Located so close to downtown Indianapolis, it’s easy to assume that west-siders just make their way into Indy to spend their free time. That could not be further from the truth. Residents and visitors don’t have to leave Hendricks County, Indiana, to enjoy a beautiful day or free weekend.
Hendricks County has many affordable and exciting options to spend the perfect day. From breakfast to dessert and every stop in between, here's an itinerary I personally came up with as a local insider to help you explore just a little of what our county has to offer.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and the Bread Basket Cafe & Bakery wants to make it the best! The family-run cafe sits in an unassuming, yet cozy, former home just two blocks east of the courthouse square.
There is a full breakfast and lunch menu along with an abundance of fresh baked goods. The Peppery Pig Omelette makes a strong case for the best item on the menu. It has ham, Swiss cheese, peppers, onion and grain mustard. Pair that with a delicious homemade scone, and you couldn’t ask for a better way to start the morning.
But honestly you can't go wrong with anything on their menu. Oh, and don't leave without at least sampling a pie or cake from their huge dessert case. Even if you have to get it to-go, it will provide an amazing snack for later.
When the weather accommodates, Oak Tree Golf Course is home to some of the most affordable green fees in the area. Just 10 minutes from the Indianapolis International Airport and I-70, green fees are only $30 for 18 holes plus a cart.
The course is relatively flat and there are plenty of places to miss, especially early in the round. However, holes 7 and 9 are two of the three hardest on the course. Both are long par fours with a distance of 453 and 440 yards.
Either at the turn or after the round, Brew Link Brewpub provides the perfect respite located inside the same parking lot as the golf course and offering a full menu of burgers, sandwiches, tacos, salads and much more along with 24 beers on tap.
If it helps, there are plenty of stores to visit, too, at The Shops at Perry Crossing just up the road in Plainfield. Your significant other can spend time there with their friends while you and yours play a round!
One of my favorite outdoor attractions is well worth a little detour to experience Beasley’s Orchard. The 165-acre farm has some of the freshest produce in the county – most of it they grow there!
Throughout the spring, summer and fall, visitors can pick their own produce like strawberries, raspberries, apples or pumpkins to get the freshest selection.
If you’d prefer, you can shop their retail market housed in a large barn that was built shortly after the Civil War, which is now open year-round.
The apple cider donuts alone are worth the visit, but depending on your timing, there is so much more to see and do at Beasley's.
So, my favorite spot to grab dinner would have to be Sal’s Famous Pizzeria, which offers an old-world Sicilian menu in our part of Central Indiana. Sal’s has two locations in Hendricks County. There is one in Plainfield, but we recommend the Brownsburg location for this itinerary (you’ll see why shortly).
Sal’s is about one mile east of Brownsburg Town Hall on Crawfordsville Road and offers the freshest pizza, pasta, salads and sandwiches made by Sal himself! He makes his own dough, grates his own cheese and mixes his own sauce the same way his mother used to.
Consider starting the meal with their famous bruschetta for the table. After finishing off the homemade grilled bread topped with tomatoes, herbs, olive oil and feta cheese, move on to the main course.
There are 18 different specialty pizzas on the menu but you can’t go wrong with the Margherita (tomatoes, olive oil and Italian herbs topped with mozzarella cheese) or Sal’s Signature (chicken, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, olive oil and mozzarella cheese served with white sauce).
What better way to end a long day than with some of the best ice cream in Central Indiana. Mandy’s Ice Cream is just two doors down from your dinner stop at Sal’s in Brownsburg and offers many fun flavors for customers young and old!
Kids will love the “Munchie Madness” – cake batter ice cream with a caramel ripple mixed with Oreos, M&Ms and peanut butter cups. Adults might prefer the bourbon-spiked espresso ice cream mixed with chocolate chunks, also known as Exhausted Parent.
After a long day filled with the best parts of Hendricks County, it may not feel like there’s more exploring to do.
But I couldn't cover everything for my perfect day. The itinerary above didn’t even mention Avon Gardens, an Indiana Lyons game, The Fudge Kettle, The Tie Dye Lab or taking in an event at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, all of which I would highly recommend but I couldn't fit into my one perfect day adventure.
So, maybe with so much to see and do, you should make it a perfect two days or even a long weekend.