Most Relaxing Activities in Galena

Located just a stone’s throw from the Mississippi River, the northwest Illinois city of Galena has a historic, small-town vibe (more than 85 percent percent of the buildings in the city are listed on the National Register of Historic Places). If you want to take a relaxing trip to Galena, the best time to go is in the summer or fall, before the icy Midwestern winter hits. So grab your sweetheart’s hand, stroll down Main Street, and spend some time taking in Galena’s Midwestern charm and checking these relaxing activities off your must-do list.

Galena on the Fly

what to do in galena

There’s nothing more peaceful than looking down on the world from above, and Galena on the Fly will take you on a hot air balloon ride 3,000 feet above the Galena landscape. You can catch a glimpse of three states (Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa) on your ride, and opt to soar through the air at sunset or sunrise. Each flight lasts approximately two and a half hours and ends with champagne at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa.

Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, The General Course

As one of the top 100 golf courses in America for 12 years running, according to Golf Digest, The General course at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa is a must for anyone who enjoys the game of golf (or the relaxing atmosphere it provides). Throughout the course there’s a 250-foot elevation change, which means you can catch spectacular views of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. The 18-hole golf course is open all year and to golfers of all abilities. When you go, pay particular attention to the The General’s signature hole (14) - it’s a par 4 with 180 feet of elevation change from tee to green. How’s that for a challenge?

Galena Cellars Vineyard and Winery

Owned by the Lawlor family, Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery is the ideal place to spend a relaxing afternoon after a morning of golf at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa. Robert and Joyce Lawlor opened the winery back in the 1970s, and their family’s passion for winemaking now spans three generations. Galena Cellars offers both public and private tours (a private tour and wine tasting only costs $15 per guest) - just make sure you call for reservations.

Pinder Pottery & Gallery

Whether you want to watch Pinder Pottery & Gallery’s owner throwing pots with his faithful dog by his side or learn how to make pottery yourself, this is the place to go in Galena. It’s located in the historic downtown area of the city, and features an extensive gallery of work from local craftspeople, as well as offering classes in hand building and wheel throwing for beginners. Each three-day course costs $225, and will teach you pottery basics and provide you with all of the materials you need to make a masterpiece.

Galena Day Spa

Care for a couples massage? Galena Day Spa offers three types: candlelit, hot stone and deep tissue. This top-of-the-line spa prides itself on its tranquil environment and ability to make couples feel calm and comfortable, and it’s family-owned. Champagne and chocolates are served with all couples massages, and the spa only hires therapists with advanced training and five or more years of experience, so you know you’re getting the best. You can book an appointment by calling the spa directly or sending an email.

Canoe on Galena River

As one of the most beautiful waterways in Illinois, the Galena River is best seen by canoe or kayak, so pick up a rental at Fever River Outfitters and paddle your way through the gorgeous scenery. Fever River Outfitters offers trips that range from five to 10 miles (that’s approximately two to 4.5 hours), and all trips must be reserved in advance. However, freestyle rentals are available on every hour.

By Nicole Martinez