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The Wisconsin Dells...what gives?

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The Wisconsin Dells...what gives?

Postby Bubba Suess » Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:05 am

Last September I bought a truck in Ohio and drove it back to California (long story). Rather than taking the most direct route, I decided to take Int. 94, which was the only major east-west interstate I had not been on.

I got to the Dells, and exited, thinking this was a good time to get some gas and lunch. Unbeknownst to but knownst to seemingly everyone else, the Dells is insane. Good grief, the waterparks and magicians and what not! I thought I had seen the worst of the worst when it came to tourist traps. Up until now, Wal Drug and Gilbert Ortega's Indian Emporium on I-40 are among my favorites, but the Dells takes the cake!

So what gives? Has anyone been there? Are the actual Dells themselves cool?
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Postby drjohnso1182 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:56 am

Clearly you've never been to Branson, Missouri.

As for the Dells...well you saw it. For the topographic jewel of Wisconsin, you have to head a few miles south down 12.

What provoked you to bring this up at this time of night and five months after your trip??
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Postby Holsti97 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:11 am

If you’re from the Midwest, you either love the Dells or you hate it. There are no feelings in between. You either like 50 holes of mini-golf, thirty different water parks, Paul Bunyan’s all-you-can-eat-breakfast, Tommy Bartlett’s Water Ski Show, cheap motels, cheaper campgrounds, duck
boats (drive on land and sea!), children running around everywhere barefoot/half naked while their parents lounge on a lawn chair on the side of the road drinking out of a tanning oil bottle that they’ve secretly filled with rum, or you don’t. It’s a tourist trap.

I HATE THE DELLS AND AVOID IT AT ALL COSTS IN THE SUMMER. However, if you take a ride on the Ducks I think you would see some beautiful scenery along the Wisconsin River.

Devils Lake is just south of Wisconsin Dells and is very nice and has a lot of rock climbing routes.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/routes/Nort ... il_s_Lake/
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Postby Bubba Suess » Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:43 pm

drjohnso1182 wrote:What provoked you to bring this up at this time of night and five months after your trip??


I was up late to call my brother and wish him a happy birthday, but he lives on Guam, so I have to cal at odd hours. The conversation set me to thinking about a time we stopped at Bedrock Village in Valle AZ, which reminded me of the Dells, which I had never heard of prior to September.
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Postby Alpinist » Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:57 pm

The Dells aren't all bad. Extreme World looks like a pretty cool place. I haven't been then yet myself but they have the most extreme rides in the world. Check out their Terminal Velocity; bunging jumping without the cord... :shock:
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Postby woodsxc » Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:48 pm

Never been to the Dells. Never want to.
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Postby jspeigl » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 pm

I moved from Michigan to California a few years ago, and also took I-94 to see the northern states. I knew the Dells were some sort of geologic formation, so I stopped in to check them out. I guess I was looking for some sort of overlook or something to see them, and a museum about the geology of the area.

Of course, I found nothing that looked remotely like interesting geology. I could only find candy stores, tee shirts stores, etc. So I walked up to a small visitor's help kiosk and asked, "Where are the Dells?" The young lady behind the desk answered, "This is it, this is the Dells." Huh, wtf?
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Postby Stu Brandel » Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:30 pm

The Dells can be cool if you are a parent. I have started a couple of family-vacations-in-the-car to more natural destinations with a weekend at the water-slide capital of the world. It wears out the kids nicely and gets them in the mood for hiking and exploring the beautiful parts of the North Woods and the Great Lakes.

The Dells has a downtown similar to Gatlinburg's but with a huge emphasis on surrounding water parks, both indoor and outdoor. It is touristy and manic. I confess I have never seen the Dells themselves.
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Postby Stu Brandel » Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:30 pm

The Dells can be cool if you are a parent. I have started a couple of family-vacations-in-the-car to more natural destinations with a weekend at the water-slide capital of the world. It wears out the kids nicely and gets them in the mood for hiking and exploring the beautiful parts of the North Woods and the Great Lakes.

The Dells has a downtown similar to Gatlinburg's but with a huge emphasis on surrounding water parks, both indoor and outdoor. It is touristy and manic. I confess I have never seen the Dells themselves.
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Postby xDoogiex » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:22 pm

Never heard of this place. Gatlinburg blew my mind and almost ruined my few hours is the smokies. Sounds like somewhere I don't wanna go.
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Postby grabbs146 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:11 pm

As a kind I loved the outdoor water parks. Coolest place on earth. As an adult with no kids...driving by and not stopping is ok with me but, because of fond childhood memories in the water parks it wouldn't bother me either to stop. I think wall drug is a much bigger let-down.
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Postby Bob Sihler » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:10 pm

So there's really someplace worse than Gatlinburg?
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Postby MarkDidier » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:17 pm

Bob Sihler wrote:So there's really someplace worse than Gatlinburg?


Actually I think Pigeon Forge is worse than Gatlinburg (can't say if it's worse than the Dells though). Besides how obnoxious the town is, traffic is horrible. Pigeon Forge is always the bottle neck for a trip to the Smokies. Fortunately I have been through there enough times to know when to avoid this hell! There is also a good short cut around a portion of Pigeon Forge through Wear Valley if traffic is so bad and you know it's going to take 2 hours to get through! As for Gatlinburg traffic/obnoxious attractions - you can always use the bypass, and there is a gas station, grocery/convenience store and liquor store :D just after the first stop light (going from Sugarlands Visitor Center towards Gatlinburg), so you can almost completely avoid Gatlinburg if you want to - unless of course you need something other than gas, food and booze!
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Postby jackstraw0083 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:18 pm

Even as an adult the water parks in the Dells are pretty fun (especially Noahs Ark). I'd pick the Dells over Gatlinburg any day. There are quite a few quiet, scenic areas around the Dells too. There's a really interesting geologic history to the area as well. The Dells themselves were carved out in a matter of days when the glacially-dammed Wisconsin River broke the ice dam that created Glacial Lake Wisconsin and catastropically flooded, incising through the sandstone and creating the Dells! There's your geology lesson for the day.
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Postby Arthur Digbee » Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:25 am

MarkDidier wrote:
Bob Sihler wrote:So there's really someplace worse than Gatlinburg?

Actually I think Pigeon Forge is worse than Gatlinburg (can't say if it's worse than the Dells though).


Beat me to it. Been to 'em all and avoid Pigeon Forge like the plague.
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