Yes, it’s true that Wisconsin Dells is about 1,000 miles from the nearest ocean. But that hasn’t stopped the business owners around here from creating their own versions of the beach vacation.
Let’s start with Lake Delton. While it will never be mistaken for the ocean, it is as pretty a body of water as you’d ever want for a vacation. This lake was entirely remade a few years ago after completely draining following torrential rains. That means it is more pristine than ever. Nostalgia-inducing resorts rim the shoreline. Baker’s Sunset Bay Resort is a perfect example. Its sandy beach is great for lounging with a good summer read or a gritty game of volleyball with your competitive cousins. The sound of crackling wood and the earthy aroma of the bonfire draws guests in for conversation – the low-tech way to meet new friends. Thunderbird Resort is another fine choice along the same lines. There’s even ample docking space if you want to bring your own boat.
Another resort with beach frontage on Lake Delton that begs for you to feel the sand between your toes is Island Pointe Resort (operated by Lake Pointe Management) with its two sandy beaches. Here visitors have their choice of cabins, condominiums or private home rentals. The name alone of this next resort - Moonglow Vacation Homes - paints a pretty appealing picture of strolling along your own private beach.
Moving on, there’s the Wisconsin River, which literally bisects the community. The meandering shorelines and beaches along the Upper and Lower Dells are beautifully framed by piney backdrops and sculpted sandstone bluffs. Cedar Lodge and Settlement has 400 feet of sandy beach and the accommodations here blend seamlessly with the environment thanks to their north woods feel. Next door is River’s Edge Resort, a favorite for both fishing enthusiasts and families who like to hang out at the beach. The focal point at Holiday Shores Camp-Resort is the very scenic cove of the Wisconsin River on which it’s located. The curving beach there just beckons you to spread out the beach towel for an afternoon nap in the sun.
Then there are the man-made beaches, with one of the best examples found at Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Parks. That’s right, the owners trucked in tons and tons of sand, enough to create a 16-inch deep beach adjacent to their giant surf pool called Poseidon’s Rage. There are some extra beachy touches too, like the swings instead of bar stools at the freestanding beverage area, the palm trees and the statue of a Trojan soldier that’s inspiration for any budding sand castle artist. When you’re done playing in the white stuff, jump in the surf pool where nine foot waves are unleashed every 90 seconds.
Chula Vista Resort followed suit this year and created its own sandy beach adjacent to the outdoor waterpark area there known as Adventure Lagoon. Also available at Chula Vista is that upscale amenity you’d expect to find at the finest oceanside resorts - the private cabana with personal attendant. The Kalahari Waterpark Resort Convention Center offers cabanas in their indoor waterpark and they are quite chi-chi too, with flat screen TVs and chaise lounges.
While Wisconsin winters include below-freezing temperatures and a few feet of the other white stuff, you’d never know it at the Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort’s indoor waterpark where, when the sun is shining, guests tan year-round courtesy of the high-tech dome that covers the nation’s largest indoor wave pool. If you need to cool off, just reserve one of the air conditioned private cabanas.
So if you thought your only outlet for a beach vacation was to head to the coast, think again. And the fact that you likely won’t have to get on a plane to enjoy Wisconsin Dells’ many sandy gems makes it all the sweeter. Sunblock all around.
Planning a beach-style vacation to Wisconsin Dells is easier than you think. Click here to view all waterfront listings.