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Tour a Submarine at Wisconsin Maritime Museum

USS Cobia, Manitowoc WIWhen on vacation it is fun to try something new and create an experience like you have never had before. If you were offered the chance to explore the nation’s most completely restored WWII submarine, stroll through the streets of a 19th century shipbuilding town and sail a boat down the river . . . all in one day! . . . Would you do it?

There is a place within an hour’s drive of Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast that provides all of this entertainment. . . and much more.

Are you intrigued yet?

In Manitowoc resides the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. Here you will experience exhibits, hands-on learning programs, submarine experiences as well as many special events throughout the year.

Did you know that 28 submarines were built in Manitowoc during World War II? Although USS Cobia is not one of the 28 submarines built in Wisconsin, she is a National Historic Landmark and an International Submariners Memorial. For more than 40 years Cobia has been a fitting memorial to the thousands of men and women who built submarines and the brave men who served on them.

The USS Cobia is the most intact World War II Submarine in the nation and is home to the oldest working radar in the world. At the WI Maritime Museum you can take a 45-minute guided tour that will teach you how submarines operate and what life was like aboard a “pig boat” with 79 other men. While touring this fully restored WWII submarine from top to bottom you will get a feel for life aboard a sub. See the bunks where men slept above torpedoes, learn why most of the crew showered with their clothes on and hear why submariners were the best fed members of the military.

A great compliment to the tour of the USS Cobia is the museum’s exhibit, “USS Cobia: Below the Surface”. The interactive exhibits, simulator, and theater will help you learn about  Cobia‘s six war patrols, the important role that US Navy submarines played in World War II, and how Manitowoc came to build 28 submarines during the war. You can pick a crew card to learn about the life of a particular crew member and find out where he worked aboard Cobia. You can look through the periscope of a Manitowoc-built submarine and see the inner workings of a Mark 14 torpedo in the USS Rasher Concourse before stepping onboard Cobia.

While at the museum be sure not to miss the “Nook & Cranny Tours” of the USS Cobia. These smaller tours will last approximately two to three hours and will give guests a chance to see areas of the submarine not seen on normal tours. (This tour does include ladders and smaller spaces and you must be 16 or older to participate) A free bottle of Torpedo Juice (non-alcoholic) is included for a mid-tour break in the Crew’s Mess. (Space is limited so reservations are required)

After touring the USS Cobia, you can explore the streets of old Manitowoc where shipbuilders, sailors and traders walked more than 150 years ago. You will step back in time to the 1840s and learn how shipbuilding and shipping were some of the first industries in the newly-formed state of Wisconsin. Imagine buying a ticket at Goodrich Transportation Co. and traveling on the whaleback steamer Christopher Columbus.  Peer into a replica cross-section of the schooner Clipper City and learn how Wisconsin shipyards contributed to our nation’s growth during the 20th century and its defense during World War II by building ships and submarines in Manitowoc and northeastern Wisconsin.

Other popular exhibits at the museum are the model ship gallery and car ferry exhibits. Scale models, half-hull models and quarter boards tell of Great Lakes sailing ships and freighters, past and present, in the Model Ship Gallery. Learn about Lake Michigan car ferries such as City of Midland 41 and City of Saginaw 31. These unique ships transported passengers and railroad cars between Michigan and Wisconsin ports year ’round, through storms and heavy ice. View a shipwreck diorama featuring the Edmund Fitzgerald as she looks lying deep in the waters of Lake Superior.

A must-see exhibit is the Wisconsin-built boat gallery. Wisconsin boat builders have a tradition of craftsmanship that goes back 150 years. In this exhibit, you will get a close-up view of actual boats that helped build that tradition. The 44-foot luxury yacht Lady Isabel, built in 1907 by Burger Boat, and 33-foot Palmer-Johnson sailboat Skybird, built in 1947, highlight the collection that also features many examples of Wisconsin-built boats, outboard motors and hunting craft used for pleasure and sport throughout the Great Lakes region.

Your day at the museum will be one to be remembered and, afterwards, you can return to your room at Hidden Serenity Bed & Breakfast where we pay close attention to the details and unique amenities need to make your stay as special as possible. You can share your newly made memories over a delicious gourmet breakfast overlooking the woods. The perfect ending to a perfect getaway.


Enjoy Our New Pickleball Court

FullSizeRender-3With all that Hidden Serenity Bed & Breakfast has to offer, it’s no surprise that we also have a Sportscourt located on our property. Our patented Sportscourt allows for the playing of multiple games including two basketball hoops and a short game of tennis. What is more exciting is that we have now added the game of Pickleball to our lineup. If you have not yet heard of Pickleball, then you are in for a real treat!

Pickleball is a racquet sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis – all in to one game. In this sport, two, three, or four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball (similar to a Wiffle ball) over a net. The sport shares features of other racquet sports, the dimensions and layout of a badminton court, and a net and rules similar to tennis, but with a few modifications.

Pickleball was actually invented in the mid-1960s as a children’s backyard pastime but has only more recently gained popularity across America. The game was created during the summer of 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington, at the home of then State Representative Joel Pritchard who, in 1970, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for the State of Washington. He and two of his friends, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum, returned from golf and found their families bored one Saturday afternoon. They attempted to set up badminton, but no one could find the shuttlecock. They improvised with a Waffle ball, lowered the badminton net, and fabricated paddles of plywood from a nearby shed.

The pickleball court is similar to a doubles badminton court. The court is striped like a tennis court, with no alleys; but the outer courts, and not the inner courts, are divided in half by service lines. The ball is served with an underhand stroke so that contact with the ball is made below waist level (waist is defined as the navel level) in an upward arc from behind the baseline, diagonally to the opponent’s service zone. A game consists of 11 points, and only the serving team may score.

Pickleball has been gaining serious steam in the past few years. The number of people that play this game has tripled since 2010 with current estimation of over 150,000 active players today. These players are often called “picklers”.

If you are ready to join the league of “picklers” and have a ton of fun, make your reservation at Hidden Serenity Bed & Breakfast today. You can enjoy a relaxing massage in our spa after your thrilling game of Pickleball.

Traveling Across Lake Michigan on the S.S. Badger

3063 On Board The S.S. BadgerThe S.S. Badger is the largest car ferry ever to sail Lake Michigan, and has provided a safe, fun, and reliable shortcut across the huge inland sea for more than 60 years. The steamship first entered service in 1953, designed specifically to handle the rough conditions that it would likely encounter during year ’round sailing on Lake Michigan. It was built primarily to transport railroad freight cars, but she also featured beautiful passenger accommodations and, because of this, was quite popular during the car ferries’ Golden Era in the late Fifties. Wisconsin ports of call at that time included Manitowoc, Milwaukee, and Kewaunee .

By the 1970’s, times had changed and there was little railroad freight business remaining. The S.S. Badger sailed less and less until, in 1991, an entrepreneur named Charles Conrad committed his own financial resources to reinvent the S.S. Badger to carry leisure passengers and their vehicles. Since then, the S.S. Badger has tapped in to the needs of the vacation traveler and delights a whole new generation of people.  Vacationers can now experience the legend of the Great Lakes, along with a bit of history, while cruising on both sides of Lake Michigan. The S.S. Badger now sails daily between Manitowoc, Wisconsin and Ludington, Michigan from mid-May through mid-October.

The relaxing four-hour, 60-mile cruise takes passengers, autos, RVs, tour buses, motorcycles, bicycles, and commercial trucks across Lake Michigan between Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The steamship features many amenities, including: outside deck areas, deli-style snack bar, buffet-style dining area, private staterooms, upper deck lounge, aft end lounge, video arcade, children’s playroom, gift shop/ship’s store, free quiet room/museum, two free TV lounges, and a free movie lounge.

The boat has quite a large capacity as well! It holds as many as 600 passengers and 180 automobiles. There are 50-60 crewmembers on each trip. The S.S. Badger is a large ship that features 40 staterooms and sits over 7 stories high! Enthusiasts of the steamship era will be interested to note that the Badger features two Stockless anchors weighing 7,000 pounds each. The average speed is 18 miles per hour (15.6 knots). The S.S. Badger was built for year ’round conditions on Lake Michigan and sails in almost all types of weather encountered during her five-month season. ship offers spacious outside decks for walking or lounging with plenty of room to spread out and relax.

If you plan to travel with your four-legged friends, you will be happy to know that animals are allowed aboard. A limited number of kennels are available free of charge on a first-come, first served basis.  Owners may also bring their own kennels. (If animals are left in a vehicle, windshield sunscreens are strongly recommended during warm weather.) Pets may be transported in the owner’s vehicle or kept in a well-ventilated portable kennel on the car deck.

The S.S. Badger is a national treasure, offering a cruise experience that links us to an earlier time when a sea voyage was the ultimate travel and vacation adventure. She offers an authentic steamship experience unmatched anywhere else.  The Badger gives people who travel on her a rare opportunity to step back in time and make memories that will last a lifetime.  This once-in-a-lifetime experience is located only an hour’s drive away from Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast. If you are traveling and including the S.S. Badger in your plans, our B&B is conveniently located to stay a day or two here and then set off sailing. Or possibly you are traveling in the other direction – sailing across the Lake on the S.S. Badger and need a comfy peaceful place to stay on the Wisconsin side. You will not regret taking the trip!

Paul Auction Company

Gavel & StrykerLet’s talk about the Paul Auction Company.  An auction house just a short drive from Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast.  If you love auctions and are one of those that find treasure in another person’s ‘junk’, then you will love to visit the auction house in Kewaskum, Wisconsin while you are with us.  From furniture to jewelry, vintage items such as advertisements, antique banners, signs, brochures and posters, wood crates, books, papers, and the like to clothing, décor, antique toys, coins and more!  You will not be disappointed!  As you decide when to book your stay with us, be sure to check out their website by going to to see when their next auction is scheduled!  What a fun way to spend your time with us!

Many of the auction goers make a stop at the General Store Antique Mall located in Kewaskum. This is a very large antique mall that can keep you busy for a good part of a morning. Pair this up with the auction and you have a fun filled day of treasure hunting!

They have a constant feed of auctions, estate sales and the like that will make all treasure hunter’s drool.  Make sure you book your stay with us soon!

Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast.  Find Adventure, Return to Comfort, Come Away Refreshed.


DeerFest 2015

Stag at SunsetDo you love to hunt for deer?  Do you love to eat venison? Do you prepare venison jerky for yourself and your friends?   Well if you do, or if you know someone who does, you will want to come to Wisconsin for the 2015 DeerFest, the nations largest all-deer festival.  This festival takes place July 31 – August 2, at Washington County Fair Park in West Bend, Wisconsin.

This sought after event brings in people from all over the country each year featuring deer hunting related outdoor activities such as archery courses, tournaments, ATV test drive area, ride and drive for trucks, and a country music festival that is free for all DeerFest attendees.  DeerFest also has some special guest celebrities featuring the best of the best of ladies that lead in deer hunting.  Tiffany Lakosky, Eva Shockey and Taylor Drury will be signing free autographs and will have picture opportunities with their fans.  Lee Lakosky, Matt Drury and Nate Hosie as well as Randy Birdson from Headhunters TB will also be there as well as Chris Brackett and Warren and Easton Holder from Raised Hunting. So they have an action packed weekend of the finest in the industry!  Nate Hosie will be performing in concert that weekend as well.

While at DeerFest, there will be hundreds of exhibitor booths for shopping or browsing, presenting everything Deer that you can possibly imagine.  It’s a deer lovers dream!  You will have an opportunity to check out the best and latest deer related products, meet industry manufacturers as well as the nation’s leading guides and outfitters!

This truly is a deer hunter’s paradise!  Something to mark on your calendar when planning to stay with us at Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast.  Make sure you book your stay with us soon!

Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast.  Find Adventure, Return to Comfort, Come Away Refreshed.


Kettle Moraine Sports Riders

Yamaha Super TenereThere is never a dull day when living in or visiting Wisconsin. Nature’s beauty right at our fingertips no matter the season, fantastic food, great shopping, events galore, hiking, biking, riding, fishing, kayaking….The list goes on and on and it doesn’t stop there. We also have the fabulous Kettle Moraine Sport Riders (KMSR) which is an incredible non profit organization that takes the sport of motorcycling to another level. This organization hosts events scattered throughout the year, something you will not want to miss as you stay with us at Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast.

Some of the events scheduled for 2015 include the Poker Run, Hill climb, Hare Scramble, Flat Track Race, and Dual Sport Ride. These events are great for the motorcycle enthusiasts who enjoy being with others that love to ride.  The Poker Run is always fun and has participants enjoying a ride through the windy roads of the Kettle Moraine.  This ride gives a glimpse into the beauty left behind from the Ice Age years and years ago. All riders participating are given directions with riddles as they attempt to solve them in order to find their way to the five checkpoints throughout the Kettle Moraine. The reason this event is called the Poker Run is because at each checkout riders are given a poker card. After going through all five checkpoints, the rider with the best poker hand will win prizes. For this event you can either ride solo or with a buddy.

The Motorcycle Hill climb is one of our popular events that takes place on Father’s Day every year.  Amateurs to pros enter this competition in an attempt to climb an altered section of the Sunburst Ski Hill.  This event is just as fun for spectators as it is for riders!

The Dual Sport Ride is another fun, incredible event for all you riders! Riding on and off trails taking you through the Kettle Moraine offering challenging courses to all participants.

A portion of each of the profits for these events put on by the Kettle Moraine Sport Riders goes to charity so not only are you having fun, but you are giving to a very worthy cause as well as they have given in the past to such charities as The Alzheimer’s Association, The American Heart Association, The American Cancer Association, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and CMH Wheeling for Healing.

Make sure you book your stay with us soon! Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast. Find Adventure, Return to Comfort, Come Away Refreshed.

Making the Most of a visit to the Kettle Moraine Area

Mauthe Lake, WI October 2010Lovely Wisconsin. Not only the home of the best cheese you will ever sink your teeth into, but home of the glorious Kettle Moraine State Forest, eye candy for the nature enthusiast and fan of earth’s beauty. When staying at Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast, after a peaceful night’s sleep and a belly full of a warm, homemade gourmet breakfast you will want to head to the fabulous Northern Kettle Moraine for a sensational hike, bike ride or just casual walk.  This wonderland also offers fishing, swimming, kayaking, rafting, picnicking areas, and much more.  A way to be able to enjoy the outdoors and something fun for everyone!

No matter what you decide to do, be sure to bring your camera as you will find numerous reasons to snap and share pics with your friends and family at every turn. This is a great place to truly leave your worries and cares at the feet before you enter the moraines. Being in nature has a way of melting all of the stress of life away. A place to get in touch once again with you and the silence and beauty that surrounds us. The air is fresh. The sounds are golden and peaceful.

If this is your first time experiencing kettles, you may be wondering what they are. Well these fascinating works of art are natural kettle shaped depressions in the landscape. They were formed by large blocks of ice that melted during the Ice Age. The moraines are deposits of glacier debris (which is really soil and rock) found where the glaciers were located. Together, the kettles and moraines, as well as other glacial features form incredible natural patterns of highs and lows and really are a spectacular view when experienced.

The Northern Unit, which is closest to our bed and breakfast, boasts 27,500 acres of State Forest several lakes and plenty of hiking to keep you entertained with scenic views leaving you in awe. Some of the most gorgeous lakes are in the Northern Kettle area.  They offer beaches for relaxing in between swimming and fishing.  If you love fishing, you will be in for a treat.  Long Lake and Mauthe Lake have walleyes, northern pikes, large mouth bass and pan fish.  You can obtain a fishing license at any of the nearby sport shops, Ice Age Visitor Center or forest headquarters.

For the most fascinating view, make sure to go to the Parnell Tower, an observation tower located at the head of the Parnell trail, which offers incredible views from the highest point of the forest!  Something you will not want to miss to be able to capture the overwhelming beauty of the highs and lows of the kettles and moraines.  Simply breathtaking!

If you aren’t one that is into physical activity so much, then you should absolutely take the drive that follows the Kettle Moraine.  There is a Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive that will take your breath away and an opportunity to learn so much about the glacial formations.

What a perfect way to spend your time away from the hustle and bustle you experience on a daily basis.  Nature by day, Hidden Serenity by night.  Make sure to book your stay with us soon!  Find out why our motto is “Find adventure, return to comfort, come away refreshed”.

West Bend $1000 Cache Bash

If you’re into geocaching, you are going to love our local West Bend $1000 MoneyCache Bash. Not only is it free—it’s the premier social event for geocachers in the world. We often see people and teams come from all over the country and beyond in order to compete in these events, including a raffle, searching for new caches, looking for established caches, and more. There are more than 1400 caches in just a ten-mile radius of West Bend, making this the idea place to hold a national meeting of geocache enthusiasts!

About the Event

The Cache Bash starts on Friday, the 7th of August and continues on to Saturday, the 8th. Last year, the event saw more than 710 teams in total, making it the perfect place to connect with people that are as interested in geocaching as you are. The schedule of events includes:

  • A tour of some of West Bend’s most famous or historically significant caches
  • A cash drawing for $1000 among other prizes and drawings
  • A Geocoin for sale specific to the 2015 West Bend Cache Bash
  • A costume contest on Saturday
  • A pirate-finding contest, that could earn you an additional prize
  • Geo-centric activities like bingo and golf
  • A cache contest
  • And much more!

There are simply too many activities to list here. You can see a more complete schedule on their website. In short, there is going to be a lot of fun for kids and adults alike.

If you want to attend the Cache Bash, the Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast is only five miles from the event. With a range of great rooms to choose from and onsite activities and amenities galore, you can’t go wrong when choosing our B&B as your Cache Bash home base. This event is always so much fun and our inn is the perfect place to relax after a long day of exploring and activities.

Washington County Fair is a Great Place to Be!

i hope you get sickIs there anything we look forward to more than the Washington County Fair? This is one of the best events of the summer—and that’s saying something, as our county sees plenty of great events throughout the year. With a huge variety of activities to do, contests to win, and fun to be had, the Washington County Fair is ideal for families, kids, teenagers, and adults alike! With six full days of events, booked solid, you’ll never be bored. Whether you’re wandering through the animal barns or you just want to see some live music and eat some great food, be sure to get this event on your schedule.

Each of the six days of this fair has their own theme and schedule of events. You can see the full schedule and get more information on the website, but here is a general overview of what you can expect when you attend this fair:

  • Fireworks
  • Live music every night
  • Horse shows
  • Live performances
  • Lip sync contests
  • Dance parties
  • Livestock auctions
  • Archery demonstration
  • Cat and dog shows
  • And so much more!

There is so much going on—from the traditional 4H animal, craft, etc. exhibits to countless fun contests like rooster crowing and tractor and truck pulls. In addition to the more traditional events, the Washington County Fair has a number of awesome live music performances from the likes of Travis Tritt and Bret Michaels.

If you’re planning on attending the fair, you are going to want a comfortable and affordable place to stay near the event. The Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast will ensure you have a great nights’ sleep so you are fully rested for the day’s events. Our central location to fun and adventure cannot be beat!

A Road Trip With Your Harley

River side break, sport biking dirt roads..Summertime, the open road, not a care in the world, nothing on your mind except the scenery around you, the ‘rev’ in your engine and wind on your face as you are riding your Harley through the country, taking in all it has to offer, living in the moment, wishing it would never end. If you love your Harley (and we’re sure you do), you will love Wisconsin with its winding roads, crisp, clean air and magnificent landscapes. Wisconsin is a fantastic place to explore as you take a road trip with your Harley and stay with us at Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast.

Not only will you love the scenic roads, if you are a true Harley fan, you also must take time to visit the incredible Harley Davidson Museum. The Harley Davidson website says it best, “It’s the best of American design and culture – seasoned with freedom and rebellion, showcased in a landmark building.” Visit this museum and you will see why it is one on Milwaukee’s top tourist destinations.  It is at this museum that you will find over 450 motorcycles, artifacts and memorabilia, dating back to Serial Number 1 which is the oldest known Harley Davidson motorcycle. You will find stories and history of the Harley Davidson culture. The design of this building alone is an artwork.  You will walk away with new information, memories to cherish and gifts galore when visiting the Harley Davidson Museum gift shop. They also have a restaurant, Motor, with exquisite food and a fun dining atmosphere!

The museum is broken down into several areas. They have a design lab where you will be able to get into the head of top designers, seeing how they came up with certain designs. This lab has information dating back to the 1940s.  The Experience Gallery is an interactive gallery, giving you the chance to site on these incredible bikes and envision yourself on the open road. There are videos to enhance this American road experience where you will feel like a kid once again.

Every Thursday evening bikers come together for Bike Night at the Museum. This gives you an opportunity to join other riders and features music, food and drinks and plenty of Harley Davidson testosterone to go around for all.

When planning your road trip with your Harley, make sure to check their calendar as they host a lot of other fun, entertaining events for all adventurous bikers and fans of Harley Davidson.

Whether you are a rider or a fan of Harley’s, you won’t want to miss this incredible museum and the experience it has to offer. Go there once and you will be back again bringing your riding buddies with you.

As you are enjoying your scenic ride through the northern Kettle Moraine, another great stop is the Cabela’s Store.  Cabela’s is a nature lover’s dream store. Whatever hobby or love you have for nature, you can be sure that Cabela’s will offer the support whether you need equipment, clothing or just want a fun place to roam and see all it has to offer. They offer gear for hunting, shooting, fishing, boating, camping, ATV and Auto, cabin, bird watching (which let’s just admit, Wisconsin has some of the best bird watching), slingshots, rock hobbies, climbing, drones, electronics…you name it, they probably have it!  On top of all of the equipment, they have fantastic clothing for men and women adventurers and nature lovers as well as footwear. It’s a novelty in itself just to walk around and look at the displays in the store and we are sure is something you will want to add to your list of ‘to-do’s’ while staying with us at Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast!

Schedule your reservation today!  We look forward to seeing you soon!