Things To Do – Midweek!

Main Street Galena

Things To Do – Midweek!

ThingsTo Do - Midweek!

Raise your hand if this is you: You need some well-deserved peace and relaxation but you still want to go somewhere fun and interesting that isn’t too crowded or ‘touristy’ and you can travel on the weekdays. 

It’s a common misconception that weekends are the only good time to travel to Galena.  And if you have a Monday through Friday job and other weekday commitments, then weekends are great to come for a visit!  However, if you’re one of the lucky ones (like we have been, having spent our entire lives in the hospitality/service industry) who is able to travel while everyone else is working away, then Galena is your midweek playground and here are five reasons why!

FEWER PEOPLE

Two’s company, three’s a crowd!  Pretty much everything is open all week long, especially along Main Street.  With over 130 mom and pop shops and restaurants, even if 50 of them are closed (don’t worry, that never happens!) you still have 80 businesses to keep you busy!  Crowded bars?  Forget it!  Didn’t make a reservation at a restaurant?  No line, no waiting!  Don’t want to be rushed while browsing the shops or art galleries?  Take your time, there’s no one trying to push you through!

Really though, there’s something to be said for being able to enjoy Main Street without dodging strollers the size of an SUV.  Pop in and out of shops and cafes without feeling obligated to rush.  Relax, take your time, and enjoy where you are.  Take a breath and actually pay attention to the person that you’re with – you’ll be amazed at how nice it can be!

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Let’s face it, we spend a lot of time in front of a screen.  What better way to balance that out than with some adventures outside!  

View of Galena River Trail

In the mood for an easy walk?  The Galena River Trail is just 2 blocks away from Aldrich Guest House and is level and paved/hard surfaced making it great for a simple walk or easy bike ride.  If you’re looking for some more physically challenging hikes check out Witkowski State Wildlife Area where you’ll find lots of elevation change and 10 miles of trails.  Want to see the Mississippi River but don’t want to do too much work to see it?  Then check out Casper Bluff, a Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation Land and Water Reserve featuring many Native American mounds as well as the only Thunderbird effigy mound in Illinois.

And don’t forget the Galena River!  Canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards are available for rent at both Nuts Outdoors and Galena River Outfitters.  Reserve a planned paddle or do a freestyle for a set amount of time.  Both locations also rent bikes and electric bikes if that’s more your speed.  Enjoy a ride around town or choose to take a trip to Chestnut Mountain or Galena Cellars Winery.

HISTORY

All you need to do is look around you to see that Galena has been around for a long time!  Native Americans were here for thousands of years before the first French explorers came down what is now the Galena River.  Make a visit to the Galena & U.S. Grant History Museum where you can experience this history of the Driftless Region from prehistoric times all the way up until today.  While you’re there, check out the entrance to an actual mine that was found during one of the expansions of the building as well as the Peace In Union painting depicting Lee’s surrender at the end of the Civil War.

Exterior of Galena History Museum

Feel like exploring and finding history on your own?  Not a problem!  Download the Galena Tours app.  You’ll find several pre-selected tours or you can create your own as you enjoy the city.  There are nearly 300 locations with narration and information about the history of the building or site along with information on the steamships, railroad, and architecture of Galena.

EAT, DRINK, AND SHOP

As we’ve already mentioned, there are nearly 130 shops and restaurants along Main Street.  Sure some of them may be closed one or two days a week, but with that many options, who cares if a few are closed!  

Main Street Galena

Drop in to Poopsie’s, one of the greatest gift stores to find something for anyone – or even yourself!  If you’re looking for something a little more relaxed then stop at Galena Apothecary where Allison will make sure that you find the perfect personal care products, accessories, and paper goods. Need a good read?  Check out Galena Book & Paper where Jason stocks a curated selection of books some of which you may have heard of and many that may have never crossed your path.  Interested in learning more about CBD and the health benefits that it can bring?  Head over to Botanicanna where Ashlee and her staff are passionate about helping people learn about what is right for them. For some intimate fun stop by Noty Kity, a family owned adult boutique where everyone is welcome and encouraged to step out of the box!

After all that shopping, you’ll need a bite to eat!  Green Street Tavern is a casual pub serving lunch and dinner.  Embe is open late and specializes in delicious sandwiches and homemade soups.  And save room for their bread pudding! Want to see the Mississippi River and enjoy watching the sun set behind the hills of Iowa?  You won’t want to miss dinner at The Summit or Sunset Grille at Chestnut Mountain where you can also enjoy outdoor dining on their large deck with stunning views!

ACTIVITIES

In addition to great outdoor activities, interesting history, and all the cool stuff on Main Street that is open midweek, there are plenty of other things to do in the area.  

We suggest that everyone start their trip with a trolley tour at Galena Trolley.  Their 1 hour tour is perfect for getting a great overview of the city and its history.  Plus, you might find some good places to go back to and explore further while you’re here!

Feeling the need for something more adventurous?  Get high in Galena with a hot air balloon ride at Galena On The Fly where your trip promises to give you a unique perspective and an adventure that you can truly write home about.  Don’t want to be so far from terra firma but still feeling daring?  Long Hollow Canopy Tours has zipline adventures as well as a challenge course to get your adrenaline pumping!

Walking in the woods with two goats

For those who want to keep their hooves planted firmly on the ground, take a walk through the woods…with goats!  Hoof-It Galena has combined their passion for the land as well as the goats that they raise and have created goat trekking!   You might not think you need to walk with goats through the woods, but trust us on this one.  These hour long treks feature some of the friendliest goats you’ll ever meet and they make an enjoyable hike even better with their playfulness and undeniable cuteness!

MAKE US YOUR HOME BASE!

If you’re not convinced that mid-week visits to Galena is where it’s at, we certainly look forward to seeing you on one of the weekends!  However, if you’re able to travel Sunday through Thursday, we very much look forward to helping you plan a great time in Galena!

Give us a call at 815.777.3323 or visit us online at www.aldrichguesthouse.com to make your reservations as rooms are filling fast!

Always grateful!

Robert and Douglas, Innkeepers/Owners

Douglas and Robert by the levee in Galena in summer