Home / Travel Guides - Wisconsin Dells

Let's Explore

Wisconsin Dells

Introduction

flickr/Al

More About
Wisconsin Dells, WI

Introduction If you grew up taking summer road trips to Wisconsin Dells, packed into the back of the family sedan, counting Tommy Bartlett Show bumper stickers as the miles ticked by and squirming with barely contained excitement at the thought of your first roller coaster ride or waterslide of the season, then you know the Dells. But for those who were raised outside the Midwest, the word itself may be mysterious.

To put it simply, Dells refers to the scenic sandstone gorge in south-central Wisconsin through which the Wisconsin River flows. French-Canadian fur traders used the term dalles to describe a narrow passage between rock walls and the rapids usually found there. For them, this section of the river was both an obstacle and a landmark on their way to someplace else, but by the late 1800s, the Dells had become a destination in its own right, especially for urbanites escaping the burgeoning cities of Milwaukee and Chicago for a peaceful, natural setting.

Wisconsin Dells CVB
In 1931, community leaders renamed Kilbourn City after the area's famous geological feature, and since then Wisconsin Dells has been the name of a town as well. Scenic boat tours, popular since the 1870s, were expanded after World War II with the introduction of repurposed military DUKW amphibious landing vehicles known as “ducks.” Acrobatic water ski shows were added to the mix in the early 1950s, and the first water park opened in the late 1970s, setting off a development boom that continues today.

flickr/Jody Halsted
Indoor waterslides where families can frolic and splash in the dead of winter, miniature golf courses outfitted in a spectrum of themes, twisting go-kart tracks, thrill rides, ski shows, fudge shops, scenic boat tours, picturesque weather-scarred bluffs and heavily wooded campgrounds: after more than a century as a tourist destination, Wisconsin Dells has come to mean all these things.

Read More

Wisconsin Dells, WI

Top AAA Diamond Hotels

AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.

Members save up to 15% and earn Honors points when booking AAA/CAA rates!

Hilton Garden Inn Wisconsin Dells

101 E Hiawatha Dr. Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965

Book Now
AAA Members

Members save 5% to 15% and earn 10% bonus Best Western Rewards® points when booking AAA/CAA rates!

Best Western Ambassador Inn & Suites

610 Frontage Rd S. Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965

Book Now
AAA Members

Members save 5% or more and earn Marriott Bonvoy™ points when booking AAA/CAA rates!

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Wisconsin Dells

461 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy. Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965

Book Now
AAA Members

Members save 5% or more and earn Marriott Bonvoy™ points when booking AAA/CAA rates!

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Wisconsin Dells

511 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy. Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965

Book Now
AAA Members

call or visit a AAA Travel Agent Today!

Find a AAA Office

As a AAA member, you'll save even more. Your AAA Travel Agent will check to see if AAA Vacations is combinable with other AAA member benefits, plus cruise and tour past passenger discounts and benefits.

Not a Member?

Join Now