Wisconsin Dells Journals

Wisconsin Dells - Playing Like a Child

Best of IgoUgo

A June 2005 trip to Wisconsin Dells by GrAmTr

Mirror Lake Photo, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin More Photos
Quote: It’s been 30 years since I last visited the Dells. It has changed drastically. Old memories flooded back and new thrills were experienced with water parks, three-story go-karts, and roller coasters, as were old favorites, like the DUCKS. It was great to be a kid again for a week.

Wisconsin Dells - Playing Like a Child

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Overview

Original Wisconsin Ducks Photo, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Quote:
I would have to say that since I have not been here for 30 years, things have considerably changed. I loved the water parks - what an addition, especially to see it through the eyes of my child. The beautiful scenery that I remembered was still there in the Wisconsin River, rock formations, the DUCKS and the Upper Dells, which are awesome and still a must-see. I'm thankful that folks have preserved the natural aspect of the Dells. I came for the memories and beauty, but boy was it a kick to experience Noah's Arc, Mt. Olympus, Privates Cove, and the many restaurants. I'm happy the Dells has expanded and kept up with the times. I'll be back. Quick Tips: We purchase the Dells coupon book w...Read More

Days Inn

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Hotel | "Days Inn Moorhead, MN"

Days Inn Photo, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Quote:
We decided to do our trip to the Dells in 2 days. The halfway mark put us in Moorhead, MN. I had made a reservation early just so we had no hassles looking for a room after 7 hours of driving. I used RCI Trip Rewards and receive an approximately a 10% discount to make the rate $62.90 for the three of us. There could have been easy access off I-94 if the directions given off the Days Inn site were correct. Coming from the west, it should have been exit IA instead of IB. We knew right away as we drove past and could see the Days Inn sign. But after a short drive to IB and a backtrack of half a mile, we were at the doors of our hotel. I have to say that the friendliness and prof...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 14, 2005

Days Inn
600 30th Ave. S.
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 56560
(218) 287-7100

Mirror Lake

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Mirror Lake Photo, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Quote:
Best Things Nearby:Everything is in the Dells, which is 10 minutes away, like Baraboo, a Super Wal-Mart on the corner, Cave of the Mounds, and the Wollersheim Winery.Best Things About the Resort:We had a large, immaculate two-bedroom condo; the location was quiet, secluded from the touristy area; and there were good amenities and plenty of friendliness. Resort Experience:This was an exchange with RCI for the first week of June. We decided on this resort specifically because of its location. With all our activities going on during the day, we wanted a quiet retreat to return to. We chose right. It was very quiet in a wooded area. Our unit was ML12. The re...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 14, 2005

Mirror Lake
874 Xanadu Road
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
(608) 254-4929

Culver's

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Restaurant

Culver's Photo, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Quote:
Culver's is a fast-food chain that’s not in our neck of the woods, but mainly in the Midwest and Texas. I have eaten here previously and bragged them up so much to my family that they were anxious to try them. No one left hungry or disappointed. Their burgers are more like a homemade juicy, tasty burger off the grill on a buttered grilled bun (hence the name butterburger). I'm hungry again for one! My family agreed that they were delicious. Of course, we had to save room for custard, as you can't leave Culver's without that. My favorite is the turtle sundae. The pecans are so goooood. We also ordered a strawberry for variety. I wish I could take gallons of this home. A bu...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 21, 2005

Culver's
716 Phillips Blvd.
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53583
(608) 643-6620

Uno Chicago Grill

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Restaurant

Uno Chicago Grill Photo, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Quote:
My family is pizza fanatics, and we had not tried Uno's before. It is a great restaurant. It's atmosphere was neat, like a old brick Chicago market with walls chock-full of old-time grocery goods and memorabilia. It was comfortable, relaxing, and clean. Our waiter, Andre, was a little hard to understand, but on the ball with service and taking the time to explain things. We ordered a small deep-dish Chicago Classic, which comes with cheese, sausage, and tomatoes, and a regular Numero Uno, which is everything. We really enjoyed the crust. It was different, like flaky bread, not the traditional pizza crust I'm used to. Also, the sauce (real tomatoes) was on the top, not next to the crust. The...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 21, 2005

Uno Chicago Grill
1000 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy. S.
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53940
(608) 253-2111

Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co.

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Restaurant | "Moosejaw Pizza & Brewing Company"

Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co. Photo, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Quote:
A late night brought us here for dinner. The building is a very neat three-story log-and-stone brewpub. On the upper level are copper beer vats that can be seen from the outside through the windows, which is neat. The main level holds the main dining and bar area, and the lower level has a pool hall and arcade. All levels have bars. The atmosphere and brewing facilities are impressive. It’s too bad the food wasn't. Being a native "old Milwaukeean," microbrews and raspberry-flavored beer is not my thing. I have not found one I can say I have absolutely loved. I always come back to the old brews. Although I felt they were not unreasonably priced at $3.25 a pint and $9 a pitcher, and they ha...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 21, 2005

Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co.
110 Wisconsin Dells Parkway South
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965
(608) 254-1122

Monk's Bar & Grill

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Restaurant | "Monk's Bar & Grill"

Monk's Bar & Grill Photo, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Quote:
It had been recommended to us by a relative who is a local that if we wanted a really good lunch in a casual place, this was the place to be. I don't think we would have ventured in here if we hadn't had the suggestion, thinking that it was just another bar. I did hesitate upon first stepping in. It had the old-time tavern feel. It seemed to be a local’s bar, which is usually a good sign when it’s full. You could either belly up to the bar or walk to the rear, where there is booth seating and extra seats on a second floor. It had an old tin ceiling and brick walls with sports memorabilia and an extensive collection of fire department patches on the walls. Service was fast to say the least, and s...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 21, 2005

Monk's Bar & Grill
220 Broadway
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965
(608) 254-2955

Pedro's Mexican Restaurante

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Restaurant

Pedro's Mexican Restaurante Photo, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Quote:
Second to pizza, we love Mexican. Pedro's has a very nice atmosphere with a large seating area with warm woods, large log trusses across the ceiling, stucco-looking walls, and the usual bright colors. This seemed to be more of an upscale Mexican place to me. The menu, like most Mexican Places, is extensive, so it takes forever to figure out what to eat. Our waiter was very patient with us, having to return multiple times before we ordered. He kept the chips and salsa coming and got our drinks on the way. We asked for a hotter salsa and got it. Watch out for the green stuff, as it will take your breath away -- hot!! Finally, we decided on a beef chimichanga dinner, pulled carnita...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 21, 2005

Pedro's Mexican Restaurante
951 Stand Rock Rd.
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965
(608) 253-7233

Essen Haus

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Restaurant

Essen Haus Photo, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Quote:
The Essen Haus is located in the downtown district of Wisconsin Dells in the Bavarian Village. This is a large establishment with the ability to seat 300 people. In the main area, there is a bar and dining room, and an outdoor area, or beer garden. There are hand-painted murals of old-world Germany on the walls. It was a lively place with a button accordionist playing and singing. It created quite a mood for the restaurant, and people enjoyed listening, as many would stop eating and give him a round of applause. Since it was such a nice evening, we decided to sit in the beer garden. This, too, is decorated with murals of German countryside and led out into the Bavarian Village shopping area ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 21, 2005

Essen Haus
(Closed) 414 Broadway
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965
608-253-7766

House of Embers

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Restaurant | "Wally's House of Embers"

House of Embers Photo, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Quote:
Wally's has been around just about as long as the Dells. It was started in 1959 by Wally Obois and his wife Barbara. The third generation, Mike and Mark, now owners/chefs, continue the family business. It has an elegant but homey feel, with linen tablecloths and a stone fireplace in one of the three separate dining areas. There was also a lounge, but we didn't go in there. Wally's is unique in that it has its own on-site smokehouse (truly a house of embers), and they smoke their own ribs. We hit the right night, as some had just been smoked that day and were on their menu as a special, half a rack for $14, usually $21.99. They were very tender, not overly seasoned or smothered with barbecue sa...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 21, 2005

House of Embers
935 Wisconsin Dells Parkway
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965
(608) 253-6411

Sarento's at the Wilderness

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Restaurant

Sarento's at the Wilderness Photo, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Quote:
This was my husband's night to pick, and he wanted Italian. I had checked this out before we left on their website and put it on our "to try" list. The building looks like an Italian villa with stone walls, paintings of the Italian countryside, and huge wood doors. Upon entering, we were seated right away. I have to say, we felt a little underdressed in our casuals for this place, but they certainly didn't mind, and all three (yes, three) of our waiters were extremely friendly and polite. We enjoyed their heavy Italian accents, too. They waited on us hand and foot, filling water glasses and clearing plates, but were never bothersome, nor did they interrupt a conversation. Very attentive. I d...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 21, 2005

Sarento's at the Wilderness
441 Wisconsin Dells Parkway
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
608-253-3300

Dells Boat Tours

Attraction | "Lower Dells Duck Tours"

Dells Boat Tours Photo, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Quote:
The Dells boat tours are a cornerstone attraction of the Dells. This tour takes you down the Wisconsin River on the bottom side of the dam. It takes approximately an hour, and you are able to see unique sandstone formations and are told about the Dells' past and how it came to be. A captain pilots the boat while a tour guide narrates and points out the unique formations such as pulpit's rock with a baby grand (it does look like a petrified grand) and hawk's beak. This tour does duplicate what we saw and heard on the Ducks but does travel father down river. Again, a guidebook was offered on the lower Dells at $4. We had taken the 7pm tour (which is the last of the day), and it was so relaxing to w...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 19, 2005

Dells Boat Tours
11 Broadway
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965
(608) 253-6661

Upper Dells Boat Tours

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Attraction

Upper Dells Boat Tours Photo, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Quote:
The Upper Dells boat tour, I feel, is another must. It's a two-hour-long trip leaving every 30-45 minutes, 9am to 6pm. During this tour, there are two stops, one at Witches Gulch and Stand Rock, exclusive only to the Dells tour. At Witches Gulch, we were allowed to get out and walk approximately two blocks through what they call a cool canyon, and yes, it was cool, but not cold. It felt good compared to the high humidity we were experiencing. The thought of Mr. Bennett crawling through here to find unique pictures runs through my mind. I don't think I could be so brave. At the end of the gulch, there are restrooms, snack shops, and souvenir shops. It really is a "cool" sight to see. Back...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 19, 2005

Upper Dells Boat Tours
Stand Rock Rd
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965
(608) 253-5551

Duck Rides

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Attraction | "Original Wisconsin Ducks"

Duck Rides Photo, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Quote:
A visit to the Dells would not be complete without a ride on the ducks (really spelled DUKW, but affectionately known as the "ducks". I was anxious to ride them again after 30 years and wondered if I would find the ride just as exciting as I did as a child. All said and done, I so thoroughly enjoyed it, and so did my family. Our tour guide (a college student, as most of them are) had a really dry sense of humor that made us all chuckle with his bad "duck" jokes but was also very knowledgeable, making the trip a learning experience without even knowing it. These 2.5-ton ducks maneuver easily through wooded trails, the fern dells, up and down steep ravines, and finally, what I was waiting for, the "...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 19, 2005

Duck Rides
1890 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965
(608) 254-8751

Cave of the Mounds

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Attraction

Cave of the Mounds Photo, Blue Mounds, Wisconsin
Quote:
Our reason for visting the Cave of the Mounds was two-fold. One, we always look for something unique about a specific area, and second, it's approximately 60 miles south of the Dells, and I felt it would give us a good opportunity to see more of the local countryside. From the dells you take Hwy 12 South, then Hwy 78 to Mt. Horeb,from Mt. Horeb 6 miles west on Hwy 18/151 which is a frontage road traveling along Hwy 18. You could also get back on Interstate 90 and go through Madison and travel west, but it's 20 miles extra. The drive made more memories return for me: the abundance of trees, the wild phlox and asparagus growing alongside the road, and the farms with the large milking barns and si...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 19, 2005

Cave of the Mounds
2975 Cave of the Mounds Road
Blue Mounds, Wisconsin 53517
(608) 437-3038

Wollersheim Winery

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Wollersheim Winery Photo, Prairie Du Sac, Wisconsin
Quote:
On our off-the-Dells path to the Cave of the Mounds, we planned on our way back to have a leisurely country drive and finish it off with a tour and wine-tasting at Wollersheim. The winery sits on southern slopes overlooking the Wisconsin River. This site was selected 150 years ago because the temperature here remains steadier because of the river. This is a beautiful establishment. We felt like we had stepped back in time and were in Italy or France. The original huge limestone winery, covered in vines, still stands, and the basement is still used as their cellar storage, while the main floor now is the wine and gift shop and wine-tasting area. They have five estate wines grown here on 25 acres,...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 19, 2005

Wollersheim Winery
7876 State Road 188
Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin 53578
(800) 847-9463

Boo Canoe and Raft

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Attraction

Boo Canoe and Raft Photo, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Quote:
The Boo Canoe and Raft company offers three self-guided canoeing and raft trip options on the Baraboo River: a rapids trip (3.1 miles, 1-3 hours); a scenic trip (6.3 miles, 3-6 hours); and a paddler's trip (14 miles, 6-9 hours). We have gone rafting multiple times in other areas but never on our own self-guided trip. The Baraboo offers Class 1 and 2 rapids, which we felt we could handle. Needless to say, they were more like bumps and splashes than rapids, even for the beginning of June, with their low-water year. We chose the scenic trip with a 14-foot inflatable canoe with three comfortable seats but not much leg room, which floated through quiet country heavily treed. We were able to see ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 19, 2005

Boo Canoe and Raft
55127 Highway 13
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53913
(608) 356-8856

Pirates Cove Adventure Golf Photo, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Quote:
My family loves mini-golf, and Pirates Cove is a mini-golfer's paradise, offering five different courses with 90 holes. Landscape and location were neat, with lavish greens, streams, and 17 waterfalls throughout the area, all situated on a hill overlooking the Wisconsin River and the city area. With the humidity high for June, we chose to try night golfing. The course was very well-lit and really fun to play at night. Everything was very well-kept--no ripped "greens" or debris that we could see. The course wasn't crowded, either, so we had time to goof around and have fun. Using my Dells coupon again, we were given a 2-for-1 costing $22, and the Captain's Offer allows you to play 18 more holes an...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 19, 2005

Pirates Cove Adventure Golf
Highway 13
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965
(608) 254-7500

Noah's Ark Family Park Inc.

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Attraction | "Noah's Ark & Family Center"

Noah's Ark Family Park Inc. Photo, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Quote:
WOW!! We were told not to miss Noah's Ark, so we made definite plans for the best weather day during our week's stay to enjoy it thoroughly, and did we ever. Although we have been to a couple waterparks across the country, we have never experienced anything like this before. What a fun-packed day we had. With over 70 acres (3 million square feet), where do you start? It's almost overwhelming. First, we decided that we should find a lounge chair and make that our "safe return zone" in case any of us got separated. We chose to get chaises by the Big Kahuna, and we were glad we did, because when we were pooped, our son stayed here for hours while we collapsed on the chaises. Our favorites, u...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 19, 2005

Noah's Ark Family Park Inc.
1410 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy.
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965
(608) 254-6351

Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Mt Olympus Go-Carts and Roller Coaster Park"

Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park Photo, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Quote:
Mt. Olympus is a kick. It combines go-karts, roller coasters, water rides, and an indoor water park all in one place and one ticket, although, after having been to Noah's Ark, the outdoor waterslides seem to lack excitement. They did feel good, though, after a long day of go-karts and coasters in the hot weather. There are a total of nine go-kart tracks, with some that are multilevel. On favorite was Poseidon, which had quite a bit of variety to it. Another was Medusa's Drop, where you actually can "catch air" as my son puts it. The carts aren't particularly fast, but they can get very rough when going over the wooden tracks. Most of them have shelters to wait under, which was a good thing in t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 21, 2005

Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park
1881 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965
(608) 254-2490

Tommy Bartlett Exploratory

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Tommy Bartlett Exploratory Photo, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Quote:
This is a walk-through with 150 hands-on, interactive exhibits. We had asked before buying the tickets how long it would take to go through the exhibits, and they told us about an hour. We were short on time, having tickets already bought for the Watershow, so we were rushed going through here. I didn't appreciate that. It takes at least 1 and a half hours or more if you want to play with any of the exhibits, and there were four different floors to explore. There were some interesting things, mechanical workings and brain teasers, to try. It did make us ask ourselves how does that work?? I can see a real science nut would really enjoy this. My family, on the other hand, has just plain simple...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 21, 2005

Tommy Bartlett Exploratory
560 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy.
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965
(608) 254-2525

Tommy Bartlett Exploratory

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Tommy Bartlett Water Show"

Tommy Bartlett Exploratory Photo, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Quote:
Tommy Bartlett Watershow is called "the greatest show on H2O." This show was born in 1952 and boasts that it’s the longest-running live outdoor entertainment of its kind. It’s a 90-minute live performance combining high-powered boating, all types of waterskiing - jumps, barefoot, three-level human pyramids - and juggling acts, comedy, and daredevil motorcycle riding, all done on the shores of Lake Delton. This year was a tribute to the TV shows of the past. They played old music from the TV shows. All of them we could relate to -- that shows our age. The acts were very good and entertaining, the waterskiing very impressive and professional, and even the clown with his slapstick jokes had to mak...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 21, 2005

Tommy Bartlett Exploratory
560 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy.
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965
(608) 254-2525