Top instagrammable Spots in Illinois Outside of Chicago

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

Route 66 in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Illinois is a state of undiscovered wonders. It will surprise you with its openness, dazzle you with its art, and astonish you with its depth of American history. When stepping out of Chicago and into the small historic towns, you’ll find iconic scenes you’ll need to capture.

When traveling around the Prairie State and especially along Route 66, you’ll find Illinois to be among the most Instagrammable places in America. You won’t want to miss some of these Insta-worthy spots:

Route 66 Mural in Pontiac 

The most famous route in America is loaded with iconic imagery, history, and art! Take a road trip through Illinois on Route 66 and discover LGBTQ gems along the way.

Gemini Giant in Wilmington 

The most fun selfie in the state is with the Gemini Giant. On a quiet, pretty street corner stands this colossal astronaut beloved by locals and tourists alike.

The Lincoln Family at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum in Springfield 

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum has many Lincoln wax figures depicting his life through the years: Lincoln as a boy, a young lawyer, a father, and a president. The likeness is extraordinary at the Lincoln Library and Museum. Pose with him as president, during his lawyer days, or in his dress-down clothes.

Lincoln’s Tomb in Springfield, Illinois 

Lincoln was buried in Springfield, and next to his tomb is a giant sculpture of his head. Over the years, so many people have rubbed his nose for luck it’s been discolored. It’s since become iconic and insta-worthy.Lincoln's tomb in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum in Lisle 

The Morton Arboretum is an outdoor public garden with a catch: the lush grounds abound with adorable, artsy and gigantic troll sculptures that make for terrific Instagram posts.

Piasa Bird in Alton 

Somewhere between Alton and Elsah is the Piasa Bird — a giant painting on the side of a rugged mountain cliff with lore as big as the art itself. Finding it is fun but snapping a selfie with it is mandatory.

White Squirrels in Olney 

The white squirrels of Olney are elusive and adorable — but if you can spot one and get them to sit still long enough for a pic, you’ll be the envy of Insta.

Downtown in Galena 

Galena’s downtown is something out of a storybook. The cobblestone streets, the art galleries and queer-owned shops and hotels make it a charming and inclusive jaunt from Chicago. Take a selfie in front of the iconic, century-old buildings for your perfect Insta moment.

Next time you’re in Chicago, take a trip outside the city and into the small towns of Illinois simply bursting with heart, charm, and history — and fill your Instagram stories with unforgettable images.

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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