Galena Country® blog

Galena Country Blog®

Galena Country Shopping Guide – Naughty List

Shopping for someone who’s been put on the naughty list? Check out this list of Galena Country favorites that are sure to carry what you’re looking for.

Head to Noty Kity and shop sexy lip balms, body lotions, lingerie, massage oils, accessories and more! Whatever your desires…, Noty Kity can get it! The staff is focused on providing the best and largest variety of products and the highest level of customer service and satisfaction.

Nothing says family gathering like a bottle of liquor from Blaum Bros Distilling Co. Visit the gift shop, pick up a comfy tee and some tasty spirits for that special scoundrel in your life. While there, check out the guided tour. This is not a standard 5-minute talk but, rather, a full sensory experience. Touch, taste and feel the ingredients that make Blaum Bros. spirits unique!

Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer? Pick up a few gift certificates from Miss Kitty’s Grape Escape. Throw in a bottle of Kouzabel wine as a delicious bonus. Enjoy a savory martini while you shop and don’t miss the outstanding appetizer selection and sinful desserts.

Does your special someone prefer money over gifts? Give them some cash to double at Nancy’s Slots, Silver Spoon Restaurant, Cajun Jack’s, Dillon’s HM Pizza & Tavern, or The Paradise Bar and Grill for the gaming machines! Who doesn’t like walking away with more cash?

Poopsie’s has everything that is ‘beyond the ordinary’… sure to suit those who make it to the naughty list. Find just the right gift to match their personality. Unique games, funny books, contemporary crafts, home accessories, one-of-a-kind art and so much more can be found in this fun store!

Does the naughty list qualifier have a potty mouth? Galena Canning Company has just the gift for them… Chef Ivo’s locally made hot sauces! Sample the old-fashioned jams, jellies, salsa, BBQ sauces and more while you’re there!

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,’ where guests can comfortably smoke outdoors and chill indoors, complete with snacks! Enjoy this new feature in early 2020.

Let’s hope that next year, ‘they’ll be good… for goodness sake!’ For more shopping and ideas, check out the digital visitor’s guide.

Dining out during the Holidays in Galena Country

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and in Galena Country, the season is celebrated with Luminaria and Living Windows, Fireworks, Christmas walks, and gift shopping on beautifully decorated Main Street in Galena. Traveling during the holidays has its perks, you can skip hours of labor in the kitchen and someone else can do the dishes. Here is a quick guide of restaurants that are open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day:

Christmas Eve 

Almost Paradise Bar & Grill: 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Chestnut Mountain Resort: Breakfast 8-11 a.m. Summit Bar 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Culver’s: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Green Street Tavern at DeSoto House Hotel: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Dillon’s Pizza & Tavern: 6 a.m-1 a.m.
Durty Gurt’s Burger Joynt: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Gobbie’s Sports Pub & Eatery: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Market House Restaurant: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
McDonald’s: 5:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Paisano’s at Eagle Ridge: 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. (Pizza Only)
Subway: 7 a.m.-6p.m.
The Grape Escape: 2 p.m-1 a.m
Victory Café: 6 a.m.-2 p.m.
Woodlands at Eagle Ridge Resort: Breakfast 7-11 a.m. Lounge 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Christmas Day

Almost Paradise Bar & Grill: 11 a.m.-1 a.m.
Chestnut Mountain Resort: Breakfast 8-11 a.m. Summit Bar 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Little Tokyo: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
The Grape Escape: 2 p.m-1 a.m
Woodlands at Eagle Ridge Resort: Breakfast 7-11 a.m. Lounge 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Dig in, and enjoy the holidays in Galena Country! Check out the events calendar and browse the visitors guide for ideas on what to do and see!

5 ways to experience winter in Galena Country

History, outdoor adventure, shopping, and magical holiday events await! Whether you want to zoom across the landscape on a pair of skis or cozy up by the fireplace with a glass of locally-made wine, Galena Country is loaded with a wonderland of happenings.

Cozy Lodging

Named as the B&B Capital of the Midwest by Chicago Tribune, Galena Country offers a variety of warm and intimate places to stay. Check in to a storied bed & breakfast such as Abe’s Spring Street Guesthouse, or the conveniently located Main Street Inn. The Inn at Felt Manor is perched on the hillside, offering a bird’s eye view of the city. Discover more than 30 B&Bs and Inns that showcase their own style of historic charm, indulgent breakfast, and personalized experience.

A Warm Drink in One Hand, A Shopping Bag in the Other

Galena’s Historic Main Street is the place to find unique items while savoring a hot cuppa joe. Taste the delicious flavors of cocoa and coffee drinks from Kaladi’s Coffee Bar, or try Big Bill’s Sandwich and Coffee Shop and Mean Bean Roasters for something locally roasted. Stroll the historic district and explore a plethora of local boutiques, eateries, galleries, and attractions. With more than 125 independently owned businesses to choose from, you’re sure to find a must-have, one-of-a-kind treasure!

Outdoor Adventures

Whether Mother Nature sprinkles the landscape with snow or showcases it’s natural form, there’s plenty of adventure to be had! With 20 unique parks and trails, it’s easy to unplug and reconnect with nature! Plan a snow day and take the whole family to the Nordic Center at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa for cross country skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing, and sledding. For downhill skiing and snowboarding, check out Chestnut Mountain Resort, featuring a 475-foot vertical drop, delectable dining, and priceless views.

Tastings and Toastings

Regardless of the weather, wine and spirits are always tasty! Massbach Ridge Winery and Galena Cellars both have tasting rooms conveniently located on Main Street and are open year-round. Check out Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. where you can take a tour of the distillery, enjoy a cocktail and re-stock the liquor cabinet, all in one location! Craft beer lovers, you’ll be happy to know that Galena Country is home to two breweries, Galena Brewing Co. and Pecatonica Beer Co. Tap House. Cheers!

Special Events and Activities

Turn experiences into traditions with the magic and wonder of wintertime in Galena Country. One of the most romantic times of the year, December is home to, holiday concerts, fireworks, enchanting celebrations, luminaria, and more! Return after the hustle and bustle of the holidays to relax and recharge on a romantic getaway!

Take the first step by booking your stay and browsing the visitor’s guide.

8 Luxury Stays in Galena Country

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 8 accommodation properties in Galena Country that offer luxury in their own unique ways.

Credit: Jail Hill Inn

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.

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.

The magic and wonder of Galena’s Living Windows

The merriment of the holidays is just around the corner! While there are many events to experience in Galena Country, there’s nothing more magical than the Night of the Luminaria and Living Windows. A family-friendly, yet romantic evening in the heart of Galena’s historic district. Showcasing a captivating glow of the candle-lit town and the magic of the holidays, with a touch of shopping – this enchanting weekend has something for everyone! Be sure to check out these businesses who’s windows come to life with wintery-holiday revelry.

 

Book your stay today! Click here to vote on your favorite storefront and be sure to #GalenaCountry!

Stargazing in Galena Country

Escape to the countryside to experience the night sky as you’ve never seen it before — it’s nature’s free light show! Explore all of the awesome stargazing opportunities in Galena Country from watching meteors on the Mound to sleeping under the stars. 

Picture Perfect Parks

A stroll under the night sky is one of the best shows that nature has to offer. Plan a romantic walk through Grant Park or watch the sunset while perched along the bluffs of the Mighty Mississippi at Gramercy Park. One thing about Galena Country, is that you’re never too far from one of twenty parks and trails that offer an incredible opportunity for a snuggle and a sunset. 

Nighttime Events and Programs

Interested in learning more about astronomy or having a unique and fun experience under the stars? The Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation hosts annual events for all ages of night sky enthusiasts. While Galena Country hosts many not-to-miss events, these are recommended for those who may want to experience the warm glow of a sunset, followed by a gorgeous night sky: Meteors on the Mound, Bonfire on the Bluff, Great Galena Balloon Race, Galena’s Halloween Parade & Festival, Holiday Fire in the Sky, and Night of the Luminaria and Living Windows.

Celestial Camping Experiences

Sleeping beneath the night sky offers a memory-making experience for the whole family! There’s nothing like the crisp evening air filled with laughter paired with marshmallows around a cozy campfire. Pitch a tent at one of Galena Country’s campgrounds for a starry getaway just minutes from downtown! Travel tip: pack a star chart to assist in finding constellations, star, and moon phases. 

Rural Lodging

Want to sleep under the stars in the comfort of the indoors? Galena Country is loaded with lodging options that showcase amazing astronomical views. Consider booking a stay at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, Chestnut Mountain Resort, Inn at Irish Hollow, Hawk Valley Retreat & Cottages, or a vacation rental amidst a wooded wonderland. 

Scenic Drive Ideas

Take a romantic scenic drive to one of four vineyards, soak up the views at the scenic overlook, or take a leisurely walk along Galena’s Historic Main Street after a savory meal. One thing is for sure, no matter the time of day – there’s no shortage of beautiful views in #GalenaCountry!

Book your stay and let the exploring begin with a browse through the digital visitor’s guide. 

Shopping for Foodies in Galena Country

Credit: @adventurebrent

Everyone has a few foodies in their lives and Galena Country is just the place to find them that perfect Christmas gift… from treats and gourmet foods to the best kitchen accessories and gadgets, guaranteed to inspire anyone to get into the kitchen.

Here’s a guide on where to find your foodie gifts:

Chocolat’ 229
Find the ideal gift of sweet indulgence right here. Featuring an exceptional collection of European chocolates imported from Belgium, France, Germany, and Switzerland.

Galena Canning Co.
Choose from award-winning Chef Ivo’s locally made old-fashioned jams, jellies, salsa, BBQ sauces, Hot Sauce Emporium and more! There are samples galore for you to test, gift baskets to choose from and custom gift crates.

Galena Garlic
What foodie doesn’t love garlic! Naturally grown gourmet garlic, gourmet chef blends, rubs, aged balsamic, and the world’s freshest olive oil. Create your own gift basket to suit any need or taste.

Galena’s Kandy Kitchen
Here you’ll find a wide variety of homemade confections made the old-fashioned way on site. You’ll find every kind of candy you can think of.

Galena River Wine & Cheese
Give the gift of gourmet foods from this extensive selection of wines, beers, cheeses, sausages, pates, coffees, specialty foods. Free olive oil/balsamic vinegar tasting.

Galena Roasters
Offering signature blend, limited release, and single-origin coffee beans. Available to purchase at The Grateful Gourmet or online.

Grateful Gourmet
A cook’s paradise! This specialty food & kitchenware store features bakeware, cookware, specialty foods, and locally roasted coffee. All kinds of kitchen gadgets, some necessary, some just fun!

Great American Popcorn Co.
Your foodie will love you for this! More than 50 gourmet popcorn flavors made on premises. You will also find a variety of homemade gourmet popcorn flavors, fudge, ice cream, chocolates & candies!

Mean Bean Coffee Roasters
Get them a caffeine fix and customize it too! This in-house coffee roaster creates custom blends and allows you to name it. How cool!

Pasta Perfetta
Oodles of noodles! Find loads of different flavors and shapes of pasta from around the world in this store. A wide variety of shapes and many specialty noodles. Several gluten-free and vegan options too.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
Sweeten your foodie up with a wide variety of fudge and chocolate made on site! Watch delicious treats being made on the spot. Famous for giant chocolate chip cookies dipped in chocolate. Yum!

Root Beer Revelry
Grab a selection of imported root beer from all over the nation. This old-fashioned root beer shop serves this historic beverage in bottles and on tap, so treat yourself at the same time!

Spice & Tea Merchants
Spice up their lives with this great variety of quality herbs and spices! Spice merchants comb the world for the freshest and highest quality spices available. A bonus is a large selection of delicious teas.

Sweet Alice’s
Grab a bag of gummy candies, licorice, wax bottles and more at this delightful candy store with an Alice in Wonderland theme to it. The professionally made and designed chocolates from their kitchen is sure to be a hit!

For the ultimate foodie experience, give the gift of a delicious meal with a gift certificate from one of Galena Country’s dining establishments. From cozy bistros to fine dining restaurants, you are sure to find just the right fit.

Find some great ideas on places to see and things to do in Galena County by browsing the official travel guide. To book your accommodation, choose from a wide variety here.

Galena Country Shopping Guide: Gifts for Men

Men can be the hardest people to shop for, especially when it feels like you’re gifting the same thing year after year. Luckily, Galena Country makes finding unique holiday gifts a breeze! From one-of-a-kind treasures to unique experiences, you’re bound to find the perfect treasure!

Antiques and Awesome Finds
Rich in history and vintage treasures, Galena Country is loaded with antiques and collectibles awaiting a new home! History buffs will love the experience at U.S. Grant State Historic Site, The Old Blacksmith Shop, Dowling House, and more! Explore yesteryear at these following establishments:

For the Foodie
Salsa, hot sauce, dips, jams, and jellies make for tasty stocking stuffers! Don’t stop there, explore all of the foodie-lover boutiques featuring culinary treasures.

Quench his Thirst
Stock his bar with locally made wine, beer, and spirits! Purchase tickets or book a tour at a vineyard, brewery, or the distillery. Have you considered booking a tour to explore the ‘other’ kind of spirits? Start shopping here:

Adventure Enthusiast
Experiences are always a memorable gift idea, especially if you join in! Glide through the air at speeds of up to 40 mph on a zip line, paddle down the Galena River or speed down the Alpine Slide overlooking the mighty Mississippi. Home to twenty parks and trails, it’s easy to unplug and reconnect with nature. Make a weekend of it, filled with unforgettable memories! Start with these adventure-focused locations:


Spruce up his wardrobe

Everyone deserves to feel great! Keep him looking sharp with new apparel and man-scaping products from these boutiques:

Made in Galena Country
Surrounded in such beauty, it’s no wonder that the area is loaded with talented artists. Start with these talented makers to find the perfect gift for your art-lover:

The fun never ends!
Looking for something for the pet lover? The prankster? Yummy treats? Have fun treasure-hunting at these unique boutiques:

Plan a shopping trip or surprise getaway by booking your stay and exploring via the digital visitor’s guide.

Top places to pop the question in Galena Country

© 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, Fritz and Frites Bistro, or One Eleven Main. For dinner with a view, check out Woodlands at Eagle Ridge Resort and 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.

Whatever the location, make it meaningful, personal, and don’t forget to #GalenaCountry! Begin planning the next chapter by booking your stay and checking out the digital visitor’s guide. 

Shop Small Weekend in Galena Country

Shopping Small is a Big Deal!

Shop Small Weekend, Nov. 29-30 is the annual holiday shopping tradition that gets communities out to support independently-owned businesses. Galena Country retailers are pulling out all the stops to create fun shopper experiences, special deals, promotions, and demonstrations to celebrate!

Fri., Nov. 29 – Friday Night Lights

Galena: 

On Friday, businesses will be offering extended shopping hours so that you have extra time to take advantage of great deals!

Stockton:

Stella’s Cafe & Catering will host a pop-up dinner starting at 4 p.m. Call 815.947.2080 for reservations. Enjoy the Living Windows -Christmas themed displays in Stockton from 4-6 p.m including a parade at 6 p.m while shopping for unique finds. Don’t miss the Christmas tree lighting on Highway 20 at 6:45 p.m.

The following stores will be open late on Friday night: 

Sat., Nov. 30 – Small Business Saturday

Enjoy a day packed with local specials, promotions, activities, and giveaways throughout Galena Country. Make time to welcome ‘Santa’ as he rides through town during Galena’s Holiday kick-Off event and stay for the Christmas tree lighting! Don’t forget to refuel at one of the many restaurants along the way!

The following businesses will be offering specials, giveaways, and activities of all kinds over the weekend:

Find even more shopportunities here.

While Galena Country is a shoppers paradise, it has much more to offer! Check out other things to do and see by browsing the online travel guide, and don’t forget to book your accommodation in advance!