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How to plan an intimate and meaningful wedding in Galena Country

Posted on January 27, 2020 by Fallon Oldenburg

Overwhelmed by the thought of gathering hundreds of your friends and family together for your wedding day? Eloping is an option, but that’s not the only way to avoid the crowd. Instead, have all the beautiful elements of a wedding, but on a much smaller scale. Limit the guest list. When planning a wedding, the guest list can easily get out of hand. For those committing to an intimate wedding, it's a good idea to cap the number of guests you'd like to invite. Micro-weddings with a smaller guest list offer an opportunity to really connect and make special memories with everyone in attendance. Plan a destination wedding. Having a destination wedding doesn’t mean you have to go to another country, but it does allow you to plan an intimate wedding that is a better reflection of you, your partner and closest friends. Celebrating together allows for more connections and memory-making, for example zooming through the treetops at Longhollow Canopy Tours or hitting a round of golf before tying the knot. Alternative venue. One of the easiest ways to keep the budget and guest list down is to book a venue that suits a limited number. Intimate properties like the Jail Hill Inn, Goldmoor Inn & Dining, The Eagles Nest, and The Hellman Guest House all offer romantic opportunities for the micro-wedding of your dreams! Check out vacation rental booking sites like AirBnB and VRBO for private estates that are suitable for your special event. There’s nothing more personal than hosting an intimate affair in a place that is meaningful to the couple! Splurge on a smaller budget. With a smaller guest list, you might decide that a four-course dinner for 50 people is better than cake and punch for 100. Small weddings give you the opportunity to really go ‘all-out.’ Guests can enjoy luxurious accommodations or a rehearsal dinner featuring fine dining that they may not usually purchase themselves. The shorter guest list makes things more accessible, think boxes of chocolates instead of a single truffle, exceptional live music filling the air and luxurious arrangements of flowers as far as the eye can see. The best of both. Keep things intimate with your partner, have a private ceremony with just the two of you - exchange vows the morning of in a special location of your choice. Imagine, floating over the rolling landscape of the driftless region in a hot air balloon, hiking to a special place in one of Galena Country's 20 parks and trails, or overlooking the Mississippi River. Then, party on! If an intimate ceremony is most important, you can create a separate, larger guest list for the reception—and inform your guests of the arrangements. Think outside of the box. Often times, brunch, lunch or an afternoon affair is a great way to share your moment, while keeping it personal. Imagine, brunching together in a private room, at one large table while overlooking the backwaters of the Mighty Mississippi. Exchanging vows in a craft brewery, the gardens of a beautiful Inn, or along the vines of a local vineyard, can be a dream come true in Galena Country. Let the planning begin with an inquiry at foldenburg@visitgalena.org and a browse through the digital visitors guide.


Accessible Galena Country

Posted on January 27, 2020 by Fallon Oldenburg

Galena Country offers award-winning accommodations, incredible shopping, dining and attractions for memories-in-the-making! With so many great options, below is a compiled a list of businesses that promote accessibility.* Accommodations Whether you stay in the heart of downtown Galena or the rolling hills of the driftless area, Galena Country’s lodging options provide exquisite comfort and relaxation. 

Eats & Treats From farm-to-table freshness to authentic Italian cuisine and locally made wines to craft brews, Galena Country boasts mouthwatering offerings everyone will savor!

Travel Tip: Galena’s Historic Main Street is best explored with a travel companion. Many of the shops have a step up into their entryway that can be maneuvered with the help of a friend. Treasure Hunting Whether shopping for yourself or for others, with more than 125 independently owned businesses in the heart of downtown Galena, you're sure to discover unique, can't-live-without treasures!

More to Explore Be immersed in history with a visit to the Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site, see three different states at Horseshoe Mound Preserve, cool off at the Alice T. Virtue Memorial Pool/Galena Water Park, or enjoy a leisurely visit to Grant Park! Book your stay and let the planning begin with a browse through the digital visitors guide. Travel Tip: Wheelchairs are available to rent at Hartig Drug Store, located two miles from Galena's downtown. *Note, it's recommended to check accessibility with locations prior to visiting. Galena Country Tourism holds no liability, businesses are responsible for accessibility and maintaining current building codes.


Rediscover Romance in Galena Country

Posted on January 17, 2020 by Rose Noble

©Orange Anchor Photography

Sipping on a glass of local wine. Feeling the stress of everyday life melt away during a couple’s massage. Snuggling with that special someone in front of a fireplace in your cozy bed-and-breakfast suite. These are just a few of the reasons you’ll fall in love with making Galena Country, the destination for your next romantic rendezvous.

Nestled in the corner of Northwestern Illinois, along the Mississippi River, Galena is a hidden gem that offers activities to suit couples of all kinds. Below, are eight reasons to start planning a getaway today.

1. Spa-aaaah

Nothing says relaxation like a cozy couple’s massage or even a pedicure for two. For example, you and yours can head to the Galena Day Spa for a couple’s massage, which comes complete with complimentary champagne and chocolates. There’s also the Stonedrift Spa at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, which offers a menu of couple’s treatments, including the marine mineral soak in the private couple’s spa suite. But your spa options don’t end there. Indulge Day Spa, Healing Touch of Galena Massage (where the therapist will come to you), Sacred Sole Massage & Bodywork and the soon-to-open Studio One Green Spa and Salon are also stellar options for a little R&R.

2. Tee for two

If taking in 9 or 18 holes is a favorite pastime for the two of you, grab the clubs and schedule a tee time at one of Galena’s 10 courses. From taking on The General Golf Course to professional lessons at Lacoma Golf Club there’s an option for every skill level. Or try out a fun-filled round of mini-golf at the Lil' General, next to the Palace Campground.

3. Quench your thirst

Taste and tour your way through Galena Country and explore four vineyards, two craft breweries and Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. Wine enthusiasts can experience lovely scenic drive to Fergedaboudit Vineyard and Winery, The Rocky Waters Vineyard and Winery, Massbach Ridge Vineyard and Winery, and pet-friendly Galena Cellars Vineyard and Winery, all pairing years of winemaking talent with breath-taking views of the driftless region. Craft beer lovers will enjoy the variety of locally made brews at Pecatonica Beer Company Taphouse and the Galena Brewing Company! 

4. Explore the backroads

Cruise along historic Stagecoach Trail to the Thriving Thistle in Apple River and a picnic at Apple Canyon State Park, or explore the winding corners of Blackjack Road to for a bite to eat and to watch the sunset at Chestnut Mountain Resort. Historic Highway 20 is no stranger to incredible views, head to Elizabeth for jambalaya and live music at Cajun Jacks, or to East Dubuque for dining with a view at Timmerman's Supper Club.

5. Wine and dine

Make your meal for two special at one of Galena Country's culinary fortunes. From American tastes to Italian to German, there’s a cuisine for every type of palate. Partake in an intimate dining experience at the ‘chef’s table’ at Goldmoor Inn & Dining, or for a sample of European-fare, try Fritz and Frites Bistro. Savor tastes like a prime steak and fresh scallops at Fried Green Tomatoes, or be welcomed like family at the Log Cabin Steakhouse, Galena's oldest steakhouse. Taste a little bit of Italy at Vinny Vanucchi’s “Little Italy.” Or take in an intimate dinner at Woodlands Restaurant at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa overlooking the picturesque Lake Galena.

6. Shop around

Looking to do a little shopping on your getaway? Treasure-hunt along Galena's Historic Main Street, where you’ll find more than 125 shops, galleries, eateries and attractions. From curing your sweet tooth at confectionaries, such as Chocolat’ 229 and Galena's Kandy Kitchen, to finding something sexy at the Noty Kity, you're sure to find something for keeping and for gifting. If antiques and home decor are your cup of tea, furniture, collectibles, old toys, repurposed jewelry, albums, art and potteries are a few of the items you might find at shops such as A Bushel and A Peck and Elizabeth’s Grand Antique Co., and Anchors and Arrows.

7. Reconnect with nature

Explore via kayak, canoe, or paddle-board along the Galena River, discover new scenic views on Galena Country's 20 parks and trails, or cruise the Galena River Trail. Thrill seekers may enjoy speeding along a zip line at Long Hollow Canopy Tours or cruising down the Alpine Slide at Chestnut Mountain Resort. 

8. A romantic night in

Draw a bath and pop open that bottle of locally made wine! Galena Country's award-winning B&B's and Inns offer the perfect opportunity to snuggle up for the night. For something luxurious, check out the Jail Hill Inn, home to suites with gas fireplaces and steam showers or bubble massage tubs. The Inn at Irish Hollow offers luxury cottages on a 500-acre working farm in the Galena countryside. From resorts and hotels to B&B’s and vacation rentals, choose to lodge immersed in mother nature, amidst history, or in the heart of downtown Galena.

What are you waiting for? Book your stay and let the planning begin with a browse through the visitors guide.