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Escape to Galena Country on a Romantic Road Trip

Posted on June 14, 2021 by Kirsten Bell

Beautiful year round, Galena Country offers breathtaking views, delicious food, one-of-a-kind boutique shops and priceless memories waiting to be made on a scenic road trip. 

Elizabeth

Traveling west on Highway 20 towards Galena, you will drive through the charming village of Elizabeth. Stretch your legs and enjoy a scrumptious breakfast at E-Town Coffee Co. Pick up a bottle of wine from their great selection for that sundowner later on, and browse the local art on display.

Before you leave, grab a cup of E-Town’s locally roasted, freshly ground coffee for the road! Elizabeth is where the battle of the Apple River Fort took place as part of the Black Hawk War in 1832. An exact replica of the fort lies on Myrtle Street if you want to take a peek.

Long Hollow Scenic Overlook

As you leave Elizabeth, you will be treated to views of wooded countryside interspersed with neat farmsteads and hilly terrain. Who says Illinois is flat? Not here! A must-stop is the Long Hollow Scenic Overlook. The breathtaking scenery of Galena Country’s rolling countryside is quite something! Be sure to use this perfect backdrop to snap your selfies!

Tapley Woods

Traveling just a little further will take you into the Tapley Woods Conservation Area, home to the Long Hollow Canopy Tours. Driving through this area is a special treat in any season! The forest crowds in close to the roadside, and with low speeds and open windows, you can enjoy the sounds of birdsong and the buzz of insects. There are spots where the trail breaks clear of the woods and opens up to views of the hilly landscape.

Galena

Ahhhh, Galena! Such beauty and so much history! As you enter this town, you feel like you’ve stepped into a movie set. Frozen in time, the Historic Main Street is lined with beautifully restored 19th Century buildings which house art galleries, eclectic boutiques, and stores as well as restaurants. Nearly every scene offers a picturesque background you won’t forget.

Stop in at the 1864 American Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor which features an old-fashioned fountain and original cabinets. Grab a refreshing ice cream and take a seat on a sidewalk bench to take in the sights and sounds of Galena. Directly next door to the ice cream parlor is Galena’s Kandy Kitchen. You can’t pass up the opportunity of purchasing some lip-smacking homemade candy for the rest of the drive!

Menominee

While you munch on that delicious candy, continue west to Menominee. This quaint village is located on the Little Menominee River near East Dubuque. J.M.’s Tap is Menominee’s hidden gem! This family-run restaurant specializes in homemade pizza and features all-you-can-eat Friday fish fry! Enjoy a hearty meal as you get to know the locals and share your Galena Country experience with them.

Everywhere you go in Galena Country turns into a classic road trip, packed with adventure and places to explore. There is no hurry, take your time and soak it all in. Start planning your trip today by browsing the latest Galena Country visitors guide, and be sure to book your accommodation early!


Mother's Day in Galena Country

Posted on April 13, 2021 by Kirsten Bell

Whichever way you look at it… Mom is a superhero! She sacrificed her waistline, she spent countless hours cheering you on at sports practice, she even dried your tears after crash-landings that she warned you about time and time again! Not to mention mom’s taxi service. We all know what we must do… show her that we appreciate her this Mother’s Day, but how when love means keeping your distance during the pandemic? We have some suggestions for you…

Send Locally Grown Blooms

Choose from mixed bouquets, mason jar arrangements and potted plants at 'Petals on the Porch' self-serve flower stand at Clara Joyce Flowers. If you can’t make it out to this specialty cut flower farm in Stockton, hop onto their website, choose from several different floral designs and have it shipped directly to mom’s doorstep! Murphy’s Gardens offers flowering shrubs, hanging baskets culinary herbs and a selection of trees for mom’s garden too!

Build a Pamper Hamper

A hamper of beauty products would allow any self-isolating mom to indulge in well-deserved self-care. Throw in some muscle soak bath salts and delicately scented candles from Galena Candle and Bath Company, or make make for her yourself at The Scent Workshop. What about clarity calming face oil and organic lip balm from Galena Apothecary? If mom loves the spa and nothing else will fill its shoes… purchase a gift voucher from Galena Country’s highly-skilled, full-service spas for a future visit!

Pack a Picnic for Mom & Dad

Grab a bottle of wine from one of the local wineries, pick up some gourmet cheeses, sausages and pates from Galena River Wine & Cheese and deliver them to Mom and Dad. Suggest that they enjoy a sunset picnic atop Horseshoe Mound Preserve overlooking stunning views of Galena Country or even in their own yard.

From Galena Country with Love

Spend some time browsing online stores and send Galena Country to Mom's doorstep. From locally roasted coffee, award-winning wines, or popcorn to a new outfit, handbag or accessories... she is sure to love any of it! Not sure of what she would like? A gift certificate from her favorite store or restaurant will keep her looking forward to her next visit! In Galena Country we know the importance of taking the time for the things that matter most.These gifts are bound to bring a smile to the face of the special women in your life.


Luxurious ways to enjoy Galena Country

Posted on March 19, 2021 by Kirsten Bell

Discover what lies beyond the expected with an escape to Galena Country, where only the best for your vacation is good enough. Have high expectations; they will be met! 

Luxury Stays

Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa:
Set on 6,800 acres of pristine woodlands and gorgeous open countryside
Elle & Becks:
2,500+ sq. ft, four-bedroom loft suite overlooking beautiful downtown Galena.
Goldmoor Inn & Dining:
Set high above the banks of the Mississippi River, offering stunning views and gourmet dining experiences.
Inn at Irish Hollow
Elegant amenities and spectacular meals on a 500-acre working farm.

Jail Hill Inn
Offering the ultimate in relaxation, luxury accommodations, and location and voted #1 B&B/Inn in the USA and #2 in the World by TripAdvisor in 2019.
Suite Victory #1
Beautifully renovated apartment in downtown Galena with private parking and includes breakfast at Victory Café.
Ulysses Suites
This well-deserved buiding has been lovingly renovated with a nod to the Grant Hotel from the turn of the century. 
Vignettes Modern Luxury
Overlooking Galena’s Main St., this apartment is professionally decorated by Vignettes of Galena.

Tip: Few things say luxury like a relaxing spa treatment. Book a rejuvenating in-room massage during your stay.

Superb Drinks and Dining

Champagne on Main: serving champagnes, wines, cocktails and spirits, featuring vintage and non-vintage Champagnes.
Fried Green Tomatoes: delicious USDA Choice steaks, fresh seafood, and award-winning wine list.
Fritz & Frites Bistro: a charming bistro offering mouthwatering German and French cuisine.
Generals’ Restaurant: unique fine dining experience at the historic DeSoto House Hotel.
Jamie’s Wine Studio of Galena: intimate wine, martini bar, and fine wine shop.
Little Tokyo: home to the freshest Japanese style steak, sushi, and tempura.
Log Cabin Steakhouse: Galena’s oldest and longest-running restaurant since 1935, featuring tasty Greek specialty items.
Timmerman’s Supper Club: fine dining with a breathtaking panoramic view of the Mighty Mississippi River.
Woodlands Restaurant & Lounge: award-winning intimate dining overlooking the stunning Lake Galena.

Unique Experiences

Galena on the Fly: 
Take in the beauty of Galena Country from above on a Hot Air Balloon ride complete with a champagne toast and chocolates!
Long Hollow Canopy Tours: 
Reach speeds of up to 40 mph and heights of 75 feet! Rappel off of a platform and venture across our 140-foot sky bridge to reach our final 1,250-foot zip line.
Blaum Bros. Distilling Co.: 
Take a tour of the distilling process, raise a glass and you may be lucky enough to catch a Galena Reserve release… an extremely limited and one-off expression!

Indulgent Shopping

Chocolat’ 229: an exceptional collection of European chocolates.
Cotton Club: fashion boutique complete with clothing, jewelry, shoes, and designer purses.
Galena Apothecary:  offering a wide assortment of vintage votives and circa 1850 salvaged wood boxes and trays, natural beauty products, quality gifts, jewelry, books, and paper goods
Galena River Wine & Cheese: gourmet wines, beers, cheeses, sausages, and specialty foods
Gustafson & Grey, Ltd: fine jewelry, antiques, and consignments
Nine Generals Cigar Company: cigars, men's grooming accouterments, and barware.
Simply Elegant Boutique: distinctive women’s clothing, handbags, jewelry, and footwear.
Skidmore Art Gallery: original artwork by professional artist Mark Skidmore.
Union Leather: a fully dedicated leather store carrying a full line of leather products
Verilife Cannabis Dispensary: shop with supportive guidance from the Verilife community to confidently choose the cannabis products that fit your lifestyle.
Vignettes of Galena: full-service interior design; offering drapery, blinds, home furnishings, carpeting, lighting and more

Enjoyable Entertainment

Amelia’s Under the Lamplight Dinner Theatre: enjoy fine dining and exceptional entertainment in this unique Supper Club atmosphere.
Haunted Galena Tour Co.: be led through the streets of historic Galena by candlelight and enjoy haunted tales of Galena.
P.T. Murphy Magic Theatre: a fun night of magic entertainment in a private 24-seat theater located in the heart of historic downtown Galena.

In Galena Country, we've always been known to have a good time... times may change, but that never will. For more ideas on ways to enjoy this unique destination, check out the Galena Country Visitors Guide and start building on those family memories! Be sure to book accommodation early and browse the official visitors guide for ideas on other ‘must-do’ experiences.

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.


Father's Day in Galena Country

Posted on May 20, 2020 by Kirsten Bell

Let’s talk about Dad! We love him more than he knows and, every year on Father’s Day, we shower him with gifts and adoration. Traditionally, it’s socks, ties, and tools that make Dad smile. It’s time for new traditions… break free from the expected and surprise Dad with the gift of Galena Country!

Credit: @trolleydepotcoffee Galena Country not only offers one-of-a-kind gifts to purchase for Dad but also experiences that you can enjoy together and create special memories. From kayaking and golfing to the plethora of gift shops along Galena’s Main Street, you’ll be able to give Dad nothing less than the best to thank him for all he has done.

Float among the clouds

Is a hot air balloon ride on his bucket listGalena On The Fly will take care of that! Liftoff in one of the largest hot air balloons in the country. Drift above the rolling landscapes of Galena Country while taking in views of Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin from your 3,000-foot high perch.

Pedal it out   

Little too high for Dad? Okay… what about renting a couple of bikes from Fever River Outfitters or Nuts Outdoors and cycle along the beautiful Galena River Trail just steps away from downtown Galena? It features towering bluffs and beautiful views of the river. If you complete the 8.8-mile stretch, you will reach stunning views of the Mississippi River at the foot of Chestnut Mountain Resort.

Reel in memories 

Nothing beats a good bonding session while fishing! Fine-tune your fishing skills with a guided fly fishing experience with Galena Fly Fishing Outfitters or spend the day picnicking and fishing at Apple River Canyon State Park. If Dad just wants to float down the river and have you listen to “when I was your age” stories… grab some kayak's from Fever River Outfitters or Nuts Outdoors and get a-floatin’ down the serene Galena River.

Shop for Fan Gear

What’s his favorite team? Whether it’s the lovable losers, winners, or that team only Dad cheers for… the gear to get can be found on Galena’s Main Street. Check out Country Crafts & Sports for sports memorabilia, and Fan Zone for licensed jerseys, shirts, and limited edition team hats. Another great option is For Bare Feet, which offers the largest selection of licensed sports socks made in the USA. Yes, we know… we told you to steer away from the usual socks and ties, but trust us, he will totally rock these team socks! While you’re at it, keep Dad up-to-date on the freshest apparel trends with multiple clothing stores and boutiques found on Galena’s Main Street, such as The Cotton ClubGalena Teesand The Neighborhood Co.

Cigars and Coffee

Cigars have been linked to celebrations, forming bonds, or just kicking back and relaxing for over a thousand years. It sounds like a good way to celebrate Dad's special day. Find premium hand made cigars at Nine Generals Cigar Company as well as a selection of men's grooming accouterments and barware! If Dad is a coffee lover, he's in for a treat! Spoil him with a gift box from Trolley Depot Coffee & Tea Co. or signature blend locally roasted coffee from Galena RoastersBill Bill's Coffee, or Mean Bean Roasters.

Golf Par Excellence

Challenge Dad to a round of golf at one of Galena Country’s scenic Golf Courses or enjoy the Drive 20 Golf Trail! Can you believe there are ten courses to choose from in Galena Country? Remember to let him win and then celebrate his winnings with a glass of wine from one of the area's four award-winning wineries when you get home!

Reconnect with nature 

There's no better way to relax Dad than to get him outdoors and surrounded him with nature! Take him birding at the Valley of Eden Bird Sanctuary in Stockton, featuring more than 100 bird species and 6.6 miles of mowed trails on 409 acres. Notable Illinois species of conservation concern include the Henslow’s sparrow, bobolink, red-headed woodpecker, and northern harrier. Explore the many other parks and trails throughout Galena Country too.

Brews and Burgers

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, grab a burger served with hand-cut fries from Durty Gurt’s Burger Joynt before heading to Galena Brewing Co. for a growler filled with Dad's favorite brew to enjoy at home. In the mood for pizza instead? Stop at Wally’s Pizza in Warren which is conveniently located next door to Pecatonica Beer Company Tap House. If he’s more of a spirits kinda guy, treat him to some fine whiskey from Blaum Bros. Distilling Company. Click here for more dining options.

We know the importance of taking the time for the things that matter most, whatever you choose to do for Dad in Galena Country, you will make it a memorable Father's Day!


Enjoy a picnic in Galena Country

Posted on May 15, 2020 by Kirsten Bell

Credit: @lindseytaylorphotography

As the weather invites us outside with its blue skies and fresh breeze coupled with blossoming blooms and cheerful bird chirps, it’s hard to resist the urge to picnic! With social distancing in place, it’s an ideal way to dine safely with your family.

Sit in the sun or the shade of a mossy tree, take your shoes off and lie back in the cool grass, all while enjoying delicious treats and the company of loved ones while chasing a flying napkin or two. Speaking of chasing things... your fur baby would love a new frisbee from New Earth Animals to enjoy at the picnic!

What’s in the basket?

Part of the adventure is the unveiling of what has been packed in the basket! Let’s take a peek at the deliciousness that awaits: A selection of gourmet cheeses, sausages, and pâtés from Galena River Wine and Cheese, freshly baked bread and pastries from Tammy’s Piggly Wiggly and delicious sandwich meat from Pat’s Country House Grocery.

Digging a little deeper, we have tasty dips and spreadables from Galena Canning Co. and the Grateful Gourmet Co., as well as yummy gourmet popcorn from the Great American Popcorn Co. Oh, what’s this we have here… some chocolate covered strawberries from Galena’s Kandy Kitchen for dessert. Yum!

What’s in the cooler bag?

No picnic is complete without a refreshing beverage! Pack a bottle of wine from one of Galena Country’s award-winning wineries or a growler of flavorful locally brewed beer! Looking for something a little different? Substitute the wine and beer with a cocktail kit from Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. or from Miss Kitty’s Grape Escape for the perfect sundowner! Cheers!

Great spots to lay down your picnic blanket

Casper Bluff Not only does this preserve boast some of the most commanding views of the Mississippi River and its backwater sloughs but the site also contains Native American mounds which were created centuries prior by local natives of the land. The most fascinating mound being the Thunderbird Effigy Mound, the only one known of its kind in Illinois. Gramercy Park Located on the bluff in East Dubuque overlooking the Mississippi River, this 10-acre city park is an Illinois Natural Heritage Landmark. It is home to 26 ceremonial and burial mounds from the Hopewell Native American Culture.

Grant Park Pack a bottle of bubbles for the kids from Gabby’s Gifts or Poopsie’s online stores and enjoy a picnic in this historic and scenic park! Take in the stunning views of the city of Galena, watch the trains go by and check out the historic cannons and monuments. It’s selfie time with U.S Grant!

Horseshoe Mound This 40-acre preserve offers one of the most scenic outlooks in Galena Country! The breathtaking views stretch across three states. Take a closer look through the viewing scopes! After your picnic, enjoy the hiking trails that extend throughout the preserve.

Wapello Land and Water Reserve Based on its significance as a meshing point of two Native American cultures, this 79-acre site south of Hanover, was accepted into the National Register of Historic Places. It now boasts one of the premier prairie restorations in the Midwest.

It's true. You can't change time. But if you spend it right, it can change you. Make the most of your time with a perfect picnic, making memories...where one good story always leads to another! Start planning a trip today by browsing the latest Galena Country Visitors Guide and be sure to book your accommodation early!

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.