Locally Made Food & Gifts in Galena & Jo Daviess County!

Galena, IL and¬† Jo Daviess County offer up the best locally made products for you to fill up your shopping bags. From Farmers’ Markets to storefronts on Main Streets throughout the county, our area provides something for every occasion!¬† Find more information on Unique Foods & Goods and Locally Made products on our Shopping Page at galena.org. You’ll also find businesses listed in our FREE Activity Guide on page 43!

Scroll to the end of this post for information on all of the Farmers Markets in the area!

We recently spent time with Chef Ivo of Galena Canning Co. learning the process of making his Bread & Butter Jalapenos. His kitchen is located in his shop on Main St. in Galena, so it always smells delicious! Sample & taste all of his delicious products in both of his locations!

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1. 780 lbs of jalapenos are “de-stemmed” by hand and sliced in this industrial slicer. 2. Sliced jalepenos waiting to be washed! 3. The jalapenos are washed three times.

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4.¬† They’re poured into the brine mixture and heated. 5. The jalapenos are cooked and stirred for about 10 minutes. 6. Chef Ivo strains them and removes them from the brine mixture.

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7. Each jar is filled one by one. 8. Now for the lids, canning & labeling! 9. Stacks & stacks of jars ready for labels!

Thank you Chef Ivo for showing us how you make these delicious Bread & Butter Jalapenos, perfect for your summer hamburgers & hotdogs!

Local Farmers Markets: Buy local products & food on your way! Follow Jo Daviess County Farm Bureau for updates & request a free guide!

East Dubuque: Every Wednesday from 4-6pm in the secondary lot of Van’s Liquor Store (off Hwy 20) Check Van’s Facebook Page for starting date!
Elizabeth: Every Friday from 3-6pm in Terrapin Park (right on US Hwy 20), May 1 – October 30. Click here for more info!
Hanover: Every Saturday from 9-11am in front of the Hanover Library on Jefferson St. (Hwy 84)
Galena: Every Saturday morning through October from 7am – 12pm at the Old Market House on Commerce St.
Galena Territory: Scheduled Sundays from 8am-noon at the Galena Territory Owners Club. Click here for more info!
Scales Mound: Every Thursday from May to October from 3-6pm at Dr. Woodchuck’s Auction parking lot across from the post office and next to the railroad tracks. Click here for more info!
Stockton: Every Tuesday from 3-6pm in front of Spahn & Rose and every Saturday morning from 8am – noon if front of the high school.
Warren: Every Saturday from 8am-noon next to the Warren Community Building (Stagecoach Trail)

We’ll update this post as more information becomes available!

 Special Events

The Shenandoah Riding Center’s Junk Roundup: THIS WEEKEND! May 23-24 at the Shenandoah Riding Center, in the Galena Territory…details HERE!
Midwest Garlic Festival: Brought to you by Galena Garlic Co. on August 15 in Terrapin Park, Elizabeth, IL…details HERE!

  • Visit our Events Calendar for even more events featuring locally made foods & gifts!
  • Visit our Communities Page to find the businesses in each town & village in Jo Daviess County that offer locally made products!
  • Visit our What to Do Page for locally made Wine, Beer & Spirits!

 

Active Getaways in Galena & Jo Daviess County

You’ve worked hard on staying fit and healthy and you don’t want to fall off the wagon on your vacation. Choose Galena, Illinois and Jo Daviess County for your active getaway! Here’s a list of events that will help you plan the dates for your active vacation.

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May 2: Spring In My Step: 2 Mile Run/Walk & Kid’s Fun Run (Elizabeth, IL) – A great day outdoors for the whole family! The Kids’ Run is at 8:15 am in Terrapin Park and the 2 mile Run starts at 8:30. This event coincides with the Spring Fling activities in Elizabeth which includes a bounce house if the kids still have energy! Click HERE for more information!

May 2: Ride the Ups and Downs Bicycle Ride (starts in Elizabeth, IL) – This bicycle ride is a one-day tour of beautiful Jo Daviess County, Illinois that features hilly terrain, spectacular ridge top panoramas and long valley views. Choose one of four clearly marked routes on rolling, low traffic, paved roads throughout our rural setting: 26 miles – 32 miles (50 km) — 52 miles – 63 miles (100 km). Delicious, homemade cookies are waiting for you at each water station! Click HERE for detailed information from the G.O.A.T.S. Cycling Club!

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May 16: 20th Annual Galena Triathlon & Duathlon (starts at Apple Canyon Lake, ends in Galena) РCelebrate with the Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau as they host their 20th Triathlon/Duathlon! This early season triathlon will start with a 660-yard swim in the clear, cool waters of Apple Canyon Lake with a beach start and finish. Athletes will be tested by a 16.8-mile bicycle ride from the lake to Recreation Park in Galena. The bicycle route features plenty of “ups and downs” on the curvaceous country roads of Jo Daviess County. To finish, competitors will run 4.2 miles out and back on the hills of Galena. Registrants can also opt to enter the duathlon which starts with a two-mile run in lieu of the swim portion. The duathletes then compete on the same bicycle and final run courses as the triathletes. Click HERE for more information & registration!

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June 5-7: Tour of Galena (Galena, IL) – The 5th annual omnium stage race. Premiere track cycling along the historic streets of Galena. Click HERE for more information!

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4th of July

July 5: Stockton 5K/10K – Run/Walk (Stockton, IL) – Another great family event! In addition to all of the 4th of July festivities in Stockton you can add a 5K or 10K to the list. They even have a family discount and a stroller division, so everyone can enjoy! For more information and registration click HERE!

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photo: images by Amanda

July 18: 2nd Annual Paint the Barnyard Color Run (Elizabeth, IL) – A family-friendly 2.5 walk/ 5K/10K run through the rolling hills in Elizabeth.¬† Look for the tractors & wooden barnyard animals to let you know how far you’ve gone & get ready for some COLOR! We’ll update this post when registration is available. Pre-registration will be $30, day of the event is $35. Kids 8 & under are free! Click HERE for the Paint the Barnyard Facebook Page!

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September 19:  Fever River Outfitters Adventure Triathlon (Galena, IL) 6 mile kayak paddle down the Galena River, 17 mile bicycle ride and a 3.1 mile run. See their Events page for all the details! For year-round action and adventure, no matter what the season, check out Fever River Outfitters РCycling, kayaking, yoga, paddle-boarding and so much more.

September: Warren Pumpkin Festival 5K (Warren, IL) – Event info coming soon!

————————OCTOBER————————

October 3: Midwest Health & Fitness Walk/Run 5K (Galena, IL) РRegistration includes admission to Oktoberfest in Depot Park for participants 21 & over! Bring your kids and/or your dog for a Fun Run/Walk 5K, benefiting the Galena Food Pantry. Kids 12 & under are free. Click HERE for more information! Visitors can use the Fitness Center with a day pass for $9/day and attend classes for usually around $7/class.  You can also look into their free Kids Camps with sessions June 9-18 & July 14-23 (space is limited).

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 November 7: Lead Rush Half Marathon (Galena, IL) РRun the magnificent countryside of Jo Daviess County in northwest Illinois… past rolling pastures with spectacular views of the Mississippi River. Start & finish at Chestnut Mountain Resort, and take the chairlift up to the after-party! Hosted by the Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau, click HERE for more information!

We’ll update this post as more information becomes available, bookmark us and check back for more active getaway ideas!

Mancation Destinations

We talk a lot about Girlfriends’ Getaways in Galena & Jo Daviess County, but let’s turn our attention to the men! There are tons of options for your bachelor party, reunion with college buddies or getaway from everyday life, we have plenty to keep you busy.

Here’s our Top 10 Things for Guys to Do in Galena & Jo Daviess County:

1. Golf -¬† Jo Daviess County is home to TEN stellar golf courses, all with great views of our Driftless Region. Click HERE for a detailed list of all ten courses! Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa can check lots of boxes for your vacation…four golf courses, fishing and fantastic bar & dining options.

Eagle Ridge-North course

2. Chestnut Mountain Resort – Winter isn’t winter without downhill skiing and snowboarding at Chestnut. Did you know about their Alpine Slide, Segway Tours and mountain biking during the summer? You can have lunch and dinner while enjoying the sweeping views of the Mississippi River after a day out on the hill.

3. Fever River Outfitters – Your one stop shop for adventure! Rent a canoe, paddle board or kayak and hit the quiet Galena River. You can also rent bicycles and scooters to get a larger overview of Galena & Jo Daviess County! Fever River Outfitters has what you need for an active vacation, enjoying the outdoors.

4. Guided Hunting & Fishing – Whether it’s a half day or a full day, you and the guys can spend the day outdoors hunting pheasant & chukar with experienced guides at River Valley Hunting (Scales Mound). You can also spend the day with Galena Fly Fishing Outfitters.

5. Yote’s Archery Den (Stockton) -¬† Practice your aim at the indoor archery range and stock up on bait and fishing supplies. Stop by the Corner Tap down the street on a Friday evening for FREE endless buffalo wings!

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6. Log Cabin Steakhouse -¬† Call ahead and reserve Al Capone’s booth at the Log Cabin Steakhouse. Premium cocktails and food, along with great service and atmosphere! Check with your hosts about having the Log Cabin Limo/Bus pick your group up and don’t forget to order the flaming Saganaki!

7. Local Museums РInterested in the Civil War era, space or trains? Tour the Planetary Studies Foundation Earth & Space Museum and Chicago Great Western Railway Depot Museum in Elizabeth, then the Ulysses S. Grant Home and the Galena & US Grant Museum for a look at our rich history.

8. Taste & Tour - Head to Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. of Galena to see how they make handcrafted spirits and enjoy a cocktail in their modern copper & leather tasting room. You can also order a flight of local brews and grab a bite to eat while listening to great music at Galena Brewing Co.

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9. Live Music – See who’s onstage at the The Corner Stone, Council Hill Station or The Grape Escape (where you can also play Golden Tee)!

10. Cars, Cars, Cars – Every Thursday Night starting May 21, you can head to East Dubuque for Gary’s Graffiti Nights, a weekly cruise for cars & trucks made in 1972 and older. Afterwards you can head to Mulgrew’s for a foot-long chili dog!

Plan your trip at galena.org! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for daily ideas on how to Enjoy Galena Country. See you soon!

A Day in Galena with Michelle Oben

Michelle Oben challenged herself to start a project called ‚ÄúA Month Of”, where every month she will experiment with a new idea or task. March was her inaugural¬†month, titled “A Month of Going“, where¬†she headed out on her own to explore towns and locations that she had never been to. Most recently these included locations in Wisconsin and Kentucky. Last weekend the Tri-State area made her list and Galena, IL was her destination for a day. We caught up with her on¬†Instagram, and now you can too! #amonthofgoing

Ice cream “Rocky road trip.” – at Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor

cows “Drive by moo-gram.” – Jo Daviess County

Isabellas
“This chalk paint is used to give a facelift to unique pieces of furniture in the store. Nailin’ country chic.” – at Isabella’s Ltd

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“Cutest towns of all towns.” – Main St., Galena, IL

Vintage Retold

“Your cheat sheet. In case US history ever comes up over dinner” – at All Things Vintage

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“My coffee was more hip than I was.” – at Devour Cafe

Michelle‚Äôs day trip has inspired her to make a weekend of it in the future! Follow Michelle‚Äôs¬†‚ÄúA Month Of”¬†on Instagram (@michellesunoben). Next month she’ll be experimenting with “A Month of Creation” where she challenges herself to draw/create something every day.

Mini Q&A with Michelle:

What inspired you to start this experiment?

“I grew up around the world as an “Army Brat” (meaning my Dad was in the military), so we moved around every couple of years; as you can imagine, the need to experience new ideas, cultures, and places is in my blood! Now that I am an adult, I really want to continue that lifestyle and always be challenging myself to avoid a stagnant, boring lifestyle! By day, I am a Business Analyst / Project Manger for PotentiaMetrics, a tech company that creates products that provide predictive information in healthcare, fitness and pro sports. By nights and weekends, I love to explore my interests in social media, design, and travel.”

You said this was a day trip for you, where are you from? Have you ever been to Galena before?

“After my Dad retired from the military, we called Michigan home. I spent all of high school and college (Michigan State University) in the mitten state. I have never been to Galena, but I had heard wonderful things!

Thank you for sharing with us Michelle! Share your story with us on Instagram by using the hashtag #GalenaFeature or tag us in your pics @enjoygalenactry!

Stargazing in Galena & Jo Daviess County

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photo: Mark Dieker of Bear Dancer Studios – “Orionid meteor over The Castle near Elizabeth, IL”

One of the first things you’ll notice besides the beautiful landscape of our Driftless Region are the dark skies overhead. Any time of year, on a clear night you’ll see the sky lit up and spot many if not all of the familiar constellations.

Aurora Lights in Illinois

photo: Shane Smith Photography – The Northern Lights from the Overlook in Elizabeth, IL

Galena & Jo Daviess County have wonderful lodging options where you can relax and enjoy the night skies like Hawk Valley Retreat and Cottages.¬† Rent a home or condo from Rosebud Rentals or take it easy around the campfire at Marcotte’s Family Motel.

You can also plan a night dining outdoors under the stars this summer. A few restaurants with outdoor seating to note are…The Sunset Grille in Chestnut Mountain Resort with views of the Mississippi River, The Cove at Apple Canyon Lake and Mid-Town Marina in East Dubuque. (Call ahead for summer hours!)

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Stargazing Circle at Horseshoe Mound Preserve

We encourage you to take advantage of one of our county’s treasures and go stargazing with Dr. Paul Sipiera and his wife Diane Sipiera of the Planetary Studies Foundation Earth & Space Museum.¬† Dr. Sipiera was a professor of astronomy and geology at William Rainey Harper College for 27 years and now resides full-time in the Galena Territory. His main research interest is in studying meteorites, which lead him to Antarctica seven times.¬† His writings have been published in Meteorite Magazine and Popular Science, as well as contributions to numerous scientific journals. He’s written over 29 non-fiction books for children. Diane has a background in education for NASA and the Field Museum in Chicago, IL.

The Sipieras invite you and the whole family to Apple River Fort¬† for an evening of stargazing. Bring a camp chair, blankets and your own telescope if you have one. The team at PSF bring the big telescopes for you to use and they’ll teach you how to use the one that’s been sitting in the corner all these years! Snacks and bug spray are encouraged, no alcohol please.

May 1, 2015 from 7-8pmPlanetary Studies Foundation Earth & Space Museum РElizabeth, IL РINTRO TO NIGHTTIME SKIES: Come to this wonderful lecture about what you can see in the nighttime skies for the season. Come learn about the beauty of Virgo and how she influenced farmers for hundreds of years. Learn how to get prepared for the summer season of stargazing. Afterwards, come into the PSF’s Starlab Planetarium for the wonders of the universe. Tour of museum is included. (cost: $5)

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Stargazing with the PSF at dusk

The most ideal nights to look at the moon and stars are before the first quarter of the moon cycle, when the Milky Way is visible and the moon isn’t too bright. Stargazing sessions are held once a month starting in April and continue through October, from sunset until around 11pm…they’ll stay later if good things are happening in the skies! Plan ahead & join them for the meteor showers in August & October!

Stay tuned to our Events Calendar for exact dates or contact the Planetary Studies Foundation Earth & Space Museum for details!
***We’ll update this post as more information comes available!

 

Hiking Trails in Galena & Jo Daviess County

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photo: Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation

Time to get outside and enjoy the outdoors in Galena & Jo Daviess County! Look for new Spring buds and sprouts and watch the birds migrate back to the North from the beautiful parks and preserves we have to offer. See our featured blog post of Horseshoe Mound & Gateway Park HERE!

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Primrose Trail at Apple River Canyon State Park

The Galena River Trail will be closed for repairs indefinitely, but we have lots of opportunities to get fresh air. Find all of the Hiking Trails in Galena & Jo Daviess County HERE and Enjoy Galena Country!

 

St. Patrick’s Day in Galena & Jo Daviess County!

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  • Our pastoral, rolling hills are reminiscent of the green landscapes of Ireland, making Galena & Jo Daviess County a draw for homesick Irish. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with us!
  • Frank O’Dowd’s Pub & Grill for music & Irish dancers – Friday, March 13 & 17 – (866) 284-7474
  • Miss Kitty’s Pub Crawl – Friday, March 13, call for details (779) 214-0003
  • St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Galena, IL – Saturday, March 14 at 4pm – The Elks Lodge (815) 777-0011

Use our Events Calendar to find all of the FUN in Galena & Jo Daviess County!

The Insider’s Guide to Wine Lovers’ Weekend

It’s fast approaching and some 2015 events are sold out! Here’s a comprehensive guide to what’s happening and where to enjoy great WINE!

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Grand Tasting
wineloversweekend.com
Galena Convention Center – 900 Galena Square Drive
March 27-29, 2015 – Saturday is SOLD OUT! Learn more & purchase tickets here!
Be a part of the largest indoor wine tasting event in the state of Illinois! Featuring more than 40 distributors from across the United States and over 300 varieties of wine and spirits, the Grand Tasting is a wine lover’s dream. Designated drivers get a discounted ticket and complimentary shuttle service available from downtown Galena! Your ticket includes: Wine and spirit sampling from sponsors, a keepsake wine glass, live music, entry in a grand prize drawing for a getaway to Galena Basket, complimentary cheese, bread and fruit.
Tasting Program

Galena Cellars Vineyard
Luncheon at the Vineyard – $49.95 per person, advanced reservations required
Saturday, March 28, 2015 at noon
Serving an amazing five-course meal paired with Galena Cellars wine, hand chosen by Chef Ivo and winemaker Chris Lawlor. Event hosted by Galena Cellars’ Allan Hyland. Also includes vineyard tour and grape vine cutting to plant. View the menu HERE!

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Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa
Weekend Package:
This package, made especially for all you wine lovers includes:

    Accommodations for (1) night for two people
    Ca’ Momi Winery Dinner on Saturday night for two
    Sunday Brunch in Woodlands Restaurant for two
    A voucher for (1) bottle of Eagle Ridge Private Label wine (per reservation)

This package is available Saturday, March 28th, 2015 ONLY.
Prices start at $300. Please Note: This price is based on two people per bedroom.

Jamie’s Wine Studio
March 27-29Tastings at the Studio & Sunday Brunch
209 S. Main St., Galena

Aldrich Guest House
Wine Pairing Dinner & Magic Show
Sunday March 29, 2015, 6:30pm, $75 per person
900 Third St., Galena
Join us for a four-course wine paring dinner.  Dinner is catered by Fried Green Tomatoes and specially paired with an exceptional wine from one of our local wineries. Dinner will then be followed by a magic show in our historic parlor by P.T. Murphy.

Fried Green Tomatoes
Wine Pairing Dinner
213 N. Main St. – 815-777-3938
Friday, March 27, 2015
Enjoy a Michale David Wine Flight paired with an Opentable award winning dinner.  Earthquake Zin, Freakshow and Petite Petit. Dinner Features include cracked crab legs and filet mignon Рreservations suggested.

***Go to our Wine, Beer & Spirits page for a complete list of wineries, vineyards, distilleries and breweries in Galena & Jo Daviess County! Tastings & tours! ***

Celebrating Peace in Union

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We’re proud to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Peace in Union with Galena and the rest of the United States in April of this year. Our commemoration host, the Galena-Jo Daviess County Historical Society at the Galena & U.S. Grant Museum, houses the famous painting “Peace in Union” by Thomas Nast depicting General Ulysses S. Grant formally accepting the surrender of General Robert E. Lee in the Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia 1865. Galena, IL was home to nine Civil War generals, including Ulysses S. Grant and four are represented in the painting.

Head to the Galena & U.S. Grant Museum on April 17 at 10:15 am for a dedication of the commemorative stamps celebrating the sesquicentennial!

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We’re celebrating with a series of programs, exhibits and tours from April 9-19, 2015.
Download a schedule of events HERE!

The Elizabeth Historical Society will be hosting the following event:
Come meet Brad Albrecht, Kevin Ertmer, Corey Walters, Frank McCann, Caroline Sipiera, Martha Purchis, and Paul Sipiera as they put on a program that will take the format of the play, Soldier, Come Home, based upon the letters from family and loved ones. This program will take place on Thursday, April 9 at 7:00 p.m. at the Apple River Fort State Historic Site. This program is being sponsored by the Elizabeth Historical Society. For more information and to make reservations please contact Shelia at the fort at (815) 858-2028.. It is suggested that those in attendance consider making a $5 donation to help offset the royalty costs of staging the play. After the performance, light refreshments will be served.

View General Grant’s Recollections for more information!

Use galena.org for lodging, recreation and dining options!