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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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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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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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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