This post is sponsored by Visit Indiana and French Lick Resort, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!
Praise the Lord, it is our summer vacation!! My family and I were counting down the days until our summer could begin and finally, it is here! It was so fun to surprise the kids with a mini getaway the weekend that their school let out. We had heard GREAT things about French Lick Resort, and my husband and I are so glad we got to experience it for ourselves.
First off, for such a short drive from Louisville, it really feels like you’re ‘getting away.’ Not really an interstate close by, but two lane state roads wind you through beautiful country side. Then you pull into French Lick and there are these two MASSIVE resorts. They are historic, stately and offer such truly beautiful architecture and exploration. We pulled up and low and behold…FREE VALET. Sorry, but we aren’t typically fancy enough to have someone else park our car. That’s really a great way to start any vacation, someone willing to do mundane tasks for you. They even brought the luggage to our room free of charge as well!
We stayed at French Lick’s sister hotel West Baden Springs Hotel. You walk through a giant atrium to get to the hotel lobby, and oh my goodness, y’all—it’s magical. All of the beautiful natural light pours through, and when you stop and look straight up to the top, you can’t help being completely in awe at such a spectacular building. (I’m also blown away by whoever constructed it because holy heights, that would be kind of terrifying.)
Admittedly, French Lick is a small town, but for our weekend getaway it was perfect. Plenty of restaurants to choose from, games and activities for the kids, and the resorts have PLENTY of swimming options both indoor and out. The food at Ballard’s in West Baden, the charming train that will shuttle you back and forth between the resorts, bowling alleys, all of it was just super charming and relaxing. (PS, when you go and ride the train hopefully Todd is your conductor, he was MADE for this. Such a sweet and kind gentleman to everyone he gave rides too. He even gave our kids wooden train whistles, which I now have a love/hate relationship with; but regardless, sweet gesture!)
Outside of the resorts there were plenty of places to eat, shops to look through, and fun activities for everyone to enjoy. I recommend 33 Brick Street, which is where we had dinner one of our nights. Its a casual sports bar filled with cool memorabilia. Apparently I’m lame because I don’t really know who Larry bird is, but he has lots of things on display there!! We also enjoyed Pluto’s Pizzeria, which is where we bowled and ate pizza—a really fun experience and activity for our kids who are five and seven! For breakfast both days we went to the Grand Colonnade Restaurant Buffet. Saturday morning I had some girl time with my daughter; my husband drove our son to his basketball tournament back in Louisville (dedicated sports dad!) and she and I went to breakfast and explored some of the shops.
Big Splash Adventure is minutes down the road from the hotel, and a great activity for families who visit! It is a 40,000 square foot INDOOR water park, but get this—it has a retractable roof! All year round you all can enjoy this destination for some great family fun! Just outside of town there is Wilstem Ranch. There you can actually meet giraffes and elephants, and there is also zip lining and horseback riding here. The ranch is just ten minutes from Paoli and French Lick.
You all know me and my obsession with horses, right? We obviously had to check out the Stables at West Baden, which has trail rides available. (The minimum age requirement to ride though was eight, so we didn’t do a trail ride since our kids were too young; however, you know we cuddled them and got to know some of the staff, which in my mind, was pretty much just as awesome.) The staff there were super friendly! I’d highly recommend snuggling with the horses (and going for a ride, haha!)
We spent one of the afternoons at the pools, West Baden Springs has a great indoor and outdoor facility. It was sprinkling when we started, but the weather held off and we were able to enjoy a good couple of hours in the water!
French Lick truly was a GREAT weekend getaway place. Not far from home, but far enough away that life and responsibilities just slow down—and rest and laughter become the two most important things to take care of. I’ve heard from several friends that the decorations they put up at Christmas time are unreal, so my family will definitely be going back! Thank you, French Lick Resort for hosting our family this weekend, what an incredible place it is.