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Forever Original Galena Country

Posted on January 23, 2019 by Fallon Oldenburg

Galena Country is an area with a rich and storied past and just like the area it represents, it is full of great stories and colorful characters. While it's many years in the making, our story only gets better with time!

Credit: @EnjoyIllinois

We have a history of seeing things others don't. And when you're here, you'll see and do things you won't see anywhere else. We call it being original. Explore the 11 unique locations that makeup #GalenaCountry with this adventure-filled, 4-day itinerary!

Day 1

Plan to have lunch in Stockton. With fun features for the whole family, this is the perfect spot to get out and stretch your legs. Fill up on a juicy burger at JJ & Freddies, shop at Savvy Scavengers and bag-your-own candy at Sweet Alice's. Stroll the town to find memory-making opportunities with the artistic murals and the Kidstown wooden playground!

Everyone loves a good story. And here, one story always leads to another. Learn something new at the Stockton Heritage Museum, featuring N-scale model trains and Kraft Foods’ history (Fun fact: Kraft started in Stockton, Illinois). Take in magnificent views while heading to Apple River for an outdoor adventure! Fuel up at Thriving Thistle Market and stock up on organic goodies and fresh-made smoothies for a picnic lunch. One is sure to find plenty of delectable items to enjoy now and later! Journey along to Apple River Canyon State Park with a picnic lunch and camera! Unplug and enjoy each other!

After exploring, cruise historic Stagecoach Trail and head towards Scales Mound. Stop into Pat's Country House Grocery for last-minute essentials, snacks, and yummy treats! Follow the route to Galena and check into your lodging to rest up or drop off suitcases and explore Main Street for live music performed by local musicians in one of the many entertaining pubs. In Galena Country, we've never been like anywhere else and we're proud of it.

Day 2

Elizabeth: Arrive early, come hungry and ready to shop! Be sure to stop by the Scenic Overlook on the way! Start the morning off with a breakfast sandwich and coffee from E-town, followed by treasure hunting at Common Cents Resale, Elizabeth Grand Antique Co., Three Sisters Sweet Shoppe and Jane Marie Boutique. Make time to check out the Apple River Fort State Historic Site and Chicago Great Western Railway Depot Museum to experience a bit of history. To us, history isn't about endings, it's where stories begin. And one good story always leads to another.

Take a break to indulge in a tasty lunch at Cajun Jack's and delicious local brews at the Highway 20 Brewing Company before heading to Hanover. In Galena Country, you'll find us running, cycling or hiking up hills, gliding through trees or paddling on the water! Enjoy a scenic hike at the beautiful Wapello Land & Water Reserve, nestled along the Apple River. For the drive back to Galena, consider following Blackjack Road for a scenic pit-stop at Chestnut Mountain Resort, an all-seasons resort, with zip-lining, alpine slide, mini-golf, segway tours, boat rides, and winter sports!

East Dubuque is calling! Delight in dinner at Timmerman's Supper Club, nestled among the bluffs of the Mississippi River, the food and views offer a memorable experience for the family or romantic dinner for two. Millennium Bar & Marina and Frentress Lake Marina are great spots to watch beautiful sunsets! Head back to Galena for an epic magic show with P.T. Murphy! We've always been known to have a good time. Times may change, but that never will.

Day 3

Breakfast in Galena: some local favorites include Otto's Place, Dillon's, Paradise Grill and Victory Cafe. Hit up Galena's Main Street for an incredible shopping experience with more than 125 independently owned stores. Get your history fix with a tour of Grant's Home, the Elihu B. Washburne House, and The Old Blacksmith Shop. Sight-see the streets of Galena via trolley to further discover the beautiful homes and views that are often raved about. The best thing about being where time forgot, is that you lose all track of it.

Enjoy lunch at Green Street Tavern in the Historical DeSoto House Hotel before continuing to Warren for a beer tasting at Pecatonica Beer Company and Tap House. To further extend the scenic adventure, swing back onto Stagecoach Trail and make way towards Nora. A small community with a hoppin' bar! Kick back and enjoy a refreshing beverage and appetizer before journeying on to the next stop!

Venture back onto the beautiful Stagecoach Trail, pass through Galena and connect onto Hwy 20 towards Menominee, to another 'small town with a hoppin' bar.' JM's Tap makes the must-visit list, offering local craft brews and incredibly delicious pizza.

Day 4

Enjoy locally roasted coffee and a delicious breakfast sandwich at Big Bill's in downtown Galena before a little shopping and wine/spirits tasting. Begin the leisurely trip home with lunch at Small Town Saloon in Elizabeth. (Vegan's...get excited about the Impossible Burger!) Might as well stock up on apple cider donuts at Dittmar Farms Orchard station while in town.

Last stop to complete the tour of Galena Country - Woodbine. Search for specialty gifts at Nature's Treasure's and check out the unique Woodbine Glass Museum & Gift Shop. Stop for a round of golf at Woodbine Bend, at the very least, indulge in their delicious fish fry! (Did you know that Galena Country is home to 10 golf courses?)

There it is... 11 wonderful Galena Country locations included in one itinerary. Switch it up and try new things each visit, with so much to do, it's always an adventure! Galena Country transports people to another time and place to enjoy one-of-a-kind experiences and adventures. Some historic, some timeless and some brand-new. But always original!

Start planning a trip today by browsing the latest Galena Country Visitors Guide and be sure to book your accommodation early!


Tie the knot in #GalenaCountry

Posted on January 16, 2019 by Fallon Oldenburg

Say 'yes' to Galena Country.  Nestled among the rolling hills of Northwest Illinois, Galena Country offers a picturesque background paired with 19th-century charm and everything necessary for a dream wedding! Check out these top reasons to say 'I do' in Galena Country.

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Nonstop Beauty

From historical architecture to stunning waterways and breathtaking views, this place is a photographer's dream! Whether one's style is simple or regal, they're sure to have gorgeous portraiture when photographed in Galena Country.

Adored Destination

Rich with history, shopping, lodging and entertainment, guests will more than enjoy a destination wedding in Galena Country! Wedding nuptials offer a special reason for a 'getaway' and for many, Galena Country is only a road-trip away!

Enchanting Venues

Choosing a venue that suits style and accommodations is an essential part of planning. Romantic, vintage, rustic, modern, bohemian or traditional, it's all in Galena Country. From intimate elopements to grand celebrations, whatever the setting, we've got it covered.

Local Talent

Not to brag (okay, maybe a little), but Galena Country is loaded with talent. From musicians and catering to dresses and designers, all vendors can be hired locally! No one knows the ins and outs of Galena Country, like someone straight from the community. Utilize local resources, schedule tastings and gather information with event coordinators and vendors. They are a wealth of knowledge!

Extraordinary Parties

The perfect location for bachelor/bachelorette parties! Plenty of opportunities for tastings and toasting, delicious food, indulging spas, and epic adventures...this is a no-brainer! Not only are there endless memories in the making, let's not forget about amazing lodging. Choose from resorts, hotels, vacation rentals, small inns, and b&bs! Stay nestled amongst nature, or lodge right downtown where the action is!

Romantic Tradition

A lovely idea to commemorate where it all began. Start a tradition and head to Galena Country for wedding anniversaries, explore different locations or re-visit your favorites. Though it looks like 'Galena is frozen in time,' new lodging, restaurants, shopping, and outdoor activities await!

Congratulations on your engagement!

Get to Galena Country, let the celebration begin! Plan a scouting trip with help from the Welcome Center staff at galena@visitgalena.org.


Fitness in Galena Country

Posted on January 10, 2019 by Kirsten Bell

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With a new year comes the opportunity for a fresh start and usually, that comes in the form of New Year’s Resolutions. Most of the time physical exercise makes the top of the list! We have a list of fitness facilities to help you stick to your goal while exploring Galena Country!

Core Fitness Galena This community-based workout facility is centered on functional based fitness, guided by personal coaches. Multiple fitness class options are available including strength training, team or individual sport-specific training and yoga.

Fitness Center at Midwest Medical Center Featuring scenic views of Galena’s rolling hills, this fitness center includes a fully appointed exercise studio, indoor cycling, sports training, group fitness classes and yoga & Pilates classes.

Galena Arts & Recreation Center The Galena ARC offers sports and fitness programs including adult exercise classes, spin classes, yoga, and dance exercise classes.

Galena Fitness This gym has 24-hour access and includes the usual exercise equipment, free weights as well as treadmills, stationary bikes, and TV displays. The Kindred Spirit Integrated Health and Well Spa is also on site.

The Galena Territory Owners' Club If you are staying at a rental home or at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, situated in The Galena Territory, you will have access to a state-of-the-art fitness center with a spectacular view of the valley. There are also three swimming pools to choose from, indoor and outdoor.

Bonus tips 

  • If you prefer the crisp winter air, you will find awesome parks and trails in Galena Country. Some even provide exercise equipment along the way! While you’re out and about, look for wintering Eagles… always a sight to behold.
  • Skiing and snowboarding at Chestnut Mountain Resort will also give you a good workout if you prefer to play in the snow!
  • Baaaa-Maste! Original Goat Yoga, Galena is perfect for animal-loving groups or individuals looking for an unforgettable activity. For more traditional yoga enthusiasts, check out Awake 4 Yoga for pop up, private, and group yoga.
  • There's no shortage of stairs along Galena's Main Street! Take a stroll down half a mile of Galena’s 19th-century downtown featuring more than 125 independently owned storefronts and keep an eye out for steps in between that leading you the hill. Check out the Green Street Steps for the greatest stair challenge!
  • Treat yourself (guilt-free) to a deliciously healthy organic juice or protein shake at Galena Juicery & Meal Prep or a healthy meal at Thriving Thistle Bistro.
Once you've worked up a sweat, you deserve to take some time out to unwind! Here are 6 ways for you to do just that. Browse the Official Visitors Guide for ideas on what else you can do and see during your stay!


2019 is heating up in Galena Country!

Posted on January 4, 2019 by Rose Noble

The air is cold but Galena Country is heating up with these exciting events coming up! Explore writing skills, savor good food and local beer, sip on whiskey, plan your wedding, enjoy winter activities and be a spectator at fun winter sport events!

The Galena LitFest  

Jan. 5-19 This festival, for readers and writers, is back for the fifth year. Brush up on your skills at various free writers’ workshops, have brunch with "Elizabeth Barrett Browning" and dine with award-winning indie author, Heather Bentley as well as New York Times bestselling author and humorist, Micheal Perry.  

Beer Pairing Dinner at Galena Brewing Company

Jan.18 Seated in the beer cellar of the Galena Brewing Company, savor a 4-course meal together with beer parings, alongside new beers that are happily fermenting at your side. Ask your hosts those beer related questions you have always wanted to ask, and learn more about the beer making process during this unique experience.  

Galena Whiskey Weekend

Jan. 26 Cheers to liquid sunshine! Sip on more than 175 whiskeys in the historic Turner Hall, a treasured gathering place by the citizens of Galena for more than 125 years, just steps away from the Helluva Half Mile. Ticket's include heavy hors d'oeuvres and a Glencairn keepsake glass.  

Illinois Special Olympics - Winter Games 

Feb. 5-7 Cheer on more than 400 athletes as they go for the gold in Alpine Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing at Chestnut Mountain Resort! Athletes from around the state will compete in this 3-day event, which kicks off with an opening ceremony and parade in downtown Galena. Don't miss the fireworks display after the parade.  

Winter Carnival Weekend

Feb. 15-17 Have "snow" much fun with the whole family while making cherishable memories. Warm up in front of a cozy bonfire while watching a Hot Air Balloon Glow, play snow games, watch ice carving, sled on a 75-foot vertical drop, enjoy cross-country skiing or ice-skate on a 1.5-acre pond.

   

Beer Pairing Dinner at Galena Brewing Company

Feb.15 Seated in the beer cellar of the Galena Brewing Company, savor a 4-course meal together with beer parings, alongside new beers that are happily fermenting at your side. Ask your hosts those beer related questions you have always wanted to ask, and learn more about the beer making process during this unique experience.  

Galena Bridal Fair

Feb. 16 Did you say "yes"? Visit the regions top wedding specialists at this bridal fair, taking place in the historic Turner Hall. Make your wedding dreams come true by taking care of all arrangements in one location and register for dozens of prizes.

Java, Chocolate & Champagne Stroll

Feb. 16 Galena is hosting their first Java, Chocolate & Champagne Stroll! Enjoy special treats as you stroll your way along Galena's magical Main Street. The entire weekend has a Java, Chocolate & Champagne theme to it with specials and events sprinkled everywhere you go.

 

Annual Big Nut Open

Mar. 16-17 Get to Galena for some powder competition at Chestnut Mountain Resort! Ski and Snowboard athletes compete for honor and a cash prize in the Rail Jam, Slopestyle, and Big Air competitions. Chestnut Mountain perches high on a ridge overlooking the Mississippi River near the historic river port of Galena.  

More events...

There's always something going on in Galena Country! Stay up to date with what's happening by following the events calendar on VisitGalena.org. Plan your visit around popular happenings such as The Great Galena Balloon RaceGalena Country Fair, Galena Halloween Parade and the Night of Luminaria and Living Windows. Be sure to book accommodation early!