One of the best Midwest getaways is Galena, Illinois. This former riverfront lead-mining town – once larger than Chicago – offers a preserved historic district dating back 200 years. And the best way to experience Galena is to take a ride on the original and family-owned Galena Trolley Tours. You’ll enjoy a narrated one-hour non-stop sightseeing tour of the best things to see in Galena. Galena Trolley Tours is one of the best history and architectural tours in Galena. It’s a perfect way to get acclimated and then create your own itinerary of the top things to do in Galena.
While Galena Trolley tours hosted me on this tour, opinions are always my own. And I highly recommend taking the Galena Trolley Tour and making it your first top thing to do in Galena, Illinois.
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Guide to the Galena Trolley Tour: one of the best tours in Galena, Illinois
The best way to see the entire Galena historic district is to take the Galley Trolley Tour. Located at the Galena Trolley Depot, this historic tour offers several trolley tour times. We took the one-hour tour with Nate first thing in the morning so we could learn our way around Galena. This allowed us to pick and choose historic sites we wanted to tour later during our girls getaway (cousins reunion) to Galena, Illinois. Also recommend taking the Galley Trolley Tour on any family, couples or emptynester getaways.
Note that the Galley Trolley Tour is a not a hop-on, hop-off tour of Galena. Your driver will, however, stop at several locations so you can take photos or view historic sights and stunning views of Galena from within the trolley. Don’t worry about which side of the tour bus you are on. You will get an opportunity to view from both sides in most cases. Or you can get up during one of the Galena Trolley Tour stops.
Galena, Illinois is very hilly with lots of steep inclines and stairs. If you have mobility challenges, then the Galena Trolley Tour is the best way to learn the history and see the architecture of this charming town.
Galena Trolley Tours frequently asked questions (FAQs)
The following features some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about one of the best sightseeing tours in Galena, Illinois: Galena Trolley Tours.
What historic sights are included on the Galena Trolley Tours? How many stops does the Galena Trolley Tour make?
The Galena National Register Historic District features more than 1,450 structures. You’ll see many of the most significant historical sites, architectural buildings, and gorgeous views on the Galena Trolley Tours. While this is not a hop-on, hop-off trolley tour, your driver will make several stops so you can take photos from within the trolley. So sit back and enjoy your narrated historical tour of the charming and quaint Galena, Illinois.
List of the best stops on the Galena Trolley Tours
Some of the best stops, drive-bys, and places to see on the Galena, Illinois Trolley Tours include:
- President U.S. Grant’s Home – home of the former president and Civil War general
- Galena Illinois’ oldest home built in 1826 – the Dowling Home (highly recommend taking the day tour as well as the Haunted Galena Ghost Walk)
- The beautiful Belvedere Mansion – largest historic home in Galena, Illinois
- Desoto House Hotel where President Abraham Lincoln stayed and gave a speech on the balcony
- General John Smith home – one of nine Civil War generals from Galena, Illinois (look for metal stars on the homes)
- Panoramic and breathtaking views of historic Galena from the top of the bluffs
- Tips on where to get your cardio on with several staircases leading to and from Galena’s historic district to the bluffs and Galena’s historic high school
- Grant Park – features four cannons, including the one that fired the first shot in the Civil War
- Greek Revival and Victorian-era homes – reminiscent of the San Francisco Painted Ladies
- Felt Manor built in 1850
- Oldest fire department in Illinois and second-oldest in the U.S.
- East Galena Town Hall established in 1872
- Historic and picturesque churches and cemeteries (and the story behind a three-story monument)
- The Galena flood gates
- Unique architectural features such as terraced yards and homes and the significance of hundreds of unique tie rods in Galena’s buildings
- Galena’s last remaining cobblestone road
- And many more
Where do you meet for the Galena Trolley Tours? What’s the location of the Galena Trolley Tours?
The Galena Trolley Tours is located at the Trolley Depot at 314 South Main Street, Galena, Illinois.
When time are the Galena Trolley Tours? Is the Galena Trolley Tours offered year-round?
Galena Trolley Tours offers several tours daily May 1 through Oct. 31. Typically, the one-hour Galena Trolley Tours start at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Times may vary depending on the season and if they are chartering tours that day.
The Galena Train Depot opens at 9:30 a.m.
During the off-season, call Galena Trolley Tours at 815.777.1248 for more specific tour times.
How long is the Galena Trolley Tour?
The Galena Trolley Tours run one-hour. They are planning to offer additional tours in 2024.
How much are the Galena Trolley Tours tickets? Where do I buy tickets for the Galena Trolley Tours?
Tickets are $20 plus tax per adult. You can purchase tickets for the Galena Trolley Tours by phone or in person at the Trolley Depot. The depot is located at 314 South Main Street, Galena, Illinois. Call Galena Trolley Tours directly at 815.777.1248 for the most current ticket prices.
Can I purchase Galena Trolley Tours tickets online? Are Galena Trolley Tours tickets available to purchase or reserve in advance?
Currently, you cannot purchase Galena Trolley Tours tickets online. You must purchase in person at the Galena Trolley Depot. You may also call Galena Trolley Tours at 815.777.1248 for other ticket-purchasing options.
What time should I arrive for the Galena Trolley Tour?
Plan to arrive for your Galena Trolley Tour at least 15 to 30 minutes before your desired tour time. This will allow you time to purchase your tickets in the Trolley Depot, use the restroom, and browse the gift shop. You can wait inside the Galena Train Depot or relax at the outdoor seating.
Are the Galena tour trolleys open air or enclosed?
Enjoy the open-air Galena tour trolleys in the summer and warmer seasons. Windows and coverings open during the Galena trolley tour for the best viewing. The Galena tour trolleys are climate -controlled in the cooler months.
Are children allowed to go on the Galena Trolley Tours?
Yes. Children are allowed to go on the Galena Trolley Tours. Children 5 years and younger can ride free with a paying adult.
Is free parking available at Galena Trolley Tours?
If you arrive early, you can find free street parking near the Galena Trolley Tours / Trolley Depot. We found a great parking space right after entering the flood gates of Galena. Otherwise, paid lots and parking ramps are available.
Are you allowed to take photos or videos during the Galena Trolley Tours?
Yes. You may take photos and videos on the Galena Trolley Tours. Your driver stops frequently so you can take photos and videos directly from your seat. Or you may move around a bit to get a better shot.
What should I wear or bring to the Galena Trolley Tours?
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes on the Galena Trolley Tours. And dress for the weather. Although you will not be getting off the bus, the windows may be open.
Are restrooms available on the Galena Trolley Tours?
Yes. You may use the Galena Trolley Tour restroom at the Trolley Depot. You’ll need to ask for the key from the front desk.
Does Galena Trolley Tours have a gift shop? Can you buy souvenirs at the Galena Trolley Tours / Trolley Depot?
Yes. Galena Trolley Tours offers souvenirs in its Trolley Depot. You can purchase them at the same desk where you purchase your tickets.
Does Galena Trolley Tours offer snacks and beverages to purchase?
Yes. You may purchase snacks and beverages in the Galena Trolley Tours gift shop. Additionally, the Trolley Depot Coffee & Tea Co. is right next door.
Additional questions about the best history tour in Galena, Illinois: Galena Trolley Tours
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