Archive for the ‘Wisconsin Travel’ Category

Ski by Candlelight, Bike in the Snow

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

 

Here in Wisconsin, we love all four seasons, and that includes the frosty offerings of winter. Candlelight cross-country ski events are a peaceful way to embrace the snow, while fat biking on frozen lakes produces a more adrenaline-spiking high.

As antidote to the hustle and the bustle of the season, try a candlelight cross-country ski in Wisconsin. The Department of Natural Resources maintains a master list of those events going on around the state into March: http://dnr.wi.gov/calendar/events/parks/index.asp?caudience=Candlelight.

Let’s take a quick look at January gatherings:

Bowman’s Oak Hill Garden Cottage Bed

Country Comfort at Valley Springs Farm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Jan. 6 ski, hike and snowshoe at Mirror Lake State Park near Wisconsin Dells is sure to be serene just like the setting itself. Spend the night at Bowman’s Oak Hill B&B or Valley Springs Farm B&B to continue the quiet vibe.

Getaway at the Honeybee Inn

On Jan. 20 there’s a candlelight hike at the Horicon Marsh in Horicon, a natural treasure in the state. There will be candlelit trails, a roaring bonfire, owl talks, and crafts. Reserve a suite at the Honeybee Inn B&B and be enveloped in luxury. The breakfasts are phenomenal too.

An Evening at the Stewart Inn

Then, on Jan. 27, Rib Mountain State Park in Wausau hosts a candlelight snowshoe hike. After being inspired by the natural beauty of the park, you’ll be inspired by the stunning workmanship of the Stewart Inn arts & crafts mansion.

Now, if you’re into biking in the warm weather months and looking for a way to extend your season, give fat tire biking a whirl. Cruise on soft snowy terrain or take to frozen lakes for a twist on two-wheeling.

Fat Tire Winter Biking

Snowshoe Group with Bay Point Inn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Newport State Park on the Door County peninsula, the two-mile bike trail loop provides scenery and a workout. Relax after your ride at Bay Point Inn in Egg Harbor, where the accommodations will remind you of a European vacation villa on the water.

Crystal River Inn Winter Night

Winter Lights with Green Fountain Inn

Apple Tree Lane B&B Through the Snow-Covered Trees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The third annual Fat Tire Bike Race in Waupaca is set for January 27, coinciding with their annual Pond Hockey Classic tournament which runs all weekend. Whether a rider or spectator, there’s a room waiting for you at Crystal River Inn B&B, an 1853 farmstead set on the banks of the Crystal River that is Travel Green Wisconsin certified. Nearby inns also include Apple Tree Lane B&B, where the elegant parlor’s cozy wood stove invites you to sit a spell around her warmth, and the Green Fountain Inn, with decor and furnishings reminiscent of the grandeur of the 1920s.

 

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Holiday Events Full of Simple Joys

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

 

Simple Holiday Enjoyments

If you’re in need of ideas that will put you in the holiday spirit without having to endure massive amounts of commercialization or hefty price tags, then you’ll want to read on.

Getting in the holiday spirit needn’t come with an over-the-top price tag or extravagant commitment of time and energy. We asked member inns to submit ideas for holiday doings that we would all do well to experience at least once and the ideas are magical.

Westport B&B Wine and Roses

Red Forest Inn Breakfast by Candlelight

 

 

 

 

 

In the Manitowoc area, the “Lights of Lincoln Park” is a beautiful drive-through light show to benefit the local zoo and it’s just $5 per car and runs through Dec. 23. Stay at the beautiful Westport Bed & Breakfast in Manitowoc or the equally beautiful Red Forest B&B in neighboring Two Rivers where you can warm up during their evening wine and cheese hour.

Winter at Inn at Wawanissee Point

Ringling House in the Winter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take in a classic holiday movie at the historic Al Ringling Theatre in downtown Baraboo – “Holiday Inn” is playing Dec. 20 and “It’s a Wonderful Life” is playing Dec. 22. Ticket price is just $7. This theatre is considered one of America’s prettiest playhouses. Stay at the Ringling House B&B, the original estate of local son Charles Ringling, one of the founders of the Ringling Brothers Circus. This 1901 Colonial Revival Home is on the National Register of Historic Places. The breathtaking views that Inn at Wawanissee Point features are also not far from these holiday events.

The London Room of Astor House

In Green Bay, marvel at the more than 40 decorated trees on display at the National Railroad Museum during their annual Festival of Trees event now through Jan. 7. Admission is just $5. Then retreat to the Astor House B&B where there are five distinctly decorated rooms – ask for the London Room with fireplace.

Justin Trails Resort Winter Lights

Grapevine Log Cabins in Sparta

Westby House Inn Christmas

 

The community of Sparta has its traditional German holiday market known as a Kriskindlemarkt Dec. 8-9 with authentic German food, horse-drawn carriage rides, and artisan vendors. Then cozy up in one of the three log cabins at Grapevine Log Cabins, where towering pines set the holiday scene naturally. You can also find Justin Trails Resort, which offers cross-country ski and snowshow rentals along with two sledding hills for your outdoor winter fun, and Westby House Inn, where there is something for every vacationer to enjoy, in the Sparta area.

Sweet Autumn Inn at Christmas

Fargo Mansion Staircase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Lake Mills, get last-minute Christmas shopping done at their annual Winter Market, Dec. 9 where crafters, growers and artists present their treasures. Sweet Autumn Inn will be your spot for the night, where you’ll wake up to a full breakfast feast courtesy of innkeeper Teri Nelson. The beautiful Fargo Mansion Inn is also in Lake Mills, where you can “relax, unwind, and make yourself at home”.

Eagle Centre House Kitchen

 

The Old World Christmas event at Old World Wisconsin in Eagle, running the first two weekends of December, comes highly recommended by Eagle Centre House B&B. This “living museum” state historic site will be decked with holiday greenery and there will be horse-drawn rides plus wassail to warm the soul.

 

 

Inn On Lake Wissota Christmas

In Chippewa Falls, the Christmas Village in Irvine Park running through Jan. 1 is a display of life-size Christmas scenes reminiscent of the Victorian era. Stay at the Inn On Lake Wissota where visions of sugar plums will surely dance in your heads as you sleep peacefully at this quiet inn tucked away on the shore of the lake. Otter Creek Inn lies in nearby Eau Claire, WI on a one-acre wooded lot that simply glistens with the winter snows.

Snow-covered Otter Creek Inn

Hidden Serenity Sleigh Ride

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take a sleigh ride through the woods lit up by thousands of twinkling lights when you book the horse-drawn sleigh ride package at Hidden Serenity B&B in West Bend. Available on a dozen dates in December and January.

Phipps Inn Winter Evening

The Phipps Inn B&B in Hudson, an elegant Victorian mansion, always opens its first floor for tours on the first Friday in December when the Octagon House Museum across the street holds its Victorian Christmas Night from 6-8 pm. Expect a magical night.

 

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Attainable Sustainable Travel

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

 

Green Fountain Inn, Waupaca WI

Tread lightly on the earth this season with a stay at an eco-certified Wisconsin B&B.

There are 25 inns among our membership who are Travel Green Wisconsin certified, a voluntary certification that demonstrates a property’s commitment to eco-friendly best practices. Included on that list are city inns like Green Fountain Inn which is located on historic Main Street in Waupaca close to shopping, public beach, and park. There are also country estates like Canyon Road Inn nestled in the beautiful North Woods of Western Wisconsin and is the perfect getaway for all seasons. Now add in the 21 inns on the National Register of Historic Places, and you have another level of sustainability, keeping homes of historical significance from ending up in landfills while sustaining the links to local history and families.

Canyon Road Inn Binoculars

Canyon Road Inn Binoculars

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200th Anniversary of the Bicycle

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

 

Justin Trails Resort in Sparta, WI

Two hundred years ago this year, in the German city of Mannheim, inventor Baron Karl von Drais rode his new invention, the bicycle, for the first time. To mark the two-wheeling occasion, we offer our own biking ideas that may be new to you.

Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail

The biking accolades for Wisconsin continue to pile up. The first state to convert abandoned railways to trails. Home to bike manufacturers like Trek and Pacific Cycle. Lauded by the League of American Bicyclists for Bicycle Friendly Community Programs including the highest level, Platinum, bestowed on Madison. Search our site for B&Bs with biking and more than 80 inns pop up. If you like to view fall color pedaling below a brilliantly hued tree canopy, we have suggestions.

We’ve heard from visitors recommending biking in the Green Lake area. Try the Loop the Lake trail, a 27-mile route that follows the parameter of Wisconsin’s deepest lake past picturesque scenery, or there’s the Mascoutin Valley State Trail built on a former railroad corridor with two sections – one between Berlin and Ripon and the other between Rosendale and Fond du Lac. After power pedaling, pull in to the McConnell Inn and enjoy the gentle pace that prevails or Miller’s Daughter B&B where you could head to a local flea market, head out to one of the area festivals, or enjoy a day on the lake. There is also Greenway House B&B, a Victorian era house with 7 luxurious rooms that blend the historical features of the house with contemporary design or even Angel Inn, a beautifully restored Greek Revival Mansion and the only lakefront B&B on Green Lake.

Miller's Daughter B&B, Victorian, contemporary, Green Lake

Miller’s Daughter in Green Lake is just the place to return to simple pleasures.

The Tomorrow River State Trail also comes highly recommended. This 29-mile route takes riders through scenic glacial terrain and bucolic farm countryside from Plover to Manawa. Inns along the way offering lovely accommodations include Artha Sustainable Living Center, a serene retreat in an eco-conscious renovated farmhouse on 55-acres of woods complete with fields and organic gardens, Ferg House Inn, which is located in a Bavarian village in the country where wildlife abounds, and Lindsay House B&B, a 1892 Victorian home where you can enjoy a cup of tea or a glass of wine in one of their many outdoor seating areas on the wrap around porch or the beautiful gardens.

 

Artha Sustainable Living Center in full bloom.

Bicycles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One more recommendation and it’s actually a state historic site. Old World Wisconsin in Eagle has an exhibit called “Catch Wheel Fever,” open on the weekends in the fall, that lets visitors hop aboard bicycles replicated from the 1890s. After your spin around the track, take a look at the period road maps for cyclists. Then make your way to Eagle Centre House, just one-half mile from Old World Wisconsin, where a full candlelight breakfast is included in your journey into the past.

Eagle Centre House

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Travel to Wisconsin Food Capitals

Monday, September 11th, 2017

 

Cranberry Bog

Fall and food are the perfect pairing in Wisconsin. Plan your getaway around the state’s various food “capitals”, and be sure to enjoy a mouthwatering homemade breakfast at your favorite B&B too.

Dreams of Yesteryear in Stevens Point, WI

When talking about food capitals this time of year, we have to kick it off with cranberries. Wisconsin produces more of this tart fruit than any other state. There is even a designated “Cranberry Highway,” a self-guided drive that stretches for nearly 50 miles along century-old cranberry beds from Wisconsin Rapids to Warrens, and between Pittsville and Nekoosa. Stay at Dreams of Yesteryear in Stevens Point where excellent restaurants, quaint downtown shops, a fabulous brewery tour, a picnic by the river, museums and more await you within easy walking distance. You can also visit Tuft’s Mansion in Neillsville where the area offers numerous opportunities for a unique vacation experience such as many craft and antique shops.

Stewart Inn in Wausau, WI

The soil and climate in central Wisconsin, more specifically Wausau, makes it one of the best places in the world to produce ginseng. In fact, 95% of the ginseng in the U.S. is grown here. This root must grow for four years before it can be harvested. Don’t wait that long to visit Stewart Inn, a beautiful Arts & Crafts mansion in downtown Wausau serving both a nightly wine and cheese reception and a gourmet breakfast.

 

In Bayfield, cool temperatures and moist air, courtesy of Lake Superior, make it prime apple growing country. After picking apples, and squash and pumpkins too, put your feet up at eco-friendly Pinehurst Inn B&B where you’re surrounded by pine trees and gardens, and romantic Old Rittenhouse Inn where the the fall colors are best viewed right from the expansive front porch.

Cherry Tree

Cooler spring months and a unique soil composition on the Door County peninsula provide just the right growing conditions for cherries. At this time of year, dried cherries are a real treat. Similarly, it’s a treat to stay at any of the 10 inns there, including White Lace Inn, Scofield House B&B, Inn at Cedar Crossing, Garden Gate B&B, White Gull Inn, Inn at Windmill Farm, Eagle Harbor Inn, Blacksmith Inn on the Shore, Bay Point Inn, and Juniper Inn.

 

 

Christmas House B&B in Racine, WI

Racine is “America’s Kringle Capital.” Not familiar with Kringles? They’re the distinctive oval-shaped flaky pastry treat brought to Wisconsin by Danish immigrants in the mid-19th century. Make the Christmas House B&B, a historic downtown landmark, your home away from home while there.

Sheboygan has been called the “Bratwurst Capital of the World.” Be sure to nosh on a sausage or two while visiting the area, with Tauscheck’s B&B in nearby Plymouth serving as your host.

Monroe is the “Swiss Cheese Capital of the U.S.,” and you can have your cheese and eat it too at the nearby Albany House in Albany, a circa 1908 country house in the heart of the Swiss and Amish communities in the region.

Albany House in Albany, WI

Finally, if you are a fan of horseradish, then head to Eau Claire, where Silver Spring farms has been growing the hot and spicy condiment ingredient since 1929. Then cool your heels at Inn On Lake Wissota in neighboring Chippewa Falls.

Inn On Lake Wissota in Chippewa Falls, WI

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Farmers’ Markets and Farmstead Inns

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

 

Lake Orchard Farm Retreat in Sheboygan, WI ~ greenhouse

Farmers’ markets in Wisconsin are legendary, so much so that even visitors make a point to include them on their fall itineraries. To further the farm connection, stay at a working farm B&B.

Astor House B&B in Green Bay, WI

Otter Creek Inn in Eau Claire, WI

Hotel Ruby Marie in Madison, WI

 

Farmers’ Market in Dane County

Perhaps the most famous farmers’ market not just in Wisconsin but in the country is the Dane County Farmers’ Market, the nation’s largest producer-only market. Walk to this market on the capital square when you stay at Hotel Ruby Marie. In Oshkosh, vendors line the main street, with shoppers loading up on fruits and veggies, flowers and egg rolls, even a loaded Bloody Mary morning cocktail before doing a little shopping at the downtown boutiques. The Brayton B&B is conveniently located right downtown as well. In Appleton, stroll among 150 vendors and treat yourself to some baked goods too. Stay at the Franklin Street Inn, where an elegant breakfast can be delivered right to your suite. A bit farther north is Green Bay, where the Saturday farmers’ market dates back 100 years this year. Enjoy music while you shop before heading to your room at the Astor House B&B. If you’re staying at the 1810 Emerson House B&B in Beloit, then be sure to visit their farmers’ market in the heart of their historic downtown district. Make the connection to country life at the Eau Claire farmers’ market, then spend the night at the spacious Otter Creek Inn.

Rainbow Ridge Farms in Onalaska, WI is very kid-friendly!

Valley Springs Farm B&B in Reedsburg, WI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re proud to have a number of farmstead inns among our membership too. There’s Lake Orchard Farm Retreat, a 6th generation farm with on-site golf course in Sheboygan; Rainbow Ridge Farms in Onalaska, with turn-of-the-century farmhouse and 35-acre working hobby farm; and Valley Springs Farm B&B in Reedsburg, a 4th generation dairy farm and one of the stops on this year’s “Hill and Valley Exploration Tour” in Sauk County being held the first two full weekends in October. The tour includes more than 60 activities along the way, from learning how to shear sheep to grooming a show calf to harvesting honey. Fill your cooler with fresh veggies, jellies and preserves purchased directly from the 14 participating farms.

 

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Explore the Door

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Cana Island Lighthouse

It’s a county, a peninsula, and one of the state’s most popular tourism spots. If you’ve never been to Door County, then let’s rectify that right now. Along with sand dunes, sailing, arts and culture, it’s also home to more B&Bs than any other county in Wisconsin. Think of it as the Cape Cod of the Midwest.

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Stow the Phone

Saturday, May 20th, 2017
Currier's Lakeview Lodge

Currier’s Lakeview Lodge

Silence is the new luxury travel, as in silencing your phone, turning off your laptop, even setting down the Kindle. Trade in all your tech devices for a distraction-free getaway to Wisconsin’s northwoods where simple pleasures like sleeping in at a favorite cabin-style B&B, swimming in a crystal clear lake, exploring forests on foot, and bonfires under the stars all reign supreme.

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The Red Chair Travels will be Visiting a B&B Near You

Friday, March 31st, 2017

The photo of The Red Chair that started a phenomenon in 2011

The Red Chair Travels is coming to Wisconsin!  The WBBA is so excited to part of this phenomenon that started 5 years ago in Cape Cod, MA. Beth Colt is the innkeeper of the Woods Hole Inn on Cape Cod.   She took a picture of this red chair perched out on a frozen pond in Woods Hole in the winter of 2011.  When she posted the photo on Facebook her computer lit up with “likes” and this simple image journeyed all over cyberspace, and landed in the in-box of a California-based photographer, who was inspired to come visit the Woods Hole Inn in the off season.  When she asked to borrow the chair she was surprised; when the fruits of her labor arrived in the mail Beth was in awe.

Captain Freeman Inn Cape Cod, MA

The red chair became a symbol, a metaphor for connections made across invisible boundaries. In 2012 Beth contacted other Inns in Cape Cod to see if they would like to “host” the Red Chair for a few days and photograph the chair’s visit.  Since then the Red Chair has visited more than 20 states in the U.S., and parts of Canada.

For Beth Colt, “the red chair is an invitation to come explore yourself in a quiet and beautiful place.  It is an open seat at the table of relaxation.  It is the beckoning hand of civilization, marking the edge of the wildness of nature.  It is the dialogue between artists and innkeepers, dreamers and shop-girls, lost travelers and those that welcome them into warm beds.”

We know the Red Chair will feel right at home in Wisconsin and we are excited to see all the different adventures it has along the way.  Listed below is the schedule for the Red Chair Travels in Wisconsin.  Are you ready to Seek the Unique?  Book your stay at one of the participating WBBA B&B’s today so you can take part in the Red Chair Travels!

Dates Property City
3/29-4/3 Curriers Lakeview Lodge Rice Lake
4/4-4/8 Phipps Inn Bed & Breakfast Hudson
4/9-4/13 Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast Chippewa Falls
4/14-4/18 Stewart Inn Wausau
4/19-4/22 Crystal River Inn Waupaca
4/23-4/27 Lindsay House Manawa
4/28-5/1 Franklin Street Inn Appleton
5/2-5/6 Brayton Bed and Breakfast Oshkosh
5/7-5/11 Greenway House Bed and Breakfast Green Lake
5/12-5/16 Hidden Serenity B&B West Bend
5/17-5/21 Honeybee Inn Bed & Breakfast Horicon
5/22-5/25 Inn at Pine Terrace Oconomowoc
5/26-5/29 Pedal’rs Inn Bed and Breakfast Wales
5/30-6/3 Christmas House Bed and Breakfast Racine
6/4-6/7 At The Lake House Lake Geneva
6/8-6/11 Hamilton House Whitewater
6/12-6/15 The Livingston Inn Madison
6/16-6/19 Inn at Wawanissee Point Baraboo
6/20-6/23 Ringling House Baraboo
6/24-6/27 Valley Springs Farm Reedsburg
6/28-6/31 Bowman’s Oak Hill Bed and Breakfast Wisconsin Dells
7/1-7/4 Fountain Chateau B&B Hustler
7/5-7/8 Justin Trails Resort Sparta

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Multi-Destination Getaway: The Driftless Area

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

Multi-Destination Getaway: The Driftless Area

WI Driftless Region

WI Driftless Region

Taking a page out of European travel, why not plan a trip that takes you to multiple destinations instead of just staying put. The Driftless Area in the southwest part of the state, with its deeply carved river valleys untouched by glaciers, would be a great place to give it a try.

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