Archive for the ‘Port Washington Inn History & News’ Category

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Tall ship Denis Sullivan to visit Port Washington repeatedly this summer! May 29, 2015

Tall ships have been a main attraction of Port Washington festivals, but this summer the tall ship Denis Sullivan will be visiting Port Washington June 25-29, July 4 & 5, and August 21-23! This is great news as so many of our guests over the years have expressed interest in getting out on Lake Michigan.

Take advantage of the multiple night discounts at Port Washington Inn to fully enjoy the pleasures of Port any time. You won’t want to miss visiting the Port Exploreum (newly opened April 21, 2015). And your tastebuds will be happy if you allow them ample time to savor the flavors of Port (BALTICA BISTRO, DAILY BAKING CO., CHOCOLATE CHISEL are just the beginning!)

Port Washington’s claim to fame has always been its maritime heritage and the presence of the Denis Sullivan pays tribute to that as does the newly opened Port Exploreum. Happily, Port’s architectural history is also being honored by the restoration of distinctive buildings.

Port Washington Inn’s building was originally a home built in 1903 by George & Eva Blessing who moved here from Chicago. They built this lovely home on Sweetcake Hill; the house began life as a bed and breakfast in 1991.

Next week we will begin our 20th season as owners/operators of the inn; over the course of our time here, it has been our mission not only to welcome guests to the inn but also to restore ‘this old house’ and to create landscaping to honor it. We truly feel that George and Eva Blessing created a home with a welcoming presence which we are privileged to share with our bed and breakfast guests. We invite you to Port Washington Inn!

Half Past April April 17, 2015


It’s half past April, boats are returning to the marina, the Port Exploreum opens April 21st, the Port Washington Inn is newly reshingled, perennials are up, and birdsong is in the air: WELCOME SPRING!

Those of you from the midwestern USA intuit the joy with which spring is welcomed on the heels of winter here in Port Washington, Wisconsin, where we tend to be especially thankful for the warmth of a spring day and a day of sunshine that colors Lake Michigan in endless shades of blue.

Attending the preview of the Port Exploreum last evening, the view of the blue lake from the Exploreum was ‘frosting on the cake’ to this feat of renovation and engineering designed to share the history of Port Washington’s Lake Michigan legacy. It is at once a worthy renovation paying tribute to the original architecture of the space and an engaging interactive environment in which to explore Port Washington’s unique story over time.

While the exploreum is essentially a tribute to Port’s maritime history, through November, it also houses the photo exhibit (and original darkroom) of “Vernon Biever, The Man Behind the Camera; his images of the legendary Coach Vince Lombardi and five world championship teams helped turn the 1960’s Packers into the most romanticized professional football dynasty.”

The Port Washington Historical Society along with a cast of dedicated volunteers and worthy donors has created this tribute to Port Washington’s history. Our guests have been enjoying the tours of the 1860 Historic Light Station for years (an earlier project of the P.W. Historical Society).

Last Sunday afternoon The Schumacher Building in downtown P.W. was honored for its designation on the Registry of Historic Places (another example of the Historical Society’s contributions). Port Washington is moving forward by honoring its past, very much as the Port Washington Inn honors its past by ensuring the integrity of the home built by George & Eva Blessing in 1903.

We invite you to return to Port Washington and to Port Washington Inn to celebrate your personal history!

Around the Corner at Port Washington Inn April 2, 2013

Thursday March 28th was the first public television airing of the Around the Corner with John McGivern Show highlighting Port Washington! There was a premier viewing earlier in the week to which participants and local residents were invited. We are impressed!! We are especially honored to be the very first bed and breakfast to be invited to participate on their show.

Maybe you are already a fan of the show, but in case you miss the airings on public television, it can be viewed from this link link any time.

The show alludes to “Premo, the beer that made Milwaukee furious”. Port Washington Inn was built in 1903 by George and Eva Blessing who owned the Port Brewing Company that made Premo Beer!

Port Washington has a rich history, it’s true, but it’s also busy reinventing itself. You’ll see evidence to that effect everywhere you look! Truly, there is every reason to spend more time in our area these days and the reasons only increase as weather warms!

So allow us to entice you with our 15% discount on a two night stay and 25% discount on a three night stay. These discounts are in effect May through October and apply to all dates except Harley Davidson’s 110th Anniversary Reunion (August 29, 30, 31, September 1).

At this time of year, people tend to make vacation plans well into the future, but our online reservation system is set to accept online reservations only four months into the future. Give us a call if you are interested in reserving rooms for August or September, for instance, and the system won’t allow it.

May through October our online reservation system is set to High Season status. That status does not differentiate between weekend vs midweek rates and it requires a minimum stay of two nights. Sometimes a single night stay can be accommodated as last minute availability during high season, so don’t hesitate to call if you find yourself passing through the area and need a room. We’ll do our best to accommodate you.

Days are lengthening, birds are singing, the sun is moving north, and everywhere nature is about rebirth and regeneration. It’s time to plan that regenerative getaway!

Ready, Set, Celebrate at Port Washington Inn! September 28, 2012


Ready, Set, Celebrate!!!!

As the month of September draws to a close, we are eagerly awaiting news of the birth of our third grandchild. He is keeping us in suspense and making the distance between us and our daughter’s family seem even greater than usual (they live in Barcelona Spain). News of his safe arrival will indeed be cause to celebrate!

It seems that this is a year of celebrations of all sorts. Another delivery we are eagerly awaiting as September turns to October is the new WBBA (Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association) Cookbook which features Port Washington Inn on the cover. Several of our favorite recipes are in this cookbook, and we look forward to trying those of other innkeepers, too. There will be many recipes innkeepers serve to their bed and breakfast guests but some family favorites as well. We’ll have a supply of these cookbooks at the inn as of early October.

Autumn has arrived and that is certainly cause for celebration in a year of record breaking summer heat and drought here in the midwest. The cooler temperatures of autumn have never been more appreciated! Leaf colors are glorious in our area and we know only too well that autumn’s magical color display is fleeting and we must take advantage of it!

Our Stay Longer Special continues to encourage three night stays (or longer) and is a win-win for our guests and for us, too. Our guests benefit from the savings and the lengthier stay the savings afford them; we benefit by getting to know our guests better as we visit over three or more breakfasts.

Biking in the heat of the summer wasn’t so great, but biking now in the autumn is fabulous and a great way to enjoy the colorful leaves. Bring your bikes with you or rent bikes from ZuZu Pedals downtown Port Washington.

Need gear? It’s here now at Duluth Trading Company which just opened their Port Washington store earlier this month. If you haven’t checked out our downtown recently, you are in for a treat as there are increasingly good options on offer in Port Washington. How many of you have visited Baltica Tea Room and Gift Shoppe? Pear and Simple? Victor’s Pier Street Shanty? Wardrobe Safari-Zing? The Chocolate Chisel? Dockside Deli? Okay……a few of these places have been here for awhile, because they make a lot of people happy!

So, carve out an autumn getaway, make your reservations at Port Washington Inn, do a little holiday shopping while taking in the magic of autumn along Lake Michigan where autumn is extended by the warmth of the lake. Savor the savings and the good memories…..of time spent together, of delectable food shared with each other, of peaceful privacy and generous hospitality. It’s downright magical!

Nature sometimes has a better plan August 27, 2011

Years ago we used landscape block to create a planting area on the southeast corner of the grounds of the inn.  A progression of plantings has enhanced this corner over the years and experience taught us that plants which love sun and heat and dry conditions are the ones happiest in this location.    We once thought we were in charge, but it turns out, of course, that Mother Nature is really in charge!  And her aesthetic is what we see here…..much more interesting than our original concept, we must admit.  She even deigned to revive a few snapdragon seeds leftover from several years ago to add little sparks of color to her tapestry.

Delectably cool breakfast finales delight our guests! August 3, 2011

Frozen raspberry yogurt offers you some healthy cool on a hot day!

Here at Port Washington Inn we are always looking for ways to enhance our guests’ stay.  When the weatherman turns up the heat and humidity outside, our professional ice cream machine comes to the rescue.  In it we can create the tastiest of cool treats to delight our guests at breakfast.  Typical choices are frozen yogurt or a sorbet.  Served up in a chilled dish with a heart shaped pastry and a sprig of fresh mint, this has been a favorite breakfast finale during this summer’s heatwave!

Port Washington Inn daylilies dazzle and lake breezes cool July 26, 2011

Tis the season of dazzling daylilies here at Port Washington Inn and we couldn’t be happier that weather has cooled off enough to get out and take some pictures!   Granted, our guests often think it is cool here even when we think it is unbearably hot!  But they are hanging out in the cool part of the inn while we of necessity spend a certain amount of time preparing food in our kitchen; we love our AGA cookstove until summer heat and humidity descend upon Port Washington!

The lake breezes have a way of finding us on Sweetcake Hill so that guests sitting on the private balcony of Grace’s Suite or around the table on the back deck or out on the park bench under the silver maple luxuriate in those lake breezes while enjoying the park-like grounds of the inn.

Come and refresh your spirit at the Port Washington Inn where the longer you stay, the greater your discount!  Two nights qualify for our Celebration Special 15% discount; three or more nights enjoy a 25% discount.   Book online or give us a call.

Harbingers of spring at Port Washington Inn Bed and Breakfast May 13, 2011

Perennials are beginning to brighten up the landscape after this spring’s very slow start. This week we’ve welcomed some color beyond the Lenten Rose and the daffodils. Pictured are the bright yellow blooms of a euphorbia contrasted against the chartreuse and grey green of a succulent for which we’ve lost the name but which we love in its location! Vinca is blooming happily this week and the Lenten Rose continues to add subtle color with its multitude of blooms.

We are conducting an experiment this year and starting some plants from seed. Rita’s sewing room is doing double duty as a mini greenhouse as we try to keep seedlings warm and under florescent lights. It is fun to envision colorful zinnias and wallflowers and coleus brightening our yard and culinary favorites such as leeks, beets, chard, arugula, miniature basil, and parsley to brighten summer meals. A good supply of spearmint is being planted in anticipation of fresh mint added to cold summer drinks. Simple pleasures!

Our granddaughter loved picking parsley last summer and this summer she will be that much more capable of helping in the garden! She is enthusiastic about food and her play kitchen is a favorite play center at her house. This year she will enjoy having a yard to play in and a garden to help with.

Breakfast pastries to warm your hearts! February 5, 2011

In celebration of love, we’ve created this breakfast pastry to warm your hearts and delight your taste buds!  The melt-in-your-mouth pastry is topped generously with strawberry red currant preserves, then baked to perfection.

Port Washington Inn among top ten Eco Elegant Inns in Wisconsin December 17, 2010

Honored, that’s how we felt to be included among the top ten Eco Elegant Inns announced by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism in mid-November. We’ve been proud to claim our certification with Travel Green Wisconsin from its earliest beginnings, and we’ve continued to strive to improve the ‘green factor’ of our business. We don’t ‘shout it from the rooftops’ but our guests often take notice and ask for more details. The good news is that these days, everyone is likely to be more aware and in tune with efforts to live in an environmentally friendly way. It’s rewarding to observe this change in attitude!

Sometimes the ripple effect works in reverse, with news trickling down to the local level from the state level. Such seems to be the case in this instance, as our local newspaper, The Ozaukee Press, has now printed a nice article about the Port Washington Inn upon hearing of our Eco Elegant Inn election.

We love that people in Ozaukee County now know of our commitment to the environment

and to our fellow local business owners. We need to stick together!

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