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6 Ways to enjoy the outdoors in Galena Country

Posted on July 22, 2020 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. Image 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.


Forever Original Galena Country

Posted on July 10, 2020 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!  Image 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 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!


12 Places to Grab Pizza in Galena Country

Posted on July 2, 2020 by Kirsten Bell

It's cheesy, gooey, hot and saucy! Whether you crave a traditional or exotic slice of Italian pie, Galena Country eateries offer an all-encompassing array of flavors, toppings, crusts and preparations! Ready for those photo-op worthy cheese pulls? Let's dig in... 

Bottle Shed, Stockton

This quaint, family-friendly store in Stockton offers homemade thin-crust pizza, daily specials, and delicious appetizers such as mac & cheese bites and jalapeno poppers. Choose from 15 toppings to create your perfect pizza, just the way you like it. 

Cannova’s Pizzeria, Galena

Delivering their slices of heaven for many years, Cannova's specializes in homemade fine Italian cuisine. Give their signature “Typo” pizza a try and they have  the option of a delicious Gluten Free crust too!  

Corner Tap, Stockton 

Choose from thin crust, stuffed Chicago style, or pan pizza! Try the specialty Reuben pizza for a unique twist on the classic sandwich, and enjoy your meal in the outdoor pavilion! 

Dillon’s HM Pizza and Tavern, Galena

This local's favorite is a short drive from Galena’s Main Street and serves specialty pizza, burgers, and beer. Don’t miss out on their chicken alfredo or BBQ chicken pizza!

Gobbie’s Sports Pub and Eatery, Galena

Delicious pizza, spacious outdoor seating, and irresistible beer nuggets make Gobbie's a fun place to enjoy a slice while catching the game. Try something new like the Gyro pizza featuring fresh basil, Kalamata olives, gyro meat, and feta cheese. 

JJ & Freddie’s, Stockton

Add your favorite toppings to a specialty “rustic” style crust for a unique and delicious pizza. A cozy atmosphere and friendly service adds to the great experience. 

J.M.’s Tap, Menominee

Off the beaten path, J.M.’s Tap offers a fun small-town ambiance and awesome thin crust pizza. Enjoy their popular specialty BLT pizza!

Jug’s Main Street Tap, Elizabeth

Featuring outdoor seating and live entertainment, Jug’s serves delicious specialty pizza in a fun atmosphere. The crab meat rangoon pizza is a unique must-try for any adventurous pizza fanatic. 

Paradise Bar and Grill, Galena

Located on Galena’s Main Street, Paradise is famous for their signature Bloody Mary’s and hand tossed pizza crust. Enjoy a delicious specialty taco pizza, and be sure to check out daily lunch and dinner specials!

The Grape Escape, Galena

Relax with a specialty martini, glass of wine or craft beer over a tasty pizza while enjoying live music at Miss Kitty's Grape Escape! 

The Summit Bar and Grill, Galena

Enjoying a pizza while watching a gorgeous sunset over the Mississippi River is a one-of-a-kind experience! Dig into a specialty gluten-free cauliflower pizza and the spicy “Inferno” pizza is a must try!  

Thriving Thistle Market and Bistro, Apple River

Fresh, locally sourced ingredients with the option of a gluten free crust make a gourmet pizza from this bistro a delicious choice. For a unique flavor, experience the “Deep Roots” pizza. It’s drizzled with local honey and features Italian sausage, arugula, garlic olive oil sauce, and feta and mozzarella cheese. Yum!

No matter how you slice it, Galena Country has the triangle of cheesy goodness that you're looking for! Explore more of Galena Country’s amazing dining options in the latest Visitors Guide and while you're there, check out the awesome lodging choices!