About Melanie F
Lives in Chicago, Illinois
Since Jul. 2010
I took my first plane ride at a mere two weeks of age and have been passionate about travel ever since. A published poet and working journalist, when not traveling I'm obsessing about where to go next, or writing about where I've been.
Historic Sites, History Museums, Speciality Museums
Gift & Speciality Shops
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Civil War veteran, landscape photographer, inventor, and visual historian, H.H. Bennett played a crucial role in making Wisconsin Dells famous. His restored 1875 studio is a treasure trove of history, from Bennett's workspaces to his works themselves. The interactive exhibits here allow visitors to experience the photographer's innovative stereoscopic works through both a 19th-century stereoscopic viewer and modern, high-tech 3D imaging.
The Museum of Historic Torture Devices is definitely not for everyone, but for those so inclined it offers a captivating way to spend an afternoon. Located in Downtown Wisconsin Dells, the museum showcases a private collection of torture devices from all over the world. There's even a special exhibit dedicated to Chicago's own serial killer, John Wayne Gacy.
Three floors and 11 galleries of fun, Ripley's Believe It or Not is home to a wild and wacky collection of the truly bizarro.
The circus has always amazed and astounded young and old, and Circus World is no different. It allows all — ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls — to experience the magic up close and persona through its massive museum of circus-themed artifacts and exhibits, as well as live shows.
The oldest and the largest trading post and museum in all of the Midwest, Parson’s Trading Post & Museum has an impressive collection of Native American artifacts that will enchant history buffs and art lovers alike. The post originally opened as a general store in 1914 and Native Americans from various tribes in the area came here to purchase supplies and sell their own handcrafted wares. The museum showcases everything from weapons and household utensils to clothing and religious items.
Kids and adults alike will love learning and playing at Tommy Bartlett Exploratory, a fascinating museum with almost 200 interactive science displays. Try using the Giant Lever to lift a 5000-pound car, ride the High Wire SkyCycle, or experience the hair-raising (literally) Bridge of Fire exhibit. Whatever you try, you'll learn something and have fun in the process!
Aldo Leopold Foundation is not a traditional museum, but it's a great way to learn about and get in touch with nature. Located in Baraboo, about a 20-minute drive from Wisconsin Dells, the foundation aims to preserve and further the work of Aldo Leopold, an internationally renown conservationist, by promoting a relationship between people and land, and by teaching about restoration and conservation. The site is centered around the Leopold Shack, a re-built chicken coop where the ecologist spent weekends with his family, and visitors can explore exhibits about Leopold's legacy before or after exploring the surrounding trails.
If you've ever wondered what a Glockenspiel is, now's the chance to get up close and personal with one! The Bavarian Village is a small hamlet done up to resemble a traditional Bavarian village, replete with specialty shops, restaurants, and other living museum-type entertainments.