There are many different things to do in French Lick, Indiana. From exploring the Patoka Lake Winery to biking through the Hoosier National Forest, the town has something to keep everyone busy. If you don’t have a lot of time to visit French Lick, here are some great things to do.

Patoka Lake Winery

If you’re planning a getaway to French Lick, Indiana, there are plenty of things to do. You can visit the quaint town of French Lick or the famous Patoka Lake Winery for a day of wine-tasting and family fun. While you’re in town, don’t miss out on the Wilstem Wildlife Park, where you can see elephants, giraffes, kangaroos, and more. You can even take a side-by-side ATV or zip line tour to see the park. Another fun activity is a tour of the Dubois County Museum, which is the largest county museum in Indiana.

There’s also the West Baden Springs Hotel, with its impressive 200-foot atrium that was once considered the 8th wonder of the world. You can enjoy the beautiful gardens and porches, and there’s even a rocking chair for the kids. Patoka Lake Winery is a great place to enjoy your wine and food, and you can even take a wine tour if you like.

There’s also plenty to keep the kids entertained, with plenty of bowling alleys and arcade games. And for a bit of afternoon fun, you can also visit Pluto’s Alley, which has arcade games and a Pluto’s Well bar for adult beverages.

West Baden Springs Hotel

For a unique experience, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the West Baden Springs Hotel. The tour will take you through areas of the hotel not normally accessible to the public and explain the hotel’s history. During the tour, you will also visit the Table One private dining room and the sixth-floor Presidential Suite. You will also see many of the hotel’s rooms, which are decorated with the Gilded Age splendor of the hotel’s past. There are even suites incorporated into the historic ballroom.

The hotel was built in 1929, and was once owned by the Society of Jesus. Its mineral spring water became famous, and its name became associated with the German mineral spa town of Baden-Baden. The hotel’s mineral water was also dubbed ‘Sprudel Water’. Eventually, it became an epitome of luxury, complete with an opera house, pony track, and baseball field.

West Baden Springs Hotel is home to the stunning atrium, once known as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” The historic hotel has an array of amenities to make your stay as comfortable as possible. In addition to the luxurious accommodations, you can indulge in fine dining, spa treatments, and shopping. During your stay, you can also take advantage of the complimentary shuttle service that operates 365 days a year and twenty-four hours a day.

Marengo Cave

The history of Marengo Cave in French Lick, Indiana is as old as the cave itself. The cave was discovered in 1883 by Orris and Blanche Hiestand, who were hunting rabbits. They were surprised to find an underground cave, which they informed the landowner about. The landowner soon opened the cave to the public, and today, visitors can explore this underground wonder.

The cave is located in a rural area east of Patoka Lake, which is located near the edge of the Hoosier National Forest. It is approximately thirteen miles from the Ohio River. Early visitors traveled along the Louisville, Evansville and St. Louis Airline Railroad to reach the cave. However, the number of visitors to Marengo Cave dropped drastically in the mid-20th century. However, it became more accessible with the completion of Interstate 64.

In 1911, the Cave Company was run by Samuel M. Stewart until he was taken ill. After the war, J.M. Weathers, Jr., took over the company and eventually took control of it. After the cave company was acquired by Weathers, a local businessman named Charles Fitzgerald became interested in buying the business. He subsequently hired a local electrician to help light the cave and began actively promoting the cave.


Biking in French Lick is a fun way to experience the area, and there are four trails to choose from. From easy to moderately difficult, the trails cover over eighty miles in total. The B-Line Trail runs from Adams Street to West Country Club Drive and winds along railroad tracks. Bikers will have plenty of places to stop and stretch their legs.

There are two main mountain biking trails in French Lick: Buffalo Trace and Waterfall. Both feature short but technical climbs and descents. Buffalo Trace is named after the Buffalo Trace that used to pass through the French Lick property. The Buffalo Trace loop is five miles long and is part of the three thousand acres of trail system. Trail builders Spectrum Trail Designs designed the trails to take advantage of the area’s natural features.


Located in southern Indiana, French Lick is forever known as the home of Larry Bird, but you don’t have to be a basketball fan to play golf in the town. There are a number of great courses to choose from and it’s easy to see why golf is one of the top recreational activities in the area.

French Lick is home to three championship golf courses, including the Pete Dye Course, which opened in 1967. You can also play at the French Lick Resort, which has an eight-hole, par-three course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., and two world-class spas. Additionally, the French Lick Casino features 24-hour gaming. GolfWeek rated the French Lick Pete Dye Course the best course in Indiana for 13 years, and GolfNow has ranked the Donald Ross Course as the second-best in Indiana since 2011. In addition to golfing, the French Lick Resort features dining, special events, and stables.

The French Lick hotel once had two nine-hole courses. The Lower course was in a meadow, while the Upper course was located on a hill with mountainous contours. Unfortunately, the lower course has since closed, but you can still see the imprint of it on the land surrounding the Pete Dye Course. The path to the courses is lined with marble plaques that read “Golf Course.” The history of the hotel dates back to the late 1700s. The French Lick hotel was originally built on mineral springs and salt licks, so it makes perfect sense to play golf in the area if you’re visiting.

Horseback riding

Horseback riding is a fun and exciting way to explore the scenic countryside of French Lick, Indiana. The French Lick Resort offers eight miles of horse trails that are bordered by the Hoosier National Forest. Visitors can enjoy the scenery and wildlife, including deer and red tail hawks. Trail rides last 45 to 90 minutes. Trail rides are available seven days a week. Trail rides are available for guests eight years of age and younger.

Visitors can also go horseback riding in the nearby Strawtown Koteewi Park. The K Trails Equestrian Adventures barn offers riding lessons and scenic rides. Visitors can learn new skills and enjoy scenic rides with their families. Horseback riding is a fun activity for the whole family, whether they are children or adults, and is perfect for families with children. Riding lessons are available for $30 an hour.

French Lick has a number of attractions, events, and restaurants. It is easily accessible from I-64 and is about an hour’s drive from Louisville. The nearest airport is in Louisville, KY (SDF). The town is renowned for its “miracle waters” that have healed the sick. Several famous people have called French Lick home. During the Christmas season, the town is adorned with twinkling lights.


French Lick is home to numerous stores, including local artisan foods and gifts. These stores also offer free wine tastings seven days a week. The quaint downtown area of French Lick is a walking paradise, and local shops and restaurants are easy to find. Shop owners carefully choose their inventory to reflect their customers’ tastes.

During Prohibition, French Lick was a major gambling town, with thirteen illegal casinos operating in the town. However, following a raid on the casinos during Derby Weekend, the casinos were shut down. Today, visitors to the area can enjoy a wide selection of handmade gifts, pottery, jewelry, and decorative items.

If shopping isn’t your cup of tea, head to the French Lick Resort, an iconic Indiana landmark. Featuring two luxurious hotels, a casino, golf courses, and an event center, this resort is a destination for a relaxing vacation. If you’re visiting with a group, be sure to take advantage of the hotel’s arcade and bowling alley, and don’t forget to visit the hotel’s deli and ice cream shop.