Posts Tagged ‘Madison’

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.

A Cure for Downton Abbey Withdrawal

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

A Cure for Downton Abbey Withdrawal

If you’re among the growing legion of fans of the PBS series “Downton Abbey” then, like us, you’re already in withdrawal knowing Season 3 won’t premiere until 2013.  Until then, may we kindly suggest you plan to holiday at one of these Wisconsin B&Bs known for their opulence and luxury as a way to ease your pain and channel the Crawleys.  We believe the Dowager Countess of Grantham herself would approve.  In alphabetical order by city, we unveil our most Downton Abbey-esque B&Bs: Rittenhouse Inn – BayfieldWashington House – Cedarburg,  Joannes B&B – DePereAngel Inn – Green LakeWestphal Mansion Inn – HartfordMcCormick House – HaywardPhipps Inn – HudsonLivingston Inn – MadisonLauerman House Inn / M&M Victorian – MarinetteLudlow Mansion – MonroeInn at Pine Terrace – Oconomowoc The Roth House – Soldiers GroveStrawberry Lace Inn – SpartaDreams of Yesteryear – Stevens PointScofield House – Sturgeon Bay, Apple Tree Lane B&B – WaupacaIsadora’s B&B – West Bend.

Victorian, Downton Abbey, antiques, today's comforts, Stevens Point

Originally separated by pocket doors, the Ladies' Parlor and the Men's Parlor now permit co-ed relaxing...scandalous in Victorian times! Dreams of Yesteryear - Stevens Point welcomes you to yesteryear with today's comforts.

 

Door County, Sturgeon Bay, dining, Victorian

Pass through the portieres and step back in time at the "high Victorian" Scofield House in Sturgeon Bay of Door County. Hint: you'll find TV's hidden in the armoires, plus other comforts of today.

Opera Season in Wisconsin

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Are you a fan of “Saturday Afternoon at the Met” on NPR, the live broadcasts of the New York Metropolitan Opera?  It’s so easy to be swept away by the tales of romance, intrigue, betrayal, life and death, and that’s just Act 1.  This is opera season, so let’s take stock of what we have in the world of opera right here in Wisconsin.

The Madison Opera resides at the Overture Center for the Arts located right on bustling State Street.  We can’t wait for the April performance of Rossini’s CinderellaNaeset-Roe Inn in nearby Stoughton has a grand architectural quality to it – it’s a renovated 1878 Italianate National Registry property – making it the perfect spot to spend the night after an evening at the opera. Dating to 1873 is the Hotel Ruby Marie in Madison overlooking Lake Monona, another grand choice for overnight accommodations.

The Skylight Opera Theatre of Milwaukee is performing Gershwin & Friends, which takes place at a ritzy party in the New York City home of George Gershwin in the midst of the Jazz Age.  Over at the Florentine Opera, also in Milwaukee, they’re staging a musical revue of love songs February 10-12 called Isn’t It Romantic?    Their season wraps up in May with a performance of Mozart’s first major opera, Idomeneo. The Brumder Mansion B&B has its own 70-seat theatre on the upper floor that it uses for staging real weddings.

If opera isn’t your thing, then maybe you’d like ballet or a symphony performance.   We recommend staying at a historic B&B to set the mood for performances of historic proportions. We have 25 inns around the state listed on the National Historic Register.

Relax before and after the opera at historic Hotel Ruby Marie in downtown Madison

 

Money Magazine 2010 Best Places to Live List Includes 4 Wisconsin Cities

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Money Magazine crunched the numbers to zero in on America’s best small cities for families and it’s no surprise that 4 Wisconsin cities are in the Top 100.

Waukesha, a western Milwaukee suburb, ranks #50 with its easy access to miles of Rails to Trails bike paths, Frame Park’s miles of hiking trails and regular weekend events and ‘art crawls’ every 2 months.

At #69, Eau Claire‘s great fishing (Wisconsin is so much more than cheeseland – we’re known for our fish fries too), and rolling hills are complemented by an active music scene downtown – in fact, the indi folk band Bon Iver got its start here.

Madison, known for its bike friendly culture – try a scenic cruise around Lake Monona past Frank Lloyd Wright’s Monona Terrace – and exceptional Farmer’s Market Saturday mornings on the Capitol Square, comes in at #95.

Appleton, a mecca for shop-a-holics with the Fox River Mall area, showcases Broadway entertainment (did we mention we’re so much more than cheeseland?) at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, is #96.

How can you find out what the locals know? Easy – B&B innkeepers are your personal concierge, sharing their insider tips for their city with you. And, it’s easy to find which city you want to visit – and where to stay – by using our ‘find an inn‘ feature.