French Lick & West Baden Springs Hotel Tours

Get the Inside Story on a Grand Hotel Tour

The landmark hotels in French Lick and West Baden Springs—located one mile apart in southern Indiana—offer a fascinating window on the grand hotel era of the early twentieth century and the tradition of “taking the waters.”

West Baden Springs Hotel Interior
West Baden Springs Hotel Interior

Daily & Twilight Tours, Behind the Scenes, & More

Guests from Bing Crosby to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, captains of industry and pampered socialites came to drink the smelly sulfur water, take spa treatments, and often test their luck in the casinos.

Indiana Landmarks played an instrumental role in saving the West Baden Springs Hotel, a ruin when we bought it in 1996 and recruited the Cook family of Bloomington who performed an award-winning feat of restoration. We continue to provide tours in both hotels. Your tour guide will highlight the hotels’ fascinating history, award-winning restorations, and revivals’ impact on the entire region.

In addition to the ongoing tours of each hotel, we offer Twilight Tours, and a tour combined with Wednesday afternoon tea in the domed atrium (a grand hotel tradition). We also offer group tours and lectures by appointment.

All tours depart from Landmarks Emporium, our shops in each hotel. In the Emporium, you’ll find books and postcards, of course, joined by a unique and ever-changing mix of historically inspired merchandise—from top hats and fascinators to children’s toys.

Directions

French Lick and West Baden are side-by-side towns in southern Indiana’s Orange County. You’ll find the towns 1.5 hours north of Louisville (28 miles north of I-64), 2.5 hours south of Indianapolis via IN 37 and IN 56.

West Baden Springs Hotel, 8538 West Baden Ave., West Baden Springs, IN 47469 (one mile north of French Lick in Orange County)

French Lick Springs Hotel, 8670 West State Road 56, French Lick, IN 47432

Historic Hotel Tours

West Baden Springs Hotel tours are offered 2 & 4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays.

Buy West Baden Springs Hotel Tour Tickets

French Lick Springs Hotel tours are offered at noon Tuesdays-Saturdays.

Buy French Lick Springs Hotel Tour Tickets

Single tour ticket, either hotel: $15/person; $8/child age 6-15; free age 5 and under ($13/Indiana Landmarks member).

Tickets are available online and at Landmarks Emporium, Indiana Landmarks’ shops in each hotel and the departure point for all tours. Landmarks Emporium is currently open Wednesday – Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. At West Baden Springs, you’ll find Landmarks Emporium in the corridor that rings the atrium (turn right after entering from the porte-cochere). At French Lick, Landmarks Emporium is in the retail corridor that connects the hotel with the casino and parking garage

We strongly recommended reservations as tour sizes are limited and we will be practicing social distancing as they resume. Group tours are available by appointment any day for groups of 15 or more with at least 4 weeks notice. Email swoodward@indianalandmarks.org for questions or reservations.

Twilight Tours

On select Saturdays, May through September, rub shoulders with some of the rich, famous, and notorious people connected with West Baden Springs during its heyday in the ‘teens and ’20s. Twilight Tours explore what it was like to be a guest of the West Baden Springs Hotel during its grand era.

Costumed characters representing guests and famous figures of the era—including golfer Walter Hagen, mobster Big Jim Colosimo, palm reader Mademoiselle Louise, author Edna Ferber, the “unsinkable” Molly Brown, and others—give visitors an especially lively picture of the place, sharing their impressions of the hotel, its owner, the healing mineral springs and other tidbits.

The 75-minute tour departs at 7 p.m., ending well before the hotel’s universal 10 p.m. bedtime during its heyday.

In 2022, Twilight Tours will be offered May 21, June 18, July 16, August 20, and September 17.

Advanced ticket purchase is required and encouraged as space will be limited to allow for social distancing. Tickets for adults are $25, $10 children (ages 6-15), Landmarks Members $20.

Tickets are available online or by calling 812-936-5870 (Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) or emailing swoodward@indianalandmarks.org

Buy Twilight Tour Tickets

BEHIND-THE-Scenes Tours

On select Thursday afternoons, Indiana Landmarks offers a two-hour behind-the-scenes tour of the West Baden Springs Hotel, arranging access to spaces not normally open to the public. Tourgoers will discover the history of areas that served the hotel’s first guests—including the kitchen, garage, ice cream plant, laundry, printing office, and filtering plant—and see how these spaces have been re-purposed for the hotel’s operations today. The tour also offers an exclusive peek at the hotel’s modern luxuries, including Table One (a private dining room), the sixth-floor Presidential Suite, hotel rooms furnished in Gilded Age splendor to reflect the hotel’s heyday, and suites incorporated into the historic ballroom space. Make plans to capture the stunning view of the atrium from the balcony of one of the rooms on the sixth floor!

West Baden Behind-the-Scenes Tours

West Baden Springs Behind-the-Scenes tours are available to adult tourgoers only. Because this is a behind-the-scenes tour, not all spaces are fully accessible for people utilizing walkers, wheelchairs, or motorized scooters. Please contact our staff for more information on accessible areas.

Note that rooms included on the tour are subject to change due to availability; Indiana Landmarks reserves the right to substitute areas featured.

In 2022, Behind-the-Scenes Tours will be offered April 7 & 21, May 12 & 26, June 9 & 23, July 14 & 28, August 11 & 25, September 8 & 22, October 6 & 20, November 10 & 17, and December 8 & 22.

Tickets are available online or by calling 812-936-5870 (Tuesday– Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) or emailing swoodward@indianalandmarks.org

Buy Behind-the-Scenes Tour Tickets

 

Wednesday Tour and Afternoon Tea

12:30 p.m. tour and 2 p.m. tea or 1:30 tour and 3 p.m. tea. Reservation required; call the hotel at 812-936-5579.

Group Tours at West Baden and French Lick

For groups of 15 or more with four-week advance notice, we will arrange a guided walking tour of the West Baden Springs Hotel, the French Lick Springs Hotel, or both.

  • Standard guided walking tour lasts 60 – 75 minutes.
  • Please allow time for your group to both load and unload, and time to shop.
  • Tours available year-round Monday-Saturday, except Thanksgiving and Christmas day.
  • Shopping on site at both hotels
  • Handicapped-accessible buildings and restrooms
  • Lower discounted rates for motorcoach tours
  • Complimentary tour for driver and one escort for motorcoach tours
  • Group itinerary planning
  • Images and brochures available
  • A discounted group rate is available for groups of 15 or more.

Call 812-936-5870 or email swoodward@indianalandmarks.org for more information or to schedule a group tour.

Landmarks Emporiums & Tours
8670 West State Road 56
French Lick, IN 47432
812-936-5870
westbaden@indianalandmarks.org

Mailing Address
Indiana Landmarks
P.O. Box 217
West Baden, IN 47469

Overnight Accommodations
Both restored hotels offer overnight accommodations for groups; call 888-936-9360 or visit www.frenchlick.com. For information on other area accommodations and things to do, visit www.visitfrenchlickwestbaden.com.