ALL NEW REASONS TO VISIT WISCONSIN DELLS IN 2014
Visitor Bureau Unveils New Attractions, Major Developments, and Best Of inside
“The Waterpark Capital of the World!®”
New. Better than ever. Best of class. Check, check and check. With this year’s announcement from the Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau of all that’s new and better than ever for 2014, visitors will have an easy time mapping out a vacation itinerary that’s a mix of just opened attractions and solidly established favorites that you’ll find only in the Dells.
Read on for the reasons to visit in 2014. Then order your own copy of the just-released 2014 Wisconsin Dells Vacation Guide®.
Ghost Boat: Journey to Haunted Canyon This new nightly tour excursion kicks off Memorial Day weekend and runs through Labor Day weekend. As the boat sets sail on the deep, dark waters of the Wisconsin River, passengers are treated to tales of local legends and lore that have been passed down through the generations. Passengers disembark at Cold Water Canyon for an eerie walk along the narrow canyon boardwalk with rocky cliffs towering over them on both sides.
Double Cut Charcoal Grill/Liquor Bar at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions The menu here departs from a classic steakhouse without chasing away traditionalists. Categories range from classic steaks and chops to seafood, including fresh tanked lobster. The atmosphere of the Liquor Bar and lounge reflect the feelings evoked by the wine and cocktail lists – sophisticated and multisensory, yet comfortable. Three unique group dining rooms provide flexibility and privacy to accommodate intimate gatherings of six all the way up to groups of 72.
Driftless Glen Distillery This working craft distillery, bar and restaurant is located in the nearby quaint community of Baraboo. In fact, it’s located right on the Baraboo River and shares a property line with Circus World. Whiskey will be the primary spirit produced here, plus they have bourbon, gin, vodka and moonshine, all made from local grains. Go for a tour and tasting and then dine on wood-fired pizzas. Driftless Glen Distillery opens in May.
Great Harvest Bread Co. The company has been baking scratch-made whole grain breads for 30 years, long before it became trendy. Stock up on the good stuff at the new neighborhood location in Wisconsin Dells, which opens in May.
Wisconsin Brew Pub at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions. This recently opened family-friendly restaurant provides a warm, inviting atmosphere that celebrates the badger state’s rich history of top-notch food and beverage offerings. The menu reflects signature dishes from various areas of Wisconsin and offers regional ales and lagers, in addition to a variety of family-friendly beverages.
Woodside Sports. The third campus for Woodside, this one on Highway 13 just outside of town, is scheduled to open this summer and will include ten soccer fields and six baseball diamonds with synthetic turf. A great facility plus a Wisconsin Dells location equals the ultimate “sportcation.”
Better Than Ever
Many established resorts and attractions have also upped their cache with some major additions and renovations for 2014.
Wilderness Resort Attractions - They’ve been incredibly busy at the country’s largest indoor/outdoor combo waterpark resort, adding an indoor go-kart track with electric cars, a two-story laser tag arena and laser maze, three new food and drink outlets, and an indoor/outdoor swim-up bar in their Wild WaterDome large enough to accommodate up to 88 patrons over the age of 21 and featuring a pergola and conversation areas. Whew!
Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co. - There are two new bottled beers in the Moosejaw line-up. Kilbourn Hop Ale pays tribute to the history of hops in the area with the first hop farm in Sauk County established in 1842 and the heart of the hops boom in Kilbourn City, now known as Wisconsin Dells. Hazel’s Nut House is a brown ale with rich malts that create a toffee and butterscotch flavor with hazelnut overtones. That brings the total of bottled beers at this microbrewery to four, plus they have ten microbrews on tap at all times.
Yogi Bear™ Camp-Resort & Water Playground - Book the Happy Glamper package at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ and a s’more sommelier will bring you the makings for gourmet s’mores along with a bottle of sparkling wine. Then sleep easy on a pillow-top queen bed. This popular campground features “Rent-a-tent Campsites” where the tent is already set up for you and luxurious yurts. Both include mattresses. How’s that for roughing it.
Wollersheim Winery - Their first batch of brandy proved so popular that they’re breaking ground on a new distillery right on the grounds of this historic winery. As production gets underway, try their new Tawny Port in the meantime.
Sundara Inn & Spa - Continuing to make a name for itself as the “it” spa for those in need of peace and quiet, Sundara added a meditation trail to the fragrant pine forest just steps from the spa’s front door. The walking path includes seven meditation stops along the way and at the end of the trail guests can doze in hammocks hung from the trees.
Cascade Mountain Ski, Snowboard & Snow Tube - There’s a new Tube Town chalet building plus a heated brick courtyard with outdoor seating and fire pit at Cascade Mountain. It’s the centerpiece of their half-million-dollar renovation. Cascade Mountain offers daily tubing tickets as well as season passes.
Christmas Mountain Village™ Ski, Snowboard & Tube - The box of freestyle toys at Christmas Mountain Village™ now includes a 50-foot Ample BagJump air bag. This style of air bag is a variation of the landing bags originally used by Hollywood stuntmen, now redesigned to be used as a training tool for skiers and snowboarders, allowing outdoor enthusiasts to dial in big tricks with the safety of a soft cushioned landing.
Mid-Continent Railway Museum - The most famous locomotive at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum, the #1385, built back in 1907 and purchased from the Chicago and North Western Railway, is undergoing a $1 million restoration. The locomotive’s tender, known to many as the coal car, has been fully replicated in a project that took two years to complete and is now on display at the Museum, just a short drive from Wisconsin Dells in North Freedom. Along with displays, the Museum is also an operating railroad recreating the way of life during the “Golden Age of Railroading.”
International Crane Foundation - Using life-size photo cut-outs and iPads, visitors to this crane sanctuary will now feel like they are “in the field” with the biologists. This multi-media approach brings first-person accounts from people working around the world to save cranes. The ICF is the only place in the world where you can see all 15 species of this majestic bird.
Chimney Rock Park Zip Line Tours - Vertical Illusions - The new Peak 2 zip line course has arrived, bringing the total number of zip lines at Chimney Rock Park to 18. The Peak 2 course allows you to explore higher grounds, longer zip lines and even more beautiful scenery as you trek across three new tree to tree canopy bridges. The highlight of this private zip line park is the sanctuary-like feel, tucked away just north of the Dells.
A1 Wisconsin Dells Kangaroo Taxi - This taxi service provider now offers airport shuttle service to Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago. Choose from a BMW X5, six-passenger van, or 15-passenger van.
Limo Kings - Check out the 26-passenger trolley from Limo Kings. It’s a fun way to take a scenic tour and a charming enhancement for a special event.
These nearly new attractions, restaurants and shops haven’t even celebrated their first anniversary yet but have already made a big splash with Wisconsin Dells visitors.
Hades 360° at Mt. Olympus Theme Park & Water Park - As if a roller coaster that plunged riders underground into complete darkness wasn’t enough excitement for one ride, the wildly popular Hades roller coaster has been turned into a 360 ride. You’ll now go head over heels and then underground. Hades 360° is being billed as the world’s first upside-down all wooden roller coaster.
Dells Lumberjack Show - Paul Bunyan’s Northwoods Cook Shanty has long been known for its tasty family-style spread of food and impossible-to-resist sugar donuts. Now they are also known for an authentic lumberjack show that blends age old lumberjack competitions with extreme sports entertainment. The show keeps visitors of all ages on the edge of their seat while being entertained by both professional and collegiate athletes competing in events such as log rolling and pole climbing.
Dells Distillery - This Western-themed restaurant and bar has a fan following for its specialty tator tot creations which range from Cheeseburger Tots to Philly Tots. As for libations, the Dells Distillery has its own distilled vodka, whiskey, brandy and rum, and they offer a VIP Barrel Service where they’ll tap a keg right at your table.
MACS – Macaroni and Cheese Shop - Located in the downtown river district, MACS has a menu loaded with options for both grown-up and kid tastes. Tip: The interior design of this diner is worth a visit, with its contemporary industrial feel punctuated with funky artwork, retro chairs and reclaimed barn wood for tables and countertops.
Chi-Town Pizza - Here’s what you’ll find at this new downtown eatery: homemade, authentic pasta dishes, pizzas, sandwiches and desserts made from scratch - Old World-style. That’s our kind of Italian pizzeria. Dine in or carry out.
Robin’s Nest Restorations Gifts & Gallery - With the Etsy.com creative shopping culture such a hit, it’s nice to see Wisconsin Dells landing its own bricks-and-mortar version with Robin’s Next Restorations. This downtown store features reclaimed and upcycled vintage furniture, jewelry, home décor and gift items. Every piece in the store is handmade by the owners using at least 80% recycled materials.
JustAgame Fieldhouse - This top-notch fieldhouse is now home to the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, honoring players and coaches and also serving as a museum for high school basketball history dating back to 1916.
Red Beard Bowfishing - For those who know just how good Wisconsin Dells is for fishing, you may fall for this new attraction, well, hook, line and sinker so to speak. It’s Red Beard Bowfishing and here’s how it works: a bowfishing captain takes you out on the Wisconsin River where you go after carp using a traditional bow, crossbow or throwing spear. If you’re visiting the Dells with a group of friends, consider a private charter.
Big Racks Hunt Club - Book a mid-September through mid-December deer hunt at Big Racks Hunt Club for a chance to hunt a giant Wisconsin whitetail while the rest of the family splashes around at a waterpark. Tree stands dot the acres of jack pine, oak and maple trees at this private hunt club and it’s less than ten minutes from the Dells proper. Be sure to check out the trail cam photos on their web site.
Wisconsin Trapshooting Association - Here’s something new to consider for day trips, corporate outings and group events. It’s the Wisconsin Trapshooting Association’s Olympic-style international trapshooting facility in the Town of Rome, about 30 minutes from Wisconsin Dells. There are 30 trapshooting fields at this 280-acre complex.
juniper + cliff - While this great shopping find is located inside the Chula Vista Resort, it really is a retail destination unto itself. Here you’ll find signature gourmet candies, chic and fashionable resort wear and toys for the kids. Fun fact: the name of the store is a tribute to the resort’s setting on the sandstone cliffs of the Wisconsin River with junipers dotting the landscape.
Baker’s Sunset Bay Resort - If you’ve ever had the chance to swim in a saline pool you may have noticed how nice it feels on the skin. At Baker’s Sunset Bay Resort on Lake Delton, they’ve switched over the indoor pool and Jacuzzi to saline.
Winnebago Fine Goods & Gift Shop - Since 1949 this landmark emporium has been outfitting visitors to the Dells with Minnetonka moccasins. Sixty-five years later it remains one of the largest sellers of the über comfortable and fashionable footwear, plus it’s now a must-visit for Native American artwork, retro cool décor, and on-trend urban apparel for men and women but especially men.
R Place Italian Restaurant - Suffering through a 1999 fire and 2013 flooding, R Place Italian Restaurant celebrates 20 years in business this year. The locally owned restaurant serves up authentic Italian four course meals that include soup, salad, main course, and sherbet. According to the owners, it’s easy to fill up on the warm bread and savory olive oil that are delivered to the table before the courses even begin, so be sure to save some room!
Dells Bells Wedding Chapel - This romantically cute and kitschy chapel celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2014. Over that decade they’ve performed nearly 2,000 stress-free weddings – the only thing couples need to bring is the marriage license. Newlyweds will want to ring the chapel’s 1894 bell, saved from a school building in Pennsylvania, to signal the beginning of their new life together. Ask about their Minister-To-Go services (they’ve provided a minister everywhere from large resorts to chilly ice fishing shanties).
Waterparks Wisconsin Dells pioneered the waterpark craze with the country’s first indoor waterpark. Today there are more waterparks here per capita than anywhere else on the planet. Noah’s Ark is the largest outdoor waterpark in America with over 70 acres of water fun, and the Wilderness Resort is the country’s largest indoor/outdoor waterpark combo.
Roller Coasters The wildest of them all is Hades 360° at Mt. Olympus Theme Park & Water Park – it’s the world’s first looping all-wooden roller coaster and on top of that it goes underground.
Duck Tours The community is home to the world’s largest fleet of WWII amphibious vehicles known as DUCKS. These vehicles had their finest moment on D-Day in 1944 when more than 2,000 were put into service to deliver troops to the rough shores of Normandy. Today, they’re a stellar choice for touring the Wisconsin River, as are the tour boats which make shore landings amongst the sandstone cliffs at Witches Gulch and Stand Rock.
Ski Show The Tommy Bartlett Show staged on Lake Delton is one of the last professional water ski shows of its kind in the country. It’s staged Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Mini-Golf and Go Karts The Dells has more holes of mini golf than anywhere else in the state. Go kart tracks are at every turn as well.
Fudge Sweet tooths rejoice in the area’s candy shops where you can watch fudge being made before digging in to your favorite flavor. Shop Wisconsin Dairyland Fudge, Swiss Maid Fudge or Goody Goody Gum Drop.
Moccasins Seems moccasins are now considered fashion footwear. Who knew! Pick up a pair of Minnetonkas to round out your wardrobe at purveyors like the Winnebago Fine Goods & Gift Shop, Parson’s Indian Trading Post, and Aunt Jenny’s Got-It-All Store.
H.H. Bennett - He’s the 19th century landscape photographer credited with making Wisconsin Dells famous with his incredible photos of the area and the people. His original studio is a historic site definitely worth a look-see.