Galena, Illinois is a great place to visit on a romantic weekend getaway or with kids. A large portion of the city is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and there are many historical sights to explore, as well as excellent restaurants. Visit the Ulysses S. Grant Home, take a tour of the Elihu B. Washburne House, Dowling House and the Old Market House. Scroll to see the full list with photos or jump to the table of contents.


Ulysses S. Grant Home

Ulysses S. Grant Home

© Ulysses S. Grant Home

The Ulysses S. Grant Home is the former home of Civil War General and 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant. Designed by William Dennison and built in 1860, the house was donated to General Grant as a token of appreciation for his outstanding service during the war, and it has been maintained as a memorial ever since.

Located on Bouthillier Street, the U.S. Grant Home is furnished with mid-1860s furniture and décor that once belonged to the Grant family. Interpreters dressed in period costumes lead group tours that detail Grant's activities during the Civil War through to his presidency. Designated as a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Places, the Ulysses S. Grant Home is managed by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

500 Bouthillier St, Galena, Illinois 61036, 815-777-3310, Map


Galena - Jo Daviess County Historical Society

Galena - Jo Daviess County Historical Society

© Galena - Jo Daviess County Historical Society

Founded in 1938, the Galena - Jo Daviess County Historical Society was founded to educate and enrich the public about the history and material culture of Galena and Jo Daviess County. The society is home to the Galena & U.S. Grant Museum and their various resources and exhibits, displays, and educational programs bring the history of the region alive.

The society hosts a variety of historical and educational events throughout the year, including Historic Homes Tours, Cemetery Walks, Galena in Maps, and Peace in Union. The museum has excellent exhibits that focus on important aspects of the region from lead mining in the Northwest and the construction of Port Galena to the history of the Vicksburg Flag and the role women played in the development of Galena. Group tours of the History Museum and The Old Blacksmith Shop are offered and can be booked in advance.

211 S Bench St, Galena, IL 61036, 815-777-9129, Map


Chestnut Mountain Resort

Chestnut Mountain Resort

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Chestnut Mountain Resort is popular mountain and ski resort spanning 220 acres and featuring a variety of snow-based activities. Perched high on a ridge overlooking the Mississippi River in the hills near Galena, the resort boasts 19 ski snowboard trails up to 3,500 feet in length and cut through solid rock bluffs to create challenging courses.

A seven-acre all-terrain park called The Farside has its own triple and offers a quarter-pipe, two halfpipes, and plenty of rails, kickers, and jumps for all levels of snowboarder, while an exhilarating 475-foot vertical drop draws adrenaline junkies from around the country. The Chestnut Hotel offers comfortable accommodation, excellent restaurants, cafés, and bars and an indoor swimming sauna and whirlpool for après-ski relaxation.

8700 West Chestnut Road, Galena, IL 61036, 800-798-0098, Map


The Elihu B. Washburne House

The Elihu B. Washburne House

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Located at 908 Third Street in Galena, The Elihu B. Washburne House was built in 1845 for local politician Elihu Benjamin Washburne, and it stands today as an outstanding example of the architectural Greek-Revival style. The house has a rich history of occupation by famous people, including Elihu Washburne, a political adviser to Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant and the ambassador to France in the mid-1800s.

The temple-like front portico and towering pillars of the house reflect the characteristics of the Greek-Revival style, which was a traditional building style during that period, and the house serves as an excellent example of architecture for history buffs and architectural aficionados. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the house is managed by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and is open to the public to explore on self-guided or organized tours.

The Elihu B. Washburne House, 908 Third Street, Galena IL 61036, 815-777-9406


Old Market House

Old Market House

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Built in 1845 in the Greek Revival style, the Old Market House was constructed by the city to serve as a town hall and enclosed farmer’s market, forming a community hub during Galena’s “Golden Era.” The Old Market House served as a meeting place for the community to discuss important city issues, and it was also home to a variety of vendors selling their wares.

Shoppers would gather here to shop, meet, and catch up on news. The Old Market House was restored to its former glory in 1955 and currently operates as the Galena Welcome Center, managed by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency as an Illinois State Historic Site.

Old Market House, 123 N. Commerce Street, Galena IL 61036, 815-777-3310


P.T. Murphy Magic Theater

P.T. Murphy Magic Theater

© P.T. Murphy Magic Theater

Located in the heart of historic downtown Galena, P.T. Murphy Magic Theater is a private 24-seat theater that presents a variety of intimate magic shows.

P.T. Murphy's is run by Master Magician P.T. Murphy himself, who is known for his sophisticated sleight of hand and mischievous sense of humor, which add to the mystery and appeal of the show. The magic show is suitable for all ages from 13 upwards and runs for approximately an hour with no intermission. More weekend getaways from Chicago

P.T. Murphy Magic Theater, 204 Hill Street, Galena IL 61036, 779-214-0035


Casper Bluff Land and Water Reserve

Casper Bluff Land and Water Reserve

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Casper Bluff Land and Water Reserve is an archeologically significant site that boasts breathtaking views of the Mississippi River bluffs and presents an array of outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, bird watching, and sightseeing.

The 85-acre area features two archeologically significant Native American sites, namely the Aiken Mound Group and the Effigy Mound, both of which boast evidence of early civilization and their way of life. The reserve is home to a variety of bird species, making for excellent bird watching as well as spectacular scenic views of the surrounding countryside.

870 S Pilot Knob Rd, Galena, IL 61036, 815-858-9100, See the Map


Linmar Gardens

Linmar Gardens

© Linmar Gardens

Nestled on a hillside overlooking Galena, Linmar Gardens is a privately owned three-and-a-half-acre garden that has been beautifully landscaped and curated to provide a secluded and tranquil space in which to relax in nature. Linmar features a variety of individual gardens such as The Four Seasons Garden with a 20-foot waterfall dropping off a natural bluff and an array of unique sculptures by local artist John Martinson, and the centerpiece Sunken Garden, which forms the foundation of an African-American Baptist Church.

The Sunken Garden has a lovely fountain and myriad flowers, making it the perfect place for reflection. The gardens also feature several peculiar attractions, including a bell tower from a Galena firehouse and a fake lead mine complete with Galena ore, as well as meandering paths, hand-built terraces, water features, fountains and streams, and eclectic sculptures dotted about between the flora.

Linmar Gardens, 504 S. Prospect Street, Galena IL 61036, 815-777-1177


West Street Sculpture Park

West Street Sculpture Park

© West Street Sculpture Park

The West Street Sculpture Park is an outdoor space that features more than a dozen large, welded steel sculptures by John Martinson that are scattered around two acres of beautiful parklands. Open year-round from dusk to dawn, the park boasts a variety of contemplative artworks, unique signs, and quirky assemblages, as well as two massive 40-foot towers and a giant tinker toy.

Winding wooden paths through the park make exploring easy, and maps are available for visitors to enjoy a self-guided tour around the grounds, where plaques identify pieces of art and sculptures. The park is also home to an on-site studio where John Martinson creates his works and some of which can be bought.

West Street Sculpture Park, 619 S. Dodge Street, Galena, IL 61036, 815-777-9591


Galena Center for the Arts

Galena Center for the Arts

© Galena Center for the Arts

The Galena Center for the Arts was established to celebrate regional arts and artists, as well as to inspire the public and educate them on the importance of art in society today by showcasing high-quality art in an inviting atmosphere.

Developed from the Galena Vision2020 study, the center features a large exhibition space for special exhibitions, a regional artwork gallery, which presents photography displays from the historic Alfie Mueller collection, and a performance venue that hosts a range of artistic performances and educational spaces. The Galena Center for the Arts also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, including The Art of Craft and the Youth Arts Festival.

Galena Center for the Arts, 971A Gear St, Galena, IL 61036, 779-214-0261


Miss Kitty's Grape Escape

Miss Kitty's Grape Escape

© Miss Kitty's Grape Escape

Miss Kitty's Grape Escape is a retro bar serving wine, beer, and signature martinis along with classic bar fare such as sandwiches, nachos, and burgers in a convivial setting. Located in the heart of downtown Galena, Miss Kitty’s combines a laid-back lounge vibe with a modern, river town design to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere that attracts locals and visitors alike.

The pub-grub-style menu features favorites such as nachos and salsa, warm bruschetta topped with tomato basil and mozzarella, wraps, and seafood platters, as well as homemade desserts. Best known for their famous martinis, the bar also presents an extensive list of diverse wines, liquors, and beers, and visitors can enjoy live music every Friday and Saturday night and the fun-filled Miss Kitty's Quiz Show on Sundays.

Miss Kitty's Grape Escape, 242 N. Main Street, Galena, IL 61036, 815-776-WINE


The Old Blacksmith Shop, Galena, IL

The Old Blacksmith Shop, Galena, IL

© The Old Blacksmith Shop

The The Old Blacksmith Shop is an authentic blacksmith shop dating back to 1897, complete with working forges, original equipment, and tools. The shop itself is a museum where visitors can explore the history of forging in Galena, how it works, and the role it played in the town.

They can also watch live demonstrations by expert blacksmiths as they operate the forges during the season. A well-stocked gift shop offers a range of memorabilia and gifts made by the blacksmiths in the foundry, from handcrafted jewelry to ornate fireplaces. The Old Blacksmith Shop is open Friday through Monday during the months of May to October.

The Old Blacksmith Shop, 245 Commerce Street, Galena IL 61036, 815-777-1893


Galena Cellars Winery & Vineyard

Galena Cellars Winery & Vineyard

© Galena Cellars Winery & Vineyard

Galena Cellars Winery & Vineyard is a family-owned and operated vineyard and winery that has been producing wine for over 40 years. Owned by the Lawlor family, Galena Cellars have created a family legacy that spans three generations. They produce more than 60,000 gallons of wine per year of 40 wine varieties from 22 different specialty grapes.

Galena has three tasting rooms in various locations where visitors can sample some of the estate’s finest wines, and they offer both private and public tours of the winery and vineyard, as well as wine tastings and cheese and chocolate pairings. Private vineyard tours last about an hour and include a brief history of the farm, an in-depth look at the wine-making process, and a detailed tour of the vineyard, wine cellar, barrel and bottling room, and the tasting room for a sensory wine program. Galena Cellars Winery & Vineyard hosts several wine-related events throughout the year, including Wine Lover’s Weekends and Lunch at the Vineyard.

Galena Cellars Winery & Vineyard, Vineyard, 4746 N Ford Rd, Galena, I, 815-777-3235


Blaum Bros. Distilling Co.

Blaum Bros. Distilling Co.

© Blaum Bros. Distilling Co.

Blaum Bros. Distilling Co.. is a family-owned and operated craft distillery in the heart of Galena that produces a range of premium spirits, including whiskey, vodka, and gin. Founded in 2013 by two brothers whose love for whiskey led them to set up a distillery, Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. produces an array of high-quality spirits, including bourbon, gin, vodka, and the unique Blaum Bros. Galena Reserve.

The distillery offers daily tours, which include a comprehensive look at the art of distilling and visits to the distillation area, the barrel room, and the comfortable tasting room and cocktail bar where visitors can sample the distillery’s tipple. A small gift shop offers a variety of memorabilia and products from the distillery to take home.

Blaum Bros. Distilling Co., 9380 W US Highway 20 | Galena, IL 61036, 815-777-1000


The Great American Popcorn Company

The Great American Popcorn Company

© The Great American Popcorn Company

The Great American Popcorn Company is a quaint shop in the heart of Galena that sells delicious gourmet popcorn treats, including the famous Old Fashioned Caramel Corn. Founded in 1994 by owner Dave Lewis, the Great American Popcorn Company offers over 50 flavors of popcorn in store daily, ranging from French Vanilla and Bacon & Cheddar to Cheezy Caramel, Spicy Italian, and Kitchen Sink!

The famous store not only sells freshly made popcorn and popcorn products but also offers a wide variety of other mouthwatering treats such as homemade fudge, candies, handmade chocolates, and ice cream.

The Great American Popcorn Company, 115 N Main St, Galena, IL 61036, 815-777-4116


Galena Brewing Company

Galena Brewing Company

© Galena Brewing Company

The Galena Brewing Company is the first brewery in Galena since the days of Prohibition, and it produces and serves 12 delicious brews and features a fantastic pub menu with dishes made from local ingredients. Owned by Warren and Kathy Bell, Galena Brewing features a tap and tasting room where visitors can learn about the beer-making process and sample the end products on guided Brewery Tours every Friday and Saturday.

An inviting bistro offers a menu of classic pub grub ranging from sandwiches, salads, and wraps, to burgers, steak, and chicken wings, and guests can enjoy live music and other entertainment on weekends. Galena Brewing Company™ brews include the award-winning Anna Belle’s IPA, Uly’s Dark Oatmeal Stout, and Uptown Brown Ale.

Galena Brewing Company, 227 North Main Street, Galena, Il 61036, 815-776-9917


Horseshoe Mound Preserve

Horseshoe Mound Preserve

© Horseshoe Mound Preserve

Horseshoe Mound Preserve is located at the eastern gateway to Galena, where it provides a pleasant outdoor recreational facility. You will need to take a short (15min) drive to reach the mound, but rest assured, the views make the trip worthwhile. There are two short trials which will lead you to very scenic lookouts offering beautiful views over Galena and beyond. There are also stone stations etched with clues for children to work out puzzles to keep them amused as they explore the Beckenridge Children’s Adventure – a fun activity for younger visitors. The preserve is a great place to get back to nature, meditate or just enjoy the fresh air and views.

Horseshoe Mound Preserve, 1679 N. Blackjack Rd, Galena, IL 61036, Map


Belvedere Mansion, Galena

Belvedere Mansion, Galena

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As stately and impressive today as when it was built in 1857, the Belvedere Mansion is one of the finest buildings in historic Galena. The beautiful Italianate mansion boasts 22 rooms and offers visitors a rare glimpse into the life and times of the many generations who called it home. The mansion features lavish interiors furnished with many original period pieces. Highlights of your tour will be ascending the grand staircase and admiring a brilliant collection of extraordinary period chandeliers. The Mansion is open to the public from May to October and free tours of the interior are offered every 15min. Visitors are welcome to tour the beautiful formal gardens at their leisure.

Belvedere Mansion, 1008 Park Ave, Galena, IL 61036, 815-777-0747


River Bend Gallery and Gifts

River Bend Gallery and Gifts

© River Bend Gallery and Gifts

A must-see attraction for everyone who loves art and décor, the River Bend Gallery and Gifts is owned and run by professional artist Geoffrey Mikol. The gallery was originally opened in 2016 to showcase Geoffrey’s remarkable photographic talents. Since then, a range of gift items has been added, all of which feature the award-winning artists’ work. Visitors are invited to stop by and spend a while admiring the large variety of beautiful photographic art works on display. Gift items include a range of really unusual Inspire Tiles – pick your image and add your inspiration; these make unique and wonderful gifts. Puzzles, coasters and note pads are also available, all featuring beautiful photographic art.

River Bend Gallery and Gifts, 112 N Main St, Galena, IL 61036, 815-281-9199


Galena Goat Yoga

Galena Goat Yoga

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Located at Silver Linings Farm, Galena Goat Yoga offers all visitors an unforgettable yoga experience. Inside the historic barn/yoga studio you will find everything you need to get acquainted with goat yoga – even special goat-friendly yoga mats are supplied. The friendly goats will transform your usual yoga experience and you will have around 45 minutes to play with them after your yoga session. If you want to meet the goats (but forget the yoga), you can just visit the farm for coffee and pastries with the goats – this experience is weather dependant as goats apparently do not like rain. The goat yoga barn also welcomes private parties and events.

Original Goat Yoga Galena, 7306 US-20, Galena, IL 61036, 563-663-6945


Long Hollow Canopy Tours

Long Hollow Canopy Tours

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Long Hollow Canopy Tours offers hours of thrilling outdoor fun for individuals, couples, families or groups. Your guided canopy tour will start with a fun ride through the forest on a UTV. Once you reach the first platform the fun starts in all earnest. The first few zip-lines are quite short and are designed to get you accustomed to swinging through the trees in your harness. As you proceed, the zip lines get longer, eventually reaching 700 feet long. In order to complete the tour you will need to rappel off a platform and cross the 140-foot sky bridge. If you are up for an adventure, you will find this canopy tour hard to beat. All guests must be at least 10 years old, weigh between 70 and 250 pounds and be physically fit.

Long Hollow Canopy Tours, 3247 W. Longhollow Rd, Galena, IL 61036, 815-281-2853


Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes

© Fried Green Tomatoes

Situated in a historic building which was built back in 1854, the Fried Green Tomatoes Restaurant is full of charm and character. The restaurant has built up a reputation for excellent service and well-prepared prime cuts of meat and fresh seafood. Or course, you may also want to try their signature Fried Green Tomatoes which are rumored to be excellent. Appetizers include Steak Martini, Crab Cakes and Beef Carpaccio, which are followed by fresh salads and entrees from the Butcher’s Block or the popular Comfort Food sections of the menu. The restaurant has an award-winning wine list and several choices are available by the glass.

Fried Green Tomatoes, 213 N. Main Street, Galena, IL 61036, 815-777-3938


Vinny Vanucchi’s Little Italy

Vinny Vanucchi’s Little Italy

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Reminiscent of the charm-filled local trattorias of Italy, Vinny Vanucchi’s Little Italy brings authentic Italian cuisine to Galena. The interior of this welcoming restaurant is literally bursting at the seams with character – red-check tablecloths, Italian posters and more. The family-friendly restaurant has several dining areas including the Bistro, Wine-Vault Room and an outdoor Cappucino Garden area. You will find all your favorite Italian dishes on the menu including several pasta choices, Italian Meatballs, Fried Ravioli, Spicy Italian Sausage and much more. Everything is freshly made-from-scratch and all entrees include side-salad and garlic bread. There are also sandwiches and burgers and a kid’s menu.

Vinny Vanucchi’s Little Italy, 201 S. Main Street, Galena, IL 61036, 815-777-8100


Goldmoor Dining

Goldmoor Dining

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Proud recipients of a 2021 TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice award, the Goldmoor Inn is one of the most outstanding B&B’s in the Galena area. Whether or not you choose to stay at the Inn during your visit to Galena you can certainly visit the inn for a sumptuous fine-dining experience. The beautifully appointed dining room perfectly sets the scene for a special dining experience – you can choose to be seated at an intimate booth or at one of the elegant tables. The menu at Goldmoor Dining changes with the seasons to showcase the finest and freshest local ingredients. Everything which finds its way to your table has been perfectly prepared and beautifully presented.

Goldmoor Dining, 9001 W. Sand Hill Road, Galena, IL 61036, 815-777-3925


25 Best Things to Do in Galena, IL :