Galena Travel Guide

  • Galena, Illinois
    Galena, Illinois
    by meteorologist1
  • Galena, Illinois
    Galena, Illinois
    by meteorologist1
  • Galena
    by Sage49

Galena Things to Do

  • Main Street

    Take your time walking along Main Street. If you're tired of shopping, just look around at the buildings. You'll see nearly a dozen styles. Details will begin to show up as you relax and look up. There are differences in windows, cornices, the dentile (may be spelled wrong, as I just learned about them), roof lines, and many other details. Some...

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  • Visit Bench Street

    It's up hill one block from Main Street. No stores, but a variety of styles are here also. It's more open with fewer buildings built up against each other. Here you'll have a chance to compare church architecture.

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  • Walk Main Street

    Take your time walking along Main Street. If you're tired of shopping, just look around at the buildings. You'll see nearly a dozen styles. Details will begin to show up as you relax and look up. There are differences in windows, cornices, the dentile (may be spelled wrong, as I just learned about them), roof lines, and many other details. Some...

    more
  • Dowling House

    The oldest house still standing in Galena is the Dowling House, 1832. It was closed in the winter, so we didn't go in. It's been restored nicely.

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  • Grant Park in Galena

    Even though you will not find Grant Park in Galena as a tourist attraction in any of the literature, Jill and I really enjoyed it and thought it quite worthwhile to visit.Photographs:1. Mickey standing by the arbor in Grant Park.2. From the footbridge across the water, I took this photo of the approaching Grant Park that is lettered in the lawn.3....

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  • Wine Tasting in Galena

    Mickey's first request of our trip was to go "to the wine job next to the flood gates". She is hosting Thanksgiving for her large family this year, and they have requested the delicious Cranberry Bog Wine. She was speaking of the Gallena Cellars Vineyard and Winery as our destination.They have a Vineyard that is located six miles Northeast of...

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Galena Hotels

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Galena Restaurants

  • Protein eaters paradise

    Smokey bar doesn't intrude on dimly lit and intimate family style steak house. Decent bottle of Merlot ($25), NY cut steak and Walleye dinners ran up a $65 bill. Good service but get there early on busy weekends because they don't take reservations. Excellent greek salad and all meals can be prepared "Greek" style upon request. Opah! Had a good...

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  • Atmosphere of Old Ireland

    Excellent setting. High on a ridge, looking southwest over rolling vallies. Deep warm wood throughout. The interior appears to have been brought over from Ireland. Wonderfull setting. Actually, only one of us eat. The rest had drinks. The menu had many wonderful dishes. Shepard's pie was one. It was the deserts that looked wonderful at the next...

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  • Finest Food and atmosphere in town

    It was Valentine's day. A wedding was ending in the atrium, just outside the doors (interior atrium), and the place was comfortably full, without being packed at every table. Let's see: Cornish Pasty, Salmon, broiled chicken

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Galena Nightlife

  • If You Can Tolerate Smoke

    Jill and I were excited about visiting the Frank O'Dowd's Irish Pub with its live entertainment and good food just a few miles down the road from our Time Share on US Highway 20, Galena.Unfortunately, both of us are quite allergic to smoke, and when we asked for the non-smoking section, we were so disappointed to learn that it is all smoking. Thus,...

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  • An Unexpected Treat in Galena

    Also unknown to Jill and I when we made arrangements to stay in Galena for one week in a Time Share outside of town was the fact that "Music on Main" would be going on that weekend. After a day's tour, we were walking down main street in Galena and heard lots of live music. So, we investigated.Right in front of the Post Office, the street was roped...

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  • Galena Hotels

    29 Hotels in Galena

    2 Reviews

Galena Transportation

  • deecat's Profile Photo

    by deecat Updated Jun 10, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It was imperative for us to drive a car to Galena. There is no direct public transportation from our home to Galena. And, since we stayed in a time share 8 miles outside of Galena, we need a car to drive everywhere that we needed to go.

    True, at this time, gas prices are quite high; however, we had no alternative. By the way, gas prices were such cheaper in Iowa; thus, we made sure to fill up each time we were on our day trips to Iowa cities. It was a significant difference in price (at least thirty centers less expensive there).

    And, to tell the truth, two women need a car to carry their clothing and shoes, and, in our case, supplies for cooking at the time share.

    Jill and Her Ford Escape
    Related to:
    • Women's Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip

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Galena Shopping

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  • One of Our Favorite Quilt Shops

    This tip was written by Jill Martin, my partner in crime on this trip. She is the quilter and much more "in the know" about the materials, procedures, equipment concerning quilts. Pfat Quarters is in Galena, Illinois. It is quite a clever name for a quilt shop. The name is recognized by quilters as a popular cutting of fabric into a near square...

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  • Excellent Gift and Gourmet Coffee Shop

    While on our Ladies Getaway Weekend, we drove to Dubuque, Iowa to visit the shops on Bluff Street. It was a Sunday, and most stores did not open until noon, and all the stores were not open. Probably the best store that we visited that Sunday was calledBasket Expressions. All four of us were able to find items that we purchased, and that is rare.A...

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  • Book Stores in Galena

    While in Galena, we kept an eye open for book stores. All four of us on the Ladies Getaway Weekend were/are English teachers; thus, we adore books. Jill especially enjoys discovering books about the Civil War that she has not yet read. So, she was completely delighted to find the the book store called Main Street Fine Books and Manuscripts. We were...

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Galena Local Customs

  • deecat's Profile Photo

    by deecat Updated Sep 11, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When we decided to take a road trip to Galena, we were unaware that it was a special Ladies Getaway Weekend! This year [2007] was the 14th annual event for Ladies Getaway. This year, it took place September 7-9.

    This weekend includes wine tastings, cooking classes, a fashion & trunk show, an auction, live theater, and, of course, shopping.

    The weekend was "kicked off" with a fashion show at The DeSoto House Hotel on Friday and was sponsored by Main Street merchants. They also had refreshments, door prizes, and a cash bar at this event.

    On Saturday, they conducted a Quartermania Auction, also held at The DeSoto House Hotel. Aportion of the proceeds benefitted "Relay for Life". At the intermission of this even, a Getaway Raffle was conducted for lodging, restaurant, and shop gift certificates plus a $500 Main Street shopping spree!

    But the funny event was Sunday morning when "ladies were encouraged to roll out of bed and head for Main Street in their pajamas. From 7 to 11 a.m., participating shops offered special bargains." Mickey and I were out taking a walk that morning and saw several women in pajamas. [See 2nd photograph]

    Dee, Mickey, Marcia, & Jill During Ladies Getaway Women in PJ's to Obtain discounts,  Ladies Getaway Special Decorations for Ladies Getaway, Galena
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Women's Travel
    • Historical Travel

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Galena Warnings and Dangers

  • Galena is a Speed Trap

    I have passed through Galena six times in the last two months and have received two speeding tickets, Galena is very has steep hills and the cops sit at the bottom of the hills just witing for "out-of-towners" to generate some much needed income. I will NEVER and I mean Never set foot in that crappy little town again, and if you are smart you won't...

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  • Galena is a speed trap

    Galena, and the small towns leading up to it from Chicago, are zealous about speed enforcement and revenue generation through speeding tickets. In particular as you approach town from the East along US 20 near Grant's House you can expect a speed trap routinely. As this is a relatively steep downhill stretch, you will likely speed unless you keep...

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  • Galena Flood Gates

    I did not know where else to put this interesting information about the solution to the floods in Galena.While in Galena, we took a tour and were most interested in the big Green flood gates.To look at the Galena River as it is today, it seemed unlikely to us that it would be the cause of flooding. Yet, we were told that Galena had created a levy...

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Galena Tourist Traps

  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • Site of the old stockade and cobblestone...

    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. This would only take two minutes, you can go. Go boutiquing

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Galena Off The Beaten Path

  • Stone House Pottery

    Located on US 20, about a mile west of the river and traffic light. This is an artist gallery of sculpture and painting. The owners are the artist. Next door is the studio where they and several other artist work. The stone building is one of the original brewery's from the end of the 19th Century.

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  • Old Galena High School

    Photographs:1. Old High School from a Distance [taken from Grant Park.2. Close up of the Old High School.3. Photo of steps that lead up to the Old High SchoolOne of the most impressive sights is to see the Old High School atop the hillside looking down on the beautiful small town of Galena.On our Trolley Tour, we learned some interesting facts...

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  • Old Stockade on the Cobblestone Street

    One of the most baffling sites in Galena would be the Old Stockage on the Cobblestone Street.It's a log-built structure that was used as a refuge for the women and children of Galena during the Blackhawk War [1832]. Inside are historical displays of Galena's history from 1820's. The original building was constructed in French style using upright...

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Galena Sports & Outdoors

  • Shenandoah Riding Center

    Too bad I'm so allergic to horses!Right down the road from our Time Share was the Shenandoah Riding Center, which is operated by Leathy Sporthorses, Inc.Those who ride horses all agree that the trails in the Galena Territory are picturesque and quite lovely. The rides include open meadows, gently sloping hills, small streams, and old Oak woods.You...

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  • Climbing more stairs

    Not feeling up to the challenge of the Firehouse Steps? Try the Green Street Steps instead. Numbering a mere 149 seemed a lot easier. Of course, I was climbing downhill on this set...

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  • Climbing stairs

    Work off those extra calories by climbing the Firehouse Steps, all 158 of them from Main Street to Prospect. There are decent views to be had from the bluffs up top.

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Galena Favorites

  • Hill Street (blues?)

    Hill Street isn't the only street with a hill, but it's a great one for showing the impact on town design. The city is laid out in a traditional midwest, surveyed grid. Only unlike much of the Midwest, the hills here are a bit too steep. So what gives? The roads, or should I say the legs of anyone who walks around town.When the hills become too...

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  • The Diagonal

    I like Diagonal Street. Not sure why it's here, but it's the only street out of line with the nearly perfect grid of streets around town. I mean, this place has a very steep hills (as a matter of fact Hill Street (see tip)), yet the streets are nearly squared off. Diagonal goes with the slope, not right up it.It also let me use my panoramic feature...

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  • Overview of a Wonderful Weekend in...

    Photographs:1. Beautiful Church Steeple in Galena.2. Delicious Food in Galena [this was breakfast at the Courtyard Restaurant at the DeSoto House Hotel.3. Belvedere Mansion in Galena.4. Four Friends during Ladies Getaway Weekend: Dee, Mickey, Marcia, & Jill.5. Statue of General Grant in the Grant Park in Galena.My three friends, Mickey, Marcia, and...

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Explore Deeper into Galena
The American Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor
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A Shopper's Paradise
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Belvedere House & Gardens
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Great Food, Bad Waitress
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"The Pizza With the Golden Crust"
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A Delightful Environment While You Eat
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Great steaks & seafood.
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Galena Trolley Tours
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Galena Historical Museum
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Observation Tower
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Old Market House
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Vist These Great Old Structures
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Inside Grant's House
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Ulysses S. Grant Home and Surroundings
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Galena Information Center
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If You Love Birds....
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An Ice Cream Tradition
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Award Winning Restaurant in Galena
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Raining? Order Out For Delivery
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"Where Steak is King, Lobster is Queen"!
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Named in Honor of 9 Civil War Generals
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A Little Bistro
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Stair climbing
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A river town
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Grant Park
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Boutiquing
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The US Grant Home
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The Long House
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Huge helpings
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Dowling House
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Visitor Information Center
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Old cobblestone street
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Tourist season
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Grant statue in Grant Park
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Grant Park
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Don't miss the 'Tri-State...
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The Ulysses S Grant Home
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Visit Civil War General and...
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Alpine Slide,
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Map of Galena

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