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Plan a Midweek Getaway to Galena Country!

Posted on July 22, 2022 by Emily Tepper

Take a break from the daily stress of balancing work life, home life, and personal "you time" to regain sanity. It's a no-brainer, trade that morning alarm clock for a midweek refresher to Galena Country! Book the perfect getaway with this three-day itinerary. 

Day 1

Make a pit-stop in Stockton for an early lunch at Stella's Cafe' & Catering. Take time to strike a pose in front of the murals; a stop into Sweet Alice's is the perfect cure for a sweet tooth! Make your way to Elizabeth for some retail therapy at Elizabeth's Grand Antique Co.Village Treasures, and Common Cents Resale. Arrive in Galena just in time to check into accommodations, followed up with a savory dinner at the General’s Restaurant. Discover a different side of Galena's history on a tour with the Haunted Galena Tour Company, or quench your thirst on Matthew's Haunted Pub Crawl. Pollish off the night with drinks and live music at Miss Kitty's Grape Escape.

Day 2

Begin with a hearty breakfast at Otto’s Place - be sure to ask about the quiche of the day and try a piece of warm, homemade coffee cake. Stroll across the Galena River for a fresh cup of locally-roasted brew from Galena RoastersTrolley Depot Coffee & Tea Co.The Mean Bean, Kaladi's Coffee Bar or Big Bill's Sandwich and Coffee Bar. Discover more than of 125 independently owned boutique shops, galleriesattractions and eateries nestled into Galena's Historic Main Street. Whether you fancy yourself a foodie, fashionista, or history buff - Main Street is a treasure-hunting paradise! Next up, lunch at The Market House Restaurant, followed up with wine tasting at the Massbach Ridge Tasting Room. Learn about gourmet wine pairings made from locally-grown grapes, then stop over to the Dowling House for a little history before dinner. Enjoy a scenic drive along historic HWY 20 to East Dubuque for a delicious meal at Timmerman’s Supper Club, perched along the bluffs of the Mighty Mississippi River. Be sure to finish off dinner with a hand-blended grasshopper! If it's a Thursday, take advantage of Thursday Night Live, or if it's the end of the month, Live at the Plaza! Feast your eyes and ears every Thursday night from 5-7 p.m. on historic Main Street, with live music and art from incredible local and regional performers.

Day 3

After hitting the snooze-button, fuel up with breakfast at Victory Cafe in Galena, a leisurely morning walk along the levee and up to the Ulysses S. Grant Home for a tour. Take the scenic route home, this time via Stagecoach Trail, grab a delicious smoothie at Thriving Thistle in Apple River and a bite to eat at Chubz Pub & Grub or Wally's Pizzeria in Warren.

With Galena Country only being a few hours' drive for many - it's the perfect getaway at any time! There's a lot of places out there, but there's nowhere like us! Book your stay and let the planning begin with a browse through the digital visitors guide.

Top reasons to host your company retreat in Galena Country

Posted on July 15, 2022 by Kirsten Bell

Hardworking teams need some time out together to refocus and reenergize. What better place to increase team collaboration than in historic, scenic, and fun-loving Galena Country! From gliding through treetops on a zipline tour to watching sparks fly at an old blacksmith shop demo, there's something for every interest and personality on your team. We have highlighted some ideas to choose from when planning the perfect retreat.  

Group Accommodation 

Whether you have three or twenty team members, Galena Country has everything from cozy B&B's, to large resorts to accommdate everyone. Some ideas include the following: 

Brixen Ivy Ranch Hell's Branch Cabin
Chestnut Mountain Resort Inn at Irish Hollow 
DeSoto House Hotel  Irish Cottage Inn & Suites
Eagles Nest  Le Fevere Inn & Resort
Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa  Ramada Hotel & Day Spa
Goldmoor Inn Stoney Creek Inn
Hawk Valley Retreat & Cottages Ulysses Suites

Experiential Activities

Experience authentic offerings perfect for groups. Take a peek behind the scenes on a tour of a brewery or distillery, create your own scented candles, be entertained at a magic show or go on a ghost hunt in haunted Galena.  

Amelia's Under the Lamplight Dinner Theatre Galena Goat Yoga
Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. Tours Galena on the Fly
Forever Original Experiences Haunted Tours in Galena
Galena Brewing Co. Tours P.T. Murphy Magic Theatre
Galena Country Wineries  Scent Workshop Galena

Outdoor Adventure 

Galena Country's rolling terrain creates a natural playground for unique outdoor activities! Feed your hunger for adventure with these fun team-building experiences: 

Berning Acres Long Hollow Canopy Tours
Chestnut Mountain Resort activities  Nuts Outdoors
Golfing  Parks and Trails
Hoof It Goat Treks Shenandoah Riding Center

History Explored 

Learn about the history of Galena Country together! Gain an insight into the 1832 Black Hawk War with a visit to the Apple River Fort or follow in Ulysses S. Grant's footsteps with a visit to his home, frozen in time!

Apple River Fort State Site Grant Home State Historic Site
Dowling House Galena History Museum Step-On Tours 
Galena Trolley Tours The Old Blacksmith Shop 


One-of-a-kind shopping in Galena Country means that the name of the game is boutique! From leather apparel, cigars, locally roasted coffee, and sportswear to delicious food items, everyone in your group will find something on Galena's Historic Main Street. This charming half-mile is lined with more than 125 shops and restaurants!

Group Dining 

Break from chain dining with singular eateries offering artisan-inspired dishes from around the world at every corner! Some group-friendly restaurants include the following:

Cajun Jack's Bar & Grill Sunset Grille at Chestnut Mountain Resort 
Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa The Generals at DeSoto House Hotel
Fried Green Tomatoes The Summit at Chestnut Mountain Resort
Galena Brewing Co. Timmerman's Supper Club
Green Street Tavern at DeSoto House Hotel  Vinny Vanucchi's
Log Cabin Steakhouse Woodbine Bend Golf Course & Restaurant

Take the guesswork out of your next Group Tour with a message to the Group Experience Director and a browse through the digital visitors guide.  In Galena Country, we've always been known to have a good time... times may change, but that never will. 

6 Ways to enjoy the outdoors in Galena Country

Posted on June 17, 2022 by Kirsten Bell

Galena Country’s rolling terrain along the Mississippi River creates a natural playground for outdoor relaxation, whether you want to go-go or go slow. Here are some fresh-air fun ideas:

1. Alpine Slide, Boat Cruise, Segway Tours and more

Chestnut Mountain Resort is situated on a wooded palisade overlooking the Mississippi River and offers an array of outdoor activities! Race down 2,050 feet of the terrain-tailored Alpine slide track to the banks of the Mississippi. Soar high above the mountain peak on the Soaring Eagle Zipline for an awesome perspective of the river. Enjoy a Mississippi River Cruise to learn about the surrounding wildlife and history of the area. Go on an adventure off the beaten path on a Segway Tour over 220 rolling acres of mountain terrain or take in the beauty of the mountain by bike along the trails. The Mini Golf & Disc Golf courses offer hours of fun and challenges all levels.

2. Kayaking, Canoeing, Paddleboarding, and E-biking

Galena River Outfitters allows you to explore Galena Country via land or water by offering a wide selection of rental equipment such as kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards, electric bikes, and road bikes. Enjoy the freedom of exploring on your own, or opt for a guided adventure. Nuts Outdoors supplies a full fleet of electric fat tire bikes for you to explore Galena Country’s hilly terrain with ease and offer kayak, paddleboard and fishing gear hire to enjoy on the historic Galena River.

3. Ziplining through The Trees

Find your wild at Long Hollow Canopy Tours. Glide through Tapley Woods on 6 zip lines, rappel down platforms and cross the 140-foot sky bridge. The tour begins with an enjoyable UTV ride through the trees to the first platform. Reach speeds up to 40 mph and heights of 75 feet. The course gets progressively longer, starting with shorter zip lines and ending with 3 zip lines over 700 feet long. Guides will share their knowledge on the plants and animals of Northwestern Illinois during your tour!

4. Goat Trekking

Reconnect with nature and with some really fun companions at Hoof It Goat Treks! While walking through native prairie and forest, baby goats (kids) will keep you company and play around you as you walk the paths. If you’re not up for a walk, enjoy a play date with the goats on the porch instead, or bottle-feed the kids (when applicable) before relaxing beside a bonfire under the stars!

5. Hiking, Birding, Fishing and Exploring Parks & Trails

Hike or bike your way through parks and trails surrounded by breathtaking sights and rich history of prairies, forests and effigy mounds in Galena Country. Enjoy a day of fishing from one of the beautiful lakes, rivers, and creeks or grab a bird guide and binos to explore the many bird species in their natural environment.

6. Golfing 

Galena County is one of the Midwest’s premier golf destinations. Choose from 11 different courses for a memorable golf experience. Picturesque nine-hole layouts and challenging, world-class championship courses provide the perfect fairway to suit your level of play. If you need to brush up on your skills… take up a state-of-the-art golf lesson with Nathan Studtmann Golf!

Galena Country transports people to another time and place to enjoy one-of-a-kind experiences and adventures! For more outdoor activities, popular shopping and lodging options, browse the official Galena Country visitors guide.

Vacationing with your dog in Galena Country

Posted on June 10, 2022 by Kirsten Bell

Are you looking to plan a pet-centric holiday in Galena Country? Don’t know where to start?… no worries, we’ve sniffed out pet-friendly spots for you. Fur’real!


First… you need to find a place to rest Fido’s furry head. Here’s a list of pet-friendly bed and breakfasts, hotels and vacation homes where he’ll feel like the top dog.

A Great Escape Galena Reservations
Augustus Chetlain Home and Log Cabins Goldmoor Inn
Belle Aire Mansion Guest House Grant Hills Motel
Cat House Suites  Hawk Valley Retreat & Cottages
Cloran Mansion & Antonio's Cottage Le Fevre Inn & Resort
Country Inn & Suites, Stockton  Marcotte's Family Motel
Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa - Select Rental Homes  Pine Hollow Inn
Galena Cellars Vineyard Lodging - One-Bedroom Suite The Nook on Third 
Galena Cellars Vineyard Lodging - Two-Bedroom Suite Rosebud Rentals
Galena Escapes Stoney Creek Inn

Outdoor Fun

With its scenic surroundings and spectacular views, many pet-parents flock to Galena Country with their four-legged sidekicks for a much-needed getaway to nature! If your pooch likes to ruff it, he’ll love the nature preserve hiking trails where he can climb, scamper and in some cases, even swim. If he’s more of an ambler, pick up a picnic basket from Galena River Wine and Cheese for yourself and some treats from New Earth Animals for Fido… then head to one of the parks for a leisurely stroll. Don’t forget to check the leash laws.

Apple River Canyon State Park Gramercy Park
Buehler Preserve Grant Park
Casper Bluff Land & Water Reserve Horseshoe Mound Preserve
Chestnut Mountain Resort Trails Schurmeier Teaching Forest
Galena Gateway Park Wapello Land & Water Preserve
Galena River Trail Winston Tunnel State Natural Area

Pet-Friendly Stores

Shopping with your pup, how doggone fun does that sound?! Throw a leash on Fido, remind him to put on his best behaviour and hit Galena’s Main Street. This historic main street, boasts more than 125 independently-owned storefronts. Many welcome pets, which we’ve listed below…

At Home in Galena New Earth Animals 
Beyond the Horizon Peace of the Past 
Carlotta’s Studio Petals & Primitives 
Dream Catcher Poopsie’s 
Earth’s Treasures  Red’s Iron Yard & Wholesale Barn 
Eureka Rustic River Finds 
Galena River Outfitters Scent Workshop
For Bare Feet Simply Elegant Boutique
From Head to Toe Sportswear Serendipity of Galena
Gabby’s Gifts   Something Special
Galena Garlic Company Strawberry Lane 
Galena Tees  Union Leather 
Gustafson & Grey Ltd. Vignettes of Galena 
Honest John’s Emporium  The Feathered Nest 
Honest John’s Trading Post  Wooden Wardrobe 

Treat your best friend to a yummy treat from New Earth Animals for his pawsome behaviour on your shopping trip. Bon A-pet-treat Fido! Maybe you can pick out a new outfit for him at the same time?

Art Galleries/Studios

Does Fido have an artistic streak? Okay, maybe you do? Fur-tunately, these galleries and studios on Main Street welcome pets:

Outside the Lines Art Gallery
Pinder Pottery
Skidmore Art Gallery  

Skidmore Art Gallery offers thirsty four-legged travelers a refreshing drink just outside the gallery. Speaking of drinks… by this time the thirsty human should need one after a long day of exploring. Stop in at Miss Kitty’s Grape Escape for a specialty martini, glass of wine or a beer with Fido on their outdoor patio. If you’re hungry, they serve appetizers, sandwiches and more. Tip: The local VFW in Hanover will allow your pooch to sit at the bar with you too!

Spa Day

It’s time to pamper your pooch with a rub down, a paw-dicure or a full makeover! Doggie Do’s & New Earth Animals Grooming will take great care of your furry friend. While you wait, why not treat yourself to a spa treatment of your own at one of Galena Country’s full-service spa’s. If you absolutely MUST visit a few places that do not allow pets, Doggie Do’s also offers a daycare service where Fido can meet other four-legged travelers and exchange travel stories.

Vineyard Outing

Award-winning wineries that welcome pets? Hot diggety dog – let’s go! Enjoy a delicious glass of wine with a scenic view. A great time for you and Fido to paws and reflect!

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

Book your stay and start planning your paw-fect getaway to #GalenaCountry!


Sip & Savor Outdoors in Galena Country

Posted on May 20, 2022 by Kirsten Bell

Millennium Bar & Marina

A vacation really feels like a vacation when you can sit outside and relax with a cocktail, ice-cream or enjoy lunch in the shade while you take in beautiful scenery and fresh air. 

Spend your morning shopping and strolling the streets of Galena Country, before you soak up some rays with patio pancakes and mimosas. Enjoy an afternoon of outdoor music and refreshing wine at an award-winning winery on the patio or a picnic blanket on the lawn. Make a toast to the beautiful summer evening with a cocktail and delicious meal on a deck!

From secret backyard gardens, to sunny sidewalk-seating, to large covered patios, we have created a list of great outdoor spots in Galena Country:

Apple Canyon Lake Golf Course, Apple River
Cajun Jack’s Bar & Grill, Elizabeth
Campeche Restaurant, Galena
Champagne on Main, Galena
Chestnut Mountain Resort - Sunset Grille, Galena 
Dillon's HM Pizza & Tavern, Galena
E-Town Coffee Co.,Elizabeth
Fergedaboudit Vineyard and Winery,Hanover
Frank O'Dowd's Irish Pub & Grill
Frentress Lake Bar & Grill, East Dubuque
Fried Green Tomatoes, Galena
Fritz and Frites Bistro, Galena
Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery, Galena
Gobbies Sports Pub & Eatery, Galena
Grape Escape, Galena
Green Street Tavern at the DeSoto House Hotel, Galena
Highway 20 Brewing Company, Elizabeth
Hilltop at Menominee 
Jimmy's Pub, East Dubuque
JJ & Freddie’s, Stockton
Jug's Main Street Tap, Elizabeth
Highlands Restaurant & Lounge 289, Galena
Lacoma Golf Course, East Dubuque
Massbach Ridge Winery, Elizabeth
Midtown Marina, East Dubuque
Millenium Bar & Marina, East Dubuque
Mud Run Beer Co.
Otto's Place, Galena
Rocky Waters Vineyard & Winery, Hanover
Savory Kitchen, Galena
Small Town Saloon, Elizabeth
South Side Hornet Pub & Grillle, Scales Mound
Stella's Café, Stockton
Swiss Inn Motel & Lounge, East Dubuque
The Corner Tap, Stockton
The Cove Bar & Grill, Apple River
Three Sisters Sweet Shoppe, Elizabeth
Thriving Thistle Market & Bistro, Apple River
Trolley Depot Coffee & Tea Co.
Vinny Vanucchi’s “Little Italy”, Galena
Woodbine Bend Restaurant, Woodbine

In Galena Country, we've always been known to have a good time... times may change, but that never will! Plan a one-of-a-kind getaway today, by booking your stay and browsing the digital visitors guide.