Holiday house tours and Main Streets draped in twinkling lights are to December what state fairs are to August—clichéd and comfortably nostalgia-soaked. You know they’ll greet you with all the feels and flavors you need for a delicious day of reality ditching.
It’s territory Galena knows and owns, especially during the Mistletoe Stroll Holiday House Tour on the second and third Saturdays of December. That’s when innkeepers don period clothing and share their homes’ stories while serving sweets and treats (just say yes to Robert and Douglas Mahon’s homemade orange marshmallows at the Aldrich Guest House).
Extravagantly set dining tables and holiday garlands draped like Silly String bolster the fantasy in the town’s painted Victorians and redbrick mansions. Linger after 4 p.m. on December 9 (2017), and you can also wander among 5,000 candlelit luminarias flickering along streets, sidewalks and stairways during the annual Night of the Luminaria and Living Windows.
It's glow time in Galena—especially during Night of the Luminaria and Living Windows. Photo Courtesy of visitgalena.org.
Along Main Street, a shopping district playfully known as the Helluva Half-Mile, you can lose yourself in live Christmas scenes acted out in more than a dozen store windows.
Here and throughout nearby Grant Park, named after the Civil War hero and president who twice lived here, romance is thick in the cinnamon-scented air. Couples stroll hand in hand, horse-drawn carriages clip-clop past, and for a little while longer, the world can wait.
Downtown Galena. Photo Courtesy of visitgalena.org.
More information: visitgalena.org