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

Should you visit Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Jacksonville and Wisconsin Dells. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Jacksonville

Jacksonville is a fun, vibrant, 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 beaches, shopping, and museums.

Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells is a high energy, fun-filled, and lighthearted city. It's also popular because of the hiking, nightlife, and food.

Jacksonville and Wisconsin Dells: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Fun shopping
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly
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 for shopping
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable


Is there more to do in Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Jacksonville. Although Jacksonville and Wisconsin Dells are both popular with visitors, Jacksonville has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Jacksonville is more popular for its museums, food, beaches, shopping, and big city activities, while Wisconsin Dells is known for its resorts and hiking. Wisconsin Dells is more touristy than Jacksonville and is popular for its many waterparks and unapologetically playful atmosphere. Jacksonville is popular for its beautiful beaches and lively downtown area. It is also home to Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens.

How is Jacksonville different from Wisconsin Dells?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Jacksonville
Wisconsin Dells

Jacksonville is a great destination for its museums and landmarks. However, Wisconsin Dells is a city with minimal options for its historical sights.

Jacksonville offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The city has a number of museums that range from art museums to science or kid-friendly museums. Some favorites are the Museum of Science and History, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Mandarin Museum and Historical Society, and Kingsley Plantation.

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 Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Jacksonville
Wisconsin Dells

Jacksonville is a great destination for its restaurant scene. Also, Wisconsin Dells is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Jacksonville. Local cuisine has its own identity. Unique dishes around town include garlic crabs, seafood boil, gumbo, and shrimp and grits. The local cuisine is similar to Lowcountry dishes with a lot of Cajun influence. If you want something different from seafood, you should try the barbecue.

Wisconsin Dells is becoming an appealing option for foodies. 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 Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells Better for Nightlife?

Jacksonville
Wisconsin Dells

Both Jacksonville and Wisconsin Dells have superb vibes after the sun sets.

Jacksonville has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The young population brings out the nightlife scene. There's a great concentration of bars and clubs in the area known as The Elbow, which is at the intersection of N. Ocean and E. Bay Street. You'll find plenty of cocktail bars, lounges, and clubs around town that make for a fun night out.

The people in Wisconsin Dells know how to have a good time. 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 Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells Better for Resorts?

Jacksonville
Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells is a good destination for its luxury resorts. However, Jacksonville is not a resort destination.

Wisconsin Dells has a few great resort options. Many of the waterparks in the area have affiliated resorts that offer family-friendly entertainment.

Jacksonville is not a resort destination.


Is Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells Better for Beaches?

Jacksonville
Wisconsin Dells

Jacksonville is a great destination for the beache. However, Wisconsin Dells is not a beach destination.

Jacksonville is considered a top beach destination. There are a number of beaches that are just a short distance from the city. Some have a historic vibe while others are more lively. Atlantic Beach is about a half hour drive from the city. For a laid back vibe head to Neptune Beach and the most popular beach in the area is Jacksonville Beach.

Wisconsin Dells is not a beach destination.

Is Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells Better for Hiking?

Jacksonville
Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells is a good destination for its hiking trails. However, Jacksonville is not a hiking destination.

Wisconsin Dells offers some nice hiking trails. 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.

Jacksonville is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells?

Jacksonville
Wisconsin Dells

Jacksonville is a great destination for its shopping opportunities. However, Wisconsin Dells is a city with minimal options for its shopping areas.

Jacksonville is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. There are countless malls and shopping districts around town. Some of the best shopping is found at St. John's Center, Five Points, and Avondale.

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 Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells Better for Families?

Jacksonville
Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells is renowned for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Jacksonville is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Wisconsin Dells is very family-friendly. 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 Jacksonville. It's filled with adventure parks, zoos, animal farms, nature centers, and gardens. Adults will have as much fun as kids exploring the city and all of its family-friendly attractions.

Is Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells Better for Couples?

Jacksonville
Wisconsin Dells

Jacksonville and Wisconsin Dells both good destinations for a couple.

Jacksonville is a good city for couples to visit. It's a young city that's near nature and has plenty of adventurous activities. There's sailing, botanical gardens, restaurants, and plenty of bars around town.

Wisconsin Dells is a nice destination for couples. There are a number of resorts with spas and romantic atmospheres. There are also wineries and plenty of entertainment options in the area.

Is Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Jacksonville
Wisconsin Dells

Jacksonville is a popular place for backpackers. However, Wisconsin Dells is a city with minimal options for backpackers and budget travelers.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Jacksonville. There are a few hostels in town as well as affordable motels. The city has a young population with plenty to do. Although it's often overlooked by tourists, there's a surprising and underrated appeal to the backpacker crowd.

Wisconsin Dells is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. You'll find campgrounds in the area, but most places are very built up and don't have the natural setting that backpackers appreciate.


Is Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells Better for Students?

Jacksonville
Wisconsin Dells

Jacksonville is a popular place for students. However, Wisconsin Dells is not popular with students.

Jacksonville is popular with students. There are a few colleges and universities in town. The city's population is also very young, making it a great place to study.

Wisconsin Dells is not popular with students.

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

Jacksonville
Wisconsin Dells

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

You'll find some public transit in Jacksonville, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. The public transportation system includes trolleys, the Skyway, buses, water taxis, and the ferry.

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

Is Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells a more walkable city?

Jacksonville
Wisconsin Dells

Jacksonville 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.

Jacksonville is a somewhat walkable place. Downtown Jacksonville is the most walkable part of the city.

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 Jacksonville Worth Visiting? and Is Wisconsin Dells Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Wisconsin Dells or Jacksonville?

How long in Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells?

It's fun to spend time in either Jacksonville 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, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Jacksonville, and 2-4 days is enough time in Wisconsin Dells.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Jacksonville 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 Jacksonville.


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

One day in Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells?

The fun destination of Jacksonville offers nightlife and food. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

In Wisconsin Dells, many people enjoy the food and nightlife that this fun-filled city offers. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

A weekend in Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells?

The city of Jacksonville offers food and shopping. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. 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.

Wisconsin Dells is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. So, a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Five days in Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells?

Jacksonville is a great place to explore. It's also a great beach destination, too. This city offers something for everyone. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

You'll find food and nightlife around the fun-filled destination of Wisconsin Dells. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.


A week in Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells?

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Jacksonville. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. 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.

Wisconsin Dells is a popular place to visit. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Polar Tours & Cruises in United States of America, The Best Walking Tours in United States of America, The Best Tours Under $1000 in United States of America, and The Best Luxury Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Wisconsin Dells or Jacksonville?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Jacksonville is $220, 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 Jacksonville and Wisconsin Dells in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Jacksonville $92
    Wisconsin Dells $70
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Jacksonville $184
    Wisconsin Dells $140
Compare Hotels in Jacksonville and Wisconsin Dells

Looking for a hotel in Jacksonville 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 Jacksonville


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: Jacksonville Hotel Prices and Wisconsin Dells Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Jacksonville $53
    Wisconsin Dells $35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Jacksonville

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

  • Carnival Cruise Port Jacksonville to City - Arrival Transfer: $64
  • Carnival Cruise Port Transfer to Jacksonville: $341
  • JAX Airport Transfer to Amelia Island: $195
  • Jacksonville Airport (JAX) to Jacksonville City - Arrival Private Transfer: $62
  • Jacksonville Airport (JAX) to Jacksonville City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $124
  • Jacksonville Airport (JAX) to Jacksonville Cruise Port -Arrival Private Transfer: $55
  • Jacksonville Airport (JAX) to Jacksonville Port - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $110

Is it cheaper to fly into Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells?

Prices for flights to both Wisconsin Dells and Jacksonville 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
    Jacksonville $96
    Wisconsin Dells $43

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Jacksonville

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

  • 1 Hour of Chocolate Pizza Making Class in Jacksonville: $18

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Jacksonville $20
    Wisconsin Dells $46

Tours and Activities in Jacksonville

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

  • 20 Minutes Chocolate & Candy Factory Tour in Jacksonville: $6.00
  • Scenic A1A Byway Self Guided Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • Murray Hill Walking Mural Tour: $25
  • Jacksonville Ghosts and Ghouls Tour By US Ghost Adventures: $28
  • Downtown Fernandina Historical Walking Tour: $30
  • Amelia Island Area Kayak Rental on Lofton Creek with Adventures Up The Creek: $36
  • Self-Guided Kayaking: Real Florida Adventure: $45
  • Self Guided Family Friendly Kayak Rental Experience Old Florida : $48
  • Electric Bike Tour with Free Application for Navigation: $50
  • Eight Flags Road Tour: $50
  • Guided Kayak Eco Tour: Real Florida Adventure: $55
  • Amelia Island Guided Kayak Tour of Lofton Creek : $60

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
    Jacksonville $20
    Wisconsin Dells $9.14

Sample the Local Flavors in Jacksonville

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Jacksonville:

  • Jacksonville Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $32
  • Jax Brewery Tour (Drinks Included): $135


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Jacksonville and Wisconsin Dells, we can see that Jacksonville is more expensive. And not only is Wisconsin Dells much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Wisconsin Dells would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Wisconsin Dells and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Jacksonville would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Jacksonville than you might in Wisconsin Dells.

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


Which is Bigger, Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells?

Jacksonville has a larger population, and is about 320 times larger than the population of Wisconsin Dells. When comparing the sizes of Jacksonville 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 Jacksonville 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 Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells in the Summer?

Both Wisconsin Dells and Jacksonville during the summer are popular places to visit. The beaches, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Jacksonville this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Wisconsin Dells for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Jacksonville is generally a little warmer than Wisconsin Dells. Daily temperatures in Jacksonville average around 82°F (28°C), 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 Jacksonville. In the summer, Jacksonville often gets less sunshine than Wisconsin Dells. Jacksonville gets 286 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Wisconsin Dells receives 309 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Jacksonville. Jacksonville usually gets more rain in July than Wisconsin Dells. Jacksonville gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Wisconsin Dells receives 3 inches (76 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Jacksonville 82°F (28°C) 
    Wisconsin Dells 74°F (24°C)

Should I visit Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Jacksonville and Wisconsin Dells. Many travelers come to Jacksonville for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene. Also, many visitors come to Wisconsin Dells in the autumn for the hiking trails and the shopping scene.

Jacksonville is much warmer than Wisconsin Dells in the autumn. The daily temperature in Jacksonville averages around 70°F (21°C) in October, and Wisconsin Dells fluctuates around 52°F (11°C).

In Jacksonville, it's very sunny this time of the year. Jacksonville usually receives more sunshine than Wisconsin Dells during autumn. Jacksonville gets 214 hours of sunny skies, while Wisconsin Dells receives 171 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Jacksonville usually receives more rain than Wisconsin Dells. Jacksonville gets 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain, while Wisconsin Dells receives 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain each month for the autumn. The hurricane season in Jacksonville is June to November.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Jacksonville 70°F (21°C) 
    Wisconsin Dells 52°F (11°C)

Should I visit Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Jacksonville as well as Wisconsin Dells. Many visitors come to Jacksonville in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Wisconsin Dells for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Wisconsin Dells can be very cold during winter. In the winter, Jacksonville is much warmer than Wisconsin Dells. Typically, the winter temperatures in Jacksonville in January average around 53°F (12°C), and Wisconsin Dells averages at about 19°F (-7°C).

In the winter, Jacksonville often gets more sunshine than Wisconsin Dells. Jacksonville gets 191 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Wisconsin Dells receives 141 hours of full sun.

Jacksonville usually gets more rain in January than Wisconsin Dells. Jacksonville gets 3.3 inches (83 mm) of rain, while Wisconsin Dells receives 1 inches (25 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Jacksonville 53°F (12°C) 
    Wisconsin Dells 19°F (-7°C)

Should I visit Jacksonville or Wisconsin Dells in the Spring?

Both Wisconsin Dells and Jacksonville are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Jacksonville for the beaches and the activities around the city during these months.

In April, Jacksonville is generally much warmer than Wisconsin Dells. Daily temperatures in Jacksonville average around 68°F (20°C), 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 Jacksonville. Jacksonville usually receives more sunshine than Wisconsin Dells during spring. Jacksonville gets 285 hours of sunny skies, while Wisconsin Dells receives 208 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Jacksonville usually receives more rain than Wisconsin Dells. Jacksonville gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Wisconsin Dells receives 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain each month for the spring. June to November is the hurricane season in Jacksonville.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Jacksonville 68°F (20°C) 
    Wisconsin Dells 49°F (10°C)

Typical Weather for Wisconsin Dells and Jacksonville

Jacksonville Wisconsin Dells
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 53°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 19°F (-7°C) 1 inches (25 mm)
Feb 56°F (13°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 24°F (-5°C) 0.8 inches (21 mm)
Mar 62°F (17°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 36°F (2°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm)
Apr 68°F (20°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 49°F (10°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm)
May 74°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 60°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Jun 80°F (27°C) 5.7 inches (146 mm) 70°F (21°C) 3 inches (76 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 74°F (24°C) 3 inches (76 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 7.8 inches (199 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Sep 79°F (26°C) 7.1 inches (180 mm) 63°F (17°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm)
Oct 70°F (21°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 52°F (11°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm)
Nov 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 39°F (4°C) 1.7 inches (42 mm)
Dec 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 25°F (-4°C) 1.6 inches (41 mm)


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