Denim Jacket: J.Crew, White button down: also J.Crew (it’s a mens XS–it’s the perfect oversized shirt!), Jeans: Abercrombie (a couple of you guys have told me American Eagle has an amazing similar pair of mom jeans, since I was talking about my Abercrombie and now American Eagle kick on Instagram stories the other day ?) they run TTS! Shoes: Sam Edelman Katy Mules (run TTS and also come in black!) Bag: AMAZON! Haha! It’s so cheap and so cute. (I mean, you also get what you pay for. Not the quality of a $200 bag, but for a vacation purse, it’s everything you want!) Sunnies: Ray Ban (these are the 53mm, they also come in a smaller 50mm size)
A few weeks back, Neal and I did a little mini getaway to Galena, IL for the weekend! It was SO much fun and the perfect escape from the city. It’s only about 3 hours (sometimes less, depending on traffic!) from the city. It’s a town rich in U.S. history (home to Ulysses S. Grant!) and even more charm, so if you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle, I can’t recommend it enough!
We first discovered Galena a few years ago when we drove through it to get to our friends’ Jeremiah and Ashley’s wedding in Dubuque, Iowa–we thought it was so cute and vowed to go back! Then I became friends with Meg a couple years back and learned she was planning her wedding in Galena, too! (You can stalk her wedding here on Style Me Pretty. It was perfect–I actually got a lot of ideas for our own wedding from Meg!) Galena just kept popping up everywhere, but we had yet to go back!
Then I got an email from Visit Galena asking if we’d like to come for a stay and if I could write an article and take some photos for their own website, and we were both like, YES!! (Obviously I had to share our experience with you guys too, even though that wasn’t part of the deal! ?)
Here’s a little sneak peak of our trip and some recommendations if you decide to plan your own! (I hope you do!)
Where to Stay: Farmer’s Guest House
I CANNOT say enough good things about Farmer’s Guest House!
I’ve stayed in a lot of B&B’s and this is by far the best one I’ve ever experienced. (Which makes sense that they’ve been ranked among the best B&B’s in North America!)
Everything about it was just adorable, and the location is perfect, too–just a quick walk to downtown! The Innkeepers, Susan and Don, really go out of their way to make sure every detail of your stay is perfect. The building has been an inn since it was built in 1867, and they’ve done a great job of striking the perfect balance of vintage charm with modern touches and amenities–like the smart thermostats in each room (so you can control your own temperature) and having the most comfortable bed I’ve slept in other than my own! I have no idea what kind of mattresses they use, but they beat out even the fanciest 5 star establishments ?
We had so much fun getting to chat with Susan and Don–they have a 5pm happy hour with complimentary wine and snacks, and in the mornings Susan serves up a complimentary breakfast from scratch. When were there, we had the BEST french toast I have ever tasted. (Which makes sense, as she’s won tons of awards for her breakfast, and was even on Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship!) If you’re like us and love meeting new people and making new friends on vacation, you’ll really love staying here!
Also, side note, if you happen to not be able to get a room here and you’re still on the hunt for somewhere to stay (the good spots book up really quickly especially during busy season) you should still reach out to Susan, because her daughter owns and runs a couple Air B&B’s in Galena as well!
Above: Susan and I! She’s so much fun and we loved getting to know her (and talk to her about her cooking secrets! She is a whiz!)
What to do:
Galena is unique in that it’s a very small town, but their Main street is actually very long and has a TON of shops, restaurants, and some really cute and fun bars! The best plan is honestly, to not have one! Just make your way from one end to the other!
One of the biggest highlights was stumbling into Galena Canning Company which happens to be the second largest hot sauce store in the world?! If you love hot sauce, or any type of sauce really, you have GOT to go in here. It’s really amazing! They sell tons of varieties and also make their own!
There are so many other cute stores too–just wander as you please and you’ll find your own favorites! The one cool thing is that no two stores are alike–you’ll find gift shops, culinary stores, clothing, jewelry, home decor, apothecary goods, and pretty much any lovely thing you can think of to buy–one of their stores has it!
Whenever we go on vacation, we always like to make several beverage break stops to check out the local bar scene ? this dive bar was our favorite. Perhaps the best divey-ist (is that a word?) dive of them all–you’ve got to stop into VFW.
Another favorite we stopped at was Gold Room–which is another greaaattt dive bar. We played a couple rounds of shuffleboard before heading dinner next door at Cannovas! (More on that below!)
Another (non divey) place we loved that had a really fun patio was Gobbie’s Sports Bar. It was the perfect place to stop and have a midday beverage. Their food looked really good too, so it would also be an ideal spot for lunch!
Then there was dinner at Cannova’s–the cutest little Italian restaurant. It’s one of those spots you can tell is a local favorite–the service was great as was the wine list! We split pizza and a pasta and it was the perfect amount of food. If you can, snag one of the romantic tables in the window! Our friends also told us about Log Cabin, famous for serving up gigantic steaks–which we definitely wished we had paid a visit to–oh well, next time! Fritz and Frites also looks absolutely adorable and was on our list, but sadly, we didn’t have time to get to!
One more spot you can’t miss is Otto’s Place. It’s an adorable homey restaurant where you can tell everything is made from scratch and with lot’s of love. They’re famous for the breakfast and lunch, but what you REALLY can’t miss is their bloody mary! It comes with HOT CHEETOS. Amazing. We sat at the bar/counter and loved our experience here!