You may get exhausted, exhilarated, sunburned, mesmerized and awestruck but one thing you’ll never get in Wisconsin Dells is bored. The community of about 5,000 people in the state of Wisconsin welcomes an astonishing five million visitors a year. Why do they come?
We proudly present our top three picks when it comes to thrill rides, relaxation, restaurants and accommodations—everything you need to plan your road trip to Wisconsin Dells.
And now: Where to Eat!
1. Paul Bunyan’s Northwoods Cook Shanty
The shellacked wooden tables, plaid curtains and black and white prints will make you feel right at home in this spacious all-you-can-eat diner. Follow your host to a long table that you may end up sharing with other families. The menu changes daily. It could be barbecued ribs, pot roast or beef brisket as the main entrée (it’s always fish on Friday). Fried chicken is included along with tossed salad or coleslaw, veggies, mashed potatoes and freshly-baked bread. It all comes to the table family style, in bowls and on platters. Load up your metal, camp-style plate. Need more chicken? The always-smiling servers will be happy to deliver refills of everything, including cake for dessert. Dinners start at $13.99 for adults. Kids pay 91 cents for each year of their age (a 10-year old pays $9.10). Did I mention they do breakfast and lunch in the same style?
2. Denny’s Diner
It’s always best to follow the locals. In Wisconsin Dells, they head straight for Denny’s Diner on the corner of the main drag. It’s in no way affiliated with the chain restaurant of the same name (in fact, it says so on the big sign in the lobby). What you’ll find at this Denny’s is hearty breakfasts and a jukebox at very table. A model train chugs along the perimeter of the entire restaurant, keeping young and old diners mesmerized while the French toast sizzles and the omelets fluff up. But what really sets Denny’s apart is their superior cinnamon rolls.
Owners Dennis and Molly VanSchoyck are always baking fresh batches and dolling them out with little pots of cream cheese frosting on the side. When there’s not a seat to be had in the restaurant, grab a half dozen of these at the take out counter and enjoy them back at your hotel room.
3. Ishnala Restaurant
Giant screened window openings invite the light breeze from Mirror Lake to fill the dining room with warm summer air. It’s a still lake with overhanging trees, surrounded by craggy rocks. It’s hard to believe that this oh-so-peaceful supper spot is five minutes away from a cluster of resorts, gas stations, chain restaurants and attractions in one of the busiest sections of Wisconsin Dells. For over half a century, Ishnala has been devoted to a classic fine dining menu. There are the entrees your parents would order on a special night—prime rib and butterflied prawns, veal Oscar and even a fisherman’s platter to satisfy the seafood lovers. Bring a big appetite, enjoy the lakeside view and don’t forget to stop at the gift shop in your way out of this vintage dining room.
Stay tuned for more on Wisconsin Dells including relaxation and where to stay!Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau, 1-800-223-3557 www.wisdells.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Shel writes about the outdoors, travel and food when she’s not playing outside, on the road or eating. Her recent adventures have included a trip to the tundra to serve as cook at a caribou hunting camp and making a long overdue journey to Ukraine with her dad Merv. She’s the founder of a group called the Manitoba Food Bloggers as well as an avid angler and hunter. She lives in Winnipeg with her husband Ivan and their son Clark. email@example.com