Chicago, IL In celebration of Pride Month in June, the Illinois Office of Tourism introduced new trip ideas for LGBTQ visitors around Chicago, Oak Park, and Galena. With a variety of attractions around the state, the trip ideas highlight everything from festivals to nightlife to quaint retreats.
More information on LGBTQ traveling can be found at www.enjoyillinois.com/LGBTQ and the complete list of trip ideas can be downloaded here.
Chicago's vibrant LGBTQ neighborhoods kickoff the list of trip ideas, including:
* Legacy Walk Tour The only outdoor LGBTQ History Museum celebrating the contributions of LGBTQ people to communities around the world
* Andersonville This Swedish neighborhood on Chicago's north side has quietly become an LGBTQ favorite with its quaint restaurants, eclectic shopping, and laid-back bars
* Lakeview/Boystown By day, Lakeview/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.
* Hollywood Beach Chicago winters may be cold, but summer weekends at Hollywood Beach are hot!
In the nearby suburb of Oak Park, visitors can check out:
* Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Of all the Oak Park homes designed by Wright, perhaps the most important is the one he made for himself. Guided tours are available of his home and studio as well as of others in the surrounding neighborhood, which features 25 Wright-designed buildings.
* Harvey House Bed & Breakfast Within the welcoming yet informal atmosphere of Harvey House, guests can enjoy good company or simply just take a break from daily life
* Obsessed Kitchen and Bar A buzzy New American gastropub with an emphasis on sharing, Obsessed Kitchen and Bar offers an eclectic mix of flavors from spicy pork belly nachos to unique spins on classic burgers
Head out of the city towards Galena and enjoy these attractions:
* Galena on the Fly Lift off in one of the largest hot air balloons in the country and take in stunning views from 3,000 feet
* Eshelman Pottery Handcrafted pieces inspired by artist Paul Eshelman's vision of bringing everyone together around a dinner table
* Galena Cellars Winery and Vineyard Enjoy local wine at Galena Cellars Winery and venture out to their vineyard, where wine tastings come with views of the rolling countryside and a guided tour
* Jail Hill Inn Prominently situated to overlook downtown Galena and its countryside, Jail Hill Inn offers gracious lodging in its 135-year-old, 4-story brick building that once served as the county jail for nearly 100 years
There are also several not-to-be-missed summer festivals and events right around the corner:
* Midsommarfest ( June 9-11 ) An annual street festival in the Andersonville neighborhood featuring two days and three nights of music, dancing, kids' entertainment and food
* Chicago Pride Parade ( June 25 ) One of the largest of its kind, Chicago's Pride Parade takes place along Chicago's famed Halsted Street in Boystown
* Northalsted Market Days ( August 12-13 ) Northalsted is the largest outdoor street festival in the Midwest. This annual tradition known for its vast array of national talent, unique vendors, arts, crafts, and food and drink welcomes more than 180,000 people each year from across the globe
More information on LGBTQ travelling can be found at www.enjoyillinois.com/LGBTQ .
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism manages industry efforts that result in sustainable and significant economic and quality-of-life benefits for Illinois residents.