If you are planning on taking a trip this spring to Wisconsin Dells, go beyond the waterparks and try some of these classic Dells experiences.
1. Take a tour of the Wisconsin River. Explore the scenery and history of the Wisconsin River and its 15-mile stretch of sandstone cliffs on a boat tour. Dells Boat Tours offers visitors tours of the Upper and Lower Dells, as well as dinner cruises and even a Ghost Boat tour into a canyon.
2. Ride a DUCK. Cruise down the Wisconsin River, crawl over the Sand Bar and through Dell Creek and then plunge into Lake Delton aboard an amphibious truck originally developed to ferry troops and supplies from ship to shore during World War II. The Original Wisconsin Ducks start their 70th season this summer. Look for 10 of the 92 Ducks to be painted in a retro color scheme reminiscent of the 1950s and 1960s.
3. Eat a burger from Monk’s. An attraction for tourists since 1947, this classic burger joint now has a few locations. If you go to Monk’s Downtown Dells location, which is half a block from the original location, the benches on the second level are originally from Camp Randall Stadium in Madison. And don’t forget to order some fried cheese curds!
4. Dine at a supper club. Wisconsin Dells has some of the best and unique supper clubs in the state. Opened in 1943, Del-Bar was originally a log cabin. House of Embers, which opened in 1959, features a variety of unique dining rooms, including the Humphrey Bogart Room, Tiffany Room and Ben Franklin Room. And Ishnala Supper Club is located in Mirror Lake Park with great views of the lake. The restaurant was originally a log cabin trading post.
5. Indulge in fudge. Watch this decadent treat being made in small batches and then enjoy! Top spots include Original Wisconsin Dells Fudge, Wisconsin Dairyland Fudge and Swiss Maid Fudge. Be sure to try the salt water taffy, too.
6. Feed the deer. For more than 50 years, the 40-acre Wisconsin Deer Park has offered visitors an opportunity to feed deer and other wildlife. The walk through the exhibit is about 4 blocks long, and visitors can see American Elk, Bison, the European Fallow Deer and more. The main feeding area showcases the Virginia White Tail Deer.
7. Buy a pair of moccasins. The cozy, soft Minnetonka footwear has been a staple of the Dells for decades and can be purchased at places like Parsons Indian Trading Post & Museum, which also sells thousands of Native American items, and Winnebago Fine Goods & Gift Shop, which has been in operation since 1949. The moccasins come in a variety of style.
8. Water fun. Whether it’s a lake, lazy river, wave pool or splash pad, Wisconsin Dells is perhaps best known as a waterpark destination. Mix up your visits with a stay at a classic resort property like Indian Trail Motel, Fitzgerald’s Motel and Black Hawk Motel. Many of these spots offer discounts on passes to the larger waterparks and other Dells attractions.
And, bonus! Here are two awesome Dells experiences you can take advantage of if you wait until a little later in the season!
1. Enjoy a Tommy Bartlett ski show. Watch jaw-dropping stunts, acrobatics and amazing water-skiers at a Tommy Bartlett show on Lake Delton. Each show is 90 minutes. Tommy Bartlett, who was a Milwaukee native, started The Tommy Bartlett Water Ski & Jumping Boat Thrill Show in 1952. Ironically, he only water-skied once at the age of 70. Bartlett died in 1998 at age 84.
2. Watch a movie outdoors. Load into the car (pets welcome, too!) and head to Big Sky Twin Drive-in Theater. This family-friendly spot offers two full-sized screens, showing double features of the latest Hollywood films. A concession stand offers food and drinks.