So often we tout the bike trails in Wisconsin and suggest ideas for biking between B&Bs. Time to give some due to the other two-wheeled form of travel – motorcycling. We just learned that seven communities in the region of western Wisconsin known as the “driftless area” – an area untouched by glaciers and the drift deposits left by glaciers, and notable for deeply carved valleys – have banded together to promote “Cycle Driftless Destinations.” The seven cities are Sparta, La Crosse, Black River Falls, Hillsboro, Tomah, Onalaska and Trempealeau, and they’ve pooled resources to produce an area map showing five interconnected routes that circle through the back roads of the region. Sounds like a wonderful way to while away a weekend. Of course, lodging will be required and that’s where our lovely Wisconsin B&Bs come into play. We recommend a stay at the Franklin Victorian B&B in Sparta for starters, where they offer inside secure motorcycle storage. There’s also Grapevine Log Cabins and Justin Trails B&B. In La Crosse, choose between two inns which are both listed on the National Historic Register – Four Gables B&B and Wilson Schoolhouse Inn. On to Onalaska, where the Lumber Baron Inn offers water views of Lake Onalaska, or you can opt for a farmhouse getaway at Rainbow Ridge Farms. Happy (motor) cycling.
Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin’
According to industry research, a whopping 87% of travelers head to B&Bs for romance. We love that! This time of year also brings to mind that famous quote from Lord Tennyson: “In the spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” Let’s add woman’s too. At any rate, check out the romance packages offering by Wisconsin B&Bs and see which offer the highest level of compatibility with your idea of a romantic spring getaway.
For casual horse race fans, it’s really more about the hats than the horses at the Kentucky Derby. And the names of the horses: This year’s winner was Orb, followed by Golden Soul, Revolutionary, and Normandy Invasion. Now for fans of horseback riding, here’s our “revolutionary” idea for the year – book a room at one of the Wisconsin B&Bs that provide stabling for your horse. Leading the B&B race is O’Neill Manor in Neillsville – innkeepers and avid riders Jon & Julie Counsell’s 60 acre farm just ½ mile from the inn has 5 large boarding stalls, 1 stallion stall, and 5 miles of trails. Clark County’s 25+ miles of horse trails are just outside of Neillsville. We’re placing bets right now this will be the summer for Wisconsin B&Bs to make a strong showing among those who love to ride.
Last year – decided lack of snow in Wisconsin. This year – enough snow to keep snowmobilers, skiers, snowshoers and snowman builders incredibly happy. The Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s Snow Conditions report is up and running and we dare say it’s getting tons of hits every day, to match the tons of snow blanketing the landscape here. These are especially pretty conditions for those who favor state parks for winter workouts.
We’re still waiting for fluffy white stuff to fill the air, and that means there’s still time do your outside decorating sans snowshoes. In the northwoods, Mother Nature eventually takes care of much of the decorating – nothing like a fresh snowfall at dusk at Pinehurst Inn (Bayfield), with warm lights glowing inside, to remind us of the beauty of the season. At the Cobblestone B&B in Birchwood, the antique cross-country skis remind us of fun after the holidays. These ‘snowy reminders’ from a few previous seasons are just what we need to get motivated.
We all have our favorites when it comes to the quintessential fall getaway in Wisconsin, so this is by no means a definitive itinerary, but it comes close in our book. Did we mention you’ll probably need at least a week to get everything in?
Tour a cranberry bog. Make reservations to tour Glacial Lake Cranberries in Wisconsin Rapids. This historic and sustainable cranberry marsh has been in continuous operation since 1873. Make reservations to stay at one of two nearby inns in Steven’s Point – Dreams of Yesteryear or A Victorian Swan on Water. Also, this weekend September 28-30 is the 40th annual Warrens Cranberry Festival in Warrens, WI, the largest of its kind in the world. Before you go check what’s available at these area B&Bs…rooms are going fast!
Attend an Oktoberfest event. We have to go with La Crosse on this one, with their Oktoberfest running September 28-October 6. Relax at Four Gables B&B or Wilson Schoolhouse Inn after the merry-making.
Take in a view from above. At Rib Mountain State Park in Wausau, take a ride to the top of Granite Peak and back via ski chairlift. The rides are available September 29-30, October 6-7 and October 13-14. Then stay in a National Register Arts & Crafts masterpiece, the Stewart Inn.
Head to a farmers’ market. No matter what B&B you’re visiting, there’s bound to be a farmers’ market close by. Just ask the innkeeper.
Tailgate. Tailgating before a Badger game? There are a half-dozen different Madison B&Bs to choose from to serve as home base. Just be sure to pack plenty of red and white. Tailgating before a Packer game? There are numerous inns within 50 miles, with half-dozen of them within a 25 mile radius of Green Bay and Lambeau Field for your game-day pleasure.
Experience opera. The Florentine Opera Company in Milwaukee kicks off its season at the end of October with a performance of Bizet’s “Carmen.” Experience fall drama by staying at Cold Spring Inn in nearby Hubertus. Located on 80 acres with a river valley running through it, Cold Spring Inn also has a new boutique vineyard and wine tasting. Bravo!
Eat a caramel apple. In Cedarburg, the caramel apples at Amy’s Candy Kitchen are the best (that’s not just us saying it either, it’s according to the Wall Street Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Wisconsin State Fair). The two B&Bs in town are historic gems – they are the Stagecoach Inn B&B and Washington House Inn.
Here in Wisconsin we pack as much fun into summer as is humanly possible. We have ethnic festivals, music festivals, food festivals, and festivals just for the heck of it. There are ball games and car shows and county fairs. To say nothing of events dedicated to the likes of loons, muskies and butterflies. See, we told you we make the most of June, July and August in Wisconsin. If a festival or event is all the incentive you need to hit the road, then start planning out your summer getaway schedule using this “playlist” of events from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. Cross reference the event location with B&Bs in the area and you’re set for maximum fun over the course of the next three months.
Have you ever gone whitewater rafting? In Wisconsin, now’s the time, as spring is when the rivers are high with meltwater and spring rains. We recommend the Peshtigo River, which offers a nice, long stretch of active whitewater. Inns located in north-eastern WI include Lakeside B&B in Florence and Inn at Pinewood in Eagle River. The Wolf River has Class II and Class III rapids, great for experienced paddlers looking for a rush. Crandon’s Courthouse Square B&B and Marinette’s Lauerman House Inn, M&M Victorian Inn and Riverside Manor B&B are closest to outfitters along the Wolf.
We have an especially soft spot for Earth Day (it’s April 22) here in Wisconsin. Maybe it’s because the force behind the first Earth Day was Wisconsin’s own Senator Gaylord Nelson. Or because of our state’s proud farming heritage (you can even stay at a B&B on a working farm) and abundant natural resources. Here at the Wisconsin B&B Association, we have another reason to support Earth Day in a big way – it’s because B&Bs were among the first tourism businesses in the state to step up and be Travel Green Wisconsin certified when the voluntary certification program launched some five years ago, and our lodging segment remains a pioneer yet today in the state’s green movement. If you’re looking for a B&B getaway that will allow your eco-conscience to rest easy without giving up the amenities you love, then choose from any of our Travel Green Wisconsin certified inns. You’ll have nearly 40 to choose from! Happy Earth Day everyone.
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 – Bayfield, Washington House – Cedarburg, Joannes B&B – DePere, Angel Inn – Green Lake, Westphal Mansion Inn – Hartford, McCormick House – Hayward, Phipps Inn – Hudson, Livingston Inn – Madison, Lauerman House Inn / M&M Victorian – Marinette, Ludlow Mansion – Monroe, Inn at Pine Terrace – Oconomowoc, The Roth House – Soldiers Grove, Strawberry Lace Inn – Sparta, Dreams of Yesteryear – Stevens Point, Scofield House – Sturgeon Bay, Apple Tree Lane B&B – Waupaca, Isadora’s B&B – West Bend.