Archive for the ‘Wisconsin Travel’ Category

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.

 

WBBA Seek the Unique

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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

WBBA Seek the Unique

 

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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12 Great B&B’s Along the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Inns Near the New FLW Trail

It was 150 years ago this year that Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Wisconsin. People are often surprised to know that Wisconsin has more FLW-designed buildings – 41 in all – than any other state. A new FLW Trail showcases nine buildings open for tours. Plan your motor route with stays at B&Bs along the way.

Frank Lloyd Wright Home in Milwaukee

Frank Lloyd Wright Home in Milwaukee

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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