Lodging in Comfort During Country USA Music Festival

Carrie Underwood: Carnival Ride TourFor the last 19 years a growing event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin has drawn huge crowds and it is not AirVenture Wisconsin or any other EAA event. Country USA Music Festival is the name of a weeklong music show that draws “million dollar talent”. This summer the festival runs June 24-28.

While many people prefer to camp in Oshkosh, other would rather find a place with soft, comfy bed and a delicious homemade breakfast (that they don’t have to lift a finger to make!). Why not give Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast a call? A Luxury lodging, Hidden Serenity is located in West Bend, Wisconsin. The drive to and from Oshkosh for the festival takes you away from all the hustle and bustle of the concerts and people and soon you will be in a comfortable bed sleeping until the smells of your breakfast awake you.

Country USA Music Festival features the following Headliners: Tuesday, Luke Bryan; Wednesday, Brantley Gilbert; Thursday, Gary Allan; Friday, Florida Georgia Line; and Saturday, the lovely Carrie Underwood. In addition, each day has a minimum of 4 other music groups to entertain the huge crowd.

Currently luxurious VIP Upfront-Gold tickets are still available along with Reserved Up-Front Gold and, Reserved Silver packages. These great seats also come with a private restroom for the people in the reserved section, which can make the entire experience much more pleasant and comfortable!

Treat someone you love to a great trip with one of these premium Country USA Music Festival tickets and a stay at a premium Bed and Breakfast. The conversations on the drive from West Bend to Oshkosh will alone be worth the price.

The official website for Country USA is found at http://www.countryusaoshkosh.com/tickets.cfm

Long Lake, A Gem of a Lake Near Our Bed and Breakfast

IMG_3217.JPGThe area just north of Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast includes the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. This gem gives one the feel of being “way up North” without the travel and cost of driving another 200 miles.

Long Lake hosts a state park and at 417 acres in size and 47 feet in depth, is one of the largest lakes in Fond du Lac County. Watercress Creek, at the very north end of the lake, serves as the headwaters of the east branch of the Milwaukee River and is an excellent trout stream with high water quality. The creek empties out in what is locally known as Tittle Lake then connecting to Long Lake by a short channel.

Long lake has an impressive fishery that thrives in the fertile water of the lake. The primary species are bluegill and largemouth bass which both have a high average size. There is also an impressive population of northern pike and yellow perch, and a small, but growing population of walleye. The lake has an active sportsman’s club and fishing club that improves habitat and works to improve the fishery. For those who like to fish, the time before 10:00 AM or after 6:00PM are the best, when slow-no-wake rules are in effect making for a relaxing experience.

Long lake serves the area as an excellent boating lake. As the name implies, it is a long body of water, running north/south for over about miles. It is not uncommon to drive a boat or personal watercraft in a straight line for a mile or more on this lake, which is somewhat of a rarity on lakes in this area.

For the swimmer, there are two beaches on the eastern shores of the lake, both part of the Long Lake Recreation Area in the Long Lake State Park. There are also beach houses for changing.

Before heading back to Hidden Serenity for a great night sleep, you may wish to visit the Hamburger Haus located in Dundee, near the corner of Hwy 67 and Hwy F at the southern most end of the lake. They have excellent hamburgers and are also know for their ice cream, serving the popular Cedar Crest Ice Cream. Many locals travel miles just to stop in for a treat here.

Just behind the Hamburger Haus history buffs may want to take a look at the old mill, which has been restored partly with the help of “Extreme Home Makeover”, yes, the popular TV show. A house nearby was totally redone for the program in 2006.

For more information on Long Lake can be found at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/kmn/

Hartford, A Worthwhile Day Trip From Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast

KisselNot far from Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast is a city often overlooked by travelers to Washington County. Hartford, WI boasts many good reasons to visit. In this post I will tell you about three of them that I really enjoy.

Hartford Wisconsin has become a destination for entertainment because a generous gift from the Schauer family that resulted in the Schauer Arts and Entertainment center. The Schauer center hosts everything from High School performances to professional acting and music performances.

While there are banquet rooms to be rented, the two main attractions to visitors include the Suckow Family Art Gallery and the Ruth Knoll Theater. The Suckow Family Gallery features regional artwork as well as art exhibitions. The Ruth Knoll Theater is named for legendary Hartford Union High School Choral teacher Ruth Knoll. Ruth has served the community chorus for more than a decade since retiring from the school after 40+ years of service. For more information on the Schauer Arts and Entertainment center, including upcoming performances visit http://www.schauercenter.org/Events/index.html

Right next door from the Schauer Center is the Wisconsin Automotive Museum. As Wisconsin’s largest Automotive Museum, you can find 105 vintage cars and artifacts from Wisconsin’s automotive history. Vehicles on display include the Kissel built right in Hartford from 1906 to 1931 and the Nash, which was originally built in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

In addition to cars, the automotive museum has displays that include vintage fire trucks and a 250 ton steam locomotive built in 1913. Automotive accessories, interior models and the Short Track Hall of Fame add to the character of the museum. Information about the Wisconsin Automotive Museum is found at: http://wisconsinautomuseum.com/index.html

The Schauer Center and Wisconsin Automotive museum can be seen in the same day, and while in Hartford you can visit the “Mineshaft” which is Wisconsin’s largest restaurant and bar. In addition to great food, you will enjoy an incredibly fun game room and a bustling atmosphere.

Hartford is about 30 minutes away from Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast primarily on 4 lane state highways. It is well worth taking the time to visit these places and return back to Hidden Serenity in time to enjoy a late night movie while you cozy up in our luxury beds.

West Bend Farmer’s Market Just Minutes from Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast

Farmers´ MarketHidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast is located only minutes away from one of the best Farmer’s Markets in the state of Wisconsin. The West Bend Farmer’s Market takes place every Saturday morning starting May, 17, 2014.

The variety of items at this market is unmatched by other markets in the area. Even within this market, you will see the variety change from May until the last market of the year in October. Local farmers, makers of home-made bakery and the restaurants of downtown all participate in this weekly event that stretches though most of downtown West Bend.

In addition to fresh, in-season produce, you will find floral arrangements, flowering plants, fresh cheese and cheese curds, and an endless supply of eating options. In Addition to the organic fare, there is an outdoor stage where live music fills the air while you work your way through the many stands lining the streets.

Part of the fun is seeing the interesting people walking the streets. A farmer’s market always attracts a wide variety of people since there is something for most everyone’s taste. This is an excellent opportunity for “people watching” or meeting up with friends. Those in the crowd vary from the “early birds” looking to get limited supply specialty items like fresh blueberries or peaches to those looking for bargains in the waning minutes of the markets as sellers look to make that last sale.

The West Bend Farmer’s Market takes place rain or shine every Saturday, so after your restful night’s sleep and a satisfying breakfast at Hidden Serenity B&B you can enjoy the morning at the market. There are parking options both east and west of the Milwaukee River. There is handicapped parking at businesses closer to the market to make it accessible to all.

Maricio’s Pizza, Great Food Just Down the Road

Take-Out @ Singas Famous PizzaA short drive from Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast will take you to a place overlooking the Milwaukee River just west of the Barton Dam in West Bend. A simple looking restaurant that serves amazing pizza and other great menu items. To sample every item on the menu however, you would need to stay with us at Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast for a month (which we could arrange) or come back again and again.

Maricio’s Pizza, Pasta & Grill can be a little deceiving on the outside, but inside you will find 2 levels of dining experience with, 2 full bars, 2 dining rooms and a banquet/party room. But the food and the hospitality are what really set Maricio’s apart from a typical pizza place. The employees there are genuinely happy to see you. Some of them have been working there for over a decade so they really care about your dining experience. If they know you are there for a special occasion, they will make you feel special. This restaurant is unique because the customers are in total control. The guests choose their table, order at the bar, and pay at the bar when they’re ready to leave.

This Italian American restaurant offers one of a kind pizza that comes in a crispy thin-crust option or a hearty deep-dish pan option. With either option the cheese and toppings are amazing on that wonderful crust. This is traditional Wisconsin pizza at its finest and is also available in a gluten-free option. In addition to pizza you will find an assortment of pasts, sandwiches, calzones, fish fry and more.

With this dining option such a short trip from Hidden Serenity, you will have time to eat and still have time to explore the area. Good as the pizza is though, it cannot beat the breakfast served as part of your stay with us at Hidden Serenity. But you could save the leftover pizza for lunch if you like.

Visit Maricio’s website to plan your pizza outing at: http://www.mariciosinbarton.com/

 

Enjoy the EAA Airventure and Museum

T-6 Texan Line UpMention the EAA to friends who love flying and they automatically think of the big event of the year: EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 from July 28th through August 3rd. This international event brings in aircraft, as well as enthusiasts, from all over the world. In fact, attendance was more than 500,000 last year, 2013. As you can see, the event draws a great crowd and planning ahead is needed to insure lodging for your trip to the EAA.

Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast offers luxurious accommodations just 45 minutes from Oshkosh. During the week before and the week after the show, it is common to see unusual aircraft flying the skies of the West Bend area as they fly to and from AirVenture. The scenic Kettle Moraine State Park system in the area gives flyers a nice area in which to enjoy the scenery from the air with the lakes, rivers, golf courses and woods. This brings aircraft to the area even after you’ve left the show for the day.

But here is a glimpse of what to expect at the show: “Only in Oshkosh will you live seven straight days of world-class aerobatics, history coming alive through airplanes from all eras of flight filling the skies, music rockin’ into the night, camaraderie with fellow aviation enthusiasts, and much, much more.” Find out more here: http://www.eaa.org/en/airventure

Oh, the Thrills! Road America and Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast

Lola B12/60 MazdaFor those who like a little more speed in their ride, there is a spot just over half an hour north of Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast. Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI is the closest NASCAR racing track to our bed and breakfast and a full 2014 schedule is starting soon! While NASCAR is the big name, other events take place on a regular basis including two that will open the season with a ton of excitement right here in the beautiful Kettle Moraine!

Starting May 16th, 2014 and going through the weekend, the “Spring Vintage Weekend” offers a throwback opportunity to enjoy older model cars up close. During this even over 200 drivers will be racing their vintage rides, which will include prototype vehicles that you may not see elsewhere. You will not believe how these drivers push the vintage machines to their limits. There will be 10 different groupings of vehicles so you will have endless opportunities to see a wide variety of vintage car racing.

On the last weekend of May the action changes to 2-wheeled rockets as the SuperBike Doubleheader greets the month of June. The racers find Road America to be one of the most challenging courses for their races. Watch as the racers bring their bikes, and bodies, within inches of each other as they strive to move up toward 1st place!

Road America has great shopping opportunities for men’s women’s and youth apparel along with gifts and collectables. The entire experience at Road America is unique. But the highlight has to be the as it winds four miles through the country hills providing thrilling racing that only a road track can host.

To enjoy this great racing action, and follow it up with a great night sleep with a fantastic breakfast make you’re your reservations at Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast now! The contrast between the excitement of the track and the serenity of our bed and breakfast make both more enjoyable.

For more information on Road America and the wide variety of summer events found on the calendar see http://www.roadamerica.com/events.html

The Popular “Poplar Inn” near Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast

Shrimp CocktailA well-known restaurant in our area, The Poplar Inn is located in the Historic James Kneeland House in the Downtown West Bend Historical District. This fine dining restaurant offers fresh fish and seafood along with several cuts of tender buttery steaks.

Many of the guests at Hidden Serenity dine at the Poplar Inn. All have been pleased with the food and service they have received and some tell me they plan on driving from Milwaukee just to eat here.

 The Poplar Inn has live music on the weekends and daily and weekly specials. Fridays boast a fabulous Friday fish fry with the options of cod, perch or walleye. Don’t forget the famous New England Clam Chowder!

The ambiance is very romantic and will encourage you to relax and enjoy an intimate meal in a quiet and peaceful setting. If the weather is favorable, they have a lovely outdoor seating area that can be very pleasant on a beautiful summer Wisconsin evening. If you aren’t ready to retire and bid the outdoors goodbye, come back to Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast and continue your moon gazing, and add star gazing, from our deck or porch. Located out of the city lights, our B&B has great visibility of the night sky.

 Located only 12 minutes from the romantic Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast, why not complete your stay with us with a scrumptious romantic meal at The Poplar Inn. They serve dinner only from Monday – Saturday. Reservations are recommended. Let me know if I can help!

Cache Ba$h to be Held Near Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast

The popular geocaching “cache” will be held on August 8th and 9th, 2014 right here in Washington County, or more specifically, West Bend, WI. Thousands of people will gather in the area stalking in almost every corner. Visitors come from all over the world for this event.

Here’s a thought – get an edge on your competition by staying at Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast and casing out the area now! There is plenty to be found for the geocache enthusiast in the surrounding area and taking a trip now could help you learn the area better for the “Ba$h” later in the summer. You can definitely get a jump on the 925-team field with a “scouting trip” before the event.

May and early June is a great time to seek out caches since they are no longer buried in snow, the vegetation is still small and walking is much easier in spring. Also worth mentioning is how gorgeous everything looks in spring as the buds come on the trees and some of the early wildflowers start to bloom.

Recent publications have counted over 1300 unique Geocaches within a 10-mile radius of West Bend which resulted in a trademarked slogan “West Bend is the Geocaching Capital of the Midwest™” that recognizes West Bend’s unique position in geocaching circles. With many parks, trails, paths you can enjoy the thrill of the hunt while still being only a 10 minute drive from the shops and restaurants in the city. The convenience even makes restroom breaks easy, which is not always the case when chasing caches in more remote areas.

Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast is the perfect waypoint for your home base whether scouting out the area or attending the “Ba$h”. We provide you with a restful sleep, a hot gourmet breakfast and knowledge of the Kettle Moraine Area. Get ahead of the rest and book now before there is no room at the inn. Plan your trip today and don’t forget your GPS! For more information on where to start your caching adventure visit: http://visitwestbend.com/geocaching/

Mushroom Hunting Around Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast Area

morel 1Do you really need to get out and do something, right now, after all this rain? Well, near Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast there is an activity you can participate in at any of the state parks, trails and natural areas. In addition to being fun and tasty, you can only do it at this time of the year.

Morel mushrooms hunting is an excellent activity for the month of May in Eastern Wisconsin. Morel mushrooms are a delicacy that can be found anywhere, but especially under the dead branches of elm trees. The morel mushroom comes in at least two varieties, but in general the earlier parts of May feature the smaller “grey” mushrooms which are 1-4 inches tall. Later in May the larger “yellow” (which are not really all that yellow) mushrooms arrive at an impressive size of as much at 10 inches tall.

While morel mushrooms can be bought in specialty stores the price is upwards of $25.00 per pound and you cannot guarantee the freshness. When you pick your own, you know they are fresh. There is something about the thrill of the hunt when it come to mushroom hunting. Taking home your day’s harvest and cooking them with some butter or adding them to a favorite dish is something everyone should experience.

Although sautéing them in butter is a common way to prepare this delicacy, Morel mushrooms can be featured as a main course in vegetarian dishes or as a side dish for those who enjoy a good steak.

A word of caution always needs to be said in gathering any kind of mushroom – BE SURE you know that you have the right mushroom. There are a lot of great resources out there that can help you identify them correctly. When you know you’ve got it, enjoy hunting, gathering and finally eating. Just another fun thing to do while staying at our Kettle Moraine lodging, Hidden Serenity B&B!

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