By Meg Rotter

Beyond the vast windows of the Inn at Wawanissee Point stretches a majestic expanse of woods, giving way to the rolling Lake Wisconsin valley.

As a child, inn owner Dave Holdener recognized the beauty of the area while camping with his family. Later, when Holdener and his wife Trudy bought the property in the area, they decided to start an upscale bed-and-breakfast. “We didn’t know what we were going to build here but with land like this, it had to be grand,” says Trudy.

And indeed it is. Their high-end inn is nestled into its private, 42-acre setting, blending natural beauty outside with upscale comforts inside. The Inn is cozy and elegant—think spacious luxury villa with a rustic flair—featuring welcoming common spaces that include a breakfast sunroom and cocktail bar where guests can mingle and linger. Each well-appointed guest room has its own personality and private bath.

A weekend away there starts with the wine and cheese hour, with a glass of local, award-winning Wollersheim wine and Wisconsin cheeses enjoyed over the Holdeners’ tales of finding and developing this lovely setting. Mornings bring a delicious gourmet breakfast spread, and the Holdeners’ are glad to help you find romantic add-ons for special stays—from birthday cakes and bouquets to in-room or spa visit massages, even a s’mores campfire kit.

Plentiful activities enhance the stay. Plunk around on the baby grand, read a book by the fire, indulge in bird watching—the Baraboo Bluffs are a flyway that hosts as many as 250 species during migrations—or a hike along the inn’s 3 miles of forest trails. Or, sit a spell and unwind in the sauna, shiatsu massage chair or a Jacuzzi tub.

Beyond the inn, you’ll find more natural attractions nearby in downtown Baraboo. If you’re there on a weekend, start off Saturday morning by sampling local produce at the Baraboo Farmers’ Market, and stocking up on snacks for the day. Take a scenic stroll on Baraboo’s Riverwalk and enjoy autumn’s colors. Head off to New Freedom and climb aboard the vintage Mid-Continent Railway during the Autumn Color Weekend, Oct. 9-11. Or, if you’re looking for something more adventurous, explore Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area, Wisconsin’s first natural area, just beyond the inn’s estate. There, you can wander through the recesses of the glen’s towering sandstone walls and follow the trails to experience the wonder and fall beauty of this local gem.

If you tire of the woods, head back downtown to check out Countryside Refind, a newly opened home décor and vintage shop. While on the historic town square, check out Back Door Antiques, where every nook holds a hidden treasure.

After a long day out and about, head to the Driftless Glenn Distillery for a spirits tour and bourbon and rye tasting, and upscale spirit-infused meal. Head to the Little Village Café, a restored 1940s diner, for a sweet bit of their famous Chocolate Mousse Torte. Or, spend a casual, relaxing evening on The Barn Restaurant and Bar’s outdoor patio, located down the road from Devil’s Lake. The rustic, renovated barn, with its surrounding willow trees, is the epitome of country chic. This beer-lover’s paradise has “The Bible”—a thick binder filled with the extensive list of brews they feature.

Then cozy up back at the secluded inn for a restful night, with visions of autumn’s splendor dancing in your head.

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