It’s been quite a winter and we were in need of an escape. Badly.
Galena, Illinois has been on my (long) list of places to visit and I was beyond excited to finally make the trek to this popular getaway spot. And even more excited to stay in a house (yes, a house!) at Eagle Ridge Resort. Our timing was impeccable since our visit happened to fall during Eagle Ridge’s Winter Carnival. And oh, what fun we had! Read on to learn more about our stay and all that Eagle Ridge offers.
Disclosure: Our family was provided a complimentary stay at Eagle Ridge Resort Galena. I was not required to express a particular point of view, and all opinions are my own.
About Eagle Ridge Resort
Located just minutes away from historic Galena, Eagle Ridge Resort lies within The Galena Territory, a 6,800-acre planned residential, recreational, and resort community. After reading a bit about the area, I learned that The Galena Territory and Jo Daviess County are found in a unique geographical region called the Driftless Area, a 15,000-mile natural phenomenon of ridges and valleys that were untouched by ancient glaciers. Cool, right? As we drove through the area, we were met with beautiful rolling hills and so much nature. It was absolutely breathtaking even in the middle of winter. I can imagine how beautiful it could be during the other seasons.
Fun fact: Did you know that The Galena Territory is a designated dark sky region? It was actually named one of the best stargazing locations in the nation!
Plenty of lodging options
Eagle Ridge Resort offers a variety of lodging options depending on what suits your family. If you want to be close to the pool, spa, and restaurants, stay at the Inn or Courtyard. But if you truly want a getaway, book one of the 250 homes and villas. It truly cannot be beat! With properties ranging in size from 1 to 8 bedrooms, they have something for everyone. Since we are a family of five and brought the grandparents, staying in a home made the most sense. Let me tell you, it was the perfect size for our family while giving us the breathing room that we needed.
An Amazing Home Rental
We couldn’t have been happier about our home rental, Unit 502. Wow! What an amazing property! The three level home had 4 bedrooms (2 king size beds, 1 queen and 2 twin size beds) which could easily fit 8 people. All the rooms were light and bright. Our 3 bathrooms were also spacious. And the master bathroom on the top floor was awesome with its Jacuzzi tub. (Pssst…check out my Instagram Stories for a full tour.) Unfortunately, since we visited during winter we couldn’t fully take advantage of the 2 balconies and the porch sitting room . Oh gosh. The views!
The house is fully stocked with DVDs, games, and books to keep the whole family entertained. The main highlight though for the family was having a pool table in the basement. That was too much fun! Quite honestly, we could have stayed in the house the entire time playing games and billiards. The television was hardly on. Staying here was definitely an easy way to stay screen free.
But unlike my kids, I couldn’t stay off the screens. (You know, work beckons.) Luckily, all homes come with Wi-Fi and the change in scenery was just what I needed to actually get work done. Go figure!
Tip: Book during Monday through Thursday for special rates.
Although we had the privacy of a home, we were still able to enjoy the amenities provided by Eagle Ridge, and let me tell you there is plenty for families to do! One of the huge perks of staying in a rental home is access to The Owners Club where they have a pool and fitness center. The kids had a blast at the pool while I got pampered at the spa. (Read more of that later!)
Tip: Make sure to check for special hours as their are some adult only times.
Dining at Eagle Ridge Resort
Whether you’re staying in the Inn or one of the private homes, you will not go hungry at Eagle Ridge! Located at the Inn, Woodlands Restaurant is the main restaurant that you shouldn’t miss. If you happen to dine on a Saturday, don’t miss their special – the Prime Rib entree. Everything we tried – from the cheese curds to chicken wings to the jumbo shrimp – was delicious. Not only did they have a variety of food for adults and kids, but they also offer an extensive wine and beer list which made my husband and I very happy.
Have pizza cravings? We absolutely loved ordering pizza to go from Woodlands Lounge and savoring it from the comfort of our house. Another dining option located on resort grounds is Highlands Restaurant which I heard has magnificent views of the golf course. Also, the Country Store has a few grab and go options.
Outdoor Winter Activities
The Nordic Center, located by the The Country Store and Highlands Restaurant, offers a few winter outdoor activities like sledding, snowshoeing, and ice skating. Our visit happened to fall on an unusually warm winter day, so we were limited to ice skating. Nevertheless, everyone had a blast making rounds around the rink.
Tip: Head back here during the warmer months to try boat rentals, golf, footgolf, hiking, fishing, and more!
With the variety of activities offered at Eagle Ridge during the winter, you’re sure to be kept busy. But if you want to add more fun to itinerary, plan a visit during President’s Day Weekend to partake in Winter Carnival festivities. Fun activities included an indoor playland and craft room, an ice bar, fire and ice balloon glow, s’mores, hay rack wagon rides provided by Dittmar Farms, and a reptile show. What a blast!
Our hay rack wagon ride was a great way to explore more of The Galena Territory. One of our quick stops was Thunder Bay Falls which features a small waterfall. You know I love waterfalls, so this was a welcome surprise.
Had we more time, we would have loved to take a trail ride at Shenandoah Riding Center or try their Trackman Golf Simulator.
Get some much needed “ME” TIME
Located at the Inn, the Stonedrift Spa was the perfect way to get some “me” time and cash in on my birthday gift – a custom massage and facial. My journey to tranquility began in the cozy relaxation room with a glass of watermelon water. Dim lights, mood music, and the ambiance all added to the experience. After a short wait, I was ready for my custom massage. One of the perks of a custom massage is the ability to add two enhancements. Take it from me – add the foot scrub and deep tissue massage!
Tip: Stonedrift Spa has a new facility which doubled its previous size.
Although my 50-minute session ended way too fast, but I was eager for my facial, a Biodynamic Lunar Glow Facial. As the name suggests, the special facial was offered to celebrate Eagle Ridge’s dark sky designation. With the highest concentration of potent antioxidants, the facial definitely worked its magic but in the most gentle way. My skin was quite radiant afterwards.
FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT Eagle Ridge Resort
If you need to get away or need a change or scenery from the everyday, we can’t say enough great things about Eagle Ridge especially staying in a rental home. Not only can you enjoy being “away from it all” but also all the amenities offered by the resort. My family loved our stay (especially our house!) so much that they are requesting the same exact rental the next time we visit (hopefully, during the warmer months!)
TIPS TO ENJOY Eagle Ridge Resort
- During the warmer months, you can find other activities to do like golfing, fishing, footgolf, hiking, and horseback riding.
- Make sure to check out their social channels (listed below) for special deals and events.
- Book directly with Eagle Ridge to avoid fees.
- The resort is huge and spread out. Having a vehicle is very helpful. They also offer shuttle service.
- Plan ahead for next President’s Day weekend to partake in all the Winter Carnival activities.
- Take advantage of the awesome stargazing opportunities.
- Make it a work-ation! Although bringing your work with you is not always ideal, sometimes a change of scenery is all you need. Plus, staying during a weekday calls for better rates.
Location: 444 Eagle Ridge Drive, Galena, IL
Get social with Eagle Ridge Resort Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest
Things to Do Around Galena
The Galena Territory offers so many things to do – outdoor activities like hiking, biking,history, and more. While we didn’t have as much time as we wanted to do all the things, we did make a priority to hike….with goats. If you’re looking for a unique experience, book a goat trek with Hoof It Galena. What an unforgettable experience!
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Located just 10-15 minutes away lies historic Downtown Galena. Taking advantage of having babysitters, my husband and I decided a date night was in order and ventured out on the town. Our night started with a bit of wine at Galena Cellars, then good food at Fried Green Tomatoes. If you haven’t been there, I highly, highly recommend. Amazing food, great ambiance, and friendly staff. Full post coming!
Tip: Looking to visit another great destination near by? I absolutely love Dubuque with its proximity to the Mississippi River and art culture.
Nice Article.. I’m from Galena 👋
Yes, and if you are tenting a home… remember that many people live here full time, and don’t wish to hear loud obnoxious behavior.You may be on vacation, but we live here for the peace and quiet…not to hear you.
Remember that people live here year round and don’t want to hear obnoxious renters. So behave like normal human beings, and not frat boys.