Affordable Culture in Galena, IL
A surprising small-town arts and crafts scene.
At the northwestern tip of Illinois, the town of Galena is relatively tiny, with fewer than 5,000 residents, but draws more than a million visitors each year. The appeal? Trolley tours past beautiful 19th-century buildings, canoeing trips along the peaceful Galena River, and, for history buffs, the opportunity to check out the place where President Ulysses S. Grant’s family lived and worked—and where he himself lived for about two years. The town is also home to lots of galleries, craft shops, and boutiques—all offering wonderful things to buy or just look at.
Galena Artists' Guild Gallery
Peruse the cool art galleries on Spring Street, especially the Galena Artists’ Guild Gallery, which features works by 60 member artists.
Galena Trolley Tours
View historic buildings and 19th-century homes including the Dowling House, the oldest stone structure in Illinois.
Enjoy live music and veggie fare.
Order Italian meatballs or one of Vinny’s famous sausage “sangwiches.”
This literary-themed inn has a library, cozy rooms, and historical connections to Ulysses S. Grant; a close friend of the general’s who lived in Galena constructed the building in 1855.