With summertime comes thoughts of barbecues, pool parties, and weekend getaways. No matter where you live, you know of a place that you can drive to for a day or even a couple of days. I currently live in the Chicago suburbs where many people take weekend trips to Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan. There are also plenty of fun day trips right within Illinois' borders.
In September 2008, my husband and I went to a popular tourist spot, Galena, Illinois. Galena is located in the northwestern corner of Illinois. It can take anywhere from 3 to 3 1/2 hours to get from Chicago to Galena depending on traffic conditions. Galena is comprised of a main street with many shops and restaurants but also boasts Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery and Ulysses S. Grant's home. Even though many people might only think of visiting Galena during the warm months, it does have year-round activities that include the "Wine Lovers Weekend" in March and the "Nouveau Wine Festival" in November.
All different types of accommodations can be found in Galena. Hotels go from $75 a night at the Ramada Hotel to $200+ a night at the Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa. Galena also offers interesting bed and breakfasts and even some vacation
rentals. We stayed at the Ramada and it fit our needs just fine.
Just recently a friend of mine did an overnight trip to Galena and Dubuque, Iowa. Dubuque is about 16 miles from Galena and is situated along the Mississippi River. My friend said that she did some great hiking there and got some great views of the Mississippi River. Dubuque also has 2 ski resorts that I'm interested in checking out one winter weekend in the future.
This is probably my favorite photo of Galena. We were up by Grant's home when I took this picture. It overlooks the main street area.
This is Ulysses S. Grant's home. There are tours of the house but unfortunately we were too late for a tour. For more information on the home, Ulysses S. Grant, and tours, visit: http://www.granthome.com/
The photo above is of the vineyards of Galena Cellars Winery. They offer tours and wine tastings. At the time when we went, tastings were only $3 for 6 different wine samples. They had a large enough variety of wines that even the pickiest wine drinker would be satisfied.
I will end this post with a nice "Mid-West" photo. This is America's Heartland.
For more information on Galena, Illinois, please visit: www.visitgalena.org
www.galenadowntown.com also has information about Galena's Main Street area.