During these uncertain economic times, savvy travelers are downsizing their vacation plans and sticking closer to home. This bodes well for destinations like the Wisconsin Dells, a tiny tourist area long known to Midwesterners as a great, if kitschy, summertime escape. The recent addition of several state-of-the-art theme parks and resorts has transformed this once-fading destination into "The Waterpark Capital of the World." There's plenty here for grown-up travelers, too, from spas to championship golf courses, making the Dells a worthy contender for that next great escape.
With rustic decor and cozy accommodations ranging from standard rooms, suites, condos or even cabins, these resorts feature perks like indoor waterparks, craft rooms, arcades and interactive play areas. There's even a 15-screen, first-run movie theater and a new indoor amusement park at the Kalahari. These year-round digs allow an escape from winter blahs without having to cough up airfare to a faraway, crowded tropical destination. For a summertime visit that brings kids closer to nature, there are also several campgrounds and cabins nestled among the area's many woodsy waterfront retreats.