By Denice Ryan Martin
Special to TravelWisconsin.com
Escape the holiday hubbub this year! And give Grandma a break from the kitchen. Hunker down for the holidays with family and friends in a cozy Wisconsin cabin or resort in the woods. Tucked into a forest near a glistening lake, your Thanksgiving or Christmas celebration becomes a magical and memorable one. Shopping lines and crowded parking lots can wait!
Black’s Cliff Resort – Hazelhurst
This third generation family-owned resort on Lake Kaubashine aims to make visiting guests feel right at home. Eleven housekeeping cabins offer lake views and are newly redecorated with the enduring Northwoods look. Units come with completely equipped kitchens, fireplaces and family board games for hours of entertainment. Family pets are welcome, too!
Extra fun: Enjoy the twinkling lights that go up on the resort’s evergreens the day after Thanksgiving. Take a spin on the skating rink. Visit the resort’s gift store to browse or buy unique holiday items, including socks and gloves made on the owner’s 1914 knitting machine!
Plum Gate Resort – Sayner
Just three blocks from the quaint town of Sayner, the pet-friendly Plum Gate Resort on scenic Plum Lake, provides the classic 'Up North' experience visitors crave. Choose from three winterized squeaky clean cottages. They feature fireplaces and modern kitchens large enough to accommodate your holiday cooking. All linens and towels are provided. The inviting Northwoods décor creates a comfy, restful space, perfect for the after dinner nap!
Extra fun: Stroll downtown and explore the unique boutiques and gift stores. Try the famous homemade pizza at the always hopping and bopping Sayner Pub.
Serenity Bay Resort & Condominiums – St. Germain
Called “The Gem of the Northwoods,” this resort offers one lakeside cabin and four lakeview two-level townhomes for the holidays and off-season lodging. On the shore of pretty Little St. Germain Lake, the units have three bedrooms and sleep up to eight guests. Stone fireplaces and large dining/living areas give a “home away from home” feel.
Extra fun: Get revved up for the snowmobile season with a visit to the Snowmobile Hall of Fame. If there’s snow, rent a sled in town and ride the nearby snowmobile trails.
Otter Bay Resort – Cable
Nestled on a quiet bay of Lake Owen in the Chequamegon National Forest, this popular resort offers four year-round cabins close to the lake and a convenient bar and grill for lively conversation. The two and three bedroom housekeeping cottages deliver rustic Northwoods charm. Known as “Trail Town USA,” the region has miles of well-groomed cross country trails for invigorating recreation.
Extra fun: Stop by the on-site bar and grill for the legendary Otter Burger with its special sauce. Or go to town for the famous espresso bbq pulled pork sandwich at the historic Brick House Café. Word about its creative, tasty menu brought Food Network’s gregarious host Guy Fieri and his production crew to town.
Birch Lake Secluded Getaway – Tomah
Luxury meets enchanted woodland scenery at this central Wisconsin resort that’s tucked away on a private, quiet lake. Four spacious year-round cabins can sleep from two up to 14 guests. Each features a hot tub, gas fireplace, wide-screen TV, free WiFi and washer/dryer.
Extra fun: Feeling lucky? The Ho-Chunk Gaming casino is minutes away. Hunt for that special gift at the Cranberry Country Mall/Antique Mall of Tomah, with 68 antique dealers and many hand-painted cranberry items and specialty cookbooks.