Posts Tagged ‘Milwaukee’

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

B&B Getaway Giveaway continues: Week 6

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

While reading about B&Bs is fun, winning a complimentary stay is better: enter our Facebook contest

20 minutes North of Milwaukee in downtown historic Cedarburg is the Stagecoach Inn, a restored 1853 stagecoach hotel. Today’s guests enjoy whirlpool tubs, wifi, cable TV and more. Their pub, chocolate shop, and daily wine social make it almost unnecessary to leave the inn, but do take a stroll to local shops, restaurants, winery, and the Cedar Creek Settlement. Travel west to Reedsburg’s Parkview B&B for crisp line-dried linens, a sumptuous breakfast … it’s true: the only thing they overlook is the park!  Innkeepers Tom, an avid gardener & Donna, a former Home-Ec teacher team to create masterful breakfasts and snacks like Orange Craisin Pistachio Biscott.

Stagecoach Inn in Cedarburg

Stagecoach Inn in Cedarburg

Beerntsens' Candies

Beerntsens’ Candies


During the evenings, the Pub is a pleasant gathering place where guests can enjoy wine from the Cedar Creek Winery and other house specialty drinks.

During the evenings, the Pub is a pleasant gathering place where guests can enjoy wine from the Cedar Creek Winery and other house specialty drinks.

Keep warm the Wisconsin Way

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

With record-setting sub-zero temps this week (-26 in Central WI), keeping warm head to toe is a challenge. Paired with Sunday’s Packer win over the Chicago Bears and upcoming playoff, brisk sales of Cheesehead hats are sure to follow. Fittingly, it was our friends in Illinois who nicknamed us cheeseheads! The wedge-shaped hat debuted in 1987 at a Brewers game; it became popular with Packer fans in the mid-90s as Brett Farve led the team to 2 Super Bowls.  Of course, cheesehead hats are made in Wisconsin by “Foamation“, headquartered just south of Milwaukee in St. Francis.  Packer fans can enjoy the warmth and comfort of the Astor House B&B – the only B&B in Green Bay – and they do not raise their rates for home games! With the recent Packer come-from-behind wins, we agree with Foamation “where there’s a wedge, there’s a way!”

Pre and post game comfort at the Astor House B&B in Green Bay. and there's just a hint of green and gold.

Pre and post game comfort at the Astor House B&B in Green Bay. with just a hint of green and gold.


Perfect example of "a picture says a thousand words"!

Perfect example of “a picture says a thousand words”!


…the fire is so delightful …

Friday, December 13th, 2013

“The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and since we’ve no place to go” … ahhh – you DO have places to go! A quick amenity search reveals over 2 dozen B&Bs have wood-burning fireplaces in the guestrooms! And for those who appreciate immediate gratification, over 60 B&B have gas fireplaces in the guestrooms.  Picture yourselves infront of a cracking fire in the great room, wine glass in hand or mug of hot cider – nearly 100 B&Bs can make this vision a reality. Let it snow – let it snow!

Tauschek's B&B Log Home in Plymouth marries the warmth of wood and stone in the comfy great room.

Tauschek’s B&B Log Home in Plymouth marries the warmth of wood and stone in the comfy great room.

jacuzzi + fireplace

Just off Hwy 41-45 north of Milwaukee is Hubertus, home to the Cold Spring Inn. Close to the ‘big city’ yet an escape from the city.

Toast your cares away!


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.

Superlatives to Guide B&B Travelers to Wisconsin part 2

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Remotest Inns:  Located on a secluded 340 acre estate, Silver Star B&B Inn – Spring Green is perfect to connect with the great outdoors.  Forest Moon Bed & Breakfast – Hayward is a log home situated in a clearing in the heart of the forest. Experience the rural tranquility and rugged beauty of the Driftless Area at Inn at Lonesome Hollow– Soldiers Grove, situated on 160 rural acres, half of which lie in their completely private valley.

Inn at Lonesome Hollow, Soldiers Grove

Prettiest Inns:  Totally subjective, so we had to include a few in this category, with the caveat being they are all “painted ladies,” as in Victorian beauties. Check out Miller’s Daughter B&B – Green Lake, Scofield House B&B – Sturgeon Bay, Victorian Dreams B&B – Lodi, The Roth House – Soldiers Grove, and Dreams of Yesteryear – Stevens Point.

Victorian Dreams B&B, Lodi

Eeriest Inn:  Purported to have had ghost sightings is the Brumder Mansion B&B – Milwaukee.

Brumder Mansion B&B, Milwaukee

Stateliest Inns: We pick Joannes B&B – De Pere,  Ludlow Mansion – Monroe, Inn at Pine Terrace– Oconomowoc which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Joannes B&B, De Pere

Sportiest Inn: As in offering lots of outdoor sports options to guest. And this category goes to Justin Trails B&B Resort – Sparta.

Justin Trails B&B Resort, Sparta

Love-liest Inn:   White Lace Inn – Sturgeon Bay takes the cake. In it’s 30 years of operation has  helped a total of 1,300 couples tie the knot making it the love-liest inn.  A close second goes to White Rose Inns – Wisconsin Dells which hosts approximately 50 weddings every year.  Their slogan is “You make the choices we do the rest.”

River View Room at White Rose Inns, Wisconsin Dells

Theatre in the Open

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

You’ve heard of theatre in the round.  How about theatre in the forest.  Or in a tent.  Or on a lakeshore.  In Spring Green, the American Players Theatre is world renowned for its classical theatre performed under the stars in an amphitheater on a hill with trees all around.  In Door County, the Peninsula Players is America’s oldest professional resident summer theater, and there’s also American Folklore Theatre with musicals that are often Wisconsin-themed, and Door Shakespeare which stages its performances in a garden.  Lake Superior’s Big Top Chautauqua, Bayfield,  has a full summer season of plays and concerts and, yes, they are performed under a big tent.  In Mineral Point, there’s Alley Stage, and in Milwaukee the Peck Pavillion on the lakeshore has lots of free events.  Get outside, take a seat, enjoy the show, and then return to the B&B of your choice, knowing our member inns are also famous for receiving rave reviews.   


Mineral Point is known for its artist’s community and artisan shops … just a short stroll from Brewery Creek. As its name implies, Brewery Creek is more than an historic inn – it’s a brew pub, and restaurant known for a locally sourced menu.

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.