By Kristina LeVan
Before you prepare the turkey and hang the stockings, take some time to unwind with your special someone. You don’t have to travel far to escape before the busy holiday season. These destinations offer up small town Wisconsin charm that will leave you feeling relaxed and ready to haul out the holly.
Located just two hours from four major Wisconsin metro areas, Watertown is the perfect place for a weekend away from the bustling city. Views of the Rock River can be seen from picturesque downtown shops and cafes, as well as the nearby Jesse Stone House. This Victorian-era bed & breakfast is full of turn-of-the-century decorations, including a vintage player piano. Sip tea from antique china while reading a book in the library, or visit the 1931 Chevy Coupe in the historic coach fhouse.
Those looking for some pampering can partake in a relaxing couples massage at Domani Salon & Spa, where services begin with a foot soak and aroma sensory journey.
A visit to Watertown isn’t complete without a stop by the local favorite, Elias Inn Supper Club. Known for their steaks and fish fry, the supper club also offers a great selection of local craft beer.
Settled atop of the scenic southwestern Wisconsin hills, Cashton provides a rustic setting that begs for a weekend visit. The area is well known for its Amish communities that sell colorful quilts, handcrafted furniture and delicious baked goods.
Originally built in 1898, Ages Past Bed & Breakfast remains true to its history with quaint rooms and antique furniture. Attached to the bed & breakfast, Back Door Cafe offers coffee and tea, as well as freshly made goodies that are free to all guests. Visitors can also enjoy a gourmet breakfast or dinner at the café.
The Village Shops at Down a Country Road are a must for travelers looking for one-of-a-kind keepsakes. Down A Country Road is made up of five Amish gift shops featuring everything from handmade soap to wooden toys and rocking horses. Hill & Vale Amish Bakery offers a great selection of jellies, jams and fresh bakery items that shoppers won’t be able to resist.
After a full-day exploring Amish country, visitors can warm up at Badger Crossing Pub & Eatery, an old-fashioned restaurant that has kept the flavor of the historic building it calls home.
Nestled along the shores of Lake Superior’s Chequamegon Bay, Washburn is the perfect mix of Northwoods tranquility and historic charm. This popular summer stop turns into a must-visit fall destination with artisan craft shops, fine dining and cozy inns.
At the Antique Garden Inn, visitors can take in pine trees and wildlife while staying close to Washburn’s downtown attractions. The inn uses fresh-from-the-garden produce to prepare a delicious breakfast derived straight to your door.
While in town, visitors can indulge in a French-inspired pastry at Café Coco Artisan Bakery or sip on a warm cup of coffee while perusing more than 70,000 books at Chequamegon Book & Coffee Company, located in a historic brownstone on the main street of Washburn. “The Old Bank Building” also provides a glimpse into the past as the Washburn Historical Museum and Cultural Center, which houses both a museum and ever-changing art exhibits.
For dinner, indulge in the gourmet tastings of Good Thyme Restaurant & Catering, featuring modern dishes and classic cocktails.
Perhaps a cabin is more your speed? Check out these five romantic rentals.