Sitting in the heart of southern Indiana lies the small community known as Springs Valley. Although it may be small compared to other known vacation spots the valley offers excitement and entertainment that surpasses any “metropolitan areas” in the state. Springs Valley contains two cities, West Baden Springs and French Lick, and is home to legendary basketball superstar Larry Bird. Other internationally known celebrities and athletes come here to entertain, or to just sit back, relax, and enjoy this lovely area.
There are tons of unique places to explore and interesting spots to check out in Springs Valley, but here are a few of the excellent attractions that have put this amazing area in the spotlight.
1. West Baden Springs Hotel
take you back in time to another era. Opened in 1903, this beautiful resort was the largest freestanding dome in the world until the construction of the Astrodome in 1965. The infamous Al Capone, Diamond Jim Brady, and the Chicago Cubs are just a few of the notable guests who have also chosen this beautiful landmark as their relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Rich in history and elegance, nobody walks away disappointed.
2. French Lick Springs Hotel and Casino
After a 500 million dollar restoration project, the French Lick Springs Hotel reopened in 2006 and offers world-class entertainment and a professional golf course in addition to the casino. At the time, Indiana only allowed water-based gambling, which forced the resort to build a pond surrounding the casino known as "the boat on the moat". When Indiana laws changed in 2008, the pond was filled in and the French Lick Resort became home to Indiana's first land-based casino.
3. Just Off The Brick Pizza
During any vacation to the valley, dining becomes a priority. Nestled right in the heart of downtown French Lick, you will find one of the area's oldest continuously operating restaurants. Ranked as one of the top 10 pizzerias in southern Indiana, "Just Off The Brick" offers a variety of food and drinks that is sure to bring tasty satisfaction for all ages.
4. Patoka Lake
As one of Indiana's largest lakes, Patoka Lake offers just about everything you could possibly want in outdoor recreation. Cabin rentals and other designated areas offer over 500 campsites, making Patoka Lake the state's top option for outdoor getaways. It offers walking and bicycle trails, designated skiing areas, an archery range, hunting grounds, a disc golf course, picnic shelters, swimming areas, and, of course, fishing. Every year, the Lake Association hosts GarDaze, which brings world class fisherman like Bill Dance, Babe Winkleman, and many other greats.
5. Big Splash Adventure
Easily Indiana's number one indoor water park, Big Splash Adventure is located high above the Springs Valley community. It is not just any water park; this four-star resort also offers a beautiful hotel overlooking the valley, providing indoor fun and entertainment for all ages. Within walking distance from the casino, you will not find anywhere else in Indiana offering this kind of year around excitement!
6. Wilstem Ranch
Just minutes from the West Baden Springs Hotel lies the Wilstem Ranch. Here you will find a variety of outdoor activities, including ATV tours, horseback riding, camping, nine 5,000-foot zip lines, and the famous elephant retreat. Every summer, these beautiful creatures get to take their own vacation here at the ranch. If you love nature, you will not be disappointed here.
7. Paoli Peaks
The rolling hills just outside of the valley provide and amazing alpine experience at Paoli Peaks. Between the months of December through March, the peaks offer skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, and other excitement for both beginner and advanced skill levels!
8. Pete Dye Golf Course
Located near the French Lick Springs Hotel, you will find the Pete Dye Golf Course. Home the 2015 Senior PGA Championship, The Pete Dye course is a eye-catching piece of landscape architecture with three manmade lakes stretching through the beautiful southern Indiana valley. Professional golfer and PGA champion, Colin Montgomerie even declared this course on of the most iconic in America and recommended this spot as one that golfers from around the world should experience.
Southern Indiana’s Springs Valley offers a relaxing getaway to a small community without leaving the fun of the big city behind. Don’t overlook this incredible little gem when planning your next trip!