Travel with Pride in Illinois
From fabulous nightlife to quaint retreats, Illinois greets LGBTQ travelers with trip ideas that start in Chicago’s vibrant LGBTQ neighborhoods and continue to attractions and festivals around the state.
Welcome to the Neighborhood
Feel right at home – even miles from home – in Chicago’s vibrant LGBTQ communities…
This Swedish neighborhood on Chicago’s north side has quietly become an LGBTQ favorite with its quaint restaurants, eclectic shopping, and laid-back bars that favor a touch of sophistication over blinding disco balls. Read more about Andersonville’s LGBTQ-friendly attractions.
By day, Boystown is a friendly neighborhood of specialty shops, alfresco dining and coffee houses. At night, it’s a raucous party featuring everything from glam drag queens to show-tune sing-alongs. Read more about this vibrant LGBTQ hot spot.
This pair of north-side neighborhoods are filled with hidden cultural gems and excellent LGBTQ-friendly bars for a more low-key (but no less fun) night out. Read more about Edgewater and Uptown.
Hear From the Locals: For more on LGBTQ-friendly Chicago attractions, see our article Hometown Pride, in which prominent LGBT Chicagoans share their favorite things to do around the city.
Out & about in Galena
Home to B&Bs, quaint shops, and wineries…
Located in northwest Illinois near the banks of the Mississippi River, the town of Galena makes for a romantic weekend getaway for people of all ages and identities. Read our guide to an LGBTQ getaway in Galena, or check out some of these highlights:
Miss Kitty’s Grape Escape
Step inside the world of Miss Kitty at her Grape Escape lounge, a local favorite that’s home to smart cocktails, a diverse wine list, a Bloody Mary buffet—and a touch of sass just to keep things interesting. Visit Miss Kitty’s.
Historic Main Street
Explore nineteenth-century storefronts along Galena’s Historic Main Street that are now home to eclectic shops, art galleries, and farm-to-table dining. No wonder Midwest Living magazine named it “Best Main Street in the Midwest.”
Inn at Irish Hollow
Old World charm meets modern amenities in these quaint cottages that dot a real working farm. Wake up to views of rolling hills and freshly prepared cuisine served with plenty of Midwestern hospitality. Visit Irish Hollow.
Galena Cellars Winery & Vineyard
Add some local wine to your B&B retreat with a tasting downtown at Galena Cellars Winery. Or venture out to their vineyard where wine tastings come with views of the rolling countryside and a guided tour. Visit Galena Cellars.
Celebrate the heritage, camaraderie, and fabulousness of being yourself…
It’s a rite of passage for some. For others, it’s an annual chance to party. But everyone agrees that Chicago’s Pride Month is one of the largest LGBT celebrations anywhere. Every June, two weeks of celebrations culminate with the Chicago Pride Parade—a four-mile route featuring 200 outrageous floats and more than 800,000 revelers cheering every step of the way.
In Illinois, Pride extends way beyond Chicago, with celebrations springing up in places such as Springfield, Southern Illinois and more.
While you’re in town for the parade, enjoy everything an Illinois summer has to offer. Find summer things to do in Illinois.
Nightlife Oh So Fabulous
Enjoy dining, dancing and the occasional drag show…
Experience the LGBT side of Chicago’s nightlife. Savor exquisitely prepared dishes while being serenaded by female impersonators. Dance well into the night—at bars you thought only existed in the movies. And explore the outrageous, like amateur drag queen contests. Here, anything is possible.
TAG Approved® Hotels
Stay with confidence at LGBTQ-friendly hotels…
Illinois is home to more than 50 hotels that have been certified by the Travel Alternatives Group for their diverse staff and commitment to the LGBTQ community.
Saying “I Do” in Illinois
Wedding bells chime for LGBTQ couples…
Illinois has legalized same-sex marriage—a step that honors vows between all couples. So when you’re ready to say “I Do” this summer, you’re invited to exchange vows in Illinois at venues that include a wide range of settings.
We’ve compiled a list of 11 Unique Same-Sex Wedding Venues in Illinois to help you find your dream wedding venue in the Land of Lincoln.
Lead image credit: Dice Sales
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