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Please be prepared to enjoy Galena Country responsibly by wearing a mask and keeping your distance. For further information on COVID-19 guidelines in our area, please click here.

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Plan a Midweek Getaway to Galena Country!

Posted on February 18, 2021 by Fallon Oldenburg

Take a break from the daily stress of balancing work life, home life, and personal "you time" to regain sanity. It's a no-brainer, trade that morning alarm clock for a midweek refresher to Galena Country! Book the perfect getaway with this three-day itinerary. 

Day 1

Make a pit-stop in Stockton for an early lunch at Stella's Cafe' & Catering. Take time to strike a pose in front of the murals; a stop into Sweet Alice's is the perfect cure for a sweet tooth! Make your way to Elizabeth for some retail therapy at Jane Marie Boutique, Village Treasures, and Common Cents Resale. Arrive in Galena just in time to check into accommodations, followed up with a savory dinner at the General’s Restaurant. Discover a different side of Galena's history on a tour with the Haunted Galena Tour Company, or quench your thirst on Matthew's Haunted Pub Crawl. Polish off the night with drinks and live music at Miss Kitty's Grape Escape.

Day 2

Begin with a hearty breakfast at Otto’s Place - be sure to ask about the quiche of the day and try a piece of warm, homemade coffee cake. Stroll across the Galena River for a fresh cup of locally-roasted brew from Trolley Depot Coffee & Tea Co.The Mean Bean, Kaladi's Coffee Bar or Big Bill's Sandwich and Coffee Bar. Discover more than of 125 independently owned boutique shops, galleriesattractions and eateries nestled into Galena's Historic Main Street. Whether you fancy yourself a foodie, fashionista, or history buff - Main Street is a treasure-hunting paradise! Next up, lunch at The Market House Restaurant, followed up with wine tasting at the Massbach Ridge Tasting Room. Learn about gourmet wine pairings made from locally-grown grapes, then stop over to the Dowling House or the Old Blacksmith Shop for a little history before dinner. Enjoy a scenic drive along historic HWY 20 to East Dubuque for a delicious meal at Timmerman’s Supper Club, perched along the bluffs of the Mighty Mississippi River. Be sure to finish off dinner with a hand-blended grasshopper! If it's a Thursday, take advantage of the live music and vintage rides at Cruisin' Thursdays.

Day 3

After hitting the snooze-button, fuel up with breakfast at Victory Cafe in Galena, a leisurely morning walk along the levee and up to the Ulysses S. Grant Home for a tour. Take the scenic route home, this time via Stagecoach Trail, grab a delicious smoothie at Thriving Thistle in Apple River and a bite to eat at Chubz Pub & Grub or Wally's Pizzeria in Warren.

With Galena Country only being a few hours' drive for many - it's the perfect getaway at any time! There's a lot of places out there, but there's nowhere like us! Book your stay and let the planning begin with a browse through the digital visitors guide.

Please be prepared to enjoy Galena Country responsibly by wearing a mask and keeping your distance. For further information on COVID-19 guidelines in our area, please click here.


Galena Country Vacation Bucket List

Posted on December 23, 2020 by Fallon Oldenburg

It's pretty amazing here, with endless opportunities to explore - we've compiled a list of six unique experiences that you don't want to miss! We understand that during the pandemic some of these expereineces are not possible, however... it doesn't stop you from dreaming and planning for the brighter days ahead: 

Take your vacation to new heights

Peacefully float above the rolling landscapes of Galena Country on a hot air balloon ride from Galena on The Fly. This incredible ride can carry up to 13 of your closest friends, flights last about an hour and end with a champagne toast and chocolates! Long Hollow Canopy Tours will have you soaring through the treetops at speeds up to 40 mph at heights of up to 75 feet! This 2 1/2 hour thrilling journey begins with a UTV ride through the woods to the first platform, followed with a 140-foot sky bridge and a quick jump or rappel to the finish.

The perfect place for a picnic date with a view, Horseshoe Mound Preserve is located off of Blackjack road and boasts some of the best scenes of Galena. Use the viewing scopes to see geographical mounds of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa, while enjoying the stone-henge style gathering space. A lovely location for a hike with the kids, pets or alone.

Epic Events

Full of infinite opportunities, from cemetery walks to hot air balloon races to incredible parades and magical holiday festivities. There’s always something to discover in Galena Country! Check the events calendar when planning your vacation. While there's fun to be had at every event, the following events made it to the bucket list.

Experience the 1860s through a Living History Encampment and Civil War Battle at Grant's Home Front Reenactment on the banks of the Galena River. Free admission to those dressed in fully scout or military uniform. The Galena Country Fair is one of the area's most popular events, overflowing with original handmade arts and crafts, live entertainment and mouthwatering fair food. Indulge in the Gazebo Wine Garden featuring award-winning local wines and take advantage of the complimentary shuttle service available on both Saturday and Sunday.

Bringing in thousands of spectators, the Halloween Parade & Festival is something you don't want to miss. Featuring spectacular floats, marching bands, costumed participants, prizes and treats, you can expect this to be an unforgettable weekend! Romantic, nostalgic, and magical are just a few words to describe the Night of the Luminaria and Living Windows event. Stroll down Galena's Historic Main Street as more than 40 storefronts come to life with extraordinary holiday scenes. Thousands of twinkling, candle-lit luminaria brighten streets and walkways throughout the town, making for a lovely tour on foot, shuttle or via trolley.

All things Ulysses S. Grant

Stepping onto Galena’s Main Street is like something out of a movie. Looking much like it did when President Grant strolled the streets, it's easy to see why Galena is often called the 'City that's Frozen in Time'

We've added a few historical 'Grant features' to the bucket list. First up, the Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site. The stunning, Italianate style home, was gifted to Grant upon his return home from the Civil War. With no detail overlooked, the home was fully furnished and proudly overlooks the city. In 1904, the Grant children donated the house to the city. It's open year-round for tours and features original furnishings.

Another must-see is the Elihu B. Washburne House State Historic Site, just a block away from Grant's home. Washburne was a prominent attorney and later a popular U.S. Congressman, political advisor to Abraham Lincoln and U.S. Grant, and an ambassador to France. Visit the library where General Grant received the election night news via telegraph, that he was elected as President. The DeSoto House Hotel, located in the heart of town was the center of Galena's social and political activities. Being Illinois' oldest operating hotel, it's dripping with history. For a true 'Grant experience', you'll want to book rooms 209 and 211, where he ran his presidential headquarters.

Take in the Mighty Mississippi

Being the second longest river in the North American continent, the Mississippi River is a must-see while in Galena Country. Part of the driftless region, this captivating location is lush with rolling hills and breathtaking views for miles. Here are five amazing ways to experience the Mississippi River while on vacation.

Chestnut Mountain Resort is a premier destination from which to experience the river. Whether taking it all in from the dinner table, chair lift or river cruise, it's an incredible year-round adventure. For the perfect romantic getaway, stay and dine at the Goldmoor Inn. Here you will take your dining experience to the next level at the chef's table, an intimate experience in the heart of the kitchen. Nestled along the bluffs of the river, this castle-like Inn offers an unforgettable, luxury experience.

Bring the dog, have a picnic and explore sacred grounds overlooking the river at Casper Bluff Land & Water Reserve.. Located just 10 minutes from downtown Galena, it's an excellent location to unplug and reconnect with nature. Take some time to check out the 51+ Native American burial mounds, including one Thunderbird effigy. Iconic Timmerman's Supper Club offers another dining opportunity with a view.

Perched along the bluffs of the backwaters, Timmerman's offers a mouthwatering experience with no 'bad seat' in the house. Just up the street from Timmerman's, is Gramercy Park. A 10-acre park located on the bluffs in East Dubuque. This site is home to 26 ceremonial and burial mounds from the Hopewell Native American culture. Journey along the walking trails while the kids explore the playground, or relax and take it all in at the overlook pavilion.

Fascinating History

Galena, established in 1826 offers many awe-inspiring opportunities, here are a few favorite facts to share and explore. The Dowling House, Galena's oldest home, is really something to see. Nestled amongst the shopping and restaurants in downtown Galena, is a home built out of limestone, furnished with primitives and a collection of Galena pottery.

The oldest continually owned and operated Post Office in America is located on the corner of Green and Commerce St. in Galena. The building featuring Federal style architecture was constructed out of the best quality granite, shipped up the Mississippi from Nauvoo. An excellent location to send off your postcards and stop for a picture!

Another piece of treasured history is the Galena Fire Department, Illinois' oldest fire department. Once comprised of five fire companies, Liberty house No. 1, located on Bench Street, is recognizable by its bell and can be seen from Main Street. The Galena Fire Department is now located at 101 S. Bench Street and has been a 100% volunteer department since inception in 1830.

The best in the U.S.

Galena Country is not only home to some 'firsts' and 'oldest' but is also the proud home to Jail Hill Inn. Rated the #1 B&B in the U.S. and #2 in the world by Trip Advisor, this romantic, luxury stay is one you don't want to miss. Featuring a multiple-course breakfast that's loaded with delicacy and indulgences, paired up with unique features in each room, the Jail Hill Inn has many 'repeat offenders', who come to experience the exclusivity of each room.

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!


Shopping for the Naughty List in Galena Country

Posted on December 11, 2020 by Kirsten Bell

Image: Miss Kitty's Grape Escape taken by EnjoyIllinois.com  

Are you shopping for someone who made the naughty list this year? Unlike Santa, we won’t be suggesting coal... instead, we have some fitting Galena Country favorites for the 'badly behaved'! 

Miss Kitty's Grape Escape 

It's beginning to look a lot like cocktails! Pick up a few gift certificates from Galena's hip and happening cocktail lounge featuring signature martinis and a bloody mary buffet. Throw in a cocktail kit or party pack as a delicious bonus!  

Serendipity of Galena

Expect the unexpected at this fun store! It's unique for all the things you didn't realize you need 'till you walk through the door! Find everything from puzzles, lazy onesie pajama sets, funny games, quirky, rare, and playful gifts.

Galena Canning Company

Does the naughty list qualifier have a potty mouth? Chef Ivo’s locally made and award-winning hot sauces will take care of that! Pick up a few old-fashioned jams, jellies, salsa, BBQ sauces, and more while you're there.

Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. 

Nothing says festive like a bottle of liquor from a local distillery. From the milling of the raw grains to the mashing, fermentation, and distillation... it's all produced right here in Galena! Pick up a comfy tee and some tasty spirits for that special scoundrel in your life. 

Nine Generals Cigar Company  

Curating the best selection of cigars for every palate, this store specializes in handpicking unusual selections to tease the taste buds of new as well as seasoned cigar smokers! They carry a variety of men’s shaving & grooming items for the bearded fella, as well as fun barware items.

Noty Kity Boutique

Shop sexy lip balms, body lotions, lingerie, massage oils, accessories and, more at this boutique! Whatever your desires.... Noty Kity can get it! They are focused on providing the largest variety of products and the highest level of customer service and satisfaction.

Mean Bean Coffee Roasters

Create it, name it, and label it! Choose any combination from up to 60 unique flavors and make a unique blend for your mischievous gift recipient! Be adventurous, make something wild from flavors such as Blackberry Brandy and Chocolate Seduction! Think of a fitting name for your blend and then design your very own label. You can really have fun with this one! 

The Potting Shed

For the cannabis lovers on your list, you may consider a gift certificate to the Aldrich Guest House, Galena's first and only cannabis-friendly lodging. In addition to impeccable service and accommodations, the property offers a separate 'Potting Shed,' complete with snacks! 

Naughty list complete! Let's hope that next year, 'they'll be good... for goodness sake!' For more shopping ideas, check out the digital visitor's guide. 

Please be prepared to enjoy Galena Country responsibly by wearing a mask and keeping your distance. For further information on COVID-19 guidelines in our area, please click here.


9 Luxury Stays in Galena Country

Posted on December 2, 2020 by Kirsten Bell

8 Luxury Stays in Galena CountryImage Credit: Jail Hill Inn

Whether it’s a luxurious spa, high-end furniture, or a private campfire… we all love a little opulence every now and then. We have compiled a list of 9 accommodation properties in Galena Country that offer luxury in their own unique ways.

Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

Eagle Ridge is set on 6,800 acres of pristine woodlands and open countryside in The Galena Territory. It boasts 4 award-winning championship golf courses, a luxurious spa and a state-of-the-art fitness center with pool, sauna and steam room. That’s not all, you will find miles of biking, hiking and horseback trails as well as tennis, hot air balloon rides, boating and fishing on the picturesque 225-acre Lake Galena and four distinctive restaurants to choose from.

Elle & Becks Loft Suite

This enormous 2,500+ sq. ft, four-bedroom loft suite overlooks downtown Galena just steps away from main street shopping and dining. The living room, featuring a wet bar, is ideal for hosting party events. An on-site massage therapist is available by appointment and Elle & Becks Lifestyle Boutique is right downstairs for the latest in fashion, homeware, gelato, and coffee!

Galena Chalet

Designed with European influence of the charming Chalets of the Swiss Alps and wall to wall elegance, this five-bedroom chalet offers 360 degrees breathtaking views of nature and wildlife. Enjoy the 2000 sq. ft wrap-around deck that overlooks Lake Galena or cozy up on the couch beside the stone wood-burning fireplace.

Goldmoor Inn

High above the banks of the Mississippi River, Goldmoor Inn boasts stunning views of the Mississippi. Whirlpool suites, spa treatments, private fireplaces, and private in-room gourmet dining experiences make this the perfect romantic getaway. To top it off, it features a fine dining restaurant offering warm and attentive service.

Inn at Irish Hollow

Nestled in the countryside surrounded by nature, this Inn offers luxury cottages, elegant amenities and spectacular meals on a 500-acre working farm. Organic beds, massage therapy treatments, and four-course picnics are just some of the delights on offer. Enjoy Wine & Cheese in your suite, a private campfire or table for two.

Jail Hill Inn

Voted #1 B&B/Inn in the USA and #2 in the World by TripAdvisor in 2019, this 135-year-old, 4-story brick building served as the county jail for nearly 100 years and has been lovingly transformed into a premier inn. The unique luxurious three-room suites offer the finest of amenities and guests can enjoy an in-room massage on request. Arrive to chilled champagne, a nightly wine and cheese reception, and a daily three-course gourmet breakfast.

Ulysses Suites

This well-deserved building, once ran as the Grant Hotel from 1895 to 1932. It has been lovingly renovated with a nod to the hotel from the turn of the century. Enjoy luxury and modern comforts in these tastefully decorated suites, conveniently situated on Main Street in downtown Galena! Choose from 3 or 2 bedrooms suites, studios, or bring the whole family - there's enough space for everyone.  

Vignettes Modern Luxury

Professionally decorated by Vignettes of Galena, this two-bedroom vacation rental overlooks Galena’s  Main Street. Each well-appointed, superbly decorated bedroom has a flat-screen tv, plush mattress, high-quality sheets, and private access bathrooms. The apartment features a large living area, beautiful kitchen with granite countertops and all new appliances. Conveniently situated just steps from shops, restaurants, and nightlife on Main Street.

The Owl House

This circa 1880 house has been renovated with a meticulous approach to every detail of the home and has been furnished with luxury high-end furniture. It features a fully equipped kitchen and the house is wired for Sonos so guests can enjoy music through the audio system or listen to the nostalgic vinyl collection on the record player.

For more accommodation options and for ideas on things to do and see during your stay, browse the Galena Country Visitors Guide.


Pop the question in Galena Country

Posted on October 9, 2020 by Fallon Oldenburg

© Orangeanchor Photography

From breathtaking views and romantic eateries to hot air balloon rides and magical winter celebrations, Galena Country has everything you need to pop the question in the setting of your dreams. Consider one of these dreamy locations for an unforgettable marriage proposal.

Say 'Yes' to Fresh

The lush landscape of Galena Country provides a beautiful backdrop for any proposal. A romantic sunset picnic with a bottle of wine at Horseshoe Mound Preserve is sure to get rave reviews. If you're staying in The Galena Territory, the Thunder Bay Falls are a lovely option. Or in Apple River, atop the bluffs or along the river at Apple River Canyon State Park are locations that include a romantic scenic drive! Galena's Grant Park offers many proposal-worthy locations and landmarks, not to mention the breathtaking town perched along the hillside! Take a stroll along Main Street or overlooking the city, atop the Green Street Stairs during golden hour!

A Rehearsed Dinner

Rich in historically amazing eateries, you'll want to indulge in the fine dining of Fried Green Tomatoes, Log Cabin Steakhouse, or Fritz and Frites Bistro. For dinner with a view, check out Highlands & Lounge 289 at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa or Timmerman's Supper Club, The Goldmoor Inn, or Chestnut Mountain Resort - all showcasing priceless views of the Mississippi River.

Enchanting Accommodations

A romantic getaway is a perfect time to further your love story! Galena Country’s award-winning, luxury lodging properties offer an intimate and romantic setting for just the two of you. Consider indulging in Jail Hill Inn, Aldrich Guest House, Lamberson Guest House, Inn at Irish Hollow or Hawk Valley Retreat as your home-away-from-home. Whether you choose to lodge immersed in mother nature, amidst history, or in the heart of downtown Galena, this vacation is one you'll never forget!

'Head over Heels' Experiences and Events

Book a private flight and propose on a hot-air balloon, among the vines of a local vineyard, or at one of many epic events. Consider happenings with a more romantic flare such as the Night of the Luminaria and Living Windows, Holiday Fire in the Sky, Corkless in Galena, Great Galena Balloon Race, or Galena Cellars Fall Harvest Festival.

In Galena Country, we know the importance of taking the time for the things that matter most. Whatever the location, make it meaningful, personal, and don't forget to use #GalenaCountry on those snaps! Begin planning the next chapter by booking your stay and checking out the digital visitor's guide.