"Dirt floor, holes for windows and doors ...It was love at first sight."

So says Deb Donaghue, of her first visits to what would become Brewery Creek Inn in Mineral Point. The three-story limestone warehouse that dates back to the 1850s is now a 7-guestroom B&B with rustic exposed stone walls and pampering whirlpool tubs. Travel writer Brian E Clark reports: "I pedaled my bike nearly 50 miles from Madison to Mineral Point — through numerous rain showers — to get there and was more than a bit mud- and rain-splattered upon my arrival. But it was more than worth the effort." You'll want to explore Mineral Point's artsy shops - and be back at the inn's brewpub for, well, the brews and dinner. Read the full story at jsonline [caption id="attachment_1506" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Origin unknown, the ornate bar is right at home in the Brewery Creek Inn.  Brewmaster Jeff churns out European beer styles such as biere de garde, Scottish porter, and dunkelweiss. Cheers! Origin unknown, the ornate bar is right at home in the Brewery Creek Inn. Brewmaster Jeff churns out European beer styles such as biere de garde, Scottish porter, and dunkelweiss. Cheers![/caption]  

B&B Getaway Giveaway Week 7

Here’s a quick quiz: what do trout fishing, the American Birkebeiner, and a 36-mile view have in common?  All are found at B&Bs – showing that when we say ‘seek the unique’, we mean it! The stunning view from the pub and virtually all of the Inn at Wawanissee Point is both relaxing and a stimulation to explore – and perhaps motivation to ‘work off’ the gourmet breakfast.  A world away in a 20 minute drive from WI Dells.  And referencing the Dells, innkeeper Agnes says ‘when you’ve had enough stimulation’, head just 40 miles north to the Mecan River House (Coloma) – with a #1 trout fishing stream running along the length of the property.  Unwind on the deck, or search out antiques and hand-crafted Amish items at the nearby shops.  Heading further north to the Hayward / Birchwood area, the Cobblestone B&B is a destination in any season.  Of course, the Birkebeiner  x-c  trails are the winter draw (and just a few hundred miles of snowmobile trails too), more trail systems offer fat biking, mountain biking, hiking…”run, bike, ski” is the northwoods mantra.  Enter our Facebook contest to win a 2 night stay at Cobblestone B&B, Inn at Wawanisee Point, or Mecan River House http://a.pgtb.me/qVSz88 [caption id="attachment_1451" align="aligncenter" width="286"]Breakfast at the Cobblestone B&B, Birchwood, WI Breakfast at the Cobblestone B&B, Birchwood, WI[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1452" align="aligncenter" width="300"]The Pub at the Inn at Wawanissee, Baraboo, WI The Pub at the Inn at Wawanissee, Baraboo, WI[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1453" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Mecan River House TROUT FISHERMAN: you can walk right down to the MECAN RIVER which is a #1 trout fishing stream!  The MECAN RIVER runs length of the property, with many DNR, newly created holes for trout to gather!   Mecan River House TROUT FISHERMAN: you can walk right down to the MECAN RIVER which is a #1 trout fishing stream! The MECAN RIVER runs length of the property, with many DNR, newly created holes for trout to gather![/caption]  

The Wisconsin Governor's Tourism Stewardship Award goes to...

Congratulations to Steve and Nancy Sandstrom of Pinehurst Inn!  This past Monday at the Wisconsin Governor's Conference on Tourism held in Lake Geneva, Pinehurst Inn of Bayfield was awarded the Governor's Tourism Stewardship Award! "Pinehurst Inn is an 8 room B&B on Lake Superior, offering a magnificent natural environment that is enjoyed by visitors year round.  Pinehurst has a mission to be a premier eco-lodging facility, providing the highest level of green lodging hospitality and guest experience while preserving and promoting the unique historical and environmentally sensitive nature of the property and area. Pinehurst is committed to sustainability in all practices, serves as a model for other tourism businesses, and is a leader in the Wisconsin Travel Green Program.  A few of the sustainable initiatives Pinehurst practices includes using solar panels, organic and/or locally grown food, composting of all food and garden waste, providing guests with reusable stainless steel water bottles, and offering workshops and seminars to other business owners to learn about sustainable business.  The 'bottom line' at Pinehurst is a triple bottom-line, not only measuring business success with financial capital, but natural and social capital as well." [caption id="attachment_1426" align="aligncenter" width="133"]Pinehurst Inn Stewardship Award Pinehurst Inn Stewardship Award[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1427" align="aligncenter" width="158"]Wisconsin Governor's Conference on Tourism March 3, 2014 Wisconsin Governor's Conference on Tourism March 3, 2014[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1428" align="aligncenter" width="161"]Congratulations Steve and Nancy! Congratulations Steve and Nancy at the Pinehurst Inn![/caption]

Wisconsin B&Bs That Just Make Good (Horse) Sense

For casual horse race fans, it’s really more about the hats than the horses at the Kentucky Derby.  And the names of the horses: This year’s winner was Orb, followed by Golden Soul, Revolutionary, and Normandy Invasion. Now for fans of horseback riding, here’s our “revolutionary” idea for the year – book a room at one of the Wisconsin B&Bs that provide stabling for your horse. Leading the B&B race is O’Neill Manor in Neillsville – innkeepers and avid riders Jon & Julie Counsell’s 60 acre farm just ½ mile from the inn has 5 large boarding stalls, 1 stallion stall, and 5 miles of trails.  Clark County’s 25+ miles of horse trails are just outside of Neillsville.  We’re placing bets right now this will be the summer for Wisconsin B&Bs to make a strong showing among those who love to ride. [caption id="attachment_1185" align="aligncenter" width="300"]You and your horses will be treated like Derby royalty by Julie & Jon, innkeepers at O'Neill Manor. Guest horses board at their farm 1/2 mile from the inn, and 5 miles of single track trails are available to guests only. You and your horses will be treated like Derby royalty by Julie & Jon, innkeepers at O'Neill Manor. Guest horses board at their farm 1/2 mile from the inn, and 5 miles of single track trails are available to guests only.[/caption]  

A Warm Fireplace at a Wisconsin B&B Sounds Mighty Nice

Welcome to January 2013.  We’re declaring it the Month of the Cozy Fireplace, given the winter chill in the air here in Wisconsin.  Perhaps you’d like to book an overnight at an inn that stokes the fireplace every evening, thus complementing the warm hospitality dished out by the innkeepers.  There’s Inn at Wawanissee Point in Baraboo, where the massive stone fireplace in the living room is a popular spot for evening wine and cheese gatherings.  At Silver Star Inn B&B in Spring Green, the fireplace in the dining room is a nice accompaniment to the steaming hot coffee and homemade pastries served every morning. And at Cleghorn B&B in Waupaca, the fireplaces in the guest rooms are a special luxury we all wish we had at home.   [caption id="attachment_1018" align="aligncenter" width="434"] Inn at Wawanissee Point, Baraboo.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1016" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Silver Star Inn B&B, Spring Green.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1021" align="aligncenter" width="375"] Cleghorn B&B, Waupaca[/caption]

Christmas Curb Appeal at Wisconsin B&Bs part 2

There are a few more unseasonably mild days in the weather forecast ... time yet to hang Christmas decorations outside without danger of frostbite!   If you’re in need of some fresh Christmas curb appeal ideas, here's another from one of  Wisconsin’s most stylish B&Bs.  Pedal'rs Inn - Wales, looks lovely each year by following the practice of sticking to one theme – that being the Norman Rockwell look – rather than mixing metaphors (no inflatables of Rudolph next to Victorian sleighs here).  Innkeeper Dee notes the wreaths, bows, and garland aren't the only green for the season; the lights are energy-sparing LED. [caption id="attachment_920" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Nostalgia beckons at the Pedal'rs Inn. Once inside, the tradition of heartfelt hospitality warms you - just like the fireplace in each bedchamber.[/caption]

Cookie Recipe from Our New Wisconsin B&B Cookbook

We’re fond of saying Wisconsin B&Bs are never cookie-cutter but many do serve cookies!  Care to add a new cookie recipe to your holiday repertoire?  How about this one from Hamilton House B&B in Whitewater for Boiled Cookies. 2 cups sugar 1/3 cup cocoa 1 stick butter ½ cup milk 1 tsp vanilla ½ cup peanut butter 3 cups quick oats Combine sugar, cocoa, butter and milk in saucepan over low heat.  Bring to a boil and continue boiling for exactly 1½ minutes. This part is important or they won’t set up. Remove from heat. Add vanilla, peanut butter and oats. Mix well. Spoon onto wax paper and cool. Try to wait until set before serving!   [caption id="attachment_910" align="aligncenter" width="200"] Yes, we know these aren't the "Boiled Cookies" from the recipe ... but rest assured that with Hamilton House B&B's breakfast looking (and tasting) this scrumptions, the cookies will be as delicious.[/caption]

Plan for Early Fall Colors in Wisconsin

The leaf-peeping pundits are predicting early fall color this year in Wisconsin, so best to get familiar with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s fall color report pronto so you can be in the know when it comes to peak colors by county.  Then cross reference the Department’s colorama call-ins with our B&B map to color coordinate region to inn.  And don’t hesitate to get in touch with innkeepers at your favorite B&Bs either as they may be your best resource of all. [caption id="attachment_802" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Inn on Hillwind B&B, Plymouth.[/caption]

You Can Never Have Too Many Tomato Recipes

Some of us are tomato snobs – we only eat fresh tomatoes grown in our gardens or sourced from local farms.  And once you start eating this way, there’s no going back.  If your tomato plants are heavy with sun ripened Roma, Wisconsin 55 and Better Boy varieties, then you’ll want to try this tomato recipe from the Cream Pitcher B&B in Blue River, Wisconsin’s Southwest “Driftless” area. Heirloom Tomato Pie 1 cup flour ¾ cup yellow cornmeal ¾ tsp salt 1 stick cold, unsalted butter cheese (cut into ½-inch pieces) ¾ cup, plus 3 Tbsp shredded Manchego cheese 4 Tbsp ice water dried beans (as weights) 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme Filling 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided 1 large onion, thinly sliced 2¼ lbs. mixed heirloom tomatoes ¾ cup shredded mozzarella ¼ cup mayonnaise 3 Tbsp breadcrumbs 3 Tbsp chopped fresh chives 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme kosher salt freshly  ground pepper   Pulse the flour, cornmeal and salt in a food processor to combine. Add the butter and 3 tablespoons Manchego. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-size bits of butter. Drizzle in 4 tablespoons of ice water and pulse until the dough comes together. Add 1 more tablespoon ice water if necessary. Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and pat into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes. Put the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll into a 13-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9½-inch deep-dish pie plate. Fold the overhang under itself and crimp the edges. Pierce the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Line the crust with foil, then fill with dried beans. Bake until the edges are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and continue baking until golden all over, 10–15 more minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. For the filling: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring until golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool. Meanwhile, thinly slice the tomatoes. Toss with 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a colander. Let drain about 30 minutes, gently tossing occasionally. Increase oven temperature to 375°F. Combine the remaining ¾ cup Manchego, mozzarella, mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons each chives and parsley, thyme, ¼ teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper and the sautéed onion in a bowl. Spread in the crust. Arrange the tomatoes on top. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with pepper. Bake until the tomatoes are browned, about 50 minutes. Top with remaining 1 tablespoon each chives and parsley.   [caption id="attachment_734" align="aligncenter" width="300"] A 'long and winding road' leads you to the Cream Pitcher B&B, in Blue River. Situated among the hills in Richland County (southwest Wisconsin), this unglaciated area offers awesome beauty as well as outdoor activities in every season. There are more than 3 miles of hiking trails through the 100 acres of woodland. Watch deer, turkeys and other wildlife; see and hear many species of birds. Enjoy the creek that flows close by...and the warm hospitality of innkeepers Diane & Vern.[/caption]

Get Cooking

There’s something about enjoying a made-from-scratch breakfast at a Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast that often inspires the home chef in our guests. So we thought we’d post a list of some fun cooking classes around the state to get culinary juices flowing. Bekah Kates, an incredibly cute shop filled with wonderful kitchen and home items, is located in an 1886 building (the owners lovingly restored it themselves) right on the downtown square in Baraboo.  The list of cooking classes here ranges from farmers’ market dishes to Thai to fancy French desserts.  Stay at Inn at Wawanissee Point or Pinehaven B&B, both in Baraboo. At specialty shop Orange Tree Imports in Madison, a 35+ year mainstay on chic shopping boulevard Monroe Street, their list of chef instructors is very impressive.  And so is the list of B&Bs in the Madison metro area. The Savory Spoon Cooking School in Door County occupies a former village school house built in 1879.  It appropriately bills itself as “a place for people who are passionate about food,” given they’re a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals.  This seasonal school is open June through October; take your pick of B&Bs up and down the Door County peninsula when you attend. Coquette Café in Milwaukee’s historic Third Ward is famous for its authentic yet unassuming bistro fare you might find in the home kitchens of French grandmothers.  Their demonstration-style cooking classes are held Tuesday evenings, so sneak away midweek and stay at the Brumder Mansion B&B. If La Crosse is a favorite getaway destination for you, sign up for a cooking class at the People’s Food Co-op.  For accommodations, reserve a room at Four Gables B&B or Wilson Schoolhouse Inn. The list of classes at Dinner’s On in Altoona is temptingly eclectic.  We especially like that at the end of each class participants enjoy a full buffet, with plenty of time to discuss all the creations.  Stay at an Eau Claire area inn like Fanny Hill Victorian Inn or Otter Creek Inn. Now get cooking!   [caption id="attachment_730" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Fanny Hill Victorian Inn & Dinner Theatre has a tradition of entertaining and delighting guests for over 30 years. A locally-owned dinner theater, restaurant, banquet facility and nine-room inn, Fanny Hill has a way of making guests feel welcome every time. Summer is the time to enjoy the manicured property with astonishing flower gardens and to catch the deck entertainment.[/caption]  

Theatre in the Open

You’ve heard of theatre in the round.  How about theatre in the forest.  Or in a tent.  Or on a lakeshore.  In Spring Green, the American Players Theatre is world renowned for its classical theatre performed under the stars in an amphitheater on a hill with trees all around.  In Door County, the Peninsula Players is America’s oldest professional resident summer theater, and there’s also American Folklore Theatre with musicals that are often Wisconsin-themed, and Door Shakespeare which stages its performances in a garden.  Lake Superior’s Big Top Chautauqua, Bayfield,  has a full summer season of plays and concerts and, yes, they are performed under a big tent.  In Mineral Point, there’s Alley Stage, and in Milwaukee the Peck Pavillion on the lakeshore has lots of free events.  Get outside, take a seat, enjoy the show, and then return to the B&B of your choice, knowing our member inns are also famous for receiving rave reviews.      [caption id="attachment_722" align="aligncenter" width="175"] Mineral Point is known for its artist's community and artisan shops ... just a short stroll from Brewery Creek. As its name implies, Brewery Creek is more than an historic inn - it's a brew pub, and restaurant known for a locally sourced menu.[/caption]

Wisconsin B&Bs for Business Travelers

A Wisconsin B&B may not be the first type of lodging that comes to mind when planning a business trip, but give it a try.  Lots of inns offer corporate rates and even have meeting rooms right on premise.  Other reasons to stay at a B&B for business?  It’s quiet, for starters.  When you’re on the road, getting a good night’s sleep is paramount, and having throngs of people running up and down hallways is just not going to cut it for business travelers.  Not having to pay extra for breakfast is always a check in the plus column, but when that breakfast is homemade, hot from the oven and served to you on nice china, well, you’ll feel like you’ve just won employee of the month.  We also hear from women executives traveling alone that they feel a real sense of security staying at a B&B. A quick scan of inns in some of the larger cities in the state turned up a nice list that fits the business bill.  Here’s a sampling: In Whitewater, try the Hamilton House B&B, with luxury linens and stocked refreshment center.  In Appleton, the Franklin Street Inn is in a historic neighborhood and, while it’s Queen Anne in style, the amenities are 21st century.  Also in Appleton, The Roost B&B.  In Steven Point, Dreams of Yesteryear is on the National Historic Register and conveniently located in the historic downtown business district, along with A Victorian Swan on Water.  There’s the Astor House B&B in Green Bay, the Livingston Inn in Madison, the Otter Creek Inn in Eau Claire, and the Stewart Inn in Wausau. While we can’t guarantee you’ll win the next big client for your company simply by staying at a B&B, we can make sure you’re in your best form for the big presentation.  One other note: If you’re looking for extended stay options, just ask the innkeeper about rates when you call, because there are plenty of inns that offer that too. [caption id="attachment_377" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The executive conference room at the Stewart Inn - Wausau, comfortably hosts business meetings and supports your computer presentation. After hours? Picture yourself cheering on your favorite teams!"]B&B TV Room, Corporate Meeting Room, Business Meeting at B&B[/caption]    
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