Sports history runs deep in French Lick, Indiana

FRENCH LICK, Ind. -- The West Baden Springs Hotel and The French Lick Springs Hotel mark some of Indiana's beautiful views and rich history.

The two communities feature landmark hotels, legendary mineral springs and championship golf.

West Baden Springs is one of the country's grandest resorts and features a massive dome that was once hailed as the 8th wonder of the world after it was constructed in 1901.

"It was the largest free span dome in the world until the Houston astrodome was built in the 1960s," said Steve Rondinardo, French Lick Resorts.

The dome has been accompanied by generations of people celebrating graduations and weddings. The majestic hotel even provided a memorable backdrop for one young couple to get engaged.

Alison Gibson was surprised to see Adam Dunstone, her now fiancé, down on one knee popping the question among the beautiful gardens.

"She was so surprised. Felt great asking the question. Been waiting to ask it for so long," Dunstone laughed, "I'm just happy she said 'yes.'"

This proved to be a great romantic getaway, but others come to marvel at its craftsmanship.

A school group from Charleston, Ill., were in awe at the towering dome.

"It was really crazy when I first walked in," student Katy Stokes said. "It took my breath away, just seeing it. It's so tall and wide."

The French Lick Springs Hotel isn't quite as famous for its architecture, but it certainly holds an important place in Indiana's history.

The grand hotel features a Las Vegas-style casino, bowling alley, and of course, fine dining, but what makes this place special are the iconic springs accompanied by its sports history.

French Lick's horse track was famous for its races, but in Chicago, we might remember it from our first World Series.

In 1907 and 1908 the Cubs played on the local horse track. We won back to back championships those years. It must've been something in the water from French Lick's famous springs.

French Lick used to be home to some of the best races and, obviously, periodic visits from the best baseball team in the world, now, golf reigns as King.

The grand hotel and resort is home to 18 championship holes on one of the highest points in Indiana. The course is home to the 2017 Senior LPGA Championship.

If golf reigns as king in French Lick, Larry Bird is a close second. The hall-of-fame hoopster from French Lick is known as a hometown hero. The resort features his high school jersey, the backboard he practiced on, and right next door, a restaurant with even more memorabilia. Bird's trophies and jerseys are on display from college at Indiana St. to team USA.

Filled with sports taverns, a casino, and beautiful architecture that was once home to pioneers as they followed buffalo West, French Lick is a historic community with more stories to tell.

Plan your visit with these helpful links:

French Lick Resort

Hotels / Golf / Casino

Local: +1 (812) 936-9300 - Toll Free: +1 (888) 936-9360

https://www.frenchlick.com/

 

The Pete Dye Course at French Lick

https://www.frenchlick.com/golf/peteDye/

 

1875: The Steakhouse

812-936-8001

https://www.frenchlick.com/dining

 

 

French Lick – West Baden Museum

812-936-FLWB

https://www.flwbmuseum.com/

 

 

33 Brick Street Restaurant

812-936-3370

http://33brickstreet.com/

 

French Lick Scenic Railway

http://www.frenchlickscenicrailway.org/

 

 

French Lick Winery

812-936-2293
Toll Free: 888-494-6380

https://www.frenchlickwinery.com/

 

 

Big Splash Adventure

877-936-3866

https://www.bigsplashadventure.com/

 

Wilstem Ranch

812.936.4484

http://wilstemranch.com/

 

Visit Indiana

(800) 677-9800

https://visitindiana.com/