On the Galena River, this bustling town in northwest Illinois is popular for its unique shops and restaurants housed in century-old buildings. But don’t overlook its water sports, golf and tours. At the end of the day, find respite in one of the town’s 50 inns and hotels.
The heart of Galena’s shopping district stands along Main Street. Main Street Fine Books and Manuscripts curates a collection of rare titles. Galena Garlic Company’s savory scents draw customers into this olive oil shop. Find wood barrels filled with saltwater taffy and trays of chocolates at Galena Kandy Kitchen.
In the afternoon, a tour of the 19th-century Italianate Ulysses S. Grant Home gives insight into post-Civil War life.
Grant’s father once owned the building that houses Fried Green Tomatoes, an elegant Italian restaurant.
Retire to luxury suites with river views at the Goldmoor Inn (from $275).
Dine on Goldmoor Inn’s gourmet breakfast or grab banana bread French toast and veggie-goat cheese omelets at Otto’s Place Cafe and Lounge.
For a relaxed and close look at the bluffs and wildlife along the river’s backwaters, climb aboard a Mississippi Explorer Cruises pontoon at Chestnut Mountain Resort.
Sip on sweet whites and dry reds at Galena Cellars Vineyard and Winery and Rocky Waters Vineyard-Winery in nearby Hanover.
Fever River Outfitters leads kayaking tours along the Galena River.
If you prefer to keep your feet on dry land, opt for a scooter trip to Galena Cellars Vineyard and Winery, with a shuttle back to Main Street when you’re done.
More information: (877) 464-2536; galena.org
Stay You’ll Remember
With three acclaimed 18-hole courses and one nine-hole course, Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa draws large numbers of golfers, but there are plenty of other reasons to come here for a weekend getaway. Outdoor enthusiasts can choose from horseback riding, kayaking, hiking or bicycling. Those needing pampering can relax in the spa. Accommodations include 80 rooms in the inn, as well as more than 200 villas and homes. (800) 892-2269; eagleridge.com
Bring the Kids
Chestnut Mountain Resort Zip down a 2,050-foot-long alpine slide or roll around this beautiful mountaintop resort on a one-hour Segway tour. Other summertime activities: mini golf, disc golf and mountain biking. In winter, take advantage of skiing and snowboarding on 19 runs. (800) 397-1320; chestnutmtn.com
Meal You’ll Remember
In a casual, European-style bistro, Fritz and Frites split-personality menu consists of French and German favorites. On the “frites” side, there’s escargot, baked Brie, pâté, quiche and mussels. “Fritz” fans can load up on schnitzel, sauerbraten, sausages and spaetzle. French wines and German beers create perfect pairings. (815) 777-2004; fritzandfrites.com