Galena IL Lodging - Activities in Galena Illinois

Attractions in Galena Illinois

With 85% of the buildings in Galena listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Galena Illinois is a living history museum offering visitors a trip back in time when the Mississippi River was the lifeline of the Midwest and General Grant was the town's victorious Civil War hero. Aside from the wonderfully preserved display of 19th century architecture, there are numerous homes, festivals, attractions, museums and shops to explore and enjoy in Galena IL. Queen Anne Guest House is a first-class Bed and Breakfast Galena Illinois just around the corner from Main Street. Come discover Galena Illinois and get back to the simpler side of life. Below, we have provided information about a few of our favorite attractions. Browse our site for more information on Activities in Galena Illinois and the History of Galena. Contact us today to book your Galena IL Lodging and begin looking forward to a getaway of a lifetime!

Grant Park and U.S. Grant Home
Grant Park is a 3.5 acre park on Park Ave dedicated to Galena's most celebrated soldier and 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant. The park also commemorates veterans of all generations from Galena who have served in the United States military. The park features walkways, panoramic views of downtown Galena and a beautiful footbridge, the Galena River Bridge, that crosses the Galena River to the main shopping district. Grant Park also features a pavilion with tables, a gazebo, fountain, playground, basketball court, and historic cannons and monuments.

Ulysses S. Grant moved to Galena Illinois after deciding to take a hiatus from the United States military. He and his wife Julia moved to Galena in 1860, and Grant began working for his father's leather making business. After the onset of the Civil War, Grant was named a General, ending his seven year break from the military. Upon returning home to Galena Illinois as the triumphant general on August 18, 1865, the citizens of Galena presented Grant and his family a beautifully furnished house on Bouthillier Street. Grant's success in the Civil War helped him complete a successful run for the Presidency. Though Grant returned infrequently to Galena during his years as President, Galena was always his home. The brick Grant Home, designed by William Dennison, was purchased for Grant for $2,500 in 1865 and is an Italianate style home characterized by rectilinear shapes, projecting eaves, low pitched roof, and balustraded balconies over covered porches. Truly, the U.S. Grant Home was and is a symbol of Galena's pride and heritage. In 1904, Grant's children gave the house to the City of Galena and in 1931 the city deeded the house to the State of Illinois. Restoration in 1955 returned the house to its original appearance. Tours of the house are available and much of the furniture used by Grant and his family remains in the house. The U.S. Grant Home is open for tours from 9am to 4pm Wednesday through Sunday. Admittance to the home is free but donations are suggested. The Grant Home site includes several small mid-19th century homes which comprise a three block "Grant Home Historic Neighborhood." There is also an adjacent building with exhibits on Grant's life and history of the Grant Home. Bouthillier Street runs northwest toward Galena River and Grant Park.

Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site
500 Bouthillier Street // Galena, IL 61036 // 815-777-3310

Old Market House
For a further glimpse into life during Galena's heyday in the 1800s, visit the Old Market House. Constructed in 1845-1846, the Greek Revival style Old Market House served as a gathering place for vendors and shoppers in the heart of Galena IL's business district. Competition amongst vendors drove prices down for Galena's residents, and shopping was made much more convenient. There was even a market master who supervised the "order and decorum" of the market and disputes between buyer and sellers, rented and managed the vendors stalls and rung a bell to announce the opening and closing of the market. The Old Market House became the hub of social life in Galena. In 1910, the city market ended, and floods furthered the building's deterioration. The upstairs of the Market House continued to be used as a multipurpose municipal building, housing the surveyor's office and city council chamber and later, the Neptune Fire Company. When the market ended in 1910, these municipal offices remained, but by 1938 the Market House was completely vacant.
The State of Illinois restored the Old Market House in 1954, and it is now, once again, a focal point of Galena Illinois. Visitors will find changing exhibits, meetings, and special events at the Old Market House. The Market House is open on Friday and Saturday 9am - 4:45pm April through October and 10am-4pm November through mid-December.

Old Market House
123 North Commerce Street // Galena, IL 61036 // 815-777-3310

Galena History Museum
Housed in an 1858 mansion, the Galena History Museum features rare costumes and attire, historic items including pieces owned by Ulysses S. Grant and Abraham Lincoln, and rotating exhibits. Current exhibits include U.S. Grant in Galena; Mining, Steamboating, & Railroading; Geology in the Driftless Area; Made in Galena; and Wired: Rural Electrification in Northwestern Illinois. The Galena History Museum also conducts one-hour walking tours of Galena's Main Street every Saturday from May through October. Visitors will see where President Grant worked as a leather store clerk and hear about the lives of steamboat captains, miners, prosperous merchants and Civil War heroes. Tours begin at 10:00am at the DeSoto House Hotel at 230 S. Main Street. Tours cost $5.00 per person. Visitors can also experience a guided "motorcoach" tour, where a guide will board your vehicle and take you on a 30 minute narration of Galena's historic district. The museum also sponsors special events like the Ulysses S. Grant's Birthday Celebration during the end of April and the Historic Cemetery Walk on June 13-14, 2009 from 2pm-4:30pm at Galena's Greenwood Cemetery on Gear Street. The Cemetery Walk is $10 per person and features costumed re-enactors who tell stories about Galena's most famous residents. One of the most popular events is the Tour of Historic Galena Homes in late September, which includes tours of privately owned homes that are only open to the public during this special weekend. Tickets are $14 per person and children under 10 are free with an adult. A free shuttle bus takes visitors between the homes and ticket stops. If you're looking for something a little more elegant, join Galena for the Annual Mistletoe Ball: A Victorian Holiday Dinner & Dance. The dance is held at Galena's Historic Turner Hall on December 5, 2009 from 8pm-12am. Complete with a 10-piece Ken Kilian Saxtet Orchestra, period and holiday dress, cash bar, and a holiday feast, the Mistletoe Ball is a unique and charming event.

Galena History Museum
211 S. Bench Street // Galena, IL 61036 // 815-777-9129

After a day of shopping and touring the sites of Galena IL, what better way to unwind than at one of Galena's renowned spas! The Indulge Day Spa Galena IL is located on Highway 20 West in Galena and features a variety of heavenly treatments and indulgences. Get ready for an evening out with make-up, pedicure, manicure, hair and skin care treatments. Or just relax and allow Indulge Salon and Spa Galena IL to ease away your stresses with a facial, stone therapy massage, Reiki Session, Body Polish, Foot Rejuvenator, Siddha Body Detoxification, Back Treatment or Aromatherapy Body Wrap. The Stonedrift Spa at Eagle Ridge Resort Galena Illinois will take you on a journey of relaxation, well-being and rejuvenation. After playing a round of golf on one of the premier Galena Golf Courses, enjoy a variety of refreshing spa treatments and therapies for a more holistic and stress-free mind, body and soul.


Wild Clover Day Spa
9853 U.S. Route 20 West
Galena, IL 61036
Stonedrift Spa
444 Eagle Ridge Dr
Galena, IL 61036
Indulge Day Spa
11383 W Us-20
Galena, IL 61036
Studio One Spa and Salon
310 N. Main Street
Galena, IL 61036

One of Galena's favorite attractions is Galena Cellars, Galena IL. The Galena Cellars Vineyard and Winery features a Main Street Wine Tasting Room & Gift Shop and Galena Winery in the beautiful country of Jo Daviess County. With over 22 varieties of specially grown wine grapes, visitors to the Galena Winery will learn about the process that master winemaker Christine Lawlor-White has perfected over 30 years. Sample the fine wines and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Galena Cellars, Galena IL. If you're shopping along Main Street, stop in to sample Galena Cellars' finest wines and shop in the gift shop housed in a restored, historic 1840s granary building.


Galena Cellars
Vineyard Tasting Room

Gift Shop & Tours
4826 N. Ford Rd.
Galena, IL 61036
Galena Cellars
Main St. Tasting Room and Gift Shop

515 S Main St.
Galena, IL 61036
Massbach Ride Winery
8837 S. Massbach Road
Elizabeth, IL 61028
Rocky Mountain Vineyard/Winery, Inc
2003 W. Hanover Road
Hanover, IL 61041


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Activities in Galena Illinois

Attractions in Galena Illinois

For more information or to make reservations, contact us at 815-777-3849, email us, or click here to book online. 200 Park Avenue | Galena IL 61036 | 815-777-3849 |