Exploring Downtown Wisconsin Dells

By: Casey O'Halloran Email
By: Casey O'Halloran Email

The Wisconsin Dells has been a tourist destination for decades. But to really get to know the area, I wanted to learn how it became a hot spot in the first place. So I took a stroll to the Dells' downtown.

"H.H. Bennett was a very interesting person. He's really the man that started tourism in the Wisconsin Dells," says Dale Williams of the H.H. Bennett Studio.

Today, Bennett is known as one of the best landscape photographers and his 19th century photos of the Wisconsin Dells attracted people to the area. One famous photo really got people's attention.

Williams says, "It's jumping the chasm at stand rock and that was done in 1886 with his new instantaenous shutter."

You can visit the exact site of the photo, and check out the leap for yourself.

But the H.H. Bennett studio isn't all that's downtown. Boutique shopping is another tourist favorite, especially if you leave town with new moccasins on your feet.

But all that shopping can work up an appetite and many indulge with chocolate.

Roj Rosen from Swiss Maid Fudge says, "The first words out of their mouth is my gosh it smells so good in here!"

You'll find 8 candy stores in the downtown. Here at Swiss Maid Fudge they sell 8,000 pounds of chocolate a year to people young and old.

"The kids love to sit in the window and watch our girls make the candy," Rosen says.

The downtown area is usually hopping all year long, but the shops and museums are ready for the big crowds to arrive this weekend.

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