French Lick Journals

Weekend in French Lick

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A June 2004 trip to French Lick by wanderluster

Pluto Photo, French Lick, Indiana More Photos
Quote: At the turn of the century well-heeled business owners, presidents, movie stars, and sports figures flocked to posh resorts in French Lick, famous for its curative mineral springs. Resorts may have faded and the springs dried up, but this sleepy region offers a wealth of history and activities amid scenic rolling hills.

Weekend in French Lick

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Overview

Pluto Photo, French Lick, Indiana
Quote:
Which do you fancy, Pluto water or Sprudel water? Are you a bigger fan of politicians or baseball players? Do you prefer spa treatments or bicycle tracks? Golfing or gambling? Ornate ceilings or a glass rotunda? At the turn of the century, these were the choices for America's famous and affluent who were deciding between two competing properties, French Lick Springs Hotel and West Baden Springs Hotel. Located a mile apart from one another by trolley, equally accessible by train, both boasted mineral springs renown for curing digestive disorders drawing the likes of presidents, movie stars and kings. Even after the quackery subsided, guests flocked to this region for gambling at the abundant casi...Read More

French Lick Springs Hotel

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Hotel | "French Lick Springs Resort & Spa"

French Lick Springs Resort & Spa  Photo, French Lick, Indiana
Quote:
"When nature won't, Pluto will," reads a sign hanging above the only remaining mineral springs on the 2600 acre property. I wrinkled my nose at the off-putting smell and wondered how people willingly drank 12 glasses a day. Although guests no longer congregate around this pavilion to dip and sip, the sulphur waters–which still run 600 gallons an hour–are piped into the spa to provide popular mineral baths for guests at the French Lick Hotel. My previous stays were during winter months, so I hadn't seen Pluto or his springs until a recent stay. Curious about the history of this place I spoke with a historian on site. Guests first arrived to this simple hotel in 1845 on foot or h...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 11, 2004

French Lick Springs Hotel
French Lick Resort 8670 West State Road 56
French Lick, Indiana 47432
(812) 936-9300

West Baden Springs Hotel

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Attraction | "West Baden Springs National Historic Landmark Tour"

West Baden Springs Hotel Photo, French Lick, Indiana
Quote:
I'd driven past the arched entrance a few times but hadn't known a guided tour was available of this opulent property until recently. We drove down the tree-lined drive past gorgeous gardens toward the yellow brick structure, it's Moorish towers peeking above thick trees. Stunning architecturally, I found the hotel's history just as intriguing. Lee Sinclair, a banker from Salem, Indiana was a visionary in his time. As a guest at the West Baden Springs Hotel, he saw potential there and purchased it in 1888. Within ten years he transformed the 500 room hotel into a sophisticated retreat, complete with an opera house and casino. He invited baseball teams to hold spring training at his complex, prac...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 11, 2004

West Baden Springs Hotel
8538 West Baden Avenue
West Baden Springs, Indiana 47469
(812) 936-9300

West Baden & Southern Railway Co.

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Attraction | "French Lick Train Ride"

West Baden & Southern Railway Co. Photo, French Lick, Indiana
Quote:
"I've tried medicines and mineral waters of this country and Europe and as an eliminator of diseased conditions of the digestive organs, I can attest that the springs are certainly superior to any causative agents I have ever examined," claimed Dr. Samuel Gross on an old advertisement for the Monon train route. In 1902, people flocked to this region to drink these spring waters plentiful in both West Baden and French Lick, where 19 hotels offered room and board rates for $3-5 a day. Back then round trip fare from Chicago to French Lick was $12.45, and three trains ran daily from Chicago, Indianapolis, and Louisville. Today, there are two operating hotels. And no train. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 11, 2004

West Baden & Southern Railway Co.
1 Monon Street
French Lick, Indiana 47432
(812) 936-2405

Holiday World & Splashin Safari

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Attraction | "Holiday World & Splashin Safari"

Holiday World & Splashin Safari Photo, Santa Claus, Indiana
Quote:
Zoom through complete darkness as your raft twists, turns and plunges down Zoombabwe's purple tube; race against nine other tobaggoners down Jungle Racer's competitive five-story slide; or swoop around the sides of Zinga's gigantic six-story funnel before splashing into a waiting pool–these are the latest thrills at Holiday World's Splashin' Safari. Although this 11 acre water park represents just a small portion of the 100 acre theme park, it was a hit during our visit on a recent hot June day. Adults and teens congregated at the newest adrenalin-inducing water slide rides, but also returned to family favorites Otorongo and Watubee in lines rarely lasting longer than ten minutes. And wee ones s...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 11, 2004

Holiday World & Splashin Safari
452 E. Christmas Blvd.
Santa Claus, Indiana 47529
(812) 937-4401

Patoka Lake

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Attraction

Patoka Lake Photo, French Lick, Indiana
Quote:
www.patokalakemarina.net 888-819-6916 Driving home from French Lick, we passed through the central portion of Patoka Lake minutes later. Sailboats, fishing boats, and houseboats drifting on glistening blue water caught our eye and prompted us to turn west on highway 164 for a closer look. While touring West Baden, I'd heard quick mention of a combination tour that included a boat ride excursion on Patoka Lake. Harvey Edwards, one of the managing partners of Patoka Marina, provided more details. On mid-Fridays, small groups tour West Baden, board one of his double-decker party pontoons for an evening cruise, and enjoy a catered chicken meal in a scenic spot overlooking the lake. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 11, 2004

Patoka Lake
3084 N Dillard Road Birdseye
French Lick, Indiana 47513
(812) 685-2464