Family-Oriented Resort near Wisconsin Dells
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 & 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: 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.