Galesburg is best known as the birthplace of writer and poet Carl Sandburg, with the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site erected in his honor. If you love the look of Carl’s boyhood cottage, you can stay in a historic home of your own – several, including the Great House of Galesburg, have been converted into charming bed-and-breakfasts across town.
Galesburg is also known for its historic involvement in the local railroad system, notably connecting Illinois’ largest (at the time) cities, Chicago and Quincy. In fact, the Galesburg Railroad Museum functions solely to preserve and share the history of the railroad industry in Galesburg and Western Illinois. The city even holds an annual festival, the Galesburg Railroad Days, complete with rides, live music, and open-air markets to celebrate the city’s railroad roots. And it’s not just literal railroads– Galesburg was originally founded by abolitionists and became a critical stop to freedom in the Underground Railroad.
Galesburg remains a major railway hub, acting as one of the stops for some of Amtrak’s most popular lines. The Carl Sandburg, Illinois Zephyr, and Southwest Chief all operate daily to connect Galesburg west to Chicago. Meanwhile, the California Zephyr reaches all the way to Los Angeles. Galesburg also has two main bus stations for Greyhound and Burlington Trailways. These carriers provide coverage to Denver, St. Louis, and Moline, which has the closest airport to Galesburg, Quad Cities Airport.