Plainfield, Indiana is a small, up-and-coming community located approximately 20 minutes southwest of downtown Indianapolis, in Hendricks County. Plainfield offers a good variety of retail and dining experiences, attractions and things-to-do, including several historic attractions, as well as highly regarded schools, several top employers and a strong real estate market.
Plainfield has become a preferred location for many local and national companies like Amazon, Brightpoint, Duke Energy, and Hitachi Data Systems. Plainfield schools, both public and private, are routinely ranked as Four-Star Schools. The town enjoys convenient access to I-70, is just 5 minutes away from the Indianapolis International Airport, and 20 minutes from downtown Indy.
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The town of Plainfield, though small, offers a surprising number of art-related things to do and see, including a several nifty, little establishments that cater to the artistically inclined. Here are a few examples…
Art on Main Street
Located off Plainfield’s historic Main Street, Art on Main offers year-long art instruction for aspiring local artists, including summer camps for school age artists and even a few adult workshops.
Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library Gallery
One of the area’s little-known art galleries can be found in the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library. Located on the second floor, this gallery regularly features different exhibits like the one featured above. It’s not the first place you’d expect to find cool art. But hey, good art is where you find it, right?
UPaint Pottery Studio
UPaint Pottery Studio is owned and operated by Stacey Heltsley and Kelli Singleton, both Purdue graduates and former stay-at-home moms, whose passion pottery and art led them to open the west side studio in 2013.
uPaint Pottery Studio offers a walk-in studio environment, in which individuals and groups of all ages can come in, and explore pottery and painting with no prior experience or classes necessary. Just walk in, and they set up a booth with all the pottery choices and needed supplies.
The studio often hosts groups and fund-raisers, both on and off-site. All materials are non-toxic and easily wash off clothes and tables.
Whether an interesting sculpture, a colorful wall mural, or painted fire hydrant, public art comes in all sizes, shapes and forms, and contributes something positive to the cultural fabric of the local community.
This colorful, free-standing book receptacle can be found outside the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library.
A frontal view of the “Reading Rocks” book receptacle.
This color mural can be found at 170 N. Perry Road, outside the building that houses the Samaritan Companies.
While it is not the powerhouse that Indianapolis is–few cities are–the town of Plainfield nonetheless offers a host of fun attractions and things to do. Here are just a few examples.
Al & Jan Barker Athletic Complex
Located at 451 S. Vestal Road in Plainfield, Al & Jan Barker Athletic Complex is a large, outdoor sports facility that spans some 58 acres.
The complex is a popular place for local sports teams to complete, with 4 Little League baseball fields, 2 regulation-sized football fields, and 13 soccer fields.
The facility houses a synthetic handicap-accessible baseball field called the “Miracle Field.”
The field cost approximately $672,600, a good chunk of which was raised through donations and grants over a period of 6 years.
Chateau Thomas Winery
Located at 6291 Cambridge Way in Plainfield, Chateau Thomas Winery is a popular local winery, founded in the 1970s by a local obstetrician and gynecologist named Dr. Charles Thomas, who decided to pursue his passion for wine-making full-time.
Chateau Thomas Winery produces several different types of wines, which have been well-received by wine critics. They offer tastings, a large gift shop, an outdoor venue for live entertainment, and a large banquet facility for social events.
Metropolis Mall is an upscale mall located at 2499 Futura Park, Suite 255 in Plainfield. It is arguably the most popular mall on the west side, with over 600,000 sq ft (56,000 m2) of space, anchored by several large merchants like JC Penney, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Barnes & Noble, and Carmike Cinemas.
So-called “open-air lifestyle” malls like Metropolis have become increasingly popular in recent years. Other retailers that call Metropolis home include such recognized brands as Victoria’s Secret, Coldwater Creek, Old Navy, and DSW.
The Claddagh Irish Pub is another popular dining establishment located in the Metropolis mall. They a good variety of food, as well as cocktails, wines and beers.
The Carmike Cinema is arguably the nicest theater in the area. They recently added the “Big D” movie experience, which offers movie-goers upgraded seats, significantly larger screens, and an upgraded sound system.
Oak Tree Golf Course
Located at 4712 E. U.S. 40 in Plainfield, the Oak Tree Golf Course was designed by the legendary Pete Dye, and offers a beautiful 18-hole championship layout, a fully stocked pro shop, electric golf carts, and private lessons.
It’s a fun course, with undulating greens, and around 6300 yards from the longest tees. The course is simple enough for intermediate golfers, yet challenging enough for more advanced players, with a front nine that has a couple long par 4’s, and a back nine that perhaps a few strokes easier.
Plainfield Pedestrian Bridge
The Plainfield Pedestrian Bridge is a suspension style bridge located just north of the Al & Jan Barker Athletic Complex, where White Lick Creek intersects with U.S. 40. The bridge sits at the White Lick Creek trail head.
The bridge, with its distinctive steel trusses, is a local landmark. A dedication ceremony for the bridge was held by the town council, in 2008.
A seating area on the northeast corner end of the bridge offers a nice place for lunch outdoors.
PYAC – Plainfield Youth Athletic Complex
Located at 455 West Main Street in Plainfield, the Plainfield Youth Athletic Complex is a 58-acre facility that offers a fun gathering place for local sports teams. Opened in 2010, the complex is a wonderful asset to the town.
The town of Plainfield has come a long way since Levi Jessup and Elias Hadley first laid the tract of land that would eventually become a town in 1839. From the historic U.S. Route 40, known to locals as “Main Street,” to the “Old Potato Building” at the Al & Jan Barker Athletic Complex, Plainfield offers a rich history that can take many different forms, depending on where in town you happen to find yourself.
Historic U.S. 40
Plainfield is arguably most associated with the historic U.S. Route 40, which runs through town as “Main Street.” Most famously, U.S. 40 came into the national consciousness when occurred in 1842 when a stagecoach occupied by President Martin Van Buren deliberately spilled into the thick mud of the highway. The pranksters responsible cited Van Buren’s vetoing of a bill from Congress to improve the highway as their primary motivation.
Numerous small businesses can be found off Main Street/U.S. 40, making this one the the most active streets in town.
Located at 401 South Vine Street, the Interurban Depot is one of the most historic buildings in Plainfield. Built in 1907, the building served as one of four stations on the Terre Haute to Indianapolis train line. It also served as a power substation, with generators housed in the back of the building
A Plaque affixed to the outer front wall shows that Interurban Depot was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in January 25, 2007.
Inside, soaring ceilings with thick, wooden beams and exposed brick walls make for an community an engaging community meeting space.
The building became the local post of the American Legion in 1944, and remained as such until 2001, when it was donated by the American Legion to the town of Plainfield.
The building located at 201 N. Center Street, formerly occupied by The New Beginning Church, is one of countless examples of historic architecture that can be found in Plainfield.
The historic home featured above is a fine example of the neoclassical style of architecture that become quite popular in 19th-century America.
Photo of a little red house, with decorative eves along the roof line.
Photo of an historic home with large, over-hanging porch.
With historic buildings, like the one featured above, downtown Plainfield offers a fascinating survey of early 19th century American architecture.
Historic National Road Marker
Located at the Plainfield Pedestrian Bridge, the Historic National Road Marker honors the historic U.S. 40 highway, which served as the nation’s first federally funded interstate highway, connecting the east coast to the western interior of the country. The highway was commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson over 200 years ago, and the Indiana portion stretches 156-miles.
Old “Apple Building”
The “Old Apple House” as it is known, was built in 1902, and was used for horticultural functions. The 2,398 sq. ft. building was built by students using bricks made on campus. The students worked on the farm.
Today, the building serves as storage. It is located on the same piece of land as the Al & Jan Barker Athletic Complex, at 451 S. Vestal Road in Plainfield.
While there is no shortage of nationally recognized businesses in Plainfield, it is the small, independently owned establishments that speak more to the character of the local community. Here are just a few examples of small, local establishments in Plainfield.
Flap Jacks Pancake House
Flap Jacks Pancake House is located at 414 W Main Street in downtown Plainfield. Owners Pete and Debora Avgerinos opened the first of 4 locations in the town of Brownsburg in 2002. Flap Jacks Pancake House is family-owned and operated and offers a charming atmosphere. The restaurant was voted Best Breakfast Place in Hendricks County by the readers of the Hendricks County Flyer in 2009.
Gilleys Antique Mall
Gilley’s Antique Mall is located at 5789 US-40 in Plainfield. There are many vendors at the mall, offering a variety of antiques, collectibles, furniture and numerous vintage items, such as clothes, home décor, glassware, comic books, clocks, watches and most of the popular collectables.
Launch Pad Rock and Roll Recording Studios
Launch Pad Rock and Roll Recording Studio is located in downtown Plainfield at 301 S Center Street, in an old, historic church building. The studio offers destination for west-side artists in need of a professionally-equipped recording studio. In addition, they offer private music lessons, unique music lesson rooms, an open rehearsal space for group lessons, clinics, and our rock band rehearsals.
Sals Famous Pizzeria
Located at 350 E Main Street in Plainfield, Sal’s Famous Pizzeria is a place where you can get pizza and other “old world” style Italian food, made in a stone-fired oven. Inside, the décor is very much what you might expect from a traditional Italian restaurant.
Sweetheart Cupcakes is located in downtown Plainfield at 212 E Main Street. This quaint, little cupcake shop sells mostly cupcakes, but also offers pies, cookies, ice cream, as well as some gluten-free items.
The décor is nicely done, with deep, wood floors, comfy seating and colorful artwork on the walls.
Firehouse Bar & Grill
Firehouse Bar & Grill is located at 310 W Main Street in downtown Plainfield. This fire house-themed establishment offers a full bar and restaurant.
Inside, there is ample seating, pool tables, video games and darts. They sometimes offer live entertainment.
The Fire House serves a variety of traditional bar food, like pizza, tenderloins, fries, etc.
Three Pints Brewing Co.
Three Pints Brewing Co. is a small, family-owned craft brewery located at 5020 Cambridge Way in Plainfield. Three Pints’ Brewmaster, Tom Hynes, is an Indianapolis native, Purdue University graduate, and former U.S. Navy soldier, and successful software engineer-turned-brewmaster. Tom operates Three Pints along with his wife, Pam. The name “Three Pints” was inspired after their 3 kids.
Three Pints’ first craft beer was poured in 2011, and was called Retired Red’s Ale. That summer, they rolled out their first round of house brew recipes, which consisted of Retired Red’s Ale, Beatnik Blonde, Yoshi’s Nectar, Izzy’s I.P.A., and McClearen’s Scottish Ale.
They offer a complete food menu, in addition to the craft beers they serve, which are actually brewed in the middle of the restaurant!
The town of Plainfield maintains several trails. These include the Vandalia Trail, White Lick Creek Trail, Sugar Grove Trail, Clarks Creek Trail and Ronald Reagan Parkway. Of these 5 trials, the Vandalia Trail and White Lick Creek Trails are perhaps the most popular.
The Vandalia Trail runs east west and extends almost 5 miles through the center of town, along the abandoned Vandalia Railroad. The trail starts near the intersection of Perry Road and Smith Road and extends west to Martin Road (County Road 500 East). The trail includes pedestrian tunnels under Avon Avenue (State Road 267) and Saratoga Parkway. There are distance markers every ½ mile.
White Lick Creek Trail
White Lick Trail forms a north-south corridor that stretches 3.5 miles in length, along the White Lick Creek corridor from the Recreation and Aquatic Center to the Friendship Gardens Park.
The trail features a wide, smoothly paved surface, perfect for biking, walking, jogging, etc. A pedestrian tunnel under the Historic National Road, Highway 40.
The trail continues along Center Street and Hummel Park to south of Hadley Road. Locals like to venture into White Lick Creek for fishing and fun.
The paved trail becomes narrower at points and is shaded by mature trees at for portions of the trail.