A summer trip to Wisconsin Dells is practically a rite of passage if you live in the Midwest, and even if you hail from further off, it’s always a good idea to take the time to embark on the vacation of a lifetime. Summer vacationers to our lovely city will find and endless array of activities to fill their agenda with, from hitting all the best waterparks to getting some outdoors time at one of our gorgeous state parks. Wake up and go kayaking or fishing in the morning and spend the afternoon sampling flights at family-friendly local breweries. Wisconsin Dells is the perfect combination of leisure meeting exciting activities, and there’s always something to do for groups of all ages.
Since summer is such a popular season in Wisconsin Dells, it never hurts to do some research for your trip beforehand, whether it’s looking for the coolest waterpark or making dinner reservations at an in-demand restaurant. While part of the fun is the unexpected things you discover on the journey, it’s clever to get an idea of what you’d like to do first. To make things easy on you, we’ve outlined the basics of what makes a perfect summer trip to Wisconsin Dells in our convenient ultimate Wisconsin Dells summer travel guide!
Of course, this must be first on the list, as the official nickname of Wisconsin Dells is “The Waterpark Capital of the World!” Our city is home to quite a few indoor and outdoor waterparks, and the best thing about visiting in summer is that you get to experience the sunshine and thrilling outdoor attractions. Below we’ve highlighted some of the most iconic and well-known waterparks in Wisconsin Dells, and these are just a few of many!
This sprawling park encompasses both an outdoor waterpark and an outdoor theme park. You can find deals on joint tickets, which makes this destination an easy commitment. With thrilling waterslides and huge outdoor playgrounds, this waterpark has family-friendly fun for those of all ages. The outdoor theme park has everything from rollercoasters to go-kart racing and offers kiddie rides like the Pegasus Rollercoaster for the younger ones. Grab lunch at the Hades BBQ Pit, or a snack at Delphi Funnel Cakes—there’s also the Parthenon Bar for when you want to relax with an adult beverage of your choice.
Noah’s Ark Waterpark
Another park that has both and indoor park for winter and outdoor park for summer, this giant bills itself as America’s Largest Waterpark. Here you can float down the Endless River on an innertube and relax in the warm weather, or go on adventurous slides with the entire family, such as the Congo Bongo, which is designed to be a family ride. There’s Tadpole Bay for the younger members of your family, and the exhilarating Black Anaconda water coaster for the adults and older children. You’ll also find in park restaurants, and bars.
Wilderness Resort Waterpark
This waterpark is huge and housed at the Wilderness Resort. With four outdoor waterparks, you get plenty of bang for your buck here, and you can add on other attractions to your ticket, such as access to their multiple mega arcades. Try out the Wilderness Canyon Zip Line or play Lost World Jurassic Mini-Golf. Other things to do here include Lost Cabin Laser Tag, a ropes course, and more! You’ll never run out of dining options either, as you’ll find several on-site options for food and drinks.
Wisconsin State Parks
When you’re done experiencing all the thrills of our local waterparks, you’ll likely want to get out and experience some of that Wisconsin nature, whether it’s a summer morning hike or a kayak journey out to Mirror Lake. Luckily, we have several magnificent state parks within easy reach, so it won’t be difficult to add on one to your vacation itinerary! We’ve compiled a list of the most popular for you, so you can focus on getting out and enjoying the great outdoors.
Rocky Arbor State Park
This state park is the closest to town and resides in a Wisconsin Dells zip code, so you know it’s not too far from the action! Boasting over 100 acres, you’ll find the sandstone bluffs that are signature to this area, along with pine forests and a 1-mile nature trail. Bring a picnic lunch and let the kids explore the playground or get out yourself for a peaceful early morning walk. It’s so close to the city, you can do both!
Mirror Lake State Park
If you’re looking for a gorgeous state park that has lots to explore, Mirror Lake is the perfect destination not too far outside of town. You’ll find this gem south of the city in Baraboo, and at over 2,000 acres there is plenty to discover. Try your hand at fishing or grab some concessions at the kayak rental area. There’s a swimming beach you can take advantage of in the summertime, as well as canoe and kayak rentals, making this an easy summer pick.
Devil’s Lake State Park
The third most popular state park within an easy drive from Wisconsin Dells is Devil’s Lake. Those who love breathtaking views will adore hiking the trails at this park, where you can enjoy beautiful scenery from hundreds of feet high quartzite cliffs. There’s also a canoe and kayak rental here for those who want to take it in from the lake, and you’ll find multiple swimming beaches and picnic areas.
Wisconsin Dells Summer Things to Do
One of the great things about Wisconsin Dells is all the family-friendly activities available, that can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages, even if you don’t have kids in your traveling group! Here are a few of the notable summer attractions in Wisconsin Dells, from outdoor fun to classic vacation pastimes that can be a little cheesy but are memorable nonetheless!
Wisconsin Deer Park
This petting zoo lets you get up close and personal with tame deer, over 40 acres where you can pet and feed them. The park also houses elk, bison, horses, goats, and a variety of wildlife. You can walk around beautiful forested areas while interacting with the animals and learning about them. It’s a truly unique experience, and as the park is only open seasonally, a great summer pastime.
Wisconsin River Boat Tours
Summer is an awesome time to take a boat journey up the Wisconsin River. You can get views of the iconic sandstone cliffs, and some companies offer shore landings at sights like Witches Gulch and Stand Rock. For those that are a little older and don’t mind some good scary fun, there’s even a “Dells Ghost Boat” tour that’s available on Friday and Saturday nights over the summer through October!
Local Arcades and Museums
Just off the main strip of Broadway, you’ll find several options for a bit of old-fashioned arcade fun. The Wild Fun Zone offers a variety of ski-ball, pin ball, and other classic arcade games—there’s even blacklight laser tag, if you’re looking for something different to do! The Ripley’s Believe it Or Not museum is always a fun time for the kids, and nearby there is the Asgard Underworld Arcade Bar, which offers a full food menu in addition to arcade games and drinks.
Wisconsin Dells River Walk
This simple river walk is a classic pastime in a Wisconsin Dells summer and can be a great sunset or morning walk. There are restaurants nearby if you want to plan your walk around dinner reservations, so the kids don’t get antsy, or even visit before a boat tour!
The Palace Theater
This local theater has put on everything from touring Broadway shows, concerts, tribute shows, and children’s theater. Look up the schedule for the week of your visit and treat yourself to a night out with dinner service at the theater. Whether it’s a musical with the kids, or a tribute concert for your favorite rock band, a summer night out at the Palace Theater is a classic Wisconsin Dells pastime.
Local Golf Courses
Golfing is a seasonal sport in Wisconsin Dells, so soaking it up while you can in the summer is a must! There are several local courses you can tee off at, such as Wild Rock Golf Club, Trappers Turn Golf Club, and Cold Water Canyon Golf Course. Of course, we also offer our very own Spring Brook Golf Course, offering nine scenic holes where you can schedule a tee time right in your own neighborhood within walking distance! For those who just want to enjoy a bit of mini golf fun, there’s Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf, which can be a great date night outing, or the Timber Falls Adventure Park, which offers a mind-boggling 54 holes.
Wisconsin Dells Summer Dining
When it comes to Wisconsin Dells summer dining, there’s several spots that deserve a visit, from riverside spots to patios with great ambiance. Whether you’re taking the whole family or just getting a well-deserved night out, you’ll love these summer selections for dining around the city!
The River Walk Pub
The River Walk Pub offers an authentically rustic feel, with lots of outdoor seating on their large patio overlooking the upper Wisconsin River. Enjoy an assortment of American inspired appetizers and meals and visit the beer garden for a bit of before or after dinner drinks. The beer garden is only open in the summertime, making this a must visit, and as a bonus, the start of the River Walk is right outside the restaurant!
Another restaurant with unbeatable summer views is Mexicali Rose, situated right on the Wisconsin River. Offering an assortment of Mexican dishes, you can find everything from smothered burritos to enchiladas, along with several vegetarian friendly options. Sip on margaritas and munch on chips and salsa as you take in the gorgeous scenery and consider making a sunset reservation for something a little extra special.
The Keg and Patio
This family-friendly joint offers up breakfast, lunch, and dinner with indoor and outdoor dining for the summer season. You’ll find live music on the weekends, and tons of TVs for when your favorite sporting event is on. Kick back with a Bloody Mary and steak and eggs or order a burger with a locally made brew. This spot is always busy during the summertime and is a great stop for when you need a little pub food or to relax between the excitement of taking in local attractions.
Ishnala Supper Club
If you’re looking to treat yourself, be sure to visit the Ishnala Supper Club, a tranquil hideaway of a restaurant on the shores of Mirror Lake. It’s like dining in a secret lake lodge, and they offer an assortment of specialty cocktails and gourmet dishes like steak and lobster tails. With lots of local history and a seasonal schedule, this one-of-a-kind restaurant can’t be missed!
Spring Brook Sports Bar and Grill
We couldn’t resist mentioning our very own Spring Brook Sports Bar and Grill, which you can access in your own neighborhood when you’re a guest at Spring Brook Vacation Home Resort! With wings, burgers, and local brews with an expansive outdoor patio, lots of TVs, and live music on the weekend, it’s impossible not to have a blast! Stop by after a round of golf, or after swimming at our outdoor pool—the choice is yours when it’s only a quick walk away from your vacation rental.
Reserve Your Ultimate Summer Vacation Rental at Spring Brook Vacation Home Resort!
When you stay with us at Spring Brook, you don’t just get a vacation home that makes you feel like a true local, but you also get access to all of our fantastic community amenities, such as our clubhouse complex, restaurant, and so much more. We offer vacation homes in all sizes, and even smaller condos for those looking for a quick little getaway! If you’re ready to reserve your vacation rental for the ultimate summer vacation to Wisconsin Dells, then give our friendly team a call today!