Category Archives: Chicago

By @ 05/07/19 in Chicago, Gay Illinois, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Illinois, LGBT Illinois, LGBT travel Illinois, Travel

Gay-friendly Illinois in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineGay-friendly Illinois is a big, important state full of hometown pride, queer culture, and adorable small towns. But what do you really know about Illinois? You’re going to say Chicago, right? We thought so.

And yes, Chicago is fabulous. But there’s so much more in this wonderful state to explore, and so we did! And what we found were small towns full of charm. Welcome, pivotal moments in American history. Iconic architecture. And a historic road called Route 66 (you may have heard of it) that helped change a nation and still captivates the world.

More Gay-friendly Illinois

This is just one of our many favorite stories and hotspots to help you discover gay-friendly Illinois for yourself. Begin your exploration here.

Enjoy a more immersive Illinois experience in the magazine:

ManAboutWorld is an app-based travel magazine by gay men which provides travel inspiration and trip-planning information for all whether you’re in the LGBTQ+ community or are an ally. It’s built exclusively for mobile devices and is not available in print. We first published these articles in the spring 2019 issue and make them available here for your enjoyment. The app and issues are all free. Download it for Apple devices or Android devices.

Photo: Ed Salvato

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By @ 05/07/19 in Chicago, Gay Illinois, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Gay-friendly Illinois, Illinois, LGBT Illinois, Travel

LGBTQ guide Chicago in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineLGBTQ Guide Chicago: Looking for a warm-weather getaway that offers a bustling urban environment, sprawling green spaces, public parks, and a sandy beach, steps from the skyline? Head to the heartland to experience Chicago’s thriving LGBTQ offerings

Each of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods offer distinct character and personality, with culture and history interconnecting to create a vibrant tapestry of community life.

Chicago has long been an epicenter for queer culture and Lakeview’s Boystown (the U.S.’s first recognized gay village) section remains one of the most vibrant gayborhoods in the nation. With dozens of queer bars, venues, and monuments, the neighborhood is a haven for LGBTQ residents and visitors. Its history of queer icons — from literary heroes like Lorraine Hansberry and Jane Addams to gay rights activists such as Henry Gerber — is inspiring. Their stories can be discovered on a self-guided LGBTQ Landmark Tour and provide a terrific frame of reference for what has become a robust LGBTQ community.

This summer, on June 29, Chicago will make queer history with the first-ever Pride in the Park Chicago in Grant Park. The event will feature celebrations of love and protest, live music performances by international and local talent, top queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race, artisanal food vendors and a fireworks show. About 15,000 are expected to attend.

The summer of LGBTQ also includes International Mr. Leather. From May 23-27, leather-bound attendees will descend upon the city, letting their freak flags fly, and capping off the festivities with the Black and Blue Party on Monday.

Early June will see the ANDERSONVILLE MIDSOMMARFEST. The Andersonville neighborhood is one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly in Chicago, and Midsommarfest is a street festival for the arts, retail, music and more in the area.

The BACK LOT BASH runs from June 28 – 30 (butting up against Pride in the Park this year) kicking off with a safe space for families to celebrate pride followed by a two-day outdoor music festival. The event is now in its 16th year and is one of the best-attended lesbian Pride events.

And finally, come end of June, the free and fabulous NAVY PIER PRIDE on June 29. The event consists of a full day of family-LGBTQ guide Chicago in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinefriendly festivities in honor of the LGBTQ+ community. This event includes Storytime with Drag Queens, live performances, special film presentations, and a new “Queer the Pier” fashion and music show headlined by special guest CeCe Penistone.

Thanks to an easy-to-navigate elevated rail system (referred to as “the L” by locals), getting around town is convenient and affordable. Visitors can also quickly tap their way through apps like Uber and Lyft for personalized pick-ups and drop-offs. For those wanting to pre-burn calories in anticipation of indulging in deep-dish pizza or Chicago-style hot dogs, Divvy offers more than 580 bike share stations throughout the city.

Summer Sizzles

Chicago’s cultural calendar overflows throughout the year, but things really heat up in the summer with these annual signature events, providing a terrific anchor for a weekend getaway.

Chicago Pride Fest and Parade (June, 2019) – Mark your calendars for these back-to-back LGBTQ celebrations. Chicago Pride Fest (June 22-23) is a two-day festival the weekend before the actual parade on June 30, which marks its 50th anniversary.

Lollapalooza (August 2-5) – More than 170 acts descend upon eight outdoor stages for this mega-musical festival that dates back to 1991. Attendees get just as excited about the “Chow Town” food offerings, art market and merchandise.

Northalsted Market Days (August 10-11, 2019) – Boystown becomes a thriving street festival each August, packed with live music on four stages, more than 200 vendors, and plenty of rainbow pride.

Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival (September 19-29, 2019) – The festival dates back to 1981 and is the second-largest of its kind, including features, shorts and special appearances by the filmmakers.

Curtain Up

Arts lovers can hit a home run in Chicago, even if they’re not at Wrigley Field. This year shines a spotlight on live performance as the city declares 2019 The Year of Chicago Theatre. From Broadway musicals to storefront theaters producing new works, LGBTQ stories have a home in Chicago.

Pride Film & Plays – Located in the Pride Arts Center, the theater company produces works with LGBTQ characters and themes.

About Face Theatre – In its 20-year history, the boundary-pushing company has produced more than 60 productions exploring the narrative of the LGBTQ community.

Broadway in Chicago – Broadway’s best can be found in Chicago (and is often more affordable than its New York City counterpart). Pre-Broadway runs and national tours can be seen at five distinctly gorgeous venues throughout the city.

Mark Your Calendar:

Desire in a Tinier House (May 30 – June 29, 2019) – A world premiere about the challenges of maintaining a gay relationship in today’s culture. (Pride Film & Plays).

Falsettos (May 28 – June 9, 2019) – William Finn and James Lapine’s Tony Award-winning musical about an unconventional family at the beginning of the AIDS crisis. (James M. Nederlander Theatre).

Stay a While

From affordable to luxurious, hotel accommodations run the gamut and suit every style and budget. Here are three distinct picks to consider:

Hotel Lincoln – Steps from Lincoln Park Zoo, this boutique property features a rooftop bar and tons of quirky design touches.

Hotel Zachary – Wrigley Field architect Zachary Taylor Davis inspired this recently opened Marriott property (use those points!), which resides within a pitch of the famed baseball stadium and neighboring Boystown.

The Langham Chicago – Modern luxury reigns supreme at this stylish hotel located within an iconic Mies Van der Rohe landmark building.

ACME Hotel Company

The ACME is loaded with character and artsy touches, hipster vibes, and a super friendly staff. The chalkboards on the doors allow everyone to represent their true selves. But it’s really the location that’s paramount here: steps from The Loop, the mall, and the famous UNO’s.

Where to Eat

Wells Street Market – The newly opened food hall in the Loop offers something for everyone. Favorite bite: Furious Spoon’s shoyu ramen.

Bavette’s Steakhouse – Honoring Chicago’s long tradition as a steakhouse town, this swanky spot offers French flair and romantic enclaves for the ultimate date. Favorite bite: Chicago cut classic ribeye with béarnaise.

Southport Grocery and Cafe – Baked-from-scratch pastries and all-day breakfast can be found along with ancho chili-infused Bloody Mary’s at this Lakeview neighborhood spot. Favorite bite: grown-up pop tart with preserves and mascarpone.

Hot “G” Dog – Along with Chicago-style pizza, hot dogs are a Chicago staple. These artisan (and budget-friendly) options are a favorite among locals. Favorite bite: Chicago dog with a side of duck fat fries (weekends only).

From Dusk ‘til Dawn

Overwhelmed by so many amazing choices? Here’s an itinerary to jumpstart your weekend:


Head to Sidetrack, the legendary Boystown video bar that has been the city’s go-to LGBTQ destination since 1982. Extend your getaway by a day to stay for Musical Monday, a standing ovation-worthy tradition.

A drink at Little Jim’s Tavern, the city’s first gay bar, is also essential. The bar has tons of old-school charm, local gays and daily drinks specials. And as far as legendary bars go, no pub crawl is complete without an Uber to Andersonville for some lesbian karaoke at Spyners Pub. By now, you’re plenty drunk enough to belt out some Journey.


The Legacy Walk, located in Lakeview, features 37 bronze memorial markers and interactive technology to connect with the people and places that have been instrumental in the nation’s LGBTQ movement. Check out the historic stroll during the day before heading to The Art Institute of Chicago for some of the country’s most stellar art. Be sure to visit the incredible 68 Thorne miniature rooms.

Come nightfall, head uptown to explore the city’s diverse collection of bars. Big Chicks is a friendly, low-key vibe that can be found Uptown with a different energy than Boystown bars. For the high-energy millennial crowd, Hydrate is a high-energy club with a stellar roster of DJs including former “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestant Nina Flowers. Also pop into Berlin, a “pan-cultural” late-night dance club open ‘til 4 a.m.


Drag reigns supreme at the Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club, a terrific spot for brunch (prix-fixe menu plus a la carte) and entertainment.

More gay-friendly Illinois:

This is just one of our many favorite stories and hotspots to help you discover gay-friendly Illinois for yourself. Continue your exploration here.

Enjoy a more immersive Illinois experience in the magazine:

ManAboutWorld is an app-based travel magazine by gay men which provides travel inspiration and trip-planning information for all whether you’re in the LGBTQ+ community or are an ally. It’s built exclusively for mobile devices and is not available in print. We first published these articles in the spring 2019 issue and make them available here for your enjoyment. The app and issues are all free. Download it for Apple devices or Android devices.

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By @ 08/21/17 in Chicago, Gay travel, Hotels, Travel

Palmer House Hilton in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinThis year makes the 147th year the Palmer House, A Hilton Hotel is open and the rich history, distinguished service, with fine combed layers of subtle modern upgrades makes this property the place to stay in downtown Chicago. The current Palmer House is actually the third Palmer House. The first Palmer House opened in 1871 but burned down in the Great Chicago Fires. The second was completed in 1875 and the third (and current installment) was designed by Holabird & Roche and opened in 1925. One step into the decadent lobby is enough to make you gasp and grab your pearls. (Photo by David Cowan.)

Gay factor

The Palmer House Hilton Hotel is an extremely gay friendly hotel, situated in the heart of downtown and within close proximity to The Art Institute of Chicago, The PrivateBank Theatre (Where Hamilton is currently running), Symphony Center, and the scenic Cloud Gate in Millennium Park. The property is the ultimate launch pad into the artistic and cultural landscape of Chicago and also boasts it’s own unique History is Hott!!! Tour. Local historian Ken Price, named best historian of 2014 by Historic Hotels of America leads a sassy luncheon at Lockwood restaurant including a presentation of local curiosities and hotel museum relics followed by a tour of the storied art deco lobby, grand ballrooms and vintage artifacts throughout the hotel. Tours are offered Tuesdays through Saturdays.


Rooms are quite affordable for downtown Chicago, starting out as low as $102 for their special “Escape to Romance” offer for couples (Upgrade to breakfast for two for $142/night). Prices go up seasonally, starting at up to the $285 during prime summer weeks. The key? Book early (but keep an eye out for specials and fun package deals.


We can recommend visiting the Palmer House Hilton year-round as the property offers something for everyone each season. Truly a city within a city, The Palmer House captures the essence and energy of Chicago. Check out the Magic Parlour to have your mind read, explore the History is Hott Tour, sip on a glass of specialty labeled bourbon, live it up over high tea at the Metz, or simply recharge at The Spa at Palmer House. The holidays are an especially magical time at the Palmer House when guests can sip on Yuletide tea service in the lobby, munch on a special brownie on National Brownie Day (the brownie was invented in the hotel in 1893), or take in the popular “Merry TubaChristmas – A Concert of Christmas Music” an evening of 400 tuba players in the Grand Ballroom orchestrated in honor of music professor and creator Harvey Phillips. The Lockwood team curates the farmhouse-style cuisine menu for their signature Lockwood Restaurant & Bar year round. Focusing on locally-grown ingredients from the hotel’s rooftop garden & apiary, Lockwood features new seasonal butters and Chef Mathew’s crave able Cheese Curds.

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By @ 05/25/15 in Chicago, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel

LGBT veteran monument as seen in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineUPDATED May 27 with actual photo from event. (Credit: Jean Albright via Facebook.)

We hope you’re enjoy this long weekend and unofficial kick off to summer. Also be sure to give some thought to the veterans (LGBTQI and S) who’ve served this country.

In a first, LGBT veterans will be honored today with the first such monument in a national cemetery. The dedication takes places today, Monday, May 25 — Memorial Day — 2pm at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Illinois, one hour south of Chicago.

According to the Windy City Times:

The monument, which was spearheaded by Stanley J. Jenczyk, junior board member of the Chicago chapter of the American Veteran’s for Equal Rights ( AVER ), was approved late last year by Ronald E. Walters, interim undersecretary for memorial affairs.

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By @ 09/15/14 in Chicago, Film festival, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel

Chicago Theater FacadeThe Chicago-based Reeling Film Festival – the second oldest LGBT film festival in the world – opens on Thursday, September 18th at the wonderful Music Box Theatre with the screening of ‘Boy Meets Girl’. Director Eric Schaeffer along with transgender actress Michelle Hendley will be in attendance. On Saturday, September 20th, the festival will take over Landmark Century Centre Cinema with screenings of Love Squared, Queens & Cowboys: A Straight Year On The Gay Rodeo, Anatomy of a Love Seen, Club King and The 10 Year Pla

Tickets are available in here.

We covered Chicago last month and let all of our secrets spill in an in-depth article full of hidden gems and gay ways to explore a great American city. Click here to subscribe.

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By @ 09/09/14 in Chicago, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel

ManAboutWorld 2.0 comes at you with a new look and a new attitude, rededicating ourselves to our mantra of inspiration and information! Inside, you’ll find our Editor’s Choice awards, awarding revolutionary, industry-leading hotels, restaurants, airlines, events, and more in more the 100 cities worldwide1 You’ll find our insider tips on Chicago; new sections such as NEXT, our forward thinking trip-planning thoughts on cities with fabulous events coming up in the next few months; Personify, a new section that singles out one trailblazing local in one of our favorite cities.

Not a subscriber? You can change that in a few easy clicks here to get all our newest issue and all of our back issue full of insider tips from the world’s gay travel experts.


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By @ 05/16/13 in Chicago, Correspondent, Gay travel, Gay travel magazine, Jeff Guaracino, Las Vegas, ManAboutWorld, Travel
The fabulous Cosmopolitan Hotel

The fabulous Cosmopolitan Hotel

By ManAboutWorld Global Correspondent Jeff Guaracino

Great trip ideas can come from travel columns like this one, from your favorite travel magazine or recommendations from friends and family. Business travel — if planned correctly — can be a perfect time to research your next pleasure trip. Yes, I know we are always in a rush to get to that next meeting, answer that pesky text or resolve the work emergency, but hey it’s travel. Don’t forget to stop and smell the fun!

Viva Las Vegas—midweek

I was invited to speak at the Las Vegas International Tourism Safety and Security Conference. I hadn’t been to Las Vegas since 2007, so I was excited to see what had changed along the famed Las Vegas Strip. A midweek trip proved to be an exceptional option to avoid the crowds but still enjoy all of the amenities that Vegas has to offer.

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By @ 05/12/13 in Chicago, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel

Screen Shot 2013-05-12 at 3.46.50 PM

Perched alongside Chicago’s most famous parks (at South Michigan Ave and Balbo Street), the Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel has a long, rich history and a desirable set of assets and amenities that make it a worthy choice for gay travelers.

It’s steps from Millennium and Grant Parks, home to art museums, fountains, lush lawns, outdoor performance spaces and, of course, the famous reflective “Cloud Gate” sculpture, informally known as the Bean. It’s near the financial and theater district, the Loop (and the “El,” what we know of as the subway in New York). Downtown is where most major hotels are located in Chicago. Boystown is a good $20 cab ride away but you can hop on the Red Line which goes right to the heart of Boystown in about 20 minutes for a lot less. (Take the El at Harrison and get off at Belmont.) There’s shopping and a Starbucks on the Concourse level below the lobby.



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