When planning the perfect girls getaway, there are two things I think are musts: wine and chocolate. And getting to explore the St. Croix Valley while enjoying the two? Count me in. For those of you that agree, grab your best girlfriends and carve out one weekend this month to attend the 11th annual Chocolate March, presented by the Bed and Breakfast Inns of the Scenic St. Croix Valley.
Photo courtesy of Afton House Inn
This march lets you explore B&Bs ranging from cottage-like or contemporary to country inns and Victorian-style, as well as historic sites, all while sampling wine provided by an area vineyard and tasting treats like chocolate mousse, dark chocolate fondue, white Irish cream bon bons, and chocolate brownie trifles, all from area chocolatiers. All tours are self-guided with tour-goers selecting the starting location. At the last stop of your outing, each guest will receive a $20 voucher valid for a discounted stay at the participating B&Bs or dinner at selected spots.
If you’re able to make it this weekend, you’ll head to Hastings and Afton, making stops at the Afton House Inn, Afton Historical Museum, Classic Rosewood Inn, LeDuc Mansion, and Thorwood Vacation Rentals. Aside from the tour, in Hastings you and your girlfriends can enjoy seeing Vermillion Falls, a 35-foot urban waterfall, or some of the 63 buildings that hold a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. In Afton, sample some more grapes at Swirl My Wine, or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, spend the day skiing or snowboarding at Afton Alps. Next weekend the march takes place in Stillwater and Hudson, Wis. at the Water Street Inn, Cover Park Manor, Outing Lodge, Phipps Inn, and The Octagon House. In my opinion, Stillwater is one of the best spots for a girls getaway, being filled with antique and specialty shops, spas and salons, wine bars, and offering Foodies on Foot tours like the Bloody Mary Brunch.
If you still need more incentive, by staying one night and purchasing a single ticket to the march you’ll get a second ticket free, or, if you stay two nights this month you’ll save 25 percent off your second or lower-priced night. (These specials aren’t available if you purchase tickets online, so make sure to order by calling 651-998-0185.) Tickets are $26 and must be purchased in advance, and can be done so at innsofthevalley.com