Archive for the ‘Wisconsin B&B’ Category

Meet the Innkeepers

Monday, June 11th, 2018

 

We have new innkeepers we’d like you to meet. One runs a breathtaking castle, another is near the deepest inland lake in the state, and yet another is nestled in the heart of the countryside. What they have in common is a passion for hospitality and introducing guests to the experiences the locals love.

Joining the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association is no small thing. Our member inns are all inspected, licensed and insured, for starters. And each one offers a unique take on travel. Time to meet our newest members.

 

Castle La Crosse Bed & Breakfast, La Crosse WI

New to the WBBA in March, Castle La Crosse Bed & Breakfast owners Billy Banes and Brandon Rigger opened up their home and a piece of La Crosse’s history to guests in May 2017. Also known as Castle on Cass, this beautiful home was constructed in 1892 and features all of its original Richardson Romanesque details. Billy and Brandon both strive to find the freshest, most delicious and in-season ingredients for all of their made from scratch breakfasts. All entrees and dishes are made from local eggs and meat products provided by a local family-owned farm in Houston, MN and the surrounding area. Produce and other products are sourced seasonally from the La Crosse Farmers Market, Peoples Food Co-op and other community members.

 

Miller’s Daughter Bed & Breakfast, Green Lake, WI

Miller’s Daughter Bed & Breakfast in Green Lake welcomed new owners Paula and Ross Bilodeau after they purchased the inn in April. This lovely inn was built in 1905 as a parsonage for the First Congregational Church. The inn was moved to its present location in 2002 to save it from demolition and lovingly renovated into the beautiful Green Lake inn it is today. The property is surrounded by majestic pine trees and the gardens burst with color throughout the summer to complement the peaceful setting. Miller’s Daughter’s philosophy is to keep things simple so that you can relax and take a break from the routine and stress of everyday life. Breakfasts are cooked using fresh ingredients, locally sourced and seasonal when possible. It is a pleasure for them to indulge their guests with delicious and creative combinations.

 

Shane Acres Bed & Breakfast, Juneau WI

The WBBA’s newest member, Shane Acres Bed & Breakfast in Juneau, holds a family based business that enjoys having company and that strives to make your stay a B&B experience like no other. Owners Richard Lowe and Jackie Shane offer something more than just a bed and breakfast, they offer a home away from home. Set on ten acres of rolling countryside, it’s an escape from stress to a place where leisure comes naturally. Shane Acres is located nearby to many area attractions. Whether you love antique shopping, visiting breweries, golfing, or hiking, you’ll find all your favorite activities just a stone’s throw away from the comfortable, welcoming atmosphere that Richard and Jackie have to offer.

 

WBBA Seek the Unique

Are you ready to Seek the Unique?

 

Live It Up at Live Concerts

Monday, June 4th, 2018

 

Foodies book vacations around a destination’s authentic food offerings. Exercise enthusiasts map their road trips around triathlons and marathons. History devotees head to reenactments. Music lovers fill up their summer calendar with live concerts. Let’s make this the summer of music getaways in Wisconsin. You may be surprised at the line-ups!

Hand it to Wisconsin to host every kind of music genre around – jazz to rock, indie to folk, up-and-comers to today’s biggest headliners. Seems we just love a good party with good tunes. If music is your thing, here’s a Billboard-esque rundown of top concerts in Wisconsin this summer and suggestions on where to stay after the final curtain call.

Waterfest, Oshkosh WI

June 15-16: Metro Jam, Manitowoc. This free music fest features performers across nearly every genre. Westport B&B and Red Forest B&B offer impeccable accommodations not far from the festival.

Thursdays, June 21-August 23: Waterfest live concert series, Oshkosh. Soak up the atmosphere at the outdoor amphitheater, then stay at the Brayton B&B, where it captures the best aspects of a B&B: wonderfully inviting rooms, tantalizing food, and the personal touch of Innkeepers that happily serve as concierge during your stay.

July 6-7: Eaux Claires Fest, Eau Claire. This indie music and arts festival is getting lots of national attention. The Otter Creek Inn offers one acre of wooded beauty located within city limits and is abound with flowers in the summer, while the nearby Inn on Lake Wissota is famous for being tucked away in the pine-filled shores of this picturesque lake.

August 2-5: Mile of Music, Appleton. After all that walking at this free, 100% original music festival featuring emerging artists, you can walk to and rest up at Franklin Street Inn, where Victorian Charm with Modern Comfort give you the experience of comfort and elegance when you sleep.

August 17-18: Big Bull Falls Blues Fest, Wausau. Stewart Inn is fit for music celebrities, where it offers unmatched charm and amenities in a beautiful arts & crafts mansion.

Big Bull Falls Blues Fest, Wausau WI

Eaux Claires Fest, Eau Claire WI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 24-26: Great River Road Folk Festival, La Crosse. Four Gables B&B and Castle La Crosse offer very unique overnight experiences – Four Gables B&B is a lovely Victorian Queen Anne home listed on the National Register and tastefully furnished with antiques. Castle La Crosse, also designed in the Queen Anne form, is a grand bed and breakfast featuring numerous bedrooms, beautiful leaded and stained-glass windows, a library, and a music room.

September 28: Kilbourn City Live, Wisconsin Dells. Hear up-and-comers before they hit it big, then head to peaceful Bowman’s Oak Hill B&B to enjoy 8 acres of park like setting and 23 acres of woods to wander. You will have the opportunity to rest, reflect, relax and be renewed both in body and spirit during your stay.

 

WBBA Seek the Unique

Are you ready to Seek the Unique?

 

How Do You Define Well-being?

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

 

Have you taken stock of your well-being lately? Basic human needs like being in nature, knowing where your food comes from, getting a good night’s sleep, and making time for the people most important in your life can often be addressed with a B&B getaway.

Transformative travel is next-gen wellness travel. It’s a getaway that helps you reset and recharge. And it isn’t about an age as much an attitude about what’s important in life, addressing all aspects of a person’s life – exercise, meditation, healthy food, relaxation, unplugging, preventative care, even the goal of using up your vacation days.

In Wisconsin, a number of B&Bs really get transformative travel and the power that little moments have to put guests on the path they’ve always longed for.

Forest Therapy for all seasons at Inn at Wawanissee Point

The Crystal River by Apple Tree Lane B&B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Apple Tree Lane B&B, it’s their interpretation of the Japanese practice of “forest bathing” that has guests flocking there in the warm weather months. Lest you think forest bathing is walking through the woods barefoot or taking a dip in a lake – although it can be those – it is so much more. The practice of slowing down to connect with nature in an immersive, mindful way can boost mood and reduce stress. Apple Tree Lane B&B’s location by the river lets one get accustomed to this practice. Also nearby to the inn, the Waupaca segment of the Ice Age Trail starts within Hartman Creek State Park, running north of the park to Indian Valley Road, and south of the park through the Emmons Creek Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Area. The segment is part of the 1,000-mile National Scenic Ice Age Hiking and Skiing Trail.

Another pristine place to forest bathe in solitude is the Inn at Wawanissee Point‘s 42-acre wooded sanctuary adjacent Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area, both nestled atop the Baraboo Range, ancient quartzite bluffs topped with 55,000 acres of oak, maple and basswood forest, the largest tract of its kind remaining in the upper Midwest. Their 3 miles of private trails are secluded, groomed just enough for easy walking, meander mature forest intertwined by a stream, and intersect their small, restored prairie, with meditation benches, stumps and boulders for quiet reflection. Nature power-melts away tension here.

Other B&Bs where you can untether from technology and get back out in nature include Country Comfort B&B and Sheer Memories B&B, with miles of hiking trails right on these properties. Country Comfort is located right on the Red Cedar River and Trail with nearby Hoffman Hills Hiking Trails adding another place for forest bathing while in Menominee. Sheer Memories is located on the rolling hills of Southwestern Wisconsin overlooking the Wisconsin River Valley with trails, gardens, fields, and woods, and where breathtaking views lend itself to a peaceful retreat.

Farm fresh ingredients

Mindful eating is another aspect of transformative travel. At Parkview B&B, the innkeepers take pride in preparing delicious, creative, homemade breakfasts while using seasonal, fresh, local, & quality ingredients. The Altemus Corners B&B lets you enjoy fresh produce and berries for a full breakfast including fresh farm fruit (berries and melons) juices, coffee and tea.

Lazy Cloud B&B has restorative spa treatments right at the inn. Franklin Street Inn hosts experiences in a Group Art Workshop like no other in the area and is another path to well-being for many. They will allow each participant to create a unique painting of their own. Seasonally, these are conducted in their lovely garden area. Artha Sustainable Living Center includes a guided meditation option in one of its packages.

When it comes to a restful night’s sleep, you’d be hard pressed to find anything as dream-inducing as the beds at Ye Olde Manor House and Grapevine Log Cabins. Plus the quiet, rural atmosphere at both properties lends itself to falling asleep and staying asleep.

Lots of ideas to be well!

 

WBBA Seek the Unique

Are you ready to Seek the Unique?

 

Favorite Spring Cleaning Hacks Innkeepers Use

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

 

As you’d expect, B&B owners know a thing or two about cleaning. So we asked our member innkeepers for their favorite hacks for sprucing up and refreshing around the home. It’s our ode to spring cleaning.

Innkeepers wear a lot of hats – host, chef, concierge, gardener, bookkeeper – but around spring cleaning time, the title that may be worn a bit more than the others is that of housekeeper. Let’s just say they are wizards at spring cleaning. Here are some creative ways to tackle this annual ritual straight from the pros.

1. “You know when your sandstone coasters get those marks from your coffee mugs or wine glasses that just wont wash off?  You feel like you should get rid of those coasters that have protected your fine furniture.  But… you love your coasters.  Well, simply pour a bit of hydrogen peroxide on them and the stains rinse right out! Wa La!”

 

2. “If you want to remove carpet stains (and anything off a mattress as well), try Hydrogen Peroxide and Blue Dawn Dish Soap mixed together. Use 1 part Dawn Dishwashing Liquid (the original blue kind), 2 parts Hydrogen Peroxide, mix together and pour directly on the stain.”

 

3. “To take years of paint off of things like hinges and doorknobs: Line a crockpot with a zip lock bag and put them in with water. Turn it on low and let it soak for an hour. When you take them out, the paint just peels off! So much easier than scraping and no chemicals!”

 

4. “There is a product from Shaklee called Scour Off Paste. I have used the product on my tempered glass on my wood burning stove. Over the years, I have tried everything to get the soot off that glass from the fire and nothing worked. This works easily, quickly, and completely. It also works to remove stains other cleansers can’t and is great for cleaning tubs, ovens, sinks, and tiles too.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. “Use a lemon piece to scrub your wooden cutting boards: Cut a lemon in half, squeeze some of the juice over the board, pour some salt over the board and use the lemon to scrub!”

 

6. “When dusting your ceiling fan just put an old pillowcase over each blade and slide it off. This will trap the dirt instead of just moving it around.”

 

7. “You know those fuzzy seeds from trees like cottonwoods and plants like dandelions that float around and attach themselves to your screens? De-fuzz your screen door and window screens by running a lint roller over each side!”

 

8. “For small stains and water marks on microfiber couches, try a white sponge, white bristle brush, rubbing alcohol, and a spray bottle. Saturate the stains on the couch by spraying with rubbing alcohol and scrub, scrub, scrub with that sponge. Once it dries, you’ll notice it feels hard. That’s what the bristle brush is for! Small circular motions with the brush will fluff up the couch like new again.”

 

Happy cleaning!

 

WBBA Seek the Unique

Are you ready to Seek the Unique?

 

Meet Our New Member Inns for 2017

Monday, November 20th, 2017

 

Joining the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association takes more than pretty curb appeal and private baths. Meet the new member inns for 2017 and find out what it takes to make the list.

Did You Know: B&Bs join the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association only after they’ve passed a detailed inspection. Needless to say, not every inn makes the cut. Plus, every inn in our membership is licensed and insured. We bring good tidings of inns that have joined the Wisconsin B&B Association during 2017:

An Evening at the Stewart Inn

Joining the WBBA earlier this year, the Stewart Inn is a beautifully restored and comfortably furnished 1906 Prairie style mansion designed by George Maher, one of the founders of the American Arts and Crafts movement. Featuring original chandeliers, sconces, decorative fireplaces and stained glass windows, the Stewart Inn is among the world’s most intact examples of George Maher’s architecture.

Pinehurst Inn B&B

The Pinehurst Inn B&B in Bayfield joined the WBBA with its Northwoods charm and Southern hospitality. Located on over three wooded acres, there is something for everyone year-round, such as hiking or biking the many trails in the area and kayaking the sea caves, or snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on the picturesque trails, downhill skiing and tubing on Mount Ashwabay just minutes from the Inn, or walking on frozen Lake Superior to enjoy the ice caves.

Silver Star B&B Inn – Fireplace

Also joining the WBBA in 2017, the Silver Star B&B Inn in Spring Green. Located in the unique driftless area of southwestern Wisconsin, an area that somehow escaped the past two great “Ice Ages”, Silver Star B&B Inn is situated on a beautiful 20 acre setting. Unique raised bed gardens not only provide a visual floral feast in the height of summer, but may also provide the fruits and vegetables served to you at breakfast.

Lazy Cloud B&B Hayloft

Finally, the Lazy Cloud B&B in Lake Geneva. With its rich history, this small country inn has all the privacy and luxury of the finest Lake Geneva hotels and all the personal attention and amenities of a Bed and Breakfast. You are sure to be in for a magical, enchanted evening when staying at the Lazy Cloud B&B with their many romantic packages. They provide the place and the romantic atmosphere – you provide the love, laughter and celebration of your relationship!

WBBA Seek the Unique

Are you ready to Seek the Unique?

 

Holiday Gift Cards Are In!

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

 

Let’s be honest, the idea of “one size fits all” is more myth than reality, except, that is, when it comes to the holiday gift card offered by the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association. It’s ready to order now!

 

Sure to be a favorite gift, the WBBA Gift Card arrives with the WBBA rack card.

 

This year’s Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association holiday gift card is redeemable at all member locations across the state. Gift-givers may purchase in any dollar amount, while gift recipients will be pleased to know the card does not expire for five years and has no yearly decrease in value if it is not redeemed. B&B fans who find this gift card tucked in their stocking will also sleep easy knowing all inns of the Wisconsin B&B Association are inspected, insured and licensed. Plus, all these B&Bs fulfill both parts of the designation, meaning a welcome night’s sleep in a comfortable bed and a wonderful breakfast. Purchase the gift card online at www.WisconsinBandB.com or by calling the B&B Association at 715-942-8180. When you order from our website, it’s easy to order one, two, or even three cards in one order and you decide whether they get sent to you to give or if you’d like to them to go straight to each of the recipients. Here, the world’s only “one size fits all” gift that actually does fit all of the travel-loving friends and family members on your holiday shopping list.

 

WBBA Seek the Unique

Are you ready to Seek the Unique?

 

3 Reasons to Celebrate Valentines Day at a Bed & Breakfast

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Valentines Day is quickly approaching, do you know what you are giving to that someone special in your life?  I urge you to consider the gift on an experience.  Yes, flowers and chocolates always say “You are someone special in my life”, but there’s nothing like a romantic night or two in a Bed & Breakfast to convey much more than that.  A stay at a B&B allows the two of you to really spend some quality time together, doing the things you love to do, creating memories that will last a lifetime.  Here are some reasons to consider:

  • 1 Romantic Packages.  What better way to add value to your stay than by adding a Romance package to your itinerary?  Bed & Breakfasts are notorious for having Valentine’s Specials this time of year.  For the number of B&B’s in the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association, you will find that many specials, and one of them is sure to fit your style.  For example, if the two of you enjoy outdoor sports in the winter, consider staying at Justin Trails Resort.  They are offering a Midweek Sweethearts Getaway: Whisk away your Valentine for a midweek getaway and save this February! Rekindle your romance with scenic winter hikes, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and sledding, all on their beautiful 200 acre resort! Sunday – Thursday book the Midweek Sweethearts Special and enjoy a romantic suite, cottage or log cabin of your choice, bottle of house or red wine, local Amish Chocolates, and a Farm to Table breakfast each morning.

If you enjoy a little more mystery in your life and are up for an adventure, then Lindsay House Bed & Breakfast in Manawa could be just the place for you.  Located in the Central Wisconsin River Region, in the heart of Waupaca County, you will be able to rest your mind, relax your body and rejuvenate your spirit.   Lindsay House is a lovely 1892 Victorian home, filled with an eclectic mix of furnishings, hand crafted beds, and each with a private bath.  Lindsay House is offering a fun filled evening that is sure to include a beautiful room, a great meal and some fun, local entertainment.  We know you’ll enjoy your stay at Lindsay House, “Where the joy of living is served daily.”

 

 

 

Valley Springs Farm B&B in Reedsburg has a unique offer, the longer you’ve been married, the larger your discount on your reservation!  Their  Lovers special celebrates you, a 1% LOVERS discount for each year you have been together off of the reservation price (maximum 50 years) for a stay during the month of February. They aim to make it special with homemade chocolate truffles and fresh flowers for you & your sweetheart. Be sure to mention the word “LOVERS” when you book your reservation.  Valley Springs Bed & Breakfast takes you to the tranquility of the farm, where the only noises you’ll hear are the sounds of farm animals and an occasional tractor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Valentines Day isn’t just for February 14th.  Innkeepers understand it isn’t always easy to break away for a romantic interlude during the middle of the week.  WBBA members offer a variety of specials that are good throughout the month of February, or even longer.  This allows for flexibility with your schedule, and maybe you will be able to arrange to include some local entertainment, such as a comedy club, art exhibition, or outdoor event in your visit.  The special can be as simple as a complimentary bottle of wine included with your reservation, which is what Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast is offering for all February reservations booked before February 3rd.  

In January & February the Phipps Inn, which is located in Hudson, right along the Minnesota border, you can take advantage of their Warm Your Hearts Winter Special.  Nothing can warm a heart like a box of Knoke’s Chocolates – and if it’s a heart-shaped box that’s even better! (You don’t have to wait for Valentines Day to impress that special someone with candy & flowers).

3.  Dinner can be included:   No need to stress about where to go for dinner, your innkeeper will most likely have that figured out for you.  At the very least they will be able to suggest the best places to go in the area, they may even help you with a reservation.  There are a number of B&B’s offering a dinner special of some sort, either preparing it at the Inn or collaborating with a local restaurant to offer a romantic dinner for two.  Either way, you are relieved of the stress involved in finding the perfect place to go.  Westby House Inn in Westby is offering a romantic dinner for two, right there in the Inn.  No need to worry about the weather or heading out into the cold.  With simplicity, elegance and freshness, Westby House Inn seeks to impress the pleasure of your palate.

 

So, remember, to create that one of a kind romantic getaway that the both of you will remember always, Seek the Unique and stay at a Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast!

3 Holiday Decor Ideas to Brighten your Doorstep

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

We can’t get enough of those online holiday decorating slideshows. You know the ones, with pretty pictures featuring easy ideas to spruce up your home. As you’d expect, our member B&Bs do a beautiful job in that department. Here are ideas from just a few of our inns on how to transform your home from so-so to so-lovely for the holidays.

The Westby House Inn & Restaurant in Westby is decked out for your holiday get away.  The outdoor scene is festive and the indoor will enchant you.

Celebrate the season in vintage style at The Lamp Post Inn B&B, an 1874 Victorian home in Fort Atkinson.

Take in this winter wonderland on 120 scenic acres of beauty at Cameo Rose Victorian Country Inn in Belleville.

Warmth, charm, tradition…Since 1896, generations of guests have loved the White Gull Inn in Fish Creek.

 

Whether inside or out, these Inns have been beautifully transformed for the holiday season.  So what can you do to get your home looking as lovely at these B&B’s?  Here are a few tips for decorating the outside of your home for the holidays.  you don’t have to go all out with lights and inflatables, there are ways to create a warm, inviting welcome to anyone who approaches your doorstep.

Tip #1 – Create your own Porch Pots.  Porch pots can be a great way to welcome friends and family to your property, whether they be on your porch or at the end of your driveway.  Porch pots can be expensive if you buy them already assembled, especially if you like to have several of them.  With a little planning and the right tools, you can create your own porch pots for a fraction of the cost.

A porch pot created with fresh greenery, hydrangeas and painted branches

By purchasing two Christmas Trees you will be able to get 3-4 porch pots (depending on their size) and a window box or two, again, depending on the size of your window boxes.  So, for the cost of two pre-made porch pots from the local nursery, you can create much more.  If you purchase 1 balsam fir and one white pine you will have 2 different types of pine needles that will add texture and interest to your decorations.  Once you get your trees home cut the branches off, be sure to leave the top 18-24 inches of branches on the tree, this will give you 2 tree tops for two of your pots.  If you’re fortunate to have trees on your property, save some of the branches that fall into your yard and paint them with white, silver or gold spray paint, add some glitter for a little extra shimmer.  Do you or your neighbors have beautiful hydrangea plants and are at a loss what to do with all the flowers at the end of the season?  Don’t throw them out, they add great interest to your pots and window boxes.  Those, too, can be spray painted if you like.  The best tip ever, assemble your pot before it is cold enough to freeze.  Once you have the pot put together, water it so the soil is wet.  Then, when it does freeze, the contents won’t be blowing out of the container when it gets windy.

Tip #2 – Decorate your Window Boxes.  If you have window boxes, be sure to add some fresh greenery from the trees you purchased to make your porch pots.  Using the same tips for creating a Porch Pot can be applied to putting together a window box.

Adding lights to the window box adds warmth to the display.

If you use some of the same materials in the window box as you used in the porch pot, this will help tie everything together. Adding some outdoor lights will add warmth to the display, and here in the northern part of the country where it is dark by 4:30 in the afternoon, adds some light to the house as well.  If you choose decorations that are not too seasonal, your porch pots and your window boxes will take you well into January or February.

Tip #3 – Add a wreath.  One of the easiest things you can do to add holiday cheer to your doorstep is to hang a wreath.  Whether you purchase a fresh one, or have an artificial wreath that you hang year after year.  If you have the gumption, hanging wreaths from your windows always looks beautiful and festive.

All of the B&B’s in the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.  Happy Decorating!!

 

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

Innkeepers Share the Secret of Making the Perfect Scone

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

A scone recipe that’s perfection every time? We considered that a culinary myth until we heard from Eagle Centre House B&B. The innkeepers there swear this recipe for basic scones is foolproof. Don’t be fearful of making scones, this recipe will get you hooked.  As for what to spread on top of a scone, we like lemon curd, clotted cream, honey butter or homemade jam. We’re traditionalists that way.

 

Basic Scone Recipe

The following recipe makes approximately 12 scones

 

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

5 tbsp. (1/3 cup) sweet butter

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

1/3 cup milk

 

Place the baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.  Sift the measured flour twice with the baking powder and salt.  When I was a young girl learning to cook my mother had a flour sifter for this task, it was a contraption that reminded me of a coffee can, had a mesh bottom, and a handle that was squeezed to turn a blade near the bottom to move the flour around and push it through the sieve.  I don’t happen to have a handy tool like that, so I just used a fine mesh metal strainer I use for washing and draining fruits and vegetables, and held that over a bowl and shook the strainer to get the flour to go through.Sifting Flour  If you would like to add some variety to this basic scone recipe this is the point where you could add some orange zest and dried cranberries, or lemon zest with dried blueberries.  Chopped nuts also add another layer of texture and flavor.  Dice the fats into the dry ingredients, then lightly rub in with cool fingertips or a pastry blender until completely blended.  The butter and shortening will look like small peas or oatmeal when it is fully incorporated with the flour.  Make a well in the center and stir in the milk.  Lightly mix with a fork until the ingredients form a soft dough.  Turn out onto a floured board and knead very lightly fEagle Center House Sconesor about 1/2 minute to a loose, smooth dough.  The trick to making a nice light scone is to handle the dough as little as possible, yet it is important to get all of the flour incorporated with the butter and shortening.  Roll out with a rolling pin or pat with the hand to approximately 3/4 inch thick.  Stamp out with a 2 inch cutter or cut into triangles with a sharp knife, I also like to use a pizza cutter.  Lightly knead together any trimmings and roll and stamp out again.  Lift with a spatula onto the hot baking sheet, placing 1 inch apart.  Brush only the tops with lightly beaten egg or milk.  Bake toward the top of the oven for approximately 10 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown.  Lift onto a wire rack with the spatula to cool.  If this is your first attempt at baking scones you may feel frustrated with the dough making process, but trust me, persevere and you will be thrilled at the results. Even if your scones don’t look like they are ready for a photo shoot in the culinary magazine, they will taste light, and buttery and, quite frankly, fantastic!