Long Weekend: French Lick Resort, Indiana

West Baden Springs Hotel atrium at French Lick resort

Photograph courtesy French Lick

Just 180 miles west, but a world away, an escape to French Lick Resort can be as relaxing or rollicking as you like. With two stunning beaux-arts hotels on the property, both of which underwent a $382 million renovation that was completed in 2007, you can pick your experience. Like any resort worth its salt—and yes, the original 18th-century French trading post was founded near a spring and the resulting salty mineral deposits—French Lick tosses up a ton of options. All you have to do is choose.

Relax: Just the two of you, escaping the brood? Opt for the serenity of West Baden Springs Hotel, where half of the 243 rooms overlook the soaring, grandly restored six-story Atrium—which, by the way, spans 200 feet. Tee up on the Donald Ross Course, laid out by the world-renowned designer in 1917, or if you’re feeling brash, Pete Dye’s hilltop links, two of four spectacular golf courses on the property. Or just cruise through fall foliage on horseback before hitting the spa for a massage or facial, or taking a dip in the heated outdoor pool. Then reward yourself with a juicy porterhouse at 1875: The Steakhouse.

Rollick: Check out the French Lick Casino, and grab a casual dinner at Hagen’s Club House Pub before playing craps, slots, or mini-baccarat until your stamina—or money—runs out. Bringing the kids? Stick with the French Lick Springs Hotel—it’s the nexus of their KidsFest activities. Shoot hoops at the French Lick Hotel’s indoor b-ball court (this is the boyhood home of Larry Bird, after all), rally with racquets on the indoor tennis courts, and end the evening in the arcade and bowling alley.

KidsFest is “a perks pass for kids”—and for you, since they’ll be kept entertained. Activities include cooking or crafting at the KidsFest Lodge, organized dodgeball and flashlight tag games, and Saturday night movies and s’mores.

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