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Hotels in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

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Best hotels in Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells Introduction

The picturesque gorge of the Wisconsin River gives Wisconsin Dells its charming sylvan name and accounts for its enduring popularity as an outdoor vacation destination. The first tourists arrived in the 1850s, lured by the promise of scenic river tours in wooden rowboats. These basic crafts were soon replaced by more comfortable steamboats as tour operators expanded their fleets to keep up with increasing demand. Boat tours of the Dells are still a big draw in the city that proclaims itself the ‘Waterpark Capital of the World’ and boasts a wide variety of family-friendly attractions based in, on, and around water.

Hotels in Wisconsin Dells

Unsurprisingly, water features prominently in the most popular hotels in Wisconsin Dells. The city’s famous water park resorts have been offering freewheeling family fun for decades. Enjoy the convenience of on-site restaurants and bars, coupled with the security of knowing the little ones can let their hair down in supervised safety while the adults grab some much-needed me-time. Downtown Wisconsin Dells hotels typically offer free shuttles to the water parks for their guests. If water parks are not top of your to-do list, you’ll find plenty of cheap Wisconsin Dells hotels on the highway that make ideal bases for exploring the river gorge.

Where to stay

Thanks to the abundance of well-appointed hotels in Wisconsin Dells, location is just one of the many considerations to take into account when planning your perfect vacation. Wherever you end up, you’ll find plenty of family-friendly amenities close at hand. Lake Delton provides the scenic setting for many of the most famous water park resorts. Follow State Highway 23 to discover value-for-money motels with easy access to the spectacular scenery of the Wisconsin River gorge. Or stay downtown on Broadway to be within walking distance of museums and restaurants with the river as your picturesque backdrop.

Things to see

In 1979, Noah’s Ark became the first water park to open on Lake Delton—a popular summer tourist attraction in its own right for the thrilling waterskiing spectaculars of the legendary Tommy Bartlett Show. In 1994 the Polynesian Resort Hotel opened the first indoor water park in the U.S. Favorite brands like Kalahari Resort and Great Wolf Lodge followed, all competing for the biggest, most exciting, most innovative rides and slides. For a dash of old-style fun and a glimpse of wildlife in its natural environment, take an amphibious ‘duck’ tour through the wilderness trails of the Wisconsin River. Discover an unusual spin-off of the Dells’ early popularity at the H. H. Bennett Studio, named for the enterprising photographer whose stereoscopic images of the sandstone formations spread the region’s fame far and wide. Bennett was quick to spot the market for souvenir postcards and tourist portraits, and his original studio is now a fascinating museum.

How to get to Wisconsin Dells

Amtrak’s Empire Builder service calls at Wisconsin Dells station, a charming modern reconstruction of the quaint original station building. The city is also a stop on Greyhound’s interstate bus route from Chicago to Minneapolis. Interstate 90 skirts the city to the southwest. The nearest airport is Madison’s Dane County Regional Airport, a 60-mile trip on I-90, with non-stop routes to Orlando, Detroit, New York City, and Minneapolis-St. Paul, among others. Car rental and taxis are readily available at the airport. Wisconsin Dells’ compact, friendly downtown is easy to explore on foot, and local cab companies are on hand for longer journeys.

Wisconsin Dells travel guides

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