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We’ll open with, yes, the same French Lick that Larry Bird is from. If you’re of the LeBron generation, go YouTube Larry. He led his college team to an undefeated season, was taken by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA draft, and is one of three players to ever win back-to-back-to-back NBA Most Valuable Player awards. The list goes on, but the moral here: the “Hick from French Lick” was pretty damn good. However, there’s more to the old French trading post than Larry legend.

Founded in 1857, French Lick, Indiana isn’t what anyone would consider a bustling metropolis. With a local population of under 2,000, this quaint Southern Indiana town plays host to people from around the globe and has been doing so for over 100 years. But why?

Folks flocked to French Lick for a myriad of reasons over the years. From the old days when people came to drink from the spring that delivered Pluto Water to the modern addition of Indiana’s first land-based casino, French Lick continues to provide fun and entertainment for those passing through. There are plenty of shops. The food is great, and the scenery is second-to-none. The zoo is a nice surprise too. Take the trolley or take a hike, you’ll never be bored when venturing out. 

When you do head out and about, don’t drink the Pluto Water. In the early 20th century Pluto Spring was a major source of attraction and revenue for French Lick. The mineral-rich water flowing from the spring was bottled and sold as a laxative. It was advised to be consumed in the morning and was advertised to “start working” within an hour. At its height, Pluto Water was billed as “America’s Laxative”, but production was halted in 1971 when one of the ingredients found in Pluto Water, lithium salts, became a controlled substance. 

Still, you can visit the pavilion over Pluto Springs when you come to French Lick or you can move on to doing nothing at all. You can sit in a rocking chair and take in the 40-mile vistas from the hotel porch. You can schedule a massage at one of the spas or sit in the hotel lobby and play checkers. In the end, if you’re looking for a vacation full of relaxation, French Lick delivers that too.

And in case you missed it, there’s some pretty decent golf in French Lick. Rarely does a golfer have the chance to get humbled by two of the greatest to ever design courses in the same weekend? Boasting a refurbished Donald Ross design and a modern Pete Dye masterpiece, French Lick is the bucket list golf stop you didn’t know you needed. 

Whether you’re looking for something, nothing, or everything, French Lick is no flyover town.

Bud Copeland

A self-taught stick with a hack brain, Bud grew up playing golf year-round in north Florida. Born-again New England, Bud learned what an “off-season” is. He now lives in Salem, MA with his wife, daughter, two cats, and dog, Miller. He is the sole Y chromosome in the house, believes we did land on the moon and strongly advocates for walk-up music on the first and eighteenth tees.