There have been some big changes to downtown Galena IL this summer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we think they’ve been pretty great changes for the most part. We recognize that travel feels a little different to all of us right now, but we hope you feel comforted knowing our entire town is working hard to create a safe and healthy environment for all who choose to visit! You can find what we’re doing, specifically, on our website.
Travel studies released recently have shown that getaways that are closer to home and to smaller towns are considered to be one of the best options. That is great news for Galena, as we’re located just under 3 hours outside of Chicago, and easily drivable from other major cities like Milwaukee, Minneapolis and St. Paul, and Des Moines. When you get to downtown Galena IL, you’ll notice a few things are different!
The town of Galena has decided to turn its Main Street, which is normally bustling with both cars and people, into a pedestrian-only zone. It’s transformed our town and is allowing our local businesses to flourish once again. That is, of course, provided you take the time to get here and join us! With downtown Galena closed to traffic, staying nearby and within walking distance is more important than ever. Our Galena Bed and Breakfast is the perfect place to stay, as we’re located just off Galena’s Main Street, and within easy walking distance to everything downtown Galena IL has to offer. Book your room at our Galena Bed and Breakfast today!
What to do in Downtown Galena IL
Though many of the businesses throughout Galena’s Main Street found creative solutions to being open during the height of Illinois’ stay at home order, it was no doubt hard to be closed, just as it was for us. We’re so thrilled to be back open to guests at our Galena Bed and Breakfast, offering the same exceptional service we’ve always been known for. We think experiencing downtown Galena IL as a pedestrian-only zone is a pretty unique experience, and we hope you join us before it changes back to being open to everyone! Here’s a drone video that shows just exactly what you can expect next time you visit downtown Galena IL.
Once you’ve made your way to downtown Galena IL, there are a number of great things to do, with shopping king among them. There are so many incredible shops along Main Street, all of which are independently owned and set inside the historically preserved buildings Galena is known for. There are more than 100 shops on this little stretch of Main Street, which was voted one of “America’s Best Main Streets” by Fodor’s Travel. Among our favorite shops, you’ll find a wonderful collection of antiques and collectibles, perfect gifts for those you may be shopping for, and plenty of locally-made and gourmet goodies, including, of course, some local wine.
There are a few local businesses in downtown Galena that have gone the extra mile to support us at our Galena Bed and Breakfast, while we pivot from what used to be our normal service, to our new service under the guidelines of COVID-19. They include the following businesses:
- Galena River Wine & Cheese, who made us some incredibly delicious charcuterie trays to serve to our guests in our modified and individualized happy hour.
- Galena Spoons Co., who hand-crafted us the custom-made trays for our new happy hour.
- Blaum Bros Distilling, who used their distillery to make hand sanitizer for the community, which we now supply for our guests at various locations throughout the Inn (in addition to your own individual sanitizer in your room).
- Big Bills Sandwich Shop & Coffee Bar, which continues to supply us with the most delicious roasted coffee to serve to our guests (and to help us power through these busy and demanding days!).
While shopping and browsing in downtown Galena IL, we ask that you please wear face masks, and don’t bring your reusable bags (yet). Full guidelines for enjoying Galena this summer can be found here.
There are also some truly delicious Galena restaurants located on Main Street. Two of our favorite Galena restaurants include Fritz and Frites and Fried Green Tomatoes. Fritz and Frites is the #1 rated Galena restaurant, and they are a charming little bistro that serves up a delicious combination of French and German specialties. The food and service are exquisite, making this incredible restaurant a “must” when visiting downtown Galena.
Another favorite Galena restaurant is Fried Green Tomatoes, which is well known for its incredible steaks and their extensive wine list. In fact, their wine list is so good it’s won awards from Wine Spectator. This restaurant is a definite must when looking for a romantic dinner in Galena. As with other Galena restaurants, these two currently have outdoor seating, located on Main Street, which is an entirely new and fun way to dine in this beautiful town.
Get to Know More of Downtown Galena
While you’re exploring downtown Galena IL, it’s also a great time to learn more about the history of this charming little town. There’s a wonderful walking tour through downtown Galena, operated by the Galena History Museum, that you can take with General Grant himself. This is the perfect way to learn all about the 19th-century buildings that line Galena’s Main Street.
Alternatively, you can take a trolley tour of the town with Galena Trolley Depot. There are a few tours to choose from, but by far the most popular is the hop-on/hop-off tour that navigates its way around Galena’s most popular historic attractions. There’s another side to Galena’s history, too, but it only comes out at night. To find out more, you’ll need to take one of the haunted ghost tours of downtown Galena IL.
Where to stay in Galena, IL
Walkability and location are important, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at our Galena Bed and Breakfast. Our historic Bed and Breakfast is situated less than a block off Main Street and sits perched overlooking the beautiful town of Galena. From here, all of the best shopping, restaurants, and nightlife of downtown Galena IL are just minutes away, making us truly the best location from which to enjoy all of the incredible things this town has to offer. There’s no need to move your car once you’ve arrived, unless, of course, you plan to do some scenic driving or visit attractions in the nearby countryside surrounding Galena.
Not only are we close to downtown Galena IL, but we’re the top-rated Galena Bed and Breakfast (not to mention the #1 B&B in the country!). At Jail Hill Inn, you can expect every aspect of your stay to be thoughtfully taken care of, starting with chilled champagne, chocolates, and your own personal hand sanitizer waiting for you in your guest room. Our guest suites are spacious and well-appointed, with luxury amenities you’d expect from a 5-star hotel chain.
From breakfast and our afternoon happy hour delivered to your door to your own Bluetooth sound system in your suite, you can be assured that we’ve thought of everything. Truly, we can’t wait to welcome you to downtown Galena and look forward to pampering you in the years to come. Book your room at the #1 rated Galena Bed and Breakfast today, and discover your own little slice of paradise in beautiful downtown Galena IL.