Skip to main content
Quaint shops and restaurants along Main Street in Galena, Illinois
1 of 1
  • States:

Travel along this scenic byway along the Mississippi River and discover the unexpected.

Wind down the Great River Road in Illinois and discover quaint river towns with vineyards, steamboat river cruises and historic sites. Amid small-town culture, you’ll happily encounter delightful eateries, shops, galleries and more. What binds these four towns is their down-to-earth, inviting hospitality and connection to the beauty of the Mississippi River on the Great River Road.

Galena: A Cozy Wine Country Retreat

The Midwest isn’t the obvious spot for a winery. Luckily, this didn’t deter the Lawlor family from transforming their passion for winemaking into the Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery, where they produce more than 40 wine varieties from 22 specialty grapes. A serene getaway for wine enthusiasts, Galena Cellars also offers quaint guest accommodations as well as guided tours for day visitors. In downtown Galena, you’ll encounter sidewalks lined with antique shops, gift stores and specialty purveyors. Honest John’s Stores carries everything from Birkenstocks and Minnetonka moccasins to seasonal gifts and home décor. If you’re partial to chocolate, drop by Chocolat, a world-class chocolate emporium. Need something to pair with your wine? Galena River Wine & Cheese is the place to go to pick up gourmet cheese as well as other delicious edibles.

Award-winning pinot style wine from the Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery

Award-winning pinot style wine from the Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery
View more

Moline: Cruising the Mississippi

You’re in good company at Lagomarcinos. For more than 100 years, this eatery has been spoiling its patrons with the sweetest concoctions and tastiest food. Founded by Italian immigrants, the restaurant originally began as a traditional soda fountain shop serving ice cream sodas, malted milks and specialty hot fudge sundaes to downtown theater patrons. Today, the retro soda fountain and deli combination is still a big hit in town. Be sure to try their tempting line of chocolate confections and truffles. Chocolate craving satisfied, spend some time at the John Deere Pavilion. Moline is the company's global headquarters, and this attraction puts you in the driver's seat to explore interactive and educational exhibits. Make time to enjoy the outdoors especially: Explore natural beauty along the Mississippi River by foot or bike on the Great River Trail. Cruise the great river on the Celebration Belle sightseeing riverboat tour – settle in for a relaxing ride with lovely views.

Celebration Belle sightseeing riverboat tour on the Mississippi River