Things To Do In Baraboo

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Forget actors, scripts, or props: Wisconsin Dells Ghost Tours likes its ghosts stripped bare of gimmicks and its encounters backed by bone-chilling authenticity. Its guides spin true tales of eerie happenings, all supported by police reports and historical documents, raising goose bumps as guests rumble through the darkest corners of the Dells on a luxury bus. The 75-minute expeditions visit more than 20 haunted locales, including unmarked burial grounds, houses plagued by spirits, and back alleys populated by dancing zombies. The tour guides open the closets of Newport, Wisconsin Dells, and Lake Delton to reveal skeletons lurking inside, and the tour’s well-researched, heart-quickening stories thrill and educate minds both old and young.

420 Wisconsin 13
Wisconsin Dells,
WI
US

Runners embarking on the Honky Tonk Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K won't need headphones to hear twangy country tunes. That’s because the hilly Wisconsin Dells course features live bands and DJs along the route to keep participants energized as they race toward the finish line. The party-like atmosphere doesn’t end with the race, as a full-blown celebration complete with food, beer, and line dancing awaits runners and their family and friends. Aside from age-group awards for the top three males and females in each race, finish-line gifts include a Honky Tonk cowboy hat and goodie bag for all participants, a finisher-medal buckle for marathoners and half marathoners, and an ice bath for those who decided to pogo stick the entire 26.2 miles. The Honky Tonk marathon and half-marathon course is USA Track & Field certified and is also a Boston Marathon qualifier.

2100 River Road
Wisconsin Dells,
WI
US

At most golf courses, players look out onto dew-kissed fairways or swaying trees and, for a moment, have their breath stolen by the picturesque landscape. At Baraboo Country Club, those moments arrive seemingly at every turn.

With unrivaled views of the bluffs at nearby Devil's Lake State Park and water features formed by Draper Creek in play on nine holes, Baraboo Country Club’s scenery enchants golfers as they traverse the 18-hole course. The inventive layout makes the most of its surroundings, as showcased on the club’s signature hole—the par 5 8th—where drives must carry a water hazard down a tree-lined fairway that dog-legs left on its way to a blind green that, like all of the Club’s putting surfaces, reads a slick “10” on the stimpmeter and doubles as a dance floor for squirrel wedding receptions.

Golfers can prime swings for upcoming rounds with a 10-stall driving range, practice bunker, and putting green, while a full-service pro shop lets golfers replace worn-down gloves or disloyal sandwedges. A wraparound bar with granite countertops awaits at the Fore Seasons Restaurant and Lounge, which serves a menu of classic sandwiches and weekly specials.

421 Mine Road
Baraboo,
WI
US

Pool balls sinking into the pockets of five billiards tables, bullseyes landing on two dartboards, royal flushes sweeping the digital tables of five poker machines. With all the gaming available at Pumphouse Sports Bar & Grille, it's possible to forget to stop and eat. Possible, but not probable, since cooks here coat wings in more than 21 flavors, such as garlic oregano and buffalo ranch.

Equally hearty, the remaining menu includes juicy burgers crowned with cheese curds and bacon, brick-oven pizzas topped with taco fixings, and Wisconsin mozzarella deep-fried in tomato-basil breading. Beneath an antler chandelier, bartenders complement feasts with local craft beers from 16 taps, while five 50-inch HD TVs show the day's biggest games and coaches' best imitations of Edvard Munch's "The Scream." Live music graces the bar on weekends, while weekly leagues meet for billiards tournaments, bean bag games, and, in summer, volleyball on three sand courts adjacent to Pumphouse's outdoor patio and tiki bar.

E11614 Tranquility Ln.
Baraboo,
WI
US

Throughout a golf career that encapsulates a stint as a collegiate player at Weber State University and a Class A membership with the PGA of America, Jared Shears has had ample opportunity to identify what works and what doesn't on the golf course. While many approaches have been tried—from rote drills to hypnosis to becoming one with the golf ball by going on a couple's retreat with it—Jared believes that improvement can realistically be narrowed down to five keys. He's come to this conclusion only after spending hour upon hour studiously watching film of hundreds of the game's greats. His analysis? These elite players keep their head steady and weight forward, maintain a flat left wrist, control the clubface, and guide the club's sweetspot on a diagonal swing path. Jared believes that, with practice, each of these key skills can be achieved by golfers of any skill or experience level.

E2648 Porter Road
Lone Rock,
WI
US

Dells Watersports, a boating haven founded in 1979 by Steve and Kathy Zowin, creates adventures aboard its high-speed and leisurely paced watercraft. Atop the waters of Lake Delton, inflatable tubes bounce over waves as they’re pulled by rental ski boats, and rental waverunners heed the stop signs held up by mermaids. Taking more leisurely trips, kayaks and canoes carry groups on scenic floats by sandstone bluffs, white pine trees, and the Timme Mill dam. Back on shore, staff members man a full-service marina department stocked with boating equipment. Dells Watersports also maintains sister facilities for watercraft rental at Mirror Lake, Castle Rock Lake, and inside all the world's fishbowls.

255 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy. S
Wisconsin Dells,
WI
US