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Bed & Breakfasts

Are you a traveler that eschews the ordinary hotel stay? Are you forever researching unique, vintage or off-the-beaten-path places that warmly welcome you like family?

When you crave the ultimate bed and breakfast experience, tuck into one of Galena’s award-winning spots. Whether you seek rustic solitude or a downtown haven, the perfect B&B is waiting for you in Galena Country. These inns are the best of the best—boasting a long list of accolades that honor each one-of-a-kind property. Which will you choose for your next getaway?

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#BossLadies

Exploring new areas is always a treat, and that treat is made even sweeter when you’re traveling with your girlfriends. My girl group found a favorite retreat to keep going back to year after year, and that’s Galena Country. The charming towns filled with friendly locals, the gorgeous scenery no matter what season, the myriad opportunities for both adventure and relaxation—the girls and I always have a great time reconnecting there and you will, too.

Take a girlfriend’s getaway to Galena Country and hit up local businesses that have strong women in charge. There’s a lot to choose from—eating and drinking establishments, places to buy clothes or gifts and a day spa where the worries of today, or the past, will melt away.

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Falling for Galena Country

In autumn, the weather is cool and crisp, the sky blue, and the rolling countryside painted in a fall palette of colors offering a sense of completion, fulfillment and ripeness that rivals spring’s floral new beginnings. And nowhere can you enjoy the ripeness better than an A-list winery like Galena Cellars.

The colors of the trees in fall were bursting as we made the short drive through the pleasingly hilly Galena countryside to the vineyard for its annual Fall Harvest Festival, held every year at the end of September.

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Fall Guide to Galena

When the summer heat starts to make way for cooler temperatures, you begin to anticipate a few, beloved fall traditions such as football season, scarves and a certain fall-inspired latte. You can also expect a beautiful, colorful backdrop here in Galena Country and plenty of must-do activities to keep you busy.

While it’s hard to choose just one activity or event, here are a few fall favorites in Galena Country:

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At the Corner of Winter & Wonderland

A couple's getaway to Galena Country, IL is full of active fun.

"If you had a puzzle of Illinois, Galena Country would be one of the coveted corner pieces."

Verbatim, that's how my husband, Ryan, described where we'd be going on our February weekend getaway sans kids. The corner piece analogy was puzzling to me. How could this rural area, less than a tank of gas away from our Chicago apartment, offer the winter activities my Rocky Mountain roots were pining for?

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Fruits of the Land

Ever since my wife and I had our kids, it's been hard to have any one-on-one time with each other. Every trip has been a family vacation. The idea was planted in my head to take a romantic trip, just the two of us. After poking around online, I found Galena Country had numerous award-winning wineries that I knew my Sara would love, and it wasn't even a far drive from our urban home in Chicago.

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Experience Galena Country

Check back often to read the latest and greatest stories about Galena Country’s endless things to do, places to see and adventures to enjoy.

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Magical Christmastime on Main St.

Christmas is a season of tradition, joy and wonder, a time when families yearn to connect and celebrate the season. You can find all three in early December in Galena Country, Illinois.

The first big event of the season is Fire in the Sky, an elaborate fireworks display that sets the backdrop for carolers singing favorite holiday songs. Along Main Street shops are open so you can get an early start on holiday shopping. Enjoy a cup of cocoa, warm yourself by the festive bonfire and enjoy the live music while you get in the holiday spirit. But the biggest event in December is the Night of the Luminarias & Living Windows.

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#GetToGalena

A couple weeks back, my husband, Neal, and I headed to Galena, IL for a little mini getaway out of the city. We wouldn't trade living in Chicago for anything, but sometimes, you just want to get out of the chaos and enjoy some beautiful scenery and a relaxed pace of life—Galena offers that, and so much more!

If you aren't familiar with Galena, you might compare it to other similar vacation towns outside of Chicago—beautiful, with not a lot to do. Those are great in their own right, but they aren't Galena. There are so many fun and amazing things to experience in Galena, you'd need to plan 10 different trips to experience them all!

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Galena Country Journal

A Trip Through Time: Take a walk down any street and you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported back into the past. You see it etched in the intricate architecture. You feel it as you browse the streets where Presidents Grant and Lincoln walked. Through the Eye of the Artist: Call it magic, positive vibes, or just a good time, music and art have the power to let you just be in the moment. That holds true in Galena and Jo Daviess County. Bon Appétit: Talk with anyone who has been to Galena Jo Daviess County, and it won’t take long for them to start raving about the food. Authentic, artisan dishes. +


Grant in Galena

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Love is a Beautiful Thing

Just as amazing as the view. With so much to do it was hard to pick our next stop, but since we’re both history buffs, we settled on the Ulysses S. Grant Home. We loved it as it was a fascinating trip back in time, and we even got to experience where Grant was when he found out he was elected 18th President of the U.S. Galena was the perfect spot for this very special weekend and I hope we can return again soon! +


Discover Love Through a Lens

Galena, Illinois is a quaint and historic town nestled among the trees overlooking the Mississippi River. While the majority of Illinois is covered in flat cornfields, Galena Country boasts beautiful and varied topography, making this Northern Illinois town the perfect spot for a wedding.

UnPosed Photography is a thriving wedding photography company in Galena, Illinois, so I was thrilled when the owner, Cathy, found time to sit down with me to talk about photographing Galena Country wedding venues.

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Making It

Artists and artisans migrate to Jo Daviess County because the area provides the perfect backdrop for exquisite work. The beautiful landscape invigorates and inspires.

That means small-batch and one-of-a-kind souvenirs are not difficult to find. It doesn't matter if your preference is fine art, earthy crafts, potent libations or the canned goodness of perfectly preserved fruits and vegetables. You can find it all in Galena Country.

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Galena's Historic Main Street

Chicago might have a “magnificent mile” but Galena proudly lays claim to one Historic Main Street. You won’t find any cookie-cutter, brand name stores here. Instead, Galena’s Main Street is all about the unique, local mom ‘n’ pop independent shops you can’t find anywhere else. In fact, Galena has been recognized as one of America’s Greatest Main Streets by Travel + Leisure magazine.

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Take a Scenic Trip Through Galena

It's no secret that the area around Galena is packed with adventure, but who knew getting from one great activity to another could turn into a fun-packed Illinois getaway?

Well, we do.

My wife Patricia and I have made a hobby of exploring the highways and byways around Galena Country, and boy have we made a great find. Besides the history; the lovely scenery; the bountiful fertility of the region giving rise to wineries, farm-to-table dining, fun-packed U-pick orchards, pumpkin, strawberry and sweet corn destinations, half the fun is just in getting there.

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The Spirits of Galena Country

Northwest Illinois is filled with the spirit of adventure—from the high bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River to the rolling countryside painted with the oranges, yellows, deep purples and blazing scarlets brought on by crisp autumn weather. It's no wonder that visitors flock to Galena Country to savor its distilled whiskey, complex wines, savory craft beer and—for a fun twist—the otherworldly presences of haunted Galena. We chatted with some of the area's most spirited proprietors.

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Spring Into Galena's Outdoors

With the work and school week ending, my family and I needed a break from the norm, an escape from technology and the city. The outdoors of Galena, Illinois, gave us the chance to reconnect, reenergize, and explore nature right from the start.

Our youngest, Teelie, was outside the cabin enjoying the warm springtime sunshine as she peered up into a tree at a squirrel chittering down at her.

The family was just waking up after rolling in late the night before and snuggling into a snug, comfy cabin at the Palace Campground just outside Galena, a historic and picturesque village along the banks of the Mississippi River in the northwest corner of the state. Ahead of us, we had days of fun in the Galena area outdoors, the spring warm-up having finally arrived.

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Taste Your Way Down Main Street

Part of the fun of shopping in Galena is taste-testing and discovering unique foods in the charming stores along Main Street. You could find a delicious artisan cheese from a small, local farm, a homemade candy that makes you say "Mmmm!" aloud when you take a bite or a wine that you fall in love with at first sip.

The Civil War-era brick buildings that house these food stores create an inviting, homey feel, and many have original or restored 19th-century design features, like tin ceilings or mahogany shelving.

Among the hundreds of foods sold along Galena's Main Street, here are a few new and popular items food lovers and cooks seek out.

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Trailblazers

Rolling green hills, quaint homes, a main street boasting historic red brick buildings and interesting shops… no, it's not a movie set. This idyllic place is Galena, Illinois, a small town that wins multiple awards every year (in 2017 Architectural Digest named it "Most Beautiful Mainstreet in America").

While main street Galena is well known among Illinois attractions, the town has another must-visit treasure: the Galena River Trail. Starting just five minutes from downtown at Depot Park, this six-mile crushed-stone path winds along the Galena River, treating visitors to stunning forests and views of the Galena River and Mississippi River backwaters.

The best part? The Galena River Trail offers outdoor activities for every season! So, no matter what time of year you vacation, you'll be raring to #GetToGalena.

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Weekend in Galena

The older I get the more I appreciate a weekend trip. When I was younger, if it wasn't a weeklong trip I wasn't interested in going. Now I definitely realize that I'd rather take several shorter trips vs. one or two long trips, and my weekend trip to Galena was no exception.

I took a midday flight out of Louisville, and by the time I was settling into my seat we had already begun our descent into Chicago. Once I landed, I was on the road to Galena just in time to beat most of rush hour traffic. I loaded up my latest audiobook and began the 2½ hour drive to Galena. Before I knew it I was driving through cornfields, past antique malls and rolling into the quaint downtown of the city. I felt right at home. Because truth be told, my hometown looks a lot like Galena.

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Whiskey & Wine

The perfect destination for any craft beer fan, wine lover, or appreciator of spirits, Galena Country is home to some of the top, award-winning wineries and vineyards in Illinois. Because of its unique geographic and topographic location in the lower portion of the Upper Mississippi River Valley, this area is an ideal spot to grow certain varieties of grapes. There are several wineries in Galena Country including the Fergedaboudit Vineyard and Winery, Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery, Massbach Ridge Winery and Rocky Waters Vineyard/Winery, Inc.

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Tie the Knot

Say Yes to Galena Country! Nestled among the rolling hills of Northwest Illinois, Galena Country offers a picturesque background paired with 19th-century charm and everything necessary for a dream wedding. +