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Enjoy a picnic in Galena Country

As the weather invites us outside with its blue skies and fresh breeze coupled with blossoming blooms and cheerful bird chirps, it’s hard to resist the urge to picnic! With social distancing in place, it’s an ideal way to dine safely with your family.

Credit: @lindseytaylorphotography

Sit in the sun or the shade of a mossy tree, take your shoes off and lie back in the cool grass, all while enjoying delicious treats and the company of loved ones while chasing a flying napkin or two. Speaking of chasing things… your fur baby would love a new frisbee from New Earth Animals to enjoy at the picnic!

What’s in the basket?

Part of the adventure is the unveiling of what has been packed in the basket! Let’s take a peek at the deliciousness that awaits:

A selection of gourmet cheeses, sausages, and pâtés from Galena River Wine and Cheese, freshly baked bread and pastries from Tammy’s Piggly Wiggly and delicious sandwich meat from Pat’s Country House Grocery. Digging a little deeper, we have tasty dips and spreadables from Galena Canning Co. and the Grateful Gourmet Co., as well as yummy gourmet popcorn from the Great American Popcorn Co. Oh, what’s this we have here… some chocolate covered strawberries from Galena’s Kandy Kitchen for dessert. Yum!

What’s in the cooler bag?

No picnic is complete without a refreshing beverage! Pack a bottle of wine from one of Galena Country’s award-winning wineries or a growler of flavorful locally brewed beer! Looking for something a little different? Substitute the wine and beer with a cocktail kit from Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. or from Miss Kitty’s Grape Escape for the perfect sundowner! Cheers!

Great spots to lay down your picnic blanket

Casper Bluff

Not only does this preserve boast some of the most commanding views of the Mississippi River and its backwater sloughs but the site also contains Native American mounds which were created centuries prior by local natives of the land. The most fascinating mound being the Thunderbird Effigy Mound, the only one known of its kind in Illinois.

Gramercy Park

Located on the bluff in East Dubuque overlooking the Mississippi River, this 10-acre city park is an Illinois Natural Heritage Landmark. It is home to 26 ceremonial and burial mounds from the Hopewell Native American Culture.

Grant Park

Pack a bottle of bubbles for the kids from Gabby’s Gifts or Poopsie’s online stores and enjoy a picnic in this historic and scenic park! Take in the stunning views of the city of Galena, watch the trains go by and check out the historic cannons and monuments. It’s selfie time with U.S Grant!

Horseshoe Mound

This 40-acre preserve offers one of the most scenic outlooks in Galena Country! The breathtaking views stretch across three states. Take a closer look through the viewing scopes! After your picnic, enjoy the hiking trails that extend throughout the preserve.

Wapello Land and Water Reserve

Based on its significance as a meshing point of two Native American cultures, this 79-acre site south of Hanover, was accepted into the National Register of Historic Places. It now boasts one of the premier prairie restorations in the Midwest.

It’s true. You can’t change time. But if you spend it right, it can change you. Make the most of your time with a perfect picnic, making memories…where one good story always leads to another!

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 most attractions, non-essential stores, and bars are temporarily closed to the public, there 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. While playground equipment is temporarily closed, your kids will appreciate the change in scenery and a fun walk or bike ride each day is a great outlet for them. 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!

Online Shopping & Services

We may not be able to browse the stores like we used to, but we can show some love to the small business retailers in our neighborhood by shopping their online stores listed below. Many stores are now also offering curbside collection. Contact them for a personal shopping experience via video chat or phone call.

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 or delivery service 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:


Grocery Supplies

When you go out to grab your supplies, keep the small local businesses in mind, they may just have what you’re looking for whereas bigger chain stores run out of stock sooner.

Galena Brewing Co.: Open 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Tue.-Fri. & Sat. Noon-7 p.m.
Hermanos Latinos II Mexican Store: 245 N. Main St., Galena. Open Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. & Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
La Unica Mexicana Grocery Store: 218 N. Commerce St., Galena. Open 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. daily
Pat’s Country House Grocery
Sullivans Foods: Open 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily
Tammy’s Piggly Wiggly: Open 8 a.m.-7 p.m. daily
Walmart, Galena: Open 7 a.m.-8:30 p.m. daily

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
  • leaving positive reviews on Google, Yelp and social media

Stay Connected

Sand Prairie, has opened its Wi-Fi hotspots for free and added new locations to help make sure everyone stays connected! These “parking lot” hotspots are available to anyone who needs them, whether downloading and uploading schoolwork and assignments, connecting with coworkers while working from home or staying in touch with family and friends. You’ll find our hotspots in these locations:

Elizabeth

  • Village of Elizabeth Public Parking Lot – next to the Apple River Fort Welcome Center
  • Elizabeth Community Building/Terrapin Park

Galena

  • Grant Park
  • Downtown Galena

East Dubuque

  • Downtown East Dubuque
We will get through this together!

Please follow the important Galena Country information and updates on the COVID-19 situation, follow recommendations, restrictions and stay safe!

Experience Galena Country From Home

So, you’re following the recommendation of social distancing and you’re at home wishing you were on vacation in Galena Country. We get it! Never fear, there are ways for you to enjoy this destination right from the comfort of your home or if you’re close by, you can still enjoy it while keeping your distance.

Online Shopping

Have Galena Country delivered doorstep! Here is a list of businesses offering exciting online shopping for your convenience! Start filling those carts…


Gift Certificates

Are you looking for a unique gift for someone special in your life? Just a few ideas include… 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. Contact your favorite business in Galena Country to find out how you can purchase a gift certificate from them.

Curbside Pick up & Delivery

Are you driving through Galena Country? Take advantage of the convenient curbside pick-up or delivery service that many restaurants are offering during this 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:


Online Vacation Planning

A vacation may seem a little far-fetched right now but once you break free from the restrictions, you will be bursting for a well-deserved escape to Galena Country. While you have the time, let the planning begin. We’ve got you covered with heaps of digital information to inspire you! Check out the following links and get that itinerary going:

Fresh Air & Healing Nature

If you are close-by and need to escape the four walls, Galena Country has just what you need to recharge your soul! Take the kids to Horseshoe Mound Preserve for stunning views and experience the children’s adventure found there. Grab your pup and head down the Galena River Trail to the Buehler Preserve where you can both stretch your legs. Pack your binoculars for a morning birding expedition to the Valley of Eden Bird Sanctuary. Enjoy a picnic 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. Otherwise, join the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation on Facebook for their nature-related, educational Facebook Live events from the comfort of your home.

Horseshoe Mound Preserve

Please follow the important Galena Country information and updates on the COVID-19 situation, follow recommendations, restrictions and stay safe!

7 Hidden History Lessons of Galena Country

Galena Country is known for it’s well-preserved, 19th-century architecture and Ulysses S. Grant history, but there’s even more to discover in this historically amazing destination! From the origins of Kraft Cheese to one of the earliest African-American churches in Illinois, Galena Country is loaded with stories of yesteryear, making it a cultural cornerstone where past meets present. 

The Blackhawk War of 1832
In 1832, a faulty treaty caused a 15-week war between American settlers and Native Americans led by the Sauk warrior Black Hawk. Today, remains of the conflict are ingrained in the rich history of Galena Country. Explore the Apple River Fort State Historic Site, to learn more about the intense battle that took place there, interact with re-enactors, and discover how the town of Elizabeth was given it’s name. Stop at E-town Coffee Co. or Three Sisters Sweet Shoppe to fuel up for the next venture!

Cannons in Grant Park
Stroll the park and study the extraordinary cannons and monuments that overlook the Galena River in Grant Park. Take a look at the “Blakely of Grant Park,” which fired some of the first shots in the Battle of Fort Sumter and the “Napoleon,” commonly used in the Civil War. Perfect for a picnic and a book, Grant Park offers some of the best views in Galena Country! Interested in seeing cannon in action? Visit during Grant’s Homefront Civil War Re-enactment or Galena’s 4th of the July celebrations, you’ll know it when you hear it!

Galena’s Nine Generals
Did you know? Galena is the only location in the United States that was home to not one, but nine Civil War generals? That’s right, including Grant himself! All nine generals left an important impact on the town that can still be discovered in buildings, street names, and local history. Consider booking a stay at the Augustus Chetlain Home and Log Cabin Guest Houses, and visit the First United Methodist Church built by General John Corson Smith. You can even sit in the pew that the Grant Family sat in. When exploring downtown, take note of the unique architecture currently occupied by the United States Post Office. Once a Customs House, this unique building was designed and built by Native American General, Ely S. Parker. A great photo-op, this piece of history is the second-oldest continuously operating postal facility in the United States!

Lead Mining and the Driftless Area
The unique geography and lead mining history of Galena Country has had an impact on almost everything in the area from the distinct red “Galena brick” buildings to the size of the Galena River. At one time, this bustling lead mining city was larger than Chicago. Check out a real lead mine, learn about how glaciers shaped the region during the Ice Age, and discover how Galena Country came to be at the Galena and U.S. Grant Museum!

Travel Tip: Explore Galena via Trolley Tour! Sit back, relax, and listen as a tour guide shares historical facts and information about Galena and its incredible architecture.

The Origins of Kraft Cheese
A brand and flavor many of us have savored, Kraft cheese originated right here in Galena Country, in Stockton! Take a step back in time and learn about Kraft and much more at the Stockton Heritage Museum. After snapping a selfie with one of the original wagons used to transport the cheese, stroll the streets and discover even more places to strike-a-pose in Stockton!

Red Stripe Beer
It’s Jamaican, right? Guess again! Red Stripe Beer was crafted in the original Galena Brewing Company in the 1830’s. When the brewery closed in 1938, the recipe was sold to two British investors who moved the company to Jamaica and made the drink world-famous during World War II. Today, the Galena Brewing Company is located on Galena’s Historic Main Street and features craft micro-brews, seasonal flavors, and six styles on tap. Tours, tastings, and a giant pretzel are a must-do!

The Secret of the Sunken Garden
This hidden gem, nestled among the cascading greenery of Linmar Gardens, features the remains of an African-American Baptist Church. Today the walls of the basement and a “Baptismal Font” fountain serve as a reminder of the building’s history as one of the oldest African-American churches in Illinois. Surrounded by colorful flowers and foliage, the garden is a beautiful place to spend a relaxing afternoon reconnecting with nature. 

Immerse yourself in history and book a stay at one of Galena Country’s many award-winning accommodations. Let the planning begin with a browse through the official visitor’s guide!

Bring your Bachelorette Party to Galena Country

Galena Country is already recognized as a destination wedding hot-spot, given the beautiful rolling hills, picturesque churches, rich history and Galena’s Main Street frozen in the 1800s! Maids of honor are drawn to the area for these reasons and more… reasons that make Galena Country one of the best destinations for bachelorette party adventures.

Credit: @emmymeyers1

When I sip, you sip, we sip
With more than 13 pubs and bars on Galena’s Main Street alone, there are plenty of places to celebrate the bride-to-be with a toast. Each pub offers a unique atmosphere! From quiz-bowl trivia, martinis and live music at Miss Kitty’s Grape Escape, to brewery tours and live music at the Galena Brewing Company and karaoke at Gobbie’s Sports Pub & Eatery, the Galena pub scene is one big party. Don’t worry about driving. All pubs are located within walking distance to one another and, when the night is over, call one of Galena’s cab services to transport the party back to your lodging. How about celebrating at a unique and historic 1850’s general store/railway station that has been transformed into a watering hole and music venue? This awesome find is called Council Hill Station in Scales Mound. Cajun Jack’s Bar & Grill in Elizabeth is another unique venue for live music, outdoor seating and fun themed decor for those selfies!


Let’s do brunch
Galena Country’s dining scene is superb and bachelorettes looking for the ultimate brunch experience will find it here, mimosas and all. The Courtyard Restaurant, Goldmoor Inn, Fritz and Frites, Victory Cafe, Paradise Bar & Grill, and Otto’s Place all offer a delicious brunch menu. Don’t forget to order a glass of Rosé and toast the bride-to-be. If the group is coming off a late-night and brunch isn’t in the cards, there are plenty of dining options to explore for a late lunch or dinner.

So many shopportunities
Who doesn’t love a good boutique? Galena’s Main Street houses more than 125 independent businesses, making it a shopper’s paradise. Check out the scents and pleasures of Noty Kity. Savor the flavors of Galena with a taste through the Galena Canning Company, The Grateful Gourmet or Galena River Wine & Cheese. Design a custom necklace at Rustic River or create your own personalized wooden sign at Creative Expressions Galena. Take a short drive to Elizabeth’s Grand Antique Co. where more than 200 vendors offer antiques, vintage goods, home decor and more. While in Elizabeth, check out Jane Marie Boutique for a cute outfit, or Eshelman Pottery for a one-of-a-kind piece of functional pottery.

Get artsy
Be inspired by the beauty of Galena County and create some artwork of your own! Learn how to spin pottery at Artists’ Annex, paint beautiful landscapes with artist Sandra Principe or take a tour of the Pinder Pottery Studio. Follow the happening Galena Country events calendar to join creative workshops taught by talented local artists at Artists and Artisans in Elizabeth. Most art shops, studios, and galleries are open year-round, take a piece of Galena Country home with you!

Unique Galena Country
Explore the city of Galena’s rich history with a trolley tour through the historic district. Embrace Mother Nature with the breathtaking views on top of Horseshoe Mound. Walk the same halls that Ulysses S. Grant roamed with a tour through the Grant Home. Be fearless on a zip line journey through the scenic Tapley Woods with Long Hollow Canopy Tours. Take your party to new heights and float above the rolling landscapes of Galena Country in a hot air with Galena on the Fly! What about a magic show? Visit the P.T Murphy Magic Theatre to witness P.T.’s s personable style, mischievous sense of humor, and sophisticated sleight of hand.

Explore Wine, Beer, and Spirits
Fall in love at first sip at one of four wineries, namely Galena Cellars Winery, Massbach Ridge Winery, Fergedaboudit Vineyard & Winery, and Rocky Waters Vineyard. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the brewing process at the Galena Brewing Co. with a beer in hand or learn all about the distilling process at Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. ending off with a tasting. You could also hop on a Wine Tasting or Hop tour with Countryside Tours let them do the driving for you! The possibilities are endless and with so much to see and do, bachelorette partygoers never run out of options.

This is not goodbye…
Once the party ends, start a new tradition by planning your return girl’s trip to Galena Country! Browse the digital travel guide for more ideas on what to see and do and don’t forget to book your accommodation early!

Luxurious ways to enjoy Galena Country

Luxury Stays

Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa: set on 6,800 acres of pristine woodlands and gorgeous open countryside.
Elle & Becks: 2,500+ sq. ft, four-bedroom loft suite overlooking beautiful downtown Galena.
Goldmoor Inn & Dining: set high above the banks of the Mississippi River, offering stunning views and gourmet dining experiences.
Inn at Irish Hollow: elegant amenities and spectacular meals on a 500-acre working farm.
Jail Hill Inn: offering the ultimate in relaxation, luxury accommodations, and location and voted #1 B&B/Inn in the USA and #2 in the World by TripAdvisor in 2019.

Suite Victory #1: beautifully renovated apartment in downtown Galena with private parking and includes breakfast at Victory Café. 
The Owl House: featuring luxury high-end furniture and renovated with a meticulous approach to detail.
Vignettes Modern Luxury: overlooking Galena’s Main St., this apartment is professionally decorated by Vignettes of Galena.

Tip: Few things say luxury like a relaxing spa treatment. Book a rejuvenating in-room massage during your stay.

Superb Drinks and Dining

Fried Green Tomatoes: delicious USDA Choice steaks, fresh seafood, and award-winning wine list.
Fritz & Frites Bistro: a charming bistro offering mouthwatering German and French cuisine.
Generals’ Restaurant: unique fine dining experience at the historic DeSoto House Hotel.
Jamie’s Wine Studio of Galena: intimate wine, martini bar, and fine wine shop.
Little Tokyo: home to the freshest Japanese style steak, sushi, and tempura.

Miss Kitty’s Grape Escape: delicious specialty drinks, cocktails, and a Bloody Mary buffet.
Log Cabin Steakhouse: Galena’s oldest and longest-running restaurant since 1935, featuring tasty Greek specialty items.
Timmerman’s Supper Club: fine dining with a breathtaking panoramic view of the Mighty Mississippi River.
Woodlands Restaurant & Lounge: award-winning intimate dining overlooking the stunning Lake Galena.

Unique Experiences

Galena on the Fly: take in the beauty of Galena Country from above on a Hot Air Balloon ride. End off with a champagne toast and chocolates!
Long Hollow Canopy Tours: reach speeds of up to 40 mph and heights of 75 feet! Rappel off of a platform and venture across our 140-foot sky bridge to reach our final 1,250-foot zip line.
Blaum Bros. Distilling Co.: take a tour of the distilling process, raise a glass and you may be lucky enough to catch a Galena Reserve release… an extremely limited and one-off expression!

Indulgent Shopping

Chocolat’ 229: an exceptional collection of European chocolates.
Cotton Club: fashion boutique complete with clothing, jewelry, shoes, and designer purses.
Elle & Becks: latest in fashion and accessories as well as numerous charming homewares.
Galena River Wine & Cheese: gourmet wines, beers, cheeses, sausages, and specialty foods.
Gustafson & Grey, Ltd: fine jewelry, antiques, and consignments.
Nine Generals Cigar Company: cigars, men’s grooming accouterments, and barware.

Simply Elegant Boutique: distinctive women’s clothing, handbags, jewelry, and footwear.
Skidmore Art Gallery: original artwork by professional artist Mark Skidmore.
Union Leather: a fully dedicated leather store carrying a full line of leather products.
Vignettes of Galena: full-service interior design; offering drapery, blinds, home furnishings, carpeting, lighting and more.

Enjoyable Entertainment

Amelia’s Under the Lamplight Dinner Theatre: enjoy fine dining and exceptional entertainment in this unique Supper Club atmosphere.
Haunted Galena Tour Co.: be led through the streets of historic Galena by candlelight and enjoy haunted tales of Galena.
P.T. Murphy Magic Theatre: a fun night of magic entertainment in a private 24-seat theater located in the heart of historic downtown Galena.

Be sure to book accommodation early and browse the official visitors guide for ideas on other ‘must-do’ experiences.

Fitness in Galena Country

With a new year comes the opportunity for a fresh start and usually, that comes in the form of New Year’s Resolutions. Most of the time physical exercise makes the top of the list! We have a list of fitness facilities to help you stick to your goal while exploring Galena Country!

Core Fitness Galena
This community-based workout facility is centered on functional based fitness, guided by personal coaches. Multiple fitness class options are available including strength training, team or individual sport-specific training and yoga.

Fitness Center at Midwest Medical Center
Featuring scenic views of Galena’s rolling hills, this fitness center includes a fully appointed exercise studio, indoor cycling, sports training, group fitness classes and yoga & Pilates classes.

Galena Arts & Recreation Center
The Galena ARC offers sports and fitness programs including adult exercise classes, spin classes, yoga, and dance exercise classes.

Galena Fitness
This gym has 24-hour access and includes the usual exercise equipment, free weights as well as treadmills, stationary bikes, and TV displays. The Kindred Spirit Integrated Health and Well Spa is also on site.

The Galena Territory Owners’ Club
If you are staying at a rental home or at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, situated in The Galena Territory, you will have access to a state-of-the-art fitness center with a spectacular view of the valley. There are also three swimming pools to choose from, indoor and outdoor.

Bonus tips 

  • If you prefer the crisp winter air, you will find awesome parks and trails in Galena Country. Some even provide exercise equipment along the way! While you’re out and about, look for wintering Eagles… always a sight to behold.
  • Skiing and snowboarding at Chestnut Mountain Resort will also give you a good workout if you prefer to play in the snow!
  • Baaaa-Maste! Original Goat Yoga, Galena is perfect for animal-loving groups or individuals looking for an unforgettable activity. For more traditional yoga enthusiasts, check out Awake 4 Yoga for pop up, private, and group yoga.
  • There’s no shortage of stairs along Galena’s Main Street! Take a stroll down half a mile of Galena’s 19th-century downtown featuring more than 125 independently owned storefronts and keep an eye out for steps in between that leading you the hill. Check out the Green Street Steps for the greatest stair challenge!
  • Treat yourself (guilt-free) to a deliciously healthy organic juice or protein shake at Galena Juicery & Meal Prep or a healthy meal at Thriving Thistle Bistro.


Once you’ve worked up a sweat, you deserve to take some time out to unwind! Here are 6 ways for you to do just that. Browse the Official Visitors Guide for ideas on what else you can do and see during your stay!

Cozy Drink Spots in Galena Country

‘Tis the season to wrap your hands around a warm cup of comfort! We’ve rounded up some toasty ‘hot spots’ where you can relax and thaw out this winter in Galena Country!

Big Bill’s Sandwich Shop & Coffee Bar, Galena
Savor a steaming cappuccino, sip on a Chai Tea Latte or indulge in a Hot Chocolate topped with cream at this full-service coffee bar. They expertly roast their coffee in small batches – try their brew of the month and take some home with you! Make a meal of it and indulge in gourmet breakfast and lunch deliciousness!

Blaum Bros. Distilling Co., Galena
Visit this local craft distillery for a tour behind the scenes and then treat yourself to a Hot Toddy made with Bourbon, honey, fresh lemon juice, and hot water before heading back out into the cold!

Elle & Becks., Galena
This unique spot features a Coffee & Gelato bar within the confines of a lifestyle boutique that offers the latest in fashion, accessories, and homeware. You can even take their delicious coffee home with you!

E-Town Coffee Co., Elizabeth
This cozy spot offers freshly ground coffee, espresso, and other warm drinks. Enjoy a tasty sandwich and browse local art on display and choose a bottle of wine from the wide selection of wines.

Frank O’ Dowds Irish Pub, Galena
How about an Irish Coffee in an authentic Irish pub? This pub was designed and handcrafted in Ireland itself. Together with your coffee, the live entertainment and good Irish cheer is bound to warm you up in no time!

Galena Cellars and Massbach Ridge Wine Tasting Rooms, Galena
Warm-up while sipping on a glass of mulled wine (Gluhwein) at one of these local tasting rooms situated on Galena’s Historic Main Street. Browse many award-winning wines to enjoy at home.

Kaladi’s Coffee Bar, Galena
Make yourself comfortable in this family-owned coffee shop. Enjoy an afternoon pick-me-up or delicious hot chocolate as well as a selection of delicious baked goods! Please note this is a cash-only establishment.

Mean Bean Roasters, Galena
Think custom gourmet coffee! Here you have the option to custom design a personal coffee blend and label. Choose up to five different mouthwatering flavors to create your own individual and unique blend. Enjoy a warm cup of freshly brewed java, made locally by fellow coffee lovers.

Stella’s Café & Catering, Stockton
After “striking a pose” in front of Stockton’s famous downtown murals, warm up with Stella’s famous Caramel Macchiato! Housed in the W.E. White Building, listed on the National Historic Registry, Stella’s is known for its beautiful original tin ceiling and artful ambiance. Step across the street to Sweet Alice’s for some take-home treats and blooming teas!

Thriving Thistle Market, Apple River
Situated on the famous Stagecoach Trail in Apple River, lies this little gem! Not only is it a gas station, but here you will find wholesome nourishment too! Grab a Bullet-Proof coffee (coffee with butter and coconut oil blend) a delicious bite to eat, and fuel-up for your travels!

Now that we’ve got you all nice and toasty… you are ready to explore more of GalenaCountry! These dining options will take care of your hunger when the time comes and they will have cozy drinks to keep you going too!

Lodging that caters to Special Diets in Galena Country

Visitors with dietary restrictions, whether it be allergies or personal preference, can relax when it’s time to eat in Galena Country! Not only are there a host of restaurants to choose from, but the following accommodation establishments also make life a lot easier with their tasty special dietary options.

Credit: Aldrich Guest House

Take a look at these mouth-watering options that are available:

Aldrich Guest House

Dairy-free and Vegetarian: seasonal baked French toast 
Gluten-free & Dairy-free:
 ham, cheddar & chive potato waffles (Can be made Vegan)
Gluten-free and Vegetarian: Southwest crustless quiche, broccoli, spinach & tomato frittatas
Gluten-free, Dairy-free & Vegan: veggie tofu scramble, maple apple cinnamon oatmeal, warm nutty quinoa

Belle Aire Mansion Guest House 

Gluten-free and Vegetarian: oven omelet
Gluten-free (celiac): cinnamon apple french toast
Vegan: fresh fruit plate or veggie plate

Cloran Mansion

Gluten-free: granola French toast, waffles, Ebelskivers, and pancakes
Vegetarian: options offered daily

Farmer’s Guest House

Gluten-free: caramel apple French toast
Vegan: breakfast burrito

Goldmoor Inn

Gluten and Dairy-free: snapper ceviche, shrimp and lobster cocktail, fois gras, 8oz USDA choice filet mignon, smoked white Peking duck breast, grilled rack of lamb
Gluten-free: grilled pork belly, in-house dry-aged USDA prime 16oz ribeye, pan-seared red snapper, Ora king salmon fillet with jumbo lump crab, roasted chicken Fresca
Vegan and Vegetarian: salad options

Hawk Valley Retreat

Gluten-free: bacon quiche with a potato crust, buttermilk pancakes or waffles, country scramble with veggies and home-made cookies and muffins. Sides include fruit, muffins, and sausage/bacon
Dairy-free: traditional pancakes (no milk), potato and vegetable hash, tofu scramble with veggies, yogurt with homemade granola and home-made muffins 9no milk). Sides include fresh fruit, dairy-free yogurt, sausage/bacon
Vegan: tofu and spinach scramble with black beans, potato hash, breakfast burrito
Vegetarian: quiche with phyllo dough crust and veggies, scratch-made buttermilk pancakes or waffles. Sides include fruit, muffins, yogurt or cottage cheese
Nightshades: sweet potato hash with eggs with meat, sweet potato hash browns with eggs with meat, scratch-made buttermilk pancakes or waffles with meat

Jail Hill Inn

Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Lactose-free, and individual sensitivities to foods such as nuts, seeds and everything in between are catered to in fully customized meals. The three-course, made-from-scratch breakfast begins with a seasonal fruit course followed by a fresh bakery selection and concludes with a hearty savory entrée.

Lamberson Guest House

Gluten-free: cappuccino chip muffin, fresh berries in brown sugar glaze, crustless cheese pie with tomato bacon gravy and bacon
Dairy-free: a dark chocolate walnut muffin, peaches, and blueberries, omelet with bacon, spinach and tomato, and roasted red potatoes
Vegetarian: cherry cheese danish, melon with kiwi in a sweet champagne glaze, spinach, tomato, and swiss frittata, roasted red potatoes

 ** Please Note: If you have celiac disease or a severe allergy, we recommend calling ahead to see what practices the restaurants have in place in their kitchens to avoid contamination.**

Book your accommodation now and make sure to note your dietary requirements. For ideas on what to do and see while in #GalenaCountry, browse through the latest Visitors Guide.

Oktoberfest Weekend in Galena Country

It’s almost here… Galena’s annual festival that celebrates German heritage, Oktoberfest Weekend Oct 4-5 in Depot Park. Prost! to barrels and barrels of fun ahead!

This ever-popular event promises family fun, live music, wiener dog racing, German-style food and of course lots of beer! For a detailed schedule of events, click here but for the highlights… keep reading:

Movie in the Park

Kick-off the Oktoberfest celebrations on Fri., Oct 4 in Depot Park with live music, delicious food-truck-eats and craft beer, followed by an outdoor screening of the Field of Dreams movie.

2019 Midwest Health & Fitness 5K Fun Run/Walk

Fun for the whole family along the scenic Galena River Trail! Pets and strollers are welcome on this fun run or walk.

Live Music and Dancing

Oktoberfest on Oct. 5 features non-stop live music all day and into the night. Enjoy tunes from the Jim Busta Band, a Czech-German, five-piece polka band with many vocal arrangements, The Goodtime Dutchmen, an award-winning Dutchmen-style band that plays German Bohemian and Polish music and Back Seat Betty playing classic rock, current hits, and all your favorites.

Wiener Dog Races

Who will be the champions in this year’s Wiener Dog Races? Don’t miss the wiener dog parade and a best-dressed contest for both male and female wiener dogs.

Polka Lessons

Learn how to dance the Polka (originally a Czech dance) with Tim and Kathy who have been dancing together for 10 years and travel around to various polka festivals.

The New Glarus Alphorners

Join George Albright & Heinz Mattmann in celebrating this awesome tradition. These long wooden horns were used for centuries by mountain dwellers in the Alps for music and communication.

Beer Stein Endurance Contest

How long could you last? The goal of this well-known and competitive Bavarian strength contest is to hold a stein at shoulder height, parallel with the ground as long as possible. If the contestant waivers (or spills), he/she is eliminated. How long could you last this test of both strength and endurance? For more details click here.

Bean Bag Tournament

Pre-register for this single-elimination format tournament (participants must be 16 years or older). First prize is $100 and the second is $50!

For more ideas on what else to do and see while in #GalenaCountry, browse through the latest Visitors Guide and be sure to book your accommodation a.s.a.p!