A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Detroit vs. Wisconsin Dells for Families, Nightlife, Attractions, and Food

Should you visit Detroit or Wisconsin Dells?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Detroit or Wisconsin Dells, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Detroit

Detroit is a hardworking, overlooked , and under-rated city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. And you can't forget about the food, shopping, and museums.

Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells is a lighthearted, high energy, and fun-filled city. Visitors also love the food, hiking, and nightlife.

Detroit and Wisconsin Dells: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Detroit or Wisconsin Dells?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Detroit than Wisconsin Dells, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Detroit is better known for its museums, music, shopping, and big city activities, while Wisconsin Dells is more popular for its resorts and hiking. Wisconsin Dells is more touristy than Detroit and is popular for its many waterparks and unapologetically playful atmosphere. Detroit is well known for its Motown music, blue collar atmosphere, and influential auto industry. Also, Detroit is famous for the Henry Ford Experience.

How is Detroit different from Wisconsin Dells?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Wisconsin Dells and Detroit. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Detroit or Wisconsin Dells?

Detroit
Wisconsin Dells

Detroit is a popular place for its museums and landmarks. However, Wisconsin Dells is a city with minimal options for its historical sights.

Detroit offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Popular museums around town include the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Historical Museum, and the Michigan Science Center.

While most people don't head to Wisconsin Dells specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. There are a couple of art galleries in the area, but most visitors spend the majority of their time at the theme parks and waterparks.


Is the Food Better in Detroit or Wisconsin Dells? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Detroit
Wisconsin Dells

Dining out at restaurants in both Detroit and Wisconsin Dells can be an enjoyable experience.

Detroit has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. There's a local flavor to the food with a number of classic dishes that are popular like square pizza, Coney dogs, and corned beef egg rolls.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Wisconsin Dells area. Pizza, pasta, burgers, and steak in a family-friendly atmosphere are the most common options in the area. There are also a few fine dining restaurants as well as pubs and brunch places to choose from.

Is Detroit or Wisconsin Dells Better for Nightlife?

Detroit
Wisconsin Dells

The very good nightlife scene is relatively similar in Detroit and Wisconsin Dells.

Detroit has a large number of nightlife venues. It's long history in music still influences the nightlife scene. You'll find bars, clubs, and other activities around town. Greektown and Midtown are both popular neighborhoods during the evening.

Wisconsin Dells is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. In the evening the fun-filled atmosphere takes on a different vibe. There are bars, clubs, casinos, and shows that keep things lively throughout the evening.

Is Detroit or Wisconsin Dells Better for Music?

Detroit
Wisconsin Dells

Detroit is a world-class destination for its live music scene. However, Wisconsin Dells is not a live music destination.

Live music, and music in many other forms, is everyone in Detroit Few cities have such an influential music industry. It's home to Motown and is well known for its soul music, jazz, blues, and rap.

Wisconsin Dells is not a live music destination.


Is Detroit or Wisconsin Dells Better for Resorts?

Detroit
Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells is a nice place to visit for its luxury resorts. However, Detroit is not a resort destination.

With a selection of resorts, Wisconsin Dells makes a nice vacation spot. Many of the waterparks in the area have affiliated resorts that offer family-friendly entertainment.

Detroit is not a resort destination.

Is Detroit or Wisconsin Dells Better for Hiking?

Detroit
Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells is a nice place to visit for its hiking trails. However, Detroit is not a hiking destination.

Wisconsin Dells has hiking trails worth exploring. Visitors often forget that this was originally a destination for its natural beauty. There are still many hiking trails in the area with some of the favorites found at Mirror Lake State Park, Rocky Arbor State Park, and Chimney Rock Private Park.

Detroit is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Detroit or Wisconsin Dells?

Detroit
Wisconsin Dells

Detroit is a popular place for its shopping opportunities. However, Wisconsin Dells is a city with minimal options for its shopping areas.

Detroit offers some nice shopping areas. There are several shopping streets like Woodward Avenue. There are also outlet malls, shopping centers, and Eastern Market.

Wisconsin Dells has some good spots for those that want to go shopping. You'll find shopping malls and shopping centers, as well as gift shops in the area.


Is Detroit or Wisconsin Dells Better for Families?

Detroit
Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells is an unbeatable place for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Detroit is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Wisconsin Dells is an amazing family-friendly city to visit. While it used to be known for its impressive sandstone formations along the Wisconsin River, today it has a more touristy atmosphere with theme parks and amusement parks. It's also become known as the "Water Park Capital of the World", and it won't disappoint. There are both indoor and outdoor waterparks as well as train rides, boat rides, and plenty of family-friendly restaurants.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Detroit. Head to the Detroit Zoo or check out one of the amusement parks in the area. Kids will enjoy a visit to Legoland and there's also the Sea Life Michigan Aquarium. You could also spend some time visiting the unique museums in the area.

Is Detroit or Wisconsin Dells Better for Couples?

Detroit
Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells is a nice place to visit for its romantic activities. However, Detroit is lacking in good options for couples.

Wisconsin Dells makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. There are a number of resorts with spas and romantic atmospheres. There are also wineries and plenty of entertainment options in the area.

Detroit is not always the best place to visit for a couple. It's not a city that usually brings to mind romance, but if you find yourself here for a couple of days, there's a RiverWalk area and some interesting local neighborhoods.

Is Detroit or Wisconsin Dells Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Detroit
Wisconsin Dells

Detroit is a city with a few options for its public transit. However, Wisconsin Dells is a city with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

Public transit is generally limited in Detroit. There's a streetcar and bus system, but the car is still king in Motor City.

Public transit is quite limited in Wisconsin Dells. There's no real public transportation in the area.


Is Detroit or Wisconsin Dells a more walkable city?

Detroit
Wisconsin Dells

Detroit is a popular place for its high level of walkability. However, Wisconsin Dells is a city with minimal options for its ease of walking around.

Detroit is a somewhat walkable place. There are parts of downtown Detroit that are walkable, but most people need a car to get around.

Wisconsin Dells is generally not a very walkable city. While the downtown area is walkable, you really need a car to access everything that the area has to offer.

For even more information, also check out Is Detroit Worth Visiting? and Is Wisconsin Dells Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Wisconsin Dells or Detroit?

How long in Detroit or Wisconsin Dells?

It's fun to spend time in either Detroit or Wisconsin Dells. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Wisconsin Dells due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Detroit, and 2-4 days is enough time in Wisconsin Dells.

Families should spend more time in Wisconsin Dells than Detroit. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Wisconsin Dells, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Wisconsin Dells than Detroit. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Wisconsin Dells that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Detroit than Wisconsin Dells if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Detroit.


  • How many days in Detroit or Wisconsin Dells? Ideal Length of Stay
    Detroit 1-3 
    Wisconsin Dells 2-4

One day in Detroit or Wisconsin Dells?

The hardworking destination of Detroit offers live music and food. It's no surprise that live music is why people visit. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.

In Wisconsin Dells, you'll find nightlife and food. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Detroit or Wisconsin Dells?

The city of Detroit offers food and shopping. A weekend here is typical. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities.

In Wisconsin Dells, you'll find food and nightlife. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Wisconsin Dells has to offer.


Five days in Detroit or Wisconsin Dells?

Detroit is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that live music is why people visit. This city offers something for everyone. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

Wisconsin Dells is a great place to explore. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Detroit or Wisconsin Dells?

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Detroit. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Wisconsin Dells. Many people enjoy the food and nightlife when visiting Wisconsin Dells. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in United States of America, The Best 2-Week Tours in United States of America, The Best 3-Week Tours in United States of America, and The Best Bicycle Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Wisconsin Dells or Detroit?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Detroit is $133, while the average daily cost in Wisconsin Dells is $142. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Detroit and Wisconsin Dells in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Detroit $64
    Wisconsin Dells $70
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Detroit $128
    Wisconsin Dells $140
Compare Hotels in Detroit and Wisconsin Dells

Looking for a hotel in Detroit or Wisconsin Dells? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Detroit


Hotels in Wisconsin Dells


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Detroit Hotel Prices and Wisconsin Dells Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Detroit $37
    Wisconsin Dells $35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Detroit

Also for Detroit, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Departure Private Transfer: Detroit to Detroit Airport DTW in Business Car: $101
  • Departure Private Transfer: Detroit to Detroit Airport DTW in Luxury SUV: $132
  • Detroit Airport (DTW) to Detroit City - Arrival Private Transfer: $95
  • Detroit Airport (DTW) to Detroit City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $190
  • Detroit City to Detroit Airport (DTW) - Departure Private Transfer: $95
  • Private Arrival Transfer - from Detroit Airport (DTW) by SUV: $90
  • Private Departure Transfer - to Detroit Airport (DTW) by SUV: $90
  • Private Departure Transfer to Detroit Airport DTW: $61
  • Private Transfer from Detroit (DTW) Airport to Detroit City: $144
  • Private Transfer from Detroit City to Detroit (DTW) Airport: $144

Is it cheaper to fly into Detroit or Wisconsin Dells?

Prices for flights to both Wisconsin Dells and Detroit change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Detroit $44
    Wisconsin Dells $43

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Detroit

For Detroit, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Fresh Mediterranean Inspired Cooking Class in a Unique Detroit Home: $104

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Detroit $21
    Wisconsin Dells $46

Tours and Activities in Detroit

For Detroit, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Spirit and History Self Guided Audio Tour: $6.50
  • Self Guided "Detroit's Spirit and History" Solo Walking Tour: $7.75
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Ann Arbor by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Self-Guided City Game: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Ann Arbor by Crazy Dash: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Windsor by Wacky Walks: $11
  • Detroit Tigers Baseball Game Ticket at Comerica Park: $12
  • Ann Arbor Scavenger Hunt: Ann Arbor Adventure: $12
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience Ann Arbor, MI: $15
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Ann Arbor with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium Admission Ticket: $25
  • LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Michigan Admission Ticket: $26

Tours and Activities in Wisconsin Dells

Here are a few actual costs in Wisconsin Dells for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • City and History Trolley Tour in Wisconsin Dells: $24
  • Haunted Downtown Tour of Baraboo: $20
  • Haunted History Trolley Tour in Wisconsin Dells: $25

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Detroit $20
    Wisconsin Dells $9.14


When comparing the travel costs between Detroit and Wisconsin Dells, we can see that Wisconsin Dells is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Detroit Expensive? and Is Wisconsin Dells Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Detroit or Wisconsin Dells?

Detroit has a larger population, and is about 390 times larger than the population of Wisconsin Dells. When comparing the sizes of Detroit and Wisconsin Dells, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Detroit or Wisconsin Dells?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Detroit or Wisconsin Dells in the Summer?

Both Wisconsin Dells and Detroit during the summer are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Detroit in the summer for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, most visitors come to Wisconsin Dells for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

Detroit is around the same temperature as Wisconsin Dells in the summer. The daily temperature in Detroit averages around 74°F (24°C) in July, and Wisconsin Dells fluctuates around 74°F (24°C).

In Wisconsin Dells, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Detroit. In the summer, Detroit often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Wisconsin Dells. Detroit gets 319 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Wisconsin Dells receives 309 hours of full sun.

Detroit usually gets more rain in July than Wisconsin Dells. Detroit gets 3.4 inches (85 mm) of rain, while Wisconsin Dells receives 3 inches (76 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Detroit 74°F (24°C) 
    Wisconsin Dells 74°F (24°C)

Should I visit Detroit or Wisconsin Dells in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Detroit and Wisconsin Dells. Most visitors come to Detroit for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene during these months. Furthermore, the autumn months attract visitors to Wisconsin Dells because of the hiking trails and the shopping scene.

In the autumn, Detroit is around the same temperature as Wisconsin Dells. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Detroit in October average around 54°F (12°C), and Wisconsin Dells averages at about 52°F (11°C).

Detroit usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Wisconsin Dells during autumn. Detroit gets 172 hours of sunny skies, while Wisconsin Dells receives 171 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Detroit usually receives more rain than Wisconsin Dells. Detroit gets 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain, while Wisconsin Dells receives 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Detroit 54°F (12°C) 
    Wisconsin Dells 52°F (11°C)

Should I visit Detroit or Wisconsin Dells in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Detroit as well as Wisconsin Dells. The winter months attract visitors to Detroit because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Additionally, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Wisconsin Dells this time of year.

It's quite cold in Wisconsin Dells in the winter. The weather in Detroit can be very cold. In January, Detroit is generally much warmer than Wisconsin Dells. Daily temperatures in Detroit average around 25°F (-4°C), and Wisconsin Dells fluctuates around 19°F (-7°C).

In the winter, Detroit often gets less sunshine than Wisconsin Dells. Detroit gets 120 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Wisconsin Dells receives 141 hours of full sun.

Detroit usually gets more rain in January than Wisconsin Dells. Detroit gets 2 inches (50 mm) of rain, while Wisconsin Dells receives 1 inches (25 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Detroit 25°F (-4°C) 
    Wisconsin Dells 19°F (-7°C)

Should I visit Detroit or Wisconsin Dells in the Spring?

Both Wisconsin Dells and Detroit are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The activities around the city are the main draw to Detroit this time of year.

Detroit is around the same temperature as Wisconsin Dells in the spring. The daily temperature in Detroit averages around 49°F (9°C) in April, and Wisconsin Dells fluctuates around 49°F (10°C).

It's quite sunny in Wisconsin Dells. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Detroit. Detroit usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Wisconsin Dells during spring. Detroit gets 223 hours of sunny skies, while Wisconsin Dells receives 208 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Detroit usually receives more rain than Wisconsin Dells. Detroit gets 3.2 inches (80 mm) of rain, while Wisconsin Dells receives 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Detroit 49°F (9°C) 
    Wisconsin Dells 49°F (10°C)

Typical Weather for Wisconsin Dells and Detroit

Detroit Wisconsin Dells
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 25°F (-4°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 19°F (-7°C) 1 inches (25 mm)
Feb 27°F (-3°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm) 24°F (-5°C) 0.8 inches (21 mm)
Mar 37°F (3°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 36°F (2°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm)
Apr 49°F (9°C) 3.2 inches (80 mm) 49°F (10°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm)
May 60°F (16°C) 3 inches (76 mm) 60°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Jun 70°F (21°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm) 70°F (21°C) 3 inches (76 mm)
Jul 74°F (24°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm) 74°F (24°C) 3 inches (76 mm)
Aug 73°F (23°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Sep 65°F (19°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 63°F (17°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm)
Oct 54°F (12°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm) 52°F (11°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm)
Nov 43°F (6°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 39°F (4°C) 1.7 inches (42 mm)
Dec 31°F (-1°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 25°F (-4°C) 1.6 inches (41 mm)