Hands-On Experiences

Galena & Jo Daviess County are loaded with creative people who open their studios and businesses to share their talents with others. Learning something new or adding talents to your tool box are a great way to bond with family and friends. Try these activities on your next visit, click these links to learn about more hands-on experiences and studio tours!

 

Cooking

Enjoy learning to cook from the Breakfast Diva herself! Voted Best Breakfast 2015 on B&B.com and a Food Network 2015 Holiday Baking Championship competitor, Susan knows her way around the kitchen! Susan will share her knowledge, stories, hints and tips with you. Tastings and a tour of her kitchen are included. Learn more at The Farmers’ Guest House…

You can also sign up for a gourmet cooking experience at The Goldmoor Inn and Fine Dining with Chef Carlos Valdez in his state-of-the-art kitchen!

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Pottery

It’s a creative experience that combines ceramic artistry with the enjoyment of good food at a harvest table. Your hosts are master potter Charles Fach and his wife, Sandra, Galena residents since 1971. With their expertise and guidance, you‚Äôll decorate and glaze your own dinnerware, and then enjoy dinner on your new dishes. Learn more at Stonehouse Pottery & Gallery…

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Jewelry

This is the perfect beginner beading class to learn the basics of design, stringing, and clasping; including the proper use and application of tools. ¬†Choose a necklace, bracelet, or earrings to be completed in about 1.5 hours and able to be worn home by the end of class. Walk-in or reservations. Learn more at Rustic River Finds…

The Mystery of Wire Crochet: Learn the fine art secrets to Jan Ketza’s Wire Crochet technique in this innovative class. Create your own triple strand necklace with toggle clasp. Basic crochet chain stitching is required to know prior to class. Samples are available for viewing at the Mercantile.
Class fee is $30.00 Kit Fee is $35.00. Reservations are required with payment upon booking.

Add to your getaway at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa by booking a jewelry making class with Mackie Mullane of Bella Vintaj!

Painting

Intuitive Painting with Jan Ketza….Follow your heart with the desire to paint for the sake of exploration, raw expression, and the release into the joy of creating art.¬†This class is about expressing yourself intuitively through color, shape, and techniques that open up a world of creativity where anything is possible.
Class fee is $50.00 and includes a canvas, paints, brushes, and easel. Reservations at The Mercantile are required with payment with this popular class.

Sandra Principe

Sandra Principle heads up a Cork & Canvas painting class one Saturday a month at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa! Sandra Principe, a local Galena artist and author, will be hosting paint by wine events at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa. She will take you step by step through the creation of your painting. Sandra’s paintings are inspired by the beauty of flowers and the Midwest landscape. And there is no better place than Eagle Ridge Resort as the setting for this unique experience. Let your creative side come out as you create your masterpiece overlooking Lake Galena and the beautiful Eagle Ridge Landscape.
All supplies are included in the class and of course wine, fruit, cheese and more are provided throughout the class! In three hours you will have a completed painting that you will be extremely proud of to take home and show your friends and family.

Paint with Janet Checker in her studio, call ahead and set up an appointment!

Check our Events Calendar for classes and events happening during your visit or contact the business to make a reservation!

Warren’s Festival of Trees

Journey up Stagecoach Trail in Jo Daviess County to see Warren’s¬†Festival of Trees in the historic Warren Community Building! You can see a preview here and then plan a day to tour this charming old hotel all dressed up for the holidays. You will also be greeted by the decorated snowmen contributed by local businesses and organizations, including us…the Galena/Jo Daviess County CVB! Click HERE for more “Christmas in the County” events!

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The Warren Community Building is located at 110 W Main St. and is open daily from 8am to 8pm. The festival runs until January 3, 2016. You can call (815) 745-2217 for more information.

Christmas in the County 2015

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Make your plans now for a Holiday Getaway or Family Celebration in Galena/Jo Daviess County! Nothing puts you in the spirit faster than a genuine country Christmas with Galena’s garland-lined Main St. Whether you choose a romantic Bed & Breakfast, a resort with all the amenities or a vacation rental home to bring the family together, you can enjoy these “Christmas in the County” events and activities during your stay! Print a PDF HERE!

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Galena

Festival of Trees: November 28, 2015, 1pm – 5pm. The 6th Annual Festival of Trees will kick of the holiday season on Saturday, November 28 in the DeSoto House Ballroom in Galena from 1-5 p.m. The Festival of Trees is a public display of spectacular one-of-a-kind designed holiday trees, wreaths, and other holiday items sponsored and created by local artists, organizations, and businesses.

Old Fashioned Christmas: November 28, 2015. Enjoy the garland-draped shops along Galena’s Main St. and watch as Santa is escorted to the Old Market House by carolers and festive floats! Start of Santa’s Arrival: 5:30 pm, Lighting of Tree: 6:00 pm.

Taste of Christmas Progressive Dinner: December 5, 2015, 5-8 pm.Join the members of Best of Galena as they open their Bed and Breakfasts for this annual event. Your evening will include appetizers, main course, and desserts, which will all be served at a different location. A wonderful opportunity to visit three different locations, meet new friends, and start of your holiday festivities. Reservations required. $50 per person.

Luminaria & Living Windows: December 12, 2015. The streets, steps, and sidewalks of Galena will be lined with nearly 5,000 candle-lit luminaries. New to Living Windows this year will be the Wedding in A Window at Vignettes of Galena!

Mistletoe Stroll: December 12th and 19th, 2-5pm. Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers of Galena invite you to tour historic inns all lavishly decorated for Christmas. From traditions of the past to current day decor, each inn is unique and the experience should not be missed. Sample each inn’s favorite holiday cookie. See website for a list and map of participating houses. No reservations required, you may begin your tour and purchase tickets at any of the houses listed on the website.

Tip: Plan a romantic dinner for just the two of you, try Perry St. Brasserie or Fritz & Frites for an intimate setting with a European flair.

Apple River Fort

Elizabeth

Christmas in Elizabeth: December 5, 2015, 9am – 5pm. Celebrate an old fashioned Christmas with the Village of Elizabeth. Tour the 1876 Banwarth House & Museum decorated for the season, check out the caboose and ten operating model trains at the Chicago Great Western Railway Depot Museum, and visit Santa. While you are there, partake in the living history demonstration at the Apple River Fort and more. There will be a Christmas concert, craft show, bake sale and many stores open late with Christmas bargains and discounts. Find more information on their Facebook Page!

In cooperation with the Elizabeth, IL Chamber of Commerce annual event, “Christmas in the Village‚” the Apple River Fort SHS will provide holiday atmosphere with seasonal music and host a baked items and small home-made gifts sale at the Interpretive Center (311 E. Myrtle St.). Costumed history interpreters will also participate with interactive impressions and activities.

Tip: Get a latte or bottle of wine at E-Town Coffee and make sure there’s time to stroll through Elizabeth’s Grand Antique Mall!

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Stockton

Stockton Christmas Walk: December 4, 2015, Stockton‚ holiday tradition, this year’s theme is “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Start the season with a Christmas tree lighting on Friday evening at 6 p.m. On Saturday, December 5, 9am – 3pm, stroll from store to store and shop, visit Santa, ride in a horse drawn wagon ride, and have some delicious nibbles in the downtown shops. Meet the newly crowned Little Jack Frost and Miss Merry Christmas! Find more information on their Facebook Page!

Tip: Stop into Sweet Alice’s for a treat and shop for gifts and holiday decor at Stockton Floral & Gifts!

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Warren

Warren Christmas Walk: Enjoy the Festival of Trees in the charming & historic Warren Community Building (Old Stone Hotel), starting Saturday November 28 and ending January 3, 2016. Stroll through town to see the decorated snowmen contributed by local businesses and holiday decorations. Santa will arrive in a parade on Monday, December 7 from 4:30 ‚ 7:30pm. Stroll through town and sample the treats and refreshments provided by participating businesses, don’t forget to register for door prizes!

Tip: Stop in to Bugaboo’s for a great meal in their charming Main St. diner and Pecatonica Beer Co. for a local brew!

East Dubuque

Candlelight Christmas Walk: November 28, 2015, starting at 2pm. Join us for an old-fashioned Christmas gathering in downtown. Greet Santa at the fire station, create a Christmas craft and enjoy cookies and milk. Participate in the Candlelight Walk to the Christmas tree lighting and decorating. Optional donation of a canned food item for the Food Pantry, located at the East Dubuque Fire Department, 183 Sinsinawa Ave., East Dubuque, IL.

More Ideas

A Family Celebration

Plan your family celebration at galena.org! When October hits we start the sprint towards the holiday season. If¬†you feel rushed and busy it takes away from the quality family time you want from these¬†holidays. Here¬†are some Insider Tips¬†to enjoy this time of year and focus on what’s important to you.

1. Rent a vacation home so that everyone gets to be on vacation and cleaning up doesn’t fall to the hosts! (Robert Johnson Rental Homes pictured)

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2. Choose a resort or hotel so that everyone has something (or nothing!) to do and no one has to cook. (Stonedrift Spa pictured)

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3. Order in! We have many options for you…from a private chef, a caterer or dinner-to-go from your favorite restaurant. (Fried Green Tomatoes, Tuscan Mac-N-Cheese¬†pictured)

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4. Is it just the two of you, but you want the feeling of coming home? Book a bed & breakfast, the innkeepers have a knack for thinking of everything when it comes to your comfort. (Susan Steffan of Farmers’ Guest House pictured)

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5. Stock up on the local flavors, wine from our four vineyards, spirits from the distillery, seasonings, garlic, olive oil and treats from Galena’s Main St. shops and the shops all over Jo Daviess County.¬†(Rigopoulos Grove Extra Virgin Olive Oil at Galena Canning Co. pictured)

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  • Let us know if we can help you plan your family getaway at galena.org.
  • Request free travel information HERE!
  • Also use our Events Calendar to plan activities for the whole family to enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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! ***

Where to Find a Fish Fry in Jo Daviess County

It’s that time of year when we’re looking for a good Fish Fry or seafood option. Here are 8 in Jo Daviess County to try!

Shrimp

Fried Shrimp from JJ & Freddies

JJ & Freddies – 211 W. North Ave. Stockton, IL (815) 947-2798
Olde Hotel/M&H BBQ – 108 S. Railroad St. Warren, IL (815) 745-9966 or (815) 297-2573
JM’s Tap – 7625 N. Menominee Rd. East Dubuque, IL (815) 747-7730
Southside Hornet Pub & Grill – 402 Franklin St. Scales Mound, IL (815) 845-2417

Whole Catfish

Whole Catfish at Charlie’s Place

Charlie’s Place – 213 Jefferson St. Hanover, IL (815) 591-3501
Paradise Bar & Grill – 205 N. Main St. Galena, IL (815) 777-3245
Taste Country Roadhouse – 14877 US HWY 20 W, East Dubuque, IL (815) 747-6656
Shark’s Roadhouse – 1366 US HWY 20 W, Elizabeth, IL (815) 858-9898

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Tell us on Facebook where you find you’re favorite Fish Fry in Jo Daviess County! Use our Where to Dine tab to find all of your options in Galena & Jo Daviess County!

 

 

 

Finding the Fairy Tale in Galena/Jo Daviess County!

We were honored to receive the award for Best Leisure Collateral Ad at the 2015 Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel & Tourism! The award winning ad was our insert in the Fall/Winter 2014 issue in The Knot, Chicago Magazine. We provided brides and grooms with a comprehensive list of wedding resources in Galena & Jo Daviess County, along with stunning photos from Primavera Studios!

 

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For more information visit our Weddings & Unions tab at galena.org, you can also use our Wedding Ideas Pinterest Board!

5 Tips to Navigating Chestnut Mountain Resort

Diners at Chestnut

Skiing and Snowboarding at Chestnut Mountain Resort is one of the top Winter attractions in Illinois. We’ve put together 5 tips to help you enjoy every second!

1. Reserve the Jacuzzi King Suite so that you have your own private hot tub Après Ski!

2. Get a full snow report and watch the live cams for conditions!

3. Traveling with kids? Sign them up for a lesson in the Powder Pups and Rangers program. We’ve heard the hot chocolate is great & they love riding in the Powder Pups Express!

4. Meet your friends for a drink at the Boulder Terrace off to your right on Old Main or on the deck at The Summit & enjoy the views of the Mississippi River!

5. Don’t miss the sunset over the Mississippi River, either on the slopes or in the Sunset Grille!

Photo Jan 30, 2 58 36 PM

photo by (at) paul2161 on Instagram

Follow Chestnut Mountain Resort on Instagram & Facebook!

 

The Nordic Center at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

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Enjoy ice skating, sledding, cross country skiing and snowshoeing at the Nordic Center at Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa.

Fever River Outfitters has everything you need to enjoy the outdoors this winter, so don’t worry about packing the sleds and skates! Located on Eagle Ridge Drive at the South Course Clubhouse, you can gear up and head out to their 1.5 acre natural ice pond, featured as one of USA Today’s Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks (Midwest).

The Nordic Center is open from 9am-4pm and admission is $5 per person, for adults and children. Click HERE for the rental prices! (As of January 2015) All resort guests and members receive free access and a 20% discount on rentals. All visitors must register at the Nordic Center desk.

Reservations are recommended and call ahead to check the conditions, call: 815-776-5225

You can warm up in the clubhouse or by a crackling bonfire and spot some of the local wildlife in the surrounding woods. You’ll find plenty to do as you Enjoy Galena Country at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa!

Don’t miss the Winter Carnival February 13-14, where in addition to these fun winter activities they’ll have a Fire & Ice Hot Air Balloon Show by Galena on The Fly, dogsled rides and turkey bowling!

Find out information on these events and more in Jo Daviess County on our Events Calendar at galena.org!

 

 

 

 

A Winter Getaway with Friends

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“A good friend knows all your stories, a best friend helped you write them.” (via Pinterest)

A getaway with friends fuels your soul and brings the sparkle back to the daily grind back home. Blogger, Haverlee Colyer traveled to Galena, IL with three of her girlfriends where their priorities were “food, photography, laughing and food.” The results of their adventure are gorgeous!

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Main St. in Galena, IL

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The Old Train Depot, Galena, IL

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Megan at Thunder Bay Falls in the Galena Territory

Visit their blogs & websites and LIKE them on Instagram to learn more!
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Haverlee Colyer – True Boy Tales *** (@haverlee)

Katie Evans Photography*** (@katieevansphoto)

Megan Schaap Photography*** (@meganschaap)

The Bridge Builder’s Wife *** (@thebridgebuilderswife)

Enjoy Galena Country!

 

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