Galena Trip Guide | Midwest Living

Galena Trip Guide

On the Galena River, this bustling historic town features century-old buildings housing shops and restaurants; some 50 inns and hotels welcome travelers for vacation getaways.
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Main Street.
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Chairlift up Chestnut Mountain.
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Otto's Place.
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Fritz and Frites.
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View from Chestnut Mountain Resort's deck.
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Eagle Ridge Resort. Photo by Karen Sorensen.
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What to do

A Bushel and a Peck After you’ve speant a day shopping in downtown Galena, zip out to nearby Schapville and explore this food and antiques store in a former blacksmith shop. (888) 635-4616

Beyond the Horizon Find Celtic jewelry and Kenyan soapstone artwork. (815) 777-0190;

Casper Bluffs See burial mounds and an 1,000-year-old effigy on a self-guided tour. (815) 858-9100;

Earth’s Treasures Handmade jewelry, artistic clothing, and rocks and minerals line the walls. (815) 777-9005

Fever River Outfitters Tour Galena on water or on wheels with kayak, bike and motor scooter rentals. (815) 776-9425;

The Galena and U.S. Grant Museum Visitors learn about Galena’s history and President Grant’s years here. Admission charged. (815) 777-9129;

Galena Cellars Vineyard and Winery Visit the vineyard for tastings and tours, then catch the shuttle back to town. (800) 397-9463;

Galena Garlic Company Savory scents draw customers into this olive oil shop. (815) 777-9625;

Galena River Wine and Cheese Find a wide array of wines, cheeses, foods and beers. (815) 777-9430;

Galena Trolley Depot Tours highlight Galena’s historic sites and homes. (815) 777-1248;

Jamie’s Wine Studio of Galena Jamie hand selects every bottle and creates customizable gifts. (815) 777-0207; Jamie's Wine Studio on Facebook

Massbach Ridge Winery and Tasting Room Try five wines for $3 at the winery’s two locations. Ask for a tour. (815) 291-6700; Massbach Ridge Winery on Facebook

Mississippi Explorer River Cruises Tour guides detail the history of the river, its wildlife and geology. Admission charged. (815) 777-1320;

Mississippi Palisades State Park This multiuse park caters to picnickers, campers and extreme hikers. (815) 273-2731;

Old Market House The historic former city market showcases changing local-history exhibits. Donations suggested. (815) 777-3310;

Rocky Waters Vineyard South of Galena in Hanover, the winery’s labels include Wild Turkey Blush and Tower Red. Check out the deck view. (815) 591-9706;

Ulysses S. Grant Home If you are a fan of presidential history, make time for a short visit to the home presented to Ulysses S. Grant upon his return to Galena as a Civil War hero. (815) 777-3310;

Washburne House Learn about Elihu Washburne, a congressman and political adviser to Lincoln, at this historic home. Seasonal. (815) 777-3310;

Wooded Wonderland Country Store and Sawmill Pick your own blueberries, and browse handmade furniture and antiques at this organic farm. (815) 777-1223;

Where to eat

American Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor Keep an eye out for the black-and-white awning to find the old-fashioned specialty dessert shop. (815) 777-3121

Fried Green Tomatoes Choose from Italian classics, such as gnocci, lasagna and osso buco. And don’t overlook the namesake appetizer. (815) 777-3938;

Fritz and Frites A quaint European cafe serves a full menu of both French favorites and traditional German dishes. (815) 777-2004;

Galena Kandy Kitchen Find wood barrels filled with saltwater taffy and handmade chocolates at this legacy candy shop. (815) 777-0241;

The Great American Popcorn Company Flavors include Freakin’ Hot, Louisiana BBQ, Kitchen Sink and Cinnamon Toast. (877) 777-5676;

One Eleven Main Local and seasonal ingredients take the spotlight at this smart dinner spot. Cuisine is hearty and high-end, running from burgers to glazed duck breast. Start with beer-chedar fondue. (815) 777-8030;

Otto’s Place Cafe and Lounge Stop in for an old-fashioned breakfast or lunch. Banana bread French toast and veggie-goat cheese fritattas are worth waking up for. (815) 776-0240;

Perry Street Brasserie A European master chef uses organic products in a menu that changes monthly. (815) 777-3773;

Vinny Vanucchi’s Little Italy The inspiration for the Italian menu came from co-owner Deb Coulter’s grandmother, who always seemed to have a pot of sauce on the stove and basil in the house. (815) 777-8100;

Where to stay

Chestnut Mountain Resort Warm-weather activities include an alpine slide (a sled that goes down 2,050 feet of track) and river cruises. (815) 777-1320;

The Cottage on Lake Galena This lakeside log cottage feels cozy yet spacious and comes with gas fireplaces, a kitchen and laundry facilities. Bring groceries. (608) 723-7099;

Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa This sprawling, luxury resort on 6,800 acres has a wide range of lodgings (from single inn rooms to six-bedroom homes) and activities, including 63 holes of golf, an arcade and hot-air balloon rides. (800) 892-2269;

Goldmoor Inn Luxury suites and cottages overlook the Mississippi. A turret suite sets the perfect mood for a romantic getaway. (800) 255-3925;

The Inn at Irish Hollow Nine miles from Galena, this 500-acre property offers opulent cabins and three guest rooms in an old general store. (815) 777-6000;

The Irish Cottage Boutique Hotel A classic Irish-style pub stars. Spacious rooms and an on-site spa add to the experience. (866) 284-7474;

For information: Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau (877) 464-2536;


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