Wilderness Territory Waterpark Resort, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Four distinct parks make up this massive 600-acre resort, which stays a balmy 88 degrees regardless of the temperature outside. It may take several seasons to experience all of the rides here, but the park’s tour de force is the Hurricane—a family raft ride that drops 58 feet then spins into a funnel that mimics a hurricane in enough detail (lightning and fog machine alert!) to be as terrifying as it is fun. Kids and adults alike attest that filling up the kiddie pool with “Bumper Boats” was a sheer stroke of genius, and a word to the wise: The Great Wave—a 15,450-square-foot wave pool that pits swimmers against five-foot swells—is addictive. 511 E. Adams St., Wisconsin Dells, WI, 800/867-9453, wildernessresort.com. Park access for resort guests only; doubles from $99.
Short drive from Madison, Wis. (55 miles).