There's something unusual about this Wisconsin Dells resort—besides the palm trees growing in front and its Southwest style. Truly unique is Chula Vista's location on a pine-shaded bluff overlooking the Wisconsin River, water carved deeply into miles of weathered sandstone dells that give the nearby resort town its name. None of the other big, modern properties in the Dells is close to the water. Chula Vista has capitalized on that with a four-year, $200 million renovation that includes riverside rooms and pavilions. Not that your kids will care after they've had a look in the new, 80,000-square-foot indoor water park with a 600-foot-long water roller coaster and nine giant water slides. Also relatively new to the resort are a recently renovated golf course, more than 150 condos, and an array of public areas, including a sports complex. We love the wooded, riverside setting not too far away from the frenetic fun of the Dells. Activities such as hay rides, river excursions, miniature golf, and indoor and outdoor pools await—plus Spa del Sol with nine treatment rooms. Nine eateries include a kid-friendly buffet and a cook-your-own steak restaurant. More than 400 rooms, suites and condos (some themed) from $125.