Galesburg makes an ideal getaway for anyone who loves history, arts, culture, and quaint, historic towns. It makes a great stop on your way to exploring the Quad Cities of northwest Illinois and southeastern Iowa, Peoria, and Chicago. Once you're here, you'll want to stay.
You can get to Galesburg by Amtrak rail from Chicago, Denver, or San Francisco, with several trains arriving and departing the city daily. By car, getting to Galesburg is easy by taking Interstate 74 or Interstate 88. You can also charter a flight into Galesburg municipal airport.
Your first stop in Galesburg should be to the Galesburg Visitor Center to pose in the big blue chair. This oversized Adirondack chair offers a fun photo opportunity and a taste of the relaxation and fun that await you. While you're here, ask about the many specialized tours of the Galesburg Historic District. You could spend a full afternoon alone exploring the churches, then take time to discover the many Victorian houses. It helps to plan out your top tours and museum visits.
From its beginnings, Galesburg was known as a seat of abolitionism. Its citizens vehemently opposed slavery. The city's Freedom Station was a major stop on the Underground Railroad before the Civil War, and it helped many runaway slaves escape to freedom. Many former slaves settled in the area. You can learn all about this history at the old Knox County jail, now a museum dedicated to the history of the Underground Railroad in Galesburg.
Twelve brave African-American men also joined the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, and their brave Civil War exploits were documented in the 1989 film "Glory." You can pay your respects to the veterans at their resting place at Hope Cemetery in Galesburg.
Schedule a visit to the Lincoln Douglas Debate Museum at the "Old Main" building at Knox College. Here, in 1858, Abraham Lincoln famously debated Stephen Douglas. You may also wish to make a pilgrimage to Corpus Christi Catholic Church, one of only 10 Catholic churches in the United States to house a holy relic of St. Crescent that was sourced from the Roman catacombs. Then, revisit the vaudeville glory days at The Orpheum Theatre, where entertainment greats such as Harry Houdini, Al Jolson, Fanny Brice, and Jack Benny once took the stage.
Author Carl Sandburg's birthplace and museum is also located in Galesburg. He wrote more than 40 books in his lifetime, counting among them a well-known biography of President Abraham Lincoln. Take the tour, stroll the quotation walk, and honor his memory at Remembrance Rock, the place where Sandburg was laid to rest.
If you're a rail enthusiast, pop into the Galesburg Railroad Museum next to the Amtrak Depot. The restored passenger engine will transport you back to the glory days of rail travel with tours of a real Pullman parlor car, caboose, and more.
Visit the past and live in the present with a visit to the Seminary Street Historic Commercial District, a revitalized row of restaurants, boutiques, antique emporiums, and specialty shops. Browse the bookstore, enjoy a cup of coffee, grab a bite at the bakery, and visit the local spa. Stop into the Fat Fish Pub to listen in on the Bluegrass Sundays Open Jam. Bring your guitar, mandolin, fiddle, or banjo if you'd like to join in.
Step into the past and live your present to the fullest in Galesburg, Illinois. This city will revitalize and inspire you with its historic charm and warm welcome.
When should you plan your trip to Galesburg, IL?
Galesburg experiences four distinct seasons, including very cold, precipitous winters; often-rainy springs; warm, clear summers; and crisp, beautiful autumns. Any time is a good time to visit, since Galesburg's historic district looks picturesque in all weather conditions. The museums are always a good refuge from rain or snow. If you plan to walk the town, however, plan your travels during the warmer months from May through October.
The city also presents several events that you may wish to plan to attend. The Railroad Days Festival is held each year in June for railyard tours, a street festival, and one of the largest model railroad train shows in the Midwest.
The city also hosts the Stearman Fly-In over Labor Day weekend, an event which celebrates the iconic American biplane at the Galesburg Municipal Airport, followed by the Great Cardboard Boat Regatta and the annual rubber duck race later in September at Lake Storey. Head to Walnut Grove Farm around Christmas for family-friendly holiday activities.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Galesburg, IL:
Galesburg by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs demonstrating mean price patterns by star rating class in Galesburg, IL. You can use these line graphs to evaluate the most cost effective dates to make a reservation in Galesburg for your upcoming travels.
Which luxury hotels in Galesburg are the best?
4 Star Average Prices: $134.00
Expect to be wowed by the sleek, modern design of the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Galesburg. This pet-friendly hotel gets high marks for its beautiful grounds, from its modern lobby and event space to its indoor pool with accessible pool lift. All the details have been done well here, including the fitness center, which features mirrors, modern equipment, and a full rack of free weights.
You'll be within a few minutes of a drive to Knox College and other Galesburg attractions such as the Discovery Depot Children's Museum. Free wireless internet service and complimentary daily breakfast service round out a few of the luxe amenities you'll find at one of Galesburg's best hotels.
What are the best low-cost hotels in Galesburg, Illinois?
3 Star Average Prices: $90.36
Among the low-cost hotels in Galesburg, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Galesburg, IL, offers a luxurious stay at a low-cost price and in the heart of the city. Indulge in a visit to the indoor pool and spa tub, get your sweat on at the fitness center, or read a book in front of the elegant lobby fireplace.
This affordable hotel has it all, including amenities such as complimentary wireless internet service, cable programming, and free toiletries. Wake up to a delicious breakfast spread, also included with your hotel rate. Parking is free as well, as is printing and internet access in the 24-hour business center.