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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.


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.

Social Distance in Style with your Family in Galena Country

Posted on February 4, 2021 by Kirsten Bell

Image Credit: @happyrobertii

Whether it's walking with frolicking goats, racing down a snowy hill on a sled, or making your own scented candles for the home, Galena Country offers up safe and fun activities to put smiles on every face in your family. Book your cozy lodging and come hungry (and thirsty!) because you’ll be spoiled for choice, thanks to a wide variety of restaurants in Galena Country! 

Fresh Air Fun

Shenandoah Riding Center offers scenic trails surrounded by tranquil beauty for the perfect family horseback ride or horse-drawn wagon ride! From seasoned equestrians to beginning horse enthusiasts of all ages, there is something for everyone! New to Shenandoah is Orb Soccer, which is essentially playing soccer in a hamster ball and so much fun to watch. It's safe, fun, and a must-try!

Experience the pure joy of frolicking goats walking beside you as you hike through native prairie and forest at Hoof-It Goat Treks. The goats play and entertain you along the way! Private treks are also available. Speaking of goats, destress as a family with a 45 min yoga session at Galena Goat Yoga followed by 45 minutes of goat play.

For the family that loves to ski and snowboard, this one’s for you! Chestnut Mountain Resort’s slopes are meant for all levels of skiers and boarders to enjoy. The 475-foot vertical drop meanders 3,500 feet through 19 runs, ranging from novice to black diamond, and it all overlooks exquisite views of the Mighty Mississippi River. 475 feet seems pretty steep, but don’t worry, they’ve got two quad chairs, four triple chairs, two conveyor lifts, and one surface lift to get you back up to the top!

The Nordic Center, located at the Highlands Complex at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, features exciting winter activities to keep you entertained! Grab a sled and race down the hill or try your hand at snowshoeing! Skate like no one's watching on the ice-skating rink and warm up at the fire pit to keep you going! Equipment is available to rent from the Nordic Shop. If you miss the golf course, enjoy a round on the TrackMan Golf Simulator and feel like the seasons never changed!

Travel Back in Time

To say that Galena Country is 'rich in history' is an understatement. In fact, even the scenic routes to Galena Country are historic. Make an educational stop at the Galena & U.S. Grant Museum to explore to meet the spirit of Ulysses Grant in a hologram welcoming you to the museum. Find true national treasures, such as the “Peace in Union” and “General Grant on the Battlefield” paintings as well as the flag from the Vicksburg Siege! Spice up your museum visit by going on a scavenger hunt. Several age-appropriate hunts are available.

For an authentic experience that never disappoints, book a tour of the Ulysses S. Grant Home, an appreciation gift to U.S Grant in 1865 that is frozen in time and features original furnishings. Tours are kept to a minimum size for social distancing and reservations are required.

For the home

For perfect take-home items and family bonding experience, sit down together as a family at the Scent Workshop and make your own signature scent candles for your home. Learn French perfuming techniques to create custom perfumes, candles, and more in a fun and relaxing setting. Take a piece of Galena Country home with you! Find functional handmade pottery, paintings, baskets, stained glass, jewelry and more at Hello Galena! All items are made right here in Galena Country by local artists and artisans.

Wow the kids

While Galena Country boasts a destination filled with unique and independently owned stores, there are a few that your kids will go crazy for! Poopsie's 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 more.

Gabby's Gifts features a wide variety of games, educational toys, outdoor fun, stuffed toys, bath and body products and lots of cool items to keep the adults busy too!

Galena Kids Store and Learning Center is an educational toy, game and puzzle store for both children and parents.Personal shopping appointments are also available at these stores. For the trendy teens in your life, we’ve curated a list of places just for them!

Before you leave

Before you leave Galena Country, make sure you strike a pose as a family in front of Stockton’s beautiful murals for the perfect Insta shots! While there, pop into Sweet Alice’s to stock up on delicious candy for the road trip back home! The Berkeley’s, Traighton’s Truffles, and Kylie’s Caramels are a favorite of many. Take note of the cute Alice in Wonderland theme, the kids will love it. 

In Galena Country, we've always been known to have a good time... times may change, but that never will. For more fun ideas on ways to entertain the family, check out the Galena Country Visitors Guide and start building on those family memories!

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.

Unique finds for your Valentine in Galena Country

Posted on January 13, 2021 by Kirsten Bell

Image Credit: Orange Anchor Photography

The day of love and romance is almost upon us! Step aside teddy bears and chocolates; instead, sweep your soul mate off their feet with these unique finds from Galena Country, where romance thrives! 

Sensual Scents 

Imagine how romantic it would be for you to hand your sweetheart a bottle of perfume or scented candle that you made yourself? Make this a reality at the Scent Workshop, where you will learn French Perfuming techniques. Noty Kity stocks sexy lip balms, body lotions, massage oils, accessories, and more! Galena Apothecary not only offers a wide assortment of beautifully scented candles and natural beauty products, but they also sell circa 1850 salvaged wood boxes and trays, jewelry, books, and paper goods. For locally handmade soap, Beautifully Berkeley Botanical Bars are a treat for the skin! 

Made with local love    

A gift carefully handcrafted by local artisans holds value beyond the price tag! Galena Spoon Co. offers a wide selection of both new and vintage hand-carved wooden items. Choose from spoons, handcrafted kitchen boards, hand-turned bowls, and more to impress your loved one!

For exquisitely sculpted animals, roses, and even pens, visit Marie's Wood Carvings, where each artisanal piece has been hand-carved and finished with intricate detail. Now is your chance to give roses that last a lifetime. Find contemporary functional designs at Eshelman Pottery, showcasing stoneware that features glazed and unglazed surfaces for visual and tactile contrast.

Choose a bottle of local award-winning wine from FergedabouditGalena CellarsMassbach Ridge, and Rocky Waters, or grab one bottle from each! If your better half is more of a beer connoisseur, grab a growler of their favorite local brew from the Highway 20 Brewing CompanyPecatonica Beer Co. Tap House, or Galena Brewing Company. Cocktail kits are available from Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. and bottles of their premium whiskey, vodka, and gin. Of course, nothing shouts romance quite like a bottle of bubbly from Champagne on Main

For the love of leaves   

Nine Generals Cigar Shop curates the best selection of cigars for every palate, specializing in handpicked unusual choices to tease the taste buds of new and seasoned cigar smokers! They also carry a variety of men's shaving & grooming items for your bearded fella! 

For all things Hemp Botanicanna Herbal Hemp Co. and Sulcanna Hemp Cooperative carry extensive hemp products, including CBD and full-spectrum hemp. Find edibles, hemp seed, oil drops, topicals, and hemp-infused massage oils. 

For your cannabis lover, you may also consider a gift certificate to the Aldrich Guest House, Galena's first and only cannabis-friendly lodging. As a guest, you have access to their 'Potting Shed,' complete with snacks!

Quality Time  

If you really want to impress your sweetheart, give them the gift of quality time together in Galena Country! Book a romantic weekend escape or a day trip – just the two of you! Include the following unique experiences in your itinerary or give a gift card to use at a later stage. 

Float on cloud nine with your love in a hot air balloon ride with Galena on the Fly! Glide peacefully above the rolling landscapes of Galena Country, ending with a champagne toast and chocolates! Hike through beautiful native prairie and forest with some entertaining four-legged companions at Hoof It Goat Treks.

Does your partner have a love affair with coffee? Book a Coffee Cupping Experience with Galena Roasters, where the roaster will guide you through a sensory exploration of three delicious single-origin coffees. You will also walk away with coffee samples to take home. For more bucket list ideas, click here

Could this Valentine's Day be the day that you pop the question? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink! We also happen to know of an incredible wedding destination

In Galena Country, we've never been anything other than ourselves, and that's truer than ever today. Learn more about what this romantic destination has to offer by browsing the Digital Visitors Guide and you can even enjoy it as a couple from the comfort of your own home.

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.

Social Distance in Style with your Sweetheart in Galena Country

Posted on December 30, 2020 by Kirsten Bell

Image credit: Orange Anchor Photography

Don't let the frigid temperatures, chapped lips, and social distancing put a damper on your romance! In Galena Country you may need to keep your distance from others but we're here to help with some safe but still fun activities to bring you and your sweetheart closer together. 

Play in the snow

A little fresh air might be just what you need after being cooped up! With all of the fun outdoor activities that The Nordic Center at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa has to offer, you will soon forget the cold! Together, you can practice your triple axel on the ice-skating rink or take wobbly laps while holding on to each other for dear life. Build a snowman, make snow angels and a snow fight is a must! Have a snowshoe race or grab a sled and take the plunge down the hill together. Belly laughs are guaranteed and snuggle-time around the firepit is the prize at the end of the day!  

Walk hand in hand 

Hang out with the cool ’kids’ at Hoof It Goat Treks! While walking through a wooded winter wonderland, cute goats full of character will keep you company and play around you - watch out, they don’t stop for anyone! Make sure that you get a goat selfie to remember this unique experience. Check the online events calendar to see if your visit coincides with the Luminaria Night Hike at Casper Bluff Land and Water Reserve. On this romantic hike, you will follow the warm glow of beautiful luminarias as they lead the way through the reserve. Take a self-guided Historic Walking Tour of Galena where you can take in the sights and sounds of the city while learning all about its rich history. Pop into a few of Galena's truly unique stores along the way! 

Explore magic & mystery

P.T. Murphy Magic Theatre entertains, mystifies, and inspires! P.T now brings the magic to your living room or vacation rental via his online performance! Witness new interactive mysteries and the magic will happen up close as well as in your own hands.

For something different, take part in an online psychic reading session with Psychic Medium Chris McBrien, with the emphasis being on detailed tarot reading with Psychometry and Spirit Mediumship. 

Enjoy romantic dining at a distance

Enjoy an upscale candlelit and safe dinner with your sweetheart in a private room at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa. Choose from a complete dining menu, full wine list, and drinks menu. Relax in a warm and safe atmosphere where service is just a call away!    

If you’re staying in a cozy vacation rental with a full kitchen, staying-in can be just as fun as going out! Pick up a Date Night Grill Box from Log Cabin Steakhouse which includes a bottle of wine or whip up a meal together using ingredients from these local foody stores (online shopping available): Grateful Gourmet, Galena Spoon Co., Galena Canning Company, Galena Garlic Company, Pasta Perfetta, Galena River Wine and Cheese and Spice & Tea Merchants. Snuggle up in front of the fire with a decadent dessert or hop into the hot tub with a glass of bubbly after dinner!

If not a lot of cooking gets done (no judgment here)... there is always curbside pickup! The Galena Brewing Company offers a unique drive-thru pickup service for beer and food. Just call to place your order and then drive through their garage to pick it up, no need to even leave your car!

Pick up a cocktail kit from Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. or a Quarantine Party Pack from the Grape Escape Cocktail Bar. While you’re out and about, you may as well treat yourselves to a freshly brewed coffee from Trolley Depot Coffee & Tea Co. Order online and it will be ready for you when you get there - no waiting in line! 

In Galena Country, we know the importance of taking the time for the things that matter most. We've always been known to have a good time... times may change, but that never will. Browse the lastest visitors guide for even more ideas for your romantic winter escape!

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