Why Our B&B Gift Certificate Is Flying Off the Shelf

 

Gift Certificate Picture

All gift certificates are not created equal. Some have so many exclusions that the fine print puts a strain on your eyes and your relationship with the gift recipient. The Wisconsin B&B Association gift certificate promises to put a twinkle in your eye instead.

 


Phipps Inn - Hudson

We’re pretty sure we have the perfect gift certificate for everyone on your list who loves travel, doesn’t need more things, and seeks out B&Bs for their getaways. How can we be so certain? For starters, the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association gift certificate is redeemable at any member inn. How great is that! It can be purchased in any dollar amount. Be sure to call ahead to the inn you wish to stay at and tell them that you have a Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association gift certificate to use when you book your stay!

 


Westby House Inn - Westby

We’re ready to take your order, either online using this secure online order form or by giving us a jingle at 715-942-8180. The best part? Delivery is easy and instant after the transaction is complete! No more wondering if the mail will get to you in time to give this perfect gift! You can either email the certificate directly to the recipient or you can email the certificate to yourself to print and give. You also have the option to leave a personalized message for that special someone on the certificiate.

Happy shopping is never an oxymoron at the Wisconsin B&B Association!

 

 

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Santa Sightings

 

(Stocking) hats off to our innkeepers who embrace the holiday season with enough good cheer to stretch all the way from Wisconsin to the North Pole. Get ideas for decking your halls from our own “cheer” squad of B&B owners.

If you’re feeling ho-humbug about your holiday decorations, we have some ideas that will cheer you up in the wink of an eye.

The front door of the The Lamppost Inn is stately on its own, but when the innkeeper adds holiday touches of greenery and decoration fit for the season, it’s a very fine welcome indeed. Whether you are a first time B&B'er or a seasoned one, you'll find this inn intriguing and cozy.

Fresh greenery at The Lamppost Inn, Fort Atkinson

 

At Fargo Mansion Inn, the owners take pride in their trees. Magnificently decorated, the mansion is sure to help you capture the spirit of the season. Whether you are in town to visit family or friends or attend a holiday party, you are sure to be warmed by the charm of the inn.


Fargo Mansion Inn Christmas Trees, Lake Mills

 

If magical and whimsical is your mantra, then take a cue from the innkeepers at Christmas House B&B, who create a lovely fireplace mantle vignette for all to enjoy. At Christmas House B&B, the innkeeper loves to fill up the rooms of the house with decorations of the season.


Holiday fireplace mantle at Christmas House B&B, Racine

 

Here’s one of our favorite holiday centerpieces on the dining room table of Apple Tree Lane B&B, where a full, delicious breakfast is served each morning. Early risers at Apple Tree Lane B&B can awaken to freshly brewed coffee and teas, set up on the buffet to enjoy with the morning paper before breakfast is served.


Christmas Centerpiece at Apple Tree Lane B&B, Waupaca

 

Last but not least, outdoor lighting. This twinkling scene at Westphal Mansion is fit for the cover of a holiday card. Inside, a crackling fire invites quests to cozy up with a favorite book or play a game of chess next to a warm fireplace in the living room.


Winter Evening at Westphal Mansion, Hartford

 

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This Story Will Make You Crave a Wisconsin B&B Escape

    We really can’t help ourselves when it comes to fall and food. After all, Wisconsin is tops in cranberry production and cheesemaking, to say nothing of potatoes, corn, apples, beer, and more. So it seemed only right to dedicate a story to the cornucopia of innkeepers whose cooking talents are top-notch. While mere mortals may dabble in cooking and baking, our innkeepers are gods and goddesses of the kitchen. Which, of course, means an incredible food experience when you stay at a Wisconsin B&B. Here are some of our picks for “top chef.” [caption id="attachment_2676" align="aligncenter" width="384"] Bowman's Oak Hill Wild Rice Cranapple Bake[/caption] When innkeepers get together for a cook-off, you can be certain they will put their best foot forward. At Bowman's Oak Hill B&B in Wisconsin Dells, innkeeper Nancy Bowman was a grand prize winner for her Wild Rice Cranapple Bake. Here's what you need to do for this delicious breakfast treat: Number of Servings: 4 generous or 8 side dish sized portions Baking Time: 30 minutes Baking Temperature: 350°F Ingredient List: 1 ½ c. cooked Wild Rice ¾ c. raw oatmeal 2 large red apples ¾ c. dried Cranberries ½ c. raisins ½ T. cinnamon ½ c. chopped nuts (you can use either walnuts, pecans or a mixture of the two) 2 c. milk ¼ c. brown sugar ¼ tsp salt 2 T of butter Preparation: In large bowl Mix: rice, oatmeal, thinly sliced apples (Not peeled), cranberries, raisins, cinnamon and nuts. Heat in microwave oven until hot: Milk, brown sugar, salt and butter Mix into rice and fruit mixture. Put into buttered 2 qt. casserole. Cover and Bake @ 350°F for 30 minutes How served / presentation: Garnish with: A dollop of low fat vanilla yogurt and drizzle of pure Wisconsin Maple Syrup. For my meat lovers I add a side of sausage with whole grain English muffin. This recipe makes 4 generous servings or 8 side dishes to be served with an egg dish and sausage. [caption id="attachment_2709" align="aligncenter" width="399"] Dinning Area of Fountain Chateau B&B - Hustler[/caption] Suzanne Soltvedt of Fountain Chateau B&B in Hustler was also a winner in a cook-off for her Wild Rice Pancake, Cranberry Delight. This recipe may look long, but with homemade chutney, cran-raspberry syrup, and browned sage butter, it is well worth the time and care for this delicious delight: Number of Servings: 8 Necessary Utensils: 1 large sauce pan, 2 small saucepans, mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, strainer, grater, paring knife, griddle and small fry pan Ingredient List: Whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, eggs, honey, buttermilk, olive oil, orange zest and orange half. Water, sugar, cranberries, apples, vinegar, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves. Cran-raspberry juice, sugar, light Karo syrup. Unsalted butter, sage leaves, chicken broth Preparation: Pancakes: 1. In a large sauce pan place ½ cup wild rice in 2 cups boiling water and cover; cooks in about 45-55 minutes but check the water doesn’t cook dry. 2. To make the pancakes, place 2 cups whole wheat flour, 2 tsps. baking soda, ½  tsp baking powder, in mixing bowl.  Add 2 eggs, 2 tbls. Honey, 2 ½ cups buttermilk, 2 tbsp. Olive oil and mix 3. Add 1 ¼ cup cooled wild rice 4. Add the zest of one orange grated 5. Add 1 cup minced craisins or raisins or dried cherries Mix until moistened; place about ¼ cup of batter on hot griddle; turn when top bubbles. Continue until all the batter has been used. Chutney: 1 cup water ¾ cup sugar ½ tsp. Cinnamon ¼ tsp. Ginger ¼ tsp. Allspice 1/8 tsp. Cloves 1/2 cup vinegar ½ cup craisins or raisins 1-16 oz. Package of cranberries or 2 cups 1 cup apples, peeled, cored and diced Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes Cran-raspberry Syrup 1 ½ cup cran-raspberry juice 1 ½ sugar ¾  cup Karo syrup Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes Browned Sage Butter 5 T. Unsalted butter 15-18 sage leaves broken into small pieces ¼ c. low sodium chicken broth Heat the butter on high heat in a frying pan.  As soon as it gets hot, add the sage leaves and swirl to coat. Keep cooking until the butter turns brown and the sage leaves begin to turn brown. Immediately remove from the heat. Hollow out an orange half How served / presentation: Place two pancakes on plate Fill the hollowed out orange with chutney Fill a small pitcher with cran-raspberry syrup – serve on the plate Drizzle browned sage butter over pancake   [caption id="attachment_848" align="aligncenter" width="357"] Lindsay House B&B - Manawa[/caption] Owner of the Lindsay House B&B in Manawa, Judy Trull, was recently featured on Living With Amy with Fox 11 - she whipped up her recipes for Panetonne French Toast & Dreamscicle Scones. Take a peek at the recipes and the segments of the show below: Panetonne French Toast with Cinnamon Cream Syrup Dreamscicle Scones   Innkeepers at Jay Lee Inn in Elkhart Lake, Garden Gate B&B in Sturgeon Bay, and Hamilton House B&B in Whitewater have all had recipes published in the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast cookbook, as well as many other innkeepers across the state! Here's a sample of what they offer: [caption id="attachment_2695" align="aligncenter" width="366"] Jay Lee Inn - Elkhart Lake[/caption] Jay Lee Inn: Swedish Flop 1 cup butter, divided 2 cups flour, divided 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp water 1 tsp vanilla 1 cup flour - shouldn’t this be deleted? 3 eggs Chopped nuts and/or shredded coconut Confectioners’ Sugar Frosting: ¾ cup powdered sugar 1 heaping Tbsp butter 1 heaping Tbsp Crisco ½ tsp vanilla extract 2 Tbsp milk Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut ½ cup of the butter into 1 cup of flour and mix to make coarse crumbs. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons water over the flour mixture and blend quickly with a fork. Roll or pat out dough into two long strips (about 10–12 inches) on an ungreased cookie sheet. Combine 1 cup water and the remaining ½ cup butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the vanilla. Remove from heat and beat in the remaining 1 cup flour, stirring by hand with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Spread the dough over the pastry strips and bake 55–60 minutes, or until lightly browned. (It will flop at this point.) Allow to cool slightly before drizzling with frosting. Sprinkle with your choice of nuts, coconut, or sprinkles. For the frosting: Mix together all ingredients, adding just 1 tablespoon of milk at first. Add additional milk to make frosting of desired consistency. [caption id="attachment_2696" align="aligncenter" width="377"] Garden Gate B&B - Sturgeon Bay[/caption] Garden Gate B&B: Brunch Strata 3 cups sliced mushrooms 3 cups chopped zucchini 2 cups fully cooked ham, cubed 1½ cups chopped onions 1½ cups chopped green peppers 2 garlic cloves, minced ¹/³ cup vegetable oil 3 8 oz. pkgs cream cheese, softened ½ cup half & half cream 12 eggs 4 cups day old bread, cubed 3 cups (12 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese 1 tsp salt ½ tsp pepper Sauté mushrooms, zucchini, ham, onions, green peppers and garlic in oil until vegetables are tender. Drain, pat dry and set aside. In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and cream until smooth. Beat in eggs and stir in the bread, cheese, salt, pepper and vegetable mixture. Pour into 8 individual ramkin dishes. Bake uncovered at 350°F for 35–40 minutes or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. [caption id="attachment_2697" align="aligncenter" width="402"] Hamilton House B&B - Whitewater[/caption] Hamilton House B&B: Breakfast Meatloaf 1 lb. ground chicken 1 medium Granny Smith apple, grated 1 medium onion, grated 2 cups plain stuffing croutons (I like Pepperidge Farm) 2 large eggs Parsley, thyme, and rosemary Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray pie pan or loaf pan with cooking oil. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Press evenly into pan. Sprinkle top with parsley, thyme, and rosemary. Bake for 50–60 minutes until browned. Cut into wedges and serve— good warm or cold. Variation: Can be made with any combination of ground chicken, pork, or veal.   [caption id="attachment_2701" align="alignleft" width="283"] Old Rittenhouse Inn - Bayfield[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1920" align="alignright" width="178"] White Gull Inn - Fish Creek[/caption]               Did you know that many Wisconsin B&B have chefs on staff? Inns such as Old Rittenhouse Inn in Bayfield, where they showcase the regional harvest of the Bayfield Peninsula and offer cuisines that are organically grown and locally raised, or White Gull Inn in Fish Creek, where they use only the freshest of produce and other ingredients, preparing each meal carefully to order, are just a couple of examples of inns that showcase their top-notch culinary skills. Now, if all that has made you hungry, jump to our expanded recipe section in this enewsletter and get cookin’ yourself!   WBBA Seek the Unique

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Two Wheels Are Better Than Four

    The open road, a kaleidoscope of colors, mild temperatures, and an escape from the real world. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Bikes and B&Bs pair so nicely this time of year. Oh, and by bikes, we mean both bicycles and motorcycles. We have lots of fall getaway ideas for fans of two wheels. Wisconsin’s Harley-Davidson just celebrated its 115th anniversary with a huge bash in Milwaukee over Labor Day weekend, and it was a “wow” for motorcycle fans. Wisconsin is also a peddler’s dream and here’s the evidence: Trek Bicycles is tops with tons of cyclists – the company is headquartered in Waterloo. Wyatt Bicycles in La Crosse manufactures high-end aluminum adventure bikes – think mountain bikes and fat bikes. Based in Madison, one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the country, Pacific Cycle is the parent company of Schwinn and Mongoose. Waterford Precision Cycles and Gunnar Cycles are both in Waterford. And there’s Sotherland Custom Bicycles in Whitewater. So with that biking tutorial out of the way, here are free-wheeling ideas for those of you with fall wanderlust. Best Inns to Ride a Motorcycle To: For those that love the city, Hotel Ruby Marie in Madison is located across from the majestic Lake Monona, where the cool lake breeze will greet you on a ride. Hotel Ruby Marie is also within a short distance from Capitol Square, where you can sight-see around the beautiful Wisconsin State Capitol building. For those that love to trek outside of the city limits, Sheer Memories B&B in Muscoda sits on the rolling hills that overlook the beautiful valley of the Lower Wisconsin River. Perfect for fall color peeping! [caption id="attachment_1983" align="alignleft" width="282"] Justin Trails Resort in Sparta[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2620" align="alignright" width="287"] Pedal'rs Inn in Wales[/caption]                 B&Bs with Covered Spots to Store Your Motorcycle: Nestled in a quiet, peaceful coulee, Justin Trails Resort in Sparta, WI offers guests a relaxed country getaway in the heart of the Wisconsin Driftless Region. They also offer their garage space for bicycles and motorcycles as part of their services. Sparta is often dubbed as the "Bicycling Capital of America" and is nearby to the famous Elroy-Sparta State Trail. Inns with Best Proximity to Top State Bike Trails: Located just outside of Elkhorn, WI and across the road from sparkling Lauderdale Lakes, you'll find Ye Old Manor House and the nearby 19 mile White River State Trail. This scenic trail follows a former rail corridor and passes by numerous bridges, scenic vistas, quaint towns, farmlands and wetlands. Then there are the guests at Pedal'rs Inn in Wales, WI, who have access to the miles of connecting paved trails throughout the surrounding areas. Nearby to Pedal'rs Inn, the 52 mile Glacial Drumlin State Trail offers easy connections to Madison and Milwaukee. [caption id="attachment_2606" align="alignleft" width="294"] Motorcycling in Kettle Moraine State Forest[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2648" align="alignright" width="271"] Greenway House B&B in Green Lake[/caption]               B&Bs to Pair for Inn-to-Inn Bike Trips: Green Lake, WI is an area with numerous and wonderfully scenic trails for all levels of bicycle riders, so why not take a ride to stop & stay at Green Lake's beautiful inns? Angel Inn offers a breathtaking lake front view, so rent Tri-cycles, Cruisers, or a Tandem from them for a leisurely cruise. You can also follow the new bike path nearby to the Green Lake Conference Center. Miller's Daughter Bed & Breakfast has several trails located near the inn, including the 12 mile Mascoutin Valley State Trail which runs along the old Milwaukee railroad bed. Greenway House is a historic retreat in the heart of Green Lake and ideal for some downtown biking while McConnell Inn offers their knowledge of the many scenic back-country roads and nearby trails that are perfect for biking or motorcycling. [caption id="attachment_1280" align="aligncenter" width="370"] Owner of Eagle Centre House B&B & his Harley[/caption] Inns Where the Owners are Big Bicyclists Themselves: Eagle Centre House B&B in Eagle WI, where the owners and family love to ride the hills and rural roads of the Southern Kettle Moraine. The inn is located 3 miles from the forest headquarters. At Eagle Centre House, you are welcome to walk their 20 acres of kettles and moraines crested with towering oaks and lush with an abundance of native prairie plants and wildlife.

Take A Ride!

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Let the Leaf Peeping Commence

 

It’s next to impossible not to be happy during fall in Wisconsin. The colors are brilliant, the temperatures just right, and the home decorating possibilities endless. Take a peek at Wisconsin inns that are the stars of autumn, thanks to pretty country settings and Pinterest-worthy fall decor. Sure, most guests like to grab a shot of the B&B before they head back home, but some inns show up more often than others on Facebook and Instagram feeds during the fall because of their glorious settings. [caption id="attachment_2593" align="aligncenter" width="375"] Walnut Ridge Log Cabin Guest Houses surrounded by color in Platteville, WI[/caption] Take Walnut Ridge Log Cabin Guest Houses, for example, set in a grove of colorful trees that provide a brilliant backdrop for selfies. Walnut Ridge offers two private luxury romantic handcrafted log cabins in a country setting on 6 wooded acres. [caption id="attachment_2595" align="aligncenter" width="460"] Fall color view from At The Lake House, Lake Geneva WI[/caption] There’s At The Lake House on Lake Como, near Lake Geneva, the kind of place you’d expect to see on a postcard touting fall in Wisconsin. Their sumptuously appointed lakeside home was built with luxury and relaxation in mind. Each of the four ensuite guest rooms has its own lakeside patio or deck. [caption id="attachment_2636" align="aligncenter" width="299"] Pumpkins and cornstalks decorate Honeybee Inn, Horicon[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2619" align="aligncenter" width="444"] A lovely fall setting at Brayton B&B, Oshkosh[/caption] The inns of Brayton Bed & Breakfast in Oshkosh and Honeybee Inn in Horicon get top honors for their welcoming fall decor that guests are known to oohh and aahh over after they arrive. Deep tones surround the entire home of Brayton B&B while offering modern day ammenites with the feel of casual elegance. At Honeybee Inn, you are only blocks from Horicon Marsh, the birding mecca of the Midwest! [caption id="attachment_2598" align="aligncenter" width="405"] Fall "curbside" appeal at Bay Point Inn, Egg Harbor WI[/caption] When it comes to fall curb appeal, you have to love Bay Point Inn in Egg Harbor, with an exterior color palette featuring rich autumnal shades. Here, you will find spectacular water views punctuated with the islands of Green Bay and framed by pristine woodlands. Plan which B&B to visit and when with the help of the Travel Wisconsin fall color report.   WBBA Seek the Unique

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Meet the Innkeepers

  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.   [caption id="attachment_2574" align="aligncenter" width="476"] Castle La Crosse Bed & Breakfast, La Crosse WI[/caption] 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.   [caption id="attachment_2576" align="aligncenter" width="619"] Miller's Daughter Bed & Breakfast, Green Lake, WI[/caption] 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.   [caption id="attachment_2578" align="aligncenter" width="385"] Shane Acres Bed & Breakfast, Juneau WI[/caption] 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.  

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Live It Up at Live Concerts

  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. [caption id="attachment_2500" align="aligncenter" width="304"] Waterfest, Oshkosh WI[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_2502" align="alignleft" width="300"] Big Bull Falls Blues Fest, Wausau WI[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2503" align="alignright" width="240"] Eaux Claires Fest, Eau Claire WI[/caption]               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.  

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How Do You Define Well-being?

  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. [caption id="attachment_2536" align="alignright" width="358"] Forest Therapy for all seasons at Inn at Wawanissee Point[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2546" align="alignleft" width="212"] The Crystal River by Apple Tree Lane B&B[/caption]                       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. [caption id="attachment_2542" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Farm fresh ingredients[/caption] 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

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Favorite Spring Cleaning Hacks Innkeepers Use

  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

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Meet Our New Member Inns for 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: [caption id="attachment_2188" align="aligncenter" width="328"] An Evening at the Stewart Inn[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_2221" align="aligncenter" width="369"] Pinehurst Inn B&B[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_2222" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Silver Star B&B Inn - Fireplace[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_2219" align="aligncenter" width="380"] Lazy Cloud B&B Hayloft[/caption] 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

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Holiday Gift Cards Are In!

  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!   [caption id="attachment_2094" align="aligncenter" width="440"] Sure to be a favorite gift, the WBBA Gift Card arrives with the WBBA rack card.[/caption]   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

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3 Reasons to Celebrate Valentines Day at a Bed & Breakfast

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.
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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

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. [caption id="attachment_1709" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Westby House Inn is decked out for the Holidays.[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_1708" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The Lamppost Inn B&B uses fresh greenery to create a festive atmosphere[/caption] Celebrate the season in vintage style at The Lamp Post Inn B&B, an 1874 Victorian home in Fort Atkinson. [caption id="attachment_1707" align="aligncenter" width="300"] A fresh coat of snow and lots of greenery puts the Cameo Rose Victorian Country Inn in the Christmas Spirit[/caption] Take in this winter wonderland on 120 scenic acres of beauty at Cameo Rose Victorian Country Inn in Belleville. [caption id="attachment_1710" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Warmth & Tradition emanate from the White Gull Inn[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_1704" align="alignleft" width="300"] A porch pot created with fresh greenery, hydrangeas and painted branches[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_1705" align="alignright" width="300"] Adding lights to the window box adds warmth to the display.[/caption] 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

[caption id="attachment_1675" align="alignright" width="300"]Parkview B&B in Reedsburg Parkview B&B in Reedsburg[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_1672" align="alignleft" width="300"]Grapevine Log Cabins in Sparta Grapevine Log Cabins in Sparta[/caption]     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. [caption id="attachment_1674" align="alignright" width="300"]Justin Trails Resort in Sparta Justin Trails Resort in Sparta[/caption]             [caption id="attachment_1679" align="alignleft" width="300"]Pleasant View B&B in Chippewa Falls Pleasant View B&B in Chippewa Falls[/caption] 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.   [caption id="attachment_1676" align="alignright" width="300"]Pedal'rs Inn B&B Pedal'rs Inn B&B[/caption]   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. [caption id="attachment_1678" align="alignnone" width="300"]Hidden Serenity B&B Hidden Serenity B&B[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_1669" align="alignright" width="250"]Bowman's Oak Hill B&B in Wis Dells Bowman's Oak Hill B&B in Wis Dells[/caption] 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.   [caption id="attachment_1677" align="alignnone" width="280"]Phipps Inn in Hudson Phipps Inn in Hudson[/caption]

Innkeepers Share the Secret of Making the Perfect Scone

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!

Seek the Unique - Wisconsin B&B's with a Theme

  For those who seek a more unique experience when travelling a Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast will be sure to fit the bill. We all know Wisconsin’s Bed and Breakfasts are well known for their personalized service and scrumptious breakfast. But did you know innkeepers are knowledgeable on the local activities and history of their community? The innkeeper will be able to fill you in on the local lore and legends of the area and provide stories that will inform and inspire you. When is a B&B more than just a bed and a breakfast? When it's a microbrewery, a lighthouse, a celebrity hangout, a farm, a golf course or an art studio. Themed B&Bs are big on talk-value with your buddies and huge on enjoyment for you. Take the Inn at Windmill Farm in Door County, with its studio and gallery where one of the hosts, Ed, leads watercolor classes. He has been an artist for over 35 years and teaches at the Kansas City Art Institute Ed’s work can be seen at Windmill Farm in the Morning Mist Studio/Gallery in the historic barn. Your other host, Frank, has a great background in fine antiques and has great pieces for sale at Lupine Antiques at Windmill Farm in the historic barn.  In addition, he brings to the Inn an extensive knowledge of landscape design. The Silver Star B&B Inn near Spring Green has rooms themed to famous photographers such as Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, John Szarkowski, Monor White, and Julia Margaret Cameron. The photographers honored had a significant impact on the industry, contributing to the development of photography as an artistic medium. Visitors will find original fine art and photography displayed throughout the inn, reflecting the passion of the owner. The Silver Star B&B Inn is also located less than 10 miles from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin and the House on the Rock. There's Brewery Creek Inn in Mineral Point with its own on-site craft brewery. A three story lime stone building on Commerce Street, there are five rooms located above the Brewpub Restaurant.  Two on the second floor and three on the third.  The Brewery Creek Brewpub is an intimate space with exposed stone walls, hand hewn timbers and beams, supporting posts and a beautiful bar. The BrewPub is closed by 10:00 pm, which guarantees quiet for the guests lodging in the rooms above. They brew all of their own beer in their own brewery.  Jeff focuses on European style ales, both modern and antique.     Door County Lighthouse Inn is just that, an inn with architecture that mimics the storied lighthouses of the region. Each room is tastefully decorated with a nautical theme which reflects the rich maritime and navigational history of the area. Each of these lighthouses are located a short distance from the Inn and are great places to explore. Door County’s lighthouses, many of which were built in the 1800s, have saved countless lives as they guided ships to safety. Today, they stir hearts as symbols of strength and protection.       Lake Orchard Farm Retreat in Sheboygan is a working farm but it also has a golf course and clubhouse.  Located near Sheboygan, Wisconsin, our operating farm has rolling fields, natural woods, fruit orchards and a Lake Michigan view. If that isn’t enough to entice you to visit, they have a 9-hole golf course with a clubhouse they provide for guests to use at no additional charge.  When the weather isn’t nice enough to play outdoors, they have a lounge area with a pool table where guests can gather and spend time.   The The Livingston Inn in Madison is the place where prominent filmmakers stay during the annual Wisconsin Film Festival in April and the innkeepers have the inside track on tickets for their guests. The Wisconsin Film Festival is presented by the UW-Madison Arts Institute in association with the Department of Communication Arts. Founded in 1999, the Festival presents an average of 150 film screenings over 8 days every spring, making it the largest university-produced film festival in the nation. So you could say the overarching theme here is to try something different the next time you travel.

Favorite Wisconsin "Inn-Sider" Tips for Things to Do In March

March is a time of year that leaves many of us longing for spring, and in Wisconsin, we still have a number of weeks befwisconsin_winter_barn_postcard-r6298c8d8e196446e9394804543c9897e_vgbaq_8byvr_512ore those warmer temperatures grace us once again and entice us to spend more time outdoors.  This is when cabin fever can be at its worse.  The ski hills do a great job of making snow for the downhill skiers and snowboarders.  But for those of us who prefer to stay on a more level plane, March's weather in Wisconsin can be tricky and many times there may not be enough snow for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.  Let's face it, it's been a long winter and most of us are ready to do more than go for a walk in the neighborhood or visit the mall to get out and about and feel rejuvenated.  Fortunately, Wisconsin has much to offer in the way of indoor activities, and most of the time we don't need to look much further than our own backyard. Visit a local museum, what a better way to find out about our local and state history than to visit a museum. With a quick search on the internet I discovered Wisconsin has over 420 museums.  The list is long and varied, you are sure to find one that suits your interest. Here are a few out of the ordinary that may peak your interest and be worth getting in the car to go visit. The Chocolate Experience Museum in Burlington, WI is free to the public during regular business hours.  What's not to love... a free tour (they do ask for a donation) and chocolate!! Burlington’s Chocolate Experience Museum exists to educate visitors about the history of chocolate and the part it plays in the world, improve the local economy and economic stability for Burlington as a tourism destination. Did you know Harry Houdini was from Appleton, WI?  The History Museum at the Castle has an exhibit, AKA Houdini which lets you experience some of Harry Houdini's tricks of the trade through hands-on activities. It is great fun for the whole family! See why the world renowned magician called Appleton his hometown. And we can't talk about Wisconsin without mentioning cheese.  Monroe, WI has the National Historic Cheesemaking Center. Enter ….”an era that was, that will never be again” as you step inside the Imobersteg Cheese Factory, restored and located on our campus, where each year on the second Saturday of June a 90 pound wheel of Swiss cheese is made right before your eyes, as it was done over 100 years ago. Check out the local Center for the Arts, Wisconsin communities are doing a wonderful job of bringing in exhibits, entertainers and artists to their area.  You can see an up-and-coming comedian, a musical, an orchestra, or the ballet.  They have art exhibits, magicians, and choir concerts. The Heyde Center for the Arts in Chippewa Falls has a wide variety of activities scheduled for March, which includes 2 exhibits, ‚ÄčIndustrial Art and Design, and GEMS: Contemporary Metalsmiths and Art Jewelers in Menomonie, a community choir concert, the music of Simon and Garfunkel, and TV Town: A Midwest Musical Comedy. The Grand Theater in Wausau has quite a range of entertainment scheduled for the month.  Get The Led Out on March 2 is committed to recreating the magic of Led Zeppelin in all its depth and glory, Get The Led Out features six talented musicians playing all of the classic hits!  42nd Street, March 21, tells the story of a starry-eyed young dancer named Peggy Sawyer who comes to New York to audition for the new Broadway musical Pretty Lady. When the star breaks her ankle, Peggy takes over and becomes a star.  "Symphony on the Rocks", March 25, is VIC FERRARI and 26 of the best classical and pop musicians from the Midwest. This is the first Symphony in North America to perform with iPads only! You see all musicians working together, not hiding behind a conductor or a music stand. Dine at a Supper Club What could be more Wisconsin-like than having dinner at a Wisconsin Supper Club?  Did you know there are over 350 of them in this state? And, they even have a website to help you find the nearest one, Wisconsin Supper Clubs. Supper clubs are a dying breed, which is sad, because we’ve turned to quick food from chain restaurants rather than supporting these great places. Take a night off from cooking, get gussied up, and head to one of our great Wisconsin supper clubs. Book a stay at a luxurious B&B One more wonderful thing about Wisconsin is the hospitality of the innkeepers at our Bed and Breakfasts. Did you know there are more than 120 B&B's listed on the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association's website? No matter the weather, you will find a Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast to be warm and inviting.  It is the perfect place to start your March adventure, you might find a roaring fire in the common area where you can enjoy a glass of wine or hot cocoa with other guests, or maybe your room will have it's own fireplace and even a Jacuzzi tuWarm and Cozy - White Lacee Innb where you and your loved one can relax in a warm bath.  A delicious home-cooked breakfast will be made just for you with plenty of hot coffee and juice to get you going.  Our innkeepers are a wealth of knowledge of local activities, so if you don't have an itinerary planned for the day, they will be able to help with suggestions of interesting things to do in the area that fit your interests.  There is an abundance of activities in Wisconsin during the month of March, and you are sure to find an unique adventure close to a Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast.        

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