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Galena Holiday Activities

Main Street Galena Illinois
Main Street Holiday Decorations, Galena Illinois

Some Galena Holiday Events you might enjoy:

Festival of Trees - Nov 29th
Tree Lighting & Santa - Nov 29th
Luminaria Pub Crawl - Dec 12th

and numerous holiday events sponsored by various artisan shops and restaurants.

See the full calendar of events here.

red triangleLinks to Galena Travel-Visitor Pages on Quilting Pathways

Christmas & Holiday Shopping, Dining & Entertainment in Historic Galena

On a recent Thanksgiving holiday visit, we enjoyed the Thanksgiving buffet at the Desoto House Hotel and stayed over the next day for "Black Friday" shopping and entertaining in Galena's historic downtown district. We also visited Grants Home and the Old Market House both exhibiting Ulysses S. Grant memorabilia and history. Friday evening was the Christmas Parade ending with Santa Claus stopping at the Old Market House to listen to kids and their Christmas wish lists.

Downtown Galena is host to approximately 75 specialty shops and galleries, plus several fine restaurants, pubs, and cafes, all largely within walking distance of one another. It offers the variety of a large urban shopping mall without the cookie cutter landscape. And while the Friday after Thanksgiving brought crowds of people into downtown, there was a festival like atmosphere, people enjoying themselves.

Below are some of the holiday events beginning Thanksgiving Day and links to more information on events throughout the holiday and early winter.

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Galena Dining - Thanksgiving Dinner at the Desoto House

galena main street

< < < We arrived in Galena on Thanksgiving Day in time to enjoy the Packers-Lions game in the hotel's Green Street Tavern.
desoto house galena

The Desoto House buffet was set up in the Courtyard featuring Roast Tom Turkey, Honey Glazed Ham, Roast Beef Au Jus, Smoked Salmon, Crab Legs, Shrimp, and more vegatables and desserts than were possible to sample. > > >

desoto house galena
< < < Jo (right) and sister Donna and Brother-in-law Dan relaxing after the dinner dishes were cleared.

triangleGo here for more pixs & info on The DeSoto House Hotel.

Thanksgiving Day Downtown Galena

galena main street

desoto house galena

desoto house galena

The shops and streets were quiet Thanksgiving Day and evening, patiently waiting for the big day on Friday!

Holiday Shopping

galena main street
< < < While by noon, lots of shoppers were in town, the sidewalks weren't crowded. galena main street

< < < The "Grandma" in Poopsie's store window can give you quite a start . . . until you realize she is just a manequin. A fun store to visit.

On Main street and nearby Commerce and Spring streets, there are approximately 75 shops and artisan galleries.

triangleMore info on Galena shopping from the Convention & Visitors Bureau's website
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Galena Dining

While we greatly enjoyed the food and the service at the Desoto House, we wanted to sample some of the other dining establishments in town. There must be at least 25 restaurants, cafes, and pubs sprinkled among the shops in downtown Galena.
Fried Green Tomatoes Downtown Galena

We had heard good things about the Fried Green Tomatoes Restaurant so we decided to give it a whirl.

triangleGalena Dining FGT Restaurant Review and more pictures

Holiday Parade
Santa Holiday Parade
Santa was the featured attraction in the annual Holiday Parade Friday night, the day after Thanksgiving. Later he took up temporary residence in the Old Market House State Historic Site to greet kids and their families. Santa will also be there the first two weekends in December
santa parade trolley

Kids and families on their way to see Santa > > >

Other featured holiday and winter events in Galena include: The Holiday House Walk, the Galena Artists Guild Winter/Holiday Show, The Ulysses S. Grant Home Lamplight Tour, A Taste of Christmas Bed & Breakfast Tour, Breakfast with Santa at the Desoto House, New Years Eve, and More.

triangle Go Here for more info on winter/holiday events from
spacer the Convention and Visitors Bureau
triangleSee Ulysses S. Grant Exhibition at the Old Market House Historic Site

In 2009 we attended and equally enjoyed a similar opening of the holiday season in Red Wing, Minnesota, another River Road town that has done a commendable job of preserving its historic buildings and heritage.

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Links to Interesting Galena Visitor Attractions

More Great River Road Scenic Byway Pages

- Scenic Drive from Fulton to Galena to Prairie Du Chien
- Scenic Drive from Prairie Du Chien to LaCrosse to Winona
- Scenic Drive from Winona to Red Wing

Go Here for our Master Scenic Byways Directory

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