Wisconsin Dells

The Hades rollercoaster at Mount Olympus

Three and a half hours east on I-94, Wisconsin Dells is the self-proclaimed water park capital of the world, and the claim holds water. Every year there seems to be a new slide, new lodging options, and new attractions. And there’s always plenty going on at this year-round indoor/outdoor destination, so if you’re in the mood to be over-stimulated, go for it.

Several resorts have beachside property along Lake Delton, including Wilderness on the Lake (866-363-5253, wildernessonthelake.com ), Baker’s Sunset Bay Resort (800-435-6515, sunsetbayresort.com ), and Thunderbird Resort (608-253-5031, thunderbirdresort-dells.com ). If you’d rather enjoy views of the Wisconsin River, try Chula Vista Resort (608-254-8366, chulavistaresort.com ), where you can see the river from the outdoor wave pool. No matter where you decide to lay your head, most resorts offer passes to the biggest water parks.

If water slides don’t provide enough of an adrenaline rush for your inner daredevil, the Dells have you covered. Try putting a pedal to the metal or riding with a pro at Dells Raceway Park. Or head to Mt. Olympus, where they’ll launch you on a giant bungee high above a wave pool and take you underground on the Hades 360 Coaster.

Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau, 800-223-3557, wisdells.com


Tucked in Minnesota’s Glacial Lakes region, the small city of Alexandria is ringed by lakes and boasts more than three dozen resorts.

Brainerd Lakes

With more than 500 lakes in the area, Brainerd is a great place to hook a big fish and do water sports, from classic waterskiing and wakeboarding to standup paddleboarding and paddleboard yoga.

Two Harbors

We know we gave you a pretty thorough guide to Duluth in the last issue of this magazine. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Two Harbors as a great end-of-summer escape.


If you crave water warmer than Lake Superior but big enough that the horizon disappears, check out Walker on the southern edge of Leech Lake, an hour north of Brainerd.