With so many things to do in Galena, IL, it can be hard to fit everything into 3 days. To make your trip-planning a bit easier, we’ve put together the perfect Galena itinerary that’ll make you want to extend your stay. Before you call work to request more PTO days, you should request access to our complimentary Vacation Guide. It lists all the best restaurants, entertainment, and local attractions.
Day 1 in Galena
The first thing you need to do before heading out is fuel up! Indulge with a gourmet breakfast at the inn which proudly holds the title of “Best B&B Breakfast in North America.” Start your meal off with some fresh fruit and a customized beverage from the mimosa bar. Then, move onto a mouthwatering entree, prepared by Chef Susan Steffan, also known as the Breakfast Diva. You can expect some of her specialties like oven-baked frittatas or blueberry French toast. Lastly, top it all off with seasonal baked goods like pumpkin muffins or bacon cornbread muffins.
Shopping on Helluva Half Mile in Downtown Galena
After your first Farmers Guest breakfast experience, you’ll be ready to start exploring! This small town has interesting historic sites scattered all throughout and many of those are now boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants on the Helluva Half Mile on Main Street. You can take a walking tour down Main Street, which is home to 100 shops. As you stroll down this shopper’s heaven, you’ll notice that there are no brand name stores. All of the shops are unique mom ‘n’ pop stores that give you a glimpse of the culture and personality of the area, plus it’s just a short walk from the inn.
What to Eat on Helluva Half Mile
For a sweet treat, you’ll have to pop in at the Great American Popcorn Company. You can choose from more than 50 gourmet popcorn flavors, ranging from caramel apple to honey mustard, and they also serve ice cream! It’s a one-of-a-kind experience you can’t miss before leaving Galena.
As you walk a half mile, you’ll definitely work up an appetite. For lunch, make a stop at Gobbie’s Sports Pub and Eatery. You can start with a bottomless salad bowl and beer nuggets before getting into a Chicago-style pizza or monster burger.
For dinner, you have to try Fritz and Frites, where German and French cuisine come together. Sauerbraten is an authentic German dish with marinated beef and served with red cabbage and sauerkraut. If you’d rather transport your taste buds to France, go for the Poulet Roti. It’s a garlic roasted chicken dish from France that will have your mouth watering the moment you step in the door.
Day 2 in Galena
Your Farmers Guest House breakfast will be a whole new experience as different entrees are served every day alongside freshly baked goods. Start your day off with a fiesta oven omelet or oatmeal pumpkin pancakes. As always, finish on a sweet note with some baked treats and a mimosa. You’ll have a selection of juices to choose from to mix with champagne so you’ll always have a different experience!
Historic Sites in Galena
Galena has an abundant historic scene. Numerous historic landmarks will give you insight that takes you back to the history and culture of the Native Americans, the exploration of the frontier, and the growth of the industry. Galena’s historic district is lined with over 1,450 historic sites!
Make the Galena and U.S Grant Museum part of your vacation for an in-depth look through history. Did you know Galena sets the record for producing the most Civil War generals? You can take a walk through the Gallery of Heroes to learn all about Ulysses S. Grant and other generals who lived in our captivating town. Other interactive exhibits include information on the first settlers, the Port of Galena, lead mining, and World War I. You can reserve a tour of the museum or explore it on your own!
Some other notable historic sites are the Old Blacksmith Shop, where you can see sparks fly as well as the tools that were used 100 years ago! Another fascinating attraction is the home where former United States President Ulysses S. Grant returned after the Civil War.
When dinner time rolls around, make sure you bring an appetite with you to Dirty Gurts Burger Joynt on North Main Street. Your jaw will drop when you see the Woo! Wop! The Bam! Burger. It’s made with two-half-pound burger patties, bacon, melted cheese, all of your typical burger toppings, plus a toasted bun with onion rings on top! You have to see it for yourself to believe it!
Day 3 in Galena
Outdoor Recreation in Galena
Once you’ve had a great night’s rest and a wonderful breakfast from Chef Steffan, you’re ready to venture out on Day 3 of your vacation. Take a break from all of the hustle and bustle of Main Street history and shopping and enjoy the natural beauty of Galena. Soak in the sunshine and admire the powerful river at Apple River Canyon Park! Before indulging in a lunchtime picnic with a view, look for some limestone bluffs, deep ravines, and fascinating wildlife along the trails. You can choose to hike one (or more!) of five trails to hike, or you can also go fishing or swimming in the lake.
Distillery in Galena
Later, have a drink at the Blaum Bros Distillery. Many guests in Galena visit year after year and make it a point to always go to the distillery before leaving town. It’s located a little over a mile from our B&B and they offer tours every day of the week! Apart from the distillery, you’ll also find a beautiful cocktail bar and comfortable lounge chairs where you’ll find yourself catching up with family and friends. You’ll definitely want to make this an annual trip!
In between all of these Galena excursions, you’ll need to rest and recharge. This is essential because you’ll need the energy! Make your stay a memorable one with Farmers Guest House. Not only will you be staying in an elegant, historic inn, but you’ll also be waking up to some of the best breakfasts you’ve ever had! You may have seen chef Susan Steffan on the Food Network. She’ll whip up a delicious breakfast that’ll set the standard high for the day.
Farmers Guest House is an 1800s-era restored inn and the only one in Galena! Browse our selection of guest rooms and plan your small town getaway today!