Posts Tagged ‘National Historic Register property’

Culture Vultures Always Welcome at Wisconsin B&Bs

Monday, March 5th, 2012

In this year’s travel trends forecast from TripAdvisor.com, one of the top trips being planned by respondents for 2012 is a cultural trip, meaning a getaway built around a visit to a museum or historic site.  They even gave this category of travelers a catchy name – “culture vultures.”  This is a trend that Wisconsin B&Bs can really get behind.  After all, 26 of our member inns are National Historic Register properties, so a visit to one of them is already a cultural trip in and of itself.    If you’re interested in Wisconsin Historic Sites, there are 10 of them, from the Madeline Island Museum in the northernmost tip of the state to the First Capitol in Belmont in the southwest corner of Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin Historical Museum   is located on the Capitol Square in Madison and it’s full of wonderful information about the state’s rich history. We recommend the exhibit “Wisconsin innovations: From the Iconic to the Unexpected” which runs through August.

Strawberry Lace Inn in Sparta is an opulent Italianate Victorian built in 1875 by a Major in the Civil War. Innkeepers Elsie and Jack searched the entire country for the home to complement their antiques.

Four Gables B&B in LaCrosse is a 1906 Queen Anne home built by the Munstocks made their money, at the time, from strawberries. It remained in the Munstock family until 1981 when the present innkeepers, Jerry & Nancy, saw the potential for a B&B.

The Rochester Inn in Sheboygan Falls, the first general store and post office in the county, was built in 1848 - the same year Wisconsin became a state - and is the 2nd oldest building in Sheboygan County.

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