Archive for the ‘Wisconsin B&B’ Category

3 Reasons to Celebrate Valentines Day at a Bed & Breakfast

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Valentines Day is quickly approaching, do you know what you are giving to that someone special in your life?  I urge you to consider the gift on an experience.  Yes, flowers and chocolates always say “You are someone special in my life”, but there’s nothing like a romantic night or two in a Bed & Breakfast to convey much more than that.  A stay at a B&B allows the two of you to really spend some quality time together, doing the things you love to do, creating memories that will last a lifetime.  Here are some reasons to consider:

  • 1 Romantic Packages.  What better way to add value to your stay than by adding a Romance package to your itinerary?  Bed & Breakfasts are notorious for having Valentine’s Specials this time of year.  For the number of B&B’s in the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association, you will find that many specials, and one of them is sure to fit your style.  For example, if the two of you enjoy outdoor sports in the winter, consider staying at Justin Trails Resort.  They are offering a Midweek Sweethearts Getaway: Whisk away your Valentine for a midweek getaway and save this February! Rekindle your romance with scenic winter hikes, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and sledding, all on their beautiful 200 acre resort! Sunday – Thursday book the Midweek Sweethearts Special and enjoy a romantic suite, cottage or log cabin of your choice, bottle of house or red wine, local Amish Chocolates, and a Farm to Table breakfast each morning.

If you enjoy a little more mystery in your life and are up for an adventure, then Lindsay House Bed & Breakfast in Manawa could be just the place for you.  Located in the Central Wisconsin River Region, in the heart of Waupaca County, you will be able to rest your mind, relax your body and rejuvenate your spirit.   Lindsay House is a lovely 1892 Victorian home, filled with an eclectic mix of furnishings, hand crafted beds, and each with a private bath.  Lindsay House is offering a fun filled evening that is sure to include a beautiful room, a great meal and some fun, local entertainment.  We know you’ll enjoy your stay at Lindsay House, “Where the joy of living is served daily.”

 

 

 

Valley Springs Farm B&B in Reedsburg has a unique offer, the longer you’ve been married, the larger your discount on your reservation!  Their  Lovers special celebrates you, a 1% LOVERS discount for each year you have been together off of the reservation price (maximum 50 years) for a stay during the month of February. They aim to make it special with homemade chocolate truffles and fresh flowers for you & your sweetheart. Be sure to mention the word “LOVERS” when you book your reservation.  Valley Springs Bed & Breakfast takes you to the tranquility of the farm, where the only noises you’ll hear are the sounds of farm animals and an occasional tractor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Valentines Day isn’t just for February 14th.  Innkeepers understand it isn’t always easy to break away for a romantic interlude during the middle of the week.  WBBA members offer a variety of specials that are good throughout the month of February, or even longer.  This allows for flexibility with your schedule, and maybe you will be able to arrange to include some local entertainment, such as a comedy club, art exhibition, or outdoor event in your visit.  The special can be as simple as a complimentary bottle of wine included with your reservation, which is what Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast is offering for all February reservations booked before February 3rd.  

In January & February the Phipps Inn, which is located in Hudson, right along the Minnesota border, you can take advantage of their Warm Your Hearts Winter Special.  Nothing can warm a heart like a box of Knoke’s Chocolates – and if it’s a heart-shaped box that’s even better! (You don’t have to wait for Valentines Day to impress that special someone with candy & flowers).

3.  Dinner can be included:   No need to stress about where to go for dinner, your innkeeper will most likely have that figured out for you.  At the very least they will be able to suggest the best places to go in the area, they may even help you with a reservation.  There are a number of B&B’s offering a dinner special of some sort, either preparing it at the Inn or collaborating with a local restaurant to offer a romantic dinner for two.  Either way, you are relieved of the stress involved in finding the perfect place to go.  Westby House Inn in Westby is offering a romantic dinner for two, right there in the Inn.  No need to worry about the weather or heading out into the cold.  With simplicity, elegance and freshness, Westby House Inn seeks to impress the pleasure of your palate.

 

So, remember, to create that one of a kind romantic getaway that the both of you will remember always, Seek the Unique and stay at a Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast!

3 Holiday Decor Ideas to Brighten your Doorstep

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

We can’t get enough of those online holiday decorating slideshows. You know the ones, with pretty pictures featuring easy ideas to spruce up your home. As you’d expect, our member B&Bs do a beautiful job in that department. Here are ideas from just a few of our inns on how to transform your home from so-so to so-lovely for the holidays.

The Westby House Inn & Restaurant in Westby is decked out for your holiday get away.  The outdoor scene is festive and the indoor will enchant you.

Celebrate the season in vintage style at The Lamp Post Inn B&B, an 1874 Victorian home in Fort Atkinson.

Take in this winter wonderland on 120 scenic acres of beauty at Cameo Rose Victorian Country Inn in Belleville.

Warmth, charm, tradition…Since 1896, generations of guests have loved the White Gull Inn in Fish Creek.

 

Whether inside or out, these Inns have been beautifully transformed for the holiday season.  So what can you do to get your home looking as lovely at these B&B’s?  Here are a few tips for decorating the outside of your home for the holidays.  you don’t have to go all out with lights and inflatables, there are ways to create a warm, inviting welcome to anyone who approaches your doorstep.

Tip #1 – Create your own Porch Pots.  Porch pots can be a great way to welcome friends and family to your property, whether they be on your porch or at the end of your driveway.  Porch pots can be expensive if you buy them already assembled, especially if you like to have several of them.  With a little planning and the right tools, you can create your own porch pots for a fraction of the cost.

A porch pot created with fresh greenery, hydrangeas and painted branches

By purchasing two Christmas Trees you will be able to get 3-4 porch pots (depending on their size) and a window box or two, again, depending on the size of your window boxes.  So, for the cost of two pre-made porch pots from the local nursery, you can create much more.  If you purchase 1 balsam fir and one white pine you will have 2 different types of pine needles that will add texture and interest to your decorations.  Once you get your trees home cut the branches off, be sure to leave the top 18-24 inches of branches on the tree, this will give you 2 tree tops for two of your pots.  If you’re fortunate to have trees on your property, save some of the branches that fall into your yard and paint them with white, silver or gold spray paint, add some glitter for a little extra shimmer.  Do you or your neighbors have beautiful hydrangea plants and are at a loss what to do with all the flowers at the end of the season?  Don’t throw them out, they add great interest to your pots and window boxes.  Those, too, can be spray painted if you like.  The best tip ever, assemble your pot before it is cold enough to freeze.  Once you have the pot put together, water it so the soil is wet.  Then, when it does freeze, the contents won’t be blowing out of the container when it gets windy.

Tip #2 – Decorate your Window Boxes.  If you have window boxes, be sure to add some fresh greenery from the trees you purchased to make your porch pots.  Using the same tips for creating a Porch Pot can be applied to putting together a window box.

Adding lights to the window box adds warmth to the display.

If you use some of the same materials in the window box as you used in the porch pot, this will help tie everything together. Adding some outdoor lights will add warmth to the display, and here in the northern part of the country where it is dark by 4:30 in the afternoon, adds some light to the house as well.  If you choose decorations that are not too seasonal, your porch pots and your window boxes will take you well into January or February.

Tip #3 – Add a wreath.  One of the easiest things you can do to add holiday cheer to your doorstep is to hang a wreath.  Whether you purchase a fresh one, or have an artificial wreath that you hang year after year.  If you have the gumption, hanging wreaths from your windows always looks beautiful and festive.

All of the B&B’s in the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.  Happy Decorating!!

 

Biking is the new Golf – You Heard it from Wisconsin B&Bs

Thursday, May 19th, 2016
Parkview B&B in Reedsburg

Parkview B&B in Reedsburg

Are you more interested in wheeling along than walking along? You’re not alone. Cycling is now being referred to as the new golf. Here in Wisconsin we have a great rails-to-trails bike system, 117 designated Rustic Roads spanning 669 miles through 59 counties,  plus lots of opportunities to log miles in state and county parks.  Wisconsin has some pretty awesome city cycling too. Take Madison, for example. They have a bike-share program, and commuter bike trails, with several connecting to excellent state trails, for those yearning for a longer-distance ride.  Of course, golf is pretty spectacular here too. The U.S. Open is coming to Wisconsin next year and that’s after the state hosted the PGA last year.  We’re so glad spring is here and we have a hunch we’re not alone.

Wisconsin is one of the top bicycling destinations in the U.S. and we’re not making that up. Just ask the League of American Bicyclists – they are the ones doing the rankings. Old railroad beds converted to bike trails, including the famous Elroy-Sparta trail, have helped put Wisconsin on the national bike map in a big way.

Grapevine Log Cabins in Sparta

Grapevine Log Cabins in Sparta

 

 

If you’d like to map out an extended weekend itinerary that allows you to bike during the day and pull in to B&Bs at dusk, consider one of your stops at Fountain Chateau B&B in Hustler.   The beautiful Omaha Bike Trail (originally the Omaha Railroad), connects right next door, where you can  bike all the way to the Elroy-Sparta Trail and the 400 State Park Trail.

The Grapevine Log Cabins is almost within earshot of the Elroy-Sparta bike trail, a short 1 ½ miles, where it meets the La Crosse River Trail, and Justin Trails Resort tells their guests to make sure they don’t miss the trail’s 875′ tunnel – it’s awesome.

Justin Trails Resort in Sparta

Justin Trails Resort in Sparta

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pleasant View B&B in Chippewa Falls

Pleasant View B&B in Chippewa Falls

Folks who visit Pleasant View B&B can access the Old Abe Bike Trail less than 1/2 mile away, one of 12 paved bike trails in Wisconsin, Another rail trail, Old Abe follows the Chippewa River from Chippewa Falls to Cornell, connecting Lake Wissota and Brunet Island state parks. A future addition will connect the trail with the Chippewa and Red Cedar state trails, creating a network of more than 70 miles of connected trails in the Chippewa Valley.

Innkeepers who bike themselves include Heidi and Tom at the Buckingham Inn in Madison, so you’d be in great company at their B&B.  The inn provides free passes for Madison’s city bike-share program for a quick ride to restaurants, the Capitol, and other Madison area attractions.

 

Pedal'rs Inn B&B

Pedal’rs Inn B&B

 

We couldn’t talk bicycling without mentioning the Pedal’rs Inn B&B in Wales, a bicycling inspired inn, where you can pick up the scenic Glacial Drumlin State Trail.

Located just a short drive north of Milwaukee, is Hidden Serenity B&B in West Bend and the Eisenbahn, a “rails to trails” project, where you get the beauty of biking in the Kettle Moraine without the steep hills.  Many B&Bs offer relaxing massages at their inns, so inquire, just in case you need to pamper yourself after your day’s ride.

Hidden Serenity B&B

Hidden Serenity B&B

We don’t want to leave out the golfers, so here’s a fun fact: There are three Hurdzan Fry-designed courses in Wisconsin and they’re all public courses: Erin Hills, near Hartford, site of the 2017 U.S. Open, is just 6 miles from the Westphal Mansion Inn B&B, a restored 1913 mansion.

Bowman's Oak Hill B&B in Wis Dells

Bowman’s Oak Hill B&B in Wis Dells

Get in a few rounds before the pros descend next year; Wild Rock, the quarry course in Wisconsin Dells, chiseled around and through a former quarry, is for the golfer who embraces a challenge.  After a day on the course relax in this cottage nestled near the edge of the woods at Bowman’s Oak Hill B&B; or Troy Burne, in Hudson, just 30 minutes from St. Paul and only 15 minutes from the premier Queen Anne Victorian Phipps Inn.  For more B&B options near these courses, just search by city on our website.

 

Phipps Inn in Hudson

Phipps Inn in Hudson

Innkeepers Share the Secret of Making the Perfect Scone

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

A scone recipe that’s perfection every time? We considered that a culinary myth until we heard from Eagle Centre House B&B. The innkeepers there swear this recipe for basic scones is foolproof. Don’t be fearful of making scones, this recipe will get you hooked.  As for what to spread on top of a scone, we like lemon curd, clotted cream, honey butter or homemade jam. We’re traditionalists that way.

 

Basic Scone Recipe

The following recipe makes approximately 12 scones

 

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

5 tbsp. (1/3 cup) sweet butter

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

1/3 cup milk

 

Place the baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.  Sift the measured flour twice with the baking powder and salt.  When I was a young girl learning to cook my mother had a flour sifter for this task, it was a contraption that reminded me of a coffee can, had a mesh bottom, and a handle that was squeezed to turn a blade near the bottom to move the flour around and push it through the sieve.  I don’t happen to have a handy tool like that, so I just used a fine mesh metal strainer I use for washing and draining fruits and vegetables, and held that over a bowl and shook the strainer to get the flour to go through.Sifting Flour  If you would like to add some variety to this basic scone recipe this is the point where you could add some orange zest and dried cranberries, or lemon zest with dried blueberries.  Chopped nuts also add another layer of texture and flavor.  Dice the fats into the dry ingredients, then lightly rub in with cool fingertips or a pastry blender until completely blended.  The butter and shortening will look like small peas or oatmeal when it is fully incorporated with the flour.  Make a well in the center and stir in the milk.  Lightly mix with a fork until the ingredients form a soft dough.  Turn out onto a floured board and knead very lightly fEagle Center House Sconesor about 1/2 minute to a loose, smooth dough.  The trick to making a nice light scone is to handle the dough as little as possible, yet it is important to get all of the flour incorporated with the butter and shortening.  Roll out with a rolling pin or pat with the hand to approximately 3/4 inch thick.  Stamp out with a 2 inch cutter or cut into triangles with a sharp knife, I also like to use a pizza cutter.  Lightly knead together any trimmings and roll and stamp out again.  Lift with a spatula onto the hot baking sheet, placing 1 inch apart.  Brush only the tops with lightly beaten egg or milk.  Bake toward the top of the oven for approximately 10 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown.  Lift onto a wire rack with the spatula to cool.  If this is your first attempt at baking scones you may feel frustrated with the dough making process, but trust me, persevere and you will be thrilled at the results. Even if your scones don’t look like they are ready for a photo shoot in the culinary magazine, they will taste light, and buttery and, quite frankly, fantastic!

Seek the Unique – Wisconsin B&B’s with a Theme

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

 

For those who seek a more unique experience when travelling a Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast will be sure to fit the bill. We all know Wisconsin’s Bed and Breakfasts are well known for their personalized service and scrumptious breakfast. But did you know innkeepers are knowledgeable on the local activities and history of their community? The innkeeper will be able to fill you in on the local lore and legends of the area and provide stories that will inform and inspire you.

When is a B&B more than just a bed and a breakfast? When it’s a microbrewery, a lighthouse, a celebrity hangout, a farm, a golf course or an art studio. Themed B&Bs are big on talk-value with your buddies and huge on enjoyment for you.

Take the Inn at Windmill Farm in Door County, with its studio and gallery where one of the hosts, Ed, leads watercolor classes. He has been an artist fMorning Mist Studio_Gallery Inn at Windmill Farmor over 35 years and teaches at the Kansas City Art Institute Ed’s work can be seen at Windmill Farm in the Morning Mist Studio/Gallery in the historic barn. Your other host, Frank, has a great background in fine antiques and has great pieces for sale at Lupine Antiques at Windmill Farm in the historic barn.  In addition, he brings to the Inn an extensive knowledge of landscape design.

The Silver Star B&B Inn near Spring Green has rooms themed to famous photographers such as Alfred Stieglitz, EdwSteiglitz-Steichen room at Silver Star B&B Innard Steichen, John Szarkowski, Monor White, and Julia Margaret Cameron. The photographers honored had a significant impact on the industry, contributing to the development of photography as an artistic medium.

Visitors will find original fine art and photography displayed throughout the inn, reflecting the passion of the owner. The Silver Star B&B Inn is also located less than 10 miles from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin and the House on the Rock.

There’s Brewery Creek Inn in Mineral Point with its own on-site craft brewery. A three story lime stone building on Commerce Street, there are five rooms located above the Brewpub Restaurant.  Two on the second floor and three on the third.  The Brewery Creek Brewpub is an intimate space with exposed stone walls, hand hewn timbers and beams, supporting posts and a beautiful bar. The BrewPub is closed by 10:00 pm, which guarantees quiet for the guests lodging in the rooms above. They brew all of their own beer in their own brewery.  Jeff focuses on European style ales, both modern and antique.Crafted Beer at Brewery Creek Inn

 

 

Door County Lighthouse Inn is just that, an inn with architecture that mimics the storied lighthouses of the region. Each room is tastefully decorated with a nautical theme which reflects the rich maritime and navigational history of the area. Each of these lighthouDoor County Lighthouse Innses are located a short distance from the Inn and are great places to explore. Door County’s lighthouses, many of which were built in the 1800s, have saved countless lives as they guided ships to safety. Today, they stir hearts as symbols of strength and protection.

 

 

 

Lake Orchard Farm Retreat in Sheboygan is a working farm but it also has a golf course and clubhouse.  Located near Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Golfing at Lake Orchard Farm Retreatour operating farm has rolling fields, natural woods, fruit orchards and a Lake Michigan view. If that isn’t enough to entice you to visit, they have a 9-hole golf course with a clubhouse they provide for guests to use at no additional charge.  When the weather isn’t nice enough to play outdoors, they have a lounge area with a pool table where guests can gather and spend time.

 

The The Livingston Inn in Madison is the place where prominent filmmakers stay during the annual Wisconsin Film Festival in April and the innkeepers have the inside track on tickets for their guests. The Livingston InnThe Wisconsin Film Festival is presented by the UW-Madison Arts Institute in association with the Department of Communication Arts. Founded in 1999, the Festival presents an average of 150 film screenings over 8 days every spring, making it the largest university-produced film festival in the nation.

So you could say the overarching theme here is to try something different the next time you travel.

Favorite Wisconsin “Inn-Sider” Tips for Things to Do In March

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

March is a time of year that leaves many of us longing for spring, and in Wisconsin, we still have a number of weeks befwisconsin_winter_barn_postcard-r6298c8d8e196446e9394804543c9897e_vgbaq_8byvr_512ore those warmer temperatures grace us once again and entice us to spend more time outdoors.  This is when cabin fever can be at its worse.  The ski hills do a great job of making snow for the downhill skiers and snowboarders.  But for those of us who prefer to stay on a more level plane, March’s weather in Wisconsin can be tricky and many times there may not be enough snow for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.  Let’s face it, it’s been a long winter and most of us are ready to do more than go for a walk in the neighborhood or visit the mall to get out and about and feel rejuvenated.  Fortunately, Wisconsin has much to offer in the way of indoor activities, and most of the time we don’t need to look much further than our own backyard.

Visit a local museum, what a better way to find out about our local and state history than to visit a museum. With a quick search on the internet I discovered Wisconsin has over 420 museums.  The list is long and varied, you are sure to find one that suits your interest. Here are a few out of the ordinary that may peak your interest and be worth getting in the car to go visit.

The Chocolate Experience Museum in Burlington, WI is free to the public during regular business hours.  What’s not to love… a free tour (they do ask for a donation) and chocolate!! Burlington’s Chocolate Experience Museum exists to educate visitors about the history of chocolate and the part it plays in the world, improve the local economy and economic stability for Burlington as a tourism destination.

Did you know Harry Houdini was from Appleton, WI?  The History Museum at the Castle has an exhibit, AKA Houdini which lets you experience some of Harry Houdini’s tricks of the trade through hands-on activities. It is great fun for the whole family! See why the world renowned magician called Appleton his hometown.

And we can’t talk about Wisconsin without mentioning cheese.  Monroe, WI has the National Historic Cheesemaking Center. Enter ….”an era that was, that will never be again” as you step inside the Imobersteg Cheese Factory, restored and located on our campus, where each year on the second Saturday of June a 90 pound wheel of Swiss cheese is made right before your eyes, as it was done over 100 years ago.

Check out the local Center for the Arts, Wisconsin communities are doing a wonderful job of bringing in exhibits, entertainers and artists to their area.  You can see an up-and-coming comedian, a musical, an orchestra, or the ballet.  They have art exhibits, magicians, and choir concerts.

The Heyde Center for the Arts in Chippewa Falls has a wide variety of activities scheduled for March, which includes 2 exhibits, ​Industrial Art and Design, and GEMS: Contemporary Metalsmiths and Art Jewelers in Menomonie, a community choir concert, the music of Simon and Garfunkel, and TV Town: A Midwest Musical Comedy.

The Grand Theater in Wausau has quite a range of entertainment scheduled for the month.  Get The Led Out on March 2 is committed to recreating the magic of Led Zeppelin in all its depth and glory, Get The Led Out features six talented musicians playing all of the classic hits!  42nd Street, March 21, tells the story of a starry-eyed young dancer named Peggy Sawyer who comes to New York to audition for the new Broadway musical Pretty Lady. When the star breaks her ankle, Peggy takes over and becomes a star.  “Symphony on the Rocks”, March 25, is VIC FERRARI and 26 of the best classical and pop musicians from the Midwest. This is the first Symphony in North America to perform with iPads only! You see all musicians working together, not hiding behind a conductor or a music stand.

Dine at a Supper Club What could be more Wisconsin-like than having dinner at a Wisconsin Supper Club?  Did you know there are over 350 of them in this state? And, they even have a website to help you find the nearest one, Wisconsin Supper Clubs. Supper clubs are a dying breed, which is sad, because we’ve turned to quick food from chain restaurants rather than supporting these great places. Take a night off from cooking, get gussied up, and head to one of our great Wisconsin supper clubs.

Book a stay at a luxurious B&B One more wonderful thing about Wisconsin is the hospitality of the innkeepers at our Bed and Breakfasts. Did you know there are more than 120 B&B’s listed on the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association’s website? No matter the weather, you will find a Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast to be warm and inviting.  It is the perfect place to start your March adventure, you might find a roaring fire in the common area where you can enjoy a glass of wine or hot cocoa with other guests, or maybe your room will have it’s own fireplace and even a Jacuzzi tuWarm and Cozy - White Lacee Innb where you and your loved one can relax in a warm bath.  A delicious home-cooked breakfast will be made just for you with plenty of hot coffee and juice to get you going.  Our innkeepers are a wealth of knowledge of local activities, so if you don’t have an itinerary planned for the day, they will be able to help with suggestions of interesting things to do in the area that fit your interests.  There is an abundance of activities in Wisconsin during the month of March, and you are sure to find an unique adventure close to a Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast.