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An Old County Jail Is Officially The Best Bed And Breakfast In The U.S.

By DeAnna Taylor

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Certain travelers simply go places for the experience. That can be said for guests who want to spend their vacation in a former county jail.

According to The Los Angeles Times, Jail Hill Inn in Galena, Illinois is the best Bed and Breakfast in the United States and the second best in the world. The voting was done by Trip Advisor travelers from all around the world, in their annual ‘Travelers Choice Awards.’

Jail Hill Inn is a 140-year old building that stopped functioning as a county jail in 1977. You can still find inmates names carved into the window panes, which gives it a unique appeal. However, all other traces of it being a former jail no longer exist.

“It’s kind of a juxtaposition, going from being a place nobody wanted to be, to being a place everybody wants to be,” innkeeper Matthew Carroll told the Los Angeles Times. Carroll renovated the place after purchasing it in 2015.

“It was kind of an eyesore when I bought it,” said Carroll. “With my hospitality experience and being a lifelong Galena resident, I was able to bring a team on board to restore the property … and bring some luxury lodging to downtown, which was sort of lacking.”

Related: Meet The Sisters Behind Detroit’s Newest Black-Owned Bed And Breakfast


The home features six rooms that each come with king-sized beds with high-end linens,  a fireplace, wet bar, and Bluetooth speaker systems. Guests are treated to a 3-course breakfast in the morning and a cheese and wine reception in the afternoon.

“It’s about really pushing that luxury and having pampering amenities that make it over the top,” Carroll stated.

Rates begin at around $295 during the week and as can be much as $445 during peak season. Galena, Illinois is about a 3-hour drive from Chicago.

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DeAnna Taylor

DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel writer. The Charlotte native recently completed one year abroad working as an English teacher in South Korea. Her hobbies include fitness, traveling to new countries, and trying new foods.

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