• Self Guided Tours

Historical Walking Tour

French Lick Resort's storied past in this self-guided tour

Opened in 1902, West Baden Springs Hotel enjoyed national prominence as it boasted the world’s largest free-span dome for more than 50 years before the arrival of modern sports domes. The architectural marvel, with its 200-foot dome, made headlines when it was built and continues to receive international acclaim today.


Did you know that the Cubs won the World Series in 1908 after they trained in West Baden during part of spring training? Start your tour in the sunken gardens and you’ll learn all about this National Historic Landmark’s storied past, including stints as a Jesuit seminary, U.S. Army hospital and private college.


Continue your tour at French Lick Springs Hotel and you’ll learn more about the first visitors to the area, the famous Pluto Water and the man who put French Lick on the map. 


Since its early founding, the area of French Lick has been filled with intrigue, adventure and decadence. The rich history surrounding the resort has provided guests with an unmistakable optimism for health, good fortune and the opportunity to satisfy any whim — making it the destination of choice for many of our nation’s most regarded clientele. The Roaring ‘20s brought the likes of the Rockefellers, the Vanderbilts and the Studebakers to this tiny valley in southern Indiana — all rubbing shoulders with politicians, sports legends and gangsters. 


This was the site of the 1931 Governors’ Conference where Franklin D. Roosevelt gained his party’s support to run for president. Another interesting fact: Tomato juice was first served as a breakfast drink here.


This easy-to-navigate map will guide you around each property. To tour both properties, simply follow the Ferguson Trail.

Historical Walking Tour

West Baden Springs Hotel

  1. Sunken Garden
  2. Hygeia Spring No. 1
  3. Billiards and Bowling Pavilion
  4. Sprudel Spring No. 7
  5. Bicycle and Pony Track
  6. Baseball (West Baden)
  7. Apollo Spring No. 3
  8. Golf Courses
  9. Brick Drive
  10. Archway
  11. West Baden Depot
  12. U.S. Army Hospital
  13. The Springs
  14. Seal Fountain
  15. St. Ignatius
  16. Joe Louis Bridge

French Lick Springs Hotel

  1. French Lick Dairy
  2. Valley Links Golf Course
  3. Baseball (French Lick)
  4. Monon Railroad
  5. Tomato Juice
  6. Tom Taggart
  7. Pluto's Buffet
  8. Fort French Lick
  9. First Hotel
  10. The Springs
  11. Pluto Spring
  12. Gardens

Indiana Landmarks

Want to know more? Indiana Landmarks offers historical walking tours of both hotels. Click here for information on current tour offerings.