By Denice Ryan Martin
Wisconsin Bed & Breakfasts are more than destinations for romantic getaways. After a hard day of sports or exploration, outdoor enthusiasts and travelers alike are enjoying the unique and luxurious accommodations that Wisconsin B&Bs provide. Comfy beds, relaxing baths and hearty breakfasts leave B&B guests refreshed and ready for new adventures.
If you’re planning an outing in Wisconsin’s great outdoors, you’ll find an impressive selection of B&Bs located within minutes of Wisconsin’s top recreational spots. Here’s a sampling of B&Bs to get you started, as well as some suggestions for the activities nearby.
This stunning Queen Anne Victorian home on Main Street carries a fascinating history. Built in the 1890s by Welsh settlers, it later served as the family home of the famous Wisconsin restaurateur George Webb.
Innkeeper Dee Nierzwicki has preserved much of this pretty Painted Lady’s original décor, including wall coverings, woodwork and light fixtures.
“Our furnishings are comfortable so that everyone feels welcome when they walk in the door,” she said. “Additionally, we strive to provide personal attention and concierge style service.”
During the week, Dee cooks a classic American country breakfast. On weekends she turns gourmet, with an expanded four course breakfast that starts with a palate-cleansing sorbet and ends with a tempting dessert.
Besides its catchy name, Pedal’rs Inn appeals to cyclists because it sits right across the street from the popular 52 mile Glacial Drumlin bicycle trail.
Many scenic parks with hiking paths are close by, including:
- Kettle Moraine State Forest - Lapham Peak Unit
- Kettle Moraine State Forest, Southern Unit
- Scuppernong River Habitat Area
Artha B&B is a restful haven that sits on 90 acres in the countryside, just minutes from Waupaca’s scenic Chain O’ Lakes playground. It’s also close to Hartman Creek State Park featuring Whispering Pines picnic grounds, a favorite stopping place with kayakers and canoeists.
“We have country quiet and a country sky out here,” says owner Marguerite Ramlow. “There’s a lot to do in the area in the silent sports arena.”
Marguerite and her husband Bob are long-time solar energy proponents and educators. They retrofitted their farmhouse into a Travel Green Wisconsin™ certified B&B, powering the home’s water, heat and electrical usage with solar panels.
“We like to show people how they can live sustainably and very comfortably while making a much smaller footprint,” Marguerite said.
Amenities include gourmet breakfasts featuring local eggs and organic foods. Guests are invited to pick fresh seasonal vegetables from the garden to add to their lunch or dinner. Organic sheets and linens are featured in the bedrooms. An on-site yoga studio in a retrofitted straw bale barn offers classes for yoga practitioners or a quiet place for guests to meditate. On-site massages by local state-certified massage therapists can also be arranged.
Located on 160 acres in the heart of Southwest Wisconsin’s Driftless Area, the Inn at Lonesome Hollow attracts guests who are eager to explore this picturesque part of the state that the ice age glaciers ignored. Owned and managed by Pete and Nora Knapik, the B&B was newly constructed in 2001 and offers three rooms in the inn as well as two detached guest houses. Lodging units feature Amish built bedroom furniture and quilts, fireplaces and whirlpool baths.
“We strive to offer luxurious lodging, wonderful breakfasts, and complete tranquility in a setting of true natural beauty,” Pete said. “Plus, the star gazing is incredible at night.”
Hiking starts right out the back door on four miles of trails that the couple maintains. Canoeists come for the beauty of the nearby Kickapoo River Fly fishing enthusiasts enjoy an abundance of trout streams in the region, like Tainter Creek.
Tucked away in the woods at the end of a scenic quarter mile driveway, this secluded B&B sits on a small and sparkling lake. Guests often fish right off the pier for pan fish or help themselves to paddleboat and canoe rides.
Innkeepers Turner Reaney and Patti Gilkey worked in the hospitality industry for years before buying the B&B in 2009. They describe their place as a “lodge style inn that boasts simple elegance.”
“All our room suites have something to give you that ‘ahh’ moment,” said Turner. Five of their six suites feature lakefront views. Among the amenities are king sized beds, double whirlpool tubs, Egyptian bathrobes and fireplaces.
“There are also special treats awaiting the guests that I don’t want to giveaway,” Turner teased.
For anglers and boaters, the inn features a large parking area to accommodate boats and trailers. For golfers, the inn offers a special package with the nearby eighteen hole Turtleback Golf Club.
Popular recreational trails include:
“Exquisitely Northwoods,” is what Lenny and Carol Anderson call their two-story log cabin B&B. The charming cabin sits in a clearing on 8 ½ acres of a pine forest located halfway between Hayward and Cable.
An impressive stone floor-to-ceiling fireplace greets guests as they enter the cozy and rustic lodge. Accommodations consist of four themed bedrooms featuring log walls, vaulted ceilings and traditional Northwoods décor.
Lenny says the guests often comment on the lodge’s quiet and peaceful surroundings.
“There are no televisions in the rooms,” Lenny said. “At the end of the day, people are sitting out and unwinding on the enclosed porch.”
The region is a paradise for mountain bikers and cross country skiers. The renowned CAMBA Trail system offers 300 miles of off-road trails in and around the Chequamegon National Forest. Thousands of cyclists participate in the annual Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival every September.
The famous Birkebeiner Cross Country Ski Trail is just one mile away and attracts fitness enthusiasts of all levels year-round. Many are in training for the renowned annual cross country skiing race, “The Birkie,” held in February.