Southern Indiana was at one time the hotspot for the rich and famous. Celebrities, wealthy industrialists, athletes, mobsters and others made their way via railroad to luxurious hotels in French Lick and West Baden, drawn by the mineral waters that promised good health.


Built in 1901 and 1902 following a fire at the previous hotel, the West Baden Springs Hotel has a fascinating history. It has been dubbed the Eighth Wonder of the World for its unique and impressive design that made it the largest free-standing dome in the world at the time. Like many businesses, it was unable to thrive during the Great Depression and ended up being donated for use as a seminary for three decades and then as a college campus before sitting vacant for years and suffering a collapse of part of the inner dome. After a massive renovation project, it re-opened in 2007 in the lavish style of a century before.

West Baden Springs Hotel

This property is a must-see with it’s restored dome and many original features. Here’s a list of 10 things to check out when you visit:


The Atrium

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Even if you aren’t staying at the hotel, it’s worth going a little out of your way for a visit just to head into the atrium and take in this engineering marvel and the gorgeous design with an enormous fireplace that can fit a 14-foot log. The restaurant, Ballard’s, is situated in a corner of the atrium floor where you can eat in unique spot with a beautiful backdrop.

West Baden Springs Atrium

The Veranda

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The gorgeous grounds are so peaceful and one way to take it in is with a cup of coffee or a cocktail from one of the rocking chairs along the veranda that faces the sunken garden and entrance road.

French Lick West Baden Viranda

The West Baden Spring Hotel Museum

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Stop in this small museum within the hotel to see pieces of the hotel’s interesting history with some video presentations of the hotel in its heyday.

Spring house at West Baden Springs Hotel

Relaxing in the luxurious surroundings of the 28,000-square-foot, two-level natatorium layout with marble floors and hand-blown glass. Make time for a massage, facial or other spa service and enjoy the indoor lap pool.

French Lick Resort Spa

Indiana Landmarks Tour

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Take a guided tour by expert historians for a behind-the-scenes look at what went into the construction of this beautiful property, some of the unique features and interesting bits of history.

World Famous Pluto Springs at French Lick / West Baden


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Fit in some time for fitness on one of the pickle ball courts located in the East Park. Bring your own paddles and balls or you can purchase them at the West Baden Mercantile.

Jazz in the Library

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Check their calendar of activities for unique events and amenities, like Friday Late Night Live Jazz in the hotel’s library from talented local musicians.

Horse Carriage Ride

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Make it really feel like you’re stepping back in time with a ride on a horse carriage around the grounds. Rides are about 20-25 minutes.

West Baden Horse Carriage

Rail Trolley to French Lick Hotel

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Take the historic railcar between the French Lick Hotel and the West Baden Springs Hotel. Make your way over to the French Lick Hotel for a bite to eat, a round of golf, some gambling in the casino or to sit back and relax on the front porch.

Rail Trolley French Lick / West Baden

Breakfast at Sinclair’s Cafe

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If you’re looking for a hearty breakfast before the day begins, make your way to Sinclair’s Cafe for a delicious morning meal in this bright space that served as the original dining room at the hotel. Eggs Benedict, omelets and stuffed French toast are among the options. Breakfast is served until 11 for the late risers or brunch enthusiasts.

Sinclair's French Toast