Galena, IL Weekend Guide

Since coronavirus put a bit of a damper on our 2020 travel plans, we decided to plan a local vacation in Galena, IL. Galena is located about 3 hours outside of Chicago and is a serene and peaceful place to get away.

We had a great trip and were able to spend some time outside in nature, visit wineries, and also got dressed up to dine al fresco and explore the town. Galena really does have something for everyone!

Here is my weekend guide if you’re planning to visit Galena, IL:

Where to stay: Since we planned our trip over Labor Day weekend, places booked up pretty quickly. We rented a home on the Galena Territory at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa. The house we booked was the perfect place away from everyone. It had floor to ceiling windows with views of trees and nature.

Rental House at Eagle Ridge

Sights to see: Thunder Bay Falls is a beautiful place to walk around or fish at. It was so calm and peaceful to watch and hear the sounds of the waterfall. There is parking available so you don’t have to do a ton of walking to see this beautiful attraction.

The Mighty Mississippi River is a close drive from town and has beautiful scenery. We first picked up coffee and tea from Elle & Becks in town and then drove out to see the river.

Thunder Bay Falls
The Mississippi River

Get out on the water: If you’re visiting Galena in the warmer months, you might want to go out on the water and rent paddle boards, kayaks, canoes, pedal boats, or a pontoon boat. We went kayaking on Lake Galena, where there was barely anyone around us (I love some peace and quiet). If you’re staying at Eagle Ridge, your stay should include a 2 hour daily rental of kayaks, but you can find more information on rentals here.

Kayaking on Lake Galena

Wine tasting: There are great local vineyards to sip on some wine at, as well as tasting rooms right in downtown Galena. We visited Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery and were able to walk around the vineyard and enjoy live music on a Saturday. Everything was spaced out too! Their Rosè Spritzer, Wine Slushie, and White Sangria were all great. Something to note – they also have a tasting room downtown with a cute outdoor patio area.

Rosè Spritzer from Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery

More wine tasting: Not too far from Galena are a few other wineries. The two that we visited were Massbach Ridge Winery in Elizabeth, IL and Rocky Waters Vineyard in Hanover, IL. We had such a great time at both and were able to sit outside with our tastings and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Massbach Ridge Winery
Rocky Waters Vineyard

Where to eat lunch: Looking for something casual in town? Try Durty Gurt’s for a burger and fries. We didn’t get drinks there, but they did have some fun Rum Buckets on the menu.

Picnics are perfect in Galena since there are so many places to sit outside. We packed picnics twice during our stay. There are local shops to buy cheese, meats, and snacks at. We went to Galena River Wine & Cheese (they also have great craft beers and a big wine selection)!

The Tombstone Burger and Cheese Burger from Durty Gurt’s

Where to eat dinner: If you’re looking for a delicious meal and a night out, I highly recommend Fried Green Tomatoes. The food was delicious and we enjoyed the Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra music that was playing outside. We had the Aperol Spritz and Blackberry Mojito to drink, both were great! You also have to get the fried green tomatoes for an appetizer (I mean, it’s in the name).

Fresh Sea Scallops & Risotto from Fried Green Tomatoes
Tiramisu from Fried Green Tomatoes

Where to shop: The town is filled with so many small businesses. You can easily spend hours browsing through all of the different stores. We especially enjoyed the clothing boutiques, apothecary shop, pasta store, and cheese/wine shop.

If you’re looking for a relaxing and quiet getaway, I highly suggest Galena, IL. Chicagoland locals, it’s even close enough for a nice day trip. This was the perfect place to come during coronavirus because there were many socially distant activities to enjoy!


Gee Nicolette

Fig & Cheese Flatbread Recipe

One of my favorite restaurants recently took away their seasonal Fig & Gorgonzola flatbread (it was my absolute favorite – heartbreaking, I know). My boyfriend and I decided to try making our own version for a date night in and we were thrilled with the results. Find the delicious recipe details below.

Date night in tip: watch Netflix movie ‘Love, Guaranteed’.

Fig & Cheese Flatbread Recipe


– Flatbread or pizza crust (I used the pre-cooked ones because they’re quick and easy)

– 6 Fresh figs (sliced)

– Honey goat cheese

– Gorgonzola cheese (crumbled)


Directions: Spread EVOO on crust or dough and then add sliced figs. Top with honey goat cheese and crumbled Gorgonzola. Bake at the recommended time and temperature listed on your pizza crust/dough package.



Gee Nicolette

September 2020 Intentions

Last year, I got into the habit of setting intentions for every month. Unfortunately, during quarantine I’ve kind of lost this practice. However, there’s no time like the present to pick it back up!

With the new month, I’m trying to manifest all of the good vibes and bring positive energy into September! Supposedly, if you say rabbit, rabbit at the beginning of a new month, you’re supposed to have good fortune (my grade school teacher told me this one). If you’re looking to have a good month too, try it for yourself and set your own intentions!

Here are my September 2020 intentions:

• Take more walks (explore different local areas)

• Think of time and energy as currency. Ask myself, “how much of my time/energy am I going to give this situation/person/etc.?”

• Pause throughout the day and take deep breaths (set reminders on my calendar and phone alarms)

• Try to do things with more intention and ask myself, “who am I doing this for and how is it serving me?”

What are your September intentions? Feel free to share in the comments or tag me on Instagram @geenicolette.

Outfit from Enzee Boutique


Gee Nicolette