By Addie Radandt | Photo courtesy Ben Pierson/WI DNR
With the leaves changing into a collage of reds, oranges and yellows, autumn is a great time to get outside and enjoy a relaxing weekend getaway. You can even track peak foliage with Travel Wisconsin’s fall color report, updated by various chambers of commerce, visitor bureaus, tourism organizations and state parks. Plan your stay at one of these locally-owned bed-and-breakfast inns near some of the best places to enjoy the fall colors.
The Phipps Inn Bed & Breakfast in Hudson features homemade entrées and pastries and is just four blocks away from downtown Hudson. “We’re a Victorian mansion in the heart of the historic district,” says owner MaryEllen Cox. The Queen Ann style mansion is also close to multiple state parks. Willow River State Park is about seven miles away and is a great place to go leaf peeping and to enjoy the waterfalls. Just south of Hudson is Kinnickinnic State Park, which offers scenic views of the St. Croix and Kinnickinnic rivers with several different hiking trails and overlooks. phippsinn.com
The Crystal River Inn in Waupaca is a farmstead turned B&B on the Crystal River. With almost a dozen acres of certified wild- life habitat and a labyrinth for you to explore, it’s a prime spot for reconnecting with nature. They offer kayak rentals as well. “We bring [visitors] to Marl Lake and then they have a route where they’ll see tons of wildlife,” says owner Shayna Cappelle. The journey starts off in a series of small crystal-clear lakes and ends back at the B&B. During the first weekend of October you can also head over to the Hidden Studios Art Tour: Art Along the Ice Age Trail, and check out a diverse collection of local art. crystalriver-inn.com
Heading farther south, the Fargo Mansion Inn in Lake Mills is a historic building with a wraparound porch perfect for wine tasting and admiring the leaves. The owner offers a special wine tasting weekend package where they can set up a private wine tasting right at the inn. The mansion is also conveniently located two blocks away from the town square which is home to various different events, including the Fall Festival of Color on the first Sunday in October. The festival features over 150 different artists and vendors complete with live music and family activities. The Glacial Drumlin State Trail is just a 15-minute drive away and Aztalan State Park is also nearby. fargomansion.com
Overlooking the valley of the lower Wisconsin River in the Driftless Region is Sheer Memories Bed & Breakfast. Located in Muscoda, this B&B has a park-like setting and is surrounded by over 10 acres of colorful woods and fields, complete with hiking paths. After a day out exploring you can come back to sit around the outdoor fire pit or curl up with a book in their library. sheermemories.com
It’s worth taking the time to relax and really relish what for many Wisconsinites is their favorite time of the year.