Like many others, we headed out of town over the weeklong break. Instead of heading way south, we drove 4 hours to southern Indiana to French Lick and this drive was long enough with a 1-year-old who does not want to be in a car seat.
French Lick Resort is a family friend resort/hotel that is nestled in the hills of southern Indiana not far from Bloomington, Louisville, or Evansville. The area was first founded due to the natural water springs. Many of those natural springs still flow today. Natural springs were thought to have medical and beauty-related cures. So normally wealthy people (who could afford this) would travel to the springs (which a hotel or resort would spring up around) to “take in the water” which was to drink a cup of sulfur water a day (egg smelling water) in hopes it would provide medical relief or sustain youthfulness.
The showstopper in local attractions and historical architecture is the West Baden Hotel with the amazing domed center and beautiful, restored architecture. It is truly a grand, historical, piece of history and art. The dome is actually on rollers. It slowly pivots with the building as concrete tends to shrink and expand during temperature changes. This is pretty amazing engineering.
The area was a hot spot for the wealthy, the mafia, a training area for MLB camps, resorts, and a monastery (hence there is a cemetery on the property) so a very interesting history. In the early 1980s, the buildings/property were completely abandoned. You could walk right into them, broken doors, windows, tiled floors were rolling, animals living in the spaces, etc. It wasn’t until the 1990s that a wealthy pharmaceutical company family (the Cooks) invested in the property that we have this amazing gem of a resort today.
The French Lick resort boost numerous restaurants, stores, bowling alley, arcade, ice cream/coffee shop, three pools/hot tubs, etc. It is one of the most family-friendly places we have stayed and one of the most incredibly beautiful hotels we have seen. (It is often used for conferences; there is a casino and they host concerts as well, all in the same building).
We came, we saw, we conquered, and then needed a vacation from our vacation. But highly recommended. One of the boys asked if he could live there. We booked rooms for the summer. The whole family loved it. Hope your spring break was relaxing and hoping that this week brings warmer temps! Long, live spring!