Illinois may have travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19.

Find out moreOpens in new tab or window

GalenaUnited States of America

Once the home of Ulysses S. Grant, this city offers visitors a glimpse into 19th-century America with its redbrick buildings and interesting historical sites.

Visit Galena in Illinois to discover a rich history and learn about Ulysses S. Grant, the Civil War General who went on to become the 18th President of the United States. Tour the house where Grant and his wife lived before he started his presidency and see the holographic video of the two that welcomes visitors.

Start your exploration of the area with a visit to the Ulysses S. Grant Home Museum. This house was given to Grant and his wife Julia by the city of Galena when he returned home from the Civil War in 1865. A hologram of the couple greets visitors as they enter and for a small fee you can take a tour of the interior. See authentic furniture from Grant’s day as well as a number of national treasures.

Head downtown and take a walk past the facades of the 19th-century buildings in Galena’s downtown area. The building facades alternate between brick red and bright white in color. Grab a bite to eat or shop for souvenirs at one of the many family-owned shops and restaurants that line the street.

On the east side of the river, stroll through Grant Park. Here, you will find a statue of Ulysses S. Grant and a cannon that fired at the battle of Fort Sumter during the Civil War. Visit the park in mid-October during the Galena Country Fair. Over 150 vendors converge on Grant Park to sell handmade goods like birdhouses, jewelry and clothing.

To experience a piece of contemporary Galena, make a stop at the West Street Sculpture Park. The artist John Martinson built every sculpture in the collection, which is spread over a 2-acre (0.8-hectare) plot.

Galena is a 3-hour drive from Chicago. For those flying in, the Dubuque Airport lies 23 miles (37 kilometers) away in Iowa. To reach Galena from the airport, rent a car or take a taxi or shuttle bus.

Where to stay in Galena

On certain cold winter days the bluebirds and waxwings will converge on certain juniper trees to feed on the small berries. On my days off I would drive around looking for the tree that appealed to the birds.

The Galena Territory

4.5/5Wonderful!(40 area reviews)

You might consider checking out Horseshoe Mound while you're exploring The Galena Territory and the larger Galena area.

The Galena Territory

Top Hotels in Galena

Stoney Creek Inn Galena
Stoney Creek Inn Galena
2 out of 5
940 Galena Square Dr, Galena, IL
The price is $83 per night from Oct 25 to Oct 26

Situated in the suburbs, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Galena-Jo Daviess County History Museum, Old Market House, and Dowling House. West Street Sculpture ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (927 reviews)

"Everything was nice and awesome from the staff to the decor and it’s centrally locates definitely a five star place. First time staying there and will be our regular place"…"

Reviewed on Oct 19, 2020

Stoney Creek Inn Galena
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Galena, IL
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Galena, IL
2.5 out of 5
11334 Oldenburg Ln, Galena, IL
The price is $88 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 2

This family-friendly Galena hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Galena-Jo Daviess County History Museum, Old Market House, and Dowling House. Old Blacksmith Shop ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (951 reviews)

"Great location and friendly staff. Would reccommned"…"

Reviewed on Oct 14, 2020

Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Galena, IL
Chestnut Mountain Resort
Chestnut Mountain Resort
3 out of 5
8700 W Chestnut Mountain Rd, Galena, IL
The price is $99 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 2

Set amidst the mountains, this ski-in/ski-out resort in Galena is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Chestnut Mountain Resort and close to winter activities such as cross-country ...

4/5Very Good! (481 reviews)

"The view is spectacular for Fall colors! Our room had a perfect view to the Mississippi in all it’s glory! Covid did limit a little but the staff made sure we felt safe by wearing masks and the room was extremely clean. They gave us muffins and fruit for our morning which we had with our coffee while ..."…"

Reviewed on Oct 7, 2020

Chestnut Mountain Resort
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Vacation Rentals in Galena

Ranch House, on 300 Acres, Fishing Pond, "shark Trail", 12 Mile Views, Animals
Ranch House, on 300 Acres, Fishing Pond, "shark Trail", 12 Mile Views, Animals
Elizabeth, IL

Located in a rural location, this family-friendly vacation home is 6 mi (9.7 km) from Apple River Fort and 6.6 mi (10.6 km) from Apple Canyon Lake. Rocky Waters ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (7 reviews)
Great Getaway

"Couldn't have been happier with our stay. This was a last min. booking and Mark couldn't have done a better job. The house was completely ready for us when we arrived even though we booked within 48 hrs. Mark and the property manager Joe stopped by to make sure had everything we needed when we arrived. ..."…"

Reviewed on Sep 15, 2020

Ranch House, on 300 Acres, Fishing Pond, "shark Trail", 12 Mile Views, Animals
2 Bedroom, 2 Bath Home in The Galena Territory. Close to Eagle Ridge Resort
2 Bedroom, 2 Bath Home in The Galena Territory. Close to Eagle Ridge Resort
Galena, IL

Located in The Galena Territory, this romantic resort is within 9 mi (15 km) of Grant Home, Washburne House Historic Site, and Belvedere Mansion. West Street ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (43 reviews)
Weekend Getaway

"Cute, Cozy, and just what I needed for a relaxing stay!"…"

Reviewed on Oct 20, 2020

2 Bedroom, 2 Bath Home in The Galena Territory. Close to Eagle Ridge Resort
3 BR 3BA Want to Really Get Away!? Galena Territory & Owners' Club Privileges
3 BR 3BA Want to Really Get Away!? Galena Territory & Owners' Club Privileges
Galena, IL

Located in The Galena Territory, this historic vacation home is within 9 mi (15 km) of Grant Home, Washburne House Historic Site, and Belvedere Mansion. West ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (59 reviews)
Lovely place in the woods

"We were impressed by the comfort of the home, the well-outfitted kitchen, the fireplaces, two outdoor spaces, bathroom on each floor and overall appeal. The host was very accommodating as well. We are considering a return trip in the future."…"

Reviewed on Oct 18, 2020

3 BR 3BA Want to Really Get Away!? Galena Territory & Owners' Club Privileges
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Galena

Grant Park
Image for Grant Park

Grant Park

4.5/5(41 reviews)

Enjoy the sun in this small but beautiful park, which is scattered with colorful flowerbeds, historic monuments and shaded picnic areas. 

Dowling House
Image for Dowling House

Dowling House

4.5/5(55 reviews)

Get an authentic look at the past inside this pretty and historic building, the oldest house in the town of Galena and now a captivating museum. 

Old Blacksmith Shop
Image for Old Blacksmith Shop

Old Blacksmith Shop

Live demonstrations provide a fascinating experience at this blacksmith shop, with anvils and fire pokers glowing red hot and bending to the might of the hammer.

Top things to do in Galena

Guided Bevans Mine Tour
Image for Guided Bevans Mine Tour

Guided Bevans Mine Tour

$13
Per adult

Reviews of Galena

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
365
5 - Excellent 70.59961315280464%
4 - Good
139
4 - Good 26.88588007736944%
3 - Okay
12
3 - Okay 2.3210831721470018%
2 - Disappointing
1
2 - Disappointing 0.19342359767891681%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 17, 2020

Second time here. Fun lots to do.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 15, 2020

Love the shops, restaurants and bars on the main strip.

5/5 - Excellent

Vicki

Mar 8, 2020

Wonderful Main Street full of unique finds and good food Great place to relax and enjoy a slower pace of life !

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Mar 7, 2020

Off season not everything was open Dirty Gurty had great food. Popcorn store is great. People very friendly

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Feb 25, 2020

I felt like I took a step back into history! Absolutely wonderful! All of the dining options were fabulous! There were many fun, eclectic boutiques and historical sites to visit!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Feb 24, 2020

All of the holiday pub crawls are awesome to go on I have enjoyed them for years

Cities near Galena

Dubuque which includes a river or creek

Dubuque

Photo by Stephanie Rickman

Savanna

Photo by Richard Remington

Bellevue

Photo by Richard Remington

East Dubuque