How to ‘Adult’ in the Wisconsin Dells

Skip the waterparks and fill a weekend with dining, drinking, shopping and more.

Wisconsin Dells isn’t just the “waterpark capital of the world,” a draw for the kiddos and kids at heart. Offering wine and beer tastings, high-end dining, cool coffeeshops and spas, the Dells has grown into a getaway to indulge in more cultivated pursuits. Here’s your weekend itinerary.


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4 P.M.

Check into Aloha Beach Resort, a chill, 62-room property with zero waterslides on Lake Delton’s shoreline (“the quiet side of the Dells,” as locals call it). But pack your bathing suit anyway – Aloha’s amenities include an indoor pool, sauna and hot tub.  

6:30 P.M. 

Enjoy a fish fry or go all-in with Alaskan crab legs or cold-water lobster tails at The Del-Bar, a longstanding supper club under new third-generation ownership. Start with a cocktail (a Wisconsin brandy old fashioned sounds nice) at the round bar, and then try a prime aged steak or shrimp de jonghe at your table. One of the five dining rooms overlooks a koi pond.  

Photo courtesy of The Del-Bar


9 A.M.

Fuel up at either Bella Goose Coffee and Roastery location. At the cafe overlooking the Wisconsin River on Wisconsin Dells Parkway, the breakfast options are heartier, such as avocado toast, spelt-flour waffles and breakfast sandwiches. 

11 A.M.

Sample wine at Balanced Rock Winery, owned by Matt and Kristin Boegner, who worked at a Monterey, California, winery and opened their own (dog-friendly) place in 2019. Four wines feature Wisconsin-grown grapes, including Frontenac Gris, a sweet, tart white wine. 

1 P.M.

Dig into a casual dine-around at Grateful Shed, an indoor food “truckyard” and bar on Wisconsin Dells Parkway. Tacos, pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches and milkshakes are among the indulgences. 

3 P.M.

Scoop up new home décor (vintage to shabby chic), as well as garden and hand-crafted items, at the 500-dealer Wisconsin Dells Craft & Antique Mall in Baraboo. 

5 P.M.

The adults-only, amenity-driven Sundara Inn & Spa resort-like experience near Lake Delton feels much farther than two hours away. Among the highlights are a lavender lemongrass CBD body treatment and a salt-therapy room that promotes detoxification. 

7 P.M.

After being pampered, why leave? Sundara’s on-site restaurant goes beyond wellness with dishes like petite filet mignon and teriyaki-glazed mahi-mahi, along with indulgent desserts and cocktails.

Photo courtesy of Sundra Inn & Spa


10 A.M.

Latte Stone Brewing’s Sunday brunch menu includes a bacon-egg breakfast sandwich and a mimosa flight. Owners Jennifer and Ryan DiGiacomo brew small-batch beer, with each style named for a place in Guam, where Ryan’s family lives. 


Close out the weekend with a hike at the 2,220-acre Mirror Lake State Park south of Lake Delton (lesser trodden than Devil’s Lake State Park). If it’s the second Sunday of the month, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Seth Peterson Cottage, tucked into the park, hosts an open house and tour from 1-3:30 p.m.



This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s February issue.

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A seasoned writer, and a former editor at Milwaukee Home & Fine Living, Kristine Hansen launched her wine-writing career in 2003, covering wine tourism, wine and food pairings, wine trends and quirky winemakers. Her wine-related articles have published in Wine Enthusiast, Sommelier Journal, Uncorked (an iPad-only magazine),, and Whole Living (a Martha Stewart publication). She's trekked through vineyards and chatted up winemakers in many regions, including Chile, Portugal, California (Napa, Sonoma and Central Coast), Canada, Oregon and France (Bordeaux and Burgundy). While picking out her favorite wine is kind of like asking which child you like best, she will admit to being a fan of Oregon Pinot Noir and even on a sub-zero winter day won't turn down a glass of zippy Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.