This article was last updated in the winter of 2019, however, we recommend you call first for specific questions and details of your stay. As always, find the latest events and activities on our Event Calendar.
Does the idea of shopping and wrapping and entertaining and traveling have you dreaming of a relaxing holiday getaway? This season, make your winter magical and stay at one of these great historic inns—each with its own “stay local” philosophy and festivities.
THE BUCKINGHAM INN
This 106-year-old, arts-and-crafts-style inn is located near many of UW-Madison’s finest historic homes. Guests consistently tell owners Tom and Heidi that their breakfasts are “off the charts”—and the holidays are no exception.
Dessert first: When you stay during December, you may be surprised (and delighted!) to find home-baked Christmas cookies served with breakfast.
LAKE RIPLEY LODGE
Lake Ripley Lodge in Cambridge is the last of the grand resorts on the shores of its small lake. You can peek through the pines at stunning Lake Ripley, which is even more magical with snow on the boughs and ice on the lake.
B&B bonus: Owner Jim Hoiby is a former history teacher, so guests love to linger while he shares anecdotes about the resort’s storied past.
THE LIVINGSTON INN
Livingston Inn is a 160-year-old, Gothic revival mansion located on downtown Madison’s picturesque Gorham Street. The property features nine fireplaces: a great start to getting in a cozy and celebratory mood.
Solstice celebrations: It gets dark early in winter in Madison, so owners Dave and Peggy fill their inn with the warmth of candles and lights on December 21—and throughout the season!
HOTEL RUBY MARIE
The city’s oldest operating hotel is happy to host during the holidays, and boasts 15 comfortable rooms located on the floors above Essen Haus and Lakeview Bakery & Deli at the edge of the trendy “Willy Street” neighborhood.
Trees, please: If the holidays aren’t the holidays unless you have a tree, you’ll love Hotel Ruby Marie, which features differently decorated trees on every floor.
MADISON PREMIER ECOLODGE
This environmental inn, located in the Monroe Street neighborhood, is focused on tranquility. At the holidays, they honor their “green” way of life with a mammoth Christmas tree to sit beside while watching the snow falling softly outside. Formerly called "Arbor House," it is now known as Madison Premier Ecolodge.
Warm your soul: If your celebrations are synonymous with specialty toddies that can be sipped alongside a roaring fire, you’ll feel right at home.
MANSION HILL INN
This property was one of the first on Madison’s Mansion Hill and is ideally situated just three blocks from the Capitol Square. Their hospitality philosophy includes tiny touches that make every stay memorable, especially at the holidays.
Have a ball: One of the don’t-miss rooms at Mansion Hill is the classic parlor and its majestic bar—spaces that are perfectly suited for hosting holiday soirees.
SPECKLED HEN INN
The Speckled Hen Inn, a 20-acre country estate B&B located just 7 miles from the State Capitol, is truly a holiday haven with fireplaces, jetted tubs and a farm to table 3 course breakfast.
Winter Wonderland: Explore the farm and trails with snowshoes provided and then warm up by the fire with a glass of spiced wine while you enjoy a magical snowing tree and extensive Christmas Village display!
So you've got your stay, now we'll snow you what to do and see. More winter magic ahead: Holiday Guide.