While learning to fly as a kid with my grandfather, I never imagined that one day I might own my own aircraft. Now that I do, it has opened up a whole new world of weekend trips and adventures that just aren’t feasible when driving.
My wife and I love exploring new destinations and recently started documenting our travel via our blog www.ourflyinglife.net. When selecting a new place to explore, obviously somewhere interesting and with an airport conveniently located are the most important factors. A couple of other things we look for are ease of transportation and flexibility in cancellation since we are weather dependent. We recently had the opportunity to spend a weekend at a wonderful resort that not only has something for everyone in the family, but also checks all those boxes on our list.
Nestled in the hills of Southern Indiana, the French Lick Resort is truly a hidden gem, and is one of the most aviation accessible destinations we’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. There really are few places where you can land, tie your aircraft down, be picked up by a shuttle provided by the resort, and arrive on the property, all within 15 minutes. There are actually two hotels that make up the French Lick Resort, the French Lick Springs and the West Baden Springs Hotels. Both are impressive in their own right, but on our maiden trip we stayed at West Baden. Walking into the atrium of this historic hotel is nothing short of breathtaking. Its 200-foot free-spanning dome is truly a marvel of engineering & architecture, especially considering it was constructed in 1901. Shops and restaurants ring the floor of the massive structure. There is even a world-class spa located on-site, as well as indoor & outdoor pools, so you won’t have to go far to find activities to occupy your time. However, should you need to leave the resort, their shuttle service can take you anywhere you need to go in town at no charge.
There is something for everyone at the resort. Located adjacent to the French Lick hotel is a 51,000 square foot casino. You’ll find everything from blackjack to slot machines to Texas hold'em. But if gambling isn’t your thing, you can also try one of three golf courses, hiking, or even horseback riding just to name a few!
Getting in and out of the airport is straight forward. The 5,500-foot-long runway is in good shape, and, even though the airport is nestled down in the trees, approaches are clear to both ends. The airport is staffed from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm, Monday through Saturday, but the terminal building is accessible to pilots 24-hours a day via a keypad. Wi-Fi for flight planning, comfortable furniture, and restroom facilities are all available. Self-service fueling is provided for both 100LL & Jet-A, and is located just off a parking area with ample tie-down space.
Whether you’re looking for a fun weekend at the casino, a relaxing round of golf, a family weekend, or a romantic getaway for two, this resort has it all!