Hotel at a Glance: Polynesian Waterpark Resort
Winding water slides and surging wave pools are among the aquatic adventures that families can dive into at this Wisconsin Dells resort. Its tropical-themed water-park complex spans more than 200,000 square feet and includes an indoor area that stays open year-round.
- Spacious guest rooms feature microwaves and mini refrigerators.
- Refuel with pizza and burgers at the Aloha Bar & Grill.
- Tropical cocktails help you beat the heat at the poolside bar.
- Soothe sore muscles in one of the resort's three indoor hot tubs.
- Distance from downtown Dells: less than 10 minutes
Wisconsin Dells: Picturesque Scenery and Family Entertainment
Before the Dells became synonymous with water parks and amusement rides, the Midwestern destination's claim to fame was its scenery. Visitors in the mid-1940s came to see the craggy rock formations that frame both sides of the Wisconsin River. These bluffs—or dells—are still visible today from the downtown area, which is rife with kitschy attractions, from mini-golf courses to go-kart tracks.
But it's safe to say that most visitors nowadays come for the water parks. In fact, the Dells area likely has more water slides per capita than any other spot on the planet. The fun doesn't stop in the cooler months, either, thanks to a slew of indoor aquatic centers, many of which are nearly as elaborate as their outdoor rivals.
For a break from all the chlorinated excitement, take a stroll along the river, where you’ll find antique stores, candy shops, and a Bavarian-themed village. At a handful of German restaurants, you can wash down plates of schnitzel with pints of lager to the sounds of glockenspiels. The H.H. Bennett Studio museum makes for an interesting side trip. Exhibits recount the early history of the Dells through the life of the 19th-century landscape photographer whose work originally attracted tourists to the area. Just down the road, in the town of Baraboo, Victorian buildings and quaint shops lie on the outskirts of Devil's Lake State Park, where 500-foot bluffs present a challenge for intrepid rock climbers.