Christmas in Galena, Illinois

One of my dreams is to take my family to spend Christmas in Galena, Illinois for the Christmas holiday. It’s a quaint, historic tourist spot just 2 hours away and probably has more Bed and Breakfast homes than any other place in the U.S.  It’s popular for antiques shopping and was home to Ulysses S. Grant. I’ve visited idyllic Galena numerous times in my life, but have yet to spend the holidays there. (Photos are not mine but links to photo sources are provided.)

Downtown Galena Illinois in WinterHistoric buildings line the streets of downtown Galena.

It’s beautiful any time of year. Fall is probably the most spectacular season, though.


All That's Vintage shop in Galena, IllinoisAntique and vintage shops are plentiful. Galena is where I purchased my first piece of white ironstone.


Farmers Guest House in Galena IllinoisI’ve never stayed at the Farmers’ Guest House, but it’s a popular bed and breakfast.


Annie Wiggins House in Galena, IllinoisCindy at Applestone Cottage shared her visit to Galena, Illinois.

She stayed at this beautiful B&B, the Annie Wiggins House.


Park Avenue Guest House in Galena, IllinoisThe Park Avenue Guest House is another popular bed and breakfast in Galena.

Actually, I could say they’re all popular!  It’s such a beautiful town.


Panoramic view of Galena Illinois in the winterThis panoramic view of Galena showcases its historic buildings dotting the rolling hills.


Countryside of Historic Galena IllinoisJust outside of Galena lies the rolling hills of its countryside dotted with red barns.


Country road near the Inn at Irish Hollow in Galena IllinoisI love exploring the country roads of Galena, like this one just outside the Inn at Irish Hollow.


Room at the Inn of Irish HollowHere’s one of the beautiful bedrooms at the Inn at Irish Hollow.

If I planned a trip to celebrate Christmas in Galena, the whole family could stay at the Inn.


Historic building at Galena IllinoisOne of the many historic buildings in Galena. Are you starting to see my attraction to this small town?


Night of the Luminaria in GalenaIn December, Galena has a Night of the Luminaria festival.

I’ve not seen it yet … but someday I probably will since it’s only 2 hours away.


Old fashioned caroling in Galena IllinoisYou can also enjoy old fashioned carolers in December when you visit Galena.

Isn’t this scene perfect for a Christmas card?


Snowy Sleigh RideI’ve always wanted to go on a horse drawn sleigh ride through the snow while drinking hot chocolate.

LamppostSome day I will spend Christmas in Galena … but for now, I’ll enjoy dreaming about it!

See photos of my previous trip to Galena, Illinois.

Have a safe and blessed Christmas Eve!


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  1. I have been to Galena several times. What a beautiful town! I lived about an hour away all my life and now that I’ve moved away, I try to visit Galena when I visit home. Nice photos. Merry Christmas!

    1. Merry Christmas, Eileen! It’s been a couple years since I’ve been to Galena. I might go this spring with hubby.

  2. I went to Galena one year for my birthday. It is not far but yet still about a two hour drive away perhaps a bit more. It is a beautiful area.

  3. What a picture perfect town! Maybe next year will be THE year and you can post lots more eye candy for us to enjoy. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  4. We live in Oregon and visited Galena in the late fall two years ago. What a delightful town, just needed more time. Our visit was for only two days but found we could have spent a week there and enjoyed every minute! Merry Christmas and thank you for sharing this delightful post.

    1. Fall is a beautiful time to visit Galena! I’ve even been there in January and it was pretty. Have a Merry Christmas, Betty!

  5. What a beautiful town! The first picture you posted of Galena looked like a small mountain ski town such as Telluride. That vintage shop looks like its full of goodies too!

    1. Hi Teresa! I’ve never been to Telluride but Galena does remind me of a ski town … and they do have a nearby ski resort! 🙂

  6. Jennifer,
    I have been to Galena several times in the fall and summer but never for Christmas. I bet it is beautiful to be there with all the beautiful lights and festive decorations. That inn looks so spectacular. How beautiful. We have always rented a house in Galena for us all to stay in but I love that Inn. I might have to check into that.
    Merry Christmas.

    1. Merry Christmas, Kris! I’ve stayed in a couple B&Bs and also in a house in the Galena Territory. I like it best when we stay in town. The Inn at Irish Hollow is a little off the beaten track but not too far away. I’ve always wanted to spend the night there. 🙂

  7. Just Beautiful! Another place to add to my list of places to go! Seeing some of the old houses reminded me of the nice old houses in your old hometown. It would be nice to see a Christmas exterior tour blog of them all decked out for the season… nothing is more charming to me than the old houses all a sparkling at night! Merry Christmas!

    1. Kari, If I ever get out there during the Christmas season, I’ll be sure to take photos of those beautiful old houses dressed for the holidays! Great idea. 🙂