Archive for March, 2012

Find Out What Top 10 List Appleton, Wis. Just Made

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Gallup does an annual survey on the State of Well Being, looking at nearly 200 metro areas, with residents scoring their town based on a scale of ideal living conditions.  At #10 on the list this year – Appleton, Wisconsin.  The overall well-being rankings represent an average of rankings in six specific categories: life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities.  Interestingly enough, while the pollsters rely on people’s own assessments of how they feel, the self-reported scores tend to agree with objective data measuring physical and emotional health.  So, you know where this is going.  Perhaps for your own physical and emotional health you should plan a little B&B getaway to Appleton.  There’s the Roost Bed & Breakfast, Appleton’s newest inn.  It’s a nice retreat whether you’re traveling for leisure or business and we love that all five of their rooms have a fireplace, air-jet whirlpool tub and high-end bedding.  The Victorian Franklin Street Inn combines the elegance of the 19th century with amenities of the 21st century, is Travel Green Wisconsin certified, and offers a real plus in that you can enjoy an on-site massage! 

The Roost B&B in Appleton - rest, sleep, relax

At The Roost, if you're expecting chickens you'll quickly get over any disappointment at finding none with a relaxing soak in your in-room whirlpool tub. The Roost - a city B&B - makes exploring Appleton's downtown, nightlife, and dining just a few blocks away.More relaxation in Appleton is found at the Franklin Street Inn, in the heart of downtown Appleton. Just a short stroll brings you to the Performing Arts Center, nightlife, and a plethora of restaurants.


Wisconsin Winery Tops at International Competition

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Wine and cheese and B&Bs has such a nice ring to it.  Many of our member inns provide complimentary tastings in the evening, featuring Wisconsin artisan cheeses and Wisconsin wines.  Yes, that’s right, we have some incredible wineries in Wisconsin, including one that took top honors at this month’s San Diego International Winery Competition.  Wollersheim Winery in Prairie du Sac was named 2012 Winery of the Year, beating out entries from Napa Valley and 13 countries.  What an especially nice honor during Wollersheim’s 40th anniversary year, although the vineyards there date back to the 1840s.  Take of tour of the historic buildings here – you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to Europe – and allow time for tastings.  Then spend the night at a B&B in the Madison area or nearby Wisconsin Dells.   

Savor the local flavor includes sampling locally produced wines at many B&Bs. With over 40 Wisconsin Wineries and over 150 WBBA member B&Bs, the pairings are nearly endless. The Wine Cellar at Madison's Speckled Hen Inn is shown here.

Guys Like B&Bs Too – Part II

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Here are five more inns that have a vibe that’s guy-friendly.  And while we worked on this list with a guys’ getaway in mind, there’s nothing to say you can’t take your favorite guy for a weekend getaway to one of these B&Bs, just the two of you.

1.  If you’re into bicycling, then rent out the Fountain Chateau B&B in Hustler, where the Omaha Bike Trail connects right next door to the inn.  Guys can bike all the way to Elroy and the world-famous Elroy Sparta Trail as well as the 400 State Park Trail.  The innkeepers are happy to serve an evening meal of your choice too.

2.  The “Golf Till You Drop” package at the Westphal Mansion Inn in Hartford offers golf at surrounding courses including Erin Hills, home of the U.S. Open in 2017. Upon return, the guys can enjoy a free wine and cheese social to be followed in the morning with a four-course homemade breakfast and another round of golf.

3.  For guys who regularly attend the EAA air show in Oshkosh, you can rent out the entire floor Turret Royale Suite which sleeps seven at the Franklin Street Inn. Welcome cookies and a large home-cooked full breakfast are never turned down.

4.  Play a little pool on the pool table in the clubhouse, then watch the big game on a large-screen TV at the Lake Orchard Farm B&B in Sheboygan located right on Lake Michigan.  They also have on-site golf with golf carts included, no charge.

5.  Justin Trails B&B in Sparta has a “Handy Person Special.”  Work for four hours cutting down trees and removing weeds on the inn’s disc golf course and cross-country ski trails in exchange for $50 per night lodging in a cabin.

Clubhouse Pool Table, Lake Orchard Farm B&B, Sheboygan



Kettle Hills Golf Course, near Westphal Mansion, Hartford

Mancation at Justin Trails

"Handy Person Special" Justin Trails B&B Resort, Sparta

Guys Like B&Bs Too – Part I

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Good thing you’re likely sitting down reading this next statement: Guys like B&Bs.  Yes, it’s true, guys will even plan a guys’ getaway, or “mancation” at a B&B if said inn meets their manly criteria.  Pray tell, what could that be?  Technology, for starters.  Guys want to feel plugged in, which means Wi-Fi, no negotiation there.  Big-screen TVS are often mandatory as well.  Being able to move around without bumping into stuff is an interior design strategy that appeals to guys, big time.  Of course, food is high on the list, as in hearty and often.  We reached out to our member inns to see which have offerings that are right on the mark for mancations and landed on 10 that are doing it right.  In this blog installment, the first five.  Next five in blog part II.

1.       The Stagecoach Inn in Cedarburg offers a pub crawl in the city’s historic downtown, with all the pubs located in historic buildings and within walking distance of the inn.

2.       In Manawa, the Lindsay House B&B has a special called “Mancation, Manawa Style.” Included is a night of bowling, bar food and beer; coffee bar and breakfast fit for a king; and easy access to snow activities like skiing and snowmobiling.

3.       Canyon Road Inn with a lake location in Turtle Lake has large rooms with king-size beds, flat-screen TVs with DVD players, and welcomes guys who like fishing, biking, hiking and horseshoes.

4.       At Inn at Lonesome Hollow in Soldiers Grove, located on 160 acres in the driftless area of southwest Wisconsin known for its thousands of cold springs, it’s all about trout fishing.  Ride in on your motorcycle to enjoy the winding highways and scenery of the Kickapoo River Valley, then stay in a two- or four-bedroom cabin.

5.       The innkeepers at Eagle Centre House B&B in the southern Kettle Moraine Forest say their rooms with two beds and private bath fit the bill for guys.  Winter mancations here are typically structured around hunting, snowmobiling and skiing, with a hearty breakfast every morning.

French Toast

Lindsay House B&B, Manawa


Inn at Lonesome Hollow, Soldiers Grove

Flat Screen large room

Canyon Road Inn, Turtle Lake

Culture Vultures Always Welcome at Wisconsin B&Bs

Monday, March 5th, 2012

In this year’s travel trends forecast from, 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.

Travel Trends – Big Showers, More Freebies, B&Bs

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Travel + Leisure magazine listed big showers, little tubs as one of the hot travel trends a few years back.  Wisconsin B&Bs that did this trend proud include Stewart Inn – Wausau with its huge double steam showers. Innkeeper Paul Welter notes “ Many of our guests are skiers, and they appreciate the soothing effects of steam on muscles and sinuses.  You can enjoy aromatherapy along with your steam bath by placing essential oils in a small receptacle in the steam outlet.”  Going beyond a room with a view,  Canyon Road Inn’s 8’ long shower with multiple body sprays has a great view of the lake.  You’ll indeed get the royal treatment in the Queen Bee Victorian room’s  4’ x 6’ shower at the Honeybee Inn – Horicon with a total of 9 heads & sprays.

This year, Budget Travel predicts travelers will demand more amenities, like free bottled water and Wi-Fi.  Ha, the vast majority of Wisconsin B&Bs have been doing that all along!  In fact, Inn at Wawanissee Point – WI Dells, and Arbor Inn – Prescott take it one step further and provide free wine and cheese tastings in the evening… Cold Spring Inn-Hubertus does this too, using the wines produced from their own vineyard.  And here’s one travel trend for 2012 we especially like – TripAdvisor.compredicts more travelers will choose B&Bs this year than last.

Eco-friendly, therapeutic, double steam shower

Soothing double steam showers at the Stewart Inn – Wausau have therapeutic results similar to hot water but use only a small fraction of the energy and water – a more eco-friendly way to relax.

Largest Shower, View of Lake, Canyon Road Inn, Turtle Lake, Wisconsin B&B

Canyon Road Inn – Turtle Lake just may have one of the largest showers of all B&B’s in Wisconsin, at 8’ long . . .and with a view of the lake, too.

Coffee Snobs Welcome at Wisconsin B&Bs

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Would you label yourself a coffee snob?  Not sure of the definition?  Well, if you consider a good cup of coffee the make-or-break start to your day, you probably qualify.  And, by good, we mean freshly ground beans, real cream, aromatic flavors, options for cappuccino or espresso, bottomless and piping hot. 

B&Bs do coffee better than anyone else, in our humble opinion!  In Wisconsin, we salute  The Roth House – Soldiers Grove for their daily service of Organic Free Trade Artisan Roasted Kickapoo Coffee, ground fresh each day. Of the many varieties, the innkeepers note: “we have designed The Roth House Blend” using two of our favorites.”  The custom blend trend continues at Stagecoach Inn-Cedarburg, with a blend of fresh ground organic coffee, roasted down the street at the Cedarburg Roastry, available all day and evening in the Inn’s pub gathering area.  Each morning, Innkeepers Patti and Turner blend 3 types of coffee beans, grind fresh and serve their secret recipe during breakfast…and now sell the “Canyon Road Inn” blend in their gift shop in Turtle Lake. 
We’d also like to call attention to the fine coffee roasters in the state, including Alterra, Northwestern Coffee Mills, Black Water Roasters, Berres Brothers, Door County Coffee & Tea, Great River Roasters and Johnson Brothers Coffee Roasters.  And, if anything goes into your coffee, our innkeepers say it’s fresh Wisconsin cream and raw sugar. If you’re looking for a great breakfast recipe to go with your favorite coffee, then do try one of these award-winning entries from our annual B&B recipe cook-off.

Wisconsin coffee roasters, custom inn blends, Bed & Breakfast, coffee service

B&Bs do coffee best. Locally sourced, custom inn blends, accompanied by fresh Wisconsin cream ... there's no better way to start to your day.