Belvedere Mansion...turn the car around!
had the displeasure of "viewing" the Belvedere Mansion yesterday. this is my first VT commentary...I have used this site for years without contributing...I must contribute now and save someone.
we saw this mansion from the road after leaving the Grants house tour. a very nice looking Italianate style mansion that, out front, had a sign saying "Belvedere Mansion- Open to the public". the next day we decide to visit. a sign on the door reads ring bell and wait for tour guide. so we do...he welcomes us in and closes the door. gives us free reading brochures and tells us who the original owner is. then describes the different payment options...$12.75 an adult! ok, we pay, this could be worth it...NO WAY WAS THIS EVEN WORTH $2.
he starts his very scripted tour. ok. pauses for questions...starts again. nothing he talked about was interesting. he even forgot to laugh at his scripted jokes. he then has us walk up stairs to the 2nd and only other tour guide(if that is what they were and not con artists). this guy takes the cake. scary, lame, boring, adj, adj, noun, svengali. I cant take credit for the Svengali naming, another group that we met in the parking lot after gave the tour guide that name. we shared a few minutes discussing how terrible the whole ordeal was.
bottom line, do anything else but give money to those people. the tour guides were terrible. the house was filled with non-original pieces. there was a 32" old color tv in a room! the owners must be terrible people to put on a show like this!
Unique Suggestions: dont go inside! walk the free gardens outside.
Fun Alternatives: go to Grants house. free, donations recommended. nearly all the pieces are original. the guides are well versed in the location.
- Family Travel
- Historical Travel
Scooter tour to winery
Be sure to inquire about the specifics of the scooter tour of the winery. We booked the scooter tour which was advertised to include a scooter ride to the winery, the tour and tasting and a shuttle back to town, all for $65. This sounded like a great deal. The reality was not so pleasant. What we got was a 45 minute ride to the winery and a $5 gift card to use at the winery. The tour of the winery cost $5. Basically we paid $60 to ride a scooter for 45 minutes and then to have them take us the 12 miles back to town in a truck.
Galena Cellars is an interesting winery with friendly staff and great wine. I would recommend driving yourself out there and back unless you are really anxious to ride a scooter.
Unique Suggestions: The Galena Cellars is a very friendly and relaxing stop for the afternoon. Take your own car and spend as much time as you want.
- Wine Tasting
Site of the old stockade and cobblestone street
If you think this picture is great, you should go see the old stockade, because this is all there is! If this doesn't turn you on, don't bother. The cobblestone street isn't all that much to look at either.
Unique Suggestions: This would only take two minutes, you can go.
Fun Alternatives: Go boutiquing
- Historical Travel
Galena is a very popular tourist destination and is getting to be moreso each year it seems. Summers and fall weekend can find the town impossibly crowded with tour buses, slow moving folks and the generally bewildered.
Unique Suggestions: Best advice, show up during the offseason. It's still a charming place.
- Save up to 50% on hotels.
- Hotwire.com Hotwire: Get a 4-star hotel for a 2-star price.
- Book now for big savings!
- Hotels.com Outstanding choice of hotels all over the world at fantastic prices.