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24-hour getaway to Galena Country

Posted on July 30, 2019 by Fallon Oldenburg

Sometimes, you just need a getaway.

With Galena Country only being a few hours' drive from midwest metropolitan areas, it's the perfect destination to re-charge those batteries. We've made planning easy with this 24-hour itinerary. Hit the road... Make your way to Galena Country with an early morning start and a pit-stop in Stockton for breakfast at Checo's Family Restaurant. Following historic Hwy 20, head towards Elizabeth, where you can fuel up with a coffee from E-Town. Explore and do some shopping at Jane Marie Boutique, Eshelman Pottery, and the Elizabeth Grand Antique Co. On the way to Galena, stop at the Scenic Overlook for a great photo-op! First stop in Galena, the Ulysses S. Grant Home, a gift from the citizen's of Galena upon Grant's return home from the Civil War. Follow up the tour with a visit to the Old Blacksmith Shop, where you can 'watch the sparks fly' as talented blacksmiths form the metal. Time for lunch! Head straight across the street to Campeche Restaurant and enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine before hitting up the shops on Main Street. Make your way down to Gateway to History or Galena Trolley Tours for a trolley tour, where you can learn more about the history and beautiful architecture that makes Galena so unique. Back on Main Street, head on over to Jamie's Wine Studio for a few tastings before dinner at One Eleven Main and an epic magic show by P.T. Murphy. Polish off the evening with live music at Embe Eatery & Lounge before settling in for the night. Good morning! Arise early and enjoy breakfast at your lodging property, or one of these fine establishments. Start the day with a morning kayak adventure from Fever River Outfitters or Nuts Outdoors, followed up with a coffee and gelato from Elle & Becks on Main Street. Finish up any last-minute shopping before heading to East Dubuque for a water-front lunch at the Silver Spoon Restaurant. Explore along the bluffs of the Mighty Mississippi River at Gramercy Park before making your way back to Galena. Pass through town and turn right onto Blackjack Road towards Chestnut Mountain Resort. Choose to ride the chair-lift, Alpine Slide, Soaring-Eagle zipline...or try them all! Revel in the fresh air and breathtaking views of the Mississippi River Valley. Take the scenic route back to Hwy 20, enjoy dinner at the Welcome Inn while passing through Elizabeth. Head home refreshed and ready to take on another week! Go ahead, book your stay and get away for a day... or two!


6 Ways to enjoy the outdoors in Galena Country

Posted on July 22, 2019 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. Credit: @tatserur

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

Fever 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.

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! For more outdoor activities, popular attractions and lodging options, browse the official Galena Country visitors guide.


How to have a green vacation in Galena Country

Posted on July 19, 2019 by Kirsten Bell

Galena Country is known for its scenic locations that are the perfect backdrop for capturing memories of adventure, laughter, and romance. What most people don’t know, is that it's a sustainability leader in its region and in Illinois. The City of Galena has implemented and is continuing to develop, a variety of sustainability initiatives for this quaint, Midwest city. These activities earned Galena a Governor’s Sustainability Award in 2014. The award recognized the city for its demonstrated commitment to the economy, society, and environment through outstanding and innovative sustainability practices. In other words, it’s "greena" in Galena! Find out more here.

Do you 'want in' on all of this sustainability?

Reduce your carbon footprint by parking your car and pedaling insteadFever River Outfitters and Nuts Outdoors make it easy to explore by bicycle with regular and electric bike rentals, perfect for conquering hills and long distances. Bike from shop-to-shop on Galena's Historic Main Street, pedal across the pedestrian bridge to Ulysses S. Grant’s Home, reconnect with nature on a ride along the Galena River Trail, or journey to an award-winning vineyard or cruise through a historic cemetery. Enjoy beverages made from locally sourced ingredients. Get to Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. and Galena Brewing Co. for some tasty craft spirits and beer. Both companies brew and distill their product on-site. Nearly all of the grain used comes from Illinois and the spent grain is enjoyed as a treat by cows and sheep at local farms. Many Galena Country businesses are part of a new Green Designation certification program whereby owners have taken measures to ensure that they are operating in the green and must fulfill the required criteria, as determined by the committee. Here is a list of these businesses:

Designated Green Lodging:

Designated Green Restaurants:

Galena Juicery and Meal Prep, Inc.Thriving Thistle Market & Bistro

Designated Green Retail Stores:

Chocolat' 229Galena Brewing CompanyGalena River Wine & CheeseNew Earth AnimalsNoty Kity GalenaOutside the Lines GalleryRiver Bend Gallery Shop till you drop but don’t leave a trail. Bag up your retail finds in an eco-friendly bag. Ditch the plastic shopping bags and purchase a My Green Galena reusable bag at the Galena Welcome Center, Galena Library or City Hall. These bad boys are quite large and are perfect for carrying all those gifts and goodies. Plastic bag pollution is environmentally damaging and completely avoidable. Shopping with a reusable bag is the way to go. The best part? My Green Galena bags are recyclable!

Need a charge?

There's no shortage of EV chargers in Galena Country, choose from: Chestnut Mountain Resort - 8700 W. Chestnut Mountain Rd., Galena Wall outlet (120v), EV Plug (J1772) and Tesla HPWC (Model S). Culver's of Galena - 11371 Oldenburg Lane, Galena Two Tesla High Power Wall Connectors (80A) are available to the public. Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa - 444 Eagle Ridge Dr., Galena Two Tesla Charging Stations Type: Level ll (80A) and one Clipper Creek (32A). Please see the front desk. Galena City Hall - 101 Green St., Galena Universal charger located in the City Hall parking lot on the corner of Green St. and Commerce St. Galena Brewing Company - 226 N. Commerce St., Galena Two Tesla High Power Wall Connectors (80A) and one Clipper Creek J1772 (48A) available to patrons from 4-9 p.m. Mon.-Thu. and 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. Fri.-Sun. Please see the bartender. Goldmoor Inn & Resort - 9001 W Sand Hill Rd., Galena Two Tesla High Power Wall Connectors (80A) and one Clipper Creek (32A) EV charging for guests and patrons. Please see the front desk. Jail Hill Inn - 319 Meeker St., Galena One Tesla high power wall connector (80A) and one Clipper Creek J1772 (30A) available for patrons. Please see the front desk.

Relax, knowing that you have reduced your carbon footprint!

For more information on what to do and see during your "Green Vacation", browse the latest Galena Country Visitors Guide. 


10 Instagram worthy photo ops in Galena Country

Posted on July 12, 2019 by Kirsten Bell

You don't have to be a professional photographer to land great photos in Galena Country! Look out for these top photo op spots and be sure to tag us with #GalenaCountry so that we can follow along.

1. Chestnut Mountain Resort, Galena

Well known for its impressive views of the Mighty Mississippi River. Take advantage of the chair lift for an awesome perspective!

2. Gramercy Park, East Dubuque

This historic park boasts beautiful views of the Mississippi River and the Julien Dubuque Bridge which connects Illinois to Iowa.

3. Grant Home, Galena

Stand on the porch of the Grant Home, where President Ulysses S. Grant once stood or pose with the statue of Grant's wife, Julia!

4. Grant Park, Galena

It's the perfect place to capture snaps of the city, take a selfie with Grant's statue or the historic cannons. The footbridge connecting Grant Park to downtown Galena offers many photo opportunities too.

5. Horseshoe Mound Preserve, Galena

The scenic outlooks on this preserve make for outstanding sunset shots! Look forward to 180-degree views of Galena and views across three states.

6. Hot Air Balloons, Galena

Take your photography to new heights on a balloon ride with Galena on the Fly! Take snaps of the rolling landscapes beneath you or of the majestic balloons floating above you!

7. Main Street, Galena

Lined with shops and restaurants all housed in beautifully restored 19th Century buildings. Favorite picture spots include the Green Street Stairs and the cobblestone street at the Old Stockade.

8. Old Train Depot, Galena

Built in 1857 and originally used as a passenger train depot, this building features Italianate architecture. It has long been a Galena landmark and very popular photo spot!

9. Stockton Murals, Stockton

Find these vibrant masterpieces in downtown Stockton which serve as the perfect backdrop for your Insta shots!

10. Three Sisters Sweet Shoppe, Elizabeth

Can the whole family fit on this giant pink chair? It's been done before, give it a try or strike a pose of your own! For some great ideas on places to see and things to do in Galena County, take a look at the official travel guide. To book your accommodation, choose from a wide variety here.

 

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