Previously known as Salt Spring, French Lick was originally a small French trading post near a natural salty spring. Around 1845 French Lick became a popular wellness destination due to the mineral springs which bubbled naturally to the surface and promised all manner of health benefits. Two hotels sprang up to accommodate visitors and a golf course followed in the early 1900’s. Today you can still check in to one of the two historic hotels which make up the French Lick Casino Resort.
Besides enjoying all the activities at the resort, visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities in the Hoosier Forest, including hiking and zip-lining in summer and skiing, snowboarding and tubing in winter.
1. French Lick Resort Casino
© Tomasz Zajda/stock.adobe.com
The French Lick Resort Casino is a must on every visitor’s list. The resort nestles in the Hoosier National Forest and offers everything you need for a relaxing vacation. There are three golf courses, 2 separate spa facilities and accommodation in 2 historic hotels. If you are visiting for the casino you will a spacious and sophisticated gambling area offering sports betting, table games and slots. Other activities include wining and dining at your choice of several restaurants, bowling at Pluto’s Alley or enjoying hiking, biking or trolley tours of the resort. Both hotels offer beautiful and comfortable rooms to return to after a busy day of exploring.
French Lick Resort Casino, 8670 IN-56, French Lick, IN 47432, Phone: 812-936-9300
2. French Lick West Baden Museum
© French Lick West Baden Museum
You can learn all you ever wanted to know about French Lick, including how the town got it’s rather unusual name, at the French Lick West Baden Museum. Dedicated to safe-guarding and showcasing the fascinating history of French Lick, the museum is home to a treasure-trove of wonderful exhibits. Here you can learn about the town’s early days as a popular spa resort, the bad of days of illicit gambling and the amazing spectacle of the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus, which is showcased in perfect miniature detail. You will also learn about the town’s most famous sportsman, Larry Bird, whose name appears in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
French Lick West Baden Museum, 469 S. Maple St, French Lick, IN 47432, Phone: 812-936-3592
3. French Lick Scenic Railway
© French Lick Scenic Railway
Hopping aboard the French Lick Scenic Railway is one of the most enjoyable ways to spend a few hours in French Lick. The railway offers 20-mile scenic day trips through parts of the beautiful Hoosier National Forest. Along the way you will pass through the second longest train tunnel in Indiana and get to see some excellent natural beauty. The railway also hosts a number of special train journeys including the Tasting Train, the Dinner Train, the Easter Bunny Train and the very popular Polar Express which whisks young travelers all the way to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus.
French Lick Scenic Railway, 8594 W. State Rd, French Lick, IN 47432, Phone: 812-936-7246
4. The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
Over 100 years ago Donald Ross designed what was originally called the Hill Course at French Lick. Just seven years later the course hosted the first of many PGA championships. Since then this pioneer of golf and his associates continued to design over 400 golf courses in North America before 1950. After undergoing an extensive restoration in 2007 the course once again welcomes players to come and enjoy a game or two and experience a few of the notorious Donald Ross bunkers. Before or after your game you can enjoy a meal or drink in the original Hagen’s Clubhouse Restaurant. You will find everything you need for a stylish round of golf in the Donald Ross Golf Shop.
Donald Ross Course, 8670 IN-56, French Lick, IN 47432, Phone: 812-936-5523
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5. Peter Dye Course at French Lick
The Peter Dye Course at French Lick Resort is a relative new-comer to the French Lick golf establishment. The course welcomed its first 4-ball in 2009, after having survived many challenges during its design and construction. This course is literally carved into the hillsides at one of the highest elevations in Indiana and is challenging to say the least. Narrow fairways and “volcano” bunkers demand accuracy and skill. To make up for the challenges faced, including several tricky elevated greens, golfers are rewarded by amazing views of the surrounding mountain ridges. The course has developed a reputation as one of the country’s iconic “Must-play” courses.
Peter Dye Course, 8670 IN-56, French Lick, IN 47432, Phone: 812-936-5558
6. 33 Brick Street, French Lick
© 33 Brick Street
You can expect a relaxing family-friendly atmosphere and a great casual dining experience at family-owned 33 Brick Street Restaurant. Adding to the atmosphere are a host of sporting trophies and other memorabilia belonging to local-legend and NBA star Larry Bird. There are outdoor and indoor seating areas and an extensive menu of all-American favorites. Carnivores have a wide choice of mouth-watering steaks, ribs, chops and burgers to choose from, while seafood enthusiasts can try traditional fish and chips, fish tacos, shrimp, salmon and more. Other menu favorites include a selection of pastas, soups, salads and wraps. The drinks menu includes 12 locally-brewed craft beers and some great bourbon choices.
33 Brick Street, 480 S Maple St, French Lick, IN 47432, Phone: 812-936-3370
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