Heading to the Midwest? Just a one-tank trip from many Midwest cities, Galena, Illinois, is home to century-old buildings that now house over 100 shops and restaurants. The town features a wide range of lodging options — including resorts, vacation rental homes and quaint bed-and-breakfasts – as well as scenic golf courses, soothing spas and a handful of roadside attractions.

If your travels will be leading you to Galena, our team at DriveTheNation.com has compiled a list of must-see sites that you won’t want to miss:

Blaum Bros. Distilling Co

Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. distills and produces fine spirits in the heart of Galena, Illinois — a town steeped in distilling history. Be sure to take a tour, where guides will walk you through the selection of the best grains in the local area and abroad, while sharing information about the process — from the milling of the raw grains, to the mashing, fermentation, and distillation on their custom made copper still.

Galena Historical Society and Museum

Nancy Hyman is ready to greet visitors in the gift shop in The Galena & U.S. Grant Museum.

A photo posted by Galena Historical Soc & Museum (@galena_history_museum) on

History buffs will particularly enjoy this hidden gem of a museum, open daily with the exception of major holidays. Be sure to catch the spectactular Civil War display located on the second floor, featuring US Grant artifacts and other notable inclusions.  The house itself, 1858 Daniel A Barrows house (211 S. Bench St.), is a historic piece of architecture. In fact, it was designed by William Dennison, the same architect who designed the U.S. Grant home on Bouthillier Street.

Ulysses S. Grant’s Home

#galenaillinois #ulyssessgrant #visitillinois #illinois #history

A photo posted by Josh Arkins (@j.m.arkins) on

Many people remember Ulysses S. Grant as the top general leading the union in the Civil War, but he was also one of our nation’s presidents. Dubbed “Galena’s crown jewel”, President Grant’s home belonged to the Grant family before he was in office and is now beautifully restored, with most items showcased in their original condition. It is also now registered as a national historic site!PT Murphy Magic

P.T. Murphy Magic Theater

Do you believe in magic? Even if you don’t, why not rest your legs in one of 24 seats located within PT Murphy’s Magic Theater? Featuring a highly engaging and interactive magic show, adults and older teens will enjoy watching Magician Murphy take the stage and captivate his audience. It is an hour well spent in the town of Galena!

Great Galena Balloon Race

The view from one of our tethered #balloon rides at the Great #Galena Balloon Race! Tethered rides are a $5 donation to #JDRF

A photo posted by Great Galena Balloon Race (@galenaballoonrace) on

If you’re planning on visiting during the summer, you’re in luck! The Great Galena Balloon Race in June has been running for over a dozen years drawing crowds from near and far.

Have you been to Galena, Illinois? What was your favorite part about your trip? We would love to hear from you! Share your must-see attractions in the comment section below.


Quick Guide to Galena Illinois