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Local Love in Galena Country

It's true. We can't change this unprecedented time, but if we spend it right, it can change us. In Galena Country, we know the importance of taking time for the things that matter most. It's what unites us all. As locals, we know that what has inspired people to visit Galena Country for generations has always been our own little paradise. While not everything is open as usualthere are other inspiring alternatives available. Possibilities that allow us to come together as a community and support each other as well as enjoy our surroundings while keeping our distance.  

Fresh Air & Healing Nature

Even with social distancing measures in place, you can still be responsibly active outdoors. Spend time enjoying conservation areas, hiking trails, and parks that aren't busy. Take-in stunning views of Galena Country from Horseshoe Mound Preserve, while you walk the trails. Grab your pup and head down the Galena River Trail to the Buehler Preserve where you can stretch your legs and play fetch. Pack your binoculars for a morning birding expedition to the Valley of Eden Bird Sanctuary. Enjoy a trek in the prairie at the Wapello Reserve or learn about native trees on an exciting self-guided tour at Schurmeier Teaching Forest. Take in majestic views of the Mighty Mississippi River at Casper Bluff or at Gramercy Park ... just stop and stare for a while. Our area has just what you need to recharge your soul! Otherwise, join the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation on Facebook for their nature-related, educational Facebook Live events from the comfort of your home.

Scenic Drives

Galena Country boasts breathtaking scenery year-round. This is a perfect time to play "I spy" as you drive through the countryside interspersed with neat farmsteads and hilly terrain dotted with cows. Long Hollow Scenic Overlook offers breathtaking views of the rolling countryside… a sight for sore eyes! Don’t miss this opportunity for a great selfie or family photo! For a longer drive on a road steeped in history, cruise onto the Historic Stagecoach Trail from Meeker Street in Galena. This gently curving and hilly two-lane road was established in the mid-1830s serving as the original stagecoach route between Galena and Chicago. Grab a deli-sandwich from Pat's Country House Grocery in Scales Mound, and a healthy shake from Thriving Thistle Market in Apple River, along the way!

History Lessons

Now is a great time to immerse yourself in the history of this amazing community we call home! Galena Country is loaded with stories of yesteryear, making it a cultural cornerstone where past meets present. Visit the Galena & U.S. Grant Museum website, where you will find interesting facts about the nine generals who called Galena home, learn about the railroad connections and more! Discover the strong ties that Ulysses S. Grant history has to Galena with this fun interactive timeline. Stretch your legs and take a stroll through historic Grant Park where you'll find the “Blakely of Grant Park,” which is the cannon that fired some of the first shots in the Battle of Fort Sumter and the “Napoleon,” commonly used in the Civil War. Perfect for a stroll and a book, Grant Park offers some of the best views in Galena Country! There’s, even more to this historically amazing destination! From the origins of Kraft Cheese to one of the earliest African-American churches in Illinois. Be sure to check out these historic sites once they are open again!

Shopping

Shop Galena's Historic Main Street! With more than 125 independently-owned businesses, offering everything from crafts to vintage clothing to fine chocolates, this shopping excursion is sure to keep you warm. The purchase you make for yourself or a loved one at one of these specialty shops will be something you’ll find nowhere else. The towns of Elizabeth and Stockton offer even more boutique stores to pique your interest. Visit Sweet Alice's for some sweet treats, Nature's Treasures for new home or garden decor, or how about Elizabeth's Grand Antique Mall for that unique treasure! Fuel up on some cozy drinks between stores.

Many stores are also offering curbside collection and should you wish to have their exciting goods delivered to your home instead, check out the online stores listed in the Experience Galena Country from Home blog

Gift Certificates

Are you looking for a unique gift for someone special in your life? Knock their socks off with a gift certificate for a journey in the sky with Galena on the Fly or a flight through the trees with Long Hollow Canopy Tours. How about a night or two at a cozy B&B or at a luxury resort? A romantic dinner for two at a fine dining restaurant will always be appreciated and a winery, brewery, or distillery tour is a really fun experience to gift someone. Purchasing a gift card from your favorite shop, artist or restaurant is an immediate way to put cash into the business.

Restaurant Curbside Pick up & Delivery

Keep calm and carryout! Many restaurants in the area are offering convenient curbside pick-up, drive-thru service or delivery to your home. This is a great way to experience the different flavors of Galena Country at the same time as supporting local restauranteurs at this difficult time. For a full list of offerings, visit Galena's Dining at a Distance page. But wait, that's not all, you can pick up your favorite beverage too! Excited much? These fine establishments are waiting for your call:

Spread the Local Love

Galena Country is known for its strong sense of community and pride in our area. Many of us may not be in the financial position to support local small businesses monetarily, but we can spread their awareness within our community. This can be done by word of mouth, sharing on social media platforms or leaving positive reviews on Google, Yelp etc. 

Please 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.