As the home of American stalwart Harley-Davidson, Wisconsin has been associated with motorcycles since 1903. The state offers a variety of roads and a host of attractions, from historical landmarks to winding roads, quaint townships to sprawling farmland.
A big part of the two-wheel touring experience is finding lodging that suits you, whether that means your wallet or the ride. From roadside inns along backroads to luxury spas, you’ll have your pick in Wisconsin. Here are just five to whet the wanderlust.
Lenroot Lodge - Seely, WI
Rustic charm abounds at Lenroot Lodge, from the brawny log columns and large beams—remnants of the establishment’s earlier life as a one-room schoolhouse circa 1930—to its current country setting. Located in Seely, 89 miles from Duluth International Airport, the Lenroot Lodge, with just 10 quaint rooms, has retained its original floors.
Five of the rooms feature postcard views of the Namekagon River. The have a dramatic flare with their spiral staircases that climb to a loft with a queen-sized bed, and offer plenty of room to stretch out or entertain.
You can enjoy air-conditioning, balconies, flat-screen TVs, and coffee makers. Start your day with a full English/Irish breakfast before you head out, or head on.
There’s plenty of safe parking on-site, so you can keep your machine close.
Nearby activities include skiing in winter, as well as fishing and cycling year-round. The National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame is 11 miles away and makes for an interesting visit.
For dining and drinks there’s the attached Sawmill Saloon, offering comfort food and sandwiches, as well as libation. Rural and country roads are plentiful in this region, as are lakes and ponds.
The riding will be best suited to those who prefer an easy ride filled with plenty of casual sightseeing. Every June, nearby Cable hosts Rumble on the Lake, a bike rally that benefits local charities.
Find it at 13350 W Town Hall Rd, Hayward, WI, (715) 634-7007.
Timber Inn Motel - Phillips, WI
It’s simple, with easy access and a big parking lot. Add on a daily continental breakfast to all guests and Timber Inn Motel in Phillips, WI, fills the bill for no-frills lodging.
The Timber Inn Motel is situated just a five-minute walk from Elk Lake, making it a perfect place to unwind after a long day in the saddle. And just four minutes away on the bike is Price County Fairgrounds, as well as Westwood Golf Club. There’s also an ice skating rink nearby, as well as the Price County Courthouse lawn, where you can sit in the shade of this lazy enclave.
The food offerings are equally to the point—a few steps away from the Timber Inn is an A&W and, for local color, there’s Marie’s Restaurant.
For riding, a host of small rivers and lakes provide some winding routes with water views. Country Rd W out of Phillips sweeps along to Connor’s Lake and Flambeau River State Forest.
This part of the country gets cold, snowy, and icy, so watch the weather, especially in winter.
Find it at 606 N Lake Ave, Phillips, WI, (715) 339-3071.
River Hills Motel - Algoma, WI
River Hills Motel provides classic ‘70s American road lodging in a quaint, ranch-style motel. Enter the spacious parking area and pull up directly outside your room for peace of mind.
River Hills Motel is a tasteful throwback to a simpler time. Offering clean, comfortable rooms, it’s the kind of place that welcomes the weary rider with open arms, allowing you to roll in right off the road.
Situated on the Ahnapee River, the motel is in the center of Algoma, just a short walk from the shores of Crescent Beach on Lake Michigan. Proximity to the lake makes it ideal for fishing and other watersports.
Bordering Lake Michigan, there are a number of routes that can be enjoyed that trace the shoreline for beautiful lake views.
Fully upgraded in 2020 under new ownership without losing any of their ‘70s appeal, the River Hills proffers a relaxing atmosphere.
The motel is just a 27-mile ride from the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, Another 27 miles from the University of Green Bay, 17 miles from Door County Maritime Museum, and 31 miles from the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary. The River Mills Motel is an ideal base for day outings.
Leave the bikes parked and head out for a hike, go fishing, or rent bicycles. A number of parks are within a 12-mile radius.
For dining, within a short stroll of the motel is China Moon Restaurant, Algoma Pizza Bowl Restaurant, and the Ahnapee Brewery Cafe & Bar.
Find it at 820 N Water St, Algoma, WI, (920) 487-3451.
Boulder Bear Motor Lodge - Boulder Junction, WI
Located in the northern part of Wisconsin, Boulder Bear Motor Lodge is what you’d expect of such an establishment. Its rough-hewn lumbered structure is indicative of the construction required to withstand the rough winters here.
A popular hotel to accommodate snowmobilers when the snow falls, the same energy fills the place throughout the year with hikers, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
The lodge is designed to make guests feel at home. A nicely appointed and comfortable main lobby is ideal for getting warm and watching the snow come down.
Just a short walk from Boulder Junction, there’s shopping and restaurants nearby, including Guide’s Inn, Aqualand Ale House, and Boulder Beer Bar. There’s a hot tub, and each of the lodge’s 20 rooms faces the woods for a feeling of privacy.
There’s plenty of maneuvering space in the parking lot, which riders will appreciate.
This is lake country, with plenty of small roads to explore and a string of small lakes, streams, and rivers that snake through the region. Winters are cold and the riding season comes to an end for a good four or five months each year.
That said, when the season opens up, you can embark on your riding adventures against a wooded Wisconsin backdrop.
Nearby eateries include McGann’s Cafe and the aptly named Mad Dog Jake’s, which are both just a short walk away.
Find it at 5437 Park St, Boulder Junction, WI, (715) 385-2662.
Spinning Wheel Motel- Baraboo, WI
Spinning Wheel Motel is a simple, warm, and inviting place to stay at reasonable prices. The brick-walled establishment is typical for this part of the country.
Basic but practical, the rooms have space to spread your gear out for cleaning and drying out. Coffee is available to guests to help you get started in the morning.
The motel is actually located near a lot of entertaining things worth exploring. The Ho Chunk Casino is just a 15-minute ride away, while Baraboo Kiwanis Riverwalk Park, the Wisconsin Deer Park, and even a Ripley’s Believe It or Not and the Mid-Continent Railway Museum are all within 10 miles.
Tommy Bartlett Exploratory, just a few minutes away, is a fun experience for both kids and grown-ups.
This region of Wisconsin is known for its many lakes and rivers. As a result, a number of side routes can be found that meander along the winding streams.
Traditional townships populate the backwoods, many preserving their early history by maintaining their brick facades and ornate yards. It’s slow but enjoyable cruising with a good chance of stumbling onto a quaint bakery or coffee shop.
Winter will blow through here, the winds often coming in from the Great Lakes with a fury. Spring, summer, and fall provide a colorful backdrop and decent weather, although quickly-clearing rains are frequent.
Within easy striking distance of the Spinning Wheel Motel, you’ll find Joe’s Authentic Mexican Restaurant and the Four Star Restaurant. There’s also Thunderbird Lanes, where you can bowl a few games after you eat.
Find it at 809 8th St, Baraboo, WI, (608) 356-3933.