Hidden midwestern gem – Galena, Illinois

Galena Illinois is one of those real undiscovered and hidden gems. Nestled in the north west corner of the state, it is right across the Mississippi river from Iowa. The National Trust for Historic Preservation added Galena to its 2004 list of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations.

The village is conveniently located “in the middle of nowhere” – about 20 miles from Dubuque, IA and 80 miles from Rockford, IL. Getting to Galena from the Chicagoland area takes you through some of the most scenic winding roads in Illinois, and folks from Chicago will probably be amazed to see that their state really does have some hills.
Things to do in Galena

Downtown Galena has a perfect balance between old charm and modern updates. You still get that old main street feeling, without feeling like things haven’t been updated in decades. Everything is well preserved. The main street stores offer something for everyone – from old fashioned candy stores to a fantastic variety of eateries and coffee shops.

Staying in Galena

Staying in Galena is the best way to enjoy the area past “daytrip”. In fact, given the 3 hour drive from Chicago, staying overnight may be the only way to really enjoy the scenery. Thankfully, Galena is home to some of the best places in the state to spend the night.

Galena has over 100 B&B’s, several chain hotels and 2 large resort hotels, including the award winning Eagle Ridge resort, with a 63 hole golf course, spa and 4 different restaurants.

During the winter months, the Chestnut Mountain resort is where you’ll find 19 different ski trails in a hotel overlooking the Upper Mississippi River. Its rooms are fairly basic, but the location can’t be beat.