The surface of Mirror Lake in Wisconsin is so placid and clear that you could easily see the ripples caused by a single pebble. That's due in part to sandstone bluffs that surround the lake, shielding the water from the wind. Additionally, a strict no-wake zone allows canoers and kayakers to paddle in peace. Mirror Lake at Tamarack Resort overlooks the water and is just a 10-minute drive from the theme parks, indoor water parks, and river tours of the Wisconsin Dells.
Full kitchens, crackling fireplaces, and natural-wood furnishings add touches of home to the guest rooms. Jetted tubs make for nice spots to unwind or stow the family alligators. You don't need to head to the dells to stay occupied. There are onsite swimming pools—both indoor and outdoor—as well as basketball and tennis courts. Tamarack's staff arranges seasonal activities ranging from cookie decorating to wine-and-cheese socials. In warmer months, guests can barbecue on the outdoor grill or go horseback riding and mountain biking along the shores of the lake.
Wisconsin Dells: Land of Lakes and Indoor Water Parks
The Wisconsin Dells stretches across Lake Delton and the Wisconsin River in the central part of the state, just northwest of Madison. Known for its family-oriented attractions, it's the self-proclaimed Water-Park Capital of the World. To take one example, Mount Olympus Water and Theme Park features go-karts, indoor roller coasters, and more than 30 water slides. Stunt shows, haunted houses, and boat tours also draw big crowds to the Dells.
The downtown area along the river is dotted with antique stores, candy shops, and a Bavarian-themed village. At a handful of German restaurants, you can enjoy schnitzel with swigs of lager as musicians perform glockenspiel covers of Kraftwerk. 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 rock climbers scale 500-foot bluffs.