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 instant after the transaction is complete! No more wondering if the mail will get to you in time to give this perfect gift! 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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The Ultimate Road Trip

  Did you know it’s the 80th anniversary of The Great River Road, that ribbon of highway that hugs the Mississippi River? Now that you do, do make plans for a road trip to end all road trips. The GRR, for short, has loads of B&Bs along the way. The Great River Road may be turning 80 this year, but its ability to deliver an awesome scenic tour along the Mighty Mississippi never gets old. If you’re looking for an epic road trip, this is it. First, a little background. The route was formally established in 1938 by stringing together existing roads, auto tours and state trunks. It is Wisconsin’s only National Scenic Byway. There are 33 historic river towns along the 250-mile Wisconsin stretch, with some of those communities dating back to the 1600s. [caption id="attachment_2523" align="aligncenter" width="202"] Mississippi River Bluffs along The Great River Road[/caption] O.K., now on to a couple of recommendations on what to see and where to stay: Tritsch House B&B in Alma, WI is in an area that hugs the beautiful river banks of the Mississippi. The B&B itself is nestled into the river bluffs with wonderful views of the river. Nearby, you will find walking paths, rivers activities such as boating, fishing, canoe or kayaks, art galleries and wonderful shopping. Just imagine sitting out with a glass of wine while you watch the beautiful Alma sunset with that someone special. Another B&B you will find nearby to The Great River Road is Rainbow Ridge Farms located in Onalaska, WI, where you can relax in their turn-of-the-century farmhouse and 35 acre working hobby farm. As their guest, you are invited to feed animals, milk a goat, bottle feed a "kid", or collect eggs. In this area, you can enjoy antiquing, visiting Amish farmsteads, or participate in one of the area's many festivals like Oktoberfest, the Great River Folk Fest, Jazz Fest, Art Fair on the Green, and Riverfest. Some of the tallest bluffs along the Great River Road are located around La Crosse. La Crosse is the largest city you’ll pass through on your Great River Road journey. Castle La Crosse B&B and Four Gables B&B are the places to be if you're stopping to enjoy the variety of great restaurants, stores, museums and historic attractions that the city has to offer!   WBBA Seek the Unique

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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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Sustainable Travel Leap

  Looking for ways to tread lightly on the earth when you travel? Try green-certified independent inns to start, and then ask the innkeepers for recommendations on locally owned shops and restaurants. Spring always seems like the ideal time to talk about eco-lodging, what with Mother Nature waking from winter slumber, delicate plants and edibles poking through the once ice-crackled earth, and travelers eager to inhale the fresh air and exhale wind-chill hangovers.     Here in Wisconsin, we have a voluntary certification program called “Travel Green Wisconsin,” and we’re proud to say the Wisconsin B&B Association was a pioneer in this movement to promote eco-friendly travel. Among the many inns that are certified are Lake Ripley Lodge B&B in Cambridge with their new rain gardens boasting Native Wisconsin wildflowers, and Crystal River Inn in Waupaca, who serve food from their garden, harvest local wild fruit, and make all their jellies and jams. [caption id="attachment_2315" align="alignleft" width="260"] Lake Ripley Lodge B&B[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2316" align="alignright" width="263"] View from Crystal River Inn[/caption]                 Going above and beyond what Travel Green Wisconsin requires are Pinehurst Inn B&B in Bayfield, which was named one of the “Top 10 Eco-friendly Inns” by BedandBreakfast.com and received the 2014 Wisconsin Governor’s Stewardship Award, and Artha Sustainable Living Center in Amherst, where guests appreciate local, organic food and are welcome to attend the yoga studio’s weekly classes. You can find a more complete list of travel green certified inns on our website. [caption id="attachment_1394" align="alignleft" width="300"] Pinehurst Inn[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1395" align="alignright" width="268"] Artha Sustainable Living Center[/caption]                 But the Wisconsin B&B Association’s commitment to the environment doesn’t stop there. We’re also proponents of “conscious travel,” with innkeepers always happy to suggest ideas for shopping local, dining at locally owned restaurants, and visiting attractions that preserve the history and culture of the community. We’re all in this together!

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Where the Rapids Are

  If you prefer lazy rivers over whitewater rapids, then this story isn’t for you. However, if you love an adrenaline rush, try rafting in the spring when the waters are high. Adventure travel has a cousin and it is achievement travel. If rushing through whitewater rapids is on your to-accomplish list, then Wisconsin’s Peshtigo and Wolf rivers should both be on your radar. Spring is the time, when some rapids reach Class IV status. Translation: Look out for rocks and drops, and sharp maneuvers may be needed. [caption id="attachment_2257" align="aligncenter" width="427"] Peshtigo River riffles[/caption] The Peshtigo River State Forest offers 25 miles of river and more than 9,000 acres of forest, making it a natural gem of Marinette County. Here’s a little tidbit: It was established in 2001, making it Wisconsin’s newest state forest. And here’s why it should be on every paddler’s list: It is the Midwest’s longest continuous whitewater rapids. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the short Roaring Rapids section of the Peshtigo River, Farm Dam Landing to Boat Landing #12, is for skilled paddlers only. [caption id="attachment_2256" align="aligncenter" width="432"] Dalles of Wolf River[/caption] The Wolf River is another waterway that earns “premier” status among paddlers. Its path tracks 240 miles north to south, from Forest County to Winnebago County. A super-rugged 37-mile upper stretch between Lily and Big Smokey Falls is not for rookies. [caption id="attachment_1922" align="alignright" width="330"] Eagle Harbor Inn[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1920" align="alignleft" width="262"] White Gull Inn[/caption]                     After a wild day on either river, head to a peaceful B&B in the adjacent Door County, separated from Forest and Marinette counties by another body of water, Green Bay. Enjoy White Gull Inn in Fish Creek, a historic coastal village with a natural harbor that separates it from Peninsula State Park , and Eagle Harbor Inn, who are proud to be part of the landscape of picturesque Ephraim. You can also find a complete list of Door County Inns on the WBBA website.   WBBA Seek the Unique

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Ski by Candlelight, Bike in the Snow

  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: [caption id="attachment_2184" align="alignleft" width="271"] Bowman's Oak Hill Garden Cottage Bed[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2190" align="alignright" width="300"] Country Comfort at Valley Springs Farm[/caption]                 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. [caption id="attachment_1621" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Getaway at the Honeybee Inn[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_2188" align="aligncenter" width="300"] An Evening at the Stewart Inn[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_2111" align="alignright" width="284"] Fat Tire Winter Biking[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2186" align="alignleft" width="285"] Snowshoe Group with Bay Point Inn[/caption]                 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. [caption id="attachment_2192" align="aligncenter" width="371"] Crystal River Inn Winter Night[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2191" align="alignright" width="291"] Winter Lights with Green Fountain Inn[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2182" align="alignleft" width="300"] Apple Tree Lane B&B Through the Snow-Covered Trees[/caption]                   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

  [caption id="attachment_427" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Simple Holiday Enjoyments[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_2123" align="alignright" width="264"] Westport B&B Wine and Roses[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2119" align="alignleft" width="254"] Red Forest Inn Breakfast by Candlelight[/caption]           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. [caption id="attachment_2114" align="alignleft" width="271"] Winter at Inn at Wawanissee Point[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2120" align="alignright" width="274"] Ringling House in the Winter[/caption]                   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. [caption id="attachment_2110" align="aligncenter" width="191"] The London Room of Astor House[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_2116" align="alignright" width="205"] Justin Trails Resort Winter Lights[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1672" align="alignleft" width="191"] Grapevine Log Cabins in Sparta[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2122" align="aligncenter" width="143"] Westby House Inn Christmas[/caption]   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. [caption id="attachment_2121" align="alignright" width="164"] Sweet Autumn Inn at Christmas[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2113" align="alignleft" width="248"] Fargo Mansion Staircase[/caption]               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". [caption id="attachment_2112" align="alignleft" width="153"] Eagle Centre House Kitchen[/caption]   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.     [caption id="attachment_2115" align="alignright" width="300"] Inn On Lake Wissota Christmas[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_2117" align="alignright" width="300"] Snow-covered Otter Creek Inn[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2108" align="alignleft" width="199"] Hidden Serenity Sleigh Ride[/caption]                   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. [caption id="attachment_2118" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Phipps Inn Winter Evening[/caption] 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

  [caption id="attachment_2062" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Green Fountain Inn, Waupaca WI[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_1785" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Canyon Road Inn Binoculars Canyon Road Inn Binoculars[/caption] WBBA Seek the Unique

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200th Anniversary of the Bicycle

  [caption id="attachment_1983" align="aligncenter" width="405"] Justin Trails Resort in Sparta, WI[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_1670" align="alignleft" width="219"] Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_404" align="alignright" width="321"]Miller's Daughter B&B, Victorian, contemporary, Green Lake Miller's Daughter in Green Lake is just the place to return to simple pleasures.[/caption] 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.   [caption id="attachment_1395" align="alignleft" width="273"] Artha Sustainable Living Center in full bloom.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2053" align="alignright" width="270"] Bicycles[/caption]                   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. [caption id="attachment_1418" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Eagle Centre House[/caption] WBBA Seek the Unique

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Travel to Wisconsin Food Capitals

  [caption id="attachment_1987" align="aligncenter" width="441"] Cranberry Bog[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_1889" align="alignleft" width="300"] Dreams of Yesteryear in Stevens Point, WI[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_841" align="alignright" width="237"] Stewart Inn in Wausau, WI[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_1991" align="alignleft" width="224"] Cherry Tree[/caption] 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.     [caption id="attachment_1994" align="alignright" width="239"] Christmas House B&B in Racine, WI[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_782" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Albany House in Albany, WI[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_1995" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Inn On Lake Wissota in Chippewa Falls, WI[/caption] WBBA Seek the Unique

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Farmers' Markets and Farmstead Inns

  [caption id="attachment_1941" align="aligncenter" width="413"] Lake Orchard Farm Retreat in Sheboygan, WI ~ greenhouse[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_1338" align="alignright" width="164"] Astor House B&B in Green Bay, WI[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1903" align="alignleft" width="156"] Otter Creek Inn in Eau Claire, WI[/caption] [caption id="attachment_357" align="aligncenter" width="147"] Hotel Ruby Marie in Madison, WI[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_1945" align="alignleft" width="198"] Farmers' Market in Dane County[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_1137" align="alignleft" width="229"] Rainbow Ridge Farms in Onalaska, WI is very kid-friendly![/caption] [caption id="attachment_1735" align="alignright" width="229"] Valley Springs Farm B&B in Reedsburg, WI[/caption]                 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

[caption id="attachment_1910" align="aligncenter" width="325"] Cana Island Lighthouse[/caption] 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.

The Door County peninsula is a summer playground like no other in the state. It’s known for its 300 miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan and Green Bay, kayaking in the shadows of the bluffs, thousands of acres of cherry and apple orchards, wineries, a handful of state parks, art galleries, and 11 historic lighthouses. In other words, it’s magical. Adding to the magic are 10 B&Bs dotting the county. Let’s start at the county line and work our way up the peninsula. In Sturgeon Bay:

  1. Scofield House is a 1902 Victorian with six guestrooms. Reserve the entire third story which has been transformed into a single luxurious suite. [caption id="attachment_1912" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Schofield House[/caption]
  2. White Lace Inn has 18 guestrooms and nearly all have their own fireplace. The inn staff has hosted more than 1,300 weddings, so you know it’s for romantics at heart. [caption id="attachment_1913" align="aligncenter" width="450"] White Lace Inn[/caption]
  3. Inn at Cedar Crossing is an 1881 historic building in the city’s downtown historic district. Step outside to shops, galleries and museums. [caption id="attachment_1914" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Inn at Cedar Crossing[/caption]
  4. Garden Gate B&B is just two blocks from downtown, where you’ll find the Maritime Museum, Third Avenue Playhouse, bistros and boutiques. [caption id="attachment_1915" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Garden Gate B & B[/caption]

In Bailey’s Harbor:

  1. Inn at Windmill Farm is a restored turn-of-the-century Dutch farmhouse in a pastoral setting with windmill and orchard. There’s even an art gallery and antique shop right on the property. [caption id="attachment_1917" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Inn at Windmill Farm[/caption]
  2. Blacksmith Inn on the Shore is on the Lake Michigan side of the peninsula, making it the ideal setting to unwind to the sound of the seagulls or stay active with a kayak adventure. [caption id="attachment_1918" align="aligncenter" width="559"] Blacksmith Inn[/caption]

In Egg Harbor:

  1. Bay Point Inn boasts some spectacular water views that go very nicely with the European vacation villa feel of the place. [caption id="attachment_1919" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Bay Point Inn[/caption]

In Fish Creek:

  1. White Gull Inn is the peninsula’s oldest operating inn and hosts a traditional fish boil, complete with cherry pie for dessert. [caption id="attachment_1920" align="aligncenter" width="450"] White Gull Inn[/caption]
  2. Juniper Inn, located on a high bluff overlooking a juniper meadow, is an easy bike ride from Peninsula State Park. [caption id="attachment_1921" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Juniper Inn[/caption]

In Ephraim:

  1. Eagle Harbor Inn is laden with amenities, including an indoor current pool, sauna, and fitness room, to say nothing of the gourmet breakfast served garden-side plus free beach chairs to plop down on Ephraim Beach. [caption id="attachment_1922" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Eagle Harbor Inn[/caption]

While in Door County this summer: Make a point to visit The Ridges Sanctuary in Bailey’s Harbor, celebrating 80 years of preserving some of the peninsula’s most ecologically diverse lands. Then whet your whistle at Shipwrecked Brew Pub in Egg Harbor – at 20 years, it is Door County’s oldest microbrewery.  The Door County peninsula allows you to watch a sunrise and a sunset over the water without leaving the county.  There is such a variety of things to do and see, there are thousands of acres of orchards, you can explore art galleries, pick fresh cherries, sip on local wines and brews, rent a canoe or kayak to paddle along the bluffs, hike the five state parks or tour 11 lighthouses.  No matter what you’re looking to get out of your vacation, our innkeepers will help you to seek that unique experience in Door County. As we like to remind all of our readers, all member inns of the WBBA are licensed, inspected and insured, so, rest assured, you will get a tranquil night's sleep, WBBA Seek the Unique

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Stow the Phone

[caption id="attachment_1879" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Currier's Lakeview Lodge Currier's Lakeview Lodge[/caption] 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.

When visitors return to the same vacation destination year after year and generation after generation, you know they’re on to something good. And in Wisconsin, that “something good” is the northwoods, defined loosely as the upper half of the state, where tall pines, pristine lakes, and room to breathe are considered the pinnacle of luxury. Here are five inns that fit the bill for northwoods nirvana:

  1. Cobblestone B&B, Birchwood –  The innkeepers at this turn-of-the-century manor house invite summer vacationers to stroll down to the beach for a dip, or just hang out on the porch swing with a glass of lemonade in hand.
  2. Currier's Lakeview Lodge, Rice Lake – The lakeside views are the calling card for this B&B, given the inn is situated on a five-acre peninsula on the east shore of Rice Lake. Children and pets are welcome at this family retreat.
  3. Maxsell’s Restaurant & Suites, Florence – This historic waterfront inn on Fisher Lake has suites, of course, but also a restaurant and pub room. This place solves the question of where to take your significant for their birthday or your anniversary.
  4. Inn at Pinewood, Eagle River – This B&B, an original log house built in 1934, hugs the shore of private Carpenter Lake and it’s a favorite for romantics at heart.
  5. Canyon Road Inn, Turtle Lake – Private patios and decks overlooking the lake or woods seem tailor made for catching up on reading or napping, you choose.

[gallery columns="5" ids="1786,1866,1864,1882,1884"] There are so many ways to enjoy your time in the Wisconsin northwoods.  Maybe you like to spend an afternoon hiking on trails that lead you through the woods, surrounding yourself in the serenity of nature and the excitement of spotting the numerous wildlife; or maybe a peaceful afternoon on the lake, dipping a pole in the water, fishing for the many species of fish Northern Wisconsin has to offer.  There's always time to sit back in the lounge chair by the lake or on the porch, sipping an ice cold tea and reading your favorite book.  Whatever your preference, there is a WBBA Inn to suit your needs. Remember, all WBBA members are licensed, inspected and insured.  So rest assured, you will get a good night's sleep when you stay at a WBBA B&B, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated the next morning. WBBA Seek the Unique

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

[caption id="attachment_1831" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The photo of The Red Chair that started a phenomenon in 2011[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_1832" align="alignright" width="300"] Captain Freeman Inn Cape Cod, MA[/caption] 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

Multi-Destination Getaway: The Driftless Area [caption id="attachment_1794" align="aligncenter" width="300"]WI Driftless Region WI Driftless Region[/caption] 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.

If you’re looking for a stateside getaway that carries the same types of discoveries you’d expect to find on a multi-destination European holiday, we bring you the Driftless region of Wisconsin. The last continental glacier bypassed this area, giving it its distinctive terrain of deeply carved valleys and the largest concentration of cold water streams in the world. The earliest inhabitants of this southwest corner of the state were Native American Mound Builders. Today the region is home to hundreds of artists who take inspiration from the hills and valleys and the Kickapoo River and mighty Mississippi. [caption id="attachment_1795" align="alignnone" width="300"]bikers The Driftless Region in Wisconsin offers a variety of choices for bike riders, from rugged mountain trails to challenging on-road routes to constructed bike trails.[/caption] Bird migrations are a mainstay in the spring, farmers’ markets abound, and mountain biking is plentiful. And you can forget malls, as independent boutiques and Amish goods define the shopping experience here. As for places to rest your head, there’s the Tritsch House B&B in the Mississippi River town of Alma. It’s a Queen Anne house hugged by river bluffs. Walnut Ridge Log Cabin Guest House in Platteville offers two handcrafted log cabins set on six wooded country acres. [caption id="attachment_1797" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Westby House Inn Westby House Inn, Westby, WI[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1796" align="alignright" width="300"]Walnut Ridge Log Cabin Guest Houses Walnut Ridge Log Cabin Guest Houses in Platteville, WI[/caption] Four Gables B&B in La Crosse is listed on the National Register and serves guest a four-course country breakfast. The Westby House Inn & Restaurant in Westby has a rich history, but it is the inn’s modern amenities that are a pleasing point of difference. They also serve lunch and afternoon tea. The Driftless Region is a unique part of Wisconsin's geography.  An area where visitors will find a wide variety of places to explore.  The Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association member Inns in the Southwest region of Wisconsin are also plentiful, each one of them unique in their own way.  With a little research, we are confident you will find one that suits your personality.  We always like to remind our readers that all WBBA members are licensed, inspected and insured.  So rest asured, you will get a good night's sleep when you stay at a WBBA B&B, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated the next morning.  Are you ready to Seek the Unique?WBBA Seek the Unique

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

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. [caption id="attachment_1770" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Frank Lloyd Wright Home in Milwaukee Frank Lloyd Wright Home in Milwaukee[/caption]

Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin in 1867. To mark the occasion, the state has just christened a new Frank Lloyd Wright Trail with stops at nine buildings in the southern part of the state, all open to the public. Here are the iconic buildings on the trail, with B&Bs nearby to make this motor route an architectural adventure from start to finish. Start in Racine and tour the SC Johnson Administration Building and Research Tower as well as Wingspread in nearby Wind Point. Stay: The Christmas House B&B is on the National Register of Historic Places and within walking distance to Lake Michigan and the Racine downtown. Head to Milwaukee to see the Burnham American System Built Homes. Stay: There are three nearby B&Bs, each with their own architectural pedigree. Washington House Inn [caption id="attachment_1771" align="alignleft" width="212"]Washington House Inn Guest Room Washington House Inn Guest Room[/caption] in Cedarburg is set in a gem of an 1886 Victorian cream city brick building. Pedal’rs Inn in Wales is a grand Queen Ann Victorian with modern, luxuries amenities within. And the Westphal Mansion Inn in Hartford is an English Tudor that retains all its original architectural features. Then it’s off to Madison, for a stroll of the Monona Terrace and the First Unitarian Society Meeting House. Stay: The mix of B&Bs here is as eclectic as the city itself. The Livingston Inn features stunning architectural details inside and out, including nine fireplaces, 11-foot ceilings, and a glass atrium. Hotel Ruby Marie first received its lodging license in 1873, primarily used as a railroad hotel back then. The Buckingham Inn is a classic 1911 Prairie-style residence influenced by the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright but with a University of Wisconsin campus vibe. If you’d prefer to spend the night outside the city, then Victorian Dreams in Lodi and Altemus Corners in Stoughton are excellent choices for a relaxing night’s sleep. Next is Spring Green, home to Taliesin and the FLW Visitor Center as well as the Wyoming Valley School Cultural Arts Center. Stay: Silver Star B&B is a secluded country-style log lodge set on a bucolic 340-acre estate. [caption id="attachment_734" align="alignright" width="300"] A 'long and winding road' leads you to the Cream Pitcher B&B, in Blue River.[/caption]   The route fittingly finished up in Wright’s birthplace, Richland Center, where you can tour the AD German Warehouse. Stay: There are two inns within a quick drive. Sheer Memories B&B in Muscoda overlooks the Wisconsin River Valley, while Cream Pitcher B&B in Blue River is built on a historic 1854 farm.       Frank Lloyd Wright was a visionary, a man ahead of his time, who believed in designing structures that were in harmony with humanity and its environment. All of his projects were unique. just like theB&B's in the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association.  WBBA Seek the UniqueWBBA Innkeepers are passionate about creating a space that will help you reconnect with the environment around you.  Another important item to point out, WBBA members are licensed, inspected and insured.  So rest assured, you will get a good night's sleep when you stay at a WBBA B&B, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated the next morning.  Are you ready to Seek the Unique?

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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