Who knew there are so many fun things to do in Wisconsin? Here is my attempt to capture our action-packed week in the state...
Traci and I attended a fundraising scholarship dinner dance hosted by her sorority (Delta Sigma Theta). As we examined the items up for bid in the silent auction room, one item among the gift baskets, artwork, and clothing really captured our attention. It was listed as a "Week in Wisconsin". Neither Traci nor I knew anything about Wisconsin other than a lot of cheese is produced there. However, we are so bitten by the travel bug that we placed our bid. It turns out we were the only bid for the item; hence, we bought the trip. Fast forward 10 months and we were on our way to Wisconsin. We were extremely excited to have my mother join us on this new adventure. We had not vacationed with her since our Alaskan cruise in 2001.
We were running a little behind schedule as we headed for the Philadelphia airport Friday morning. Adding to the anxiety was an announcement on my car radio indicating a huge traffic jam due to an overturned tractor trailer. Fortunately, I heard the traffic report in time to use an alternate route to the airport.
Our Midwest Airlines flight itinerary was to fly 2 hours from Philadelphia to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where we'd change planes and make the 20-minute flight from Milwaukee to Madison, Wisconsin. We boarded our flight and pushed back from the gate on time but what seems to have become the norm when flying out of Philadelphia these days is that we sat on the tarmac for an hour with about 20 other planes waiting to take off. As a result, we pulled into the gate in Milwaukee in just enough time to look out the window and see our connecting flight heading to the runaway to take off - without us! Since the next flight to Madison was not scheduled to take off for another 6 hours, Midwest Airlines told us they would arrange for ground transportation to drive us 1.5 hours to Madison instead. When they said ground transportation, we had no idea they meant a black stretch limo! We arrived at Dane County Regional Airport in Madison like rock stars. I doubt anyone saw us, though. The airport was a ghost town.
our limo to Madison, WI
inside the limo
We picked up our rental car (gray Chevy Malibu), had dinner at a local Cracker Barrel restaurant, and then made the 45-minute drive north to our lodging in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. It was about 9 PM when we finally arrived at our accommodations. Wow! Were we ever surprised by what we saw. We were staying in a Presidential Condominium at Glacier Canyon Lodge which is part of the huge Wilderness Territory Resort. Our unit had two large bedrooms, a kitchen, living room, dining room, 2 full bathrooms, a fireplace, and a Jacuzzi tub to name a few. The decor was in line with the wilderness theme of stone walls and thick wooden furniture. We spent the first fifteen minutes oohing and awing as we explored our accommodations. Our Wisconsin vacation was looking like a winner.
We were staying in the town of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. It reminded me of a beach resort town without the beach. There are amusement parks, restaurants, fudge shops, souvenir shops, arcades, golf courses, go-kart tracks, dinner theaters, a casino, a huge outlet mall, and more. The Dells is known as the nation's waterpark capital and for good reason. There are waterparks everywhere - indoors and outdoors. Since we were there in autumn, most of the outdoor amusements were closed. This is where the resort properties, such as the one we were in, take over.
our sprawling resort in Wisconsin Dells
The Wilderness Territory Resort, in which we stayed, is comprised of several buildings. Although the outdoor amenities were closed, the indoor activities such as the three waterparks, laser tag, fitness centers, a spa, a nightclub, restaurants, game rooms, and more were all available. There are skywalks that allow you to access all these attractions without ever going outside. In case this is too much walking for you (and there is a lot of walking), there is an outdoor shuttle to take guests from building to building.
With all these amenities in walking distance, we could have probably spent our whole week without ever leaving the resort but that's not our style. Besides, waterparks and arcades are not really our thing. Traci and I always try to do as much sightseeing as we can when we visit a new place. Therefore, I had done my research and put together a rather busy sightseeing schedule for our Wisconsin vacation. By the end of the week, we would put nearly 1,500 miles on the rental car and take over 1,300 photos! This trip report is a recap of our action-packed week.