Audrey and Harry Lesner, otherwise known as The Budget Savvy Travelers, are full-time travelers and digital nomads. Born and raised in Chicago, their passion to show others how to break free without breaking the budget. They are the proud winners of the 2019 Top Budget Travel Blog.
In the 1850s, Galena was a flourishing river port city. With the development of the Illinois Central Railroad and the regional mining industry, the town needed accommodations to house all of the people arriving for their trade. Therefore, a group of local investors came together to build "The Grandest Hotel in the West." The DeSoto House Hotel opened on April 9, 1855, and has been hosting guests ever since. The hotel claims to be the oldest operating hotel in the state of Illinois.
Throughout history, the DeSoto House Hotel has hosted many significant historical figures. Perhaps it's most famous guest was Abraham Lincoln who delivered a speech from a Main Street balcony on July 23, 1856. Senator Stephen A. Douglas and President Ulysses S. Grant have also been to the hotel. While visiting, take the time to enjoy all of the historical photography with accompanying information around the property.
The hotel boasts 55 beautifully decorated Victorian-style rooms that are named after notable figures who have all visited Galena. Suites with a formal sitting parlor and fireplace are also available. There are three dining areas, specialty shops, a ballroom, and a private parking garage. Located on historic Main Street, the DeSoto House Hotel has direct access to shops, bars, and restaurants making it one of the most popular accommodations in Galena. The video below provides an insider look at the historic property.
Cover image by Richie Diesterheft is licensed under (CC BY 2.0).