Roadtrip to Galena, Illinois

Since New Years Eve fell on a long weekend this year, we decided to take a little roadtrip and get out of town. In past years, we've gone to Eureka Springs (Arkansas) or Chicago for New Years Eve. This year we were looking for something driveable (within like 6 hours) and something quiet/relaxing. After reading about Galena in a few Midwest magazines, we decided it'd make a good little New Years trip.

We left on Saturday morning from Kansas City and it took us about 6 hours to get to Galena. We did stop in Iowa at a winery/distillery and had some really good apple pie moonshine. We got a bottle to bring home, it was that good. We arrived at our B&B in Dubuque at about 5pm.
The B&B, The Richards House, was built in the 1800s by the Richards family. It stayed in their house until about 30 years ago when the current owners purchased it. The interior of the house was beautiful- all the original woodwork, stained glass, and lighting was still in tact. 
Our room was on the second of five floors. It had awesome original windows and a big fireplace. We enjoyed the B&B. It wasn't as flashy as some B&Bs we've stayed at but I would stay there again if we were in the area. We ventured out to Galena (it was New Years Eve) to see if there was anything fun going on. The town was pretty quiet, but a couple of the bars had live music/bands. We decided to check out the Galena Brewing Company.
We each got a flight (I got the seasonal and Patrick got the regular). We got there about 7pm, and decided we were too tired to try to stay out until Midnight. The beer was ok- I think I only drank like three of my tasters. Some of their stouts were way too stout for either of us. We ended up leaving around 8:30 because they wanted our table for people coming in for the band. By then, all the shops were closed so we headed back to the B&B to get some rest.
After a full breakfast at the B&B, we headed over to Galena (about a 15 minute drive). Even though it was New Years Day, most of the shops were open and I was glad about that. We spent a few hours just walking down the street and stopping in the shops. The main street is so long and adorable, its the biggest main street I've ever seen. I can understand why it's been named the "Best Main Street in the Midwest."
I didn't get pictures of very many stores, but there were several I loved! The photo above is from the Galena Canning Company. It was a huge store with anything you could imagine canned. They had a big jelly selection and I ended up buying some apple jalapeno jelly for us and for my mom. They also had awesome pickled olives, chow chow, and some other fun stuff! I also really liked the popcorn store. They let you sample anything you wanted and they had a huge variety. We ended up getting a bag of zesty ranch, dill, puppy chow, and jalapeno cheddar popcorns. 
My other favorite store was the Mean Bean Roasting Company. It's an adorable little coffee store where you can mix your own roast. I made smores- graham crackers, toasted marshmallows, and chocolate mousse. Patrick made bacon caramel. They smelled sooo good, I can't wait to try them in our new and improved Keurig! 

After a morning of shopping and wine tasting, Patrick wanted to drive up to Wisconsin to buy some cheese. We headed to Shullsburg, where we got amazing cheese curds at Shullsburg Creamery. Then we headed back to Galena to do a moonshine tasting at Blaum Brothers Distillery. I got an apple moonshine cocktail and it was amazing. 
We had a great time on our mini vacation but today was time to say goodbye to Galena and head home. Truman (our English Bulldog) wore out his welcome at Gramps Camp by barking, trying to attack other dogs, and snoring so loud he woke everyone up. Galena was a great little town that I'd like to explore again, this time in warmer weather! 



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