Farmers' Guest House blog
August 23rd, 2014

Annie’s Galena Cottage

The only cottage within walking distance to Main Street, Annie’s Galena Cottage offers you all the comforts and amenities of our luxury inn.

Just 80 feet behind the main building and less than a two block walk to the entrance to Main Street’s Shopping District, guests still have a taste of the country as deer graze in the wooded area behind the cottage.  Just this past week this family of deer kept our guests entertained all morning. Thanks for the photos, Vic!

August 21st, 2014

Galena Food and Wine Festival

Galena Food & Wine Festival

Galena food wine festivalBREAKING NEWS: Farmers Guest House, widely recognized as the best bed and breakfast in Galena Illinois, has been selected to participate in the 2014 Galena Food & Wine Festival. Farmers Guest House will be the first, and only, bed and breakfast to be featured at the Festival.

“We are delighted to be able to participate in the Galena Food & Wine Festival this year,” says Farmers Guest House innkeeper Susan Steffan. “We know that food is a significant reason why visitors choose a certain bed and breakfast. Being able to let them experience one of the amazing breakfasts we serve will help the entire destination in attracting additional overnight visitors.”

Award-winning Breakfast

Galena food wine festivalFarmers Guest House will be providing attendees with samples of their award-winning Caramel Apple Bacon French Toast. The unique and tantalizing breakfast entree was recently awarded first runner-up in the international food competition known as’s Best Breakfast in North America.

“We aim to provide each guest with a measurable getaway experience and we recognize that food is a big part of the overall getaway experience,” says Steffan. Since purchasing Farmers Guest House in 2012, Susan and her husband Don have raised the standards of the guest experience, redefined the brand as the premier country elegant escape destination, and added The Studio at Farmers Guest House – the only downtown Galena bed and breakfast spa facility.

Top Galena Bed and Breakfast

Farmers Guest House is the number 1 ranked bed and breakfast in Galena, IL on TripAdvisor and is one of only a select few admitted to the Diamond Collection. Farmers Guest House is your reason to visit Galena. Start planning your escape from the ordinary by clicking here.

August 16th, 2014

Zucchini Cornbread

This cornbread is so flavorful and moist that many guests ask for the recipe every time it is served as a part of our Fiesta Breakfast.  It also makes a great way to use up an abundance of zucchini at this time of year.


1/4 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

1  1/3 cup flour

1 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup sugar

2 T baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

8 cups shredded zucchini

2 small or 1 large onion chopped

4 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 9 x 13 glass or stoneware pan.  Beat eggs and oil in a large bowl.  Add remaining ingredients holding back 1 c of cheddar cheese.  Stir until all ingredients are incorporated.  Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.  Bake for 1 hour.  Cut into 15 – 18 pieces and serve warm.


August 13th, 2014

Tipsy Tuesday and a Free Room Too

The Best of Galena

Galena is a great place to visit whenever you come to our special place in Northwest Illinois. A Galena getaway becomes so much more enjoyable when you can enjoy $2 glasses of top notch wine and a free room at Galena’s best bed and breakfast.

Fried Green Tomatoes Galena

tipsy tuesday and a free room tooEvery Tuesday, Fried Green Tomatoes offers their Tipsy Tuesday $2 wine by the glass special. This isn’t your usual experience with $2 by the glass wine. They open up their entire by the glass selection and pour their regular pour, not some tasting pour. Did I mention that Fried Green Tomatoes is widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in Galena? Or, that they are the only restaurant in Galena with the prestigious Wine Spectator Award for Excellence 12 years running? You can taste several top wines by the glass and not even spend $10; leaving you enough to really enjoy their innovative Northern Italian cuisine. Can’t beat that deal anywhere!

Best Bed and Breakfast Deal Galena

tipsy tuesday and a free room tooFarmers Guest House has saved the best for last. We’ve made Tuesdays Free* at Farmers Guest House when you book a 3-night stay that includes Tuesdays. You can book any of our country elegant rooms and suites when taking advantage of our Tuesdays Free promotion. Each morning you will enjoy Susan’s full new country breakfasts – awarded first runner-up in’s Best Breakfast in North America competition. Each evening at 5:00pm (Tuesdays too) join us for our WineTime™ social and networking hour where you can ask us anything about your stay and mingle with other guests.

Galena: Open for Business

Tipsy Tuesday and a Free Room TooThere are so many things to do in Galena when you choose a midweek getaway. Our shops, wineries-breweries-distilleries, parks, open space, restaurants and historic attractions are open for business throughout the week, so you won’t be missing anything except for the weekenders.

While you’re here and enjoying the best of Galena, don’t forget to book your massage or spa treatment at The Studio at Farmers Guest House. Enjoy a private, or couple’s massage in our on-property spa room – the only dedicated inn spa suite in downtown Galena.

Experience Galena like a local and visit us during the week. You won’t be disappointed.

*Tuesdays are Free: Book any 3 consecutive nights that include a Tuesday and the Tuesday is free!  That’s three nights for the price of 2! Why wait until the weekend to get away? 3 nights lodging includes a full breakfast each morning, WineTime @ 5:00 p.m. each evening and all the other wonderful amenities that make us Farmers Guest House. Excludes holidays; cannot be combined with any other special, discount or 3rd party gift card. Tuesday free promotion not valid in October.

August 11th, 2014

Improving the guest experience every square foot of the way

Best Galena Bed & Breakfast

improving the guest experienceWhen Don & Susan Steffan purchased the Farmers Guest House in Galena, Illinois, they knew the large common rooms were the reason for so many group reservations, but it didn’t take long to realize that the cluttered upstairs library was wasted space.  Guests were using their tablets and iPads for reading and were sitting in the larger, brighter living room or the terraced grounds while the library took time to clean and maintain only to sit empty. As the changes to the inn made by the new owners began attracting younger guests, the need for the library was non-existent. Other services, however, were becoming more popular, including massage services.

Spa Services at Farmers Guest House Galena

The inn did a fair number of massages each year, but with the size of the historic rooms, couples massages could only be done in the three suites and not the other six standard rooms. Many guests felt they were missing out, and, the massage therapists lugged their heavy tables up the stairs and through the halls for every appointment.

The solution was The Studio at Farmers Guest House.  The investment in folding screens, massage tables, paint, décor and new audio equipment, turned the cluttered old library into a trendy oasis. The investment has improved the bed and breakfast experience for hundreds of guests already.

improving the guest experienceMany guests book spa services in-advance, but guests can also book their massages after check-in.  We have even noticed that guests walk past the open door of The Studio and the inviting massage tables are a too hard to resist.  The massage therapists are delighted, the guests enjoy an unmatched amenity not found at any other in-town bed and breakfast, and guests leave rested, rejuvenated and revitalized. Check out The Studio at Farmers Guest House.

Book your trip and discover why Farmers Guest House is your reason to visit Galena.

August 5th, 2014

Fall in Love with Autumn

Fall Getaway Galena

fall in love with autumnIt’s easy to fall in love with autumn when you book your Galena getaway at Farmers Guest House. While fall is the busiest season of the year in Galena, you can still enjoy everything that is Galena regardless if you choose to book a weekend or weekday getaway. By booking a midweek getaway, you will have the opportunity to enjoy special savings and avoid some of the largest crowds at our award-winning restaurants and attractions.

Midweek Getaway Packages

There’s no better way to kick off the fall season than a country elegant room for free. Farmers Guest House offers Tuesdays for free in September when you book a three night stay that includes Tuesday night. Can’t stay for three nights? That’s ok, stay for two-nights midweek and we have you covered with a $50 gift card valid at participating Galena restaurants.

The Best of Galena

fall in love with autumnWhen you book your Galena fall getaway at Farmers Guest House, you can be assured that you are booking at the best bed and breakfast in Galena. Farmers Guest House reigns supreme on TripAdvisor with over 700 Excellent reviews. In 2014, Farmers Guest House was named first-runner up in the Best Breakfast in North America competition and Farmers Guest House consistently is mentioned on’s bed and breakfast page as the best bed and breakfast in Galena.

Come for a weekend; or come for a midweek getaway and enjoy more of Galena at value prices. The decision is yours. We are looking forward to having you visit soon.

August 3rd, 2014

Breakfast with the President

September 13th we will have a very special guest at breakfast – the 18th President of the United States, General U.S. Grant.  Hailed for his military genius, General Grant served two terms as President from 1869 – 1877.

Now, in 2014, General Grant and Julia Grant, for whom the term “First Lady” was first used, will walk the floors of Farmers Guest House once again.  Make your reservations for the weekend now, for this event will only be open to guests of the inn.  Reservations

Born and raised here in Galena, Illinois, Bob Buman and his wife represent General and Julia Grant, bringing these historic figures to life for visitors to this Diamond of the Midwest, historic Galena, Illinois.  Saturday, September 13th, they will be special guests at Farmers Guest House, which was built in Galena prior to the time when the Grant’s lived here.

Since 1961 The Galena Generals have represented the 9 Civil War Generals who are from Galena Illinois. They educate the public on the importance of these 9 individuals and the time period in which they served.

The Galena Generals are a local history group that portrays the nine Cival War Generals from Galena, Illinois, the town that produced more Generals than any other in the country. They regularly march in parades, give educational presentations, promote Galena history and appear at functions. 2011 marked the 50th Anniversary of The Galena Generals.

Additional information about The Galena Generals can be found on the Generals’ Facebook page.


July 29th, 2014

Galena Food & Wine Festival

Galena Food and Wine Festival

Now is the time to plan your Galena getaway for the Second Annual Galena Food & Wine Festival on Friday, September 5, 2014.

Galena Ladies’ Getaway Weekend

galena food and wine festivalThe Galena Food & Wine Festival kicks off the always-popular Galena Ladies’ Getaway Weekend, widely regarded as the best girlfriends’ getaway event weekend in the Midwest.

To book your rooms at Farmers Guest House, start by clicking here.

Committee members of the Galena Wine Lovers’ Weekend and ARC Taste of Galena have come together to plan the second annual Galena Food & Wine Festival, slated for Friday, September 5, 2014 from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Galena Convention Center, 900 Galena Square Drive.

The Galena Food and Wine Festival aspires to be a culinary dream featuring the talents of Galena area restaurants as well wine tasting—showcasing approximately 200 varieties—sponsored by Family Beer & Liquor.

“We had tremendous feedback to last year’s first annual event.” said Dave Decker, executive director of the Galena Art & Recreation Center. “Guests loved the wine tasting paired with samples from our wonderful Galena restaurants and caterers. It was a fun evening.”

Tickets for the Galena Food and Wine Festival are $50 per person and available online: “We highly recommend purchasing tickets early as our sister events—Galena Wine Lovers’ Weekend and ARC Taste of Galena—have quickly sold out in advance,” said Fred Bonnet, of Fried Green Tomatoes Restaurant and representing Galena Wine Lovers’ Weekend.

The event—with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the Galena Art and Recreation Center—will also include live music, a raffle and silent auction.

To purchase tickets or learn more about Galena’s new Food and Wine Festival visit:

Galena Food and Wine Festival is one of the main events that kicks off Galena Ladies’ Getaway Weekend, September 5-7, 2014. For more information on weekend happenings, go to:, or

In June 2013, Fodor’s named Galena, Illinois as one of the best summer getaways near Chicago, Illinois, and best for food and wine, girlfriends and romance.

July 27th, 2014

50 Shades of Green Getaway Package

Escape to Farmers Guest House and indulge in 50 Shades of Green as you explore the lush vistas surrounding Galena, the diamond of the Midwest.

We promise you a visit to delight the senses and awaken your hidden sense of adventure.  Our 50 Shades of Green package includes ~

  • ~Two nights in a luxurious suite with whirlpool tub, king size bed, fireplace and all the privacy you need,
  • ~A bottle of champagne and box of chocolates to melt in your mouth,
  • ~A couples massage in our Studio,
  • ~Award winning, gourmet breakfast in your Suite,
  • ~And all the elegant amenities accompanying every stay at Farmers Guest House.

~$699 plus tax~

No exclusions. No blackout dates.  Subject to availability so call to book your 50 Shades of Green getaway.  (815) 777-3456

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.