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8 Waterford Dr Galena, IL
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Why The National Historic Register Chose Galena
Why The National Historic Register Chose Galena

A time-travelling treasure trip to America’s proud past How many places in the United States can say that 85% of their town is a national historic district? Galena, Illinois can. There are few places in America that can boast such a rich and significant heritage or provide such a vibrant link to the past. In fact, this beautiful destination remains barely changed since the mid 1800’s. With over 1400 sites of historical interest it’s no wonder Galena attracts more than a million visitors every year. Take a trip with us to learn why this scenic spot deserves its place on the Register and on your vacation calendar. A wealth of classic construction Second Empire. Queen Anne. Gothic and Greek Revival. Vernacular. Federal. Italianate. With so many beautiful building styles gracing Galena, it’s difficult to highlight only a few examples! The oldest living space is Dowling House, built by John Dowling in 1826. It belongs to a time when Galena was growing rapidly toward becoming a city in 1841, enjoying its status as a major exporter of lead and a bustling Mississippi port. Persistent fires in the 1850’s spurred Galena officials to build more with stone and brick. The serene and […]

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Galena Ranked as One of the 10 Most Charming Small Towns by TripAdvisor

See what this little gem has to offer Pretty much everybody is at least a little familiar with many of the big cities in the U.S. and the things that can be found there. But there are tons of other towns and villages around the country that deserve just as much recognition, and one in Northwest Illinois is starting to get it. Recently, the travel website TripAdvisor named Galena as one of the most charming small towns in America. “Northwest Illinois has always had a gem of a destination with Galena,” said Celestino Ruffini, the Director of Sale and Marketing for Jo Daviess County. “Both nationally and regionally, recognition has been given to what the destination provides, but it is heartwarming to know that efforts in preserving this iconic piece of American history just as it was in the 1800s are regarded so highly. It is the commitment of residents, past and current, that have made this destination into what it is.” Galena has also been declared one of the prettiest towns in the U.S. by Forbes. And if that weren’t enough, in 2013, Fodor’s Travel confirmed what locals already know: that Galena is one of the best small towns […]

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4 Things to Do and See at the Galena Country Fair

Image credit And why you should make your travel plans now Galena is known for an assortment of sights and attractions that can be enjoyed year-round, including historical buildings, live entertainment, and natural wonders. However, one of the town’s main attractions only takes place once each year: The Galena Country Fair. Held on Columbus Day weekend, the fair is two days chock full of fun and excitement. If you are planning to attend this year’s festivities, here’s what you can expect: Amazing arts and crafts If you love seeing the work of talented artists, you’re in luck. The Galena Country Fair will feature over 150 craftspeople from all over the country who have been hand-selected to showcase their wares. You will find an assortment of items for sale, including jewelry, pottery, woodwork, and fine art. This gives you an excellent opportunity to get a lot of your holiday shopping done early or just pick up something for yourself. Excellent food You can’t attend a country fair and not sample some of the delicious local cuisine! Basically, whatever you are in the mood for you’ll find, including brats, chili, tacos, and of course ice cream and funnel cakes. There will also […]

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Ulysses S. Grant and Galena: The Relationship Between This Little City and Our 18th President

The 18th president made Galena his home, and the city has kept his memory alive. It’s all about connections. We claim a place, and then the place claims us. That’s what happened with a little Illinois city and the 18th president of the United States. There’s an important place in our history books for Ulysses S. Grant. He led the Union Army to victory during the Civil War, and then went on to lead the nation through Reconstruction during 2 terms as our nation’s president. He called the Northern Illinois city of Galena home. Today, this Northern Illinois city features Grant’s home—as well as more than 1,000 other buildings—that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places by the U. S. Department of the Interior. Grant and Galena are bound by this historic tie. What’s in a name The 18th president’s given name was actually Hiram Ulysses Grant. The “S” was accidentally added to his West Point Academy nomination form by Ohio Congressman Thomas Hamer. Grant tried to correct the record, but eventually gave up as more people called him by this name. Galena never suffered a name problem at the hands of an elected official, but people often […]

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5 Fun Things to Do on Vacation in Galena, Illinois

There’s truly something for everybody Have you made your vacation plans yet for this summer? With so many places to potentially visit, it can be tough to narrow down your choices. But if you’re searching for a destination that has a lot of fun activities, is full of history, and offers tons of shopping opportunities, you don’t have to look any further than Galena, Illinois. Here are five things that may just entice you to head to Northern Illinois: Alice T. Virtue Water Park Image credit When temperatures are high, there’s no better place in Galena to cool off than the Alice T. Virtue Water Park. In addition to the big main pool that has two slides and a diving board, there’s also a pint-sized pool for the kiddies. The park also includes picnic shelters and a concession stand. P.T. Murphy Magic Theater Image credit How many cities can say they have a theater devoted entirely to magic? Well, Galena can. Several nights a week, master magician P.T. Murphy takes the stage to dazzle crowds with an assortment of tricks and illusions. There’s no bad seat in the intimate, 24-seat theater. Ulysses S. Grant Home Image credit If you’re a […]

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Active Vacations: Fun Things to Do in Northern Illinois

Summer is the favorite time of year for so many families and groups who enjoy taking advantage of the beautiful weather by taking a much needed vacation. And it comes at a good time, as the grind of making it through the arduous winter months can take its toll on so many. Traveling can help people separate themselves from the daily rigors of everyday life, while at the same time sharing experiences and great times with each other that can make for lifetime memories. Travel to new destinations can increase our knowledge of different places and things. And depending on where we go and what we do, it can enhance our resourcefulness. Many vacationers are now taken with “Active Travel”, which focuses on physical activity in travel and transport. This way of travel, as opposed to motorized or carbon-dependent means, can help in fighting obesity, and is very beneficial in improving public health in general. When in the Land of Lincoln, there are many terrific Illinois destinations for travelers to choose from. For travelers looking to spend some time a bit north of the hustle and bustle of the big city, the active traveler can find a great number of […]

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Family Vacation Spots in Illinois: Galena, IL

Located at the northwest corner of Illinois, the town of Galena well deserves its rank as one of the top-ten charming small towns in the USA. It’s also one of the premier vacation spots in Illinois. Galena is a town filled with history. Its first trading post was founded in 1821, and soon afterward Galena had become one of the most important steamboat hubs on the Mississippi River. The town was the home of no fewer than nine Civil War generals, including Ulysses S. Grant. So much of its history has been preserved that today nearly 85% of the city center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Set among rolling hills and beautiful fields, Galena is blessed with great natural beauty as well. It’s the perfect spot for families to spend a holiday or a getaway weekend, offering places to visit, fun events, exciting activities, and points of interest that will appeal to everyone. Vacation spots in Illinois Children and parents alike will find activities galore when they visit Galena. You can explore the downtown historic district with its gorgeous nineteenth-century mansions on foot. For those who prefer to ride up and down Galena’s hills, there’s a

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5 Reasons to Choose Galena, IL for Weekend Getaways

If you’re someone who’s in the know about the best vacation spots in Illinois, I’m sure you’ve heard of this quaint and historic city. However, I bet you haven’t heard this: at one point in time, Galena surpassed even Chicago in population! What first brought the American settlers to Galena was actually… galena! Galena is a mineral used to make lead and Galena had loads of it! The Native Americans were already mining galena for a thousand years before it became the object of the first mineral rush in America. Because of its rich history, 85 percent of the city is considered an historic district. Events not to be Missed in Galena Part of what makes weekend getaways in Illinois so great is the multitude of events available to enjoy. If you are going in late April there is the Ulysses S. Grant Pilgrimage Event in honor of the 18th president’s birthday. There will be Civil War Battle reenactments, a bazaar selling period items, a parade for Midwest scouts, and more! If you’re planning on going in May why don’t you book a seat at “An intimate evening of Magic”, where you’ll get an up-close view of this mystical art, […]

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Galena River Trail – Perfect Outing for Trail Enthusiasts

Visiting a new town can be a bit daunting at first. Most people aren’t quite sure what to expect and what tours and attractions the town offers. Those looking to get away for an extended period might want to consider a visit to Galena, IL. Galena, IL is the perfect getaway for those looking for friendly people, beautiful scenery, and peace and quiet. Galena is one of Illinois’ most popular tourist destinations, averaging nearly one million visitors each year. The town is particular popular with residents of Chicago, many of whom make use of Galena for their summer/vacation homes. Renting Luxury Log Cabins in Galena For those looking to pay a visit to Galena, one will find comfort affordably priced luxury cabins being offered for rental by Vacation Galena. Whether visiting as a couple, a family, or a large company gathering, the luxury cabins available are more than ample to cater to your particular needs. The two luxury cabins offered by Vacation Galena are the Zen Luxury Log Cabin and the Luxury Log house. Both are available in beautifully decorated interiors at beyond 2,000 square feet and can house several people. They come equipped with all your basic household needs, […]

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Why Renting a Luxury Log Cabin in Galena is the Ultimate Vacation Treat

There can be no better present for your near and dear ones than to stay at a vacation rental property that is located near a brewing company during the holiday season. You must however be wondering whether renting a vacation home is really the right vacationing option for you. Where hotels were once popular destinations to stay during the vacations, luxury rental cabins are now replacing them as popular accommodation options. So, why are luxury rental cabins the popular vacationing accommodation options? Inexpensive – Where hotels cost you a fortune to stay, luxury log cabins come with amenities such as television sets to watch during your spare time, gas grills, screened porches, secure parking, off road parking, barbecue grills, microwave ovens, open wooden decks, hot tubs, family game rooms, football fields and the like, all at a lower cost than that at hotels. Proximity to nature and tourist spots – What could be a better holiday present than to visit Galena in Illinois or a place in close proximity to nature as well as to a brewing company during the holidays? Renting a luxury log cabin in Galena can make going around the Galena brewing company to purchase drinks for […]

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