I’ve been traveling to galena since I was little. it was a favorite destination of my parents. later, when I was in college, I’d meet my mom there for the day. we’d have lunch + shop until the stores closed. now, it’s coincidentally the “halfway” point between my parents + in-laws. so, we frequently find ourselves celebrating milestones + having many family gatherings in this sweet town. it is filled with rich history + picturesque landscapes. even better, there is something for everyone. really.
where to eat, sleep + go in galena, il
to eat + drink.
mean bean roasters | go in for your morning or afternoon cup of coffee to sip while shopping. but DO NOT LEAVE without getting coffee beans to take home, as a gift for yourself or your favorite coffee drinker. you can create your own custom coffee blend. we have yet to do that, but only because they have crazy flavors on their shelves. one of my favorites: peanut butter cup.
galena brewing company | this is typically our meeting spot. not intentionally. when we arrive to town, it’s generally time to eat + traveling can be stressful, so .. food + beer. it just happened. what do I order? a fevre river ale + as many orders of pretzel bites as the table will hold.
vinny vanucchi’s ‘little italy’ | craving pasta + a large glass of wine? I recommend this spot. we had the baby’s first birthday dinner here.
otto’s place cafe | this is a quaint restaurant, “off the beaten path” (or rather, main street galena). it is right next to the historic train station and in a house built in 1899. I recommend their weekend breakfast.
the desoto house | this is the oldest hotel in illinois and is rumored to be haunted. so, as much as I love history, you won’t catch me staying here. we go to the green street tavern during our visits. they make a delicious bloody mary + a good stop for lunch.
the galena territories | think gorgeous, secluded land, filled with golf courses + beautiful properties. that’s where we always stay. we’re typically meeting family + friends for the weekend. our favorite is to rent a whole house in the territories! (like when I planned the husband’s 30th surprise birthday party + we rented a house). we all come with groceries + adult beverages in tow. we wander around town, but can have a few cozy meals at the house together. on our most recent trip though, we got a room at the eagle ridge resort. it was nestled on top of a hill, overlooking a picturesque lake. right down the street from multiple golf courses + many other “amenities” (like paddle boat rentals + the cutest gift shop). the resort offers a shuttle to downtown galena too.
can I say every single store on main street? if you’re visiting, please do walk up + down main street. it is filled with the most amazing local shops. two of the “staples” –
the galena canning company | if you can put it in a glass jar, you can get it here. it’s borderline magical + overwhelming, with samples everywhere. we’re talking pickles, specialty olive oils, salsas, seasoning blends, dips, sauces, hot sauces + pickled EVERYTHING. we typically stock up on pickles, BBQ sauce + a few “that would make a great bloody mary garnish” items.
poopsies | this is the world’s best novelty gift shop. or so I have lovingly titled it. whenever we visit, we wander around for hours (or at least one). it’s one of those places you can’t stop chuckling + holding up items to say “did you see this?”. it’s constant. (like the snarky socks, that say “duchess of sassytown”).
if you like history, go visit president ulysses s. grant’s home.
do you have a favorite midwest destination?