Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Our Family's Galena, IL Discoveries


Main Street in Galena, IL is lined with historic buildings taking you back in time.

Galena is a delightful location for a little family getaway. The town is historic and picturesque. There is plenty to do and explore yet the pace is relaxing.


Located in a historic building, Otto's Place served up fresh and hearty meals in Galena, IL.
Located in a historic building, Otto's Place served up fresh and hearty meals.
We started both of our mornings in Galena at Otto's Place for breakfast. Otto's serves up a range of options for breakfast including sweet, savory, hearty and light. Of course, I ordered up my perennial fave mushroom and spinach omelette upon spying it on the menu. My meal was delicious and enough to fuel me most of the day. Otto's inhabits a historic building constructed in 1899 and displays local art on the walls. We loved the proximity to the Galena River Trail for a little walk after breakfast.

After our first Otto's breakfast, we headed to the U.S. Grant Home for a tour which I reviewed earlier in the series. Then, we ambled downtown absorbing the historical ambiance, admiring old buildings and running into a U.S. Grant or two.

The Galena Kandy Kitchen crafts fresh candy using a copper kettle in Galena, IL.
Sweet temptations found at Galena Kandy Kitchen which has been crafting candy since 1974.
Galena invites visitors to wander through interesting stores, explore local makers, swirl local wine and spend a day or two just being in the moment. Of course, our first discovery--or rediscovery--indulged our chocolate addictions. We made a beeline for Galena Kandy Kitchen, a confectionery crafting temptations since 1974. My husband visited Galena Kandy Kitchen as a child adding a little family history to the adventure. Of course, a sweet treat was a must and I absolutely loved the dark chocolate sea salt caramel. Inside, you will find a large range of candy temptations AND made in U.S.A. puzzles and toys.

Live pottery throwing demos can be seen at Pinder Pottery in Galena, IL.
Pottery creation in action at Pinder Pottery.
Throughout town, we discovered local artists. Galena Metal Artworks is an inspirational shop providing a showcase of garden, landscaping and home decor art crafted by local artists. Pinder Pottery sometimes treats visitors to pottery demos right in the front window. Unfortunately, Pinder Pottery was not open during our visit but I look forward to exploring in the future. Other artists included painters, photographers and more.

The Old Market House in Galena, IL still sees trade as the location of the summer Farmers' Market.
The Old Market House in Galena was constructed in 1845-1846.
While wandering, we stumbled upon the Old Market House which was constructed in 1845-1846. The Market House once sheltered vendors and shoppers that gathered in the city's business district. Today, the Market House provides visitor information and contains an interesting collection of Grant memorabilia. An added bonus--a nice place to sit and play some checkers! May through October, the Galena Farmers' Market thrives on the lawn of the Old Market House each Saturday 7AM-12PM.  Lovely to see the area once again provide a place for residents to peruse and purchase local goods.

Root beer flight at Root Beer Revelry in Galena, IL.
Root beer sampler for a little fun!

Exploring in the summer heat warranted a cool drink. We stepped into Root Beer Revelry to appraise the root beer selection. In addition to root beer, we were surprised to find cream sodas and other novelty sodas. Root beers are on tap for a cool draft. The shop features a root beer sample which we of course could not resist! For $3, we sampled decent portions of 5 root beers on tap. Root Beer Revelry also has cool bottles of root beer ready for weary travelers! Cool, crisp refreshment!


We also enjoyed perusing Galena Candle & Bath Company featuring handmade items and the ability you pour your own candles. Of course, a stop at Galena Canning Company is a must where visitors journey through local Chef Ivo's foodie creations including dressings, sauces, condiments, jams, jellies and more.


For dinner, we LOVED Fritz and Frites. Fritz and Frites features both French and German food. The restaurant has a refined feel but casual enough that our daughter felt welcome at an early hour. Delicious and the type of treat you expect to find on a vacation! I had the sauerbraten with red cabbage and spatzle. Fabulous!

DeSoto House historic hotel in Galena, IL.
Abraham Lincoln gave an 1856 from the balcony of the DeSoto House.
After our dinner, we took another walk after dinner taking in some more Galena history included the DeSoto House where Lincoln gave an 1856 speech. Also downtown is Galena's oldest house, the Dowling House built in 1826.

Constructed in 1826, the Dowling House is Galena's oldest.
Constructed in 1826, the Dowling House is Galena's oldest.
Galena is full of so many treasures providing for a splendid family getaway. Friendly and relaxed, we felt immediately at home. We enjoyed our explorations and are eager to return and experience more of what Galena has to offer!

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