While Wisconsin Dells built its reputation on family-friendly offerings, there’s nothing to say you can’t vacation here without the kids. In fact, there’s lots to suggest you should.
For golfers, there are six courses in all and three of them are critically acclaimed championship courses. Wild Rock Golf Club is built around and through a former quarry and Links, Golf Digest and Golf magazines all rated it among the top 10 new courses for 2008. Trappers Turn Golf Club and Cold Water Canyon Golf Course at Chula Vista Resort complete the trio.
Some say golf and spa is a natural twosome. If you agree, rent one of Sundara Inn & Spa’s private villas overlooking the Wild Rock course and make time for a golfer’s massage and a dip in their heated outdoor infinity pool. At Chula Vista Resort, their golf villas also overlook the fairway and are within easy walking distance of the clubhouse. There’s a spa on-premise here too, Spa Del Sol, where the Couples Massage Flame Experience, which uses a flame-warmed essential oil, is the newest addition to their menu of services.
Now that you’re feeling warm on the outside, feel all warm in the inside with some wine tastings. Wollersheim Winery in nearby Prairie du Sac is breathtaking, with steep vineyards overlooking the Wisconsin River and historic buildings making up the estate. French winemaker Philippe Coquard deserves a clink of the glasses for his ability to combine European tradition with Wisconsin’s fickle growing season in the production of distinctive award-winning wines. Fawn Creek Winery in Wisconsin Dells also has a fine selection of wines and a micro menu of olive trays, artisan cheese flights, breads with dipping oils and even Wisconsin microbrews that are just too tempting to pass up.
Let’s stick with microbrews for a moment longer. Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co. serves up 10 hand-crafted beers. Take a peek at their copper-clad barrels, then ask for the brewmaster’s recommendation for a seasonal brew. They also make a mean root beer.
Moving from microbrews to munching, when you’re without the kids you should make dinner out a special occasion. Try one of the area’s well-respected supper clubs. The Del-Bar has been around since the 1940s and only gets better with age. With its Prairie-style architecture, expansive wine cellar and exquisitely prepared steaks, it’s a special treat. Other places with great ambiance and equally great steaks are Field’s at the Wilderness, House of Embers, Kaminski Bros. Chop House, Ishnala Supper Club and Copper Oak Steak House at Ho-Chunk Gaming, Wisconsin Dells.
Imagine shopping without children in tow. You can linger in jewelry boutiques like Artistic Expression Gift Gallery, selecting from among the works of 150 artists. You can try on outfit after designer outfit at Alpha Beta Karma. You can pick out that piece of artwork that calls to you at places like Holiday House and Cranberry Connections. Better bring along a friend to help carry all the bags.
Gather some energy for a night out. Ho-Chunk Gaming has slots, Black Jack and bingo. Their newest table game is Baccarat. Other nightlife in the Dells comes in other forms too, like comedy or music. For music, the dueling pianos act at Monk’s at the Wilderness is a hoot. And Marley’s – A Taste of the Caribbean turns into a hot-spot dance club at night. One venue that offers both laughs and music acts is Crystal Grand Music Theatre. If you’re in the mood for a nightcap, head to Showboat Saloon, Sand Bar or Zap’s Tap to name a few of the local’s favorites.
Here’s one surprise recommendation for your trip without kids - play at the waterparks. When it’s just the grown-ups, you can ride all the daring slides, float the lazy river as long as you want, and rent a decked-out private poolside cabana at one of the waterpark resorts, like the new Grand Cabana at the Kalahari Waterpark Resort Convention Center where you can lounge in your own private 12-foot-long hot tub.