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Birdwatching on the Great River Road Near Galena, IL

Beautiful view of the Mississippi River along the Great River Road Near Galena ILSpring really isn’t too far away, and we find ourselves looking forward to all of the opportunities that come with this warmer change in weather, including birdwatching along the Great River Road. Aside from the beautiful colors popping up from their dormant state over the winter, one of our favorite things about spring is the birds as they flit to and from our feeders around the Inn, and move their way back north after a winter in warmer southern climates.

The Great River Road, which parallels the Mississippi River, isn’t too far from our Galena Bed and Breakfast, either, making us the perfect place for avid birding enthusiasts to stay. Though birdwatching can be exceptional along the Great River Road, that’s not the only reason to explore this scenic stretch of highway. The Great River Road also offers a wonderful connection between the smaller towns of Illinois, like Galena, giving visitors an unparalleled opportunity to explore these quaint communities as they go. When it comes to Galena, in particular, there’s so much to see and do that you’ll want to give yourself a few days to really explore.

Our Galena Bed and Breakfast offers upscale, luxury accommodations just off Main Street, and within walking distance to all of the shops, restaurants, and attractions in downtown Galena. You deserve a getaway this spring.  It’s time to book a room at our Galena Bed and Breakfast before this opportunity passes you by!

Explore the Great River Road Near our Galena Bed and Breakfast

Aside from offering you a scenic road trip along the stunningly beautiful Mississippi River, the Great River Road gives you an unparalleled opportunity to explore the western edge of Illinois. From taking in scenic views atop riverside bluffs and kayaking or boating on the water (even on historic Paddlewheelers) to tasting your way through Ilinois’ Wine Country and visiting charming small towns like Galena along the way, this All American Road is one extraordinary road trip to take this spring.

Birdwatching This Spring along the Great River Road Near Galena IL

The scenery along Illinois’ Great River Road is breathtaking, and of course, goes far beyond the river itself. Much of the western part of the state was untouched by the glaciers that flattened the majority of the Midwest.  This “driftless” region, then, is known for its towering bluffs, rolling hills, majestic farmlands, and the sweeping views that accompany it all.

There’s a lot to do along this wonderful stretch of the Great River Road, and birdwatching is just the beginning. According to the Audubon Society, half of North America’s bird species and about 40 percent of its waterfowl spend at least part of their lives along the Mississippi Flyway, which includes the Great River Road.

Here are a few highlights to look forward to as travel this portion of the Great River Road, all of which are easily reachable when launching your getaway from our Galena Bed and Breakfast:

  1. Meander the Trails and/or go bird watching at the area’s top parks and nature preserves. There is an incredible range of parks and preserves to choose from in the Galena area, including Mississippi Palisades State Park, the many Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation properties that we support like the Buehler Preserve, Hanover Bluff State Natural Area, and the Iris and Jack Witkowsky State Wildlife Area.
  2. Blanding Landing Recreational Area is a birders paradise. It’s located on the backwaters of the Mississippi River and just 13 miles from downtown Galena. The calm waters here are also great for fishing and kayaking/canoeing.
  3. There are also a variety of kayaking and canoeing opportunities along the Galena River itself, which feeds into the Mississippi River. Boats can be rented from Fever River Outfitters, and they also offer trips and tours of the river.
  4. If you’d rather stay on dry land, you can also take in the beautiful views along the Galena River Trail, which is accessible just a short walk or ride away from our Inn.
  5. Take a cruise of the Mississippi River and enjoy the views from an entirely different vantage point.  There are frequent cruises leaving from Chesnut Mountain Resort.
  6. Explore the Upper Mississippi River Fish & Wildlife Preserve, which offers unprecedented access to protected river habitat.  The Refuge was established in 1924 as a refuge for fish, wildlife, and plants, and has long served as a breeding place for migratory birds. April and May are some of the best times to see songbird migrations here.
  7. Explore Galena’s neighboring towns like Hanover, and Elizabeth, and more.
  8. Take a tour through Galena’s Wine Country, making sure to plan for tastings at popular wineries like Galena Cellars and Massbach Ridge Winery. The Galena Brewing Company and Blaum Bros Distillery also make excellent tasting adventures!
  9. Enjoy getting to know a bit of the history of the area by visiting some of the area’s top historical attractions, like the Ulysses S. Grant House, the Dowling House, and Belvedere Mansion
  10. Walk along the historic streets of downtown Galena itself, where every building is a reminder of this charming town’s historic past.  It’s a great opportunity to visit the wonderful shops that makeup downtown Galena, too!

Beautiful downtown Galena Near the Great River Road

The #1 BEST Lodging in Galena

Exploring this portion of the Great River Road isn’t something you can do in its entirety in one day.  It will take you at least a few days to explore this area and the surrounding towns, to their fullest.  Why not make it a getaway, and enjoy a few restful days at our Galena Bed and Breakfast?

Our Inn alone is a spectacular destination, having been rated the #1 Bed and Breakfast in the country in 2019 (#10 in the world), and the #3 Bed and Breakfast in the U.S. in 2020 (#11 in the world) on TripAdvisor.  With over 500 hundred 5-star reviews standing behind us, we’re confident that you’ll enjoy every second of your time in our historic, renovated Jail.

With just 6 luxurious guest suites, each of which is 800 square feet, you’ll feel pampered and well taken care of from the moment you step through the doors at our Galena Bed and Breakfast.  Your stay starts with complimentary champagne and chocolates in the room, but that’s certainly not where it ends!

We’ll serve you a 3-course breakfast each morning of your stay, either in our socially-distanced and covid-safe dining room or in the privacy and comfort of your guest room.  In the afternoon, we provide each of our guests with an individual tray, complete with delicious and locally-curated selections of charcuterie, house-made appetizers, and a personalized selection of wine.

The experience here is so delightful that you might want to add a day to your trip just to sit back and enjoy all of the amenities in our guest rooms, such as our cozy and custom-designed Frette bathrobes, our soothing Kohler bubble-massage tubs, or even our beautiful outdoor spaces which are just waiting for spring.

There’s a reason we’re ranked as the #1 best lodging in Galena, and we’ve love to get a chance to show you just how great a stay at our Galena Bed and Breakfast can be.  This spring, book a room at our sensational Bed and Breakfast in Galena as you explore the stunning beauty of the Great River Road!


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Now Offering Dinner from Brazen!

We’ve partnered with our friends at the sensational Brazen Open Kitchen in Dubuque to bring you a new Friday night food delivery option!