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Shedd Aquarium

Welcome to Galena, a perfectly-preserved 19th century town nestled in the Mississippi River Valley.

Galena captures so many of the things that make small-town America special, in a way you're unlikely to find anywhere else.

At its heart is the historic Main Street, with well-preserved 1850s-era brick buildings full of eclectic boutiques and eateries. No chain stores or cookie cutter outlets here.

Beyond this, you can sip wine at local vineyards, visit championship golf courses, explore lush rivers and hiking trails, or even hit the slopes for a day of skiing.

Galena is a place full of memory, and a place where your best vacation memories can be made. Start exploring what there is to do in Galena.

A fall day in Galena, orange foliage and people kayak in a river

Things To Do in Galena

Old, new, and everything in between

There are countless activities, experiences, and things to do in Galena. Here we've gathered just a few of the best. Plus, check out the events trending around Galena this week and this month.

Two girls laugh while enjoying red wine at a vineyard

Sip and savor

Galena Cellars Vineyard Galena Cellars Vineyard
Busy town

Stroll back in time

Galena's Main Street Galena's Main Street
The exterior of the Galena & U.S. Grant Museum

Explore the past

Galena & U.S. Grant Museum Galena & U.S. Grant Museum
A person flies between between the tree tops

Zip around

Long Hollow Canopy Tours Long Hollow Canopy Tours
the former home of the 18th President Ulysses S Grant

Visit a President's home

Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site
Chairlift with snow

Hit the slopes

Chestnut Mountain Resort Chestnut Mountain Resort

Don't miss the excitement

Upcoming Events in Galena

  • Show more in category of Concerts

    Live @ The Plaza

    Green Street Plaza •  Jul 25 @ 5PM

    Visit the Plaza to enjoy live music, food trucks, and community! Read more about Live @ The Plaza
  • Show more in category of Festivals & Fairs

    Market House Square Arts Festival

    Old Market House State Historic Site •  Aug 10 – Aug 11 @ 10AM

    Take a piece of Galena Country with you! Read more about Market House Square Arts Festival
  • Show more in category of Performing Arts

    Galena Historical Society's 30th Annual Cemetery Walk

    The Old City Cemetery  •  Sep 14 – Sep 15 @ 1PM

    Performers of the Cemetery Walk will be exploring the rugged lives of early settlers, sharing stories of prosperity and the challenges of intersecting cultures, politics, war and… Read more about Galena Historical Society's 30th Annual Cemetery Walk
  • Show more in category of Festivals & Fairs

    Galena Cellars 14th Annual Fall Harvest & Art Festival

    Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery •  Sep 28 @ 11AM

    Join Galena Cellars as they celebrate the 2024 Harvest! The 14th Annual Fall Harvest & Art Festival will take place at the Galena Cellars Vineyard. Read more about Galena Cellars 14th Annual Fall Harvest & Art Festival
  • Show more in category of Festivals & Fairs

    17th Annual Galena Oktoberfest

    Depot Park •  Oct 05 @ 11AM

    Family Fun, Live Polka Music, Wiener Dog Racing, plus German-style Food and Beer, headline this years popular event! Read more about 17th Annual Galena Oktoberfest
A street in the city

Galena's Historic Main Street

Better than Memory Lane

Galena is full of special things, but perhaps the most special is its historic Main Street. It's home to a range of well-preserved 1850s-era buildings, occupied by independently-owned shops, boutiques, restaurants, and cafes. Strolling Galena's Main Street is the kind of experience you're unlikely to find anywhere else. It's got all the best of the past, but with everything you might want to find in the 21st century!

Plates of food on a table

Where to Eat and Drink in Galena

Fresh flavors, old-time charm

Like the town itself, Galena's dining scene has a unique character, with ingredients and flavors drawn from the surrounding landscapes. Enjoy meals in cozy 19th century spaces, taste locally-sourced ingredients, and experience the local blend of traditional and modern cuisine. While you're at it, enjoy a glass or two of the locally-made wines, spirits, or brews — Galena is renowned for them!

  • Show more in category of Restaurants

    Durty Gurt's Burger Joynt

    Founded in 2007, Durty Gurt's prides themselves on delivering the best burger in an exciting environment at reasonable prices. Read more about Durty Gurt's Burger Joynt
  • Show more in category of Restaurants

    Log Cabin Steakhouse

    Operating continuously since 1937, the Log Cabin Steakhouse is Galena’s oldest and longest running eating establishment. Read more about Log Cabin Steakhouse
  • Show more in category of Restaurants

    Fried Green Tomatoes

    Outstanding service and an inviting atmosphere make Fried Green Tomatoes a must stop while in historic downtown Galena, Illinois! Read more about Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Show more in category of Wineries & Vineyards

    Galena Cellars Wine Tasting Room

    Taste the locally grown and Award-winning wines of Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery, which has produced over 40 varieties of wines since the early 1970s. Read more about Galena Cellars Wine Tasting Room
  • Show more in category of Distilleries

    Blaum Bros. Distilling Co.

    Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. distills and produces fine spirits in the heart of Galena, Illinois — a town steeped in distilling history. Read more about Blaum Bros. Distilling Co.
  • Show more in category of Restaurants

    Vinny Vanucchi's

    Made-from-scratch Italian food featuring many recipes handed down five generations and an outstanding wine selection. Read more about Vinny Vanucchi's
Skiiers skiing down chestnut mountain

Skiing and Snowboarding in Galena

Fresh powder and fun

The Galena area is home to one of the best places to ski in Illinois, Chestnut Mountain Resort. With 19 runs (including black diamond runs) and a 475-foot vertical drop, and the Farside Terrain Park for snowboarders, you can bring some snowy excitement to your days before retiring to the cozy charm of the town at night.

Biking

Galena Itineraries, Road Trips, and Travel Ideas

Inspiration for Galena Adventure

Galena is a special place, with history and life in every brick. Whatever you choose to do, it's sure to be memorable.

But if you want a little extra inspiration, these Galena road trips, itineraries, and travel ideas are a good place to start.

An aerial view of a highway winding through autumnal trees, with an orange sunset sky

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