Galena, Illinois, United States
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Galena Information

About Galena

Galena, historically an American mining boomtown, is a small city in the upper northwest corner of Illinois, close to the border of Wisconsin. Located in an area originally inhabited and mined by the Native American Winnebago tribe, Galena got its name after a mineral common to the area. Eventually established by Europeans, the town was frequently torn asunder by squabbles with the many Native American tribes over mining rights. In the 1800s, it also became a nexus for river passage and shipping, and steamboats became the transportation of the day. Now, much of the history has been preserved in museums and buildings that line the main drag. Notably, the Galena served as the birthplace for several famous Civil War generals, particularly Ulysses S. Grant.

Things to do in Galena

The historic district of Galena hosts of plethora of historical opportunities for exploration. The Old Market House State Historic Sites is a necessary stop to get background on the town. Take a stroll down Main Street to see the delicately persevered facades of late 19th and early 20th century shops, or marvel at the artful architecture of Belvedere Mansion. Picnic in nearby parks, drop by the Ulysses S. Grant house, browse the Old Blacksmith Shop, or exercise your sommelier skills at Galena Cellars Vineyard. The Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. offers a behind-the-scenes look at how alcoholic spirits are made, or you can grab some ice cream at an old-fashioned ice cream parlor and catch a magic show at P.T. Murphy’s. There’s plenty for the whole family to enjoy.

Day trips from Galena

Day trips outside of Galena are few and far between, bt there are some worth mentioning. The folk art beacon The Grotto in Dickeyville, Iowa, is great for art enthusiasts and kids and is a doable day trip from Galena, clocking in at just over half an hour away and crossing state lines. Additionally, about an hour northeast of Galena is Pendarvis, Wisconsin, a Cornish mining settlement preserved for visitors as a living museum.

Galena Accommodations

Galena is well-known for its inns and quaint hotels, so really getting the feel of the city might be best accomplished in one of these charming establishments. The Irish Cottage Boutique Hotel and Stoney Creek Inn are highly rated, and many visitors frequent the Chestnut Mountain Resort. The DeSoto House Hotel is the oldest hotel in Illinois. Of course, you can always check for vacation rentals for you and the whole family.

Transportation in Galena

The closest airport to Galena is actually in Iowa, at Dubuque Regional Airport. The closest international airport is O’Hare in Chicago, which is about 151 miles away. The best way to get to the city is by driving, and once there cars, bicycles, and walking are a la mode. Of course, trolley tours of the city are popular, and checking out the historic district on one of the trolleys will give your feet a rest. Galena Trolley Tours and Tri State Travel Trolley Tours are the most frequented companies for mobile tourism.

Weather in Galena

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Vacation Rentals in Galena

Find the best Galena vacation rentals on With over 77 home rentals, take your pick from a wide variety of choices including studio apartments, luxury condos, and cozy cabin rentals. Prices in Galena range from $62 a night. Many rentals can also be booked directly online.

Vacation home rentals found on offer more amenities than the average hotel room along with many of the comforts of home. Going on a business trip or need to stay connected? 65 homes in Galena offer high-speed WiFi Internet so you won’t miss a beat. Travelling with kids? Let them splash around in any of the 14 rentals with pool or jacuzzi, or relax with the family in one of the 61 homes with cable TV.

For all those pet owners with dogs or cats, Galena offers 12 pet-friendly vacation rentals for your extended family. Find the perfect vacation rental that matches your budget and style on

Search properties from 6 vacation rental sites in Galena where the top providers in that area are HomeAway, Expedia, and There are 25 HomeAway rentals, 22 Expedia short term rentals and 18 vacation rentals.