of these things out! I like the Arts United Center especially!

  5. Wow that Fox Island County Park looks like the perfect place for me and my boyfriend for a day. We love hiking and we could refresh ourselves in the water with a swim afterwards! 🙂

  6. I didn’t realize there was so much to do there either. Sounds like you had a great weekend! I would love to go for a festival too, that sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  7. I’ve never been to Indiana and I feel it’s one of the states that doesn’t seem to get much love. After reading your post I am more interested in visiting hopefully one day soon.

  8. I just got back from spending some time in Indiana! I think it’s a fairly underrated state. I stayed the night in Fort Wayne once, but it was a Motel 6 right next to a strip club 😛 Maybe I need to go back and see a bit more of what the city is about!

    • Haha, yeah, I think you need to go back and have a better experience! I would rather camp than stay at a Motel 6!

  9. Loved reading this! It looks like so much fun, and it’s not a far drive – I don’t know why on earth I haven’t visited yet 🙂

    Rosalie //

    • Sometimes you don’t realize there is cool stuff all around you that doesn’t always require a plane ticket and a passport! I’ve had a great time exploring the Midwest this summer.

  10. Looks like a fun town! So lucky you get to travel with your dog! I left mine behind in the US when I moved to Germany! Hoping to get a new dog soon! Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!

    • Oh no! I couldn’t imagine leaving my dog behind. In fact, I’m taking 6 months off work this fall, and would love to travel overseas, but wouldn’t think of leaving her behind, so we’ll be road tripping through the US instead.

    • It’s a fun little getaway…lots of splash pads the kids would love! The zoo is supposed to be really good, too.

  11. There seems to be a lot to see in Fort Wayne. I would definitely head to the dog beach if I were there, even if I didn’t have my dog with me. I love to hang out with dogs (sometimes even with humans, if they are nice)!

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