Campgrounds with Amenities
Roughing it not your thing? Not to take anything away from the rustic camping experience, which is just the ticket for lots of folks who go in search of serenity, but in Wisconsin Dells there is such a thing as camping with amenities. At KOA - Wisconsin Dells, visitors can swim in a heated pool, check their e-mail thanks to WI-FI, then take in a nightly movie at the campground’s outdoor theater. And there’s Yogi Bear™ Camp-Resort & Water Playground, with more amenities than you could shake a stick (of firewood) at. There’s a themed water playground, game rooms, a pool, hot tub, restaurant, mini-golf, and boat rentals. Campsites run the gamut from paved sites with patio (it’s not unusual to see million dollar rigs at these) to cabins and even cushy villas.

Interview Recommendations

  • Brent Gasser, second-generation owner of Yogi Bear™ campgrounds who conceived of the amenities that earned his business tops in the country among all Jellystone park facilities
  • Jill Brennan of KOA Kampground, who has seen some things change and some stay the same during her years with KOA

Round-Up/Trend/Sidebar Story Ideas

  • Purists insist on camping the old-fashioned way
  • Empty-nesters who trade in their house for a life on the road in an ultra-expensive RV

B&Bs with a History
Venturing off the beaten path to stay at one of the dozen B&Bs in Wisconsin Dells has its perks. Like a homemade breakfast, a chance to bond with the innkeeper, and incredible views. For history buffs, there’s the original home of one of Wisconsin Dells’ most famous residents, 19th century landscape photographer H.H. Bennett. This Civil War era home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. White Rose Inns is actually an enclave of three different one-hundred year old homes, located downtown, with tremendous views to the Wisconsin River. Perhaps most unusual of all the B&Bs is the Thunder Valley Inn. Run by the Nelson family, the property is a 130-year-old renovated farmstead. From-scratch meals are served in a charming dining room with family photos and memorabilia of farm days gone by. In fact, on certain days during the summer months, the Nelson family and friends entertain evening diners with an old-fashioned threshing dinner, complete with fiddle and piano music, sing-alongs, and some joke-telling that is sweetly funny.

Interview Recommendations

  • Anita Christopherson Nelson, matriarch of the Nelson family which owns Thunder Valley, on the benefits of storytelling over video games
  • Kushla Gale, who manages the White Rose Inns, on their wedding expertise

Round-Up/Trend/Sidebar Story Ideas

  • While B&Bs remain a niche category, for many who long for the personal touch, it can be an economical way to travel
  • Favorite insider recipes, from simple hearty fare to elegant pastries