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Make your next vacation a 'race-cation' in Galena Country

Posted on March 29, 2019 by Kirsten Bell

Plan a getaway that combines health, wellness, and adventure! Galena Country boasts miles of winding roads and trails with exceptional views, historic significance and a variety of skill levels.

A destination race is a perfect way to combine a vacation and a good workout and here's why:

  • As you race through the area, you’ll get a quick preview of what there is to see and do.
  • Mingling with the locals will give you inside information and tips to perfect your stay!
  • You’ll get an early start to the day before sightseeing with the family begins.
  • Guilt-free reason to indulge in delicious local food, wine, and craft beer and spirits.
  • Proudly return home with some race swag!
  • The registration fee usually goes to a good cause and gives back to the community.
What are you waiting for? Pack your running shoes, pump up your tires, book your accommodation and build your next vacation around these upcoming races in Galena Country!

On your mark, get set, go…

Ride the Ups and Downs, Elizabeth | May 4

This bicycle ride is a one-day tour of beautiful Galena Country, featuring hilly terrain, spectacular ridge top panoramas, and long valley views. Choose one of three clearly marked routes on rolling, low traffic, paved roads throughout a rural setting: 32 miles (50 km), 52 miles (84 km) and 63 miles (100 km).

Galena River Trail Run, Galena | May 18

Come for the run and stay for the fun! This race takes place on the popular Galena River Trail. The forested trail winds south to Galena Junction and the backwaters of the Mississippi River, making for a scenic out-and-back racing course. 10K, runners only and 5K runners and walkers.

Galena Sky Trail Race, Galena | May 18

Think of yourself as a Nordic Warrior conquering challenging, yet runnable trails! The course is set on the trails of Chestnut Mountain Resort – which happens to be a ski resort in the winter! You'll be treated to majestic views of the mighty Mississippi River and a delicious finisher meal prepared by Chestnut Mountain Resort while watching the grand sunset on the Mississippi horizon. Choose to take on either a 4-hour race or an 8-hour race.

Massbach Ridge Wine Run 5K, Elizabeth | June 22

Like running? Love wine? How about running to the wine? Take on this exciting 5K scenic course and then enjoy a full pour of delicious Massbach wine at the finish line! Spectators are encouraged to attend the 0K which gains you access to the race and includes a full pour and a souvenir wine glass… and you don’t even have to run!

Stockton 5k/10k Run/Walk, Stockton | July 6

The great community course offers breathtaking views and on-course entertainment. Snacks and cookies will be provided and runners will have free access to the Stockton Pool after the race. Each division will be awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place medals with the overall male/female winner winning a trophy.

Heroes for History Stair Challenge 5K Race, Galena | Sept. 7

This event commemorates the 18-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks while also honoring the brave, selfless first responders who serve and protect their community day after day. The 5K competitive run/fun walk features Galena’s iconic Green Street staircase as the defining and most challenging portion. Options include 5K 7-lap stair challenge or 1-lap fun run/walk. Dress as your favorite hero.

Midwest Health & Fitness Fun Run Walk, Galena | Oct. 5

An event for the whole family! Pets and strollers are welcome on this 5K fun run or walk along the scenic Galena River Trail.

Galena River Fall Half Marathon & 8K, Galena | Oct. 26

This is a fast, flat half marathon along the scenic Galena River Trail. A 5K race option is also available for those looking or a shorter race.

Seeing as you are the active type… check out these outdoor activities and fitness facilities available in Galena Country to keep you moving.


What's New in Galena Country?

Posted on March 22, 2019 by Fallon Oldenburg

What's fresh and new in Galena Country? A quaint, yet bustling community loaded with entrepreneurs -- one can only expect remarkable and innovative shops and attractions. Start planning and add these exciting stops to the 'vacation bucket list':

Amelia's Under the Lamplight Dinner Theater - Experience fine dining and exceptional entertainment in a unique Supper Club atmosphere. Enjoy a 3-course dinner downtown Galena on the Historic Main Street, while professional entertainers swoon you with comedic and musical performances.

Anchors & Arrows - This family owned, small-town treasure features home decor and functions as a hair salon. Find re-purposed, up-cycled, antiques and primitives, gifts and more!

Ashton Hill Farm - Coming soon! This beautiful indoor/outdoor wedding venue opens in spring 2020, located next to Galena Gateway Park. With sweeping views of the Galena countryside, the custom-built barn has been carefully designed to capture the essential elements of successful entertaining.

Beautifully Berkeley Bouquets & Home - An intimate florist and home décor shop combining the beauty of nature and home décor. Talented florists work with brides near and far to create custom wedding features.

Chris McBrien - Galena’s Psychic, Medium & Shaman - Chris is a fully trained shaman, psychic and medium who offers individual and group readings privately as well as small or large group special events.

The Spoon Carver Cottage, Artisan Studio & Gallery - Paul Pendola is a Galena-based green woodworking artist specializing in hand-carved wooden spoons, spatulas, and other hand-crafted kitchen accompaniments.

Jane Marie Boutique - Situated downtown Elizabeth, this boutique features the latest fashion trends for women in clothing, shoes, and accessories at affordable prices for all ages.

Joint Photography Adventures - From beginner to expert, everyone has something to learn. Joint Photography Adventures provides instruction to ensure that clients leave with incredible images and new skills

The Kindred Spirit Integrative Health and Well Spa - Enjoy organic body treatments, detoxifying foot soaks, facials, massage therapy, reflexology, Reiki, and wellness classes.

La Luna - Locally crafted jewelry, essential oils, handmade soaps, organic lotions, beautiful crystals, tiny air plants, and succulents are just a few of the one-of-a-kind things you’ll discover.

Millennium Bar & Marina - Tucked away in a slough in East Dubuque, Millennium Bar & Marina brings its style of home cooking to the  Mississippi River. Not only will you find great food but they offer specialty drinks, entertainment, and Kayak rentals!

Original Goat Yoga, Galena - Goat Yoga is about disconnecting from day-to-day stress and focusing on happiness. It’s part yoga, part animal-assisted therapy featuring goats that may jump on your back or snuggle up, while you perfect your pose.

Pinder Massage Therapy - Joe Pinder is a licensed massage therapist offering professional therapeutic massage, sports massage, relaxation, deep tissue release massage therapy, and stress relief.

Pudgy's - This family-run hot dog stand, serves authentic Chicago Style Hot Dogs, homemade Chicago Style Italian Beef, ‘nearly world famous’ Pudgy Fries, various homemade salads and fresh squeezed lemonade.

Serendipity - Serendipity of Galena carries everything from puzzles, lazy onesie pajama sets, games, fun greeting cards, and an expanded knife and dagger section. They even have a rubber duck tree!

Silver Spoon Restaurant - Located on the beautiful Mississippi River backwaters, this restaurant serves elevated comfort food in an upscale, yet casual, modern atmosphere. Terrapin Orchards - Terrapin Orchards showcases six different varieties of apples and four acres of pick-your-own strawberries. Fun for the whole family!

The Red Goat Store - Here, you will find a little bit of everything! From Lucky Charms marshmallows to naughty paper pads to the best Bloody mary mix one will ever taste!

Valley of Eden Bird Sanctuary - This 409-acre Bird Sanctuary is Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation‘s newest preserve. Explore more than six miles of trails and search for more than 100 unique bird species that call it home.

Let the planning begin with the 2019 Traveler's Guide! Book lodging direct by clicking here, and contact galena@visitgalena.org to fine-tune your #GalenaCountry travels.

 


The Insider's Guide to Wine Lovers' Weekend in Galena Country

Posted on March 15, 2019 by Kirsten Bell

Wine Lovers' Weekend (March 22-23) is fast approaching! Besides the Grand Tasting event, celebrations will be taking place all over #GalenaCountry. Here's a comprehensive guide to the what is happening... book soon to be included in the fun!

Galena Cellars Wine Tasting Room 

WINE PAIRING LUNCHEON Sat., March 23 noon-2 p.m. $49.95 (plus tax) per person, advanced reservations required. This annual event features a wine and food pairing luncheon you won't want to miss. Hosted by the Lawlor-White family, this luncheon event showcases Galena Cellars wine, great food and plenty of cheer. The event will be held at the downtown location's second-floor venue - The Nouveau Room. Reservations are required and space is limited. Tickets are available online.

Massbach Ridge Winery & Tasting Room

NEW WINE RELEASES Ridge Red is making a comeback! This is a medium-bodied red, blend of Frontenac and Foch grapes with a touch of spice flavors and smoke which makes it perfect for the grill and smoker this spring! It's very versatile at the dinner table. Cool Breeze, a white sangria-style wine will also be released and is one of Massbach Ridge's best sellers through the summer months!

Taste either, or both of these great releases at the Massbach Ridge Winery Tasting Room located downtown Galena or at the Massbach Ridge Winery where tours of the facility will be available from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

 

Fried Green Tomatoes

WINE LOVERS' WEEKEND MENU Fri., March 22 & Sat., March 23 Reservations required

Wine Features: The Hess Collection Lion Tamer: Malbec-Zinfandel-Petit Sirah-Cabernet Sauvignon - Big, bold and juicy with layers of blackberries, chocolate & plums with a plush smooth finish. Napa 2016 $15/glass and $58/bottle. Kenwood Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon - 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot - Intense aromas of dark fruit, blackberry, and cassis with silky tannins. Sonoma 2013 $16/glass $62/bottle Stags' Leap Winery Chardonnay - Pear, white grapefruit & honeysuckle with toasted almonds notes aged 25% in new French oak barrels. Napa 2017 $13/glass $48/bottle Try a flight of these great selections... 3-3oz pours $17

Dinner Features: Salmon Wellington: Atlantic Salmon filet wrapped with spinach, shallots and roasted tomatoes in a flakey puff pastry with a Chardonnay pesto sauce over asparagus $28 Filet Mignon with Lobster Mac: Char grilled USDA Choice Filet Mignon with Lobster Mac-n-Cheese 4oz-$27 6oz-$36 A Sweet Finish: Chocolate-raspberry tart finished with a Cabernet syrup $8

 

Fritz and Frites Bistro

WINE PAIRING DINNER Fri., March 22 & Sat., March 23 Reservations highly recommended.

Venison with Blueberry-Merlot Sauce Slow braised venison Osso-Bucco and grilled venison sausage pair together over a bed of buttery mashed potatoes, with a sweet-tart blueberry-merlot sauce. $29 Suggested wine pairing: Little James Basket Press, Rhone

Duck A L'orange A zesty twist on a French classic... Crisp skin, succulent meat of duck confit - the lightly smoked flavors of duck sausage and garlic mashed potatoes drizzled with a honey citrus glaze. $29 Suggested wine pairing: Bassermann-Jordan, Riesling-Trocken

Galena Brewing Company

BEER PAIRING DINNER Fri., March 22 at 5:30 p.m. $60 p.p. excl. tax and gratuity - reservations required, limited seating.

Enjoy a four-course meal in the brewery's cellar. Each course will be paired with one of the deliciously crafted brews. Talk beer, talk history or anything else that comes to the table. This dinner provides a private atmosphere to engage with other guests and brewery staff. Includes a souvenir glass to keep.

Menu:

  • Seared duck breast, honey goat cheese, charred split pea
  • Bone marrow, caper brown butter, roasted garlic crostini, dandelion greens
  • Braised lamb shank, stout demi-glace, potato latke, peppered brussel sprouts
  • Dark chocolate creme brulee, chocolate curls, chantilly cream
 

Goldmoor Inn

WINE PAIRING DINNER Thur., March 21-25 at 5 p.m. $60 excl.tax & gratuity - reservations required.

Appetizer - Baked Goat Cheese Tartine Herbed goat cheese, boule bread tartine, caramelized shallots, pickled watermelon radish paired with Emmelo Sauvignon Blanc.

Salad - Ahi Tuna Nicoise Salad Seared ahi tuna, marinated cherry tomato, and cannellini confit, wild baby arugula. Paired with Angeline Rose.

Entree - Braised Lamb Shank Osso Buco Charred cauliflower mashed potatoes, roasted baby carrots. Paired with Quilt Cabernet Sauvignon.

Dessert - Dark Chocolate Truffle Trio Raspberry, blueberry, and black currant-filled dark chocolate truffles. Paired with Martin Ray Pinot Noir.

Countryside Tours

WINE TASTING TOUR Sat., March 23: Departing from Galena - reservations required. $67.50 per person and you will receive 5-9+ tastings at each of the locations. Hop onto a 4-hour wine tasting tour where you will visit 3 wineries in Galena Country.

Galena Wine Tours

WINE TASTING TOUR Fri., March 23: Departing from Galena - reservations required. $70 per person - A minimum number of any four people are needed for the tour to run.

Discover the breathtaking beauty of rolling hills, scenic valleys, and limestone bluffs on the Blackhawk Wine Tour. Visit three excellent wineries for facility tours, tastings, on-site shopping, pizza at Rocky Waters Winery, cheese at Massbach Ridge Winery, bottled water on board the bus, and a relaxing carefree day. Learn the history behind the Upper Mississippi Wine Region and Galena as your professional driver takes you into the past. Tour includes transportation from your lodging in Galena, IL or Eagle Ridge Resort / Galena Territory, tasting fees, facility tours, lunch, and bottled water on board the bus. Wineries on this tour are Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery, Rocky Waters Winery, and Massbach Ridge Winery. This tour runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pick up times may vary depending on where you are staying.

 

Wine Lovers' Weekend Annual Grand Tasting

SOLD OUT - Book early for 2020 www.wineloversweekend.com Fri., March 22 5:30 - 8:30 p.m and Sat., March 23 at the Historic Turner Hall - 115 S. Bench Street, Galena The largest indoor wine tasting event in the state of Illinois! Featuring more than 40 distributors from across the United States and more than 300 varieties of wine and spirits, the Grand Tasting is a wine lover's dream. Designated drivers get a discounted ticket and a complimentary shuttle service is available from downtown Galena! Tickets include wine and spirit sampling from sponsors, a keepsake wine glass, live music, entry into a grand prize drawing for a "Getaway to Galena" basket, complimentary cheese, bread, and fruit

While you're here...

For a complete list of wineries, vineyards, distilleries, and breweries in Galena Country, visit the Wineries page and the Breweries & Distilleries page on VisitGalena.org. Also, check out the new Galena Country Travel Guide for ideas on other activities and attractions to see.

Before you return home, stop by Jamie's Wine Studio, an intimate wine and martini bar, and fine wine shop, and Galena River Wine and Cheese featuring an extensive selection of gourmet wines, beers, cheeses, sausages, pates, and specialty foods. Tip: Indulge their gourmet delicious grilled cheese!

 


8 Ways to Host an Eco-Friendly Wedding in Galena Country

Posted on March 5, 2019 by Fallon Oldenburg

Even small changes can make a big impact.

Protecting the environment is important! With new technologies and innovations, eco-friendly finds are now more accessible than ever. Share your love for the environment with a 'green wedding' in #GalenaCountry.

1. Green Wedding Locations

One of the best ways to cut down on energy is to get married outdoors, where mother nature can provide gorgeous lighting and a comfortable breeze. Those planning to elope or host a small wedding may want to consider Hawk Valley Retreat & Cottages, Cloran Mansion, Galena Brewing Company or Jail Hill Inn. All gorgeous locations with unique details for an intimate event.

AuClair at Ramada Galena Hotel & Day Spa can accommodate those with a longer guest list. This stunning venue features hair and make-up preparations, lodging, ceremony/reception space and is minutes from Galena's historic Main Street.

Hawk Valley Retreat & Cottages

2. Guest Lodging

Encourage guests to 'go green' and book accommodations at these following properties (in addition to above): Aldrich Guest House - 900 3rd Street (815)-777-3323 Alice's Snyder House Bed & Breakfast - 1000 3rd Street (815)-281-2336 Annie Wiggins Guest House - 1004 Park Avenue (815)-777-0336 Augustus Chetlain Home & Log Cabin Guest House - 11661 W Chetlain Lane (815) 777-4777 Belle Aire Mansion Guest House - 11410 US Hwy 20 W (815)-777-0893 Country Inn & Suites by Radisson - 11334 Oldenburg Lane (800)-456-4000 Farmers Guest House - 334 Spring Street (815)-777-3456

Aldrich Guest House photo by @bonoraf

3. Wear Again Clothing

Think twice about wedding attire for the wedding party, parents and grandparents. Choose to wear a family heirloom gown or suit, and select dresses for the bridesmaids that can be worn to another event - they will thank you for it! Parents and grandparents can wear something they already own or select something that won't collect dust in the closet. Find many wear-again options at I do Bridal in Galena!

Photo by: @megmcmillin_

4. Edible Favors

Weddings are loaded with love. Between the wedded couple, parents, guests... it's certainly something to celebrate! Of course, you want to thank everyone for sharing the excitement and offering support in this new chapter. A lovely and tasty way to show thanks is by treating everyone to delectable favors from Chocolat 229. With different shapes, colors and flavors, these beautiful chocolates will add color and flavor to the table!

5. Spread the love

Decorating a wedding with organic, locally grown flowers are always in style! With lovely picturesque backgrounds in #GalenaCountry, flowers only add to the already present beauty. What happens after the wedding? Surely you can gift some flowers to family and friends, preserve the couples' arrangements, but what about the rest? One thoughtful idea may be to take them to the local nursing home or hospital to create some smiles and brighten days.

6. Eco-Friendly Appetizers

Purchase food from eco-friendly businesses like Galena River Wine & Cheese. With an exceptional assortment of meats, cheeses, wine & beer, it's likely you'll find a reason to purchase a tray or two for more than just the 'big day'. While tasting and selecting for the event, order yourself a gourmet grilled cheese. Yes, it's as amazing as it sounds.

7. Gifting

It's no secret that Galena Country is home to extraordinary shopping, especially on the Helluva Half Mile. It's likely that during the wedding planning process, you'll need to purchase a thoughtful gift for the wedding party, parents, grandparents... yourself? Gift options are available at any of the above locations as well as these 'green participants': Noty Kity, Outside the Lines and River Bend Gallery.

8. Honeymoon in #GalenaCountry

After the big day - take some time for yourselves! Stay, explore, relax and enjoy each other. Perhaps check out one of the other eco-friendly lodging properties and start a new tradition!

Start planning today, click here to download the 2019 Visitors Guide or contact galena@visitgalena.org for more information.


Easter Brunch In Galena Country

Posted on March 1, 2019 by Kirsten Bell

Put all your eggs in one basket on Easter Sunday and hop on over to Galena Country! We've got your Easter Brunch celebration covered at these delightful brunch spots. Book now, reservations fill up quickly!

Woodlands Restaurant at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Tucked among the Galena Territory’s 6,800 rolling acres of pristine woodlands and open countryside. This extraordinary holiday buffet includes culinary creations and family favorites alike. Adults $35, children (4-12 years of age) $18 and children under 4 are free.

Chestnut Mountain Resort 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Nestled neatly among the hills overlooking the majestic Mississippi River. Enjoy a traditional Easter Buffet including carved ham, an omelet station, assorted pastries and so much more. Adults $19.95, children (6-12 years of age) $10.95 and children under 6 are free.

Paradise Cafe & Grill 8 a.m.-1 p.m. A local's favorite for more than thirty-four years, offering a laid back atmosphere and a focus on fun. Located on Main Street in Galena. Tuck into a scrumptious Easter Breakfast Buffet. Adults $10.45, children (10 years of age and younger) $6.

Desoto House Hotel Seatings from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Steeped in history and located in the heart of Galena, this hotel is the oldest operating hotel in Illinois. Enjoy a traditional Easter Buffet featuring a champagne fountain, elegantly carved ice sculptures and the piano playing of Aaron Alexander. The kids can also enjoy a visit with the Easter Bunny!

Adults $29.95, children (10 years old and younger) $14.95.

Timmerman's Supper Club 9 a.m.-3 p.m. A charming relaxed supper club atmosphere that overlooks the majestic Mississippi River in East Dubuque. Sit back and enjoy the incredible view and indulge in a Sunday Brunch offering a variety of brunch specialties including an omelet bar. Adults $21, children (3-10 years of age) $9 and children under 2 are free.

Woodbine Bend Golf Course and Restaurant 10 a.m.-2 p.m Located in a peaceful country setting between the towns of Elizabeth and Stockton. Celebrate Easter with a hearty Brunch Buffet including ham, salmon, quiche, crepes, and fresh fruit. Cost TBD

Wait there's more... 

After brunch, take time to explore Galena Country! Tour the home of Ulysses S. Grant in Galena or visit the Apple River Fort State Historic Site in Elizabeth. Stroll down Galena's Historic Main Street, featuring more than 125 independently owned unique shopping experiences. For more attractions and things to do, click here or browse the official visitors guide for ideas. Before heading back to your lodging for the night, enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many dining options available.