15 Best Things To Do in Galena, Illinois [With Suggested Tours]

By Fatima Turla December 17th, 2021 Posted in North America Travel Blog, Travel Blog No comments

Galena is a small town in northwest Illinois. Because of its well-preserved 19th-century buildings, a lot of visitors love going here. By going here, you can gain a lot of information about the history of Ulysses S. Grant. So if you’re not yet familiar with this small hidden gem in Illinois. This is your chance to explore it!

Best Things to do in Galena, Illinois

1. Blaum Bros. Distilling Co.

 

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This family-owned distillery in Galena offers daily tours and tasting. Their cocktails are drinks that you should not miss. The distillery has an awesome atmosphere inside, so touring won’t be boring at all. They also have shops that you can buy gifts from. When you’re in Galena, don’t forget to go here.

2. Ulysses S. Grant Home

15 Best Things to do in Galena, Illinois
Photo by Jim Bauer CC BY-ND 2.0

This house is the former home of Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States. It is an Italianate-style brick house that still looks the same until now as it was in 1865. The furnishings were all original to the home. By visiting it, you’ll feel like you’re back from the past.

3. P.T. Murphy Magic Theatre

 

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This theater is a must-visit! Murphy is known for his mischievous sense of humor which makes the show more entertaining and fun! You’d get to witness great magic and tricks from a great performer and entertainer. Please remember that this theater only holds 24 seats so it’s advisable to book in advance. 

4. Galena / Jo Daviess County Historical Society and Museum

 

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This Italianate mansion was built in 1858 and exhibits on Ulysses S. Grant and the Civil War memorabilia, items honoring Ulysses S. Grant, plus other historical articles from Galena and Jo Daviess County. This is really an interesting place to go to.

5. Grant Park

15 Best Things to do in Galena, Illinois
Photo by moistpics3 CC BY 2.0

This large urban park is located within the city’s central business district. The place is really beautiful that every corner is so picturesque. Because it is well-maintained, the area feels relaxing, and the views are gorgeous. So if you want to spend your day peacefully, just head to this park for a wonderful experience.

6. The Old Blacksmith Shop

 

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This historical blacksmith shop/museum in Galena, Illinois will show you the science behind the crafts. It is truly an educational trip for people of all ages.

7. River Bend Gallery

A paradise for photographers, aspiring photographers, or for people who just love photography. This gallery is home to Geoffrey Mikol’s Nature scape photography. All of the pictures would really capture your eyes and the stories behind the photos are surely inspiring. You shouldn’t miss this one out.

8. Casper Bluff Land and Water Reserve

15 Best Things to do in Galena, Illinois
Photo by Curtis Abert CC BY 2.0

A lovely place to stop. It is recommended to go here in the afternoon to watch the sunset. The beautiful views in this park are really stunning, it’ll be worth it to go here.

9. Horseshoe Mound

15 Best Things to do in Galena, Illinois
Photo by Ron Cogswell CC BY 2.0

The ideal place for a perfect view of Galena. You can go up the hill by using a vehicle or you can go hiking and try the trail. Whichever you choose, you will absolutely love and enjoy the views at the top.

Suggested Tour: Horseback Riding

10. Galena Cellars Vineyard

15 Best Things to do in Galena, Illinois
Photo by Richie Diesterheft CC BY 2.0

If you love wines and want to have a taste of all kinds of wine, then you should head to Galena Cellars Vineyard. Whether you like dry or sweet wine you will find something. The place is also gorgeous and peaceful.

11. Galena Welcome Center

15 Best Things to do in Galena, Illinois
Photo by jelm6 CC BY 2.0

An informative place that is advisable to visit first before you start your journey in Galena. The staff can help you with the information that you need about the city and the top attractions that you could go to. 

Suggested Tour: Galena Gourmet Food Tour

12. West Street Sculpture Park

 

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If you are interested in welded metal art sculptures then you should add this to your list. The West Street Sculpture Park deserves a walk from visitors. You’ll get to see very unique sculptures and they are all picturesque.

13. Old Market House State Historic Site

A museum that is full of history about the US and General Grant and his family. You’ll see a great collection of US Grant artifacts. This place is surely informative. So if you’re into history, then you might want to consider going here. 

14. Mangelsen – Images of Nature Gallery

Visit this gallery to see wonderful photography. Inside, you’ll see the finest displays of nature. The images are really stunning, so if you’re a fan of photography, then you should add this to your list.

15. Washburne House State Historic Site

15 Best Things to do in Galena, Illinois
Photo by Teemu008 CC BY-SA 2.0

This house is well-preserved. If you’re interested in the history of the Washburne family, you’d be able to learn more about them here! 

Things to do with 3 days in Galena, Illinois

15 Best Things to do in Galena, Illinois
Photo by SD Dirk CC BY 2.0

Day 1 in Galena, Illinois

Galena Welcome Center Before you start your trip, you should head to Galena Welcome Center first. It will give you a lot of information and ideas on what to do in the city. By going here, you can fix your itinerary and make it well-organized. 

Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. Start your trip with a wine tasting tour! Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Galena. 

Day 2 in Galena, Illinois

P.T. Murphy Magic Theatre Enjoy an entertaining show on your second day. This is surely a great start of your day.

Ulysses S. Grant Home No trip to Galena would be complete if you won’t go here. You’d get to learn more about Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States.

Day 3 in Galena, Illinois

Grant Park End your trip in a relaxing way in Grant Park. The place is very picturesque! Perfect for a calm and peaceful experience.

Frequently Asked Questions about Galena, Illinois

15 Best Things to do in Galena, Illinois
Photo by C X CC BY 2.0

1. Is it safe to travel to Galena, Illinois?

The crime rate in Galena is not too high, because of that, traveling here is not really dangerous and visitors could make sure that everything would be fine.

2. When is the best time to visit Galena, Illinois?

If you want to fully enjoy your Galena trip, the best time to visit here is between May and November. This is because almost all attractions are open during this time giving tourists more opportunities to explore Galena to the fullest.

3. How to get to Galena, Illinois?

Flights from Chicago is the only direct flight going to Galena. Other flights from different states need a connecting flight to go to Dubuque Regional Airport (The nearest airport in Galena and is 23 miles from the center of Galena, Illinois. 

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About the Writer

Fatima Turla2

Hi there! I’m Fatima. My first major travel was in 2016 in the beautiful city of Cebu. After that, I got interested in traveling. Now I enjoy learning languages and other country’s cultures. My goal is to visit at least one country each year and to share my experiences with other people through writing or blogging. Witness my journey by following me on Instagram.

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Written by Fatima Turla

Fatima is a full-time writer of Two Monkeys Travel. Her first major trip was in 2016 and got really interested in traveling. She also enjoys learning languages and other country’s cultures. She has a goal to visit at least one country each year and share her experiences with other people through writing or blogging. Witness her journey by following her on Instagram.