Galena offers a cautionary tale of human-nature interactions. Galena was once the economic powerhouse of Illinois. The Galena River provided steamboat and shipping access to major ports downriver. Then, due to deforestation, the river slowly silted up and slowly killed the city. While the river remains a shadow of its former self, the city has rebuilt and has become a major tourist destination. While this story has a happy ending, not all do.
Fortunately due to some forward thinking artists, entrepreneurs, and city residents, Galena’s downtown is now filled with small shops, wineries, restaurants, and historic sites. Even on a rainy day a GLCTer can spend an entire day just checking out the stores. Within easy walking distance there are three home museums, including President Grant’s home. For travelers looking for a family getaway, the nearby Eagle Ridge complex offers a number of activities. Hotels during the high season can be difficult to book, so plan ahead or try nearby Dubuque.
Old Market House State Historic Site-Center doubles as the welcome center and President Grant museum!
123 N Commerce St, Galena, IL 61036
Dowling House-Tour the oldest standing home in Galena!
220 Diagonal St, Galena, IL 61036
Galena History Museum-A surprisingly large and informative community museum!
211 S Bench St, Galena, IL 61036
Ulysses S Grant Home State Historic Site-Tour the Illinois home of President Grant!
500 Bouthillier St, Galena, IL 61036
Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery-The winery has two locations, one downtown and one a few miles from downtown!
4746 N Ford Rd, Galena, IL 61036
515 S Main St, Galena, IL 61036
Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa and The Galena Territory-Resort includes a golf course, ski trails, and a spa!
444 Eagle Ridge Dr, Galena, IL 61036