Hendricks County, just west of Indianapolis, is a haven for unique things to do in Indiana. The county is filled with beautiful respites, amazing BBQ, and plenty of places to relax and enjoy the outdoors or feel the nitro methane effect if you love racing. Here’s a list of 11 unique things to do in Hendricks County, IN!
Disclosure: Many of the photos in this post are courtesy of Visit Hendricks County – thanks to them for the assistance with this post!
Visit a Pig Sanctuary
If visiting a cool farm/pig sanctuary seems like a cool idea to you, wait until you get there. At Oinking Acres Farm Rescue and Sanctuary, it’s all about the four-legged friends. Since 2017, the owners have successfully rescued over 300 abandoned, neglected, and unwanted pot-bellied pigs. And when you visit, you’ll find their new digs to be as comfy as can be.
Additionally, you’ll spy cows, goats, a donkey, and even adorable kitties running around the property. It truly is worth the $10 per person donation fee to visit and you can look into adoption one as well.
What: Oinking Acres Farm Rescue and Sanctuary
Where: 8420 N County Rd 650 E, Brownsburg, IN 46112
Watch Trains Pick Up the Best BBQ in the County
Rusted Silo Southern BBQ & Brew House has won awards for best BBQ since its opening. As for owner/pit master/chef and all-around nice guy, Robert Ecker, his travels around the south (including a stint at a Walt Disney World Resort for a bit) gave him the ideal background for making amazing BBQ in the Midwest.
These days, folks love the food so much that trains passing by the restaurant have been known to call ahead for takeout, slow down when they hit the property, and the owners will run the food out to them.
Now that’s what I call service.
What: Rusted Silo Southern BBQ & Brew House
Where: 411 N State St, Lizton, IN 46149
Tie Dye Your Dream Shirt
The Tie Dye Lab is the perfect place for creative freedom in Hendricks County. all you need to do is book a time, choose your favorite color story, and get dying.
The company offers full service from start to finish and even helps with patterns and washing tips. While there are no two tie dye shirts that are alike, it definitely makes for a unique experience.
What: The Tie Dye Lab
Where: 8100 E US Hwy 36 suite l, Avon, IN 46123
Take a Trip on the Tenderloin Lovers Trail
Right now, Indiana Foodways Alliance has over 20 culinary trails, but one of its most famous is the Tenderloin Lovers Culinary Trail, by far. If you’re not familiar with a tenderloin sandwich, it’s a crispy piece of pork between two buns. And while the concept sounds simple, the flavor profile is definitely not.
If you’re not a fan of fried pork, take a trip on one of the other 20 trails throughout the state including the Hoosier Pie, I Scream for Ice Cream, and TastyTavern Trails.
What: Tenderloin Lovers Culinary Trail
Where: Throughout the state of Indiana
Relive the Days of Mayberry
Mayberry Café, an Andy Griffith Show-themed destination restaurant, has become a visitor favorite as televisions inside air looping reruns of The Andy Griffith Show and memorabilia line the walls while outside you can get pictures with Andy’s squad car.
Enjoy home-style cooking and comfort food favorites such as fried chicken that you will swear Aunt Bee made herself. you’ll find the restaurant right on the main drag in Danville. Of course, look for the police car sitting outside.
What: Mayberry Café
Where: 78 W Main St, Danville, IN 46122
Visit the Top-Rated Orchard in Indiana
Beasley’s Orchard is a family-owned business in Danville boasting a Civil War-era barn. Featuring a local market with both homemade and home-grown produce and products, other fun attractions include a Barnyard Bonanza area for kids to jump and play, uPick areas that change during the season including strawberries in early summer, raspberries in the middle of the summer and apples in the late summer and early fall.
When fall comes around, it adds a uPick pumpkin patch, corn maze and apple cannons. Visitors can even enjoy a cup of Beasley’s apple cider, voted by the Indiana Horticultural Society ‘The Best Apple Cider in Indiana’.
What: Beasley’s Orchard
Where: 2304 E Main St, Danville, IN 46122
The only retailer solely dedicated to the hit British television show, Doctor Who, in the world, Who North America boasts nearly 5,000 square feet of retail and museum space. Whovians (fans of the show) travel from all over the world to see it.
And if you’re looking for a hard to find piece of memorabilia from the show, you’ll definitely want to make a pit stop.
What: Who North America
Where: 8901 South State Rd 67, Camby, IN 46113
Bread Basket Café & Bakery
With a homey vibe and atmosphere, Bread Basket Café & Bakery sits inside a refurbished bungalow. This family-owned, cozy café chooses locally grown produce for its freshly made cuisine made daily from scratch. Serving breakfast and lunch, the tasty menu features soups, salads, sandwiches and locally roasted coffee beans and teas.
While the hearty menu is very appealing, its baked goods are the real stars including various breads and decadent desserts such as Sweetie Pies, Baby Cakes and a vast array of other cakes, pies and cinnamon rolls. It’s been recognized nationally in many publications and even on Good Morning America.
What: Bread Basket Café & Bakery
Where: 46 S Tennessee St, Danville, IN 46122
Legendary Racing Strip
While Indiana is known for its racing, what makes Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park (formerly Lucas Oil Raceway) unique is the legendary drag strip here that hosts U.S. Nationals every Labor Day Weekend. That NHRA event is the most prestigious drag racing event in the world.
The property also has a paved short-track oval as well that hosts numerous events annually. Make sure to bring a pair of noise canceling headwear because, if you’re like me, you’ll want to stand near the wall and watch up close – it gets loud!
What: Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park
Where: 10267 US Hwy 136, Indianapolis, IN 46234
Know what happens when you get too close to racing fuel? Here’s the scoop on the nitro methane effect and how it turned me into a racing fan.
A tour through Avon Gardens‘ five acres of superbly manicured gardens and water features leave visitors thinking they’ve entered a little piece of paradise. It’s cornered the market on outdoor weddings and receptions and provides inspiration for those wanting to transform their own property into a beautiful showpiece.
Additionally, It’s even been featured in Midwest Living magazine as one of the best garden centers in the Midwest. The gorgeous respite is perfect for moseying, taking photos, and getting that wonderful feeling of zen we all need these days.
What: Avon Gardens
Where: 6259 E County Rd 91 N, Avon, IN 46123
An Oasis of Food
Oasis Diner, an authentic 1954 diner and true Indiana landmark, is the last remaining diner on the historic National Road. In 2010, the shuttered building was listed as one of Indiana Landmarks 10 Most Endangered Buildings and seemed destined for destruction until a local movement saved it, moved it about 3-4 miles into town and reopened it.
The new owner embraces its history serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner with specials named after cities on the National Road and has added outdoor patio seating. Plus, it’s on Indiana Foodways Pork Tenderloin Trail and I highly recommend trying the dish.
What: Oasis Diner
Where: 405 W Main St, Plainfield, IN 46168