Galena Itinerary

From Itineraries Midwest Summer Issue 2010

Day One

Make your first leap in learning about Galena’s historic past by visiting the Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site.  The Italianate home was presented to President Grant in 1865 and opened to the public in 1904.  The furnishings within the home are original and the tours go in-depth about the impact Grant and his family had on Galena.

Cross the pedestrian bridge over the Galena River and be prepared to step back in time.  The Old Blacksmith Shop is an authentic 1897 blacksmith shop with working forges that produce a multitude of Galena-forged items.  Local on-site historians utilize replicated tools and equipment that model how the blacksmith shop would have been operated in its heyday.

After purchasing you own Galena horseshoe, stop at Cannova’s Pizzeria for a wonderful lunch from Italy’s old world.  They have daily specials that suit all appetites.  Cannova’s is the perfect place to refuel for a day on the town.

Begin your afternoon by exploring the stately architecture on Bench Street and the Galena History Museum.  At the museum, visitors can view the exhibits on the Civil War, Presidents Grant and Lincoln, steam boating, the original “Peace in Union” painting, and the opportunity to explore an abandoned 1830’s lead mine.

Continue your Galena experience by walking through Galena’s Historic District on your way to Galena Cellars.  The Lawlor family, with more than 30 years of winemaking experience, proudly offers tastings of 40 award-winning wines.  Groups love to sit on their outdoor patio, enjoy a private tasting, and shop through their expansive retail store.

Before your day comes to an end, purchase a few gifts from the boutique shop of Galena’s Main Street as you make your way to a dinner hotspot, Fried Green Tomatoes.  This restaurant takes pride in their upscale Italian cuisine.  They have garnered honors for their award-winning wine list and ensure that no matter your group’s size they will provide exceptional service.

Spend your first night in Jo Daviess County, just outside of Galena, at the Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa.  Located on 6,800 acres, Eagle Ridge offers accommodations ranging from traditional hotel rooms to villas and private homes.  While at Eagle Ridge, enjoy 63 holes of championship golf or their immaculate spa that can soothe you body, mind, and soul.

Day Two

Wake up at Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa and watch a sunrise from the best vantage point possible, floating in a hot air balloon.  Galena On The Fly, Inc.  provide hot air balloon rides sunrise and sunset daily.  Reservations are required and groups are very welcome.  Drifting across the skies of Jo Daviess County, you will experience a trip of your lifetime.

Once you return to the ground, head off to Adventure Creek Alpaca Farm where you can learn about and walk alpacas.  See their TV star Quincy, too!  Make sure to call ahead and let them know you are stopping by so you can watch a demonstration on how fleece in made.

At Chestnut Mountain Resort, jump aboard Mississippi Explorer’s 1.5 hour cruise.  You will experience the splendor of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.  When the cruise ends, you will be transported to the top of Chestnut Mountain Resort for lunch at the Sunset Grill.  Sitting high atop a wooded palisade overlooking the Mississippi River, you’ll enjoy a wide variety of American cuisine.

Continue to Apple River Fort State Historic Site in historic Elizabeth, IL, the site of an important battle during the 1832 Black Hawk War.  At the reconstructed fort, visitors can learn about life in Jo Daviess County for the early 1800’s.

With the trip coming to the end, seat yourself for a performance of “Mark Twin and the Laughing River” as Jim Post takes you back to the heyday of the Mississippi River.  Through song and music, Mark Twain’s childhood comes back to life right in front of your eyes.

Complete your second day by unwinding at Chestnut Mountain Resort watching the sunset along the Mississippi River.  Relax by walking along one of their many trails or enjoy an evening of live music.

No matter what your group’s interests, Galena and Jo Daviess County provides bountiful options to make your next tour a success.

For further assistance in planning your next tour, contact Celestino Ruffini, director of sales and marketing, at 888 4-Galena or

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