Nestled within the heart of the Hoosier State, French Lick, Indiana, beckons with its enchanting blend of history, nature, and modern attractions. Often considered a well-kept secret, this charming town offers a plethora of unique experiences that cater to a diverse range of interests.
Whether you’re a nature enthusiast seeking serenity, a history buff eager to delve into the past, or a leisure traveler in search of a captivating escape, French Lick has curated a collection of attractions that promise to make your visit truly special.
From its architectural marvels that narrate the tales of a bygone era to the immersive experiences that bring you closer to nature and entertainment, French Lick offers an array of attractions that are waiting to be discovered.
The town’s grand resorts, West Baden Springs Hotel and French Lick Springs Hotel, stand as testaments to a luxurious past, while the Hoosier National Forest and Patoka Lake provide tranquil settings for outdoor enthusiasts to explore.
The French Lick Scenic Railway and the French Lick Casino, known for their blend of nostalgia and excitement, are great options to explore in this region. However, if you’re seeking more hidden gems in NJ that celebrate the flavors of the area, don’t miss out on the town’s wineries and diverse culinary scene.
You might also find some inspiration by checking out our article on Hidden Gems in NJ where we delve into unique and lesser-known attractions in New Jersey.
In this exploration, we’ll delve into the 18 things that make French Lick, Indiana famous. From Wilstem Wildlife Park’s up-close animal encounters to the rustic charm of XANADU, every facet adds a unique stroke to the canvas of French Lick’s allure.
Whether you’re seeking a getaway that transports you back in time, an adventure that connects you with nature, or a luxurious retreat that pampers the senses, French Lick promises a journey that resonates with your individual desires.
- 1 Best for Families: West Baden Springs Hotel
- 2 Best Budget Option: French Lick Springs Hotel
- 3 Best Rustic Option: XANADU
- 4 Hoosier National Forest: A Nature Lover’s Paradise
- 5 French Lick Scenic Railway: A Journey Through Time
- 6 French Lick Resort: Where Elegance Meets Entertainment
- 7 French Lick Casino: A Gamble in Grandeur
- 8 French Lick Winery and Patoka Lake Winery
- 9 XANADU: A Rustic Haven in Nature’s Embrace
- 10 French Lick Museum West Basin: Town Heritage
- 11 Shotz Miniature Golf and Lazer Tag
- 12 Big Splash Adventure Indoor Waterpark: Splashes of Joy
- 13 Wilstem Wildlife Park
- 14 Paoli Peaks: Winter Wonderland Adventures
- 15 Brick Street Restaurant: A Culinary Journey
- 16 Patoka Lake: Nature’s Playground
- 17 Patoka Lake Nature Center
- 18 Conclusion
Best for Families: West Baden Springs Hotel
The West Baden Springs Hotel emerges as an architectural marvel and a preferred destination for families in pursuit of both luxury and family-centric amenities. Entering the magnificent atrium, crowned by its signature dome, one can’t help but feel enveloped by the magnificence of this storied establishment.
Just as this hotel stands as a testament to architectural excellence, the Maine’s renowned landmarks offer a glimpse into the state’s rich heritage and beauty.
The spacious rooms and suites are designed to accommodate families of all sizes comfortably. Many of them offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, allowing you to wake up to the beauty of French Lick.
Additionally, the hotel’s indoor pool and recreational areas ensure that both children and adults have ample opportunities for relaxation and fun.
Parents can enjoy a quiet dinner or spa treatment while their children engage in supervised activities at the kids’ club. The hotel’s concierge service can also assist in arranging family-friendly excursions in the area, making it easier to create cherished memories together.
Best Budget Option: French Lick Springs Hotel
For budget-conscious travelers visiting St. Louis, the French Lick Springs Hotel stands out as an excellent choice. It offers a remarkable blend of affordability, comfort, and convenient proximity to the city’s attractions.
While it may not offer the same level of opulence as some other accommodations, it still promises an enjoyable stay experience that won’t break the bank. If you’re interested in exploring more about St. Louis’s unique identity, you can read about it on the Tales of Travelers website here to gain further insights.
The hotel’s rooms are cozy and well-appointed, providing all the essential amenities for a comfortable stay. Its central location means you’ll be just a stone’s throw away from the town’s main attractions, allowing you to make the most of your time in French Lick without spending excessive time commuting.
While staying at the French Lick Springs Hotel, you can take advantage of its inviting outdoor pool, perfect for cooling off on warm summer days. Additionally, the hotel’s proximity to local restaurants and cafes gives you the opportunity to explore the town’s culinary offerings without going far.
Best Rustic Option: XANADU
For those yearning for a more rustic and immersive experience, XANADU presents a unique opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and embrace nature. Nestled amidst picturesque landscapes, XANADU offers charming cabins that exude a sense of serenity and simplicity.
Each cabin is thoughtfully designed to blend with the natural surroundings while providing the essential comforts you need for a cozy stay. Unplug from digital distractions and savor the moments spent surrounded by the sights and sounds of the outdoors.
XANADU’s location allows you to explore the beauty of French Lick’s natural attractions at your own pace. Wake up to the song of birds, take leisurely hikes through wooded trails, and spend evenings by the firepit, sharing stories and making memories with loved ones.
Hoosier National Forest: A Nature Lover’s Paradise
The Hoosier National Forest is a sprawling expanse of 202,000 acres that serves as a haven for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a camping enthusiast, or simply seeking solace in nature, the forest offers a diverse range of activities to choose from.
Explore the lush expanse of Idaho’s forests through a web of trails, each unveiling nature’s treasures such as tranquil lakes, mesmerizing waterfalls, and awe-inspiring vistas. Camping beneath the starlit sky provides a unique opportunity to detach from the digital realm and embrace the splendor of the Gem State’s reputation. To discover more about Idaho’s natural wonders, check out our page on the “Gem State’s reputation.”
Birdwatching, wildlife spotting, and simply soaking in the peaceful atmosphere are all on the agenda in this wilderness retreat.
French Lick Scenic Railway: A Journey Through Time
Step aboard the French Lick Scenic Railway and be transported back in time to an era when trains ruled the transportation landscape. This vintage train ride is not just a mode of transportation; it’s an immersive experience that takes you on a scenic journey through the picturesque countryside and historic landmarks of French Lick.
As the locomotive chugs along, you’ll marvel at the changing landscapes and charming vistas outside your window. The journey is punctuated with engaging commentary that provides insights into the history of the area and the significance of the sites you pass by.
Whether you’re a history buff, a rail enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates a leisurely ride, the French Lick Scenic Railway promises an unforgettable experience.
French Lick Resort: Where Elegance Meets Entertainment
French Lick Resort stands as a testament to the town’s opulent past and its vibrant present. This historic resort offers a luxurious escape with its stunning architecture, lavish amenities, and a blend of classic charm and modern convenience.
Indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment, perfect your swing on the golf courses, or try your luck at the resort’s casino. The resort’s grounds are meticulously landscaped, providing a serene backdrop for leisurely strolls or moments of relaxation by the pool. If you’re interested in exploring more of what Virginia has to offer, don’t miss the chance to Explore Virginia’s attractions during your stay
With multiple dining options, each offering delectable cuisine, French Lick Resort ensures that every aspect of your stay is infused with elegance and entertainment.
French Lick Casino: A Gamble in Grandeur
For those seeking a thrilling evening of gaming and entertainment, the French Lick Casino beckons with its vibrant atmosphere and a wide array of gaming options. Step into the casino’s elegant halls and feel the excitement in the air as you explore a variety of slot machines, table games, and poker rooms.
The casino’s architecture exudes elegance, capturing the spirit of the town’s historic charm. Whether you’re a seasoned gambler or a casual player trying your luck, the French Lick Casino offers an electrifying experience that adds a touch of glamour to your visit.
French Lick Winery and Patoka Lake Winery
French Lick’s wineries, including French Lick Winery and Patoka Lake Winery, provide an opportunity to indulge in the flavors of the region while surrounded by scenic beauty. Take a guided tour of the vineyards and learn about the winemaking process, from grape to bottle.
Wine tastings offer a chance to sample a variety of wines crafted with care and expertise. Whether you prefer reds, whites, or something in between, you’re sure to find a wine that pleases your palate. Savor your selections while taking in the picturesque landscapes of the vineyards and the tranquil ambiance that these wineries offer.
XANADU: A Rustic Haven in Nature’s Embrace
Nestled in the heart of the town, XANADU offers a retreat from the modern world and an opportunity to immerse yourself in the serenity of nature. This rustic hideaway provides charming cabins that allow you to disconnect from the digital realm and reconnect with the simple pleasures of life.
Wake up to the soothing sounds of birdsong, enjoy leisurely walks through wooded trails, and spend evenings around a crackling firepit.
The cabins, thoughtfully designed to blend with the surrounding landscape, offer a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Whether you’re seeking solitude or quality time with loved ones, XANADU promises an escape that rejuvenates the soul.
French Lick Museum West Basin: Town Heritage
Step back in time and explore the rich history of French Lick at the French Lick Museum West Basin. This engaging museum offers a curated collection of exhibits that take you on a journey through the town’s evolution, from its humble beginnings to its vibrant present.
Discover artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays that vividly depict the lives of those who shaped the town’s history. Learn about the cultural heritage, notable events, and the transformation of French Lick into the charming destination it is today.
Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the town’s past, this museum offers insights that enrich your understanding of French Lick.
Shotz Miniature Golf and Lazer Tag
For those in search of energetic fun, Shotz Miniature Golf and Lazer Tag is the ultimate destination. This attraction combines the excitement of glow-in-the-dark mini-golf with heart-pounding lazer tag battles, creating an experience that’s both entertaining and memorable.
Challenge your friends and family to a friendly round of mini-golf on creatively designed courses that light up the night. Engage in high-energy lazer tag games that test your strategic thinking and agility.
The immersive environment and competitive spirit make Shotz a fantastic choice for groups of all sizes and ages, ensuring that laughter and excitement are in ample supply.
Big Splash Adventure Indoor Waterpark: Splashes of Joy
Regardless of the weather outside, the Big Splash Adventure Indoor Waterpark promises endless aquatic fun. This water wonderland offers a variety of water-based attractions that cater to visitors of all ages.
Zoom down water slides, float along lazy rivers, and experience the thrill of wave pools. Kids can enjoy interactive play areas designed to spark their imagination and keep them entertained for hours.
With a tropical ambiance, the waterpark provides a slice of paradise in the heart of Indiana. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or exhilaration, Big Splash Adventure delivers waves of joy to all who visit.
Wilstem Wildlife Park
Wilstem Wildlife Park offers a unique opportunity to connect with the animal kingdom in a way that’s both educational and exhilarating. This park is home to a variety of exotic animals, including elephants, kangaroos, and even giraffes. Visitors have the chance to observe these majestic creatures up close and learn about their natural behaviors and habitats.
Embark on an elephant encounter that allows you to feed, bathe, and create unforgettable memories with these gentle giants. The kangaroo experience lets you get acquainted with these hopping marsupials, while the giraffe encounter offers the chance to feed these graceful creatures.
Wilstem Wildlife Park is more than a destination—it’s an opportunity to foster a deeper appreciation for the animal kingdom and the importance of conservation.
Paoli Peaks: Winter Wonderland Adventures
When winter blankets French Lick with snow, Paoli Peaks transforms into a winter wonderland for ski and snowboarding enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or hitting the slopes for the first time, Paoli Peaks offers a range of trails and slopes suitable for all skill levels.
Experience the rush as you glide down the powdery slopes, the crisp air invigorating your senses. The resort provides equipment rentals and lessons for beginners, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the thrills of winter sports. With its cozy lodge and welcoming atmosphere, Paoli Peaks is the perfect destination for a snowy escape.
Brick Street Restaurant: A Culinary Journey
Located in the heart of French Lick, Brick Street Restaurant offers a culinary experience that’s as inviting as the town itself. This charming eatery is renowned for its farm-to-table approach, serving dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients that capture the essence of the region.
Step into a warm and welcoming ambiance as you peruse a menu that features a blend of comfort food and innovative cuisine. From hearty breakfast options to delectable lunch and dinner choices, Brick Street Restaurant invites you to savor each bite in a setting that feels like home.
Patoka Lake: Nature’s Playground
Patoka Lake is a serene haven that calls out to nature enthusiasts with its pristine waters and stunning natural beauty. This idyllic lake provides a plethora of recreational opportunities for its visitors, including boating and fishing, as well as the chance to experience lakeside camping beneath the starry skies. For those seeking to explore more about what Oklahoma is known for, Oklahoma’s claim to fame, including its remarkable natural destinations like Patoka Lake.
Explore the lake’s shoreline on a kayaking expedition, hike the surrounding trails to witness the beauty of the area from different vantage points, or simply find a peaceful spot to unwind and take in the breathtaking views. Patoka Lake is more than a body of water; it’s a canvas of natural beauty that invites you to create your own adventure.