Last Saturday, Landon and I took a day trip to Galena, IL. In April, we got the idea to go in possibly May or June but then our weekends just filled up. Throw in some more booked weekends in July, a second surgery, and well, we finally got to go in October! But it was worth the wait! And it was nice to have a few hours to visit Galena and check it out for a longer stay next time. Here is how we spent our 4 hours in Galena!
Galena is a town of just over 3k but they attract a heck of a lot more than that every weekend. The tourism there is pretty amazing because after following their event calendar for months, they have something happening every weekend. So first things first, be prepared for parking to be a bit crazy. They have people manning public parking lots and it actually seemed pretty efficient. But we didn’t get there until 11am so those lots were all full. We did stop and ask about options and learned that they have shuttles from the high school but that may have been just for the country fair happening last weekend. Eventually we found a street parking spot (for free!) a few blocks from Main Street on Franklin. It made for a nice walk after the car ride.
Earlier last week I asked Landon to search for a place for lunch. I know Gelana has a lot of restaurants and if we were hungry it’d be hard to decide. He chose Durty Gurt’s Burger Joynt. Ironically, it is near the corner of Main and Franklin so we practically walked right into it right away! Which worked perfectly because we got a table right away but 15 minutes later, a line started to form. Tip: Plan on lunch right at 11 when places first open up!
After eating some delicious burgers, we headed down Main Street. We hopped into stores that peaked our interest and enjoyed the sunshine when we were on the sidewalk. Landon said multiple times how the town looked like a Hallmark movie. I wonder if any have ever been filmed there! It definitely is a cute town.
Our favorite store was Galena Garlic Company. Landon always enjoys when we have olive oil samples at our local coop so he enjoyed sampling all of those. He chose a pesto olive oil to purchase. I like a good balsamic vinegar to make salad dressing but on its own it can be a bit sweet so I sampled about 4 or 5. I really liked the fig but we both thought the raspberry balsamic vinegar would be great on salads. We also picked up a third bottle, just a plain olive oil. It will definitely be a store we visit again!
Our next stop (after a few more shops) was the Galena Cellars Vineyard and Winery tasting room and store. This was so impressive! I’ve gone to very few wineries in my life so seeing two full pages of wines to choose from for a tasting was unreal. It costs $5 for a sample of 6 but our wine pourer gave us an extra one based off of our choices. But they really should charge way more. Aside from the impressive selection, every wine we tried was so smooth. We wanted to pick up a bottle for our anniversary this week but we had trouble picking one. Next time we’ll be prepared to purchase multiple bottles!
The wine tasting is on one end of the street and we started on the opposite end so we made our way back checking out shops on the other side. Ladies, there are a lot of cute boutique stores in this town! By this time, it was getting really busy inside every store we checked out which wasn’t so fun. Maybe it was the wine, but we were also starting to feel a little tired so we popped into Mean Bean Roasters to get some coffee for the road.
It was such a beautiful day! It got up to 53 degrees so it was a bit chilly when the buildings blocked the sun but it definitely could have been colder – we drove through snow on the way home. Galena also has various golf courses nearby so we are thinking we’ll come back in the spring and play a round before checking out some of the museums. There is still so much Galena has to offer that isn’t on Main Street!