Into the Woods Part III: R, R, & R at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa
Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 2:43pm

If you're looking to get away for some R, R, & R - rest, relaxation, and recreation - Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa is the place to go. Located just seven miles from Galena the resort is set amidst rolling hills on a private lake. Even if you avail yourself of the many activities on the property itself and in the surrounding area the gorgeous setting makes for a serene getaway.

Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa hosted a morel hunt for media and I attended with fellow travel writers. In part three of my "Into The Woods" series covering the event I'm featuring our hosts.

Accommodations at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa Courtyard

When you stay at Eagle Ridge you can choose from one of the eighty rooms in the Inn or from over 200 homes and villas located in the surrounding Galena Territory. These rental homes range from a one-bedroom hexagonal hideaway to a six bedroom villa. Some of the homes are townhomes and some are completely separate residences. Each is individually decorated with a distinct personality.

They all include complete kitchens and there are often gas grills, a great amenity for cooking in for an evening or two during your stay. There's even an onsite store that sells cuts of meat and other groceries. While it could be tempting to prepare your own meals the entire time you're there (if you're an avid home cook like I am) you'll want to make sure you visit Eagle Ridge's restaurants. The culinary team is outstanding. (More on dining below.)

I've stayed in the rental homes a couple of different times and they offer an abundance of space and amenities. I truly felt like a "Local Tourist" as I made myself at home, stocking the refrigerator, relaxing in the gigantic tub, grilling out on the deck, watching a movie I picked up from the General Store, and enjoying a morning coffee in the provided robe as the day began. The only thing missing from a stay in these villas is time - I wish there were more of it!

The Inn provides a completely different experience. Where the villas provide seclusion, the Inn offers inclusion. You can choose from a rustic room in the main lodge or the courtyard. All rooms offer jetted bathtubs, robes, wifi, HDTV, and coffee makers. If you stay in the courtyard you can step outside on your balcony or patio. There are also a few select rooms that include a fireplace. There's a spa, a pool, a fitness center, a boutique, and a marina. Dining and drinking are just a few steps away, or you can have your meal delivered to your room.

Dining at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

Dining at Woodlands Restaurant in Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

photo courtesy of Eagle Ridge

Speaking of dining, it is, bar none, excellent, with a team that has more longevity than most marriages, restaurants, small businesses, and hit Broadway shows.

There are four options for dining at the resort. Woodlands Restaurant is a top-rated dining destination for the region. It's open daily for breakfast with the option of an a la carte menu including waffles, French toast, biscuits and gravy, and eggs benedict, both traditional and portabella. You can also choose their excellent breakfast buffet. "Buffet" can conjure images of dried eggs, limp bacon, and underripe honeydew melon in the ubiquitous fruit salad, but theirs is nothing of the sort. Expect smoked salmon with capers, ripe berries ready to burst with sweetness, crisp bacon, fresh bagels, and delicious made-to-order omelets.

On Thursday through Saturday evenings the restaurant offers an upscale selection of creative dishes from Chef Randy and his team. Scallops in a vodka tomato sauce; a bacon wilted spinach salad with shiitake mushrooms, pears, and smoked duck breast; and salmon seared in jasmine and chamomile and served with sweet corn, asparagus, and a tomato stew with a Reisling and cream reduction give you an idea of what you can expect. On Fridays there are wine tastings and on Saturdays there's an all-you-can-eat prime rib dinner.

Woodlands Lounge serves more casual fare, but it's got a twist. The nachos are Tuscan, the chowder is sausage and corn, the wedge is served with blackened ahi, and the pot roast is made of veal. For the kids they've got mini pigs-in-a-blanket and the grilled cheese is on Texas toast. Stop at the bar and get a Screaming Eagle, their own custom beer brewed by Leinenkugel, and lounge in one of the outdoor Adirondack chairs to watch the sunset over Lake Galena. If the view isn't enough there's also live music on Fridays and Saturdays.

Sausage Corn Chowder at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

photo courtesy of Eagle Ridge

Also in the Inn is Paisanos. This is their fast casual coffee shop, ice cream parlor, and pizzeria. You can dine in or take some to go. Boaters will dock at the marina and take some Italian sandwiches with them for a day on the lake. They'll also conveniently deliver right to your room.

The final dining destination is the first one you see when you enter The Galena Territory. Woodstone is open seasonally and it offers wood fired specialties with panoramic views of The General, the resort's largest golf course.

Recreation at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

If you're looking for an active getaway there are enough activities at Eagle Ridge to keep you as busy as you want to be.

Golf

Eagle Ridge is known for golf, and for good reason. Their four championship golf courses were recently renovated and provide sixty-three holes that incorporate the rolling hills and woodlands. Make sure you're dressed appropriately; they require golf attire.

If you like your walks spoiled to take a little less time than a traditional round of golf try out foot golf or hack golf. Both are sanctioned by the PGA but are more fun for kids and those who don't play the sport.

Golf at Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa
photo courtesy of Eagle Ridge

Horseback Riding

The Shenandoah Riding Center offers trail rides and lessons, and in the winter also offers sleigh rides. There are over forty miles of groomed riding trails and riders of all experience levels can explore The Galena Territory on horseback.

Shenandoah Riding Center in The Galena Territory

photo courtesy Shenandoah Riding Center

Hiking & Biking

There are over twenty miles of trails to explore on your own two legs. Some are easy and skirt the golf courses. Others take you through the heart of the woods to some magnificent vistas. Some of the trails are also bike-friendly and you can either bring your own or borrow one from the resort at no charge.

Hiking Trail at Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa

Bird Watching

When you're enjoying your breakfast at Woodlands don't be surprised if you see a Bald Eagle soaring over the lake. There's a reason the resort is called Eagle Ridge. In addition to eagles there are over 200 types of birds in the area, making this one of the best birding destinations in North America.

American Bald Eagle
photo courtesy of Eagle Ridge Resort

Hot Air Balloon Rides

One of the best ways to see the beautiful countryside of the tri-state area is from the air. You can depart at sunrise or sunset with Galena On The Fly. One balloon holds fourteen people, so you can make it a party in the sky! The schedule varies, so call 815-777-2747 for details.

Galena on the Fly

photo courtesy of Galena on the Fly

Boating and Fishing

Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa sits on Lake Galena, a private man-made lake that features some of the best fishing in the area. There are pontoon boats, paddleboats, kayaks or canoes available for rent at the resort-side marina. The lake was created by the flooding of Smallpox Creek. It filled so quickly that a farm was buried, making a great habitat for fish, as well as old bridges and other structures.

One of the nice things about the lake is that there are no private lots on the lake shore. It's also wake-free, ensuring absolute serenity for fishers, birders, and hikers.

Lake Galena at Eagle Ridge Resort

Stonedrift Spa

Last but not least, there's the spa in Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa. Stonedrift puts the "Relaxation" into the R, R, & R of Eagle Ridge. With over 6,000 square feet of serenity there's plenty of room for their spa professionals to provide massages, facials, reflexology, and signature treatments. Their private suite is perfect for couples, friends, and mothers and daughters who want to share their pampering.

Stonedrift Spa

photo courtesy of Eagle Ridge Resort

In addition to all of the above, Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa is located near several wineries as well as the quaint town of Galena. It's a short distance to the Mississippi River and twenty minutes to Dubuque, Iowa. If you're looking for rest, relaxation, and recreation, and some great dining in a picturesque location, you'll find it at Eagle Ridge.

Coming up: the final installment in our four-part series introduces you to The Galena Territory, the semi-private recreational, residential, and resort community in which Eagle Ridge resides.

Into The Woods at Eagle Ridge

Disclaimer: I was invited to the Morel Dinner and Hunt as a member of the media, and Eagle Ridge provided accommodations, miles of hiking paths and oodles of serenity. And lots, and lots of calories. Photos ©Theresa Carter Goodrich unless otherwise noted.

Theresa Goodrich's picture
Theresa Carter - The Local Tourist Founder and Publisher, a.k.a. the boss
About Theresa

Hello Fellow Traveler! I'm the Emmy-winning founder and publisher of The Local Tourist. I've got insatiable curiosity, wanderlust, and an incurable need to use my words. In fact, I

444 Eagle Ridge Drive, Galena, IL 61036
800.892.2269
A Midwest Destination Resort on 6,800 acres of rolling hills in The Galena Territory, IL with 63 holes of golf, Stonedrift Spa, private home rentals, adventure!
Eagle Ridge Resort

Add new comment

For your reading enjoyment, by the founder of The Local Tourist:

"If John Steinbeck earned a Nobel Prize in Literature shortly after publishing Travels with Charley, then Theresa should start planning a trip to Oslo, Norway, because Two Lane Gems is every bit the book Travels with Charley was. And then some." ~Amazon review