Real Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts blog

Roll into bicycling season

Wisconsin B&Bs - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Wisconsin is one of the nation's bike-friendliest states. It was a pioneer in the rails-to-trails concept, starting with the famous Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail, a 32-mile trail along a former railroad line that travels through three tunnels and is part of more than 100 miles in trails that extend throughout western Wisconsin.

Biking is an economic engine for Wisconsin, generating an estimated $1.5 million in annual economic activity. The League of American Bicyclists ranks Wisconsin No. 2 in the nation and No. 1 in the Midwest for bicycling.

The official opening of the Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail will be held at the Sparta Chamber at noon May 1. The trail turns 50 this year, marking the anniversary of the first rail to trail conversion in the United States. 

The Franklin Victorian Bed and Breakfast is only one mile from the trail and many guests ride to and from the bike trail on a daily basic. Guests come by car or bike and have a wonderful time on the bike trail and relaxing at the bed and breakfast. From May 1 through Oct. 31 for only $34 per couple, Franklin Victorian Bed and Breakfast offers shuttle service and will ferry your bicycles and drop you off at locations at Elroy, Kendall, Wilton or Norwalk. The inn also offers secure bike storage and sells bike passes.

B&B travelers who enjoy bicycling could start their trip on the 400 State Trail in Reedburg and stay Mill House on Main, a bed and breakfast in La Valle. The 400 connects with the Elroy-Sparta trail. After a stay at the Franklin Victorian Bed and Breakfast in Sparta, you can hop on the La Crosse River State Trail and ride to the Great River State Trail in Onalaska, where you can stay at the Lumber Baron Inn.  

Wisconsin has more than 1,000 miles of bicycling trails, including many trails in the state parks. The combination of biking with bed and breakfasts is a perfect fit. There's no better place to enjoy the beauty of Wisconsin's trails and roads and settle in for the night than in a comfortable bed and breakfast operated by innkeepers who know the area. You're sure to receive tips and suggestions about things to do and great places to eat. That's the hospitality that the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Organization is known for. 

Many Real Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts member inns offer biking nearby. It's hard to be much closer to biking than Cameo Rose near Belleview. The inn is just one-half mile from the Badger State Trail which links with the Military Ridge Trail and the Capital City Bike Trail.

Dreams of Yesteryear in Stevens Point is near the Green Circle Trail, a 30-mile network circling the city. The inn is just a couple of blocks away from the trail and is only 10 miles away from mountain biking in Standing Rocks Park.

 Pleasant Lake Bed and Breakfast in Osceola is located near the Gandy Dancer and Seven Lakes Bike Trails. Door County Lighthouse Inn is near many biking opportunities. 

Gilbert Huson House in Plymouth is near the mountain bike trails in the Kettle Moraine State Forest and is near the Old Plank Road Trail. White Shutters in Lomira is near the Wild Goose State Trail and is also near the Kettle Moraine State Forest.

Wisconsin also offers plenty of highway biking as well, including the 382 miles of paved roads in the Trempealeau County Bicycle Loop, called the best biking in the Midwest by the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Many guests stay at Brambleberry Bed and Breakfast and bike the roads that average only three cars per hour.  

May 9 is the first ride in the Tour de`Trempealeau Series. Choose from a 10-mile fun ride or continue north into the hills for 23- or 43-mile tours. All begins in and returns to Trempealeau, next to the mighty Mississippi River. 

B&Bs celebrate Earth Day

Wisconsin B&Bs - Saturday, April 04, 2015

Earth Day is April 22 and the entire month of April is set aside for environmental appreciation. Earth Day was founded by former Wisconsin governor and U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970.


 According to Earthday.org, Nelson wanted to infuse the energy of the anti-war movement to an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution. Nelson's inspiration led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.


Wisconsin continues to be a leader in conservation and environmental efforts. The Wisconsin Department of Tourism now oversees the state's environmental initiative among businesses called Travel Green Wisconsin.


Four of our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Organization member inns have been certified as Travel Green businesses by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism: Brambleberry B&B, Door County Lighthouse Inn, Dreams of Yesteryear and Franklin Victorian B&B in Sparta. All offer eco-friendly lodging in beautiful and luxurious settings.


You can still be a green traveler when you stay at any Real Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast. Guests staying multiple days can tell their innkeeper if they would like to reuse their towels, saving on laundry and water usage. Guests can shut lights off or turn air conditioning down when leaving their guest room. Save on gas by vacationing at a fantastic bed and breakfast that is just a few hours from your home rather than taking a cross-country trip. 

Huson House featured on TV show

Wisconsin B&Bs - Sunday, February 15, 2015
The Gilbert Huson House, a member of the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Organization in Plymouth, was recently featured on a segment of Wisconsin Public Television's show "Around the Corner with John McGivern." 
A premiere showing was presented at the high school in Plymouth and more than 1,000 people attended. Here is the video:
   
The Gilbert Huson House, built in 1891, is a fine example of stick Queen Anne Victorian architecture. It is operated by innkeepers Dan Buckman and Glen Kazmierski. The home has 6 gables and was built at a cost of $6,000. Gilbert operated a mercantile known as Huson & Timm Co. and retired shortly after building the home.
 Family milestones, from births, baptisms, graduations, weddings to funerals, occurred at the Huson House. A newspaper account tells of daughter Mary's wedding reception with sister Clara presiding at the punch bowl. 
After Gilbert & Susan passed away, daughter Clara and her husband Paul, took ownership raising their family in the home. Clara was the first woman to be on the local school board and helped to establish the local library.
 In 1985 restoration began to return the home to a single family residence. It has been designated as a county and city landmark. In 1988 it opened as the first B&B in Sheboygan county. 
There are six guest rooms, all with private baths, three with single whirlpool tubs. 

Romance for Valentine's Day and beyond

Wisconsin B&Bs - Sunday, February 01, 2015

Valentine's Day approaches and this year with Feb. 14 falling on a Saturday, there are no excuses to not enjoy a romantic weekend getaway. The members of the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Organization will be happy to help you plan your romantic interlude.

Here are a few of the romance specials being offered by our innkeepers.

Dreams of Yesteryear in Stevens Point has a Dreams Romantic Getaway Package that includes the third-floor Ballroom Suite, champagne, flowers and dinner for two at the award-winning Red Mill Supper Club.

Door County Lighthouse Inn has two romance packages. The Sleigh Bells and Romance Package is offered through March. Along with a two-night stay you get to ride the Door County Trolley for a Winter Wonderland Tour featuring wine tasting. A $50 dinner coupon to the English Inn and a $25 shopping certificate is included. The Winter Romance Package runs through April and includes a $50 dining coupon at the English Inn.

Cameo Rose B&B near Madison has a special occasion package available anytime that includes a dozen long stem roses, a 1 pound box of fresh handmade chocolates and a bottle of bubbly.

Pleasant Lake B&B in Osceola offers through March any night for just $99 (plus tax). While this special is not good on Valentine's Day, take advantage of another time for a weekend getaway. The inn also has a winter special in a double-whirlpool room. Stay two nights and get one night half off.

Franklin Victorian B&B in Sparta has a month-long February special. Stay three nights in a row and receive two roses in a vase for free.

Brambleberry Country Inn and Winery near Black River Falls through March 14 offers a free bottle of wine (value up to $16.95) or a free pizza for any two-night stay in one of their whirlpool rooms. Special winter rates of up to $20 off are available for single-night stays. You can also add romantic special touches to your stay such as chocolates, a cheese plate and wine.

There are plenty of reasons to get away for Valentine's Day with your special valentine. But remember that romance is offered year-round at Real Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts. It is our specialty.

Enjoy winter skiing by candlelight

Wisconsin B&Bs - Thursday, January 08, 2015

Wisconsin parks offer numerous candlelight hiking, skiing and snowshoeing events. Some include a roaring bonfire and others have warming shelters, with warm beverages. Here are some of the events coming up in January and February near a Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Organization member inn.

The fifth annual Horicon Marsh Candlelight Hike/Snowshoe is Saturday, Jan. 17 from 6 to 9 p.m.  The Northern Cross Science Foundation astronomers will be available for night sky viewing through telescopes and the Horicon Marsh Bird Club will also call for owls. Admission is free and some snowshoes are available for use. Stay at nearby Real Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast member inns White Shutters near Lomira or Gilbert Huson House in Plymouth.

There are two candlelight events near Dreams of Yesteryear B&B in Stevens Point. The first is Friday, Jan. 23 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Council Grounds State Park near Merrill. The second is Saturday Feb. 14 at Rib Mountain State Park from 5 to 7 p.m.

Door County Lighthouse Inn is the place to stay for three state park candlelight events. The first is Saturday, Jan. 31 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Whitefish Dunes State Park. There are two events on Saturday, Feb. 7 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Visit Peninsula State Park or Newport State Park.

The Black River State Forest Candlelight Ski is from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31. Stay at nearby Brambleberry Bed and Breakfast or Franklin Victorian Bed and Breakfast.

Stay at Mill House on Main B&B in La Valle and participate in the Mirror Lake event from 6 to 8 p.m. in Baraboo on Feb. 7 or take in a candlelight event at Devil's Lake State Park in Baraboo from 6 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 21.

The New Glarus Woods State Park Cabin Fever Candlelight Event is Feb. 7 from 6 to 9 p.m. Stay at nearby Cameo Rose B&B and also check out other Cabin Fever events happening that day in New Glarus.

Jesse Stone House in Watertown is your location to check out several candlelight ski events happening in the various units of the Kettle Morraine State Park. There are events on Jan. 16, Jan. 24, Feb. 7 and Feb. 14.

Make your Valentine's Day special with an evening at the candlelight event that day from 6 to 9 p.m. at Interstate State Park in St. Croix Falls. Stay at nearby Pleasant Lake B&B in Osceola.

For specific information about these and other candlelight skis, visit the DNR web site. (Photos courtesy of the DNR.) 

Spring into Wisconsin bicycling season

Wisconsin B&Bs - Sunday, April 06, 2014

Wisconsin is one of the nation's bike-friendliest states. It was a pioneer in the rails-to-trails concept, starting with the famous Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail, a 32-mile trail along a former railroad line that travels through three tunnels and is part of more than 100 miles in trails that extend throughout western Wisconsin.

Biking is an economic engine for Wisconsin, generating an estimated $1.5 million in annual economic activity. The League of American Bicyclists ranks Wisconsin No. 2 in the nation and No. 1 in the Midwest for bicycling.

The official opening of the Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail will be held at the Sparta Chamber at noon May 1. The Franklin Victorian Bed and Breakfast is only one mile from the trail and many guests ride to and from the bike trail on a daily basic. Guests come by car or bike and have a wonderful time on the bike trail and relaxing at the bed and breakfast. From May 1 through Oct. 31 for only $34 per couple, Franklin Victorian Bed and Breakfast offers shuttle service and will ferry your bicycles and drop you off at locations at Elroy, Kendall, Wilton or Norwalk. The inn also offers secure bike storage and sells bike passes.

Wisconsin has more than 1,000 miles of bicycling trails, including many trails in the state parks. The combination of biking with bed and breakfasts is a perfect fit. There's no better place to enjoy the beauty of Wisconsin's trails and roads and settle in for the night than in a comfortable bed and breakfast operated by innkeepers who know the area. You're sure to receive tips and suggestions about things to do and great places to eat. That's the hospitality that the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Organization is known for. 

Book your warm winter getaway

Wisconsin B&Bs - Sunday, January 05, 2014

Winter is the perfect time to book a romantic weekend getaway at a Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Organization member inn. Real Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast members offer warm hospitality year-round!

Many members run winter specials and are near lots of Wisconsin winter outdoor recreation locations. You can ski, snowshoe, hike, snowmobile or just get out for the weekend. Some members offer fireplaces and hot tubs where you can warm up after your day of winter fun.

Remember, you haven't experienced an authentic Wisconsin bed and breakfast experience unless it's at a Real Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast inn!

Why fall is special in Wisconsin

Wisconsin B&Bs - Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons of the year in Wisconsin.  As the daylight hours diminish and the temperatures fall, Mother Nature prepares her trees for winter. The green chlorophyll pigment that dominates the leaves of deciduous trees fades away as the miracle of photosynethsis slows and stops. The carotenoid pigments (yellow, orange and brown) are revealed, along with the anthocyanins, which produce the blazing reds.

Wisconsin is blessed with a mixture of birch, poplar, maple, elm, hickory, white oak, red oak and many other trees. Some of the trees -- like sumac and walnut -- start turning colors at the end of August, while the rest display their colors starting in mid-September to mid-October. Every year is a little different because of the impact of weather, with sunny days and cool nights providing optimal color conditions.

This is the perfect time of year to enjoy nature and drink in the splendor of Mother Nature's color palette. Whether you're biking, motorcycling, walking, talking a boat cruise, canoeing or simply enjoying the sight from your car, the breathtaking views are free of charge!

It's also a busy season for Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Organization members, so it's always best to plan your reservations in advance. But it never hurts to call to see if there are any last-minute cancellations.

You can also plan your trip with the Travel Wisconsin Fall Color Report, a fantastic tool to monitor the changing colors across the state. 

Enjoy the change of season and visit one of our member inns

Summer celebrations near Wisconsin B&Bs

Wisconsin B&Bs - Saturday, August 03, 2013

There is always something to do near at Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Organization member, but August seems to be a month full of summer fun and activities.

Our August newsletter has lots of things to do and see in Wisconsin, from biking to enjoying harvest dinners to seasonal festivals. 

Here's a tip for you. Your Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Organization innkeeper is always glad to share their local knowledge about things to do. That's just part of the hospitality our member inns provide.


Enjoy Wisconsin's "shoulder season" of winter and spring

Wisconsin B&Bs - Tuesday, February 26, 2013

While the calendar says winter in Wisconsin is still with us through March 19, we all know that we're coming up on the shoulder seasons of Wisconsin.

Those are the months that can swing back and forth between seasons, giving us lots of fun or frustration. The innkeepers of the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Organization are prepared to help you whether you're still looking to enjoy the last of winter or want to spring ahead.

Our March-April newsletter details plenty of activities that you can enjoy near a Real Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast, from St. Patrick's Day events to wine-tasting events to maple syrup season, plus much more.

And it's never too early to look ahead to later spring or even summer and book a stay now!