A vacation that’s rich in history, unforgettable adventure, and tantalizing local flavors.
Tucked into the corner of Northwest Illinois, is a hidden gem called Galena Country. This captivating location is lush with rolling hills, rich in history and loaded with incredible outdoor adventure, shopping, and dining. Only a few hours’ drive from Chicago, Des Moines, Madison and Kansas City, this traveler’s favorite is a destination where stories only get better with time.
In Galena Country, you’ll see and do things you won’t see anywhere else. We believe that history isn’t about endings. It’s where stories begin. And here, there are a lot of stories to tell. Because there’s a lot of history between us.
Comprised of 11 unique towns and cities, this fascinating destination provides the perfect mix of history, adventure, and authentic experiences that stand the test of time. We know the importance of taking time for the things that matter most. Because the best thing about being where time forgot is that you’ll lose all track of it.
The Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic site remains untouched by modern nuances. Engage in a genuine historical experience with a visit to Grant’s home, where many of the furnishings remain original. A short walking distance away is the perfect spot for a picnic. Enjoy the gorgeous views of Galena from Grant Park, situated right in the heart of town.
Pay a visit to Galena’s neighbor, Stockton, and strike-a-pose in front of the beautiful mural near Main Street. Grab a bite to eat at JJ & Freddie’s, Stella’s Café or Checco’s, and complement your meal with a delectable treat from Sweet Alice’s!
Venture your way to Woodbine for a little shopping at Nature’s Treasures after a round of golf at Woodbine Bend Golf Course. If off-the-beaten-path villages and bars are on your list, consider checking out The Nora Bar, in Nora, or JM’s Tap in Menominee. Both offer incredible scenic drives with a delicious finish!
Make a pit-stop in Elizabeth, to check out the Apple River Fort State Historic Site. This interpretive visitor center is the site of one of the battles fought during the Black Hawk War. On the weekends, the fort comes to life through ongoing living history activities featuring interpreters garbed in 1830s-style dress.
Journey along historic HWY 20 to East Dubuque, where you will find incredible views of the Mississippi River from Gramercy Park, or while dining at Timmerman’s Supper Club. For an even closer encounter with the Mississippi, rent a kayak at Millennium Marina – it’s sure to make a splash with everyone along for the ride!
Enjoy craft brews at Pecatonica Beer Tap House in Warren, followed up with a slice from Wally’s Pizza. Make your way to Apple River, where you can fuel the vehicle and your soul at Thriving Thistle. Grab some tasty goodies for a hike and be ready for some majestic views at Apple River Canyon State Park.
Travel along the historic Stagecoach Trail to Scales Mound and make a stop at Council Hill Station to quench your thirst and enjoy live music. Before you head back to Galena, make sure you stop in at the Galena Cellars Vineyard and Winery!
Stepping onto Galena’s Main Street is like something out of a movie. Looking much like it did when President Grant strolled the streets, the buildings are now home to more than 125 independently owned businesses.
The aroma of freshly popped gourmet popcorn, hand dipped chocolates and chargrilled burgers fill the air as you make your way in and out of exquisite boutique shops. While exploring Galena’s downtown, be sure to indulge in mouthwatering culinary flavors. From fine dining to gourmet grilled cheese – Galena Country checks all the boxes for a foodie paradise.
With incredible terrain, outdoor adventure has become a forefront for activities in the area. Glide through the air at speeds of up to 40 mph on a zip line, or partake in one of the many race events. Paddle your way 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.
Abundant with agriculture, visitors are offered an opportunity to tour and stay on local farmsteads. Pick-your-own apples, berries, and pumpkins – a family favorite. Top it off with scrumptious homemade apple cider donuts – that’s a vacation ‘win’!
Whether relaxation or recreation piques your interest, Galena Country is no stranger to impeccable and award-winning accommodations. From resorts and hotels to B&B’s and vacation rentals, choose to lodge immersed in mother nature, amidst history, or in the heart of downtown Galena.
Everyone loves a good story. And here. One story always leads to another. People have been coming here to change their perspectives and fortunes for years. Throughout our history we’ve proudly never been like anywhere else. Because we may be old, but never the same old thing.