Summer Day Trip to Galena

Why Galena?
An all season destination – you can go for its skiing, sledding opportunities in winter and in summer, you can leverage the other touristy bits like the Alpine Slide and the Horseshoe Mound Preserve. All this at a very convenient drive from Chicago (2.5 hours) so you could even stretch and make it a day trip (that’s what we did!).

How to Plan your visit?

•  A typical Galena 101 would include activities in Chestnut Mountain Resort: Alpine Slide and Soaring Eagle; the Horseshoe Mound Preserve and a walk in the Main Street. We covered all the the same day and also had a wonderful brunch at Durty Gurts (highly recommended local burger joint for veggie/meat lovers alike) in the Main Street.

• Run through this indispensable emergency checklist.

• Run though these tech essentials to turbo-charge your road trips.

•  There are other sites like lead mine and a biking trek which we couldn’t cover.

•  If you have more time, you can also go for the Mississippi boat cruises in Dubuque.

Our Trip Details from Naperville

Labor Day weekend, Sep 1, 2019

Road Trip
Naperville to Galena, IL
2.5 hours from North Naperville.


Scenic point en route to Galena

Don’t miss this picturesque scenic point showcasing Galena’s renowned hills and valleys. It is few miles shy of the city while coming via I20.


Drive to Chestnut Mount Resort


Alpine Slide

Starting line up for the slide

Here’s how the ride feels like (courtesy Jennifer Rusch).

Tip: You could also ride duo with a kid 6 years or younger. Please be aware that the cart might topple if you drive at high speeds especially around the corners; it happened with us, unfortunately.

Soaring Eagle

Everything other than the wait time was good about this. The ride is WAY less scarier than it looks here but a ton of fun nevertheless.


In flight (courtesy: Sunita Mishra)

Galena Main Street

The Main Street is reminiscent of its rich historical and cultural significance.



Brunch at Durty Gurt’s

The restaurant walls are full of wisecracks and humorous paintings. Very versatile American burger joint – plenty of options for the veggie lovers, which is a rarity!


Loved the ‘suggestion bowl


Horseshoe Mound Preserve

The trailhead started from a scenic overlook

We did a short but weary trek (due to steep slopes) around the mound


Noteworthy Recommendations 

Hovering above the eclectic views offered by Galena, the Hot Air Balloon Ride promises to be a magnificent experience.

Balloon RideImage Courtesy:

Galena Trolley Tours is worth a shout out too, a good 101 activity for first time visitors to experience a guided tour.

That’s it.

Please ink in the comments section to share your thoughts on this post or your own Galena ideas!

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