From contemporary Chicago to historic Galena, Illinois is a diverse destination that embraces differences and welcomes everyone.
Are you up for amazing?
Illinois is amazing. In fact, we once said it was all the best bits of America in one open-minded state. From Chicago’s vibrant scene, to the charming streets of Galena, to the historic and not to mention quirky Route 66, we have always felt right
at home in Illinois.
In Chicago, any visitor will immediately feel a sense of pride all across the city. From its iconic skyline, to miles of sandy lakeside beaches, the city never fails to surprise and delight. Here, you’re able to explore world-class museums, shop till you drop and enjoy some of the best gastronomy in the United States. Then there are the famous LGBT+ neighbourhoods – Andersonville, Boystown and the up-and-coming Edgewater and Uptown – hubs of the community in the city. Each boasts a calendar of colourful and fun-filled events, especially in the summer, but they also feature all-year round attractions, including the illustrious Chicago Pride month.
Beyond Chicago, Illinois is home to great OutThere experiences in every corner of the state. The capital Springfield teems with history and the waterfalls of Starved Rock State Park are stunning, natural delights. Oak Park is a must-visit for architectural buffs and Route 66 provides for a roadtrip to remember. Galena is utterly romantic and the state’s winelands and distilleries will surprise even the most discerning of noses and palates.
With so much to see, do and experience, we thought you’d appreciate a few tips. So here is a run-down of some inspirational travel ideas for your next visit to this amazing state.
A proud Chicago scene
The LGBT+ scene is a game-changer in Chicago, no matter what time of year. It has grown with the community from its spiritual home in Boystown out into many different parts of the city. Summer in Chicago heralds its legendary Pride season and all of the LGBT+ neighbourhoods embrace the great weather and get in the spirit by hosting some fabulous goings-on. First, there’s the Midsommarfest festival in Andersonville, celebrating the area’s Swedish heritage. The Pride Fest party and street fair, Chicago’s Pride parade and Pride in the Park are spectacular highlights (some say it’s the best celebration in all of the US). Later in the summer, the Northalsted Market Days festival keeps the revelry going. But at any time, regardless of whether an event is LGBT+ themed or not, you can expect the community to support it with gusto!
Celebrating our community
The Legacy Walk is the world’s only outdoor LGBT+ History Museum Walk, spanning one half-mile of the North Halsted Street Corridor in the Lakeview/Boystown neighbourhood of Chicago. The exhibit features beautiful bronze biographical markers affixed to ‘Rainbow Pylons’; an international and multicultural installation celebrating the contribution of LGBT+ people to world history and culture. It was developed as a way to inspire and educate bullied youth by helping them to understand the important roles people like them have played in human history. It features iconic LGBT+ people like social-justice pioneer Jane Addams, civil-rights icon Bayard Rustin, British mathematician Alan Turing and Mexican artist Frida Kahlo – a breathtaking way to instil a genuine sense of pride for all.
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