It's a waterpark wonderland in Wisconsin Dells
When early French explorers reached the south-central area of what is now known as Wisconsin, they were awestruck by its natural beauty. These adventurers named the area “dalles,” which is the French term for the sandstone rock formations and the rapids in the Wisconsin River. The name gradually evolved into The Dells. Today, the community is known as “The Water Park Capital of the World” due to its large number of renowned water parks which draw more than three million visitors each year.
Things to see and do
Some outdoor activities are closed in the winter and June can bring big crowds with its popularity.
Take a ride
Climb aboard a DUCK, which is a modern-day version of a World War II amphibious truck, for a thrilling land and water excursion of wilderness trails and the Wisconsin River. Alternatively, feel the adrenaline-pumping action of a jet-boat ride over the waters. If you prefer to stick to dry land, saddle up to explore the canyons on horseback, or experience a bird's-eye view as you soar across the valley on a zip-line.
Thrill seekers will enjoy the rides and slides of more than 20 indoor and outdoor water parks, including some of the largest in the country, such as Noah 's Ark. You can enjoy the spills and chills of roller coasters, flume rides, wave pools and go-karts.
Area visitors can hunt, fish, or play a round of golf on a challenging course. In addition to swimming and boating in summer, enjoy skiing and snowboarding in the winter.
The Dells area hosts several interesting museums and exhibits. Displays and live shows at Circus World chronicle the history of these popular Big Top performances. Children will enjoy the interactive displays of the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory science museum as well as casting a spell at the MagiQuest. Enjoy an up-close encounter with a giraffe, zebra or kangaroo at the Timbavati Wildlife Park.
Shopping, dining and nightlife
In downtown Dells, you will find a variety of unique shops, boutiques and galleries, where premium antiques, special one-of-a-kind pieces and kitschy souvenirs can be found. The Tanger Mall Outlet houses 59 stores, where visitors can pick up the latest fashion pieces and big-brand buys.
Foodies will be amazed by the selection of cafes, restaurants and other eateries featuring regional classics and international treats. Popular local dishes include fried fish, bratwurst, soft pretzels and frozen custard. Monk's Bar & Grill is a popular choice for families, with a menu of burgers and a relaxed atmosphere.
After soaking up the sun all day, you can visit an elegant supper club, listen to dance music at a nightclub, or try your luck at the casino.
Wisconsin Dells festivals celebrate music, dance and food, as well as the contributions that various cultures have made to the surrounding area. Major events include the Taste of the Dells and Waterslide-athon in the summer, and autumn's Fall Festival Weekend and Wo-Zha-Wa Fall Festival.
Guests of Wisconsin Dells hotels can easily reach their vacation destination by air, rail or road. The nearest airport is Dane County Regional (MSN). Located one hour south in the capital of Madison, the airport is served by several commuter airlines. Another option is Milwaukee's larger General Mitchell International Airport (MKE), which is situated a two-hour drive to the southeast. The Wisconsin Dells train station, located downtown just off Broadway, is a stop on Amtrak's Empire Builder route connecting Chicago with the Pacific Northwest.
* Prices reflect the lowest "base rate" found over the next 30 days. Rates are subject to change and may not include taxes and fees, hotel service charges, extra person charges, or incidentals, such as room service. All rates are displayed in USD unless otherwise noted. Converted rates are provided for your convenience. They are based on today's exchange rate, but the hotel will charge you in the local currency.