With over 1000 meticulously preserved and a rich industrial past, the city is a historic mining boomtown on the Mississippi River and an exciting tourist destination that offers access to golf, skiing, snowboarding and outdoor activities. The home of the U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant, Galena is known as the “Town That Time Forgot” and features a wide selection of attractions, from regional museums and trolley tours to historic forts, horseback riding, wine tasting and much more.
Historic downtown with its quaint shops, cozy restaurants and antique cars lining the streets is impossible to resist. Climb up the stairs of the Ulysses S. Grant Home and learn about life and times of the Civil War. Get your photo taken in front of the green drapes from "Gone with the Wind" at the Italianate-style Belvedere Mansion or hit the greens at the General at Eagle Ridge Golf Course.
During ski and snowboard season, Chestnut Mountain Resort impresses pro and novices with all kinds of slopes, night skiing and family activities, not to mention great views of the Mississippi River. In the summer, enjoy a river cruise here.
Galena, Illinois Travel Tips
Packing tip – With so many treasures to be found at the quaint stores, a foldable bag lingering somewhere in your backpack can be a lifesaver.
Best Attraction – Galena History Museum – a great way to learn about local history and Civil War.
Best time to visit – Although charming throughout the year, Galena is especially pretty in late summer and early fall when it's still warm and the farmers' markets are brimming with fresh produce.
Fried Green Tomatoes Enjoy delicious steaks, fresh scallops and homemade lasagna at this downtown Galena restaurant, which offers great ambience and fantastic service. Sample dishes such as lobster ravioli, veal piccata, cedar planked walleye, espresso encrusted filet mignon and of course, fried green tomatoes.
Holy Mackerel Situated in a charming, historic church with stained glass, folk art and prairie-style pottery, this innovative restaurant serves fresh, simply prepared food from Chef Dan Kretschmer. Relish gourmet cuisine and inventive dishes along with attentive service in a unique, intimate space.
Log Cabin Indulge in aged Angus beef steaks, fresh seafood items and Greek dishes at Log Cabin, which has been serving meals since 1937. Choose from juicy, delicious steaks including Porterhouse, New York Strip and Prime Rib and order wines from a thoughtful list of over 100 selections from around the world.
Vinny's Serving authentic Italian cuisine crafted from recipes handed down for five generations, this Galena establishment features four different dining areas including an outdoor garden. Savor meals made from scratch, an outstanding wine selection and inviting family atmosphere.
Downtown Galena Guests can paint the town red by visiting Downtown Galena. With a wide variety of boutique shops and name brands, and tons of dining options, there's something for everyone. Centrally located, Downtown Galena is a definite must-do on any families' travel itinerary.
Galena Candle and Bath Company You can shop for soy candles and natural soy bath products at this one of a kind boutique. The store also features a variety of on-site parties and make-it-yourself stations for lotions, candles, bath beads, scented bubble baths, and bath gels.
Galena Cellars Tasting Room and Shop Located in a historic 1840s granary building, this tasting room and gift shop offers samples of regional wines and a shaded outdoor patio for relaxing. Sip a white, red or fruit wine and savor the serene atmosphere of historic Galena. Great for a quick stop or a relaxing afternoon.
Poopsie's Find things you never knew existed at this one-of-a-kind specialty gift shop in downtown Galena. Go shopping in this spunky store for silly toys, holiday items, unique games, fun artwork, crazy games and much more. This stop is great for picking out gifts for all types of relatives or friends.