Author: Sally

Strawberry fest has come and gone, Summerfest is right around the corner

Over the weekend I was able to visit Strawberry fest in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.  The experience was great and it seemed like everyone there was enjoying themselves. Who wouldn’t when they’re around fresh food, great music, and freshly picked strawberries?  Most people tend to visit with family and friends and pack the car full to come to famous Washington Street in Cedarburg, WI. Over the two day event more than 100,000 people stop in the quaint historic town.

Although Strawberry fest has come and gone, Summerfest is right around the corner. Summerfest starts on June 27th and ends July 8th with a break on July 2nd.  Almost one million people visit summerfest per year for the amazing music and if you were looking for something larger than Strawberry fest, here it is.

Strawberry fest was, in my opinion, a smaller scale Summerfest. For people looking for that smaller town, more local feeling this would be it. There were many local artists that proudly shared their work. There were many different sculptures, paintings, and drawings, as well as craftsman  in woodworking, glass and fiber art.  Throughout the length of the festival there were many options for food along the way, but some unique, catch-the-eye options were worth noting. The strawberry brat, strawberry chicken wrap, and strawberry brat corndog were among those.  Although less unique, the strawberry lemonade was extremely good and I had to indulge in a chocolate covered strawberry. Needless to say the food offered was wonderful!  In addition to the amazing food, there were a plethora of local musicians playing throughout the weekend that provided some music with good vibes which really put the “strawberry” on top for this experience.

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay during this festival season that is out of the hustle and bustle, yet still within reasonable traveling distance, Hidden Serenity will give you everything you’re looking for.  Our five luxury rooms offer amenities such as small in-room refrigerator, robes, snacks, beverages, fireplaces, private baths with tubs and showers and excellent 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 your destination.  There is no lack of things to do unless that’s what you’d like.   If you are ready to book with us, we would love to have you! It is our passion to provide our guests with a relaxing experience so that they can leave feeling totally refreshed. Plan your getaway here and indulge.


Romantic Valentine Stories from Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast

valentine day 11

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.

4 Delicious Breakfast Salads You May Never Have Thought of


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…..

  1. Broccoli Strawberry Salad – Broccoli flowerettes, sliced strawberries, cubed cheese. Mix with a small amount of mayo/vinegar/sugar dressing and top with sliced almonds.
  2. Broccoli Pear Salad – Broccoli flowerettes, chopped pears, sliced fresh cranberries(if in season), chopped walnuts. Mix with the same mayo dressing.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


U.S. Open Championship to be Held at Nearby Erin Hills

Erin Hills Golf - Erin, Wisconsin

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.

#1 Romantic Escape in January at Hidden Serenity B&B

#1 Romantic EscapeThe #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?

5 Snowy Activities Around Hidden Serenity B&B

SnowshoesOK, 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.

Artist Daniel Gerhartz, a Wisconsin Gem

Daniel Gerhartz - In Her CareWhat 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.

Experience Fat Tire Bike Riding Near Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast

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.

Our Most Popular Room — Kettle Moraine Suite

IMG_9580(FINAL)(WEB)When you are looking for a room to book for your couple’s getaway in West Bend, WI, Hidden Serenity Bed & Breakfast is the right choice for you. We offer several luxury suites that our guests enjoy. Our popular room is the Kettle Moraine Suite. This room has many different features that people love to take advantage of —

The amenities for all the rooms include:

  • Wine cooler
  • Pillow top bed
  • HD TV (concealed behind a 2 way mirror)
  • private bathroom with a shower and other features depending on the room
  • Free wireless internet
  • USB charger
  • Assortment of beverages
  • Bath soaps, shampoos and conditioners
  • Fireplace

Amenities For The Kettle Moraine Suite only:

  • Keurig machine
  • High powered binocular on a tripod
  • Record player with several different albums
  • Double slipper Tub
  • Large windows looking out to the woods
  • Snacks

The prized amenity of this room is the incredible view of the woods from your bedroom window. This scene is sure to allow you to feel at ease while you are resting after a fun day in the area. Two comfortable, wide chairs are situated next to the windows so sit back, relax and enjoy!

People love to stay at our inn, because we add to the experience of being off the beaten path. With luxury rooms like the Kettle Moraine Suite, you can play hard all day and come back to a quiet room. Where you chose to stay can make all the difference of the restfulness of a trip. We pride ourselves on providing a wonderful environment for you and your guests to feel calm and relaxed.

As part of your stay with Hidden Serenity, you can enjoy our gourmet breakfast. Each morning, we get up early to start the breakfast preparations. Much of what we serve is made by hand with fresh ingredients. The coffee that we serve in the morning is made using a French press. And we offer freshly brewed tea varieties as well. This choices of morning brew to suit your needs and desires.

We are always trying to think of the small details that will make your stay memorable and meet your needs while you are here. Book this room soon, it’s one of our most popular.We look forward to having you stay with us on your next trip away from home. Whether you are a local looking for a place to have a special event, or a guest from out of town, we can accommodate you.

Be sure to check out more about the Kettle Moraine Suite on our room rates page. You will also see all of the different rooms we offer. We look forward to hearing from you!

May We Suggest the Poplar Inn?

foods2We love to provide our guests with the best possible stay here at Hidden Serenity Bed & Breakfast. It is a privilege for us to team up with the owners from Poplar Inn in West Bend, WI. Mike and Dee are wonderful hosts for this remarkable restaurant.

Poplar Inn has quite a history! The building was built in 1858 and was owned by a Union Civil War Captain. Over the years, it has served many different purposes. In the 80’s, it was retrofitted to serve as a restaraunt. And remains a successful eating establishment to this day.

In the restaurant there are plenty of places to dine. You can choose between the:

  • Upper level
  • Lower level
  • Bar
  • Patio

Each area of the restaurant is exquisite and pleasing to the eye. The lighting casts a romantic glow and makes for a wonderful dining experience. They switch out their wall decorations depending on the season and provide eloquent table linens. It is an establishment where you can dress up for a special night out or go business casual if you’d like.

What is on the Menu?

Their chefs prepare and serve an assortment of delicious meals. They offer several dishes prepared with surf and turf items. Also, they have wonderful salad and other sides. Whether you like steak or seafood, you are sure to find something that is appealing to your taste. With their professional chef, you can feel confident your meal will be incredible. For those that love a good tasting wine, they have just the menu for you. Their wine and beer list is ever changing as they incorporate guest’s favorites into the rotation. The wait staff is great at suggesting just the right pairing with your meal.

We have a great announcement to make! We have been talking with Mike and Dee, the owners, about going in together to create packages for our guests. The full details of the packages are not completed yet, but we plan to offer a $50 voucher to the Poplar Inn. We think that this partnership is perfect for us, because Mike and Dee run a luxury restaurant and are attentive to their guests, just as we are at Hidden Serenity. Hospitality is of utmost importance.

Not only can you make reservations to stay here at Hidden Serenity, but you can also make reservations at Poplar Inn for your dinner. If you are planning a special getaway weekend, this is perfect. When you place the reservations with us, you can do the same with them and make sure that your night goes smoothly. What a wonderful weekend you can create when you stay in one of our luxury suites and then dine at Poplar Inn.

Don’t forget that we serve a gourmet breakfast each morning. You will walk away feeling completely spoiled and relaxed! Be sure to get in touch with us to find out about our room availability. It is never too early to plan your trip.