An ideal year-round getaway for travel groups, Wisconsin Dells offers the excitement and entertainment of a popular tourist hub with a historic and quaint small town feel.
Wisconsin Dells at a Glance
While widely recognized as the “Waterpark Capital of the World,” Wisconsin Dells has much more to offer group travelers, including substantial meeting space, one-of-a-kind dining experiences and endless accommodation options. Its tourism community dates back more than 150 years, when the first visitors came for scenic tours of the breathtaking sandstone cliffs lining the shores of the Wisconsin River.
Today, Wisconsin Dells sees more than four million annual visitors and successfully hosts a number of meetings, conventions and sports activities. More than 2,500 meetings are held per year, with over 400,000 square feet of meeting space available. That’s approximately six football fields worth of meeting space in one town extending only 19.5 square miles.
Along with extensive meeting space, Wisconsin Dells has more hotel rooms than any other city in Wisconsin. Exceeding 8,000 rooms, 19 campgrounds and 3,200 campsites, Wisconsin Dells guarantees travel groups of all sizes and preferences can find what they’re looking for. The community is in early discussions for a major downtown redevelopment project and seeks to accumulate more activities, dining, arts and entertainment throughout the town.
Although the redevelopment project is in its early stages, Wisconsin Dells is already a prominent tourist hub that group travelers have been visiting for more than a century. A unique and vibrant town, Wisconsin Dells was the first to launch the waterpark craze when Polynesian Resort Hotel owner Stan Anderson decided to put a roof over a children’s water attraction. It’s home to a restaurant with one of the top-selling vegetarian cookbooks on the internet and has hundreds of businesses that have generated hundreds of millions of dollars in attractions and expansions in the last three years alone. No matter what occasion you’re planning for, Wisconsin Dells is sure to provide that ideal getaway for travel groups.
In-Depth Articles and Itineraries
- Music, Magic and Making Memories at Wisconsin Dells
- Wisconsin Dells Offers Water, Wildlife and Riveting Entertainment
- Diving into Wisconsin Dells Water Parks
Wet N’ Wild Wisconsin Dells Waterparks
Possibly the number one reason groups visit Wisconsin Dells is the concentration of indoor and outdoor waterparks (the highest concentration in the world). What makes this so great is that groups can visit Wisconsin Dells at any time of the year during any season and still get the feel of a tropical vacation—even in the Midwest! Here’s an inside look at Wisconsin Dells’ four major waterparks:
Chula Vista Resort Waterpark
Featuring 26 waterslides over one and a half miles long, Chula Vista’s indoor and outdoor waterparks provide thrill and excitement for all ages. Lost Rios, the resort’s 80,000-square-foot, multi-level indoor waterpark is home to the fastest indoor water-coaster: the Flyan Mayan. With 30-foot drops, reverses, switchbacks, curves, loops, dips and refreshing pools, Chula Vista’s outdoor waterpark has something for everyone to enjoy. Groups can take a break from all of the water fun for a game of miniature golf, fully equipped with waterfalls, fountains and reflecting pools.
Kalahari Resort Waterparks
Kalahari’s 125,000-square-foot indoor waterpark features the FlowRider, a thrilling bodyboard and stand up surf attraction, the Victoria Falls family raft ride and the Mud-Hut Swim-Up Bar. The resort also offers a number of deals, including the theme park special with indoor theme park passes, the fantastic family getaway, the relaxing romantic escape and the two-night family escape.
Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park
The world’s largest water and theme park resort, Mt. Olympus offers more thrilling rides, games and activities than any other Dells attraction. The resort offers free admission for all overnight guests and special group deals, including theme park and resort deals. Get lost in the park’s Lost City of Atlantis, an outdoor water fortress reaching six stories high, with a water geyser shooting over 120 feet into the sky.
Noah’s Ark Waterpark
Another fantastic Wisconsin Dells waterpark, Noah’s Ark offers deals for groups of 15 or more where participants can save up to $17 per ticket. Take a ride on the Black Anaconda, a quarter-mile diabolical combination of water slide and roller coaster, or experience Time Warp, an exhilarating portal through the world’s largest bowl ride.
Astounding Attractions in Wisconsin Dells
From scenic tours, laser tag and haunted houses to lumberjack shows, farmers’ markets and top-notch golf courses, Wisconsin Dells is filled with attractions to enjoy when not indulging in its adventurous waterparks.
If your group is looking for a family-friendly, unique Wisconsin Dells experience, head to the giant Glockenspiel for a free musical reenactment of the legendary Pied Piper of Hamelin. The show runs every half-hour on the hour and is sure to entertain and please younger group members.
For a classic night-out of bowling, Chalet Lanes offers family fun and also serves a variety of sandwiches, pizza and lunch specials. The bowling alley features its special “Rock and Bowl,” where groups will bowl in style with over 16 luminescent light fixtures, a state-of-the-art sound system, fog machine, automatic scoring, game room and bumper bowling for the kids.
To experience the natural beauty of Wisconsin Dells, choose between one of many popular Dells Boat Tours along the Wisconsin River. Groups can take the two-hour Upper Dells tour where participants can enjoy two picturesque shore landings. For those seeking more of an adrenaline rush, the 30-minute Dells Jet Boat Adventure on the Lower Dells is sure to get hearts racing.
History buffs looking for an educational look into Wisconsin’s lavish past should visit the Mid-Continent Railway Museum. See what life was like during the “Golden Age of Railroading” with operating trains, educational exhibits and restored rolling stock at this outdoor museum and operating railroad.
Wintertime visitors can take a trip to Cascade Mountain, located just 15 minutes outside of Wisconsin Dells, for skiing and snowboarding at incredible prices. Take the group on an exciting ski or snowboard trip with 10 lifts, four terrain parks and 36 different trails ranging from beginner to advanced. Kids 12 or younger ski for free when accompanied by a pad adult.
For a more in-depth look at all the attractions Wisconsin Dells has to offer, check out this article.
Food and Culinary Experiences in Wisconsin Dells
After a long, exhausting day spent zipping through waterslides, groups will definitely be ready to take a seat, relax and enjoy a delicious meal. Luckily, Wisconsin Dells has more than 90 dining options to choose from and is lined with a plethora of culinary experiences sure to acquire to any groups’ taste buds. Take a look at these different eateries throughout Wisconsin Dells:
One of the Dells’ most popular fine dining options, Ishnala Supper Club is situated in the middle of Mirror Lake State Park and offers guests beautiful, scenic views and a unique fine dining experience. Fun fact: the film Public Enemies was shot on location at Ishnala, and the restaurant sells more than four tons of prime rib between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Other fine dining options in Wisconsin Dells include Field’s at the Wilderness, Kaminski’s Chop House at Chula Vista Resort and Trappers Turn Golf Club.
For younger group members, Wisconsin Dells has a number of kid-friendly restaurants. With fresh, healthy, satisfying vegan meals, the Cheese Factory Restaurant serves delicious meals in a bright and enjoyable atmosphere and publishes a top-selling vegan cookbook. Groups can enjoy breakfast and brunch, flatbreads, heavenly desserts and house specials such as the Fiesta Fajita Grande or the Sausage Linguini Primavera. Other kid-friendly restaurants include Belgiis Waffle Bar, B-Lux Grill and Bar and Famous Dave’s BBQ.
Get comfortable and have a laid-back, relaxing meal at these restaurants where casual wear is encouraged. Dockside Grill and Rum Bar has an eclectic menu filled with a variety of sandwiches, salads and entrees made from scratch with guaranteed-fresh ingredients and offers views of the Kilbourn Dam. Perfect for large groups, Great Karoo Marketplace Buffet offers a tropical, vacation-like atmosphere with towering trees and African artwork and artifacts. Other casual dining options include Del-Bar, Great Harvest Bread and Café and Mexicali Rose.
For those with more daring taste buds, Raj Mahal offers a new take on Indian cuisine with unique dishes such as pita pockets, rice bowls, Naanco, lamb Masala and butter chicken. Voted the best restaurant in Wisconsin Dells by TripAdvisor, High Rock Café features modern American cuisine with bold flavors and fresh ingredients. For more bold, ethnic cuisine, check out Dynasty Chinese Restaurant and Lounge, R Place Italian Restaurant and San Antonio Mexican Restaurant.
For groups that would rather enjoy a catered meal in the comfort of their own space, Wisconsin Dells has a number of catering options available. Buffalo Phil’s Pizza and Lounge specializes in accommodating bus tours, company parties, large family gatherings and weddings for groups of up to 300. Its extensive menu includes pizza, rotisserie chicken, steaks, burgers and kids meals. For more delicious catering options, be sure to check out Cindy’s Café and Gifts, House of Embers and Monk’s Bar and Grill at the Wilderness.
A Vibrant, Lively Town
While Wisconsin Dells provides group travelers with a number of attractions and activities to partake in, it also offers vibrant live entertainment for all ages.
Located just one mile south of Wisconsin Dells, Big Sky Twin Drive-In Theatre features two big screens and four shows every night of the latest Hollywood films, rain or shine. A blast from the past, this historic drive-in theatre has stereo sound systems and a snack bar with hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, hot-buttered popcorn and cotton candy. Open from spring until early fall, groups will get two movies for the price of one.
A kid favorite, Circus World offers groups the opportunity to witness electrifying jugglers, enormous elephants, astonishing aerialists, comical clowns and all the things that come along with Big Top circus performances. Discounted rates are available for groups of 20 or more, with free admission for one motor coach driver and one escort. A personal tour guide can be provided to groups upon request for no additional charge.
For the best live music in Wisconsin Dells, be sure to check out Crystal Grand Music Theatre. This 2,000-seat theatre has featured a variety of acts, including comics, country stars, oldies favorites and rock musicians. Some of its most memorable guests include REO Speedwagon, Sara Evans, Vince Gill and Pat Benatar. A night spent at the Crystal Grand Music Theatre is something that can’t be missed when visiting Wisconsin Dells.
Feeling a little homesick on your group trip to the Wisconsin Dells? Dickinson Family Farm is sure to make groups feel right at home with performances by Wisconsin Opry. Hayrides, a petting zoo and lawn games are just a few pre-show activities, followed by a performance offering a mix of country music, sing-a-longs and interactive audience participation. This is a great way to bring family and friends together and is guaranteed to entertain group members of all ages.
Where to Stay in Wisconsin Dells
Whether your group is looking for a quaint bed and breakfast, a modern hotel with all the amenities or a scenic, outdoorsy campground with radiant backdrops of star-filled night skies, Wisconsin Dells has it all.
Bed and Breakfast
Rated the best Wisconsin Dells B&B for 2008 and 2009 by TripAdvisor, Bowman’s Oak Hill Bed and Breakfast is conveniently located just one mile from the Wisconsin Dells River District. Charming, secluded and comfortable, this quaint bed and breakfast offers a relaxing getaway from the commotion of other Wisconsin Dells locations. Other popular Wisconsin Dells bed and breakfasts include Inn at Wawanissee Point and Ringling House Bed and Breakfast, a colonial revival home listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Wisconsin Dells is home to more than 19 campgrounds and 3,200 campsites. That’s almost one campsite for every two residents living in Wisconsin Dells! Wisconsin Dells’ premier golf and ski resort, Christmas Mountain Village Campground, features a 27-hole championship golf course, four outdoor pools and hot tubs and a ski hill available to use during winter months. KOA-Wisconsin Dells’ award-winning campground features a heated swimming pool, free hot showers, firewood, cable TV and volleyball and basketball courts. For more info on Wisconsin Dells campgrounds, click here.
Hotels and Motels
A stunning, five-acre property overlooking Lake Delton, Baker’s Sunset Bay Resort’s family-oriented location is fully equipped with canyon condos, family suites, kitchenettes and pet-friendly rooms. It includes an indoor pool with two waterslides, a whirlpool, sauna, outdoor pools, sandy beach, nightly bonfires and free wi-fi. Other popular hotel and hotel destinations include Glacier Canyon Lodge at the Wilderness, Fairfield Inn and Suites Wisconsin Dells and Hilton Garden Inn Wisconsin Dells.
Modeled after the Coliseum in Rome, Mt. Olympus Hotel Rome’s resort and water and theme park features 27,000 square feet of swimming area, four islands, two beach entrances and an outdoor lounge pool. The resort’s rooms include Greco-Roman designs and all the expected amenities of a luxurious resort destination. Other exceptional Wisconsin Dells resorts include Perlstein Resort and Conference Center, Meadowbrook Resort and Grand Marquis Waterpark Hotel and Suites.
For a full list of all Wisconsin Dells lodging, click here.
A Few Tips Before You Go
With endless attractions, waterparks, entertainment and dining options to partake in, planning a trip to Wisconsin Dells and narrowing down your planning options can become quite daunting. It’s important to be tactical when planning a trip to the Dells to make sure your group gets the most out of their trip. For this reason, we have outlined some useful tips and ideas to utilize before heading to Wisconsin Dells:
- Use This Savvy Trip Builder – On the Wisconsin Dells Official Website, you can locate their Trip Builder section and customize your stay with options such as who will be going on the trip, what time of year your group wants to visit and what type of lodging and dining your group prefers. The Trip Builder will then generate a list of options for each section that accommodates to your group’s personal wants and needs. Here’s where you can locate the Trip Builder.
- Download Apps – The WiscDells2Go app helps groups access all information regarding attractions, lodging, dining and shopping in Wisconsin Dells. The app also features direct access to current coupons and deals. You can even use the app without wi-fi or cellular connection. The app can be downloaded for free through the iTunes App Store or through Google Play.
- Order an Official Vacation Guide – Groups have the option of ordering an official Wisconsin Dells Vacation Guide through their website. The guide will be delivered to U.S. and Canadian addresses within 10 business days and contains all the necessary information to plan a trip to the Dells. For those on a time crunch, the online guide can be seen here.
- Check out the Dells’ Visitor Services – The Wisconsin Dells Official Website Visitor Services section outlines any type of service you might need while staying in Wisconsin Dells. From car tows and wedding services to medical care and auto rentals, this section is sure to provide your group with any possible service it might need, big or small. For a full list of services Wisconsin Dells offers, check out this link.
Getting to Wisconsin Dells
Located in Wisconsin’s Heartland, Wisconsin Dells can be reached by a number of major highways, airports, buses and trains.
Situated 115 miles northwest of Milwaukee and 50 miles north of Madison, Wisconsin Dells is closest to Baraboo Wisconsin Dells Airport (KDLL/DLL) in Baraboo. With more available flights, Dane County Regional Airport (MSN/KMSN) in Madison is another way to reach the Dells.
If you’re driving from Chicago, I-90W will take you straight from the city to downtown Wisconsin Dells through State Highway 13 N/WI-13. Other major highways connected to Wisconsin Dells are U.S. Highway 51, U.S. Highway 12, WI-13 and WI-16.
Greyhound buses travel to Wisconsin Dells through a select number of major cities including Chicago, St. Louis, Iowa City, Nashville and Kansas City.
An Amtrak station with an enclosed waiting area and routes connecting to both the Wisconsin Dells and Milwaukee can also be used as a way to reach the Dells.
Wisconsin Dells’ major cab companies are Wisconsin Dells Taxi, Dells Cab and Sureway Taxi Service.