Welcome to Fifty Grande’s Best of the U.S. Bucket List series. This is your one-stop travel guide to the best, most unique and quintessential experiences of a city, state or event. Want to know how to “do” Galena, Illinois? We’ve got you covered. Curated by experts, vetted by in-the-know locals, this is all you need to have the best trip ever. If we’ve written a Bucket List, we recommend you go. If it’s on this list, it’s the best the city has to offer right now. Consider this your one-stop answer to “What are the best things to do in Galena?”
This story appears in Fifty Grande Magazine #3, the Road Trip issue.
Let me paint you a picture of the perfect fall weekend away. It’s a gorgeous Midwestern day in northwest Illinois. You first think, “Wait, why am I in northwest Illinois?” Then you notice the sun is warming the bluffs of the Mississippi River and the leaves are just starting to change to vibrant reds and oranges. Wandering up and down Main Street in Galena, with all of its shops, restaurants and historic sites, you’re enjoying its classic charm. It’s like something out of a Hollywood lot for a movie set in quaint small-town America. With its perch along Historic Route 20 and 80% of its downtown buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, you know there’s plenty to do. But even a savvy traveler like yourself can benefit from a little guidance to help you find the best of the best. Here are the best things to do in Galena, Illinois.