Douglas’s 10 Favorite Things About Jo Daviess County
¬†We asked local innkeeper of the Aldrich Guest House, Douglas Mahan, to share what he loves about Jo Daviess County!¬†
1. The people of Jo Daviess County – As soon as my husband and I moved here we were instantly welcomed with opened arms. The sense of community is really unlike anything I have experienced anywhere else. Some of the most kind and genuine people you‚Äôll ever meet call Jo Daviess County home.
2. Casper Bluff – There is so much rich history in Jo Daviess county that revolves around the mid- 1800‚Äôs but to go even further back by thousands of years and see intact Native American burial grounds with some of the most incredible views of the Mississippi River is so incredible. One of my favorite spots for a sunset picnic.
3. Pesto Salmon at Fried Green Tomatoes – Always at the top of my list of places to eat, they have so many great options on their menu, but i could eat this salmon every day!
4. The architecture – For as many hard hits the area has taken through floods and depressions it is truly amazing to see so much of the architecture is still intact, being used and preserved. A trip anywhere in the area is like being on a history tour.
5.¬† Views of Galena from the Grant House -¬† The statue of Julia Grant may remind me of Mrs. Buttersworth and always make me suddenly crave pancakes, but sitting up on the hill alongside her are some of the most gorgeous views of our charming city from East Galena.
6. Geology -¬† I have lived in the Midwest my entire life and until recently never dreamed our flat area of the world could have such fascinating terrain as The Driftless Area. Not only does it create some of the most scenic vistas it also maintained some natural life that the Ice Ages wiped out everywhere else.
7. Outdoor Activities in Nature – We have so many fun ways to experience nature in an active way. I love to be able to ride my bike down the Galena River trail in the warmer months and cross country ski along it when there is snow. Taking a stand up paddle board from Fever River Outfitters down the river might just be one of the most peaceful forms of exercise I have ever experienced and then downhill skiing at Chestnut Mountain where you zoom down the hills right to the Mississippi River is a thrill all its own.
8. The Seasons – Almost cliche to say of the Midwest, but Jo Daviess County really does get the best of all seasons and I can now say that as i have been here for all 4 of them now. I think the landscape has something to do with it though, all of our hills and valleys create a collage of nature‚Äôs best in any direction you look.
9. Hand-Crafted & Locally Made – There is so much talent in the area, artists of every kind. Some of my favorite are the artists of the food and beverage variety. Places like Kandy Kitchen where Chuckles were invented and they have been making rich and chocolatey Pecan Georgies for decades. Chocolaterie Stam makes the most refreshing and decadent flavors of homemade gelato around. Historic places like the Galena Brewery where they revived a brewery from years past and serve a little bit of history in every pint or new operations like Blaum Bros. Distillery where you can find some very unique and witty spirits.
10. Night of Luminaria – Galena‚Äôs most magical night of the year. To see this incredible city illuminated in paper luminaries is really just the most enchanting way to light the holiday spirit within.
Douglas Mahan and his husband Robert are the innkeepers at the Aldrich Guest House in Galena, IL. They’ve given the historic home a fresh, updated look and have brought their years of upscale hospitality experience to their comfortable inn. The Aldrich Guest House dates back to 1845 and it has been a bed and breakfast since the mid 80‚Äôs. They are the 6th innkeepers, giving it a fresh new life to continue on another 170 years!
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