Farmers' Guest House blog
July 25th, 2014

The Perfect Bed and Breakfast Experience

the perfect bed and breakfast experienceAt Farmers Guest House we aim to provide each guest with an unforgettable Galena bed and breakfast experience; really, we want to give our guest the perfect bed and breakfast experience.

We are constantly looking for new ways to improve the “guest experience” and tirelessly look for new amenities that our guests will appreciate.

What our guest say about us is very important. Below is a recent review about the Farmers Guest House experience and why we strive to be your reason to visit Galena.

“Stellar Experience! Superior Bed and Breakfast!”

Don and Sue have perfected the B&B experience. I would recommend every B&B owner stay a night at Farmers’ Guest House and see professionalism with the personal touch at its finest. We were charmed by our host and hostess and simply delighted in the extra comforts provided. We immediately felt at home.

In the dining area, unlimited bottled waters, soft drinks, tea, and coffee are always available. There are two cookie jars which, as advertised, were “bottomless.” At 5:00 PM, wine, cheese, and crackers were served with an offer to make dinner reservations for guests at area restaurants. One could not help but feel at home knowing the fridge not only housed unlimited soft drinks, but was available for guests along with a microwave. Leftovers could be enjoyed later in the evening along with those cookies!

the perfect bed and breakfast experienceUpon arrival, we were given a list of the foods to be served at breakfast with the option to cross out anything we didn’t want served or specify allergies, vegan etc. On our second day, my husband very much appreciated being able to ask for his flatbread with no eggs or mushrooms, just bacon and cheese. The flatbread was delicious both ways with lovely presentation. The list was provided each morning when the room was cleaned with the simple request to please return it before 9:00 PM if there were to be any changes. It is not only a thoughtful idea, but I loved the anticipation of knowing what we were having for breakfast.

Speaking of the food! WONDERFUL! Our first morning we had banana caramel french toast, fresh fruit with sorbet, and croissants. It was as delicious as it sounds. Our second morning we had the flatbread along with fresh fruit and sorbet, and a light lemon poppyseed coffee cake that practically melted in your mouth. It was still slightly warm and I could have eaten the whole batch, I have no doubt. My husband is not a big breakfast person so many times he doesn’t care at all for the food served at B&Bs. This was real food, lovely in presentation, but food everyone would enjoy.

The dining room was set up with tables of various sizes. Granted, not every B&B has the room to have separate tables, but sitting with other guests was a choice, not a requirement. We ate with the other guests but another couple chose to sit alone and it wasn’t awkward.

the perfect bed and breakfast experienceBreakfast is served between 8:30 and 9:30. At any point within that time frame, one simply sits at a table and is served breakfast with fresh orange juice and warm smiles. It was really nice to have that flexibility rather than having to be in place at a set time. We actually ended up arriving right at 8:30 both mornings but it was nice to know we didn’t need to rush. Don, Sue, and Charles all made sure everyone enjoyed breakfast.

We stayed in the Malvina room. The rooms are named after the wives of civil war generals. Our room was nicely appointed, very clean, and cozy. I noticed immediately the lack of what I call “fru fru.” There were no doilies or pictures of people we didn’t know cluttering up the tables. We didn’t have to move things out of the way to make room for our belongings. How refreshing! We could move in and make the room our own. It didn’t feel cluttered. There was a nice sized flat screen TV that pulled out from the wall. It didn’t lessen the beauty of the room and allowed for viewing from the bed or the chairs. An extensive up to date selection of DVDs was a nice surprise in the hallway. The bed was comfortable and I loved the old hardwood floors. The bathroom was immaculate with everything one might need. Farmers’s Guest House was built in 1867 as a hotel and general store. From the eclectic collection of clocks in the dining room area, the cozy, whimsical living room, to the lovely garden out back, Farmer’s Guest House wraps you in comfort with sincere concern for one’s every need. Don and Sue genuinely care about their guests and want their experience to be memorable. Don’t miss Farmer’s Guest House in Galena!

Laurie & Andy, Champaign, Illinois

Come and experience the reason to visit Galena at Farmers Guest House. Your adventure begins by clicking here.

July 22nd, 2014

Girlfriend’s Getaway Weekend

girlfriends getaway weekendJoin us at Farmers Guest House in Galena for a very exciting girlfriend’s getaway weekend, September 5-7, 2014!

In addition to our regular country elegant accommodations, including our award-winning breakfast and WineTime each evening, you can experience great events planned throughout Galena just for you and your girlfriends.

Farmers Guest House is also the home of The Studio at Farmers Guest House; the only full-service bed and breakfast spa in downtown Galena.

Businesses throughout Galena have special events, parties, specials and more planned throughout the weekend as part of Ladies Getaway Weekend.

Farmers Guest House is your reason to visit Galena. There’s so much to love here.

July 19th, 2014

Galena Hotels: The Perfect Alternative

Galena Hotels: The perfect AlternativeWhat makes Galena special? Sure, there is a case to be made for the historic significance and scenic beauty of the area, but it is really the experience that makes Galena special. As you search for Galena hotels, the perfect alternative is Farmers Guest House.

Farmers Guest House is to the Galena hotel what the smart phone is to the phone booth. We offer country elegant accommodations in our beautifully restored historic inn. Our breakfast was awarded first runner-up in the 2014 Best Breakfast in North America competition and our Annie’s Galena Cottage is the only private cottage in Galena within walking distance to downtown Galena.

Farmers Guest House is a short walk to Main Street Galena, where you will discover numerous restaurants and over 90 local shops and wine tasting rooms. When you’re done exploring, relax with a rejuvenating massage in The Studio at Farmers Guest House and join us for WineTime™ each even at 5pm before heading out to dinner.

As Mary White, CEO of recently wrote: Galena’s captivating history and beautiful scenery make this small town the perfect summer destination. Surrounded by the Galena River, wineries, hiking trails, and world-class golf courses, there is truly something for everyone. Galena’s historic attractions include the Ulysses S. Grant Home and Museum. The Farmers Guest House is centrally located to historic sites, local artisan shops, wine trails, and art galleries. The inn has been lovingly restored to its original 19th-century condition, and features nine luxurious rooms and suites, as well as Annie’s Galena Cottage for extra privacy.

What we are not is the typical Galena hotel. We are the perfect alternative and your reason to visit Galena. Choose your suite and book your stay at Farmers Guest House here. 

July 7th, 2014

Apple River Fort Historic Site

Apple River Fort Historic Site

Here at Farmers Guest House in historic Galena, our many repeat guests occasionally ask for something to do during the week in the Galena area that is different than what they have done on a previous visit.  Recently a guest reminded me of the Apple River Fort Historic Site just up the road about 20 minutes from downtown Galena.

The Apple River Fort was the site of an important battle during the Black Hawk War during the summer of 1832.  On June 24th, of that summer, the settlers at the fort turned back an attack by some 200 warriors led by Black Hawk.  The war, which lasted only 16 weeks, ended the threat of Indian attacks in the area and opened the region to further settlement.

The Apple River Fort, like many historic sites, is closed on Monday and Tuesday, but is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday – Sunday all season long for self-guided tours and frequently offers living history activities.  For only $4 for adults, this is a great way to spend an afternoon experiencing life like our early settlers.

June 29th, 2014

Enjoy a Honey Flan at Farmers Guest House

What a lovely way to start the day!  Honey flan, Petite Pancakes and Country Ham – a recipe for a great day.  This is my version of the recipe from the March, 2014 edition of Southern Living Magazine.

Honey Flan, modified from a recipe in the March 2014 edition of Southern Living
Serves 18
1 cup sugar
1 cups honey, divided
2 (14 oz) cans sweetened condensed milk
2 cups whole milk
6 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 350.  In a large saucepan heat sugar just until melted, add 1/3 cup of honey and remove from heat. (Do not overcook or the sugar will turn to candy)  Immediately pour hot sauce into 12 ramekins.
2. In a large bowl process condensed milk, whole milk, eggs, egg yolks and salt until smooth.  Pour evenly over sugar in each ramekin.  Place ramekins in 2 9 x 13 inch pans.  Add hot tap water to pan to a depth of 1 inch.
3. Bake at 350 for 60 minutes or until set.  Remove from water bath and place on wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.  Cover and chill for 3 hours or overnight.  Run a knife around edges of flans to loosen and invert on plates to serve.

June 7th, 2014

Tour of Galena – Winner Stays with Farmers Guest House!

Farmers Guest House is proud to be hosting Ben, the winner of the Masters Category 4/5 race from this afternoon.  The Tour of Galena is in its 4th year and is determined to be the best omnium stage race in Illinois if not the entire country.  This afternoon’s Road Race was two laps of  a  22-mile course including several steep and long climbs and was held under USA Cycling event permit.  45 miles of Galena hills!   No, not everyone can roll their bicycle in through the front door, but we made an exception for today’s winner! (There is secure bike parking around back for the rest of us regular riders.)  Book your reservation in one of our winning rooms or suites – the summer months are filling fast! 

May 22nd, 2014

A Treasured Guest

Farmers Guest House recently hosted the popular radio personality, Steve Summers, from Q98.5 out of Rockford.  Here is what Steve had to say about Galena -

The City of Galena is a Northern Illinois Treasure to Experience

 By Steve Summers May 21, 2014 3:06 PM


Steve Summers, Townsquare Media


This past weekend, my lovely wife and I celebrated 29 years of “bliss” with a weekend get-a-way to nearby Galena, Illinois. What an incredible town that is so rich in history, and only a little more than an hour away. Galena, Illinois welcomes you with a Main Street right out of 1860′s mixed with the convenience of today. The movie “Field of Dreams” used Galena’s Main Street as the backdrop for ”Old Doc’s” Office. You instantly feel as if you’ll see Old Doc walking along the street…

The shopping is vast and exciting. If you love wine, you hit the jackpot with numerous vineyards and taste stations. Be sure to take a tour on the Trolley Cars and you’ll learn about President Grant’s home, his rise to General, and then on to become the 18th President of The United States of America.

President Lincoln slept in the Belvidere Mansion in Galena and address the town from the balcony that is still there in front of the Desoto Hotel.

When you go, be sure to bring your camera to capture breathtaking views on the way there on Highway 20, and all over the city.

Enjoy this Northern Illinois treasure soon. You’ll be glad you did.

Become a Q98.5 V.I.P by simply registering online here at Then you can sign up for one of two get-a-ways we’re giving away Wednesday, May 28th with the Q98.5 Wake Up Crew.


May 20th, 2014

TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2014

Once again Farmers Guest House has been awarded the prestigious TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. Each year that Susan and Don Steffan have owned Farmers Guest House they have earned this award.



Recognized as a Top Performing Bed and Breakfast as Reviewed by Travelers on the

World’s Largest Travel Site


Galena, IL – May 20, 2014 Farmers Guest House, Galena’s premier bed and breakfast today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide.  Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website. Read Complete Press Release

May 17th, 2014

Galena Excursions

Guests ask us about attractions “off the beaten path” that we recommend.  Council Hill Station is one of those destinations.  This old train station has been saved by a lovely and ambitious couple – Diane and Jamie.  It’s a rustic tour that includes an old barn, a new barn for music and a  riverwalk.  Make you reservation with us this summer and we can give you a map to this out of the way backwoods slice of Americana.

May 16th, 2014

Strawberry Pancake Points

It’s finally Spring and that means STRAWBERRIES!  These Strawberry Pancake Points are just one of many new items on our breakfast table this season.  Served with a fresh fruit bowl topped with pink grapefruit sorbet, warm apple pastries and fresh Iowa pork sausage, this is a great way to start a day of relaxation and fun here in Galena.