March 2009

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JacksFirstFishFull disclosure:  I don’t fish.

Putting the words Wisconsin & Fish into the same sentence to me means three things:
1.  Fish Creek (great place to vacation in Door County)
2.  Fish Fry (that Friday night dinner phenomenon)
3.  Fish Boil (again in Door County, but this time it’s great food)

However, I have family who adore the sport of fishing and so I try to remain open-minded.  For those of you anglers who’ve been awaiting the official start of the season, mark you calendars for May 2nd as the Governor’s Fishing Opener.  In anticipation we’ve assembled the following resources…

If the cool, wet weather has you only dreaming of fishing, check out these articles, blogs & sites for inspiration:

Upcoming April fishing events include:

This DNR page features color pictures of Wisconsin’s fish species, print off & take along for the kids (or anyone) new to fishing.  Also, see this site by TakeMeFishing.org for great kid activities, stories & links.  Finally, FishingFacts.com features their list of Ten things an angler would NEVER say:

  1. Does my catfish stink bait smell too rank?
  2. I have all the fishing tackle I’ll ever need.
  3. That fish is too big, throw ‘em back!
  4. Take me to the shore, so that I may use the restroom.
  5. The one I caught was a lot smaller than yours.
  6. Sure, you can have the last nightcrawler!
  7. Fishing is so bad today, I’d rather be at work.
  8. I’ll ask my mother-in-law to go along fishing next week.
  9. I can’t make the tournament – I have tickets to the ballet!
  10. (Had to leave you in suspense, click to their site to see)

As always, don’t forget to head on over to WisconsinLodging.info to plan your fishing trips- find over 200 properties throughout Wisconsin with fishing available onsite!

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Wild, domestic, cuddly, creepy or scary, fascinating animals of all types await you throughout Wisconsin at a wide assortment of zoos, wildlife parks, petting zoos and nature centers.  From the Racine Zoo in the southeast to Pecks Wildwood Wildlife Park up north in Minocqua to Alligator Alley at Extreme World in Wisconsin Dells, there’s something available for everyone!

The Milwaukee County Zoo claims to be one of the top zoos in the nation and patrons can stroll the wooded grounds to view over 2,000 different animals, fish & birds, relax on a train ride around the grounds, or catch a seal & sea lion show.  Trips to see the animals need not be expensive and the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison offers family fun with free admission!

For those out-of-the-ordinary animal encounters, try the Silver Bison Ranch in Baldwin or Larson’s Famous Clydesdales in Ripon.  City slickers looking to experience farm life can get up close to cows, pigs, horses & more at Mulberry Lane Farm of Sherwood or Green Meadows Petting Farm in Waterford.

Get out and hang with the animals!

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Golf WI Weekend

Golf WI Weekend

Through (leafless) tree branches and across the way, I can see a golf course out my window.  Although it’s still too cool and wet for the course to be officially open, there have been some die-hard golfers out walking the course with their clubs in recent days.  Warmer weather is on it’s way to Wisconsin and with it will come the golfers; it’s-for-business golfers, league players, beginners, life-long enthusiasts, and even just-for-fun-once-in-awhile folks like me.

From quick local courses to beautiful resort courses, Wisconsin offers a wide array of places to play.  If affordable is your key factor to hitting the links this summer, this article on TravelWisconsin.com features the “Best Rounds under $50″.  Also, check out the Golf Course Owners of Wisconsin site and their 2009 Platinum Passports for savings.

Know a young person who likes to play?  Don’t miss Golf Wisconsin Weekend.  May 30-31, many courses around the state will offer special discounts including free golf for junior golfers with a paying adult.  In conjunction, many lodging properties are offering discounts or packages to golfers getting away for Golf Wisconsin Weekend.  Check back to this link often as more properties are added to the list!

Just for fun, check out these great golf videos on YouTube and start thinking golf + getaway to a beautiful Wisconsin destination!

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Family Vacation!

These two simple words, when combined together can instill excitement or terror in the hearts of parents everywhere.  We want to have fun, discover, relax, reconnect, regroup… Whatever our plans for our Family Vacation, they don’t usually include a trip to the emergency room.  But, as every parent knows, kids will be kids – even on vacation!
So while you’re choosing your next destination, planning your budget & arranging the itinerary, don’t forget safety preparations. Where to start?  Check out the short list below, then go forth on that Family Vacation, explore, enjoy – and be safe!

There are many more resources out there on travel safety – post your suggestions in the comments section below!

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lake-superior1Be sure to share this with the boss – studies indicate taking a vacation isn’t just good for your mental health, it’s good for your long-term physical health as well.  Check out these three related stories from WebMD, Health.com & The NY Times respectively:

  1. A Vacation Away Keeps the Doctor at Bay
  2. Vacation: Good for Your Health, Good for Your Soul?
  3. Vacations Are Good for You, Medically Speaking

Armed with that information, now’s the time to start thinking spring break & summer vacation…

Of course, I’d like to recommend your next vacation be in Wisconsin!  More than just America’s Dairyland & the home of the Packers, Wisconsin features miles of shoreline (bordered by two Great Lakes + the Mississippi River), over 450,000 acres of state forest, and some pretty great shopping & museums too.  With beautiful hotels, relaxing resorts, blissful bed & breakfasts, charming inns and convenient motels, there’s something for everyone.  Start planning your next vacation today – it’s good for you!

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Shamrock, by cobalt123

This CNN.com story highlights five cities across the U.S. to celebrate St. Patrick’s day, but if Wisconsin is more your speed, then check out these options:

(Now, I’m pretty familiar with the celebration of St. Patrick, but St. Uhro was definitely a new one!) If parades aren’t your style or you’re looking for a getaway with an Irish flair, take a look at Costello’s Irish Guest House in Fond du Lac and County Clare, An Irish Inn & Pub in Milwaukee.

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Wisconsin has an amazing array of great places to see and stay, either with family, on business, or with your significant other.  Check out just a few of these places featured below:

Final Family Festival Weekend at Granite Peak
If your family’s idea of a great weekend getaway involves downhill skiing, horse drawn sleigh rides and fireworks, be sure to check out the last Family Festival Weekend at Granite Peak Ski Area in Wausau this Friday through Sunday, March 13-15.  Packages are currently available at the Best Western Midway Hotel and Jefferson Street Inn & include lodging, lift tickets, ski or snowboard rental, brat cookout and more.

Motorcycle Enthusiasts can now Ship their Bikes
Guests of the Iron Horse Hotel, Milwaukee’s “first urban boutique hotel geared toward motorcycle enthusiasts” can now take advantage of special rates with HaulBikes.com to ship their bikes from anywhere in the U.S. to the Iron Horse Hotel for their next trip to Milwaukee.  If you don’t want to ship your own bike, but would still like to explore Wisconsin on two wheels, the Hotel also offers guests motorcycle rentals.

Weekend Getaways to Green Lake area
With spring just around the corner (really!), now’s a perfect time to get out and explore new destinations such as Ripon & Green Lake.  Yes, Ripon is the home to the Rippin’ Good Cookie Outlet.  Read more about what to do, where to find great pizza, and special packages available at the Heidel House Resort in this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel feature.

(To get more monthly travel specials delivered to your email, simply sign up for WisconsINN Getaways.)

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westwood-shoresCongratulations to Patrice L. from Madison, WI as the March WisconsINN Getaways winner!  Patrice will receive a free overnight stay at the Westwood Shores Waterfront Resort in Sturgeon Bay.

If you’d like to be entered into a monthly drawing for a free overnight stay, simply sign up for the WisconsINN Getaways monthly email newsletter.  Upcoming giveaways include the new Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee, Bella Vista Suites in Lake Geneva and Brookfield Suites Hotel in Brookfield.  Learn more about these and nearly 1.000 more places to stay in Wisconsin at WisconsinLodging.info.

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man-and-dogsWELCOME!

You’ve found the new blog from WisconsinLodging.info presented by the Wisconsin Innkeepers Association.  Check back often for news & info on traveling in and around Wisconsin.

With the current state of the economy weighing heavily on everyone’s minds, now is the perfect time to rediscover Wisconsin when planning for your next getaway, and WisconsinLodging.info is your place to start.  Search nearly 1,000 properties, sign up for email deals, check out this month’s featured properties, or download the 2009 Lodging Directory.

If you wouldn’t dream of heading out on a “family” vacation without your canine companions, then be sure to check out this new article in Fetch magazine – Going to the Dogs: Pet Friendly Vacations in Wisconsin featuring the Stewart Inn in Wausau and the Edgewater Hotel in Madison.

Wisconsin offers a host of amazing places to discover and stay this spring & summer and we look forward to sharing them with you.

Again, welcome to our new blog!

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