by Amanda Norcross
Housed in a former New York Central freight station, this railroad-themed bed and breakfast opened in 2011. And while many bed and breakfast hotels cater to couples only, this one welcomes families with rooms that sleep up to four people and even one that can accommodate five. Some rooms are pet-friendly. Breakfast is served each morning, and Wi-Fi is complimentary. Riley’s Railhouse is a short drive from Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, making it a great base from which to explore the park and local towns.
Our Editor Loves
- Kid-friendly B&B
- Pet-friendly rooms
- Close to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
- Family Room 5+
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
My husband and I stayed here for two nights in July with out two year old daughter. We slept in one of the boxcar rooms, which was tight, but very clean, well designed, comfortable and cozy. The train tracks running next to the B&B are VERY active (a train runs about every 10 minutes). My daughter absolutely loved being able to sit on the platform and watch the trains go by, especially when the engineers saw her and waved. We quickly got used to the train sounds, which didn't bother us.
The interior of the station is charming, filled with a collection of railroad artifacts, a model train, and even wooden tracks for little ones to play with. Lake Michigan and Indiana Sand Dunes National Park are about a 15 minute drive away, and downtown Chesterton is walking distance from the property.
The owners are friendly and accommodating, breakfast was fantastic. It's clear they do this for enjoyment more than making a profit. The amount of work they have put into designing and renovating this property is amazing, and they are continuing to expand with more rail car suites coming soon. We thoroughly enjoyed staying here, and will likely return in the future.
My only caveat is for travelers with small children, sleepwalkers, certain disabilities or mobility issues: the upper berth in the boxcar room with extra beds requires climbing a steep ladder and has a short clearance so you have to crawl around once up there. We co-slept with our toddler, so it didn't bother us. There are also rooms available in the station building which may be more accessible, as the station building has a wheelchair ramp to the platform and the shared space is quite large.
We stayed for a couple of nights with our boys and the grandparents last May during a visit to the Indiana Dunes and the kids ask every day when they can go back.
We had the upper berth room with a cool little nook for the kids to sleep in, which they loved. We were greeted by the friendly host dogs first, then the Rileys who were very welcoming. It rained during most of our visit, so we spent a lot of time in the great room, reading, playing with train sets, looking at the cool memorabilia. The breakfasts were hearty and delicious, and the location was within walking distance to some cool restaurants and an ice cream shop. The trains run all day and you are right by the tracks so if that is an issue...they do provide ear plugs :)