81 million people in the US live within 600 miles of the Wisconsin Dells, "The Waterpark Capital of the World!®"


Beth SDid you know that more than ¼ of the total US population lives within a 600 mile radius of the Wisconsin Dells?  For many, this is less than an 8-hour drive to a destination that delivers endless hours of activities for people of all ages!

My family of five has been traveling to the Dells nearly every October for the past eight years, and we’re planning a return visit over Fall Break this year.  With three boys ages 3-14 years old, our interests change daily, and the Dells is one of the few drive-to destinations that the whole family looks forward to. Here is a list of what you can do during your trip to the Dells!

At the waterpark:

  • My 14-year old –LOVES the wave pools, surfing, water slides and sometimes a hot tub to (in his words) “chillax”J
  • My 6-year old – He’s crazy about playing basketball and getting his feet wet riding the big kid slides!  With zero-degree entry pools, water guns galore, and plenty of splashing water, there are endless kid-friendly areas to play.
  • My 3-year old – Last year he loved floating on the lazy river, chasing his brothers and gliding down the tot sized slides. 
  • Where can you find all of these amazing water park activities in the Dells?  Our personal favorites are the Wilderness Resort, Kalahari, and Mount Olympus
     

Away from the waterpark:

This week on the RCI Blog, we’ll be sharing stories and photos from RCI subscribing members who have also traveled to the Dells. Be sure to come back to take a look!

Have you vacationed in the Wisconsin Dells, what other recommendations do you have (for me and the other 81 million people living within 600 miles)?

Here’s a pic of my 2-oldest boys at the wave pool. 

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35th Anniversary


My husband and I wanted a vacation to celebrate our anniversary and we wanted something close to home. We chose Christmas Mountain Village in Wisconsin Dells. We used our resort as a base and took several day trips over the course of our week. Wonderful vineyards that offered wine tasting just a couple of hours away. We visited House on the Rock in Spring Green and spent time at the resort. We had a fireplace in our cottage and made great use of it during the chilly October evenings! What could be better than a warm fire on a cold night with my husband of 35 years? What a relaxing and fantastic trip.

-Lynn C. from Oconomowoc, WI

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Sip and Enjoy


The Worldmark Windsor was the base resort for our trip to northern California wine country. While the scenery in northern Sonoma and Napa Valley was breathtaking at times, the Sonoma Coast was even more outstanding. Wine tasting tours allowed us to experience some very good wines and meet some of the winemakers, who were eager to share their experiences and enthusiasm. The small towns offered their own charm for us to explore. The resort was not only in a great location, but the staff was accommodating, knowledgeable and ready to assist. Sitting on the balcony of our second floor unit and grilling steaks while drinking our new found wine of the day made for a memorable time that I would repeat again.

-Robert R. from Hightstown, NJ

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The magnificent view from CrossKeys Vineyard


The magnificent view from CrossKeys Vineyard

On a wine tour we came across this vineyard, only miles from the resort. The view was spectacular!

-Marla S. from Philadelphia, PA

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A Dream Trip to Hainan


Jenny U.As a child, I pictured Hainan as a mysterious and remote island waiting for courageous visitors to reveal its nature. It was not until many years later that my parents planned a spontaneous family trip which uncovered a fascinating and mind-soothing journey in my memory.

We took a ferry to Haikou, the northern point of Hainan. On arrival our family headed directly to a local seafood restaurant where I had steamed red crab meat, juicy shrimps and tender large yellow croaker. Never had I tasted seafood as sweet and luscious. It is said that the pristine south seawater has gifted Hainan with the most delicious seafood. The next morning, we drove alongside the East Coast national road to Sanya Bay. For miles along the road, there were people riding bicycles passing high-reaching coconut trees, cycad and palm trees swaying along the sea breeze.  Behind us, the clear blue sky stretched far to meet the edge of the dazzling seawater.

We arrived at one luxurious resort in Sanya Bay and spent half the day sitting among the sublime tropical plants and vibrant flowers. As far as I could see, I was able to spot two islands amongst thin mist and motorboats sailing around them. People can go angling, a type of fishing, on one island where the best angling club of Sanya rests.  In the afternoon, I took a walk along the bay and touched the warm sea water while fishermen were trawling (another type of fishing) and singing in the distance. People can join in and take trawling lessons, then take their self-caught fish home. Our short stay came to the end as the sun settled below the sea, leaving a golden lining in the sky.

This week on the RCI Blog we’ll be sharing a lot of great information about China. I hope this will help you plan your next vacation to China!

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Arenal Volcano


Arenal Volcano

Beautiful resort on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. Costa Rica has too many wonderful things to see and do, with the friendliest people. A true paradise.

-Dorothy B. from High River, AB, Canada

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Branson


I had visited a resort in Branson, Missouri as a guest, not realizing I would have an opportunity to own a timeshare. It was so beautiful, tranquil and welcoming I had to own it. Later I learned how wonderful the area is for sunning, swimming and golf. Many historic cities are nearby to explore. I love my timeshare! It is truly a gift to share with family and friends.

-Barbara H. from Anderson, IN

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Lake view from a Branson resort


A beautiful view from the back porch of our condo. The grandkids loved walking along the lake shoreline and finding shells and rocks that were "jewels" to them. They also loved the indoor pool since it was still spring.

-Dorothy L from Strafford, MO

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Take a trip and never leave the farm!


Take a trip and never leave the farm!

Milking a cow while visiting Silver Dollar City near Branson, MO...just one of the many places to go when vacationing in the Ozarks and staying at Silverleaf's Ozark Mountain Resort.

-Kenneth R. from Hope, KS

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Hang on!!!


Hang on!!!

Table Rock Lake is an O'Connor family favorite especially while staying at Wilderness Club at Big Cedar. Dad was trying to shake the family off the tubes when this picture was taken. We all hung on!!!! Ten years and counting making memories at Table Rock Lake. There are many fine resorts we stay at in and around Branson every year....Thank you RCI!!!

-Timothy O. from Crystal Lake, IL

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Friends/Laughter/Shows/Places


We had never heard of Branson, Missouri and little did we know what we were in for. When I did some research about how wonderful it would be, as well as how different it would be, people would ask me why I would want to go out there. However, after I booked it and read more about it, we decided to go with another couple. Not only did we stay at a fabulous resort that received a high rating, we had the best time ever. We booked show after show and I got to see Bobby Vinton's Blue Velvet show. It was the best. I even ran to him for a hug... Every night we went to a different show and the people there were so friendly and caring. Branson was so beautiful, surrounded by mountains, and the city was immaculate. In fact, it was was so wonderful there that we went back a second time with other friends. On top of all the fun, the shows were very affordable compared to New York. We saw a lot of famous people as well. There are some beautiful theaters in Branson. This was my best vacation ever. We have a lot of beautiful pictures and memories of Branson and will go back there again someday.

-Anna S. from Fairfield, NJ

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Welcome home!


Welcome home!

In Branson with friends for a week. There were always a few deer welcoming us back to the resort from our daily trips to area activities. This is a rare shot we were able to get of one from the car.

-Patti F. from Appleton, WI

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Once In A Lifetime


My boyfriend of three years and I decided to take a spontaneous vacation in July. We were in our early 20's and living together for a little less than a year. We found a fantastic deal and booked a trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Our excitement was palpable.

As a young couple in love, off we went to Cancun International Airport on our first trip to Mexico, to an all-inclusive resort and to a beach not on the US eastern coast. We were thrilled to just be away together in such a lovely place.

After settling into a room, squeezing in a little pool time, and enjoying a delicious dinner at the buffet, we decided to take a walk on the beach. Hand-in-hand we went as we took a seat on two loungers under a tiki hut. The stars twinkled above us on this dark night, the ocean lapped the sand, and we enjoyed the silence that surrounded us in this peaceful moment.

I said to my boyfriend, "What a perfect place, what a perfect dinner, what a perfect night." At that moment he replied "It's the perfect time for me to ask you to marry me." I stared in awe as he got down on one knee and opened up a box showing my sparkling engagement ring. I smiled and cried tears of joy as I replied "Yes!” We shared an emotional and happy moment under the romantic sky.

As it turns out, he had done an impressive job asking my parents for their permission, receiving the delivery of the ring, and getting through the airports' security and customs departments. I was excited, beaming, and still in shock when we went to the lobby. We celebrated with champagne as we watched the live Mexican band play along with couples and children dancing about...

We immediately got moved to an oceanfront room and spent the rest of our vacation in bliss as we relaxed, got massaged, sunbathed, dined, drank, danced, and laughed together. During our remaining days, we frequently visited Jack and José who shared in our happiness as a newly engaged couple and new timeshare owners. This was a very special vacation for us and I will never forget the once in a lifetime memories that were created at Ocean Maya Royale.

-Erin D. from Blue Bell, Pennsylvania

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It'll never top Mexico


Our first RCI vacation took us to Playa del Carmen on the Yucatan Peninsula. We were excited to be able to exchange our timeshare in the Berkshires for a vacation outside of the US in order to give our two young boys some exposure to other cultures. We rented a car so that we could explore the surrounding countryside and possibly see some of the Mayan ruins while in Mexico. The resort was nice enough and offered a number of activities... The food was great; we tried a number of different options and the kids even tried some new things (a small miracle). The resort’s many pools provided some variety as we spent a chunk of time swimming and joining in on some resort-sponsored pool football...

-William H. from Coventry, Connecticut

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Playa del Carmen is like Paradise


SoniaThe first time I ever visited Playa del Carmen, I immediately fell in love with this magical little town by the beach.

As you walk down the streets in beautiful Playa del Carmen, you will see “locals” from all around the world that decided to stay here for good after vacationing in paradise themselves.

There is nothing like spending the day at the beautiful and famous Mamita’s Beach. It is one of the best beaches in the world. There is plenty of fun to be had for everyone visiting.

Staying in downtown Playa del Carmen is your best bet to experience everything the town has to offer. You will find everything you can think of from local restaurants that serve the best Mexican food throughout the region to upscale gourmet restaurants, led by internationally recognized chefs. There are also small hotels and luxury resorts, as well as cozy little bars and huge night clubs, such as the famous Cocobongo. Everything is right here!

Make sure to stop at Quinta Avenida, located on Fifth Avenue. There are people walking down the street all day long shopping, sipping coffee, eating ice cream, enjoying a cold drink, sitting at the bar or restaurant and going to church.

If you enjoy sports, there are plenty of activities to try during your visit: fishing, snorkeling, and a lot of other water sports are very popular.

There is also a ferry for those that would like to visit La Isla de las Golondrinas (Island of Seagulls) located on Cozumel Island just 25 minutes away. Here you can explore some of the biggest coral reefs in the world.

Whether it’s day or night, there is always something going on in Playa del Carmen. And if you visit, you will have the time of your life right here, and who knows … maybe you will end up becoming a local too! Come back to the RCI Blog this week to read stories and see photos from RCI Subscribing members who vacationed in Playa del Carmen.

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Resort at Malaga, Spain


Resort at Malaga, Spain

A view from the resort of the Mediterranean Sea

-Peggy A. from Jonesboro, Georgia

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A Visit to Gibraltar


A Visit to Gibraltar

An amazing view of "The Rock" on a day trip to Gibraltar from our home resort in Malaga, Spain

-Daniel D. from Woodstock, Connecticut

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40th Anniversary


We had a beautiful trip driving down the coast of Spain to Malaga. The resort was wonderful and we met some very nice people from England, as well as other counties. They had very good entertainment at night, which we enjoyed. We found a lovely beach restaurant, called Max Beach. We spent our 40th anniversary there, with a lovely table overlooking the ocean, great food and great entertainment. It was a very special week, with lots of sightseeing and fun. The next week we went to Albufeira, Portugal. We had a very memorable and lovely vacation. Ended it all by spending three days in Frankfurt, Germany. My husband surprised me with First Class tickets for all our flights. Who could ask for a better 40 anniversary!!!

-Carolee A. from Mississauga, Canada

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Moorish Ruins in Malaga Town


Moorish Ruins in Malaga Town

Took the local bus from the resort to Malaga.

-Maureen G. from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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La Vida Bella


Last year I was planning a little trip to France when one of the friends I was to be traveling with decided that she would like to see another country, as they're so close in proximity. I switched gears in the planning and started to research what inventory through RCI was available in bordering countries to France. Wow was I pleasantly surprised at how far the US dollar would go for accommodations in Spain. We searched the Costa Del Sol to serve as a home base when visiting Sevilla, Ronda, Granada, Morocco, and Gibraltar...

After a quick trip to Madrid, we took a train to Malaga, rented a car, and drove to the resort. The directions were exactly as stated online. Someone in our party flew directly to Malaga and was able to check in early without any additional fees. We were all pleasantly surprised with the resort. It wasn't brand new, however, it was very well maintained. We had very comfortable accommodations and a lovely view of the sea. There were eight people in our party ranging from ages 2 to 52, and there was something for everyone. The staff was very attentive to our every need and even provided free shuttle service when requested. As far as the beach, we were so busy visiting Sevilla, Ronda, Granada, Morocco, and Gibraltar that we didn't even miss it. I loved the area and the people of Spain are magnificent. We will definitely return one day and trust RCI to handle helping us with the accommodations.

-Kristina G. from Mulberry, Florida

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