Westby House Inn 2016-09-29T20:03:35Z /feed/atom/ /wp-content/uploads/2016/01/cropped-westby-favicon-02-32x32.png Westby House <![CDATA[Why This Is One of the Best Winter Getaways in Wisconsin]]> https://westbyhouse.com/?p=1117 2016-09-29T20:03:35Z 2016-09-28T02:34:42Z Westby is one of the best winter getaways in Wisconsin! Whether you prefer bundling up for outdoor winter activities, shopping for unique Christmas presents, or just curling up by a

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Westby is one of the best winter getaways in Wisconsin! Whether you prefer bundling up for outdoor winter activities, shopping for unique Christmas presents, or just curling up by a fire, Westby has what you’re looking for. If the winter blues are getting you down, it’s probably time for a visit to Westby!

Our Vacation Guide is chock-full of more Driftless area information, events, restaurants and more. Be sure to request your free copy to help you plan your trip!

 

Winter Getaways in Wisconsin

If you’re getting away with your family or getting away with a loved one, consider “getting away” to Westby House Inn. We are centrally located to tons of winter fun in Wisconsin. But we are also in a small community, so if down time is what you need, you’re covered there, too. Here’s some of our favorite things to do on winter weekend getaways in Wisconsin!

 

Play in the Snow

Of course you can always toss a few snowballs with friends, but why not kick it up a notch? Snow sports abound during Wisconsin winters! Snow-mobiling, fat-tire biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are all popular winter activities.

For instance, you could snowmobile down the Elroy-Sparta Trail. This rail-to-trail route has incredible winter views and will introduce you to five different communities. Or, if you’re looking to break a sweat in your winter gear, go cross-country skiing on ten miles of groomed trails at the beautiful Kickapoo Valley Reserve or at Wildcat Mountain State Park. Intrepid hikers can strap on snowshoes at these destinations as well. Winter fat biking is growing in popularity. Veteran Hills grooms fat bike trails over their golf course during winter!

For a fun winter experience, check out the Kickapoo Valley Reserve Winter Festival. The highlight of that weekend is a Candlelit Hike/Ski, followed by some great views of the winter sky.

Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center also has some wonderful winter events. The Old-Fashioned Christmas weekend in early December is a great way to kick off the Christmas season. The Candlelight Snowshoe Hike (cross-country skiiers are also welcome) is always beautiful as well.

*Note: Snowshoes, bikes, (and other sports rental equipment) are available from Bluedog Cycles.

Ice Fishing

Fishing is a four-season sport here in Wisconsin, so there’s never a bad time to hit the water (or the ice!) You’ll find a few “hot spots” along the Great River Road where ice fishers gather. Depending on where you fish, you will catch bluegill and crappie (lakes) or walleye, northern pike, bass, and pan fish (rivers). Here’s more info on some great fishing spots close to Westby.

 

Snowflake Ski Jumping Tournament

If you’d rather drink beer or hot chocolate while watching sports, the Snowflake Ski Jumping Tournament might be your thing! This incredible event is a marvel to watch, and has been a part of local tradition for almost one hundred years! With live music, food, drink, and bonfires, there’s not a better way to enjoy this historic sport. U.S. and international jumpers will compete to cheers of the local crowds. You can watch from the bottom or the tops of the hills! It’s one of the most fun, special things we do around here in the winter.

 

Winter at the Wineries

Local wineries, such as Branches Winery, stay open on weekends through Christmas. Sipping a new favorite local wine in a snowy scene is a memory worth making! And the Tangled Hickory Wine Bar & Restaurant in downtown Viroqua offers live music and local brews and wines, alongside bistro-style dishes.

Cozy Up at Westby House Inn

No matter what you decide to do during your winter getaways in Wisconsin, we hope it involves a lot of relaxing. And that’s something we specialize in at the Westby House Inn, one of the best winter vacation spots in Wisconsin! Choose one of our rooms with a double whirlpool tub, or curl up by one of our in-room fireplaces with a good book. Enjoy the comfort of a hot, freshly made, gourmet breakfast. We would love to be your choice for cozy, warm winter vacations in Wisconsin. And for more details on what the Driftless area of Wisconsin has to offer, download our complimentary Vacation Guide. We’ll keep the mugs of cocoa hot for you!

 

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Westby House <![CDATA[Your Ultimate Guide to the Westby Creamery]]> https://westbyhouse.com/?p=1112 2016-09-19T02:07:02Z 2016-09-19T02:07:02Z When you travel to Wisconsin in search of cheese, make sure the Westby Creamery is on your list. The Westby Cooperative Creamery is right in the heart of Westby, and

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When you travel to Wisconsin in search of cheese, make sure the Westby Creamery is on your list. The Westby Cooperative Creamery is right in the heart of Westby, and right in the “heart of dairy country.” We are proud to serve award-winning Westby Creamery products in our inn!

For more information and tips on the local area, be sure to download our complimentary Vacation Guide. For instance, taking home a cooler of cheeses from the Westby Creamery would partner excellently with a bottle of wine from Branches Winery! (Branches Winery is just a few miles down the road.)

 

Westby Creamery – A Westby Tradition

Westby Creamery is a cooperative that’s over 100 years old. Westby Creamery began as a butter manufacturer for its farmer-owners. It has grown over the years to include hard cheese, cheese curds, cottage cheese, sour cream, dips, and yogurt in its production. Westby Creamery labeled products are sold throughout the Midwest. And the Westby Cooperative Creamery’s reach also extends to private label manufacturing and foodservice as well. (At one point, Westby Creamery was making products for Dean Foods and Borden!)

The more than 170 farmer-owners are primarily small dairy farms in our local area. All share a commitment to quality, and all the dairy is rBst-free. Much of the dairy is organic as well, as farmers switch their operations over. Westby Cooperative Creamery is also proud to be the only cottage cheese processor in Wisconsin.

 

Westby Creamery Cheese Store

The Westby Creamery Cheese Store is less than half a mile from the Westby House Inn. Here, you can find factory-fresh products seven days a week. They are open from 8 – 5. The creamery has other food items and drinks as well, but most locals and tourist come here for the dairy! We are particularly big fans of the Westby Creamery cheese curds (a famous Wisconsin staple). Also be sure to check out the Icelandic yogurt. It’s high in protein and low in sugar, making it a great snack to have on hand.

And no need to plan ahead for your trip to the creamery store! They sell Styrofoam coolers and ice packs to make sure you can get your cheese home in the best condition. And for your convenience, you can also shop their online store. The gift boxes make a delightful holiday treat for bosses, co-workers, and hostesses! Be sure to check out the Westby Creamery Facebook page for more details on free samples and current sales.

 

Westby House Inn – Another Westby Tradition

At Westby House Inn, we happily serve Westby Creamery cheese and yogurts to our guests. And if you choose one of our specials or add-ons that involve cheese, it is likely to come from the Westby Creamery! (We also use products from another local favorite, The Nordic Creamery, Westby WI.) It’s wonderful to have such wonderful quality products readily available. At Westby House, we truly have everything you need. Our beautiful and luxurious Victorian rooms provide you with the rest and relaxation you crave. And our delicious full gourmet breakfast is hand prepared each morning with you in mind. For more information on the exciting and unique things to do in the Driftless area, download our complimentary Vacation Guide. You can also check out our blog post on some of the best local cheeses in Wisconsin!

 

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Westby House <![CDATA[What You’ll See at the Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center]]> https://westbyhouse.com/?p=1083 2016-09-13T01:46:31Z 2016-09-13T01:46:31Z The Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center is 400 acres of nature and history. Come to hike the seven miles of nature trails or to learn about Norwegian American history! Like

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The Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center is 400 acres of nature and history. Come to hike the seven miles of nature trails or to learn about Norwegian American history!

Like so many other attractions, the Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center is just a short drive from Westby House. For more information on this unique place and others in the Driftless area, please download our free Vacation Guide.

 

The Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center

Norskedalen is much more than wildflowers and springs. On the main site is an authentic homestead originally built in the 1800s. A smaller property (43 acres), the Norskedalen Heritage Site, is an open-air museum and 13 pioneer log buildings. With so much to see and do at the Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center, you’ll want to reserve the whole day. So take a picnic lunch, and prepare to enjoy the natural beauty of the coulee region. Let’s take a closer look at the parts of Norskedalen that make it so unique.

 

The Thrune Visitors Center

Your journey at Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center will likely begin at the Thrune Visitors Center. Located in the center is Heritage Hall, a small museum of pioneer artifacts. The Nature Room has exhibits that are hands-on and perfect for the kids. There’s a gift shop and a library for genealogical research. Trail maps and other information about the property is also available.

 

Enjoy Nature and Wildlife

In addition to the miles of nature trails, Norskedalen is also home to the Gundersen Arboretum. This special plot of land has been carefully landscaped and planted. This transformed the acreage into a sort of paradise with wildflowers, groves of trees, and spring-fed streams. A half-mile trail leads to the arboretum as well as the pond. It is handicap accessible, as is the parking lot.

 

Step Back in Time

The Bekkum Homestead at the main site is as recreation of a typical homestead in the 1800s. There’s a house and a summer kitchen, a separate building where cooking was done in the summer. The springhouse would be built around the spring to protect the water and keep it clean. The chicken coop was originally a house before the homesteaders disassembled it and rebuilt it for the chickens. The machine shed kept the farm tools safe from the elements. There’s also a corn crib, a granary, an outhouse, stable and barn, blacksmith’s shop, and storage shed. These are furnished with artifacts that would have been used at that time as well. It’s a wonderful peek into what life was like over a hundred years ago.

Separate from the homestead is the Benrud Little White Chapel, a lovely place for a Norskedalen wedding or vow renewal. And the smaller site, The Norskedalen Heritage Site, is a recreation of a small town, with 13 buildings built in different styles. One of the buildings is the oldest original home in the area, and another is the area’s first school house. This picturesque site has become a popular spot for photographs.

 

Tour the Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center

We recommend calling Norskedalen before you travel to ensure you’re able to do all the things you’d like to do. Some of the areas are open seasonally, or closed temporarily for maintenance. And while there is lots of information on their website, we also recommend calling if you’re interested in a guided tour. This is to make sure you get the most out of your visit to this beautiful area!

 

Rest and Relax at Westby House

Soak up more of the Driftless area’s beauty as you travel home to Westby House. Our Victorian rooms are comfortable and luxurious. And we prepare a homemade gourmet breakfast each morning to fuel you for whatever adventures await you. And remember to download our complimentary Vacation Guide. We hope to see you soon!

 

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Westby House <![CDATA[What You Need to Know About the Great River Road Scenic Byway]]> https://westbyhouse.com/?p=1070 2016-09-09T12:50:03Z 2016-09-08T01:07:32Z   Fall color explosions are on the way, so it’s time to plan your trip down the Wisconsin Great River Road Scenic Byway. Plus, all the September festivals, farmer’s markets,

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Fall color explosions are on the way, so it’s time to plan your trip down the Wisconsin Great River Road Scenic Byway. Plus, all the September festivals, farmer’s markets, and fall colors have made this “Drive the Great River Road Month!” (And for even more information on the Great River Road Scenic Byway and other great things to do in the area, be sure to download our free Vacation Guide.)

 

Great River Road Scenic Byway

The full Great River Road is a 3,000-mile journey through ten states. It follows the winding Mississippi River from Minnesota all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Driving the great river road route from beginning to end would take about 36 hours! But we recommend a bit of exploration along the way.

 

Great River Road Wisconsin Scenic Byway

And of course we think some of the best exploring happens along the Great River Road route in Wisconsin! This 250-mile route travels through small communities and urban cities. All 33 of them have something unique to experience and explore! Some of the communities have been around since the 1600s. And the breathtaking views of the river from our sandstone bluffs will never cease to amaze! This route was voted “Prettiest Drive: Ultimate Summer Road Trip in the U.S.”

 

Tips to Plan Your Great River Road Scenic Byway Route

 

 

 

  • Download a free audio tour of the Wisconsin Great River Road to make sure you don’t miss a thing!

 

Don’t Miss These Great Stops on Wisconsin’s Great River Road

 

  • The Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Pepin – Every child who grew up loving the Little House on the Prairie books will enjoy the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum. Pepin, Wisconsin, is Laura’s birthplace. There’s also a recreation of the Big House in the Little woods on the original three acres owned by the Ingalls family.

 

  • The Waterfront Restaurant in La Crosse – Enjoy some of Wisconsin’s finest dining from a patio with a beautiful view. (Our blog about the Waterfront Restaurant is here.)

 

 

  • Potosi Brewing Company – Originally founded in 1852, the Potosi Brewing Company is home to craft beers galore, as well as The National Brewery Museum. There’s also a family friendly restaurant with a great menu.

 

  • Perrot State Park in Trempealeau – Known for its natural, archaeological, and historical resources, Perrot State Park also provides a wonderful habitat for lots of birds and wildlife. In addition to bird and wildlife watching, Perrot offers hiking, canoeing, and biking.

 

Rest at the Westby House Inn

After you’ve explored Wisconsin up and down the Mississippi, come relax at one the best places to stay in Wisconsin! Our comfortable suites, gourmet breakfast, and mouth-watering restaurant will provide you with everything you need to recharge for another day on the Great River Road Scenic Byway. Be sure to download our complimentary Vacation Guide for more information on things to do in the Driftless Area!

 

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Westby House <![CDATA[9 of the Best Ways to Experience Fall in Wisconsin]]> https://westbyhouse.com/?p=1064 2016-08-30T02:32:55Z 2016-08-29T22:25:05Z You might have noticed that a lot of our blogs have been focusing on fall in Wisconsin. That’s because it’s just around the corner, and we don’t want you to

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You might have noticed that a lot of our blogs have been focusing on fall in Wisconsin. That’s because it’s just around the corner, and we don’t want you to miss out on all the fun autumn activities!

 

Fall in Wisconsin

The leaves will be turning soon, and that means it’s time to start turning our attention to fall! We know we aren’t alone in loving this season: the hot apple cider, the sweater weather, the harvests, and pumpkin spice everything! Fall in Wisconsin is especially enjoyable, so don’t miss out on our favorite ways to experience autumn in Wisconsin.

 

1. Hike, Bike, or Drive for the Best Fall Leaves in Wisconsin

With so many great hiking trails close to Westby, there are lots of walks and hikes that showcase the beauty of the leaves changing color. Whether by car or motorcycle, autumn in Wisconsin is also a perfect season to just go for a drive. The foliage is on full display as you twist and turn on these fantastic routes. We are also privileged to have some of the most unique bike trails in the country, built on the old railroad paths. Plus, the tunnels are not to be missed!

 

2. Catch Some Frisky Trout

As the water gets cooler, the trout become more active and will begin migrating to their spawning habitat (often in a smaller tributary). This gives you the possibility of snagging a larger trout that’s been hiding in deeper water. (September is the ideal month for this!) The Kickapoo River and its tributaries offer great fishing spots, and Timber Coulee and West Fork are excellent as well. And here’s our top five favorite fly fishing spots.

 

3. Scare Yourself Silly at the Haunted Halls of Terror

If Haunted Houses are your thing, you’ve got to check out the Haunted Halls of Terror in Prairie du Chien. The Halls of Terror are recommended for ages 12 and up, but if you have younger ones, check out the Kid Friendly Lights. Follow their Facebook page for specifics.

 

4. Harvest Apples at the Gays Mills Apple Festival

The orchards at Gays Mills during the Gays Mills Apple Festival showcase the fall apple harvest season! Held annually on the last weekend of September, this could be the start of a great family tradition.

 

5. Harness Racing at the Vernon County Fair

The Vernon County Fair in September is the best in the state. Harness racing is always a hit. Plus there’s tons of great food and drink, family activities, and fascinating exhibits.

 

6. Experience the Best in the Arts at the Driftless Arts Festival

This September event is full of fun for everyone: the best vinters, brewers, restaurants, and farms in the state will make sure you enjoy every minute of the Driftless Arts Festival music, exhibits, and shopping.

 

7. Celebrate German-style at Oktoberfest

La Crosse’s Oktoberfest remains one of the most popular Oktoberfest celebrations in the nation. The authentic German food and beer, carnival rides, parades, and entertainment make this a fall festival to keep on your annual “bucket list.”

 

8. Load up on Fall Produce at the Viroqua Farmer’s Market

At the Viroqua Farmer’s Market, the fall in Wisconsin season will be on full display! Choose from a gorgeous array of seasonal items: pumpkins and squash of all colors, along with apples and other plants and vegetables. And with the large array of handmade items, you’re likely to find some perfect Christmas gifts too!

 

9. Cozy Up at Westby House Inn

Our cozy and luxurious rooms here at Westby House offer you the perfect place for your fall in Wisconsin retreat. And if snuggling up by the fire sounds like a perfect evening, check out the Atrium Room and the Victorianne Room! Both are complete with gas fireplaces and double whirlpool tubs! And our gourmet breakfast is a fresh way to begin your fall explorations. For more ideas on fall activities, check out more of our blog posts, and download our complimentary Vacation Guide as well. And don’t forget about the “Fall for Our Spectacular Color” deal (book by August 31)!

 

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Westby House <![CDATA[This is Where You’ll Find the Best Hiking in Wisconsin]]> https://westbyhouse.com/?p=1052 2016-08-21T19:56:07Z 2016-08-21T19:56:07Z   Whether you’re an experienced hiker or an leisurely walker, the hiking in Wisconsin will open up a whole new world to you!   Hiking in Wisconsin   Hiking in

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Whether you’re an experienced hiker or an leisurely walker, the hiking in Wisconsin will open up a whole new world to you!

 

Hiking in Wisconsin

 

Hiking in Wisconsin is a favorite pastime for locals and visitors alike. The scenery and uniqueness of the Driftless region lends itself well to on-foot discovery, and we are confident that you will enjoy the views and wildlife on these trails. This is some of the best hiking in Wisconsin, and all three are less than a gorgeous 30-minute drive away — practically right in our own backyard!

 

The Kickapoo Valley Reserve

 

The Kickapoo Valley Reserve maintains three hiking-only trails: One loop, approximately one mile long, starts at the Visitor center and has railroad ties for help navigating the steeper sections. This is a perfect hike for families and beginners. The second loop, also approximately one mile, is a moderately challenging hike that takes you to a beautiful overlook spot. The third loop, on the north side of the reserve, is approximately two miles, is very challenging and includes stream crossings. Additionally, hikers are welcome to also use the miles of mountain bike trails and equestrian trails. Hiking in the Reserve requires a day or annual pass.

 

Wildcat Mountain State Park

 

Four trails are maintained for hiking at Wildcat Mountain State Park, and are a favorite destination for many of our guests. The Prairie Trail is a short, level hike that provides views of the Kickapoo Valley. The 2.5-mile Old Settler’s Trail was once used, as you might imagine, by early settlers in the area. This trail crosses a footbridge and passes three separate pine plantations. The 1.3-mile more challenging Hemlock Nature Trail follows the Kickapoo River and features special markers that highlight unique plants and other life in the area. There is also an observation point on Mount Pisgah with an incredible view. Finally, the Ice Cave Trail (not to be confused with the Ice Age Trail elsewhere in Wisconsin), is less than a mile and takes hikers along the banks of Billings Creek to an eroded sandstone rock formation called Ice Cave. A trail pass is not required for hiking.

 

Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center

 

Wildflowers and wildlife are on full display on the Norskedalen Nature Trails in the Coulee region. Seven miles of trails for hiking, bird watching, and snowshoeing give you the opportunity to peek into these protected ecosystems, and see many different types of wildflowers blooming. Stop by the Visitor’s Center for trail maps and other information.

 

Hike on Over to Westby House Inn

 

Our perfect location puts you in easy driving distance to some of the best hiking in Wisconsin. So if you’re looking for the best hiking in Wisconsin, why not stay at one of the best places to stay in Wisconsin? Our exceptional accommodations are designed to be luxurious, restful, and relaxing. Our delicious gourmet breakfast will start your day off right, giving you the energy to hike and explore all the beautiful places Wisconsin has to offer. And be sure to download our free Vacation Guide before you come – it’s packed with all sorts of insider info and great tips on things to do in our area. We hope you hike this way soon!

 

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Westby House <![CDATA[6 of the Best Fall Festivals in Wisconsin to Check Out This Year]]> https://westbyhouse.com/?p=1042 2016-08-16T17:01:41Z 2016-08-16T17:01:41Z Fall creeps closer every day, which means it’s the perfect time to start looking at these fun fall festivals in Wisconsin.   Fall Festivals in Wisconsin Perfect for the whole

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Fall creeps closer every day, which means it’s the perfect time to start looking at these fun fall festivals in Wisconsin.

 

Fall Festivals in Wisconsin

Perfect for the whole family or the romantic getaway, a festival can be just the right thing to kick off the fall season or to start a new tradition. So if you can’t wait for sweaters, pumpkins, apple cider and more, these festivals will be right up your alley. And even if fall isn’t your favorite season, these fall festivals in Wisconsin might be just the thing to change your mind!

 

1. Leif Erikson Day

Leif Erickson Day is a celebration right here in Westby in honor of Leif Erikson. Erikson was a Scandinavian and likely the first person to have “discovered” America, hundreds of years before Columbus. The date of the festival, October 9, honors the date the first organized immigration group from Norway landed on American soil. We celebrate with Scandinavian food and drink (fish dinners and Swedish pancakes), Nordic gifts (and books and hats and jewelry!), Viking movies and popcorn, and of course the arrival of the Viking ship.

 

2. Oktoberfest

In late September/early October, you won’t be able to tell if you’re in Munich or Wisconsin during La Crosse’s Oktoberfest, one of the most popular festivals of its kind in the nation. With parades, authentic German food and drink, carnival rides, and a wide range of entertainment options, this festival has definitely earned a spot on our “do not miss” list!

 

3. The La Crosse Area Bicycle Festival

For you bicycle lovers out there, The La Crosse Area Bicycle Festival is an opportunity to enjoy some of the fabulous views and scenery in the Driftless area! Each day there’s a 30-100 mile featured road ride, as well as mountain bike rides and historical tours. Some of the rides are shorter and guided, making this a great for families and easy riders as well!

 

4. The Gays Mills Apple Festival

Recently the center of one of our blogs, the late September Gays Mills Apple Festival is the epitome of fall fun. Enjoy the apple harvest by visiting several of the Gays Mills Orchards, and sample some of the delicious apple dishes (it’s hard to say “no” to apple cider doughnuts!). There’s also a parade, a kiddie carnival, and several short runs (a 2K, 5K, and ¼ mile Kid Run). And of course the flea market is a great place to start shopping for those unique and hard-to-find Christmas gifts!

 

5. The Warrens Cranberry Festival

The Warrens Cranberry Festival’s over 200 food venders, 800 arts and crafts vendors would be more than enough to entice and occupy any visitor. But there’s also music, a parade, the cranberry marsh tours, cranberry wines, pie-eating contests and more! In addition to stocking up on handmade gifts and treats, you can also get all the fresh cranberries you need for your holiday tables and Christmas trees. (And we featured them on our blog as well!)

 

6. The Driftless Area Art Festival

If you love good food, music, entertainment, and shopping, definitely check out the Driftless Area Art Festival. With prizes awarded in culinary arts, kid and teen art, performance art, and visual arts, there will be something everyone in your family can enjoy. (For more details, see our blog post dedicated to this festival!)

 

A Westby House Fall

All of these fun fall events (and many more) are located just a short drive from the Westby House Inn. Think of us as your fall “home base,” with plenty of opportunities to enjoy fall festivals in Wisconsin, fall outdoor activities, and the Wisconsin fall colors. We would love the opportunity to welcome you to our comfortable and luxurious rooms, as well as our delicious full gourmet breakfast. And for more information on events in our area, be sure to download our complimentary Vacation Guide. We’ll see you in the fall!

 

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Westby House <![CDATA[Get Excited for All Things Fall at the Gays Mills Apple Festival]]> https://westbyhouse.com/?p=1037 2016-08-10T17:48:11Z 2016-08-10T17:48:11Z It may still be summer, but fall is just around the corner! And nothing says “fall” better than a weekend at the Gays Mills Apple Festival.   Gays Mills Apple

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It may still be summer, but fall is just around the corner! And nothing says “fall” better than a weekend at the Gays Mills Apple Festival.

 

Gays Mills Apple Festival

Held annually on the last weekend of September, the Gays Mills Apple Festival celebrates the apple harvest with two days of fun. Early apples are harvested in August, and the harvest continues through October, so the Gays Mills apple fest puts you smack-dab in the middle of fall fun! Plus, the Gays Mills apple orchards are some of the largest orchards around, so there’s lots to enjoy and explore at each orchard.

 

Food

Come and enjoy some delicious apple-based foods, like apple pies (of course), apple ciders, apple pizza, caramel apples, apple cider doughnuts, and much more. It’s not all apples, either: you will have the opportunity to try lots of local food and drink, from coffee to burritos to taco salad to the Pancake and Sausage Breakfast (with fresh apple sauce or apple syrup!).

 

Music

What would a festival be without music? And the Gays Mills Apple Fest has it, from DJs to live music. Live music performances take place on Saturday and Sunday evenings, and praise and worship happens on Saturday night as well, at the Congregational Church. You’ll probably find some opportunities for dancing as well!

 

Events

The Gays Mills Apple Festival is designed to be loved by all sorts of people and all ages! For you active folks, there are two and five mile runs, as well as a volleyball tournament. There’s even a kids’ fun run (1/4 mile). Your little ones will also enjoy the daily Kiddie Carnival. And you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the always-popular Gays Mills Parade. (A full schedule of events, including the Book Sale, the Horseshoe Tournament, and the Smoking Gun Showdown, can be found on the Gays Mills website.)

 

Shopping

The flea markets at Gays Mills Apple Festival are a well loved way to spend the day! With a wide variety of items available, the flea market includes antiques, collectibles, rummage, and hand-made crafts. There’s also lots of apple products for sale, so you can take some memories home with you, as well as fun fall items, like gourds and corn and other plants.

 

Fall into Fall at Westby House Inn

By late September/early October, the leaves will be on full display in all their vibrant fall colors. And there’s no better place to enjoy the transition to fall than Westby House! The foliage is all around us, and the fun fall activities you love, like the Gays Mills Apple Festival, are close by. Our gourmet breakfast will start each day off right, and our comfortable, luxurious rooms will end each day right as well. Be sure to book your stay today, as fall is a popular time for visitors to the Driftless region. And for more suggestions and ideas on things to do during your stay, download our complimentary Vacation Guide. We hope to see you soon!

 

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Westby House <![CDATA[This Is Why You Need to Visit Branches Winery]]> https://westbyhouse.com/?p=1028 2016-09-28T17:41:33Z 2016-07-31T14:24:28Z Branches Winery, just minutes from Westby House, is a wonderful vineyard, winery, and tasting room with award-winning local wines.   Branches Winery – Years in the Making When Branches Winery

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Branches Winery, just minutes from Westby House, is a wonderful vineyard, winery, and tasting room with award-winning local wines.

 

Branches Winery Years in the Making

When Branches Winery opened in 2013, just minutes from the Westby House Inn, we knew it would be a success. The owners, Gene and Therese Bergholz, are wonderful people with a passion for great wines and great customer service, and we are honored to highlight their exceptional local business. The Bergholzes began growing grapes in 2007, and opened the winery with five offerings, four wines made from grapes and one cranberry wine. Today, they have even more to offer, so on your visit to the Westby House Inn, you need to visit Branches Winery!

 

Branches Winery – The Wines

Today, Branches winery has twelve wines and two ciders, with something for every palate. From refreshing ciders to rich, full-bodied reds to crisp whites, to sweet and dessert wines; it’s hard to pick a favorite! But the Branches Reserve will always be on our list, and during the summer, we can never say no to a chilled glass of fruity Francesca. And trying the cranberry wine and cider is a must as well – such a unique blend and so refreshing!

 

Branches Winery – The Vineyard, Food, and Atmosphere

When you enter the winery, your experience will begin at the tasting area. From there, customers can choose to sit indoors or outdoors, enjoying a glass or two of their favorite wines. You can also order a meat and cheese platter, other appetizers, or their delicious wood-fired pizza to accompany your wine. The beautiful outdoor deck is a perfect place to sip and sample with friends. Some nights, they have live music or other events. Check their Facebook page for the most up-to-date information! We also highly recommend a vineyard tour to go behind the scenes to where the wines you love began. You’ll learn about their unique process for creating a delicious cider, and more.

 

Branches Winery – Make it an Event!

For parties of six to 64, consider scheduling a private tasting, where you can tour the vineyard, learn more about the stories behind each wine, and have your tastings paired with artisan cheeses or the wood-fired pizza. Grab a few of your best couple friends or your entire motorcycle crew, they can handle it all!

 

From Great Wines at Branches Winery to Great Hospitality at Westby House

Branches Winery makes a perfect activity for couples on a romantic getaway, or girlfriends just looking to get away. And whether you’re looking for romance or escape, the Westby House Inn is the perfect place to begin and end your days of adventure in the Driftless region. We can even arrange transportation to and from the winery (and other local wineries like Vernon Vineyards), so your enjoyment doesn’t have to stop at just one glass. Full gourmet breakfasts will greet you each morning, while luxurious and comfortable rooms welcome you each evening. And for more activities, events, and places to visit in the area, be sure to download our complimentary Vacation Guide. We hope to see you soon!

 

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Westby House <![CDATA[5 Reasons You Need To Be at the Driftless Area Art Festival]]> https://westbyhouse.com/?p=1020 2016-07-27T19:41:14Z 2016-07-27T19:41:14Z   If you hear “art” and immediately think of stuffy museums, then you’ve never been to the Driftless Area Art Festival!   The Driftless Area Art Festival   The Driftless

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If you hear “art” and immediately think of stuffy museums, then you’ve never been to the Driftless Area Art Festival!

 

The Driftless Area Art Festival

 

The Driftless Area Art Festival, which takes place annually in September, is held in the Beauford T. Anderson Park in Soldiers Grove, WI, about 30 minutes south of Westby. And when they say “Driftless Area Art Festival,” they really mean festival! This is a Saturday-Sunday that is cram-packed with fun for everyone, even those who don’t self-identify as “art-lovers.” Because even if you can’t tell an Impressionist painting from an Expressionist, you probably love good food, drink, entertainment, and music (all “art” as well!). So here’s five reasons you (yes, you!) need to be at the Driftless Area Arts Festival.

 

1. Culinary Arts

With some of the Driftless area’s finest vinters, brewers, restaurants, farms, and even coffee roasters in attendance, there will always be something to delight your taste buds around every corner. Delicious sandwiches, pies, and crepes are just a few of the “food arts” you’ll be able to try.

 

2. Performance Arts

A fancy way to say, “great music,” bands from folk to jazz and more will make sure your toes are tapping and your hands are clapping all weekend.

 

3. Kids and Teen Art

The Driftless Area Art Festival takes great pride in presenting the work of the next generation of artists. Not only will art from school-age students be on display, but there is also an area for your own kids to work on some art of their own. Who knows what the great art they see will inspire them to create someday! And the money raised from the auction of the winning Kid Art pieces supports arts programs in schools.

 

4. Visual Arts

This is the category that includes the paintings most people think of when they hear “art.” But while the oil paintings are here too (and they are absolutely gorgeous), there’s so much more art on display (over 80 artists participate!): ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, mixed media 2D and printmaking, mixed media 3D metalwork and sculpture, painting pastels and drawing, photography, and wood. Take a look at some of the examples on their website and their Facebook page…you’re likely to be blown away!

 

5. Make Memories and Take Them Home

Not only will you make life-long fun memories at the Driftless Area Art Festival, you’ll have the opportunity to buy unique pieces that will always keep those memories present in the silent auctions. And with so many unique pieces of art, you’re bound to find that perfect piece for your home or a gift for your loved one. Plus, you’ll be helping to make sure that the Driftless Area Arts Festival continues year after year.

 

Westby House – Your Home Away from Home

At Westby House, we love great art, but our passion is hospitality: making sure you are comfortable, welcomed, and taken care of. Our nine well-appointed rooms offer luxury in all forms, from cozy to spacious. And our gourmet breakfasts and delicious restaurant are created with your enjoyment in mind. There’s so much to do in the Driftless area, and Westby is the perfect location to stay while you explore. Don’t forget to download our complimentary Vacation Guide, and we hope we will see you soon!

 

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