Archive for September, 2012

Fall Getaway in Wisconsin Must Include…

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

We all have our favorites when it comes to the quintessential fall getaway in Wisconsin, so this is by no means a definitive itinerary, but it comes close in our book.  Did we mention you’ll probably need at least a week to get everything in?

Underwater view of a cranberry bog, courtesy of          Amil’s Inn B&B, Wilton.

Tour a cranberry bog.  Make reservations to tour Glacial Lake Cranberries in Wisconsin Rapids.  This historic and sustainable cranberry marsh has been in continuous operation since 1873. Make reservations to stay at one of two nearby inns in Steven’s Point – Dreams of Yesteryear or A Victorian Swan on Water. Also, this weekend September 28-30 is the 40th annual Warrens Cranberry Festival  in Warrens, WI, the largest of its kind in the world.  Before you go check what’s available at these area B&Bs…rooms are going fast!

Attend an Oktoberfest event. We have to go with La Crosse on this one,  with their Oktoberfest running September 28-October 6.  Relax at Four Gables B&B or Wilson Schoolhouse Inn after the merry-making.

Take in a view from above.  At Rib Mountain State Park in Wausau, take a ride to the top of Granite Peak and back via ski chairlift.  The rides are available September 29-30, October 6-7 and October 13-14. Then stay in a National Register Arts & Crafts masterpiece, the Stewart Inn.

Head to a farmers’ market.  No matter what B&B you’re visiting, there’s bound to be a farmers’ market close by.  Just ask the innkeeper.

Tailgate. Tailgating before a Badger game? There are a half-dozen different Madison B&Bs to choose from to serve as home base.  Just be sure to pack plenty of red and white.  Tailgating before a Packer game? There are numerous inns within 50 miles, with half-dozen of them within a 25 mile radius of  Green Bay and Lambeau Field for your game-day pleasure.

Experience opera.  The Florentine Opera Company in Milwaukee kicks off its season at the end of October with a performance of Bizet’s “Carmen.” Experience fall drama by staying at Cold Spring Inn in nearby Hubertus. Located on 80 acres with a river valley running through it, Cold Spring Inn also has a new boutique vineyard and wine tasting.  Bravo!

Eat a caramel apple. In Cedarburg, the caramel apples at Amy’s Candy Kitchen are the best (that’s not just us saying it either, it’s according to the Wall Street Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Wisconsin State Fair).  The two B&Bs in town are historic gems – they are the Stagecoach Inn B&B and Washington House Inn.

Wisconsin B&B Inns Cherish the Apple

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Apple orchard at Apple Tree Lane B&B, Waupaca.

Wisconsin’s roller coaster of a spring and summer in the weather department wasn’t exactly kind to the state’s apple crop.  All the more reason to relish every juicy bite of the ruby pomme with recipes like this one for Apple Lavender Scones from the innkeepers at Pinehurst Inn in Bayfield. By the way, this recipe and many others are included in our eighth edition cookbook which will be available for purchase mid-November.  Gift-giving idea anyone!

Pinehurst Apple Lavender Scones

“This recipe pulls together a mix of items from our own gardens and fruit from our local Bayfield orchards. We adapted this recipe from a basic scone recipe given to us by a friend.”  -Pinehurst Innkeepers Nancy & Steve Sandstrom

2 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour
¼ cup organic sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp chopped lavender leaves
1/3 cup cold butter
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
1½ cups peeled cubed apples, or Bosc pears

Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and lavender in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender cut the cold butter (divided into 6-7 pieces) until the consistency is coarse and crumbly. Add the buttermilk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and cubed apples and stir with a fork until just moistened. If the mixture is too dry, you can add a drop or two of additional buttermilk. Knead the dough 5-6 times on a floured surface. Roll out to ¾-inch thickness and cut into preferred shapes. We use a greased scone pan to create consistent sizes. You can also drop the batter onto a greased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops of the scones with egg white and sprinkle with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown. Yield: 1 dozen.

Ride a Rustic Road

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

If you’re a bicyclist or motorcyclist and have not heard of Wisconsin’s Rustic Road system, then get in the know right now so you can experience these roads-less-traveled during the autumn season.  The Wisconsin Department of Transportation calls its Rustic Road system “a positive step backward,” which we love.   To qualify a road must have outstanding natural features and vistas along its borders, be lightly traveled, and not be scheduled for major improvements.  Maximum speed limit is 45 mph.  You can order a free copy of the Rustic Roads travel guide online.

To pique your interest in seeing peek colors from top to bottom of the state, we offer these recommendations:  Catch the earliest colors by heading to Brown County in northeast Wisconsin where there are three Rustic Roads – 8, 40 and 46.  Spend the night at Sabamba Alpaca Ranch in De Pere, a remodeled 1890 farmhouse where children are welcome. Pick up some of their cozy alpaca clothing while you’re there.  In central Wisconsin, there’s Ellison’s Gray Lion Inn in Princeton, which is in Green Lake County and home to Rustic Roads 27, 81, 90 and 94.  Insider tip: The famous Princeton Flea Market runs through mid-October. Then in far southwest Wisconsin, there’s Wisconsin House, built in 1846 as a stagecoach stop and located in Hazel Green in Grant County, where Rustic Roads 70 and 99 are your designated paths.

Ellison’s Gray Lion Inn, Princeton (left); Sabamba Alpaca Ranch, De Pere (center); Wisconsin House, Hazel Green (right).

Plan for Early Fall Colors in Wisconsin

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

The leaf-peeping pundits are predicting early fall color this year in Wisconsin, so best to get familiar with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s fall color report pronto so you can be in the know when it comes to peak colors by county.  Then cross reference the Department’s colorama call-ins with our B&B map to color coordinate region to inn.  And don’t hesitate to get in touch with innkeepers at your favorite B&Bs either as they may be your best resource of all.

Inn on Hillwind B&B, Plymouth.

Tennis Terms Applied to Wisconsin B&Bs part 2

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Winner: An unreturnable shot. B&B version: Cameo Rose Victorian Country Inn – Belleville just won the prestigious 2012 Certificate of Excellence award from TripAdvisor.

Cameo Rose Victorian Country Inn, Belleville

Mini-break: Server loses a point in a tie-break. B&B version: Escaping midweek and taking advantage of the great promotional packages at Door County Inns like: Inn at Cedar Crossing & Sawyer House B&B both of Sturgeon Bay, and Trollhaugen Lodge – Ephraim.

Inn at Cedar Crossing (left), Sawyer House B&B (center) both of Sturgeon Bay; Trollhaugen Lodge B&B, Ephraim (right)

Anticipation: Receiver anticipates where the next ball will land. B&B version: Anticipation is half the fun of your B&B getaway.  Plan all the things you want to do by perusing the appropriately titled Things to Do section of our site.

Nice return: Receiver hits a strong return. B&B version: If you love a particular B&B, by all means do return.  At the Albany House B&B – Albany, an impressive 65% of their visitors are return guests.

Albany House, Albany

Nice touch: Usually refers to a deft drop shot. B&B version: SevenOaks – Lake Geneva, offers its guests heated floors and heated towel bars to warm your soft, fluffy towels which we think is an especially nice touch.

SevenOaks, Lake Geneva

 

Second serve: Second chance to get serve in. B&B version: In addition to breakfast, the Westphal Mansion Inn B&B – Hartford offers an evening wine and cheese reception for their guests.

Westphal Mansion Inn B&B, Hartford. Their complimentary “Wine & Cheese Social Hour” is available daily from 4:00-5:00pm.

Tennis Terms Applied to Wisconsin B&Bs

Friday, September 7th, 2012

The U.S. Tennis Open has just wrapped for another year, which inspired this week’s blog post – the Wisconsin B&B version of common tennis terms.

Love: Score is zero.  B&B version: Love is always in the air at romantic inns like Lazy Cloud B&B in Lake Geneva.

Lazy Cloud B&B, Lake Geneva.

Tie-break: Determines who wins the set.  B&B version: If the tie-break on deciding which B&B you’ll visit is based on extras, consider amenity-laden properties like Dobranoc Inn B&B in Fond du Lac.

Dobranoc Inn, Fond du Lac

Ace: Serve that receiver can’t touch. B&B version: Ace the holiday gift list with a gift certificate from the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association – it’s good at over 150 inns.

Advantage: Game point. B&B version: The advantage of staying at a B&B is often the bed, like the super comfy featherbeds at Ferg Haus Inn of Ferg’s Bavarian Village in Manawa, and the breakfast, like the full gourmet a.m. meal at Inn On Maplein Sister Bay.

Ferg Haus Inn, Manawa.

Inn on Maple, Sister Bay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overrule: Chair umpire overrules a call made by a line judge as to whether the ball was in or out. B&B version: Overrule your spouse’s inclination to stay home and instead opt for a staycation at an inn near you, with this handy search-by-city function at your fingertips.