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The History and Lure of a Bed & Breakfast

Bed and Breakfast establishments have been around just as long as we have. As people traveled from place to place, across the globe, home (or hut) owners offered the comforts of rest and food to those who needed it.

bed and breakfast Minocqua WI

What began as humble offerings has now blossomed into a luxurious experience. Staying at a bed and breakfast, especially in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, has become a tradition for many travelers seeking an alternative to seemingly impersonal hotels.

Bed and breakfasts also known as b&bs, have deep roots throughout Europe. I'm sure you yourself can conjure up an image of a Victorian-style home on top a rolling hill surrounded by vineyards and farms with soft, white lams. Some b&bs began as rest stops for soldiers and weary travelers. Some began as a means to help homeowners pay their bills. Regardless of the reason, b&bs flourished and the concept began to surface throughout North America.

rows of vines near bed and breakfast in wisconsin

The number of bed and breakfast homes in the United States rapidly increased as more and more people began traveling via the newly developed railroad system. The first transcontinental railroad, completed in 1869 (source) brought a surge of people from coast-to-coast seeking new adventures in new places. The more people traveled, the more b&bs were needed to accommodate those people.

The industrial revolution brought about another boom of in-home hospitality. With the additional disposable income for many families, vacations became the norm. Yes, hotels and motels popped up, but many travelers craved the comforts of home while on the road. They also enjoyed a b&b's affordability and the instant connection to local, insider information provided by the host.

train pulling into wisconsin bed and breakfast

Unfortunately, during the great depression, money was scarce, traveling was halted and many bed and breakfast establishments ceased operation. Still, some homeowners, in an attempt to bring in extra income, offered up meager bedrooms in their homes to those who would pay.

Years later, a major shift occurred. Government policy allowed for tax credits for restoring historic properties, many of which were large Victorian-style homes. Updated, grand residences swayed public opinion of this unique style of hospitality from meager to marvelous. Instead of humble offerings, the average bed and breakfast became a rich experience, laced with fine toiletries and superb bedding. B&bs gained momentum and popularity once again.

minocqua wi bed and breakfast ceiling

Fast-forward to the 2000's and the advent of the internet. Now, travelers can glimpse the offerings and features of many b&bs across the US from the comforts of their own home.

But why would someone choose a bed and breakfast over a hotel?

Well, picture this.... a soft, plush mattress with luxurious sheets, full pillows and a welcoming blanket. A dresser, just like back home, empty and made available for your things. A modest television which does not distract, rather offers leisurely recreation after a long day of travel. Windows that offer natural light to the room creating warmth and serenity.

minocqua WI bed and breakfast room view

No business meetings, no laundry to wash, no emails to respond to and certainly no cooking. A gourmet, chef-inspired meal made to your liking by the same person who will wash the dishes for you when you're done. A connection to the pulse of the local area through conversation with the friendly host - your personal concierge. Sound like heaven?

The lure of a bed and breakfast isn't just from the splendid lodging or the great food, it's also the connections that are made with other guests and the home's host. Many friendships are made while enjoying the relaxed company of others in a b&b's private, cozy atmosphere.

friends gather at b&b

Now this may not be the experience at every b&b out there, but rest assured, this is exactly what you will experience when you stay at Birch Trail Bed and Breakfast in Minocqua, Wisconsin. Our grand, log-style lodge will immediately take your breath away, The views of the lake will pull at your heart strings.The sights and sounds of nature will have you booking your next stay before you even leave this one.

bed and breakfast Minocqua WI

If you've never had the pleasure of staying in a bed and breakfast, I encourage you to give us a call today at 715-588-1962. This is a one-of-a-kind experience you won't want to miss!



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