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Unique finds for your Valentine in Galena Country

Posted on January 13, 2022 by Kirsten Bell

Image: Goldmoor Inn & Dining

The day of love and romance is almost upon us! Step aside teddy bears and chocolates; instead, sweep your soul mate off their feet with these unique finds from Galena Country, where romance thrives! 

Sensual Scents 

Imagine how romantic it would be for you to hand your sweetheart a bottle of perfume or scented candle that you made yourself? Make this a reality at the Scent Workshop, where you will learn French Perfuming techniques. Noty Kity stocks sexy lip balms, body lotions, massage oils, accessories, and more! Galena Apothecary not only offers a wide assortment of beautifully scented candles and natural beauty products, but they also sell circa 1850 salvaged wood boxes and trays, jewelry, books, and paper goods. For locally handmade soap, Beautifully Berkeley Botanical Bars are a treat for the skin! 

Made with local love    

A gift carefully handcrafted by local artisans holds value beyond the price tag! Galena Spoon Co. offers a wide selection of both new and vintage hand-carved wooden items. Choose from spoons, handcrafted kitchen boards, hand-turned bowls, and more to impress your loved one!

For exquisitely sculpted animals, roses, and even pens, visit Marie's Wood Carvings, where each artisanal piece has been hand-carved and finished with intricate detail. Now is your chance to give roses that last a lifetime. Find contemporary functional designs at Eshelman Pottery, showcasing stoneware that features glazed and unglazed surfaces for visual and tactile contrast.

Choose a bottle of local award-winning wine from FergedabouditGalena CellarsMassbach Ridge, and Rocky Waters, or grab one bottle from each! If your better half is more of a beer connoisseur, grab a growler of their favorite local brew from the Highway 20 Brewing CompanyPecatonica Beer Co. Tap House, Galena Brewing Company, or Mud Run Beer Co. Cocktail kits are available from Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. and bottles of their premium whiskey, vodka, and gin. Of course, nothing shouts romance quite like a bottle of bubbly from Champagne on Main

For the love of leaves   

Nine Generals Cigar Shop curates the best selection of cigars for every palate, specializing in handpicked unusual choices to tease the taste buds of new and seasoned cigar smokers! They also carry a variety of men's shaving & grooming items for your bearded fella! 

For all things Hemp Botanicanna Herbal Hemp Co.Sulcanna Hemp Cooperative, and Verilife Cannabis Dispensary carry extensive cannabis and hemp products, including CBD and full-spectrum hemp. Find edibles, hemp seed, oil drops, topicals, and hemp-infused massage oils. 

For your cannabis lover, you may also consider a gift certificate to the Aldrich Guest House, Galena's first and only cannabis-friendly lodging. As a guest, you have access to their 'Potting Shed,' complete with snacks!

Quality Time  

If you really want to impress your sweetheart, give them the gift of quality time together in Galena Country! Book a romantic weekend escape or a day trip – just the two of you! Include the following unique experiences in your itinerary or give a gift card to use at a later stage. 

Float on cloud nine with your love in a hot air balloon ride with Galena on the Fly! Glide peacefully above the rolling landscapes of Galena Country, ending with a champagne toast and chocolates! Hike through beautiful native prairie and forest with some entertaining four-legged companions at Hoof It Goat Treks.

Does your partner have a love affair with coffee? Book a Brew Methods experience with Trolley Depot Coffee, where an expert barista will guide you through the journey their beans take from farm, to roastery, to coffee shop, and finally, your home! For more bucket list ideas, click here

Could this Valentine's Day be the day that you pop the question? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink! We also happen to know of an incredible wedding destination

In Galena Country, we've never been anything other than ourselves, and that's truer than ever today. Learn more about what this romantic destination has to offer by browsing the Digital Visitors Guide and you can even enjoy it as a couple from the comfort of your own home.

2022 is heating up in Galena Country!

Posted on December 28, 2021 by Emily Tepper

Winter Carnival Weekend

The air is crisp, but Galena Country is heating up with these exciting events! From magical balloon glows to savory eats and locally crafted beer, wine, and spirits, to thrilling outdoor winter activities, there's so much to discover this winter in #GalenaCountry!

And more...

Stay up to date by following the events calendar on Plan your stay around epic events and happenings such as Galena Country Fair, Galena Halloween Parade and the Night of Luminaria and Living Windows. Be sure to book accommodations early and browse the official visitors guide for ideas on other 'must-do' experiences.

Magical Holidays in Galena Country

Posted on December 2, 2021 by Emily Tepper

It's the most wonderful time of the year in Galena Country! Whether it's the twinkling lights, the fun festivities, or the cozy drinks, you're sure to find what you love and more. 

Festive Décor

Enjoy the twinkling lights as you stroll down Galena’s Historic Main Street! Admire the festively decorated storefronts on Main Street as well as the lovely lodging properties that "dress up" for Christmastime

Magical Events

Turn experiences into traditions with the magic and wonder of wintertime in Galena Country. One of the most romantic times of the year, December is home to holiday concerts, fireworks, enchanting celebrations, luminaria, and more!

Gifts of Galena Country

Give the gift of local this Christmas! A gift, carefully handcrafted by local artists, artisans, brewers, distillers, roasters, and the like has value beyond the price tag!

Outdoor Fun

There’s plenty of winter adventure to be had in Galena Country! Plan a snow day and take the whole family to the Nordic Center at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa for ice skating, sledding, and cross country skiing, or check out Chestnut Mountain Resort for downhill skiing and snowboarding!

Cozy Drinks

‘Tis the season to wrap your hands around a warm cup of comfort! Taste the delicious flavors of cocoa and coffee drinks from Galena Country's local cafes

Galena Country transports people to another time and place to enjoy one-of-a-kind experiences and adventures. Some historical, some timeless, and some brand-new, but always original! For ideas on what else you can do and see in Galena Country, browse the latest Visitors Guide

Where to find the most 'Galena Country' gifts

Posted on November 4, 2021 by Kirsten Bell

Image: Eshelman Pottery 

It’s the most wonderful time to shop local! A gift, carefully handcrafted by local artists, artisans, brewers, distillers, roasters, and the like has value beyond the price tag! It doesn’t matter if your gift recipient prefers fine art, earthy crafts, potent libations, or canned locally-grown goodness - it can all be found in Galena Country

Artistic Creations

What do wooden spoons, perfumes, functional pottery pieces, and beautiful paintings have in common? They’re all made right here in Galena Country by local artists and artisans. Shop for one-of-a-kind-gifts from:

Artists & Artisans Galena Spoon Co. 
Carl Johnson's Gallery  Hello Galena 
Eshelman Pottery  Marie's Wood Carving
Galena Center for the Arts  Scent Workshop 

Craft Sips

Lift their spirits with a gift of locally handcrafted whiskey, vodka, and seasonals distilled by Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. Not just one brewery but three will have the beer lover in your life smiling from beer to beer with thirst quenching brews! Check out Galena Brewing Co.Highway 20 Brewing Co.Pecatonica Beer Co., and Mud Run Beer Co.

Captures of Galena Country

Breathtaking sunsets, lush rolling hills, majestic Mississippi River views, charming historic buildings and so much more! These priceless memories of Galena Country are captured by award-winning photographer Geoffrey Mikol from River Bend Gallery. Gift ideas include puzzles, coaster sets, calendars, inspire tiles, and even cutting boards showcasing Geoffrey’s beautiful artwork!

Foodie Finds

Find the gift of sweet indulgence provided by homemade confections or tastebud teasers like naturally grown gourmet garlic guaranteed to inspire any foodie to hit the kitchen.

Great American Popcorn Co. Galena's Kandy Kitchen
Galena Canning Co. Sweet Alice’s
Galena Garlic Co.  

Cloud Wine

Home to four award-winning wineries, your wino friends are spoiled for choice in Galena Country! Grab a bottle from each of them for a festival of flavors like no other:

Fergedaboudit Vineyard & Winery Massbach Ridge Winery
Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery Rocky Waters Vineyard & Winery

Home Grown

Clara Joyce Flowers offers fresh cuts of high-quality blooms grown along the rolling hills of the driftless region. Their botanically based; hand-crafted soaps will make anyone excited for bath time! For all things hemp, from cooling muscle gels to hemp tinctures - Sulcanna Hemp Farm is the place to shop!

Freshly Ground

Freshly roasted coffee beans have no rival! Quality-focused roasters in Galena Country offer small batch, single origins, signature blends as well as custom blends. Find your coffee lover's fix here:

Big Bill’s Sandwich & Coffee Shop Isabella's Ltd.
Galena Roasters Mean Bean Roasters

Some might call it overkill, but we say go ahead and find a local Galena Country gift for everyone on your list! It will not only impress the recipient but will also support local businesses. In Galena Country, we've never been anything other than ourselves, and that's truer than ever today. Learn more about what this charming destination has to offer by browsing the Digital Visitors Guide and how you can enjoy it from the comfort of your own home.

Galena Country's Greatest Grapes

Posted on October 4, 2021 by Jamie Bartosch for Galena Country Tourism

Photo taken at Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery

Growing perfect grapes in northwest Illinois takes years of practice. The Galena-area families who do it have spent generations experimenting and fine-tuning their crops and winemaking processes—and wine-loving visitors profit from the results.

Depending on the vibe you’re after, you can uncork these lovingly produced wines in tasting rooms along Galena’s bustling Main Street, or enjoy a scenic drive out of town to the vineyards where the grapes are grown and the wines are perfected.

One of Galena Country’s loveliest vineyard views is from the wraparound porch at Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery. The winery and its landmark Red Barn have been owned by the Lawlor family for three generations.

Tours are available, but people mostly come to relax in the countryside and sample the 40 wine varieties. Favorites include the Sparkling Frontenac Gris, a semi-dry sparkling rosé that won Best Wine in Illinois at the 2019 Illinois State Fair. Their popular flagship wine, Eric the Red, is a dry red infused with American Oak, with notes of spearmint, tart raspberry and cherry. On a hot day, visitors might opt for wine slushies or the popular Señor and Señorita Sangrias.

Galena Cellars’ Wine Tasting Room & Gift Shop, located on Galena’s Historic Main Street, is set in a 3-story Italianate style building, originally built in the 1860s. Enjoy a tasting while listening to live music on the weekends. *

At the Main Street location of Massbach Ridge Winery, guests are welcome to bring in popcorn, chocolates and other foods they purchase in town to pair with the wines. Year after year, people return for a bottle of their sweet red Träumen wine. The Daffodil white is another crowd pleaser.

Located on an 18-acre farm, 10 miles off Highway 20 in Elizabeth, Massbach Ridge offers informal tours, tastings and shopping. The annual pre harvest festival promises hayrides through the vineyard—laden with clusters of plump grapes— and live music performances.

The style is more Italian than Illinoisan at Rosario Bruno’s Fergedaboudit Vineyard & Winery in Hanover. Bruno, who is of Sicilian heritage, learned winemaking techniques from his Italian friends. They would purchase California grapes right off the trains near Chicago’s famous Taylor Street, having sampled different grapes and haggled for the best prices.

Part of the charm at this winery is that it produces great wine, but the owners don’t take themselves too seriously, as their lighthearted name suggests. In a tasting room designed to look like a Tuscan village, fans uncork popular wines, like Cabernet Franc, Syrah or Moscato. The wine can be served with an Italian antipasto or cheese plate.

Also in Hanover, located on a bluff overlooking a 25-acre vineyard, is Rocky Waters Vineyard & Winery. The tranquil, boutique winery, run by the Spahn family, produces 14 wines, including the Marechal Foch Tower Red, the sweet Leon Millot Meadow Blush and the Prairie Gold Dry Riesling.

For ideas on what else you can do and see in Galena Country, browse the latest Visitors Guide

*Edited by Galena Country Tourism to reflect updated location.