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Vacationing with your dog in Galena Country

Posted on June 10, 2022 by Kirsten Bell

Are you looking to plan a pet-centric holiday in Galena Country? Don’t know where to start?… no worries, we’ve sniffed out pet-friendly spots for you. Fur’real!

Accommodation

First… you need to find a place to rest Fido’s furry head. Here’s a list of pet-friendly bed and breakfasts, hotels and vacation homes where he’ll feel like the top dog.

A Great Escape Galena Reservations
Augustus Chetlain Home and Log Cabins Goldmoor Inn
Belle Aire Mansion Guest House Grant Hills Motel
Cat House Suites  Hawk Valley Retreat & Cottages
Cloran Mansion & Antonio's Cottage Le Fevre Inn & Resort
Country Inn & Suites, Stockton  Marcotte's Family Motel
Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa - Select Rental Homes  Pine Hollow Inn
Galena Cellars Vineyard Lodging - One-Bedroom Suite The Nook on Third 
Galena Cellars Vineyard Lodging - Two-Bedroom Suite Rosebud Rentals
Galena Escapes Stoney Creek Inn

Outdoor Fun

With its scenic surroundings and spectacular views, many pet-parents flock to Galena Country with their four-legged sidekicks for a much-needed getaway to nature! If your pooch likes to ruff it, he’ll love the nature preserve hiking trails where he can climb, scamper and in some cases, even swim. If he’s more of an ambler, pick up a picnic basket from Galena River Wine and Cheese for yourself and some treats from New Earth Animals for Fido… then head to one of the parks for a leisurely stroll. Don’t forget to check the leash laws.

Apple River Canyon State Park Gramercy Park
Buehler Preserve Grant Park
Casper Bluff Land & Water Reserve Horseshoe Mound Preserve
Chestnut Mountain Resort Trails Schurmeier Teaching Forest
Galena Gateway Park Wapello Land & Water Preserve
Galena River Trail Winston Tunnel State Natural Area

Pet-Friendly Stores

Shopping with your pup, how doggone fun does that sound?! Throw a leash on Fido, remind him to put on his best behaviour and hit Galena’s Main Street. This historic main street, boasts more than 125 independently-owned storefronts. Many welcome pets, which we’ve listed below…

At Home in Galena New Earth Animals 
Beyond the Horizon Peace of the Past 
Carlotta’s Studio Petals & Primitives 
Dream Catcher Poopsie’s 
Earth’s Treasures  Red’s Iron Yard & Wholesale Barn 
Eureka Rustic River Finds 
Galena River Outfitters Scent Workshop
For Bare Feet Simply Elegant Boutique
From Head to Toe Sportswear Serendipity of Galena
Gabby’s Gifts   Something Special
Galena Garlic Company Strawberry Lane 
Galena Tees  Union Leather 
Gustafson & Grey Ltd. Vignettes of Galena 
Honest John’s Emporium  The Feathered Nest 
Honest John’s Trading Post  Wooden Wardrobe 

Treat your best friend to a yummy treat from New Earth Animals for his pawsome behaviour on your shopping trip. Bon A-pet-treat Fido! Maybe you can pick out a new outfit for him at the same time?

Art Galleries/Studios

Does Fido have an artistic streak? Okay, maybe you do? Fur-tunately, these galleries and studios on Main Street welcome pets:

Outside the Lines Art Gallery
Pinder Pottery
Skidmore Art Gallery  

Skidmore Art Gallery offers thirsty four-legged travelers a refreshing drink just outside the gallery. Speaking of drinks… by this time the thirsty human should need one after a long day of exploring. Stop in at Miss Kitty’s Grape Escape for a specialty martini, glass of wine or a beer with Fido on their outdoor patio. If you’re hungry, they serve appetizers, sandwiches and more. Tip: The local VFW in Hanover will allow your pooch to sit at the bar with you too!

Spa Day

It’s time to pamper your pooch with a rub down, a paw-dicure or a full makeover! Doggie Do’s & New Earth Animals Grooming will take great care of your furry friend. While you wait, why not treat yourself to a spa treatment of your own at one of Galena Country’s full-service spa’s. If you absolutely MUST visit a few places that do not allow pets, Doggie Do’s also offers a daycare service where Fido can meet other four-legged travelers and exchange travel stories.

Vineyard Outing

Award-winning wineries that welcome pets? Hot diggety dog – let’s go! Enjoy a delicious glass of wine with a scenic view. A great time for you and Fido to paws and reflect!

Fergedaboudit Vineyard & Winery Massbach Ridge Winery
Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery Rocky Waters Vineyard & Winery 

Book your stay and start planning your paw-fect getaway to #GalenaCountry!

 


Sip & Savor Outdoors in Galena Country

Posted on May 20, 2022 by Kirsten Bell

Millennium Bar & Marina

A vacation really feels like a vacation when you can sit outside and relax with a cocktail, ice-cream or enjoy lunch in the shade while you take in beautiful scenery and fresh air. 

Spend your morning shopping and strolling the streets of Galena Country, before you soak up some rays with patio pancakes and mimosas. Enjoy an afternoon of outdoor music and refreshing wine at an award-winning winery on the patio or a picnic blanket on the lawn. Make a toast to the beautiful summer evening with a cocktail and delicious meal on a deck!

From secret backyard gardens, to sunny sidewalk-seating, to large covered patios, we have created a list of great outdoor spots in Galena Country:

Apple Canyon Lake Golf Course, Apple River
Cajun Jack’s Bar & Grill, Elizabeth
Campeche Restaurant, Galena
Champagne on Main, Galena
Chestnut Mountain Resort - Sunset Grille, Galena 
Dillon's HM Pizza & Tavern, Galena
E-Town Coffee Co.,Elizabeth
Fergedaboudit Vineyard and Winery,Hanover
Frank O'Dowd's Irish Pub & Grill
Frentress Lake Bar & Grill, East Dubuque
Fried Green Tomatoes, Galena
Fritz and Frites Bistro, Galena
Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery, Galena
Gobbies Sports Pub & Eatery, Galena
Grape Escape, Galena
Green Street Tavern at the DeSoto House Hotel, Galena
Highway 20 Brewing Company, Elizabeth
Hilltop at Menominee 
Jimmy's Pub, East Dubuque
JJ & Freddie’s, Stockton
Jug's Main Street Tap, Elizabeth
Highlands Restaurant & Lounge 289, Galena
Lacoma Golf Course, East Dubuque
Massbach Ridge Winery, Elizabeth
Midtown Marina, East Dubuque
Millenium Bar & Marina, East Dubuque
Mud Run Beer Co.
Otto's Place, Galena
Rocky Waters Vineyard & Winery, Hanover
Savory Kitchen, Galena
Small Town Saloon, Elizabeth
South Side Hornet Pub & Grillle, Scales Mound
Stella's Café, Stockton
Swiss Inn Motel & Lounge, East Dubuque
The Corner Tap, Stockton
The Cove Bar & Grill, Apple River
Three Sisters Sweet Shoppe, Elizabeth
Thriving Thistle Market & Bistro, Apple River
Trolley Depot Coffee & Tea Co.
Vinny Vanucchi’s “Little Italy”, Galena
Woodbine Bend Restaurant, Woodbine

In Galena Country, we've always been known to have a good time... times may change, but that never will! Plan a one-of-a-kind getaway today, by booking your stay and browsing the digital visitors guide.


Family Road Trip to Galena Country

Posted on May 6, 2022 by Kirsten Bell

Credit: @nholland_images

“Are we there yet?" The greatest part of a family road trip isn’t arriving at your destination, it’s the little memories made along the way! Gather the gang, get behind the wheel and get to Galena Country!

U.S. Highway 20 is an east-west highway that stretches from The Pacific Northwest all the way to New England, making it the longest highway in America. It also happens to travel through Galena Country… the best place to enjoy a family road trip.

But first, breakfast

Just off Highway 20, heading west towards Galena, is the charming town of Stockton! Enjoy a delicious homemade breakfast at Stella’s Café which is housed in the beautiful W.E. White Building. Listed on the National Historic Registry, the building is known for its beautiful original tin ceiling and artful ambiance, so don’t forget to look up!

Strike A Pose!

After breakfast, it’s time to strike a pose in front of Stockton’s beautiful murals found just steps away from Stella’s. These family shots are sure to receive loads of likes on Insta! Grab some homemade candy from Sweet Alice’s for the road and take note of the cute Alice in Wonderland themed store.

Take a piece of Galena Country home with you!

Once you’re back on Highway 20, heading west towards Galena, look out for Nature’s Treasures in Woodbine where you’ll find the most gorgeous items to remind you of your trip. Mom, you will love the organic gardening supplies, wind chimes, crystals and so much more!

Take your pick!

The kids are going to love this one! Stop at Terrapin Orchards, a U-pick strawberry and apple orchard offering a couple of hours of fun and loads of juicy and delicious fruit… mmmm!

History Lesson

Highway 20 takes you through the quaint village of Elizabeth. Time for a history lesson at the Chicago Great Western Railway Depot Museum. Watch the numerous model trains and railroads operate around the museum and step inside a full-size Milwaukee Road caboose.

Ice Cream Stop

As you depart the town of Elizabeth, there’s an adorable little candy store called the Three Sisters Sweet Shoppe. Stop for some refreshing ice cream and jump onto the giant pink chair for a great photo together… yes, the whole family can fit!

A Welcome Sight

As you continue your road trip on Highway 20, notice the stunning views of wooded countryside interspersed with neat farmsteads and hilly terrain dotted with cows. This would be a good time to play “I spy”! You’ll soon reach the Long Hollow Scenic Overlook which offers breathtaking views of Galena Country’s rolling countryside… a sight for sore eyes! Don’t miss this opportunity for a great family photo!

Time Travel

Enter the town of Galena on highway 20 and take a turn onto the town’s Main Street. This street is frozen in time and steeped in history! It’s lined with beautifully restored 19th Century buildings which house art galleries, eclectic boutiques, and restaurants.

Wow the kids

Conveniently located at the beginning of Main Street is a kid’s happy place called Poopsie’s. This store is fun, funky and beyond the ordinary! The children can check out the toys, games, and books on one side of the store, while you explore the one-of-a-kind art, jewelry, home décor and other gifts on the other. Another fun toy store to explore is Galena Kids Store and Learning Center, an educational toy, game and puzzle store for both children and parents!

Watch Sparks Fly

Once you reach the end of Main Street, turn right and you will find the authentic 1897 Old Blacksmith Shop to your left. Treat the family to a live demo of a blacksmith forging metal the way they used to in the 1800s. The shop is also filled with original tools for you to inspect.

Say Cheese!

For rumbling bellies, there’s a delicious treat waiting for you at Galena River Wine & Cheese as you head out of Galena! Choose any type of cheese from their wide selection for a mouthwatering grilled cheese sandwich. Mom and Dad… pick out that bottle of wine to savor later on!

Has your family ever seen the Mighty Mississippi River? Hop back onto Highway 20 traveling west and it will lead you straight to it! Stop at Gramercy Park in East Dubuque, a 10-acre city park overlooking the river. It’s also a natural heritage landmark, home to 26 ceremonial and burial mounds. Watch the sun go down at this beautiful site.

Dine at the water's edge

A great way to end a fun day of family adventure is to head down to Millennium Bar & Marina, tucked away in a slough in East Dubuque. Here you can enjoy some home cooking at the water's edge while you share your favorite memories of your road trip.

For more fun ideas on ways to entertain the family, check out the Galena Country Visitors Guide. Explore scenic overlooks, picturesque trails and cultural sites… making family memories one road trip at a time.


Celebrate Pride Month in Galena Country

Posted on April 22, 2022 by Kirsten Bell

Galena Country has a strong history of inclusivity with many residents and businesses championing equality and diversity. To celebrate Pride Month in June, rainbow flags and rainbow stairs will once again take over the Galena Pedestrian Bridge linking downtown Galena to Grant Park.

This warm-hearted community welcomes everyone to visit with Pride and to experience the places and people that make it Amazing for All! Here are some of the ways to celebrate Pride Month this year: 

When searching for accommodation, consider Aldrich Guest House, owned by husbands Robert and Douglas Mahan. Guests can enjoy complimentary, color-changing pride cocktails each night of their stay during the month of June. Aldrich also happens to be the first and only cannabis-friendly lodging property in the area, featuring a separate 'Potting Shed', complete with snacks!

Galena is kicking off Pride Month with its second annual Pride Picnic! On Sat. June 11, pack a picnic basket filled with yummy Galena Country eats, gather your family and friends, including your fur babies, and head down to historic Grant Park. Enjoy listening to live music while taking in breathtaking views of the city of Galena. Check out the Ulysses. S Grant Statue and the historic cannons, all while relaxing to the soothing sounds of the bubbling fountain. 

Don't forget to take a selfie on the Pride Bridge and tag it with #AmazingForAll! Tip: Bread & Vine Bakery and Galena Bakehouse will be offering exclusive bakery items during the month of June - perfect packable snacks for the picnic!

While exploring more than 125 independently owned boutiques and restaurants on Galena's Historic Main Street. Visit Galena Apothecary where you'll find limited-edition Erin Keeffer Co. designed merchandise. The Neighborhood Trading Co., known for its vintage clothing, home decor and trendy gifts, will also offer exclusive merchandise celebrating PRIDE.

No living room is complete without the gorgeous aroma of the custom-made Amazing For All candles from The Scent Workshop and for the kitchen, take home a specially designed handcrafted cheese and charcueterie board from The Galena Spoon Co. Top off your newly purchased charcueterie board with special offerings from Galena River Wine & Cheese! Your kids and pups will love the exclusive products available at New Earth Animals and Galena Kids Store & Learning Center, available thru June. At the end of an eventful day, sip on a refreshing Pride Month drinks special at Galena Cellars Wine Tasting Room or stop by Embe for a delicious food special!

In Galena Country, we encourage people to follow their passions. To take a deep breath, relax and be themselves. Whether exploring the rolling hills of the driftless region, treasure-hunting along Galena's historic Main Street, or indulging in a savory farm-to-table meal, it's a great time to make your way to Galena Country!

Everyone loves a good story. And here, one story always leads to another. Make memories, celebrate each other, and tag your snaps with #AmazingForAll and #GalenaCountry when sharing your story.

Plan a one-of-a-kind getaway today by booking your stay and browsing the latest digital visitors guide. Be sure to stop at the Visitors Center for a free mini pride flag and sticker! 


Walking Tour of Downtown Galena

Posted on March 9, 2022 by Kirsten Bell

With over 87% of its buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Galena's prominent past remains a permanent fixture. The architectural achievements of the men who discovered wealth in the region's rich lead deposits and profitable river commerce are best viewed while walking on foot.

This self-guided walking tour of downtown Galena identifies the community's diverse 19th century architectural styles and recounts the lives of the captivating individuals who first settled the steeply elevated terrain. The tour length is one hour. For your enjoyment, we recommend a comfortable pair of walking shoes and bottled water.

Bring a camera or a pair of binoculars to capture the tour's breathtaking views. Please note that most of the locations on the tour are private and we ask that you remain respectful while enjoying the tour. Finally, walk at your own pace and have fun exploring Galena's magnificent architectural treasures!

1. Galena River Levee & Floodgates

Built by the Army Corps of Engineers 1948-51, this large earthen levee with flood gates protects the downtown business district from periodic flooding, the worst of which was in 1937. This flood left up to five feet of water along Main Street. Visitors often ask how often the floodgates are used. Normally they might be closed only once every few years, usually when the ice leaves the river in the spring.

2. Corwith Building - 319 S. Main St.

Constructed in 1853 with a major facelift in 1873 and home of Nathan Corwith’s Bank of Galena. The Corwiths were prominent businessmen from New York. Nathan Corwith left Galena in 1874 and moved to Chicago. He died in 1888, worth over $6 million.

3. Davis Block – 304-310 S. Main St.

These were the first, all brick blocks in Galena, consisting of five stores, constructed in 1846. Locally produced Galena brick is noted for its orange color and inner softness. For this reason, city ordinance requires they be cleaned chemically to prevent damage to the hard outer surface. Within this block, one of Galena's nine Civil War Generals, John C. Smith, had his jewelry store at 306 S. Main, and the town's most infamous lawyer, M.Y. Johnson had his law office on the second floor of 304 S. Main. He was arrested in 1862 for southern sympathies but later released for lack of evidence.

Galena fires: Every early city suffered from a devastating fire. Galena was no exception. Major fires in the 1840s led to ordinances which encouraged downtown commercial structures to be built of brick or stone. Still, the worst fire of all occurred in 1856, taking out several critical blocks. A building boom ensued, all in brick.

4. Old High School Steps

Located across from the DeSoto House Hotel, the stairway has been there since the 1850s. Wooden steps were replaced by concrete in 1919 and again in 1996. In addition to hilltop residents, the steps served hundreds of school children who used them morning, noon, and afternoon. They were walking to the large building on the hill with a square clock tower. This is the Old High School which was built in 1905 and converted in the 1980s to condominiums.

5. Desoto House Hotel – 230 S. Main St.

It opened in 1855. DeSoto is the oldest operating hotel in Illinois. It was named for the discoverer of the Mississippi - Hernando DeSoto. Investors included Jesse Grant, father of Ulysses. Both Lincoln and Douglas spoke from the balcony, although on separate occasions. Grant's presidential campaign headquarters were here in 1868. The original structure had five floors and 225 rooms, but lack of business, foundation settling, and fire insurance problems led to the top two floors being removed in 1880. Completely renovated in 1985-86.

6. DeSoto House Hotel Parking Garage

The original facades of Main Street buildings were kept for historic appearance. The hotel project could not have proceeded without this solution to off-street parking. The garage site was originally a livery stable for the famous Frink and Walker Stage Line out of Chicago during the 1840s and early 1850s.

Side Trip: U.S. Post Office (Green & Commerce Streets)

This is the second oldest continuously owned and operated Post Office in America. The second floor served as the Customhouse, and the first floor served as Post Office. The Renaissance Revival style utilized by architect Ammi B. Young was the first standardized style to be used by the government throughout the nation. Superintendent of Construction was engineer Ely Parker; a Seneca Indian raised on a reservation in New York. When the foundation was laid, he had it stacked with bars (pigs) of lead equal to the weight of the completed structure to settle the foundation. Later the lead was sold and shipped downriver. The structure was then completed with Nauvoo limestone from the same quarries that supplied stone for the Mormon Temple. Today the building is as solid as when it was built. Note: Ely S. Parker was one of the most famous Native Americans in U.S. history. He studied to become a lawyer only to be told by New York State that Indians could not become lawyers. He then became an engineer, was hired by the federal government and sent to Galena to build the customhouse/post office. While here, he met Grant. Volunteering for the Union with the outbreak of the Civil War, he was turned down because of his race, only to be accepted a year later. Grant made him his personal military secretary; he was breveted a brigadier general at the end of the war and later became President Grant's Commissioner of Indian Affairs, only to resign when he created a storm of controversy by sending emergency food rations to starving Plains Indians prior to congressional authorization.

7. Schmohl Building (St. Louis Building) - 201 S. Main St.

John and Lena Schmohl emigrated from Germany in the 1850s and opened a millinery store at this site. In 1886, Lena, having lost her husband, built this building and installed Galena's first hydraulic elevator. Her apartment was in back along Bench Street. She was a respected business leader long before most women had the opportunity.

The second Schmohl Building 213-217 (the white building) was built in 1884. This well-deserved buiding has been lovingly renovated with a nod to the Grant Hotel, now known as Ulysses Suites.

8. Coatsworth Building - 126 S. Main St.

Built by Joseph Coatsworth and Daniel Barrows in 1856-57. Utilized premium Milwaukee Cream City bricks, cast iron pillars, lintels, and sills. J.R. Grant promptly leased the 120 S. Main section for his leather goods store. It was here that Ulysses came to work in 1860. Major restoration occurred in the late 1970s - the building now houses apartments for seniors.

9. Newhall Drug Store - 101-103 S. Main St.

Built-in 1843 by Galena’s foremost physician/pharmacist Horatio Newhall, a Yale graduate, who also published the "Miners Journal," Galena’s first newspaper in 1828. But his most notable work was in treating Cholera victims during the dreaded 1832 and 1848 outbreaks. His observations on the disease and its spread are considered some of the best of the period. Note the small attic windows in the frieze, typical of the 1840s Greek Revival structures.

10. Hempstead Store - 100 N. Main St.

Built-in the Greek Revival style in 1846. Charles Hempstead was the first mayor of Galena, elected in 1841. Prior to this, the town was governed by a board of trustees and president. "City" status was given by the act of the legislature; Jo Daviess County's other "city" is East Dubuque; all other towns in the county are villages. The second floor also housed the law office of John A. Rawlins, another of Galena's nine Civil War generals who became Grant's Chief of Staff.

11. Brush Building - 120 N. Main St.

Circa 1837, this was the first large store to be constructed in the downtown of brick. Note federal style stepped gables (double-chimney) and prominent roof dormers.

12. Perry Street

Also known as the "cobblestone" street, although the stone was laid down as a deterrent to erosion, not as a paving stone. Maintaining control of horses and wagons on steep hills was a constant danger in early Galena (some say it still is...)

13. The Old Stockade - 208 Perry St.

Trader Amos Farrar's house became part of Galena's stockade during the 1832 Black Hawk War. A refuge for women and children, the upright timbers placed along the sill shows French "post and sill" influence. Restored to the 1890s appearance. Note: To locate the Old Stockade, take the first staircase at the corner of Perry and Main Streets. Proceed up the stairs halfway to the Old Stockade's entrance, a limestone walkway on the left.

Side Trip: Old Market House - 123 N. Commerce St.

This State Historic Site, built in the Greek Revival style in 1845, once sheltered both vendors and shoppers. 

14. Meusel Cigar Factory - 208-210 N. Main St.

This 1888 Italianate commercial building housed one of Galena’s many 19th-century cigar manufactories. It was home to the Standard Cigar Factory. Tobacco was also a cash crop for some county farmers, particularly in the Stockton area, up until the 1890s.

15. John Dowling Building - 213 N. Main St.

Constructed in 1837 of native limestone. The southern half was purchased by the County and used as the courthouse from 1838 until the present courthouse was completed in 1844. The original building had a gable roof. Interestingly, the street level here was originally much lower; the main entrance in 1838 entered what is now the basement!

16. Flat Iron or Diagonal Building - 222 N. Main St.

The original building housed Bradley/Taylor House hotels and was three stories. Destroyed by fire in 1876. New Italianate structure was only two floors and has housed everything from the People's Bank (original safe still there) to a Justice of the Peace.

17. John Dowling House - 216 Diagonal St.

The Dowling House is located just left of Main Street on Diagonal Street. This vernacular structure is one of Galena's oldest, constructed circa 1826-27. Dowling was a trader who quickly became the largest iron dealer on the Upper Mississippi. Here you could buy stoves, hinges, nails, picks, and shovels. Note: Turn right on Franklin Street and proceed one block to Commerce Street to view the Old Blacksmith Shop.

18. Old Blacksmith Shop - (Corner of Commerce and Franklin St.)

At one time, Galena had more than two dozen operating blacksmith shops. Today the little red wood-frame structure is the only one that remains. Built-in 1897, most of the original tools including two forges and equipment are on display.

Throughout our history, Galena Country has proudly never been like anywhere else. We may be old but we're never the same old thing! Check out the visitors guide for more ideas and find awesome events on the calendar.