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Things to Do in French Lick, Indiana: Weekend Guide

French Lick, Indiana and the Patoka Lake area are a great weekend destination. Check out this weekend guide to learn the best things to do in French Lick, Indiana.

Known for its healing mineral springs and natural beauty, French Lick is the perfect spot for an unforgettable getaway. This century-old resort town nestled in the Hoosier National Forest has something for everyone.

My friends and I headed to French Lick and Patoka Lake for a girls’ weekend. We loved this quaint getaway in Southern Indiana, and I’m sure you will, too!

From cashing in at the casino to exploring the local wineries, there are plenty of great things to do in French Lick and the Patoka Lake area.

Gardens at West Baden Springs Hotel, French Lick West Baden, Indiana

French Lick Weekend Guide

French Lick is one of the Midwest’s best hidden gems! And with the natural beauty of Patoka Lake and the Hoosier National Forest, it’s a serene destination for a girls’ weekend, a family trip, or a romantic getaway.

In thigs guide, I’ll give you ideas for where to stay in French Lick, things to do on your weekend getaway, and where to eat in the area.

Whether you’re visiting for a long weekend or a week, you won’t be disappointed by all this small town has to offer.

Where to Stay in French Lick, Indiana

French Lick Springs Hotel, French Lick, Indiana
Photo courtesy of Visit French Lick West Baden

There are all types of places to stay in French Lick. You can stay at a charming historic hotel, rent a cabin on Patoka Lake, enjoy a bed & breakfast, or park at a campground.

The French Lick Springs Hotel and the West Baden Springs Hotel are top choices. Both are part of the French Lick Resort, established in the mid-1800s.

At the 1845 French Lick Springs Hotel, you get fascinating history and modern amenities with premium access to the French Lick Casino. At the 1901 West Baden Springs Hotel, you get an extraordinary luxury experience perfect for a romantic getaway.

Top Places to Stay in French Lick

Find the perfect place to rest your head on your visit to French Lick, from the top rated accommodations to unique stays you can’t get anywhere else.

Things to Do in French Lick

Make the most of your time in French Lick by exploring the area’s history and wineries. Here’s everything we did on our girls’ weekend in French Lick! (Spoiler alert: It’s a lot of wineries!)

French Lick Casino

French Lick Casino, French Lick, Indiana

French Lick Casino is probably one of the biggest draws to this town. Part of the French Lick Resort, this casino has slot machines, table games, and sports betting.

There are over 700 slots, more than 25 live-dealer table games for blackjack, craps, roulette, poker, and more, self-serve sports betting kiosks and a comfy TV lounge, and an exclusive high-limits section.

Probably my favorite part — it’s a fully non-smoking casino. They do have an outdoor smoking patio, but inside is completely non-smoking, and my lungs were very grateful for that.

West Baden Springs Hotel

Atrium at West Baden Springs Hotel, French Lick West Baden, Indiana

Even if you’re not staying at the West Baden Springs Hotel, it’s still a sight to see! It’s known for its 200-foot dome and towering atrium.

In the 1800s, French Lick became known for its salt deposits and mineral springs and was a popular health resort spot. The West Baden Springs Hotel was built in the 1850s and it, along with the neighboring French Lick Springs Hotel, drew in people from around the country to bath in their curative mineral water.

After multiple fires, the hotel was rebuilt in the early 1900s as a circular building with a large dome. From 1902 to 1913, it was the largest dome in the world. The hotel had a casino, live theatre performances nightly, opera, movies, bowling, golf courses, horseback riding, and more.

The hotel closed down in 1932 and became a Jesuit seminary and then a private college before falling into ruin. The West Baden Springs Hotel was finally restored and reopened in 2007.

Even if you’re not a guest of the hotel, you can still visit and view the atrium, dine at the hotel’s restaurants, do some shopping, take a historic tour, and stroll the formal gardens.

Patoka Lake Winery

Patoka Lake Winery, Birdseye, Indiana

Patoka Lake Winery is located south of French Lick in Birdseye, Indiana, on the south side of Patoka Lake.

They have a wide range of wines, from super sweet fruit wines to dry wines. Their wines are award-winning, too. The Biker’s Black and Blue, Lake Select Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Das Apfel Riesling, and Lake Indulgence Gewurztraminer are all winners (there’s a lot of German ancestry in Indiana, so you’re going to find a lot of German-inspired wines in this region).

The tasting room at Patoka Lake Winery is open daily. You can do a wine tasting at the bar, grab a glass or a wine slushie in a pouch to sip on the covered patio, and shop their gift shop.

Winzerwald Winery

Winzerwald Winery, Bristow, Indiana

Winzerwald Winery is located even further south, just off of I-64, in Bristow, Indiana. They specialize in German-inspired wines, and they were my favorite of the wineries we tried during our weekend.

This small family winery has a great location in the Hoosier National Forest, and they make wines from grapes typically grown in Germany, like Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Meunier. Their name “Winzerwald” is German for “wine merchant of the forest”.

You can get a wine tasting with 8 samples for a great price. They have both indoor and outdoor seating, an on-site restaurant, a gift shop, and plenty of live music events. I highly recommend trying the different types of Glühwein, which will make you want to spend Christmas in Germany — their Apple Pie Glühwein was my favorite!

French Lick Winery

For a winery right in French Lick, the obvious choice is French Lick Winery.

This family-owned winery grows Traminette, Noiret, Steuben, Catawba, Cayuga White, and Chambourcin varietals. They have a great selection of dry, semi-sweet, sweet, sparkling, and fortified wines.

You can do a wine tasting, enjoy a glass on the patio, sip on a slushie, try a craft cocktail, and browse the tasting room’s gift shop. They also have a restaurant on-site.

Where to Eat in French Lick

You won’t have any trouble finding a delicious place to eat in the French Lick area. Here are a few options that we enjoyed:

33 Brick Street

33 Brick Street, French Lick, Indiana

33 Brick Street is a locally- and family-owned restaurant in French Lick that celebrates local NBA star Larry Bird.

The restaurant is decorated with sports memorabilia, signed jerseys, personal awards, and trophies owned by Larry Bird. On the menu of this sports-themed pub, you’ll find American classics like burgers, steaks, chicken, seafood, sandwiches, and a wide selection of local and craft beer on tap.

Wein Kitchen Restaurant at Winzerwald Winery

Wein Kitchen Restaurant at Winzerwald Winery, Bristow, Indiana

When we visited Winzerwald Winery, we decided to eat at their on-site restaurant, Wein Kitchen Restaurant.

This simple restaurant inside the tasting room has German-inspired foods like flatbreads (a very Americanized flammkuchen), sweet and savory Bavarian pretzels, and charcuterie plates.

Benny’s Off the Water

Located right next door to Patoka Lake Winery, Benny’s Off the Water is a great place for lunch while you do a wine tasting.

On the menu, you’ll find pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, wings, and pub appetizers.

More Indiana Itineraries

Looking for more fun things to do on your trip to Indiana? Check out these top posts:

Ready to visit French Lick, Indiana? Plan your trip with these tips.



Things to Do in French Lick, Indiana: Weekend Guide

What are your favorite things to do in French Lick, Indiana? Let me know in the comments!

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