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Two Routes from Chicago to Galena Routes to Galena

Directions from downtown, O'Hare or the northern suburbs...

  • If you are driving from downtown Chicago, O'Hare or the northern suburbs, get on I-90 west (Kennedy), and follow the signs towards Rockford.

  • Exit I-90 on I-39 S / US-51 S toward Illinois Highway 20 around Rockford. The signs are marked to Freeport and Galena. You will pass an I-39 exit heading south...ignore this and follow Highway 20 toward Freeport.
Directions from the west or south suburbs...
  • If you are driving from Chicago's west side, get on I-290 west (Eisenhower), if you are starting from the south suburbs, take I-294 North (Tri-state), exit onto I88 West (Reagan)

  • Take I88 west (approximately 40-45 minutes) continue past Annie Glidden Road Toll/Northern Illinois University to I-39/US-51. Exit I-88 onto I-39/US-51 north towards Rockford (approximately 15-20 minutes). This is not a remarkably scenic drive...don't fall asleep. When I-39/US-51 ends, exit west on Illinois Highway 20 around Rockford towards Freeport.
  • Stop for gas, a drink and/or a bio-break at the "Winnebago rest stop" (Gas/McDonalds/Subway/Culvers) on the very west end of Rockford on Highway 20....get back on Highway 20, head west towards Freeport.

  • Proceed on Highway 20, follow the signs to Galena on the Freeport by-pass. The road turns into a 2 lane highway. The Freeport by-pass is marked 55 MPH, the city of Freeport uses the by-pass as a significant source of income from speeding tickets... 60 MPH is fast enough on the two lane, and you probably won't get a ticket. Over 60 MPH you are taking your chances. Once you are past the west end of Freeport on Hwy 20, you can speed-up if you like.

  • Proceed west on Highway 20. Eventually, you will go through a town called Stockton. STOCKTON IS A SPEED TRAP. THE SPEED GOES FROM 55 MPH, TO 35 THEN UN-EXPECTEDLY DROPS TO 30 MPH. I HAVE HEARD OF PEOPLE GETTING SPEEDING TICKETS AT 32 MPH. YOU DECIDE IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A QUAINT LITTLE $75+ SOUVINEIR (and your name in the paper!). Look for the cop in either the high school (on left) or the grocery store (on right) parking lot.

  • Stay on Highway 20 until you reach the town of Elizabeth (approximately 45 minutes from Rockford). As you enter Elizabeth you will go down a hill, proceed all the way through town. On the west end of Elizabeth you will again likely be under the radar gun. Elizabeth, while not a speed trap, will write you a ticket if you are over the speed limit. Look for the police car behind the white garage in front of the church, across from the baseball diamond.

  • Proceed on Highway 20 another 15-20 minutes to Galena. The scenery will be exceptional. Mind the centerline. When you get to Galena, you will decend a steep hill, cross the river and turn right at the stoplight. You are now in downtown Galena.
If you get lost, and you have a cell phone that works in the country ... Call the store at (815) 777-3550.

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