A Simple Inquiry about Hiking Trails Produced the Mother Lode 4 Jun 2013, 7:25 pm
We sent out a quick little e-mail asking Wisconsin innkeepers to share their insider intel on great hiking trails that guests could access minutes from their inns. Whoa, were we in for a mother lode of hiking finds, so much so that we’ll need to post in a series of blogs! Here’s the first installment covering the Baraboo area.
Recommendations from the Inn at Wawanissee Point in Baraboo: Just five minutes from the Inn at Wawanissee Point, a sophisticated estate inn built in 2004, is the state’s most visited park, Devil’s Lake State Park . The trails at Devil’s Lake wind through forests, prairies and steep rocky bluffs, with three miles of those trails crisscrossing the inn’s 42-acres. Plus, the Inn’s southern border adjoins Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area , the state’s first state natural area. This deep sandstone gorge, an anomaly amid the Baraboo quartzite cliffs, harbors rare and threatened species of breeding birds and flora. Tip: Hike into the Glen along the stream which takes you to a waterfall at the beginning of the gorge. For those seeking less-traveled paths and even greater solitude, there’s the 1,800-acre Riverland Conservancy’s Merrimac Preserve of forest, prairie, savanna, wetlands and streams. The Preserve, which the inn overlooks, is laced with trails, including four miles of the Ice Age Scenic Trail. Also in Baraboo, with the bluffs in the background and a spring-fed lake a few steps from the inn, Pinehaven B&B offers guests quiet country vacation spot within 15 miles of all the great tourist attractions for Baraboo and Wisconsin Dells.
After a day of hiking, guests can relax and take in the panoramic vista from lounge at Inn at Wawanissee Point.
Wisconsin B&Bs Celebrate National Scone Day May 30th 30 May 2013, 1:05 pm
May 30th is National Scone Day and there are plenty of Wisconsin innkeepers who’ve mastered the scone. To celebrate the day, why not try this recipe for Irish Scones from Stagecoach Inn in Cedarburg.
Irish Scones 2 cups flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda Pinch of salt ¼ cup sugar 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter 1/3 cup dried fruit (raisins, currants, craisin, apricot, cherry) 1 large egg plus enough low-fat milk to make ¾ cup Raw sugar, optional*
Sift dry ingredients, stir in sugar. Cut butter into small pieces and blend it with dry ingredients to create crumbly mix. Add dried fruit. In a glass measuring cup, mix egg and milk and reserve 2 tablespoons to glaze scones. Add rest to mix, mixing just enough to create a dough mixture that can be pressed into a ball. Pat dough into a circle. On a floured board, roll or pat out scone dough about 1” thick. Dust a round 2” cookie cutter with flour and cut dough into rounds. Pat trimmings into a ball, roll out again and cut more scones. Place scones on a large greased baking sheet. Brush remaining glaze on scones, or top with raw sugar*. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place scones in middle of preheated oven and bake about 18 minutes or until they are golden brown and rim to the touch. Serve hot with fruit spreads. Makes 12 scones.
Golf Packages part 2 29 May 2013, 1:32 pm
Emerald green is the Pantone color of the year. Which makes us think of green grass. Which makes us think of golf. If you’re looking for perfectly manicured greens to be an integral part of your next Wisconsin B&B getaway, then use this handy map to plot out which course you’d like to tackle and then cross reference the nearest B&B. Tee it up with these golf packages: The Eagle Harbor Inn in Door County has a two night for two people offer that comes with two rounds of golf at Peninsula State Park Golf Course, plus you get a homemade cherry pie to take home with you! The Washington House Inn in Cedarburg is the preferred lodging choice for The Bog, designed by Arnold Palmer and selected by Golf Digest as one of the best golfing experiences in Wisconsin, and the innkeepers there are throwing in a discounted round of golf with cart along with the lovely bed and breakfast experience you’ll have at their property which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Click here to see other golf packages from our member inns – the list is growing by the day, a sure sign that we’re all thinking spring.
The Washington House Inn, Cedarburg, an 1886 Victorian cream city brick listed on the National Register of Historic Places, features 34 inviting guest rooms. This is the ultimate in B&B accommodations.
Head Out on the Highway 17 May 2013, 10:27 am
So often we tout the bike trails in Wisconsin and suggest ideas for biking between B&Bs. Time to give some due to the other two-wheeled form of travel – motorcycling. We just learned that seven communities in the region of western Wisconsin known as the “driftless area” – an area untouched by glaciers and the drift deposits left by glaciers, and notable for deeply carved valleys – have banded together to promote “Cycle Driftless Destinations.” The seven cities are Sparta, La Crosse, Black River Falls, Hillsboro, Tomah, Onalaska and Trempealeau, and they’ve pooled resources to produce an area map showing five interconnected routes that circle through the back roads of the region. Sounds like a wonderful way to while away a weekend. Of course, lodging will be required and that’s where our lovely Wisconsin B&Bs come into play. We recommend a stay at the Franklin Victorian B&B in Sparta for starters, where they offer inside secure motorcycle storage. There’s also Grapevine Log Cabins and Justin Trails B&B. In La Crosse, choose between two inns which are both listed on the National Historic Register – Four Gables B&B and Wilson Schoolhouse Inn. On to Onalaska, where the Lumber Baron Inn offers water views of Lake Onalaska, or you can opt for a farmhouse getaway at Rainbow Ridge Farms. Happy (motor) cycling.
Yes, you could ‘camp’ while exploring southwest Wisconsin’s driftless area … or you could start your day with this breakfast at the Franklin Victorian B&B in Sparta. While you enjoy the comforts of the inn, your bike is out of the elements too!
Some B&B Myths Die Hard 13 May 2013, 3:20 pm
A recent post by writer Andrew Knowlton, (aka “The Foodist”) at Bon Appétit magazine had us shaking our heads and tsk-tsking. Try as we might in the B&B industry to dispel myths, some food writers simply haven’t gotten the message. So, first read his post here, then continue with our blog. It’s all so not true! Here in Wisconsin, nearly 100% of B&Bs have private baths and not just any baths but spa-like baths – the White Lace Inn – Sturgeon Bay and Canyon Road Inn - Turtle Lake are perfect examples. You don’t have to eat with other guests, although many travelers like the experience. Just choose an inn that provides in-room breakfast like the Otter Creek Inn of Eau Claire, where you’ll customize your own breakfast (and dining time) from their menu. Or, choose the communal table set-up at Pickwick Inn of East Troy. Curfew, shmerfew….there is no such thing. Same goes for rigid check-in times. Who needs a mini-bar when most innkeepers provide free beverages (unless of course you prefer to pay for water). Many offer complimentary libations and snacks in the evening too. Who wouldn’t love the Wisconsin wine and cheese tasting at Cold Spring Inn, Hubertus…from their own vineyard! To borrow from the line in that Oldsmobile TV spot, this is not your grandmother’s B&B.
Breakfast at the Otter Creek Inn is as individual as you are: choose your entree, sides, and beverages and schedule delivery to your guest room door so that you may enjoy breakfast-in-bed or at the private table in your guestroom.
Canyon Road Inn – Turtle Lake just may have one of the largest showers of all B&B’s in Wisconsin, at 8’ long . . .and with a view of the lake, too.
Perfectly paired wine & cheese awaits guest enjoyment at Cold Spring Inn‘s complimentary welcome gathering.
What’s the #1 Reason to B&B? 9 May 2013, 5:00 am
According to industry research, a whopping 87% of travelers head to B&Bs for romance. We love that! This time of year also brings to mind that famous quote from Lord Tennyson: “In the spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” Let’s add woman’s too. At any rate, check out the romance packages offering by Wisconsin B&Bs and see which offer the highest level of compatibility with your idea of a romantic spring getaway.
Bath Sommelier – the ultimate in a soothing bath in the privacy of your room, with a beautiful array of the finest spa soaps, lotions, homemade bath salts from the Dead Sea, and loofahs. Total relaxation emersion, with soy aromatherapy candles, specialty music CD, and sprinkle of bath rose petals around to delight you. Fresh flowers, a small tray of fruits and chocolate truffles, and a beverage of your choice will complete the experience at Honeybee Inn, Horicon.
Enhance your Romance – Two relaxing and invigorating one hour in room massages performed by a certified therapist to the soothing sounds of nature, enhanced by soft music for a quiet interlude from a busy and hectic day. Chilled bottle of champagne or sparkling juice in your room upon arrival, a rose bouquet, and box of Bernstein’s chocolate truffles. Romantic dinner for two at the award winning Courthouse Pub Restaurant. In the morning, a four course candlelight breakfast … Westport B&B, Manitowoc
Wisconsin B&Bs That Just Make Good (Horse) Sense 8 May 2013, 5:00 am
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.
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.
Green is the Color of the Year, Even for Wisconsin B&Bs 25 Apr 2013, 4:03 pm
English Manor B&B, Sheboygan is located within approx 5 miles to four championship golf courses – Whistling Straits’ Irish and Straits Courses and Blackwolf Run’s River and Meadow Valley Course.
Emerald green is the Pantone color of the year. Which makes us think green grass. Which makes us think golf. If you’re looking for perfectly manicured greens to be an integral part of your next Wisconsin B&B getaway, then use this handy map to plot out which course you’d like to tackle and then cross reference the nearest B&B. English Manor B&B in Sheboygan, Cobblestone B&B in Birchwoord, and Hollyberry Inn in Hayward have a nice golf package offers, so perhaps tee it up there for starters. Hollyberry Inn sent in this jewel of a golf package:
Receive twenty percent off green fees when you stay at Hollyberry Inn B & B. Come play the “4-Star” rated, prestigious and affordable Hayward Golf Club. This “#1 Most played Golf Course in Northern Wisconsin” offers a challenging yet friendly, beautifully manicured, immaculately groomed course. HGC is just blocks from Hollyberry Inn, where you will enjoy a warm, inviting, comfortable stay, including a scrumptious homemade breakfast before you hit the links. Holly will be happy to schedule your tee times and any other golfing arrangements. Plan ahead to ensure best tee times. (Certain days and times may not be available.) 715-934-4004
Always Dreamed of Owning a Wisconsin B&B? 22 Apr 2013, 12:19 pm
Most innkeepers are corporate runaways who followed their dream to own a B&B. Make no mistake, running an inn is a career first, a lifestyle second. It involves accounting, operations, marketing, guest service, food & beverage, housekeeping and, most of all, warm hospitality. If you’re ready to act on your dream, there are some dreamy Wisconsin B&Bs for sale. Perhaps one of them has your name on it.
Check Into Something Better 15 Apr 2013, 2:48 pm
Here at the Wisconsin B&B Association, we find it mildly amusing that some hotels are offering “B&B Packages.” What’s that adage about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery? Well, we’re not falling for the flattery. Truth is, the breakfast you get at a B&B is homemade, often featuring local ingredients, and served to you. You needn’t flip your own pancakes or try to figure out the toaster settings … or worse. What if B&Bs offered a “Hotel Package”? ‘See why B&Bs are the Better Way to Stay … there, we got that off our chest!