Wisconsin Dells Trip Guide | Midwest Living

Wisconsin Dells Trip Guide

It’s all about getting on the water in the Dells. Boat tours introduce today’s visitors to what first drew tourists to this region, and water parks thrill them with wave pools and towering slides. Check out our picks for what to do, where to eat and where to stay in the Wisconsin Dells.


Bigfoot Zipline Thrill-seekers glide above Sasquatch Lake and treetops during two-hour tours. bigfootzip.com

Bigfoot Zipline

Bigfoot Ziplines. Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Dells Visitor and Convention Bureau.

Circus World Museum In Baraboo (12 miles south of the Dells), see exhibits and shows on the grounds of the original Ringling Brothers Circus winter quarters. Kids can create a circus performance at KidsWorld Circus. circusworldbaraboo.org

Dells Boat Tours See the Dells’ signature sandstone cliffs from a double-decker boat. Sunset tours feature dinner, live music and a shoreline stroll under lit torches. dellsboats.com

Dells Boat Tours

Dells Boat Tours. Photo courtesy of Dells Boat Tours.

Devil’s Lake State Park Its 29 miles of hiking trails and 5 miles of off-road bike trails wind along the spring-fed lake and through rocky forests. dnr.state.wi.us

Fawn Creek Winery This woodsy winery offers free tastings and sells cheese flights. fawncreekwinery.com

H.H. Bennett Studio A sesquicentennial exhibit shows how 19th-century landscape photographer H.H. Bennett made the Dells famous. hhbennettstudio.wisconsinhistory.org

International Crane Foundation A trip to the Dells means you're only minutes away from this Baraboo animal habitat, the one place in the world where all 15 species of cranes live. Take guided or self-guided tours through savanna and tallgrass prairie, see whooping cranes in a wetland and learn about preservation efforts. savingcranes.org

Mirror Lake State Park Three miles from the Dells, this park—named for its calm lake that reflects a wooded shoreline—offers a quiet retreat. Bike, boat, canoe and kayak rentals are offered; the lake also has a beach. dnr.state.wi.us

Noah’s Ark Water Park Spend the day on lazy rivers, bumper boats and rides like a twisty, water roller coaster at America’s largest water park. noahsarkwaterpark.com

Original Wisconsin Ducks World War II-Era “Duck” vehicles go off-road past fern-filled canyons and through thick woods before plunging into Lake Delton. wisconsinducktours.com

The Tommy Bartlett Show Still going strong after 65 years, the show on Lake Delton wows audiences with water stunts, jugglers and daredevils. tommybartlett.com


B-Lux Grill and Bar We couldn't resist the shakes served in Mason jars or burgers, such as the Cheesehead, with cheddar, beer-battered cheese curds and chicken-fried bacon. b-luxgrill.com

Brat House Grill Dig into beer-soaked brats and German spaetzle at this family-friendly tavern in a former church. brathousedells.com

Carvelli’s Pizza and Pasta House Calabria-region cooking inspires dishes like veal ravioli with porcini mushrooms at a family-owned spot. carvellis.com

High Rock Cafe Views of the Dells accompany specialties like pot stickers with sweet chili marmalade. highrockcafe.com

High Rock Cafe

High Rock Cafe. Photo courtesy of High Rock Cafe.

Ishnala Supper Club Set on a bluff overlooking Mirror Lake, it serves old-school supper club meals in a setting straight out of the Prohibition Era. ishnala.com

Kaminski’s Chop House Views of the Wisconsin River complement huge portions of corn-fed, dry-aged beef at this classy steakhouse at Chula Vista Resort. kaminskischophouse.com

Monk’s Bar and Grill Chow down on a burger topped with fried onions at this local favorite decorated with Badger memorabilia. monksbarandgrill.com

Moosejaw Pizza and Dells Brewery Company Dine on pizza, burgers and ribs washed down with a pint made by the brewmaster on the third floor. dellsmoosejaw.com


Baker’s Sunset Bay Resort The Lake Delton resort has pools and a beach. sunsetbayresort.com

Kalahari Resort An indoor-outdoor water park, indoor theme park and bowling thrill kids. kalahariresorts.com/wi

Sundara Inn and Spa The adults-only retreat indulges guests in quiet pampering. sundaraspa.com

Resorts If you want to settle in for fun at the same place you sleep, consider resorts like these: Chula Vista for an indoor water park and golf (chulavistaresort.com); Great Wolf Lodge for kid-friendly accommodations (greatwolf.com); Mt. Olympus for a Greco-Roman-theme water park (mtolympuspark.com); Spring Brook for fishing and golf (spring-brook.com); Wilderness for either family-friendly or quiet getaways (wildernessresort.com).

Mt. Olympus

Mt. Olympus. Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Dells Visitor and Convention Bureau.

For ­information: Wisconsin Dells Visitor and Convention Bureau wisdells.com

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