This Downtown Loop Never Disappoints
Downtown Wisconsin Dells has so much going for it, which is why vacationers make a point to dedicate at least an afternoon, if not a full day, to exploring the Broadway district. Ready for a virtual tour? Let’s go!
We’ll kick off this post on downtown Wisconsin Dells with a tip: Park your car at one end of Broadway, say near the west end, and make a full loop. It’s immensely walkable and all along the way you’ll find attractions, shops, and some great spots for dining too.
- Visit the H.H. Bennett Studio, the original gallery of pioneering landscape photographer Henry Hamilton Bennett whose Wisconsin Dells images from the late 1800s remain as relevant and mesmerizing as ever. Note, the Studio closes for the season at the end of October. After seeing the grandeur of the Wisconsin River in Bennett’s photos, see the real thing with a tour from Dells Boat Tours. The ticket office is right on Broadway. When you disembark from the narrated tour, head back up to Broadway where you’ll find the entrance to the downtown Scenic River Walk. At the trailhead to the River Walk is the just-opened outdoor photography gallery featuring the work of local photographer Joseph Leute. This first exhibit chronicles the modern intersection of landscape and life on the Wisconsin River.
- From nature’s finest to the more fanciful, turn your attention to two attractions downtown – the massive Wizard Quest, a full-size wizard-questing game that’s perfect for a family team to solve; and the odditorium known as Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, with its eclectic collection of all things odd and strange.
- Summer blooms give way to fall colors at the pair of mini-golf courses downtown – Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf with 91 unique holes and Timber Falls Adventure Park in the shade of towering trees on a bluff overlooking the Wisconsin River.
- Here’s an idea for groups of friends on a fall getaway - Asgard Axe Throwing. They have axe coaches on staff to help you unleash your inner Viking. Check out the lower level arcade with new and vintage games when you’re done with your axe throwing competition.
Shopping in the Downtown District
- Step inside any of the fudge shops, candy stores, and popcorn emporiums for which the downtown district is known and be prepared to cave in to all your sweet cravings.
- Funny name, awesome gifts and souvenirs, DooHickey’s Gifts knows what shoppers look for when on vacation in Wisconsin Dells.
- Wisconsin Dells is also a great place to pick up footwear. Yes, you read that right, footwear, as in shoes, boots, and Minnetonka moccasins for the whole family. Browse the finely crafted cowboy boots at the new Pickled Cowboy western boutique. Pick up classic moccasins at Sole Moccasins & More. Try the new eco-friendly Minnetonka sneakers at Winnebago gift shop.
- Food finds to gift or keep for yourself can be had at Carr Valley Cheese and the new Museum of Root Beer.
Eateries on Broadway
- New this year is The District with a menu that leans into the urban street food trend. Their primo location overlooking the Wisconsin River means great views from both indoor counter dining and outdoor deck seating. The interior design has a midcentury modern flair that adds to the fun of dining here.
- High Rock Café is a favorite of locals and for good reason. The fresh salads and signature sandwiches are delish and the cocktail menu is highly creative. Ask for a table upstairs for a great view of Broadway.
- Don’t let the name - MACS–Macaroni and Cheese Shop – fool you into thinking this is a spot only for kids, because the menu features mac and cheese dishes geared to grown-up tastes too
- Huckleberry’s Ice Cream & Bakery adjoins MACS and it’s new this year. Think European sweet shop meets old-fashioned ice cream parlor. Rumor has it that the caramel apple bars and the cinnamon coffee cake, both great fall tastes by the way, are tied for most popular treats here.
Time Your Visit
- Wo-Zha-Wa Fall Festival, the community’s longstanding celebration dedicated to fall, runs Friday, Sept. 16-Sunday, Sept. 18. Enjoy sidewalk sales, music, food, and carnival rides all in downtown Wisconsin Dells. Insider tip: The Sunday afternoon parade at 1:30 PM is well worth staying for!