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Archive for the ‘Bayfield Wisconsin’ Category

Pinehurst Inn Eco-Friendly Focus – Does It Matter?

April 3rd, 2014 by Nancy Sandstrom

Pinehurst Inn Bayfield WI solar panelsPinehurst Inn has worked hard over the years to establish ourselves as an eco-friendly lodging, placing a high amount of energy into our sustainability and responsible tourism efforts. We are excited by recent recognition of these efforts:

These awards do certainly validate a lot of the work we’ve put into our business here at Pinehurst Inn. A definite “feel good.” But truly, does it matter? Do our guests select us because of our efforts? Do our guests find that our practices actually enhance their stay?

A recent report put out by the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) provides broad evidence of increasing interest in eco-friendly tourism selections.  This report explores Responsible Tourism from 2 perspectives: (1) Consumer Demand for Responsible Travel, and (2) The Business Case for Responsible Tourism.

In this post, let’s simply focus on the first – what are consumers looking for? Some interesting points:

  • In a 2012-2013 TripAdvisor survey, 79% of travelers “think that it’s important that accommodation provider have eco-friendly practices”.
  • A TripAdvisor survey of 1200 U.S. travelers indicated that nearly two-thirds “often” or “always” consider the environment when choosing hotels, transportation and meals.
  • In a 2011 survey by Conde Nast Traveler, reader survey said that travel companies “should be responsible for protecting the environment, and 58% said their hotel choice is influenced by the support the hotel gives to the local community.”

Clearly we see a trend here. While it would be great fun to do a survey of our guests, perhaps we will simply make our assumptions based on recent comments and reviews.

  • “The best part was their commitment to sustainability (the hot water is heated with solar energy!)”
  • “The Sandstroms nailed every detail from solar panels for heat, to water bottles for daily use , to cut down on plastics! you gota love an Inn that loves the Earth, and they do!”
  • “We loved the fact that a real effort was made to use local products and be as green as possible.”

While the awards and recognition that comes from them is wonderful, it is truly these types of comments that feed us. Thank you. We will move forward working to focus on how we can make your visit one filled with adventure, comfort, and relaxation – all within the framework of an eco-friendly inn.

Thoughts on Ice Caves

April 3rd, 2014 by Nancy Sandstrom

sandstone shoreline on Lake Superior in winter showing Ice formationsThe past few months in Bayfield have been incredible. The small communities of Bayfield and Cornucopia rose to the challenge (opportunity) to welcome over 120,000 visitors to explore the Mawikwi Ice Caves. A part of the Apostle Island National Lakeshore, these beautiful sandstone cave structures sculptured over thousands of years become an ice mecca in the winter. With the cold temperatures, the accessiblity for people to hike out went on for over 6 weeks. And they came.

Yes, it helped our business at Pinehurst Inn. We were as busy in February as we normally are in June – as were other lodgings and businesses. So the area gained financially for sure. But there was more happening than just financial success.

We met so many people who had never been to the area before. This was their first introduction to our great lady, Lake Superior. This was their first visit to the Apostle Island National Lakeshore – a treasure! This was their first opportunity to see first hand how Mother Nature presents amazing opportunities for humans to connect with true beauty — and awe. Standing looking at the wondrous ice formations, one can’t help but ponder that the coming warmer temperatures will once again change the landscape. These first timers hopefully caught the bug: the Lake Superior bug. It pulls you back, again and again.

Sandstone shoreline formations covered in iceJust as important as the visitors, we saw our communities rise to the challenge. Whether it was traffic control, pulling in volunteers to assist the NPS Rangers, providing a shuttle service, or creating accurate maps and information, it all came together. Weekly meetings involving law enforcement, EMS, tourism entities and others ensured that the visitors were provided what they needed to have a safe and enjoyable Ice Cave experience. We saw everyone working together for the common good.

Thank you to all the people who made this winter so special – visitors and locals. It has been a blast. And now we breathe a bit, go into our preparations for Spring and Summer.  May the energy and cooperation that made all of this work so well continue forward.

Hidden Treasure: Bayfield’s Nourse Sugarbush

February 4th, 2014 by Nancy Sandstrom


High in the hills south of Bayfield, there is a hidden treasure – Bayfield’s Nourse Sugarbush – the largest stand of old growth Sugar Maple in Wisconsin. The good news for all of us – it is accessible via the Mt. Ashwabay XC trail system.

In 2006, thanks to the work of the Bayfield Regional Conservancy and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resouces,  the Nourse Sugerbush was designated as a Wisconsin State Natural Area and will be protected in perpetuity.  As a State Natural Area motorized vehicles are not allowed. Access is limited to travel by foot, snowshoe and ski.

From the parking area near Mt. Ashwabay to the log cabin and “sugar shack” is about a 2 mile hike.  The trail into the Sugerbush follows the original access road that is now closed to motorized vehicles. The hike in is a gradual uphill incline. You will pass through an area that was selectively logged a few years ago that provides some amazing views of the Pikes Creek Valley.  As you hike along you will notice several distinct changes in forest type; moving from a mixed forest of aspen, oak and maple changing over to a more northern boreal forest of Balsam fir and birch.  As you get closer to the Sugerbush the forest changes to mix of Hemlock and White Pine.  When you reach the Sugerbush you enter an amazing stand of huge Sugar Maples that is truly awe-inspiring!

In additional to the amazing trees, the Log cabin and Sugar Shack are also hidden treasures.  Built in the 1920”s by Harvey Nourse Sr. (owned Pinehurst from 1905-1984), the log cabin has served as a family retreat and hunting camp for several generations.  The Sugar Shack is attached to the back of the cabin and is where the sap is boiled down to make Maple syrup. Other than some roof repair resulting from a tree falling on the shack little has changed since it was originally built. No matter what time of year that you choose to see the Sugarbush it is worth the trip. Our favorite time to visit is in the Fall of the year.  The colors are amazing! Winter provides equally as wonderful opportunity. There are ski trails from Mt. Ashwabay the cross the property or you can snowshoe in on the access road.

A wonderful way to experience different seasons in a magnificent forest as well as getting a taste of how people “tapped” into the gifts these trees provide. Enjoy!

Top 5 Personal Rejuvenation Tips at Pinehurst Inn

January 16th, 2014 by Nancy Sandstrom

Bottle of red wine, 2 partially filled wine glasses and strawberries on tableWe love our tagline: “Connecting Adventure, Environment and Personal Rejuvenation“. We know how interconnected these are. Many of our offers and packages are built around those seeking outdoor activity and adventure. Truthfully this is because it is what our typical guests coming to Bayfield and Pinehurst are seeking.

But we also know that there are some out there who prefer a more relaxing experience, often booking our Pinehurst Pampering Package. But are you seeking more simplicity? Let’s talk!

Here are some Pinehurst Inn Top 5 Personal Rejuventaion Tips for those seeking more of an indoor personal and quiet time…..

  1. Simply sit.  Reserving one of the Garden House Rooms or Catherine Rittenhouse Suite provides ample space to spread out and relax – read your favorite magazine or book by the fireplace – along with some tea or a glass of wine.
  2. Enso Spa awaits. Yes, personal spa services are the best. Let the folks at Enso Spa work to create services customized to your needs.
  3. Can you say downward dog? How about some personal yoga instruction? Enso Spa Owner, Darcy, offers hourly personal yoga instruction, again customized to your needs.
  4. It’s a puzzle. Odd tip, but actually we’ve seen couples come and complete one of our puzzles in a weekend. They sit together, talk, laugh, snack and build a puzzle. Time together.
  5. It’s movie night. Select your favorite movies from our DVD collection or select your own. All Garden House Rooms and Catherine Rittenhouse Suite will soon offer flat screen TVs with streaming capability. Also available in both Main House and Garden House Common Rooms.

What is common with all these ideas? Our guests are finding time to disconnect from everyday life, take their minds and hearts to a more relaxing place. Result? Rejuvenation. Our job? Set the stage.


Bayfield’s Pinehurst Inn Introduces “Field Trip”

November 19th, 2013 by Nancy Sandstrom

photo of Field Trip app on iphone

Bayfield’s Pinehurst Inn is pleased to listed on “Field Trip“, a relatively new Google App. This app provides you the information and guidance helpful in getting all you can out of your travels. The app is slowly but surely being populated with travel related businesses ranging from historic markers to lodging to restaurants to attractions to entertainment. These are being added through a pretty broad network of associations, affiliations and other Google approved content sources — all for the purpose of helping you find the hidden gems in your travels.

Once downloaded, Field Trip will track your locations and provide alerts about the places you are near. From the Field Trip website description:

“The hyperlocal history experts of Arcadia and Historvius will unveil local lore in places you never expected. Trend-setting publications like TimeOut, Thrillist, Food Network, Zagat, and Eater will point out the best places to eat and drink. Experts at Sunset, Cool Hunting, WeHeart, Inhabitat, and Remodelista will guide you to the latest unique stores and products. Atlas Obscura, Dezeen and Spotted by Locals help you uncover hidden gems no matter where you are. Songkick and Flavorpill guide you to local music.”

Pinehurst Inn was recently added to Field Trip through our active association with a website called “Go Trippin‘” – this great project website was approved as a feeder to Field Trip a few months ago. They join other content sources such as Zagat and Thrillist. We will be working with Go Trippin’ to ensure that the gems found in Bayfield and Apostle Islands will gradually be populating Field Trip as well.

Check out this video for more info – somewhat fluffy, but still gets the message across. So think about this new tool for your next “Field Trip”!

Pinehurst Inn Breakfasts….Think Blueberries

October 31st, 2013 by Nancy Sandstrom

blue plate with blueberry french toast, partial view of rolled napkin, and pansies.

Pinehurst Inn is a “B&B”. We got the beds part down – comfortable, welcoming beds. The second “B” is for breakfast. And we feel pretty good about the breakfast part as well, although we are always trying to take it a bit further. But there are some recipes that just continue to work well for our Pinehurst Inn breakfasts. This is the case with our Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast. When we introduce this entre to returning guests at the Bayfield B&B, they smile with happy memories and taste buds.

So for this post, we introduce all of you to the winning recipe – which can be done with blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries. We use a dense whole grain sourdough bread, local maple syrup and organic eggs. This recipe is so simple, can be made the night before and serves up beautifully. Served with local bacon or savory biscuits, it’s a winner!

Visit our Breakfast page to find the Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast recipe.

As an inn with all our eyes and ears focused on sustainable operations, we make great effort to source our foods locally. So here are some of our “food partners” in the area.

Blueberries – Highland Valley Farm

Raspberries – North Wind Farm

Whole Grain Sourdough Bread – Ashland Baking Company

Maple Syrup – Northern Wisconsin Maid Syrup

Milk – Tetzner’s Dairy (their ice cream is to die for!)

Next time you visit us, be sure to check them out.

Pinehurst Inn, Eco-Friendly Lodging in Bayfield

June 19th, 2013 by Nancy Sandstrom

Pinehurst Inn Bayfield WI solar panels

Bayfield visitors are showing an increasing interest in patronizing lodgings and businesses that are operating in an eco-friendly manner. Pinehurst Inn is very proud to provide premiere eco-friendly lodging. But how do potential visitors know whether the lodging they are considering is truly operating in a sustainable manner?

According to Eco-Green Hotel there are basic areas to probe including energy usage, sourcing of food and supplies and more. This is a good start. Those businesses that truly have sustainable operations will typically have this information on their website and be ready to share more detailed information when asked.

Travelers in Wisconsin can also learn about Wisconsin-based travel industry by checking out Travel Green Wisconsin, a tourism based certification program that rates the level of sustainable operations with a numerical rating system. Pinehurst Inn is pleased to have the highest score in the state as of this writing with a score of 140 points. And as of this writing, Bayfield has 40 Travel Green certified businesses. Bayfield and Pinehurst Inn are clearly great examples of eco-friendly tourism businesses and eco-friendly community.


Dreamcatcher Sailing & Pinehurst Inn – Apostle Islands Sailing Package

April 27th, 2013 by Nancy Sandstrom

Apostle Islands Sailing Package

Bayfield and the Apostle Islands provide opportunity for so many wonderful on-the-water activities. Pinehurst Inn guests are drawn to the area for these adventures. Pinehurst Inn and Dreamcatcher Sailing have once again partnered to provide a wonderful lodging and sailing package. As you will see on the Deamcatcher website, “The secrets of the Apostle Islands expose themselves to those who slowly, quietly explore.”

The Pinehurst Apostle Islands Sailing Package provides a mix of two nights lodging along with the Afternoon Sail with Dreamcatcher Sailing. This 2+ hour trip leaves from Bayfield, one of the most popular sailing ports in the Great Lakes. The amazing number of sailboats reinforces that the presence of the islands sets the stage for this great experience.

Dreamcatcher’s captains are the best! Seasoned sailors, they provide a safe and informational experience. Take the wheel, help with the lines or simply relax – your choice! Let them provide the setting and you determine how involved you want to be.

Two hours not enough? Consider some of their other trips: Island Landing Excursion (goes from 9:30-2:00) or the Sea Caves by Sail out of Cornucopia. Pinehurst Inn is happy to arrange special discounted package pricing on any of these Dreamcatcher opportunities.

Plan ahead. Be sure you can get the Pinehurst guest room you prefer along with the Dreamcatcher Sailing Adventure you want. We can help you make it happen. Be sure to book online or call 877-499-7651 with any questions.

Pinehurst Inn honors Earth Day 2013

April 22nd, 2013 by Nancy Sandstrom

Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day Fouinder

U.S. Senator and Earth Day Founder Gaylord Nelson was a visionary and lifelong environmental activist.

“The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity… that’s all there is. That’s the whole economy. That’s where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world.” Gaylord Nelson

Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day, was an amazing man. His original intent with the first Earth Day in 1970 focused on education – a “teach-in” of sorts that would provide scientific, factual information as a basis of discussion. Discussion about how our actions are impacting the earth, the animals, the air, the water – and our fellow human beings. The messages continue today. The messages also appear to be becoming more critical as we face changing climate, weather extremes and potential crisis with water and energy systems.

As we created our business at Pinehurst Inn, we realized that we had an opportunity. That opportunity was to not only find ways to save energy & water (thereby saving money!), but also to find ways that support our local economy while also enhancing the guest experience. That opportunity was also to gently let our guests know what we are doing and why. Not to convince them to come over to our way of living or thinking, but to simply plant the seed. Hopefully everyone who comes through our doors sees or reads something of interest, some action or product that they find interesting. Perhaps we are simply trying to start the discussion – our own ongoing “teach-in”.

At least, that’s our goal. Now we simply say to all our guests, friends and peers: Happy Earth Day. May every day be Earth Day as we all move forward to to take baby steps to ensure future generations will find our natural world in a state that will support and grow the global economy. And let us all say a quiet “Thank You” to Gaylord Nelson, a very wise man.

Spring Equinox at Pinehurst Inn, Bayfield Wisconsin

March 20th, 2013 by Nancy Sandstrom

Snow Squalls over Lake Superior, Madeline Island Bayfield Wisconsin

From all of us at Pinehurst Inn we wish you a Happy Spring Equinox! I’m not sure what the weather is like elsewhere, but here, we are having a tough time believing it is spring! Two days of snow along with 30-40 MPH winds out of the NW….cold and lots of snow removal going on! The photo to the right was taken yesterday looking over to Madeline Island – notice the swirling snow squalls!

But we know this will change, allowing snows to melt and the signs of spring continuing to show themselves here in Bayfield, WI.

So I thought I share a bit about the Spring Equinox. Also known as the “Vernal Equinox”, the word equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning “equal night.” Days and nights are approximately equal everywhere and the Sun rises and sets due east and west. The diagram below provides a visual.

The bottom line? Increasingly longer days, warmer temperatures and the visible signs we all crave! Flowers, leaves, more green, more birds to name a few.

And in Bayfield, other signs of spring: Kurt, our UPS driver is driving the big truck with oh, so many more deliveries coming to all our businesses, flurry of activities in shops and restaurants as they prepare for the coming season. For Pinehurst Inn, the paint brushes come out, rooms torn apart, put back together. Kitchen testing of new recipes. Increased phone calls and inquiries. While we love the slower pace of winter, we thrive on the anticipation of busier days.

Of course, many see the equinox as a sign of new beginnings. Rightfully so. Each new season brings new hope – but none quite so much as spring.

What does the spring equinox mean for you?

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