Venturing into the woods, The Red Chair arrived at Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast on a gorgeous May day. Hidden Serenity is tucked in a forest north of West Bend, Wisconsin. We offer a hiking trail on our property, a pickleball/sport court and excellent wildlife viewing outside. Indoors our guests enjoy billiards, spacious common areas, well-appointed rooms and a hot gourmet breakfast. Red will get treated very special here, just like our guests. Get ready, Red. You are about to get a tour of the beautiful Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, make a stop at the “big pond” – Lake Michigan, and take in some of the finest Wisconsin art.
A tour around the property was the first item on the agenda for Red at Hidden Serenity. Red relaxed in the garden with a few friends before taking to the court to try pickleball a fun paddle sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. Not an easy sport for when you don’t have arms! Next Red ventured down the path through the woods and came upon Hidden Serenity’s wooden swings. Red and innkeeper Sally enjoy a few swings together on this gorgeous sunny day in Wisconsin.
Red had a special invitation to visit the Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary right across the street from it’s host, Hidden Serenity. With a chance to see huge elk, a cougar, wolves, many deer, bison and so many more animals, Red had decided to get up close and personal with the resident bears, Lewis and Clark. The bears seemed curious, Red stayed on the other side of the fence to be safe. These were big bears! Red commented how nice it is to have this world-class zoo just across the street!
Hidden Serenity is located near the Northern Kettle Moraine State Forest in Wisconsin and Red was anxious to discover what that really means. A trip to pristine Mauthe Lake was a great introduction. Dipping his feet in the water and sitting at the end of the pier while kids were fishing and others were kayaking on the lake, Red could see why people love the peaceful waters and surrounding woods. But it was the trip up Parnell Tower in the heart of the forest that really helped Red understand what this area is all about. From high above the trees Red could see the way that the glacier had made its mark on the land. Hills called Kames, Moraines, Eskers and the stunning Kettles dot the landscape and Red was in awe. The National Scenic Ice Age Trail winds its way through the forest and Red has to admit, it is a great workout!
After finishing up in the woods, Red heads over to Lake Michigan, specifically Port Washington. Red finds this darling marina town very welcoming as he meets two pirates near the lake. Red finds a spot to gaze out on the water and enjoy the breeze. Sailboats float by way out on the lake and closer by the seagulls wait for the fishermen to clean their catch. Red has discovered that many charters go out from here and many more fishermen fish right off the docks.
On the way back to Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast, Red makes a very worthwhile stop in West Bend at the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA). Red felt right at home with some the dazzling art such as the Glass globe sculpture in this uniquely shaped building. Among the other fine works displayed here, Red found himself mesmerized by the works of Carl von Marr, a Wisconsin-born artist who studied in Germany in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Red sat and took in The Flagellants, by von Marr. A huge oil painting spanning 13’11” x 22’9”, Red gazed at the lifelike scenes that told a story of long ago. So real and so intriguing.
Time to head back to Hidden Serenity, tucked in the woods. Red has found the stay here very peaceful, yet when he wanted to find some adventure there was some exciting things nearby. Goodbye hills and kettles of the Kettle Moraine and on to the next adventure.
Where travelers once held photos of Flat Stanley in unusual places, photographers now shoot photos of a humble red chair. Long considered simply a place to rest after a long day, the lowly wooden chair has been elevated to celebrity status, and is being welcomed at inns and B&Bs throughout America.It’s all part of a multi-year B&B awareness program that focuses on a traveling red porch chair to highlight the comfort, hospitality and friendliness of bed and breakfasts. Since its start in New England in 2012, B&Bs and inns have taken inspiring photos of the Red Chair from beaches to bandstands.
Thanks to a partnership with BedandBreakfast.com, the Red Chair is making its way across the United States, bringing attention to B&Bs and beautiful travel destinations. It traveled along the East Coast and Southern states in 2014, spent 2015 touring the West Coast, in 2016 Red went international by venturing through Canada all the way to Alaska, and 2017 will be the year of the Midwest. Participating B&Bs and inns listed on BedandBreakfast.com host the Red Chair, chronicling its stay with blog posts and photos on www.RedChairTravels.com.
This week thanks to the partnership with WBBA (Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association – WisconsinBandB.com) the chair is making its way to The Northern Kettle Moraine and Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast.
It all started in winter 2012 with a single image. Woods Hole Inn innkeeper Beth Colt posted a picture on Facebook of her simple red chair perched on the ice behind her house and watched her page light up with “likes.” The picture was shared on the Facebook page of a nature photographer from California, who was inspired by the image to visit the Woods Hole Inn and took an amazing second photo of the chair on a local beach.
Throughout 2012 and early 2013, the Red Chair developed a personality of its own being photographed by innkeepers in communities from one end of New England to the other. Starting in Cape Cod, the Red Chair journeyed throughout the six New England states on a 9-month tour. “This chair is the little engine that could,” said Colt. “I could never have imagined that it would travel so far, to every corner of America, all on the kindness and hospitality of innkeepers. It’s a barn-raising of sorts; the sharing of a piece of Americana.” Stories from the Red Chair’s travels have been chronicled on blogs at each stop throughout its journey.
Check back on my blog site to find out where the Red Chair has been photographed near Hidden Serenity. Will the Red Chair find adventures and locations that you haven’t experienced yet? Maybe it will inspire you to take a journey yourself to Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast and see what and where the Red Chair has gone.
Whether you are a first timer or you have stayed at two a year for the past 30 years, you may ask yourself what is the best way to get the most out of your stay at a bed and breakfast. Of course this can look different for each person, but I’ve put together a little list of ideas that you may want to try the next time you stay at a fabulous B&B
- Find a spot – in your guestroom, on a porch, in front of a fireplace, or maybe a cozy spot in one of the common areas. Wherever it is, just chill. Get a book or magazine or just gander out the window and relax. At Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast our guests grab a cup of their favorite beverage and sit in the chairs by the large windows and watch wildlife. Or if weather is permitting they enjoy the deck out back or the porch swing in the front
- Exchange stories with the innkeepers.
- We find that our most satisfied guests are those that we have been able to get to know a little bit. Don’t worry, we do not want to use up your getaway time to chat endlessly with you, but a little chit-chat at check in and during breakfast can go a long way. Your stories are fascinating and unique and we’d love to hear them. Next time you visit please ask about the former hippies who met in the 70s. Great love story!
- Pick the innkeeper’s brain.
- Most of the innkeepers I know have lived in the area of their B&B for many years if not all their lives. Who better to ask about area activities, events and sites. Personally, we live in an area that has a lot available for our guests and we would love to share some of the hidden gems we’ve found through the years. And If we don’t know about something, we will find out for you!
- Take advantage of the amenities the B&B offers.
- Each inn is different and offers a variety of amenities to their guests. At Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast we have tried to give a guest plenty to chose from. Here’s some of what we offer right here at our inn- massages (individual or couples), hiking trail through our acres of woods, sport court (pickleball, basketball, tennis), billiard table, 24/7 Keurig machine, ice machine, microwave, large common area with great outdoor viewing. Our in-room amenities include a hidden TV, DVD player, Netflix, wine cooler, robes, mood lighting, comfortable chairs and more.
One quick story about making the best of your stay at a bed and breakfast – we had one couple who didn’t waste any time while staying here. They went biking and hiking in the morning on the nearby State Forest trails, kayaking in the afternoon on The Milwaukee River, used the two person jacuzzi in their room and then went out for dinner at a fabulous restaurant, the Poplar Inn, in West Bend. The next day they took a stroll on our hiking trail, came back for our gourmet breakfast, enjoyed their pre-scheduled couples massage by our licensed therapists and then relaxed and played some pool before they packed up and went home. Now that is a lot in one day, but they had a blast and enjoyed every minute of it.
So next time you head to a bed and breakfast, try a few of my suggestions. Some of them may be just what you are looking for and others might not be your thing. That is the beauty of bed and breakfasts, unique, personal and special.
Many of us have romantic Valentine stories we could share. This first paragraph comes from our own love story. I’m going to go way back, way, way back to high school because that is where our romance began. Chris and I were highschool sweethearts. I will never forget one of our first Valentine’s days. This particular Valentine’s day was a school day and I rode the bus about one hour to school. When we arrived at school the bus driver said to me, “Were all those signs along the way for you?” I had no idea what she meant, but she went on to explain that there were signs on the route (about 8 in all) that were brightly painted and said “Happy Valentine’s Day to Sally N.” My crazy boyfriend had placed them there to tell me, and the world, that he loved me. We are still crazy in love 35 years later and we are having a great time helping our guests create their own Valentine stories.
Last year was an epic Valentine weekend. One particular couple will be remembering their Valentine story for the rest of their lives. What can be more romantic than a proposal? This was something set up well ahead of time as a surprise to her. The couple arrived and he lured her up to our billiard room where he wanted to pop the question. It was his idea for Chris and I to be present to take pictures and record the event, so we pretended to be fixing and cleaning things when they came up to the room. We she turned away from all of us, Chris handed him flowers and he got down on his knee. I got out the camera to take pictures and Chris got his out to videotape the event. She turned around totally unexpecting what was to come. But there he was on his knee saying “I have a very important question to ask you…” “yes….” she answered as she covered her mouth to hold back her utter surprised and impending sobs. It was a touching scene as they embraced and he presented the ring and the really big question. They went on to enjoy a weekend of celebrating an anticipated happy life together and have even invited us to their wedding. The video is on our Hidden Serenity facebook page if you’d like to see it.
Lots of chocolate and flowers later, there are many couples who have celebrated with each other at Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast. The Valentine’s Day stories have been taken home with them and have become part of their romantic stories to share with each other. Proposals, surprises, intimate moments and happy, smiling couples make Valentine’s Day or anyday exciting and rewarding for Chris and myself as we remember many special moments in our relationship and look forward to helping you create some memories too.
Wait a second – Salads, for breakfast? Believe me, I was not sure I wanted to do that to my guests. They are here to enjoy themselves, and that includes eating. This is the break they all get from eating green healthy stuff. But just keep reading and then after that book a room and try it. Really, I’m not a health food nut trying to convert you during a 24 hour stay. It is the rare guest who leaves anything, much less the salad on the plate at the end of breakfast. Read on, please…..
Breakfast at Hidden Serenity is something our guests alway look forward to, often comment on and frequently take pictures of. I have decided to post this blog because these are 4 delicious breakfast salads that I get the most feedback about.
Often I hear this – “I was unsure when I saw broccoli for breakfast, but this is really good. It surprises me.” Yes, broccoli can be a breakfast food, and when prepared with some sweet fruits in a salad it even surprises those guests that usually don’t eat it. Veggies like broccoli and peapods add some crunch to what could otherwise be a mushy fruit dish. And hey, we know it’s good for us too. Eating broccoli for breakfast can give you a great start to a fun day. Many of our guests are going to be out all day hiking, shopping, biking, sightseeing, skiing, snowshoeing or whatever they find to do in the area and they can use a decent breakfast to get them going. I know, you didn’t want to hear the “good for you” line, but we ARE talking about broccoli…..
Seriously, try one or all of these 4 delicious breakfast salads…..
- Broccoli Strawberry Salad – Broccoli flowerettes, sliced strawberries, cubed cheese. Mix with a small amount of mayo/vinegar/sugar dressing and top with sliced almonds.
- Broccoli Pear Salad – Broccoli flowerettes, chopped pears, sliced fresh cranberries(if in season), chopped walnuts. Mix with the same mayo dressing.
- Peapod Fruit Salad – Peapods cut bite sized, sliced strawberries, sliced banana, mandarin segments, fresh sliced cranberries (if in season). Mix in a small amount of maple vinaigrette and poppy seeds.
- Spinach Salad – Fresh spinach leaves, maple vinaigrette lightly sprinkled on top and any combo of these toppings –
- Fresh of dried cranberries
- pumpkin seeds, honey roasted peanuts or other seed/nut of choice
- Sliced mandarin segments
- Sliced pear or apple
- Cinnamon toast croutons or crumbs (a must, on top of this salad!)
If you have any doubts about eating these salads, book a room and come to breakfast with an open mind. And if you really don’t like it, I’m not offended. After all, it is your vacation and you can enjoy it any way you please.
Time is ticking and the dates of the U.S. Open Championship held at Erin Hills are quickly approaching. Located just north of Milwaukee, Erin Hills is a beautiful golf course set in the rolling hills of the Kettle Moraine. What God has carved out, man is putting (pun intended) to good use. Saying it is a world class golf facility is just par for the course (pun intended, again). The world’s top players are flying in or possibly driving (sorry, again. I’ll stop now) to Erin Hills and the surrounding areas to compete for the title during the week of June 12-18, 2017.
Because this is a really BIG deal many people are converging on our area to attend the prestigious US Open Championship. Rooms are becoming harder to find. Staying in style at Hidden Serenity will take you away from the congestion of the Erin Hills area and provide you with comfort and restfulness you will need during your breaks from the course. Our five luxury rooms offer amenities such as small in-room refrigerator, robes, snacks, beverages, fireplaces, private baths with tubs and showers and luxury sheets.
Start the day with a freshly ground, french-pressed coffee or Sally’s famous fresh herbal tea, as well as a gourmet breakfast before heading out to Erin Hills. Return later and relax on the front porch swing or the back deck and wildlife watch with a beverage in hand. If it’s a little more exercise you need take a stroll on the trail on the property and do some bird watching. You could even challenge each other in a game of tennis or pickle ball on our sport court. There is no lack of things to do unless that is what you’d like….nothing to do and completely enjoying the time off.
Hidden Serenity is located north and east of Erin Hills, nestled in the Kettle Moraine area. If your fancy is to do something other than attend the tournament for part of your stay, there are many great ideas close by such as a jaunt to Lake Michigan, a visit to MOWA (Museum of Wisconsin Art), take a hike on the Ice Age Trail, relax at Hidden Serenity, maybe shoot a game of pool or read, or go back in time at The Wade House Historical Site. Seriously there are things to keep you busy if you want, or places to just hang if that is what you would like.
Check out our website to see what is available and make a reservation or give me a call today to secure a room. Lodging is bound to book up and you want to stay in style and luxury during your visit.
The #1 romantic escape during the month of January is a debatable topic. If you reside in the cold weather climates, you may think going to a nice warm beach or location where you don’t have to bundle up for the freezing cold is at the top of your list. But consider this list:
- Steamy Jacuzzi, soaking tub or two person shower
- Cozy chairs near a fireplace
- Slowly swinging on romantic swings in the woods
- Snuggling up in a comfy bed to watch a good movie or do something else…..
- Stare into each other’s eyes while enjoying a gourmet breakfast that neither of you had to make or clean up after
- Dinner at a nice restaurant
All of these things can be enjoyed at Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast, your #1 romantic escape destination. Everything mentioned above can be enjoyed at anytime of the year, so why did I emphasize January? Read on….
The #1 romantic escape for January starts and ends at Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast, this is what makes it THE #1 romantic escape —–
- A Horse Drawn Sleigh Ride – Picture this– snuggle together on a sleigh ride through the woods, enjoying the trees illuminated with delicate lights along a path. Horses pulling the sleigh along, possibly a moonlit night and stars lighting the sky. Both before and after you may want to gather with others around the campfire and warm up or cook a snack. Venture inside a beautifully decorated and heated barn to play a game or hang out. This is a night to remember and could be marked by a special event!
Book a room on a Friday or Saturday in January along with the Horse Drawn Sleigh Ride Package and experience THE #1 romantic escape in January. Of course it’s debatable what the #1 romantic escape really is, but this sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
OK, so it has been snowing and we are up to our knees, or maybe hips in the white stuff. Do you feel stuck inside dreaming about summer? Since science hasn’t figured out how to stop the snow from falling, let’s get out there and enjoy these 5 snowy outdoor activities found within 10 miles of Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast.
Snowshoeing – no lessons involved, just grab some snowshoes and head out onto the snow! If you don’t have the snowshoes, check out the rental options from Mountain Outfitters in West Bend. I’ve found this snowy activity to be a great outdoor cardio activity and a way to get into the woods in areas the typical trails do not go. Walk deep into the forest, stand there and listen and take in the serene surroundings, maybe hear an animal or two, breathe in the fresh crisp air and trek on farther. Just make sure you have the energy to head back to the warming shelter and get toasty again.
Cross country skiing – This snowy activity takes a bit more skill than snowshoeing and you may get a wet tush learning to do it, but once you have the hang of it you will absolutely love it! In our beautiful area of the Northern Kettle Moraine State Forest we are blessed to have both groomed and ungroomed trails for all types of cross country skiing that wind in, around, up and down the glaciated landscape through woods and fields, past lakes and streams. It is breathtakingly gorgeous. Some trails are even lit at night and in the early morning. Again, warming shelters provide the incentive to get to a destination! Rentals from Mountain Outfitters.
Downhill skiing/snowboarding – So, keep in mind that we don’t live in Colorado but we do have two very nice ski hills short distances away. Sunburst Winter Sports Park is only 7 miles away and offers lessons and various levels of skiing and snowboarding fun! Also a great place to test your skills and only a twenty five minute drive, Little Switzerland Ski Park is a great place to carve some snow. Skiing is definitely a snowy activity worth trying.
Ice Skating – This fun cold weather activity brings back some childhood memories! Bring your own skates and take to the ice at our only outdoor skating rink, Regner Park in West Bend. The warming house is open Thursday and Friday evenings as well as Saturday and Sundays all day. Best things is – it’s FREE! So why not skate for as long as your heart’s content (or as short!), change back into your street shoes in the warming house and head to one of the fine coffee shops in downtown West Bend.
Good old fashioned sledding! – who doesn’t have fond memories of hopping on that old sled, gliding down the hill, hoping not to fall off and bragging about how far you got out into the snow at the bottom of the hill? There are some great spots to relive these moments in our hilly part of the state. What you may not look forward to re-living is the trek back up the hill to start all over again. Here is the perfect solution…..Tubing at Sunburst Winter Sports Park! Get this – you don’t have to walk back up the hill. They have conveyor belts that take all the exercise and work out of it. Mostly you are there for the fun, right? It is a blast slipping down the chutes they have groomed just for tubing! You really need to try it.
Winter in Wisconsin can truly be enjoyed in multiple ways. I’ve taken 5 Snowy Activities that you can experience outside in the snowy weather to tell you about. But when guests come and stay at Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast in the cold winter months they find enjoyment from these things as well as sipping on a hot beverage, sitting by the fireplace at Hidden Serenity and watching a glorious snowfall from the cozy indoors too. Whatever your fancy, we are here to help make your stay in our area during the winter as memorable as possible. Take a gander at our rooms and choose the one that suits you.
What does Wisconsin have that is more than just special? Daniel F. Gerhartz, an impressionist artist that creates absolutely stunning works often featuring women clothed in simply fantastic beauty. Realistic and expressive in nature, gathering inspiration from artists such as John Singer Sargent, Alphonse Mucha, Joaquin Sorolla and Nicolai Fechin, Dan draws much of his inspiration from romanticism and symbolism, something one can easily pick up on as you view his wide portfolio.
According to his website, “Dan has drawn upon his home and community in Wisconsin, including family and friends. His sense of intimacy and honesty with regard to his subjects are a direct result of his closeness and proximity to them.” His paintings are vibrant, emotional, fresh and inviting. Backdrops for the subject can be the beautiful rolling hills of Wisconsin and it’s brilliant nature or a wonderful interior of a home. He reminds us of another time yet keeping us in the present with each powerful stroke.
We are very proud to have him a part of our lovely Wisconsin heritage. Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast has seen several artists through our doors as they come to enjoy the peaceful serenity that we have to offer, taking their canvas to capture the nature of beauty and all it entails. Make sure to book a reservation with us soon so you can experience all we have to offer with hiking trails in our backyard, luxury beds and private baths as well as featuring a hot breakfast in the morning as you wake up to the quiet sounds of nature.
Take a step back from the chaos of everyday life, bring your paints and canvas and seek out that beauty that Daniel Gerhartz sees every day. Inspiring something within yourself. Make a reservation at Hidden Serenity today.
Hidden Serenity Bed & Breakfast is right next to the Kettle Moraine State Forest. It is a beautiful glaciated
terrain for fat tire bike riding, biking, hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing. In fact, you will find many activities to enjoy nearby.
Fat Tire Bike Riding is enjoyable at any time of the year!
Many of our guests choose to stay with us, because they enjoy coming back to a place of luxury. After a day of activity, Hidden Serenity provides the perfect place to relax. We are hidden in the woods and offer a quiet stay. Many of our guests come here to seek out new adventures and get away from their responsibilities.
Experience Fat Tire Bike Riding Around Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast
One such activity that people enjoy here is fat tire bike riding. This type of biking allows riders to get across difficult trails in the North Kettle Moraine and similar trails. Fat tire bikes are an up and coming activity enjoyed by bike enthusiasts of all ages.
What is a Fat Tire Bike?
A fat tire bike, also known as a fatbike, is designed to go off road. It has oversized tires that are normally 3.8in or bigger. The rims are 2.6in or wider.
This type of bike has a wider tire which makes it much more versatile than road or mountain bikes. With these tires, you can ride on troublesome terrains. Softer, unstable terrains, such as mud, sand, bogs, or snow, are no problem for the fat tire bike.
Other Benefits to Fatbikes
In addition to being able to ride on soft terrains, there are other benefits to this fat tire bike riding. Since the tires do not have to be inflated as much, it provides greater comfort to the rider. That also means that the bike is easier to balance, and makes it easier for inexperienced riders to get around.
Another benefit to flat tire bike riding is that there is that it requires little maintenance. There are few parts that can break or be in need of repair. It is a sturdy design that will take you places other bikes cannot.
Where to Rent Fat Tire Bikes
While you are staying with us here at Hidden Serenity Bed & Breakfast, you can find local shops to rent fatbikes from.
Zuzu Pedals– located in Port Washington which is about 25 minutes from here.
Pedal Moraine– this shop is located on Main Street in West Bend
Where to Fat Tire Bike in the Northern Kettle Moraine
Many of our guests come to Hidden Serenity Bed & Breakfast to take advantage of the trails in the Kettle Moraine. There are many different trails that you can ride on in the state forest. These trails are ideal for fat tire bike riding. Here are three of the most popular:
*Please note that a state trail pass is required for bikers that are 16 or older
Greenbush — Greenbush is about 2.5 miles north from State Highway 67. This trail has two trail systems that offer a challenge to fat bike riders. There is a total of 9 miles that is made up of 5 intersecting loops. Take note of the bike trails, as they are different than the ones designated for hikers. Also, be aware that this trail can only be used as a bike trail during the warmer months. They close off the trails during the ski season.
Lake to Lake Bike Trail — This is a limestone paved trail that is 6.5 miles in length. It connects the Mauthe and Long Lake rec areas. Also, the trail passes through Dundee, a tiny village that is home to the best ice cream place around. This trail is a great choice for less experienced riders.
New Fane Loop System Trail — The New Fane loop system trail is 1.5 miles east of Kettle Moraine Drive. It has a total of 5.5 miles of bike trails that have 4 loops. This is a moderate trail to ride.
Book Your Luxury Stay Today
If you are ready to find adventure, return to comfort, come away refreshed- book your luxury stay with us today. In addition to our cozy rooms, complete with a fireplace, there is a homemade, gourmet breakfast that is provided to you each day. It is a pleasure for us to make your stay as well as your excursions memorable. Contact us today to find out our availability.