By Judith Berger
Special to TravelWisconsin.com
A romantic winter destination means different things to those in love. So, for those who love pampering places, great outdoors spaces, fabulous retreats or delicious eats, here are five winter destinations for romance that will make sweethearts swoon.
Prepare to be seduced by the city and lake views of Milwaukee. This romantic winter destination provides all the accommodations, activities and attractions for the perfect couple’s getaway.
Treat yourself to a stay at The Pfister Hotel; the original section will take you back to Old World opulence. Drink in the spectacular views high above the city from Blu bar on the 23rd floor of the hotel.
Reserve a window-table at the romantic Lake Park Bistro for breathtaking views of Lake Michigan. The Milwaukee Art Museum is a triple delight. From the outside, the wing-like structure of the Burke Brise Soleil is a spectacular site; inside the art exhibits are fabulous, and the entire space overlooks Lake Michigan.
After dark, the city lights offer a romantic backdrop for ice skating at Red Arrow Park at State and Water streets in downtown Milwaukee. Afterwards, a glass of wine in front of a roaring fire in the lower level of Rustico on the river in the Historic Third Ward will warm your spirits.
Lake Geneva is typically a summer hot spot; however, this romantic destination gets quite serene in winter.
Plan a stay at Seven Oaks Boutique Country Inn, where you'll find a touch of England – without the airfare. Nestled among mature trees, Seven Oaks offers nine luxury suites in seven one-floor buildings – no footsteps above, no footsteps below. Each suite has a porch with two rocking chairs where you can enjoy a relaxing drink after a long day of hiking, ice fishing on nearby Geneva Bay, skiing or just plain wandering around.
It's an easy walk downtown to enjoy the lakefront, shopping and restaurants. What could be more romantic than horseback riding in the snow? Dan Patch Stables offers horseback rides, carriage rides and sleighrides.
Or, find a unique treaure like an old-fashioned locket or music box from one of the area’s many antique stores.
Bayfield is Wisconsin’s true north, so bundle up and cuddle close in this romantic winter destination. Treat yourself to a stay at the Old Rittenhouse Inn. The inn is a Queen Anne-style mansion where you can get a room with a working fireplace and enjoy a romantic gourmet meal in its dining room.
To warm your spirits, Bayfield Winery has wine tastings and breathtaking winter views of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands. If you’re up for a bit of gambling, your best bet is the Legendary Waters Resort & Casino at Red Cliff.
Madison is a great romantic winter destination to be young and in love. Plan a stay at the Mansion Hill Inn, a beautifully furnished 1857 B&B. Make a reservation to dine at L’Etoile, Madison’s nationally renowned restaurant. For those who want to be near the action, check into the city’s latest boutique hotel, Graduate Madison, before enjoying a locally-sourced culinary adventure at Forequarter.
If you’re into sports, check out the UW’s schedule at Camp Randall or the Kohl Center. If it’s the arts you favor, the Overture Center is your destination. Love architecture and history? Take a free tour of the State Capitol building or the Monona Terrace Convention Center overlooking lovely Lake Monona.
Or, simply stroll hand-in-hand through the gardens, prairies, wetlands and forests of the UW Arboretum.
Enjoy the quiet beauty and crisp air on guided snowshoe hike at the Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor. Watch for its most majestic creatures on the hunt — bald eagles and great snowy owls.
Craving warmth and pampering, visit Spa Verde in Egg Harbor for massage and body treatments or hair and nail services, offered year-round by appointment.
The Whistling Swan Inn & Restaurant in Fish Creek is open for fireside meals in its cozy dining room. The Inn is open year-round, but offers dinner service October through April, Tuesday through Saturday. Just across the Peninsula, Baileys Harbor is home to the tranquil Blacksmith Inn on the Shore. Lounge in your intimate guest room overlooking the harbor before enjoying a homemade breakfast.