Treat your group to a tour of Gorgeous Galena, Illinois this year
This one of a kind tour that will have you and your group talking about it for a while and planning your next trip back to Galena right away. There are so many things to do and see in Galena your group can come for a day, a couple of days or even a long weekend. Guided tours and attractions will teach your group about Galena’s history, heritage and homes.
The DeSoto House Hotel is the oldest operating hotel in the state of Illinois. It was named for the European discoverer of the Mississippi River. This hotel had many notable guests including some of our former US Presidents. Abraham Lincoln even gave a speech from the hotel balcony in 1856.
The Dowling House is Galena’s oldest house. It was built in 1826 of limestone and was the only trading post in the city. The Belvedere Mansion is a lavish private residence with 22 rooms. The mansion is a true piece of history and includes the Belvedere Gardens which are a recent addition. They were designed and created as formal country gardens with quiet and intimate spaces. It includes bronze statues and flowing fountains by which you can pause and take time to reflect on your trip.
Your group can visit the U.S. Grant Museum which was founded in 1938 and includes a real blacksmith’s shop. The museum includes many interesting exhibits including the most popular: the Ulysses S. Grant exhibit. This exhibit illustrates Grant’s climb from ordinary store clerk to President of the United States. It includes artifacts and examples of the leather goods sold in his father’s store in which he worked.
The Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site opened to the public in 1904. However, the story began when General Grant returned to Galena from the Civil War, a hero in 1865. A group of Galena citizens presented him with the furnished house and the furnishings remain intact. Your group can get a close up look at a unique piece of history locked in time.
The Elihu B. Washburne House in Galena was constructed in 1843 in the style of Greek Revival. You can tell by looking at its temple-like front with its massive pillars. It was later enlarged to its current style. Elihu Washburne was a graduate of Harvard Law School and came to Galena to open a law office. He served as a delegate to Whig conventions and was eventually a member of the newly formed Republican Party and an avid supporter of Abraham Lincoln’s campaign for the presidency.
Finally, your group can visit the Old Market House which was built in 1845 and was the focal point of the community during the time. Also done in the style of Greek Revival which was popular at the time, this house sheltered vendors and shoppers who came down the river. Your group can take in a last bit of history at this popular location before moving on to something new.
Taste Brews and Wines
Of course there is no shortage of wine and beer options in Galena. Between Massbach Ridge, Galena Cellars, Galena Brewery and many others there are lots of options to choose from. Local wines and brews are available at bars and lounges as well as festivals and events in Galena. You can visit one of three area wineries including award winning Galena Cellars and Massbach Ridge. Your group can savor wines from around Illinois or attend one of the beer festivals. If you love it, take some home with you! After all, boutique wine such as this is made in limited quantities and can be difficult to find!
Enjoy Shopping and Fun
Your group can finish up the day with some fun and shopping. Visit art galleries, antiques stores and boutique style shops. Galena’s Main Street includes all these options and in 2011 it was named one of 10 Great Streets in America. It is home to an eclectic collection of storefronts and vintage shops. Your group can shop for fine jewelry, prints and posters of military subjects, vintage clothing and accessories, quilts and more.