Posts Tagged ‘Madison’

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

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.

“Dirt floor, holes for windows and doors …It was love at first sight.”

Monday, July 28th, 2014

So says Deb Donaghue, of her first visits to what would become Brewery Creek Inn in Mineral Point. The three-story limestone warehouse that dates back to the 1850s is now a 7-guestroom B&B with rustic exposed stone walls and pampering whirlpool tubs. Travel writer Brian E Clark reports: “I pedaled my bike nearly 50 miles from Madison to Mineral Point — through numerous rain showers — to get there and was more than a bit mud- and rain-splattered upon my arrival. But it was more than worth the effort.” You’ll want to explore Mineral Point’s artsy shops – and be back at the inn’s brewpub for, well, the brews and dinner. Read the full story at jsonline

Origin unknown, the ornate bar is right at home in the Brewery Creek Inn.  Brewmaster Jeff churns out European beer styles such as biere de garde, Scottish porter, and dunkelweiss. Cheers!

Origin unknown, the ornate bar is right at home in the Brewery Creek Inn. Brewmaster Jeff churns out European beer styles such as biere de garde, Scottish porter, and dunkelweiss. Cheers!

 

A double dose of Spring

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Breakfast outdoors at Springdale Inn in Verona, and watch the resident Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Eastern Bluebirds, and Monarch and Swallowtail Butterflies as they revel in their native prairie gardens. And that’s not all! Prairie enthusiast turned Innkeeper Nancy Hylbert is known for sending you off with your own complementary starter native plant garden, which she’ll dig from the extensive prairie nursery surrounding her inn.

Experience the Seasons (thanks – we’ll take SPRING now) at Cold Spring Inn & Vineyard in Hubertus, located on 80 acres of the Kettle Moraine watershed along the Oconomowoc River. A new boutique vineyard enhances the landscape and guests are invited to sample the wines … now that’s as “locally sourced” as you can get! Try the inn’s par-3 golf green – a hole-in-one scores a free night stay!

10SNEI? On the grounds of Cold Spring Inn, guests can play the par-3 golf course, work up an appetite and thirst on the tennis court, bird-watch on the extensive private trail with walking bridges over the Oconomowoc River.

10SNEI? On the grounds of Cold Spring Inn, guests can play the par-3 golf course, work up an appetite and thirst on the tennis court, bird-watch on the extensive private trail with walking bridges over the Oconomowoc River.

Prairie flowers grace the entrance of Springdale Inn ... and 54 acres of native prairie restoration surrounds the solar-powered inn.

Prairie flowers grace the entrance of Springdale Inn … and 54 acres of native prairie restoration surrounds the solar-powered inn.

Make Business a Pleasure.

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

When business takes you to the south side of Madison, how about a ‘reverse commute’? Rather than fight traffic from downtown lodging to your destination, try a pleasant 15-minute drive from a B&B in Belleville, Verona, Stoughton, McFarland, or Cambridge. At the Cameo Rose (Belleville), innkeepers Gary & Dawn say: “Early breakfast options, evening wine and snacks, and free WiFi are just a few of our amenities, along with 120 private acres to explore with 4 miles of mowed hiking trails. The Badger State Trail is an easy hike from our door and a perfect route for your morning or evening walk/run.  Paoli’s fabulous dining/shopping is just 5 minutes away.  Escape to the country and make your business a pleasure!”

Your final appointment of the day - breathing in the fragrant flowers, listening to the flowing water, relaxing in the gazebo ... at Cameo Rose Inn, Belleville.

Your final appointment of the day – breathing in the fragrant flowers, listening to the flowing water, relaxing in the gazebo … at Cameo Rose Inn, Belleville.

Wisconsin ‘Grown’ Aluminum Trees

Friday, December 27th, 2013

People who remember them don’t necessarily miss them and most young people have seen them only on TV in “A Charlie Brown Christmas”… the Evergleam aluminum Christmas tree! Wisconsin – known for its lumberjack history and woodsy vibe – was also home to the Aluminum Specialty Company of Manitowoc, manufacturer of over a million silver trees from 1955 – 1972.
Laugh – or cringe – if you must; sold originally for $10-$20, the trees are now are worth hundreds – and the rare pink tree is valued at $1500. Is anyone running up to the attic about now? If you find this treasure, it will be light – the trees were designed to be light enough for women to lift the boxes containing the tree, stand, and colored light wheel. How considerate.
We can’t promise that you’ll see shiny-ever-changing-colors aluminum trees at our 140 B&Bs, but feel free to look.  And, the Wisconsin Historical Museum on the Capitol Square in Madison now has an exhibit – due to its popularity, this is the 4th time Evergleam trees have been featured.  Shine on!

Blue ... red...green... shimmering aluminum tree. 60% of America's aluminum trees were produced in Wisconsin!

Blue … red…green… shimmering aluminum tree. 60% of America’s aluminum trees were produced in Wisconsin!

Wisconsin Farmers Markets Continue All Winter Long

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

We’ve often touted how Wisconsin B&B Association member inns do such a great job of sourcing locally for their breakfast menus.  Bet you didn’t know they carry on with that commitment long after the first snow flies.  Indoor winter farmers’ markets offer a bounty of goodies for B&B owners and home chefs alike.  The Milwaukee County Winter Farmers’ Market at State Fair Park runs through mid-April, with area vendors coming together to offer shoppers a nice selection of root vegetables, artisan cheeses, honey, maple syrup, jam, meats, eggs and pastries.  Extend the warmth by spending the night at a B&B in the region.  The Oconomowoc Winter Farmers’ Market welcomes visitors with Alterra coffee, lots of baked goods, popcorn, pickled goods, winter greens and more.  Pair that with a stay at Inn at Pine Terrace – they have quite the following for their pecan stuffed French toast. The famous Dane County Farmers’ Market moves indoors to the Madison Senior Center, where the selection is diverse and delicious,  just like the B&Bs in the Madison area.  Here’s to good eating all year long.

Inn at Pine Terrace, Oconomowoc.

Just Hear Those Sleigh Bells Ringing…

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides Nov 24th through Jan 31st!
Listen to the sleigh bells ring while a team of Percheron pulls you on a party sleigh across forty beautiful wooded acres. Just the sleigh ride is worth the visit…but add thousands of Christmas lights to an evening sleigh ride and it’ll be a night to remember! Liz at the Stagecoach Inn, Cedarburg, welcomes back rosy-cheeked guests after their Paradise Ranch Sleigh Ride.

 

You’re singing the song right now, aren’t you?  It’s a heartwarming ditty that never gets old.  The imagery of being “snuggled up together like two birds of a feather” is sweet, admit it.  And what’s not to love about a winter scene that reminds you of a “picture print by Currier and Ives.”  If you’re yearning for a sleigh ride, then a winter getaway to Token Creek Eco-Inn, the Parsonage, Franklin Victorian, or Stagecoach Inn should be on your 2013 winter to-do list.  And that line that goes “There’s a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy, when they pass around the coffee and the pumpkin pie”…well, you’ll get that at these inns too.

Madison-area inns Token Creek Eco-Inn (DeForest) and The Parsonage (McFarland) recommend Rocking Acres for winter sleigh rides and warm season carriage rides to horse riding lessons. Cornerstone Carriages offers tours of downtown Madison and custom private tours at a location of your choosing.
Jean at Token Creek adds: “Hot chocolate and a warm fire are here to greet you after your ride too!”

Horse drawn sleigh rides through the scenic countryside on a group or private tour can be arranged for guests at the Franklin Victorian in Sparta, with the Red Ridge Ranch. Innkeeper Jennifer says “be sure to bring your camera!”. Peruse the pictures back at the B&B, while you’re warmed by the fireplace or whirlpool.

Get Cooking

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

There’s something about enjoying a made-from-scratch breakfast at a Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast that often inspires the home chef in our guests. So we thought we’d post a list of some fun cooking classes around the state to get culinary juices flowing.

Bekah Kates, an incredibly cute shop filled with wonderful kitchen and home items, is located in an 1886 building (the owners lovingly restored it themselves) right on the downtown square in Baraboo.  The list of cooking classes here ranges from farmers’ market dishes to Thai to fancy French desserts.  Stay at Inn at Wawanissee Point or Pinehaven B&B, both in Baraboo.

At specialty shop Orange Tree Imports in Madison, a 35+ year mainstay on chic shopping boulevard Monroe Street, their list of chef instructors is very impressive.  And so is the list of B&Bs in the Madison metro area.

The Savory Spoon Cooking School in Door County occupies a former village school house built in 1879.  It appropriately bills itself as “a place for people who are passionate about food,” given they’re a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals.  This seasonal school is open June through October; take your pick of B&Bs up and down the Door County peninsula when you attend.

Coquette Café in Milwaukee’s historic Third Ward is famous for its authentic yet unassuming bistro fare you might find in the home kitchens of French grandmothers.  Their demonstration-style cooking classes are held Tuesday evenings, so sneak away midweek and stay at the Brumder Mansion B&B.

If La Crosse is a favorite getaway destination for you, sign up for a cooking class at the People’s Food Co-op.  For accommodations, reserve a room at Four Gables B&B or Wilson Schoolhouse Inn.

The list of classes at Dinner’s On in Altoona is temptingly eclectic.  We especially like that at the end of each class participants enjoy a full buffet, with plenty of time to discuss all the creations.  Stay at an Eau Claire area inn like Fanny Hill Victorian Inn or Otter Creek Inn.

Now get cooking!

 

Fanny Hill Victorian Inn & Dinner Theatre has a tradition of entertaining and delighting guests for over 30 years. A locally-owned dinner theater, restaurant, banquet facility and nine-room inn, Fanny Hill has a way of making guests feel welcome every time. Summer is the time to enjoy the manicured property with astonishing flower gardens and to catch the deck entertainment.

 

Madison Continues to Rack Up Bike-Friendly Honors

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Madison was just rated the fifth most bikeable city in the United States by Bike Score, a quantitative measurement of locations based on availability of bike lanes and infrastructure, hilliness, amenities and percent of people who bike to work.  Check out the heat map that shows areas best for biking in green and those areas not so accommodating in orange and red.  It would be fitting to stay at a Travel Green Wisconsin certified B&B when in Madison if you’re there to bike, don’t you agree?  There’s a nice trio to choose from: Annie’s B&B, Speckled Hen Inn, and Token Creek Eco-Inn.

 

Look what's waiting for you after exploring Madison's bike trails at Token Creek Eco Inn just outside of Madison.