WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. – Wisconsin Dells is famous as a family vacation destination. However, with the addition of a new winery, wine bar, lavender farm, outdoor music venue and expanded world-class spa, “The Waterpark Capital of the World!®” is quickly becoming a hotspot for adult travel groups and couples, as well.
Vine and Stein
Local, artisanal wineries have become increasingly popular travel destinations, and the Dells area, in particular, has become a magnet for wine lovers. Home to five wineries – including the state’s oldest and largest, Wollersheim Winery & Distillery – it is also home to the state’s newest. Set to open this spring, Broken Bottle Winery will temporarily source its grapes from the vineyard of parent Baraboo Bluff Winery while its own vineyard fully takes root. The winery will feature two indoor bars, plus a large front porch for sipping outside.
Wisconsin Dells also will welcome a new premium wine bar in the historic downtown area this summer. In addition to wine, Kilbourn Cork will also feature single-malt whiskies, small-batch bourbons and other handmade spirits, as well as local and regional craft brews and seasonal small plate selections – not to mention an outdoor fire pit.
Beer aficionados will find a new microbrewery in the Wisconsin Dells area in 2019. Tumbled Rock Brewery & Kitchen, nestled in the hills near Devil’s Lake State Park, is a family-friendly restaurant and brewery boasting a wood-fired oven, pizzas and pub food. Its stouts, witbiers and IPAs are brewed in-house.
For a little caffeine to balance the libations, guests can visit Bella Goose Coffee’s new roastery located downtown Dells on Eddy Street. Customers can tour the roastery, participate in coffee tasting events and purchase freshly roasted coffee beans. Bella Goose creates a craft coffee experience with pour over coffee, seasonal smoothies and juices, and their signature waffle bar complete with toppings.
Spa Experiences: Pass the Salt, Please
Halotherapy, more commonly known as salt therapy, is a trending treatment in the wellness industry. Spa Kalahari & Salon has added a salt therapy room that incorporates pure organic Himalayan salt and a halogenerator, which changes pure salt into salt vapor. When inhaled, the vapors detoxify the body and boost the immune system.
Similarly, Sundara Inn & Spa now offers a salt therapy treatment room as part of its recently completed 40,000-square-foot expansion. In this salt microclimate, salt crystals line the floor and walls as the halotherapy generator adds to the curative feel. Sundara’s expansion also includes new woodland suites, a dedicated restaurant, meditation spaces, a second outdoor pool, a signature indoor sanctuary, waterfalls, and replicated casts of the Cambrian sandstone bluffs seen along the Wisconsin River.
Soothing scents, pastels and memorable flavors can be found at the New Life Lavender & Cherry Farm. Open June through September, this family-run farm is tucked away in the beautiful bluffs of the Baraboo Range. Guests can enjoy homemade lavender ice cream and original lavender cherry pies made fresh at the farm, in addition to handcrafted lavender soaps and lotions. Guided tours of the fields are offered, examining the 21 varieties of lavender grown on the farm, as well as Wisconsin’s sustainable agriculture industry.
Riverfront Terrace in downtown Wisconsin Dells has created a collective space to showcase the arts and celebrate the Wisconsin River. This hangout spot will open for its first full season this spring and have plenty of live music, food and drinks, and, of course, spectacular views.
The Vue Restaurant located in the River Inn Resort is slated to debut its first season this spring. The Vue is nestled along the Wisconsin River offering 180-degree views of the Sand Stone cliffs along the Upper Wisconsin Dells. A perfect choice to sip a local libation and watch the setting sun.
Hot Rocks – Sear.Sizzle.Savor. is the only restaurant of its kind in Wisconsin, the tiki-themed dining experience empowers guests to cook their food at the table on lava stones heated to 750 degrees Fahrenheit. Dating back to 7,000 B.C., hot rock cooking is one of the oldest styles of cooking.
The Wilderness Resort – America’s Largest Waterpark Resort – continues to add fun to its indoor inventory with a trio of rock-climbing walls to their Timberland Playhouse area. The three vary in difficulty and design, giving visitors a wide range of challenges.
The American Resort & Treehouses will offer some natural heat relief this summer with the debut of The Lagoon with 250,000 gallons of naturally filtered water complete with a cascading waterfall, stone grotto, and lazy stream.
For something exciting Knuckleheads Trampoline Park * Rides * Bowling will debut Hologate Virtual Reality (VR). This award-winning VR takes the gaming experience to a new dimension, with zero motion sickness. Suitable for all ages and skill levels.
Tournament Golf Courses
Wild Rock Golf Club at the Wilderness has been selected by the United States Golf Association to host a qualifying round for the 2019 U.S. Open on May 8. This magnificent 18-hole course, built on a former quarry, was designed by Hurdzan-Fry, the same duo who created Erin Hills, site of last year’s U.S. Open. The course incorporates an old stone quarry and a woodland area with a stream, as well as extreme elevation changes. Many holes play up and down the sandstone ridges for which the Dells is famous, and offer views of the quartzite cliffs of the Baraboo Range.
A memorable 9-hole course can be found in nearby Baraboo, adjacent to Ho-Chunk Gaming. Fairfield Hills Golf Course & Driving Range offers golfers the chance to play 3, 9, 12, or 18 holes. Recognizing that many golfers may not have enough time for a full 18-hole round, Fairfield Hills is one of the few Midwestern courses with a 12-hole option. This unique course was awarded the Golf Course Owners of Wisconsin’s 2018 “Golf Course of the Year” ranking in the 9-hole category.
For more information, and to order the 2019 Wisconsin Dells Vacation Guide, go to http://www.wisdells.com.