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Trip Report Hot WisconsinTrip Report

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Thanks to all the fodorites who contributed in making our trip to Wisconsin a huge success.
Hotels: Enroute we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Festus. Wonderful hotel. We were very surprised at the boutique, upscale feel. The only negative was the coffee. I know this is petty but my husband likes his coffee in the morning and we had to find a Starbucks because the coffee looked and tasted like colored water. Spent the second night in Madison at the DoubleTree. It is in a great location. The staff was very friendly. The hotel room was another story. We were in a deluxe king and it was tiny. Wallpaper was peeling off the wall in the room and was patched in the bathroom. It looked like an update was attempted in the bathroom because it had a granite counter top. The furnishings had a lot to be desired. I have stayed at DoubleTree in other cities and the one in Madison needs to be rebranded to a one or two star property or updated. In the Dells we stayed four nights at Wilderness Resort's Glacier Canyon in a two bedroom condo. The resort is great for all ages. The condos are cute and resemble a lodge with the stone fireplace and rustic furniture. The kitchen in the condo was well furnished. The rest of the furnishings including linens,mattresses, chairs, and carpet are screaming for an update. Arms of the chairs were worn, stained carpets, and the mattresses and pillows felt like rags stuffed in a cover.
Activities: In Madison, we walked around the downtown area and ended up at the UW Union Terrace for Rhythm and Boom. It was a great fireworks show. The UW is a beautiful campus. State St. was crowded but it does have some unique shops and restaurants. In the Dells, the waterparks are the draw. Wilderness is huge with shuttle service to the various waterparks on site. Wild Rock is a beautiful golf course. Several people in our party played it twice. Sundara is a nice spa but was a bit pricey. We also visited Mt. Olympus to experience the non-water activities which included bumper cars, go carts, bungee jumping, etc...
Dining: Nitty Gritty in Madison was a great choice for burgers and fried cheese curds. We also enjoyed The Great Dane. At the Dells we ate at Monks which has a huge menu and we had a nice dinner at Del-Bar. Good food and great service with friendly staff at all of these establishments. The rest of our stay we ate at the condo. We bought groceries at Metcalfes in Madison and also at the Village Market in the Dells. The Wilderness also has a nice picnic area with grills which was nice to cook brats, etc..
Weather: We thought we were escaping the 100+ degree temperatures in Wisconsin but we brought the heat with us. The heat slowed everyone down a bit and we didn't do nearly as much as we had planned.
Overall, Wisconsin is a beautiful state. Wisconsin Dells is a good reunion option if you like water parks, golf, spas, and other outdoor activities.

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