Galena, population 3,600, is an architectural showcase and destination for relaxation, shopping and outdoor recreation. The area's rolling hills rise out of the Mississippi River valley providing scenic backgrounds for top-rated golf courses, trolley tours and hot air balloon rides.
Close to 85 percent of the town's buildings, many in 19th century architectural styles, have been restored and preserved and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tours of these buildings, including President Grant's home, as well as ghostly tours, are available.
Main Street has more than 90 shops, antique stores, art galleries, boutiques and restaurants in restored buildings. The city caters to visitors in need of relaxation with resorts, spas, wine bars and coffee shops. A thriving artistic and entertainment community provides the city with one-of-a-kind galleries, local theater performances and live music. The city hosts several festivals including December's Night of Luminaria, which features more than 5,000 luminaries glowing throughout the city and along the Galena River levee and dike.
The area is a popular destination for golf. Several of the area's 10 courses are top-rated in Illinois and the U.S. Other outdoor activities include cross-country skiing, skiing, snowboarding and horse-drawn sleigh rides during winter. The Mississippi and Galena Rivers provide space for fishing, boating, canoeing and kayaking. Many of the area's resort provide horseback riding trails.
Galena is located 79 miles west of Rockford and 15 miles southeast of Dubuque, Iowa. It is accessible via U.S. Highway 20 and State Highway 84. Lodging options are plentiful and include bed and breakfasts, resorts, rental homes.