Search Results for: CHICAGO

By @ 07/05/19 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:

FRIDAY NIGHT:

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.

SATURDAY:

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.

SUNDAY:

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 @ 07/05/19 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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By @ 15/09/14 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 @ 16/05/13 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 @ 12/05/13 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.

Credit: www.flickr.comphotos22746515@N024865734246.jpg

Credit: www.flickr.comphotos22746515@N024865734246.jpg



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By @ 12/01/20 in Gay pride, Gay travel, Travel

LGBTQ Pavilion at the New York Times Travel Show Jan 24-26All travelers are welcome at The New York Times Travel Show’s third annual L.G.B.T.Q. Travel Pavilion — the biggest in the show’s history! Register here and use code LGBTQIA for complimentary one-day ticket.

The pavilion gathers 28 tourism brands offering trip-planning inspiration, experiences, tours, cruises, travel packages, hotels, luggage, travel insurance, free apps and special pavilion-only offers for the enjoyment and safety of L.G.B.T.Q. travelers and their allies, friends and loved ones. Open to the public on Saturday, January 25, and Sunday, January 26, and to trade on Friday, January 24.

For the first time ever the pavilion includes its very own stage:

  • Hear from the world’s leading L.G.B.T.Q. travel experts.
  • Enjoy original music by an award-winning Fort Worth-based queer singer.
  • Bring your little ones (or just yourselves) to Drag Queen Story Hour designed for the kid in all of us.
  • Win prizes!

Whether you’re a member of the L.G.B.T.Q. community or know someone who is, find information and travel products tailored to

HospitableMe in the news

your interests and needs. Snap a selfie with famous drag performers who’ll sashay around the pavilion during the weekend festivities.

Be inspired, informed and entertained. And bring a credit card: Take advantage of many pavilion-only offers on cruises, tours and more.

Follow the giant, historic, 25-foot Gilbert Baker-designed rainbow flag proudly hanging above the L.G.B.T.Q. Pavilion on the northwest side of the show floor.

These are the travel brands that you’ll meet:
  • AIG Travel Insurance
  • Atlantis Cruises, Tours and Events
  • Blue Walk European Walking Vacations
  • Choose Chicago
  • Collier County, Fla. (Naples, Marco Island, Everglades)
  • Cunard Luxury Cruises
  • DavidTravel
  • Discover Puerto Rico
  • Fluide Beauty
  • Gaybnb, Gay-Friendly B&B, Australia
  • GeoSure Global
  • HE Travel, Gay Travel and Tours
  • HOMOCO Queer Swim Brand
  • IGLTA, the International L.G.B.T.Q.+ Travel Association
  • Keihan Hotels and Resorts, Kyoto
  • NY State Tourism (I LOVE NY)
  • Out Adventures, Gay and Lesbian Tours and Holidays
  • Out in the Vineyard
  • OutRight Action International
  • Pride Japan
  • Pride of the Americas, Fort Lauderdale
  • Provincetown
  • ROAM Luggage
  • Sikeleli Travel L.G.B.T.Q.-friendly African Safaris
  • Quiiky L.G.B.T.Q Italy Travel
  • VACAYA: All-LGBT+ Cruises & Resorts
  • Visit Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Visit Fort Worth, Texas
L.G.B.T.Q. STAGE
Friday, January 24

2–2:45 p.m.
L.G.B.T.Q.+ Travel Safety and Empowerment
L.G.B.T.Q.+ consumers face unique challenges when traveling. Experts discuss the resources available for them to travel with greater confidence.

2:50–3:50 p.m.
Everyone Welcome
HospitableMe’s signature hospitality inclusion training program.

4:15–4:50 p.m.
Straight to the Bottom Line
L.G.B.T.Q.+ allies discuss how to generate business in the queer travel segment in an authentic, respectful and sustainable way.

Saturday, January 25

11–11:30 a.m.
Travel Safety and Confidence
L.G.B.T.Q.+ consumers face unique challenges when traveling. Our experts discuss the resources available for them to travel with greater confidence.

Noon–12:45 p.m.
L.G.B.T.Q. Travel: Tours, Cruises, Events and Destinations for 2020
Moderator Ed Salvato leads a lively discussion of new cruises and tours, not-to-miss events and up-and-coming hot spots around the world. Bring your travel questions!

Noon–1 p.m.
Live From the World’s Largest Gay Cruise
We’re patched in LIVE to the Atlantis Oasis 2020 Cruise — check out the fun happening now on the Caribbean Sea.

1:30–2 p.m.
Fort Worth Presents Rachel Gollay
Feel the vibe with the city’s most fascinating songwriter, the award-winning and openly queer artist Rachel Gollay.

3–3:30 p.m.
So You Think You Know New York?
Test your knowledge and win prizes at the I Love New York State Quiz Show.

4–4:30 p.m.
Puerto Rico Presents
Puerto Rico is sunny, ringed by beaches and bathed by the warm waves of the Caribbean.

Sunday, January 26

Noon–12:30 p.m.
Drag Queen Story Hour
The library sensation comes to the L.G.B.T.Q. Pavilion. Officially for kids, but fun for kids of all ages!

1–1:30 p.m.
It’s a Queer, Queer World
Inspirational stories from real L.G.B.T.Q. travelers.

2–2:30 p.m.
Hack Your Trip!
From getting in the right headspace, to packing your suitcase, our experts share the best travel tips, including how to take the #BestSeflie.

3–3:30 p.m.
Spend It HERE (Not THERE)
Representatives from our L.G.B.T.Q.+ friendly travel providers and destinations tell you why you should travel with the people and places that love you back.

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

Inclusive art in elusive places in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineGay-friendly Illinois is rich with inclusive art, queer works, architecture and locales favorited by the LGBTQ+ community. If you’re looking to broaden your horizons or just your outlook on the art scene in the Prairie State, don’t hesitate. You’ll find plenty of breathtaking galleries and structures in and beyond Chicago from Lake Michigan to the Shawnee National Forest.

Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art

If you’re a city slicker at heart or not looking to step outside Chi-Town, check out Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. Quite the mouthful for a place to see bleeding edge art by outsiders, whoever they may be. Intuit describes outsider work as “self-taught art, defined as the work of artists who demonstrate little influence from the mainstream art world and who instead are motivated by their unique personal visions.” Peek at their recent exhibits and you’ll see what they mean.

The gallery, located in Chicago’s River West neighborhood, has showcased the work of many queer outsider artists in its four stellar exhibitions a year. Intuit also hosts events focused on LGBTQ+ inclusivity and scholarship in addition to other lectures and educational programs. Be sure to pick up a copy of the gallery’s magazine, The Outsider, while you’re there for more information on its exhibits.

Art Gallery at the Center on Halsted

The Center on Halsted is a bastion for queer culture and community in the Midwest. Its deep history of activism and support stretches back to 1973, when it was a small, volunteer-run clearinghouse and meetup spot for gays and lesbians. It’s since burgeoned into a one-stop shop for cultural, technological and health services for the queer community in Chicago’s Lake View neighborhood, complete with two galleries featuring work by LGBTQ+ artists. You’re welcome to peruse the galleries on the center’s second and third floors during normal business hours or attend an opening night reception where you can schmooze it up with featured artists and queer community members.

Inclusive art in elusive places in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineARC Gallery in Lincoln Park

ARC Gallery is another sure bet in Chicago for art by queer artists. The gallery has been operated as a non-profit cooperative by a collective of women artists since 1973. Its mission is to not only nurture emerging and experimental art, but to raise awareness of social issues through its exhibitions, including issues facing the LGBTQ+ community. If you check out ARC, be sure to take a walk around the neighborhood—it’s in Lincoln Park, which is famous for beautiful, historic churches and neat brick row houses nestled up against urban park, and some of the city’s best restaurants and shopping, too.

Galena Main Street

If you’re looking for a weekend foray into the countryside, head to the little town of Galena, just 3 hours northwest of Chicago. It’s home to the gay-owned Jail Hill Inn, a 135-year-old, four-story brick building, loaded with history and charm, and overlooking the countryside. As you walk along Main Street past the red brick buildings that date back to Galena’s start as a mining town, be sure to check out Pinder Pottery, an artist-run shop and studio featuring pottery as functional as it is beautiful.

Farnsworth House

The Farnsworth House is a modernist architecture gem situated on a flood plain in Plano, Illinois, just an hour west of Chicago. The house confounded visitors when it was built in 1951 and continues to protest traditional notions of what a house should be while very much remaining, well, a house.

Dana-Thomas House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

Visit the Dana-Thomas House in Springfield, Illinois and soak in amazing architecture along with some fascinating and energizing queer-related history. The house is one of 13 Wright-designed houses along the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail, a self-guided tour of Wright’s incredible, culturally rich contributions to the area.

Susan Lawrence Dana, a progressive social dissident who would go on to fight for equal rights for women, commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to remodel her father’s house in 1902. The result was a breathtaking example of Wright’s work that catered uniquely to Dana’s female perspective. In the 1920s, the house became ground zero for political activism and women’s rights activities. Dana’s mark on progressive and enlightened thought in the region would remain for decades through activities, classes and lectures hosted at the house.

The house is open for tours most days for a suggested donation. Make a weekend trip when you can—Springfield is about three hours southwest of Chicago.

Starved Rock Lodge, Utica

A popular same-sex marriage venue is also one of Illinois’ greatest examples of the rustic stone and timber architecture popularized by 20th-century New Deal projects. Starved Rock Lodge, which proudly hosts gay marriages, may remind some visitors of summer camp—only more luxe. The lodge, positioned on a wooded bluff overlooking the Illinois River, was built in the 1930s by the Illinois Department of Public Works and Buildings to rival expensive private resorts and has been updated since to stay comfy. It’s an ideal place to stay for architecture and Americana enthusiasts who are looking to enjoy Starved Rock State Park, and it hosts numerous events and concerts throughout the year. Head to its website to see a schedule or book a room.

Morton Arboretum

The Morton Arboretum in Lisle is another favorite outdoor arts and wedding space for LGBTQ+ locals and travelers. Its sculptures and regular displays of natural artistry are regular featured in online queer publications. While some visitors come for the weird, whimsical sculptures of trolls across the property and related events (how about a troll hunt?), many visit for the simple, curated beauty of the arboretum’s natural grounds. Take a breath of fresh air at one of Illinois’ best-known queer-friendly outdoor spaces.

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

Romantic LGBTQ getaways in Illinois in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineIllinois is home to a number of romantic, LGBTQ-friendly getaways within easy driving distance of Chicago, from kick-your-feet-up spots where you and your partner can take a breath, to hipster beer-and-bike meccas where y’all can let loose.

Galena: Vintage Shopping, Vintage Setting

Just three hours west of Chicago you’ll find Galena, a small but vibrant town known for its immaculate nineteenth-century architecture and bustling arts and shopping scene. For you antiquey gays who can’t get enough small-town charm, Galena is for you.

Plan to arrive early and check in to The Aldrich Guest House, a queer-owned five-bedroom B&B that’s hosted President Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant. Owners Doug and Robert have warmly arranged and decorated each room with comfy beds, high-end linens and personal touches.

The Inn at Irish Hollow is another gay-owned B&B, an aspirational place to stay. From the cozy interiors, the three-course weekend brunch, the seven-course dinners, and the lovely and welcoming gay hosts, this is one of our favorite places in Illinois.

The gorgeous Jail Hill Inn is another option. A 135-year-old, four-story brick gem of a hotel perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway. The hotel was rated the number 1 B&B in the United States on TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards.

Once you’ve dropped off your bags, head out to explore the small-town charm of Main Street, strolling hand-in-hand along the dozens of quaint shops nestled in historic, red-brick buildings. If you and your partner are looking to feather your nest, stop in at Pinder Pottery, where a small handful of local potters are spinning beautiful and functional pottery. At Common Cents Resale, old housewares and vintage furniture are restored, restyled and sold at reasonable prices.

After some light browsing, grab lunch at One Eleven Main, a farm-to-table hotspot with a seasonal menu featuring locally-sourced ingredients. But if Galena’s historic sites have you in the mood for something more traditional—or you’re trying to turn up the romance—try Fried Green Tomatoes. Despite its name, the restaurant serves up traditional Italian fare with a farmhouse chic ambience. Before you leave Main Street, pick up a bottle (or three) at Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery.

Spend the rest of your evening relaxing back at the hotel and wake up to their award-winning breakfast (with coffee brewed from a local roaster!) before heading home (or continuing on your Illinois journey!)

Galena remains one of Illinois’s top LGBTQ friendly cities, a charming, artsy, welcoming place that’s as quirky as it is inclusive.

Romantic LGBTQ getaways in Illinois in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineInstafamous in Pontiac

For Route 66 fanatics, your trip begins on Michigan Ave. in Chicago and stretches for 300 miles, filled with some of most interesting and ‘grammable spots throughout the state. Somewhere in the middle of the historic highway, you’ll find Pontiac, a small town hidden gem central to American culture, literature, and industry, from the Grapes of Wrath to the Beats and Disney-Pixar’s Cars.

You’ll want to book a room in The Three Roses Bed and Breakfast, situated in a pristine Victorian in the center of town. Or, if you’re looking for something a bit more modern and chic, check out the ACRESinn LOFT—an 1,800 sq.-ft. loft overlooking downtown Pontiac. Both options are relaxing, romantic settings close to all attractions including the Route 66 Association Hall of Fame & Museum. Be sure to peek around the backside of the building where you’ll find one of Illinois’s most iconic Route 66 murals (and unofficially the state’s selfie capital!).

You can have an early breakfast at Three Roses or take a short walk to Edinger’s Filling Station, a favorite diner among locals, with a vintage Route 66 ambiance serving homemade American breakfast and brunch dishes. They’re famous for their homemade pies, so save room for a slice.  

After breakfast, stroll with your better half down Main Street and pose in front of the many ‘grammable murals depicting Americana (including Coca-Cola, RCA Victor and the iconic line of Pontiac automobiles).

Beyond Pontiac, Route 66 extends down through Springfield and takes you through Alton, where Illinois meets Missouri. If you’re up for a classic American road trip, fire up your playlist and keep on truckin’ along Route 66.

Springfield: Love in the Land of Lincoln

Since this is the land of Lincoln, why not stay at the President Abraham Lincoln Springfield – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel? It has a great location right in the center of town. Breakfasts here include house-made baked goods like blueberry muffins or buttery, flaky croissants.

In the morning, stroll past the cute, gay-owned Cardologist (a little greeting card and knick-knack shop perfect for sending postcards!) before settling in for a tasty meal at Incredibly Delicious, a locally owned French Bakery and Café located in the historic Weber House near downtown Springfield, Illinois. Founded in 1995, they specialize in artisanal breads, traditional croissants, handmade pastries, specialty cakes, and desserts. Their breakfast and lunch menu changes daily and pastry selections change seasonally. Be it savory or sweet, you will find your new favorite treat behind their doors.

Afterward, head just one block north of the hotel to the Dana-Thomas House — a Frank Lloyd Wright landmark — to tour its ornate, yet still-modern-feeling halls and rooms.

Continue your architecture lovefest with a guided tour of the recently-renovated Governor’s Mansion. Built in 1855, the mansion’s renovated exterior showcases the styles of the different governor’s that called the mansion home over the years. Tours usually last just over an hour.

For even more woodworking artistry, head to Sangmon Reclaimed, where local firefighters and veterans take the wood from torn down barns and reclaim it, rework it, and reimagine it as new pieces of art, architecture, and furnishings. A fascinating look at the Midwest traditions.

Once you’re up to the gills with house envy and dreaming of a nest with your partner, take a short cab ride or a decent walk (25 minutes or so) up South 6th Street to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The library is mainly intended for researchers but the museum is a must-see for anyone, and particularly appealing to children if you’ve brought the family. Another short cab ride will take you to President Lincoln’s (and his family’s) final resting place, a monolithic, granite tomb in the Oak Ridge Cemetery.

For dinner, consider the upscale American Harvest Eatery, serving up familiar dishes with twists, all artfully plated and made from fresh Illinois ingredients. If you and your partner are looking for a night cap, hit up the Station House, a queer bar and dance club spinning great tunes.

Pontiac maybe be small, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in friendliness, local vibes, homecooking and history.

Urbana-Champaign: Beers, Bikes, and Beers

Millennial hipster queers will fall hard for Urbana-Champaign. Just over two hours south of Chicago, this college town is home to a variety of breweries, eateries, and arts and culture gems. Plus, there’s dockless bike sharing in the area so you’ll burn off those calories as fast as you consume them. (But, please, no drinking and biking!) Can it get more romantic than good food, delicious beer and (sober) biking?

If you’re looking for a charming, Southern feel, stay in the queer-owned Champaign Garden Inn. The Victorian Queen Anne-style mansion, surrounded by lush gardens, is a short walk (ahem, stumbling distance) from downtown Champaign, which makes it a safe bet if you’re planning to brewery hop.

Kick off your brewery crawl at the Riggs Beer Company, The Blind Pig Brewery, or Destihl Brew Works, recognized as three of the top breweries in Illinois. Wherever you go, do not skip the Sipyard, a beer garden in downtown Urbana operating out of a shipping container in the middle of an outdoor graffiti gallery.

For dinner, go big at the Black Dog Smoke & Ale House. While not romantic in the most traditional sense, nothing brings a couple closer than sharing a rack of ribs. They also have spicy southwest potato salad. Enough said.

One of Illinois’s most beloved twin cities, Urbana-Champaign is the future of the state, with a nod to the past, it’s always looking forward, whether it be art and breweries, or welcoming festivals and queer-owned hotspots.

Alton/Elsah: Charm on the Mississippi

Alton and Elsah are small-town twin cities along the Mississippi River on the Missouri border, about four-and-a-half hours south of Chicago. Their scenic, down-south feel and pace are well worth the trip on a long weekend—especially if you and your partner are looking for a respite from city life.

Nestled in the bluffs below the Great River Road, The Green Tree Inn in Elsah is a charmer, with hospitable hosts who’ve held numerous gay weddings at their property. Next door is a quaint general store stocked with incredibly hard-to-find sodas, sweets, cakes and any toiletries you might need.

Once you’re settled, drive the majestic Great River Route along the Mississippi River. It’s beautiful and relaxing—perfect for cranking some music and soaking in the views.

After your drive, ward off the afternoon sleepies with some award-winning espresso from Maeva’s Coffee, one of several community-oriented businesses in a former schoolhouse in Alton. Maybe split a piece (or heck, just get two slices) of their famous quiche while you’re there (there’s a vegetarian option, too!).

Then, for lunch, check out Weezy’s Bar & Grill for some good ol’ Route 66 kitsch. This roadside diner is a legend, and you’ll love their classic burger and fries while you snap pics of the Route 66 memorabilia that adorn the walls here.

But small towns don’t necessarily mean small nightlife. Bubby & Sissy’s is the big, gay exclamation point on Alton’s after-dark scene. The welcoming bar is known for its drag performances on weekends with special performances from the famous Shelby Right Back.

Elsah and Alton are quite the pair — so different with a shared sensibility and easy-going charm. There’s history here, but the towns also look forward, always evolving, always innovating, always welcoming.

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

Jonna Cooley in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineJonna Cooley is an LGBTQ trailblazer, a pioneer and an Illinois native. She grew up in Meredosia, and then moved to Springfield in 1979. She began working at the Phoenix Center, Central Illinois’ LGBTQ Community Center, in April of 2006. The center provides a variety of services and activities for the LGBTQ community, including youth groups, transgender support groups, and a parent group, among others. The organization also provides various social and educational events such as an LGBTQ Film Series, Springfield PrideFest and drag shows.

The center also provides safe, supportive housing for homeless HIV+ men and women, transitional housing for homeless LGBTQ individuals, a variety of prevention programming and counseling.

Jonna is also one of the people proudly responsible for bringing pride to Springfield. In 2010, she brought a group of people together because she thought it was time to talk about having pride in Springfield. The attendance was overwhelming and Springfield PrideFest was born.

The first event was on Harvey Milk Day in 2011, one city block of 3,000 people. Today, the event has grown to 4+ city blocks, food and drinks, vendors, a kid’s area, and a teen drag show competition. Last year there were an estimated 20,000 people in attendance. Jonna’s been with her partner, Lisa Tomasino, for 19 years. They have a daughter, Erin, who lives and works in Florida. They live in Springfield with their three cats: Doc, Cleo, and Oliver, and their big five-pound chihuahua, Dino.

We sat down with Jonna to chat about LGBTQ life in Springfield and how the city continues to inspire her.

Jonna Cooley: tell us about life as an out gay person in Springfield. Is there a strong sense of queer community here?

While Springfield is a capital city, it is small and surrounded by rural communities and farmland. I love that because I grew up in a small community and my grandparents were farmers. Springfield tends to have a conservative image, but I have to say that overall, I’ve found Springfield to be supportive of the LGBTQ community.

I think there is a strong sense of queer community here – in a small-town kind of way. On one hand, the LGBTQ community seems to be fragmented. There are a lot of people who hang out together, who do stuff together, but they may or may not participate in LGBTQ-focused events or even be out to others in the LGBTQ community. On the other hand, everyone seems to come out (pun intended) for PrideFest and there is always great support from all factions when Phoenix Center is in need of assistance. In addition, there have been successful gay bars in Springfield that seem to be another common gathering place.

How does Springfield standout from the rest of Illinois?

For a small city, we really have a lot to offer. We are the only city to have an LGBTQ Community Center south of I-80. There are Jonna Cooley's gay-friendly Springfield, Illinois in ManAboutWorld Magazineother groups and organizations, but there is no other not-for-profit facility to go to for services, housing, groups, counseling, etc. on a daily basis with full-time, professional staff.

In addition, Springfield is a clean and friendly city with a small-town feel. We have lots of history and great places to visit like Lincoln’s Home & Tomb, the Old State Capitol, the Dana-Thomas House, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Every time I go there, I say to myself, “I can’t believe this amazing place is in our great city!” We also have a lot of locally owned shops and food establishments that are amazing and unique, and great local theatre. At the same time, we don’t have a rush hour and you can get from one end of the city to the other in 15 minutes!

What are some places in Springfield that inspire you?

Having lived here 40 years, I still get a feeling when I drive down Capitol Avenue and see the capitol dome. My partner always says it never gets old, and it doesn’t. Just the sense of history here is inspiring—to think of all those who have walked the streets of Springfield before me, including Abraham Lincoln. I am always inspired walking or sitting in Washington Park or Lincoln Memorial Park where, regardless of the season, I find beauty in so many things.

What is it in Springfield that should entice LGBTQ travelers to visit. And how can LGBTQ visitors support the queer community when they visit your area?

Springfield PrideFest of course! It is free, family friendly, and lots of fun. Regardless of who you are, everyone should visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. It is a phenomenal experience as are the many other historical sites. LGBTQ visitors can support the queer community by visiting businesses and restaurants that are LGBTQ owned and/or supportive.

How would you like to see the LGBTQ community change or evolve, if at all, in your area? What’s missing? What could be better?

I would like to see us all work together to create an even greater LGBTQ community within our city. I would like to see more LGBTQ individuals get involved and be active and out in city and county government and in key positions to create change.

Tell us your perfect Springfield day.

An early morning visit to the amazing downtown Farmer’s Market, maybe grabbing breakfast with friends at D&J Cafe. Then going for a long bike ride on one of the many great trails or a walk at Lincoln Memorial Gardens, sitting at Café Papo or Vans and drinking an ice tea and reading a book. Finally, dinner with my amazing partner at one of our favorite places; maybe Nick & Nino’s or The Old Luxemburg.

What local tips do you have for people visiting Springfield for the first time?

Don’t miss the Lincoln Presidential Museum, Lincoln’s Home & Tomb and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Dana-Thomas House. Take a walk at Lincoln Memorial Gardens. Have a “horseshoe” (a local favorite food dish) or try the “fire brand” chili at The Chili Parlor.

Visit downtown Springfield. If in the summer, get tickets to the Springfield Muni—our great outdoor theatre. Whether you are here for a day or a week, do not eat at a chain restaurant. We have so many great local places.

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

River City Pride, Peoria, Illinois in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Pride season is upon us and there’s no shortage of inclusive events in the urban centers and historic townships of Illinois. Whether you’re looking for an excuse to get out of the city and support smaller LGBTQ+ communities or don’t want to stray too far from an “L” station in Chicago, the Prairie State’s strong queer community has you covered.

The Swedish Pride celebration in Chicago

While not a traditional pride, Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood throws its annual Midsommarfest every summer, an event that’s now so popular in the LGBTQ+ community here it’s become something of an honorary queer event. The low-cost, family-friendly event runs June 7-9 and will split its time between celebrating the neighborhood’s Nordic roots and its present distinction as one of Chicago’s best and most vibrant gay communities. Round up the crew (whether that’s bears or your kids, everyone’s welcome here!), practice your best Swedish greetings—Skål!—and get ready to dance around the Maypole.

Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey

The River City Pride Festival — you might know it as Whiskey City Pride — is Peoria’s annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. Just a couple hours southwest of Chicago, the event celebrates Central Illinois’ vibrant queer community as well as its legendary distilleries. It’s slated for August 3 at the Peoria Park District Glen Oak Amphitheatre and is a great excuse to get out of the city, enjoy the region’s famous whiskeys, Peoria’s fantastic park district, and celebrate all things LGBTQ+. The free event is put on in part by Peoria Proud, a coalition that promotes community unity through education and outreach.

A Decade of Pride in Urbana-Champaign

PrideFest, Urbana-Champaign’s annual pride celebration, is going strong in its 10th year as Central Illinois’ go-to queer celebration. The event features live music, guilty-pleasure food and family-friendly activities, so get decked out in your best rainbow duds come September. (The date for this year’s pride is still pending.) Check here for more information as the event draws closer. While Pridefest is a family-friendly event, Urbana-Champaign is a college town, so party-seekers should take note. Be sure to thank PrideFest’s organizers at the Up Center, a pillar in the region’s LGBTQ+ community, while you’re there!

River City Pride, Peoria, Illinois in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine
New Queer on the Block

There’s a new family-friendly pride celebration that started up just a stone’s throw from Chicago. The Buffalo Grove Inaugural Pride Parade in Buffalo Grove, just 40 minutes northwest of Chicago, kicked off June 2. The event was free and featured floats, live music, entertainment and a megadose of rainbow costumes and pageantry. The event garnered massive support from Buffalo Grove’s LGBTQ+ community and ally volunteers led by Molly, the queer 13-year-old who led efforts to bring Pride to her hometown. Check the website for next year’s edition and get out there and support an exciting new LGBTQ+ event.

Whether it’s in one of the most famous cities in the world or a small township of a few thousand, LGBTQ+ pride is everywhere in Illinois. Bring your kids, your friends, and your allies to celebrate some of the best small-town prides in America.

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.

Photos: Cre8jax



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By @ 07/05/19 in Gay Illinois, Gay travel, LGBT Illinois, LGBT travel Illinois, Personified, Travel

Josh Laskowski, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineJosh Laskowski is the sunshiney morning voice of WQQB FM “All the Hits on Q 96” in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. His parents have owned a record store in Decatur for 30 years and still going strong, something that’s fueled his appreciation for every genre of music imaginable from death metal to Motown; but didn’t provide a straight path to his DJ career. After working a corporate gig in Chicago, Josh became promotions director at WQQB. As luck would have it, an on-air position opened up two weeks later. Despite his early morning wake up — his first alarm goes off at 4:25am weekdays! — he remains a cheerful morning voice for all his Champaign-Urbana listeners.

Josh always sits on the board of directors of Champaign-Urbana Pride & Parade, an event he helped significantly expand. Josh also leads tours of kids and young adults to historic places across the United States. We caught up with Josh after a recent morning show to discuss how Champaign-Urbana inspires him and what makes it so friendly for local and visiting LGBTQ+ people.

What inspired you to become a DJ?

I always knew I wanted to be in media. I tried TV, but didn’t like it.  I like to talk, and I’m loud. Someone gave me a shot on a late night show on a Decatur radio station. Two weeks in, my promotions director was fired and I took over. That lead me to doing community events that bring people together, which lead me to emceeing Champaign-Urbana’s Pride celebration. The event has become a staple for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in September. It’s fun for those who wish to dance and party to the wee hours, but also fun for the family.

Tell us about life as an LGBTQ person in Champaign. Is there a strong sense of queer community here?

Yes, and having the University of Illinois in our backyard helps tremendously. I came from a more blue-collar area in Decatur, which wasn’t as accepting as it is here in Champaign-Urbana. The only gay bar here closed but its closing hasn’t really harmed the local queer community. We’d love to have such a space here but I still feel accepted everywhere. “Midwest Nice” is real. In terms of diversity, it doesn’t get as diverse in Illinois as it does here.  I feel I can go anywhere and be accepted.

How does Champaign standout from the rest of Illinois?

Part of it is the university. Another is the wonderful food scene. The breadth of local farm-to-table restaurant options is amazing. I Josh Laskowski, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinecould go out every day for a month and never go to a chain and never go to the same place twice. Also of course the Pride celebration which was the first Pride parade downstate in Illinois outside of Chicago.

What are some places in Champaign that inspire you?

Because I go back to my music ties, the Virginia Theater is a gem in our community. I’m inspired by all the music coming through from 38 Special to Manhattan Transfer — a great spectrum of musical genres that comes to see us. I can see major performances including the Russian Ballet at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. We have an amazing monument of Lincoln near me in Urbana called “The Lincoln Lawyer” statue, which is is located in Carle Park across from Urbana High School. I’m inspired by all the learning that happens here. Champaign-Urbana is cultivating the next generation of leaders. We have an area called Research Park with many major companies recruiting here.

How can LGBTQ visitors support the queer community when they visit Champaign?

They should make plans to come down and see how we celebrate in September for Champaign-Urbana Pride Festival. Pride has become a staple for not only the community but also for University of Illinois faculty, staff and students. We celebrate Pride in September because the students are gone during the summer. Come and see how accepting people are no matter what you look or sound like. It’s an open and loving community. You can get that feel in general all over Champaign-Urbana but especially so in September for when we celebrate Pride in CU.

How would you like to see the LGBTQ community evolve, if at all, in Champaign?

We’d love to have rainbow sidewalks or cross walks! If Chicago and other large metros have them , why can’t we?! But I digress, I’d love to see a dance club open. C Street was the gay dance club and it closed so I feel like that’s missing. I’d love to see that club where it’s easy to go mingle with people looking for the same thing I am. We are only two hours from Chicago and Indianapolis and three from St. Louis so we have the best of both worlds, corn fields and small towns where everyone knows you and a quick drive to the city!

Tell us your perfect Champaign day.

It starts with brunch at Prairie Fruits Farm, a lovely farm whose restaurant (unsurprisingly!) offers a farm-to-table menu. You can also take a tour of the creamery. Then I’d go for a midday movie at the Virginia. We also have a great sports scene here with the fighting Illini. Then we end up downtown Champaign with a fresh meal at a local restaurant.

What local tips do you have for people visiting Champaign for the first time?

For the first time check Visit Champaign County and request a visitors guide ahead of time. Read it and follow it. It focuses on cool stories.  See a sporting event at the university. Go to the local theater. We have a reindeer farm in the county where you can interact with reindeer. Make sure to eat and drink locally. There are great local brews and extraordinary restaurants. Go local with more of my specific recommendations.

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 @ 06/05/19 in Gay travel, Gay-friendly Illinois, Illinois, LGBT Illinois, LGBT travel Illinois, Personified, Travel

Douglas and Richard in Galena Illinois and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineDouglas and Robert, owners of the Aldrich Guest House in gay-friendly Illinois, have been together for just over 12 years. They had their Civil Union on their fifth anniversary, shortly after those were legalized in Illinois. A couple years later, when marriage equality passed, they converted it into a marriage. 

Both have been in the service/hospitality industry their entire lives – nearly 50 combined years. They both grew up in the Midwest — Douglas in Indiana, Robert in Michigan.

They initially considered Chicago’s Andersonville or Edgewater neighborhoods for their B&B, but after 11 years in Chicago, they wanted to get back to small town living. When they came to Galena, they found a community where everyone was open and welcoming and extremely friendly! They discovered the Aldrich Guest House on their first trip to Galena and it ticked all of the boxes.  They made an offer and a couple months later, they were the proud owners of Aldrich Guest House!

Built in 1845 as a one room, two-story house by a man named Cyrus Aldrich, a congressman and friend of Abraham Lincoln, the guesthouse is steeped in history. Now, Aldrich Guest House has five guestrooms and can accommodate up to 10 guests.

They’ve been voted one of the top 15 best bed and breakfasts in the entire United States and won first national runner up in a Breakfast at Aldrich House, Gelena, Illinois and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinenationwide breakfast competition. They’ve renovated the entire house (no more of that crazy wallpaper!) with the goal of creating a feeling that is relaxing yet elegant.

What they’re most proud of, though, is their unique style of service that is intuitive, personal, and professional yet unobtrusive. They’re always honored that guests choose to stay with us since they’re choosing to make us part of their story, plus guests are our favorite part of what we do.  We recently caught up with Douglas and Robert to chat about Galena, Illinois, small-town life, and the burgeoning LGBTQ community throughout the state.

How is Galena different from other places you’ve lived/visited?

Living in and visiting Galena helps you remember what a human pace is. Having lived in Chicago for so long, we had almost become immune to the hustle and bustle of the city along with the noise and crowds. It wasn’t until we went back to Chicago after our first trip to Galena that we noticed all of those things. Being in Galena definitely helps you slow down and appreciate the people and things around you.

Describe the impact the LGBTQ community has had on Galena over the years you’ve been coming here?

In Galena, we’re very fortunate as part of the LGBTQ community since there have been many before us setting the foundation for a culture of acceptance and equality.  In the 1940s, Galena was a small artist colony which was inherently very open and welcoming. One of the things that’s great for LGBTQ visitors is that there is NOT a ‘gay part’ of town or any ‘gay’ bars etc.  The reason that’s great is because the entire city is open and welcoming so we don’t need a gay section of town – it’s the entire place! There are several small lodging properties in addition to many shops that are owned by LGBTQ folks and even if the innkeepers, shopkeepers, or restaurants aren’t specifically LGBTQ, everyone is welcome. Truly, in Galena, being LGBTQ is a complete non-issue which is just how it should be as that’s what equality looks like!

What are some places in Galena that inspire you?

What we find most inspirational is the outdoors. Galena is situated in what is called the ‘driftless zone’ meaning that the glaciers never scraped the landscape into a pancake like in much of the Midwest. We have hills and valleys, the Mississippi River is just 3 miles away, along with miles and miles of great hiking trails.  Being able to connect with nature in such a grand way is a very special part of living and visiting Galena.

How can LGBTQ travelers support LGBTQ community here and Illinois in general?

The best way for LGBTQ travelers to support the LGBTQ community both in Galena and Illinois is simply by living however you’re most proud. By being you and being confident and proud of that, stereotypes, misinformation, and the taboo of being LGBTQ will continue to disappear as hearts and minds are changed little by little. Thankfully Galena is ahead of the curve, so the opportunity to support LGBTQ businesses by staying at welcoming bed and breakfasts, patronizing supportive stores, etc. is a very real thing in here and is greatly encouraged!

Do you have any tips for people coming to Galena for the first time?

Although there are less than 3,500 people that live here, Galena is not a one trick pony!  We have over 130 mom & pop shops and restaurants along our half mile long Main Street – the Helluva Half Mile! In addition to that, there’s an awesome history that can be experienced through tours of Grant’s Home, the Washburne House, and the Belvedere Mansion as well as the History Museum and Old Market House. If that’s not enough, the great outdoors can keep you busy as well from canoeing/kayaking on the Galena River to biking, hiking, and both cross country and downhill skiing in the winter…and that’s just in Galena not to mention all of the other wonderful places to experience that are within a short drive.  We’ve been here for nearly 5 years, and we still have a long list of things we want to do. So our biggest tip is to plan more than a day…or plan a day, but know that you’re going to want to come back again and again!

What are a couple of your personal hidden gems in Galena (and Greater Illinois, ideally outside of Chicago)? 

In Galena, there are two things that we love – Fritz and Frites Bistro and the P.T. Murphy Magic Show. If you only have an evening in Galena, those are two things not to miss!  Just 15 minutes outside of Galena is Elizabeth which has the Elizabeth Grand Antique Mall and Common Cents both of which are great places to find hidden treasures if you’re into antiques.  While you’re there, stop at E-Town for a great sandwich and visit the Apple River Fort where you can learn how, during an attack by Blackhawk in 1832, the men of the fort had to swallow their pride and let the women help defend the settlement and how the women’s participation is what actually kept the outpost from being destroyed.

What’s been your most embarrassing moment as a guest house owners? Any funny stories you can share?

This is a tough one! Having been in hospitality for so long, nothing really fazes us or surprises us anymore.  That’s part of what’s so great about being innkeepers and in hospitality – no two days are ever the same!

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 @ 21/03/18 in Gay travel, Jeff Guaracino, New York, Travel
Affordable New York City by Jeff Guaracino in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineAffordable New York City

Something unexpected has happened I rediscovered affordable New York City. An affordable, overnight trip to New York City to see a gay show on Broadway has always seemed elusive. The city that never sleeps has a reputation for sky-high hotel rates. It’s been tough to find both a chic hotel at a great price and an LGBT-themed show.

What’s going on and how can you plan your own trip? Here are a few of my tips from an expert traveler.

Check out and into the Hyatt House Hotel

My new best-value-for-the-dollar hotel is the brand-new Hyatt House New York Chelsea at 6th Avenue and 28th Street in Chelsea. Hyatt’s loyalty program and 100-percent rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index is a win-win for LGBT travelers. The rooms at Hyatt House will remind you of a New York apartment. The hotel is in walking distance of Penn Station (saving a cab fare) and close to the Chelsea gay bars, including Boxers and the Eagle.

Your stay comes with free hot breakfast. The only thing that beats the location is the price. Twice this winter, I’ve stayed overnight for about $225, with modern rooms with enough space for two people and stunning views of the New York skyline. The one-bedroom suite is luxurious and will sell for around $400-$500 in April, but prices vary depending on the season and day of the week. My go-to hotel booking site is www.trivago.com if you want to shop around.

Gay Broadway returns

Gay Broadway is making a comeback. To appeal to the masses and drive attendance, Broadway relies on Disney-produced shows (“Frozen” just opened and joins perennials “The Lion King” and “Aladdin”) and revivals like “Hello Dolly!” and “Chicago.” And Broadway is featuring the return of “Angels in America,” starring Nathan Lane and Andrew Garfield, which tells the compelling story of the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis.

Another revival hitting the stage is “The Boys in the Band,” the first show credited with bringing gay lives on stage. Finally, Harvey Fierstein’s “Torch Song” will return as well.

Perhaps even more exciting than these important Broadway revivals is the Off-Broadway new hit play called “Afterglow” at the Loft at the Davenport Theater. (Note: the theater is really in the Broadway district.) Written and directed by S. Asher Gelman in his debut play, “Afterglow” tells the story of a gay couple, their open relationship and what happens when they invite a new man into their lives just as they are expecting the birth of their first child. “Afterglow” is a modern story of gay marriage, open relationships, parenting, sex and love. The 90-minute, no-intermission drama is compelling, with exceptional acting by Joe Chisholm, Brandon Haagenson and David Merten.

If you’re comparing prices to Broadway shows, “Afterglow” is affordable. Last Saturday night, the ticket price was $79.50 (plus an absurdly high Telecharge fee on top of that, so if you can pick up the tickets at the box office, you will save a few bucks).

If you are looking to add more Broadway to your NYC trip, a not gay but hilarious and relatively affordable option is a ticket to “The Play That Goes Wrong.” I found two-for-one tickets during Broadway Week in late January.

Getting to New York from Philadelphia is easy. There are many affordable options. I’ve scored great deals on Amtrak booking trips during their special-fare sales with one-way fares as low as $51, but during peak travel times, expect to pay a little more.


Philadephia-based Jeff Guaracino is the author of “The Handbook of LGBT Tourism and Hospitality: A Guide for Business Practice” (along with ManAboutWorld editor Ed Salvato) and “Gay and Lesbian Tourism: The Essential Guide for Marketing.”

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By @ 21/08/17 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.

Rates

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.

Basics

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 @ 02/12/15 in Buenos Aires, Gay travel, Michael Siebert, Travel
San Telmo street performers  in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine Buenos Aires update

San Telmo street performers

ManAboutWorld correspondent Michael Siebert (shown below right) visited Argentina. Here’s the second of three updates from his visit focusing on the amazing neighborhood of San Telmo, Buenos Aires. (If you missed his gay Buenos Aires update, click here.)

I am a man of extremes and I enjoy having a varied experience during my travels.  If this is you too, I suggest a visit to San Telmo and get a little lost, but find this place:  Calle Carlos Calvo 471 and order a “choripan” with a red wine.  The place has no name and is only open on Wednesday and the weekends.  

ManAboutWorld correspondent Michael Siebert visited gay Buenos Aires, Argentina

Michael Siebert

It will be packed with locals and just sit on the street bench and watch the parade of interesting people.  Don’t be surprised when your red wine is poured from a used 2-liter bottle and into a glass (high class here only).  It does taste good and is just part of the vibe.  There is a funky market around the corner from Calle Carlos Calvo 471 that is worth a peek.  After getting lost in San Telmo, head east to the Puerto Madero and walk north.  Eventually, you will see the Faena Hotel on your right (definitely visit if you have never been).  Eventually, make your way to Palacio Duhau and relax in their bar and enjoy a whisky or two.  This walk will show you two very different worlds in Buenos Aires.  You will love it.

One last comment for my leather queens.  If you want to outshine all the other men at the next party in NYC or Chicago, upon arrival to Buenos Aires, you better visit Jorge, at La Casa de Las Botas, located at Paraquay 5062, for you next pair of custom made leather boots.  Place your order on day one of your trip and your boots should be ready a week later (in low season).  He has generous hours and the boots will set you back about 400 USD (after you convert that in pesos on the blue market); otherwise, you are looking at 600 USD.  You will not be disappointed and they are sexy and “lindo” (beautiful) as hell.

NOTE:  If you do not know about the blue peso market, make sure you read this: Blue Peso Information. Before you visit and bring lots of USD. You may find it difficult to extract money from local ATMs; furthermore, if it wise to know about xoom.com.  Xoom allows for you to wire money to yourself from the USA to Buenos Aires in case  you have trouble with ATMs.  Xoom does require that you have a US-based bank account.  This does not work for any other countries at the moment.

Photo top: Pablo Dodda via Flickr

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Comments Off on 2015 Editors’ Choice Awards

2015 Editors’ Choice Awards

By @ 09/10/15 in

Editors' Choice Awards 2015, the best of the best of gay travel from ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Today we announce our 2015 Editors’ Choice award winners.

These are, simply put, the destinations, hotels, tour operators and other travel and hospitality suppliers that we consider the best of the best in gay travel today. It’s not a scientific survey but rather the opinionated perspective of the ManAboutWorld staff of three along with our network of global correspondents. We’ve crisscrossed the planet, slept in a lot of beds, jumped on planes and trains, ocean liners and luxury yachts, rickshaws and jitneys, participated in river cruises, events and parties and talked with 100s of other gay travelers to come up with this list. These are the ones that resonated with us — the ones that truly shared our valuesThe ones we would go back to … and sometimes do, when we’re not busy searching out new and different places to recommend.

With 44 new award winners this year, there’s so much to explore … Check out the returning winners and the new ones below or, better, download the issue directly to your iPhone, iPad or Android device today and check them all out.

A big congratulations to this year’s winner! (If you’re a member of the media and would like to speak to us about the awards, please contact Ed Salvato.)

Editors’ Choice Awards: Destination of the Year

IRELAND: Last May, Ireland made history by becoming the first country to legalize gay marriage by popular vote. Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny described the Irish as “a generous, compassionate, bold and joyful people who say yes to inclusion, yes to generosity, yes to love, yes to gay marriage” It was a decision that seemed impossible just a few years ago, and one that opened the door to gay people, and showed a compassionate and welcoming side of Ireland for people of all genders, races, and sexualities.

And while it’s historical political feat has earned our top prize for destination of the year, it turns out, all politics aside, Ireland is a spectacular country of ancient castles and rolling green hills, of rugged coastlines and dynamic cities. And those red-headed Irish boys.

Previous winners: Ft. Lauderdale & Provincetown 

GAYBORHOOD of the Year

Chueca, Madrid: In late 2009, Spain’s economy took a nosedive, and in the years since, the country underwent a sort of reinvention. In the heart of Madrid, a small neighborhood known as Chueca, the center of the LGBT community, went back to its roots and began relying on the most talented entertainers, restauranteurs and hoteliers to encourage madrileños to keep spending (and giving them a better reason to). It was a struggle that forced the city to find itself again, to prove it can stand out from other European cities.

Today, bustling Chueca is one of the great gay neighborhoods of the world steeped in its proud heritage — welcoming, unique, and setting an example for the rest of the country to follow. The neighborhood starts at Gran Via and runs north for about a mile stretching east to west between Calle Hortaleza and Paseo de Recoletos. Though drinking in local bars and cafeterias can be inexpensive in Madrid, in gay bars and clubs it’s notoriously expensive. The nightlife in Madrid starts late and goes until the sun comes up, with some parties starting at 7am and lasting well into the following day.

Previous winners: MontrealWilton Manors (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

 EVENT OF THE YEAR

GAY WINE WEEKENDSonoma Valley’s Gay Wine Weekend comprises three full days of gay wine events. The annual June event is a gem of Sonoma summertime, home to some of the world’s most prestigious wines and wineries. You can experience world class wine and culinary delights, music and dancing in a private estate vineyard, VIP Receptions, wine tasting excursions, champagne brunch and wine auction in one of the most famous luxury wine destinations in the world. Now in its fourth year — and hosting more than 600 guests — the weekend raises funds for Face to Face, the Sonoma County HIV/AIDS Network, and has helped raise about $130,000 over the course of the past six years.

Previous winner: World Pride, Toronto

TOUR OPERATOR OF THE YEAR

HE TRAVELThe granddaddy of all gay tour companies, HE Travel was founded in 1973 by Hanns Ebensten who was widely credited as the “inventor” of gay travel. Today it’s among the most innovative and fastest-growing tour operators moving more gay passengers per year than almost every other one except for Atlantis/RSVP. HE Travel was formed from the combined businesses of Hanns Ebensten Travel, Alyson Adventures and Out Quest (formerly Out West) Global Adventures and offers trips ranging from classic (rafting the Grand Canyon) to exotic (Antarctica) and consistently introduces new tours every season.

Previous winners: Out Adventures & Brazil Eco Journeys  

ADVENTURE OF THE YEAR

Patara Elephant Farm, Chiang Mai Thailand: In the northern reaches of Thailand, in Chiang Mai, there is a spectacular Elephant farm known as Patara, a magical excursion we experienced on our trip with Out Adventures. Through an ecologically and environmentally considerate facility, you can scrub, ride, and interact with rescued and rehabilitated elephants.

Previous winners: Arctic Norway  & Obeid Naser Al-Amamreh Bedouin Guide, Wadi Rum, Jordan 

BEST SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN

#LoveIsLove, Fort Lauderdale, Florida: The hashtags were flying in Fort Lauderdale this year, when the Greater Fort Lauderdale Visitor’s Bureau launched its #LoveIsLove campaign celebrating gay marriage. A hundred couples of all sexual orientations took to the beach to wed, snap photos, and share on social media to spread the word of marriage equality in a brave and ground-breaking and timely effort. Lance Bass served as ambassador of the event and used his celebrity to further the social reach.

Previous winner: #LoveTravels, Marriott International

AIRLINE OF THE YEAR

Delta Air LinesDelta has long been a favorite of ours, but their support this year of gay pride in many cities, (the company offered discounted first-class tickets to pride in many instances!) and their focus on delivering better customer service while their competitors (ahem..American and United…ahem) floundered. Based out of Atlanta, Delta has strived to be a strong LGBT partner and continues to show their support.

Previous winners: JetBlue: Cape Air and Porter Airlines 

SHOPPING DESTINATION of the Year

ProvincetownProvincetown has always had the perfect blend of small-time charm with big city swagger, and its shopping scene may be its secret weapon that lures posh New Yorkers and Bostonians every summer. It’s also one of the last towns of such notoriety to be virtually chain-store free. Our favorite store MAP remains the gold-standard for uber-hip boutiques, now in a larger, more central space; Tim-scapes has hipster cool duds while the Loveland boutique sells clothing, antiques, and quirky trinkets. The best time to go is right now, with end-of-summer-season discounts accelerating until the inventory is gone.

Previous winners: Buenos Aires & Amsterdam 

EDITORS’ CHOICE ACCOMMODATIONS

( indicates new in 2015)

NORTH AMERICA

Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Loews
“Upscale, great gym and close to gay neighborhood”

Atlantic City, New Jersey USA
Borgata Hotel, Casino and Spa
“The best run, most luxurious, resort in town and sincere outreach to LGBT travelers”

Austin, Texas USA
Kimber Modern
“This ultra-modern hotel in the funkiest part of town is one of the best small hotels anywhere”
Heywood
“This über-mod seven-room hotel is a dream of a place to stay”

Baltimore, Maryland USA
Hotel Monaco
“Chic, hip, charming, and incredibly supportive of the LGBT community”

Boston, Massachusetts USA
Battery Wharf Hotel Boston
Super friendly welcome and unusual location on the waterfront abutting the North End with its rich Italian-American heritage.
Clarendon Square Inn
“Gay-owned 1867 townhouse is the kind of place you’ll feel a bit envious you don’t live in”
XV Beacon
“Sleek and arty yet friendly and inviting”

Chicago, Illinois USA
The Public Hotel
“Fusing great design, customer service and value”
The Dana Hotel and Spa
“Super sleek and modern”

Cleveland, OH USA
 Aloft
“On the river, with a decidedly modern, minimalist vibe that sizzles on the weekends”
Ritz Carlton Cleveland
“A surprising touch of rock & roll amidst stylish sophistication”

Dallas, Texas USA
Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek
“Elegant yet contemporary and surprisingly unfussy”
The Warwick
“Distinctly classic luxury in proximity to the gayborhood”
Hotel Zaza
“Chic, contemporary and sophisticated lodgings for young and hip travelers”
Door County, Wisconsin USA
Holiday Music Motel
“Big city flair meets farmland dreams”

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida USA
The Worthington
“The friendly and frisky Worthington has no equal”
The Grand Resort
“With a masterful balance of sexy luxury, the Grand’s continual upgrading have made it the top choice on Ft. Lauderdale beach.”
Pineapple Point
“Remains the standard of gay guesthouses after more than a decade on top”

Hawaii USA
 Lava Lava Beach Club (Big Island)
“A gay-owned resort situated right on the beach with a gay popular restaurant and bar”
Ko’a Kea Hotel (Kauai)
“Sophisticated, luxurious design and the friendly intimacy of only 121 rooms”
St. Regis Princeville Resort (Kauai)
“Epic views of Hanalei Bay from this luxurious masterpiece”
Grand Hyatt (Kauai)
“Intimate despite its large size, the Grand Hyatt Kauai delivers the quintessential Hawaii experience”
Travaasa Hana (Maui)
“Immerse yourself in a restful environment of great natural beauty and spiritual depth”
Aqua Bamboo (Oahu)
“A great value option in central Waikiki”
Royal Hawaiian (Oahu)
“One of the most beautiful, iconic and historic hotels, better than ever after a multi-million dollar renovation”

Key West, Florida USA
Alexanders
“Elegant, affordable, intimate”
Casa Marina
“Elegant and stylish for nearly 100 years”
Island House
“Sets the bar for all-male gay guesthouses”

Las Vegas, Nevada USA
Aria Resort & Casino
“Contemporary and sleek”
Cosmopolitan
“Swank and naughty”
 Delano Las Vegas
“With no casino, this swanky new hotel makes a quiet, elegant escape from the zaniness of the Strip.”
Los Angeles, California USA
Ambrose
“A distinctly local perspective”
Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles
“Experience originality, sustainability and hospitality in a splendidly restored downtown theater”
Andaz West Hollywood
“Modern, classic and fresh, this is the best option for style and value on the strip”
The Charlie
“Charming bungalow accommodations set amidst lush gardens”
El Tres Inn
“A chic boutique mini-hotel with apartment-style suites”
JW Marriott
“A luxurious option in the heart of the new downtown”
L’Ermitage Beverly Hills
“A discrete oasis of Asian-inspired luxury”
London West Hollywood
“For style and value, it’s hard to beat the London”
Shutters on the Beach
“The best option directly on the beach”
Hotel Covell
“A novel concept with 5 suites designed around the hotel’s fictional literary namesake”
Los Angeles Athletic Club
“Historic and elegant, with exceptional fitness facilities”

Miami Beach, Florida USA
Freehand Hostel
“An affordable place with a swank design”
The Metropolitan by Como
The most sophisticated and refined retreat on the beach
The James
“Our favorite of the Collins Avenue high-rise properties”
Townhouse Hotel
“A throwback to South Beach’s gay heyday”
Hotel Victor
“It doesn’t get more Miami”

Milford, Pennsylvania USA
Hotel Fauchère
“This sophisticated gay-owned inn screams Architectural Digest at at every turn”

Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA
Iron Horse
“Sleek hotel: all lush black leather, exposed wood beams and worn brick from the 100-year old building”

Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Grand Hotel
“Four-star Kimpton luxury in the heart of downtown, with access to the city’s best fitness center”
Le Meridien Chambers
“Sleek, modern and cheerful, with a fantastic contemporary art collection”

Montreal, Québec, Canada
Hotel Gault
“Our first choice in the city; industrial-minimalist decor and very gay-popular”
Maison des Jardins
“Super friendly, and crawling distance to the nightlife of the Gay Village”
La Conciergerie
“Quality accommodations and personal service for gay travelers for more than a quarter century”

New Orleans, Louisiana USA
Hotel Le Marais
“A comfortable mix of modern and classic in a heart-of-it-all location”
The International House
“A perfect update of a Beaux Arts heritage with minimalist modern design at surprisingly affordable rates”
Ritz-Carlton New Orleans
“An architectural stunner with genteel charm and one of the best spas in the country”

New Hope, Pennsylvania USA
Inn at Bowman’s Hill
“A standout, with beautiful grounds”

New York, New York USA

The Archer
“In a neighborhood full of generic slim tower hotels, the Archer brings a sense of style and sophistication and a classic view from its rooftop bar”
Cambria Hotel and Suites Chelsea
This well located Chelsea hotel offers value and great views from its rooftop bar.
Chelsea Pines Inn
“Impeccably managed and friendly”
Crosby Street Hotel
“Charming, with a refined British sense of service”
Eventi
“This Kimpton skyscraper offers the nicest rooms and best service of Chelsea’s mid-range hotels”
High Line Hotel
“A registered landmark with a prime Chelsea location”
NoMad Hotel
“A heavy dose of European chic with beautifully designed public spaces and interiors”
The Quinn
“A stunning art-focused hotel with an edgy yet refined vibe”
Regency Hotel
“Gay-managed modern glamour after a $100 million facelift befitting its Park Avenue address”
Residence Inn/Courtyard by Marriott Central Park
“These co-located properties feature the most spectacular views of Central Park at irresistibly affordable rates”
Wythe Hotel
“Rave reviews for this 72-room three-story glass and aluminum Brooklyn boutique hotel”

Ogunquit, Maine USA
Admiral’s Inn
“A winning combination of local charm and full-service amenities”

Orlando, Florida USA
Waldorf-Astoria Orlando
“An oasis of style, sophistication and luxury”
Holiday Inn Lake Buena Vista Downtown
“Surprisingly chic for a Holiday Inn”

Palm Beach, Florida
Grandview Gardens
“Spacious, traditionally-furnished rooms set amidst lovely gardens”
The Breakers
“A sprawling resort at the top of its game”

Palm Springs, California USA
Ace Hotel and Swim Club
“So darn cool, sprawling and popular with non-guest local hipsters and gays”
East Canyon Hotel & Spa (4.5 Palms)
“A spectacular hotel and spa”
Hacienda  (5 Palms)
“No property has received more accolades from us than The Hacienda. From our very first Editor’s Choice awards at OUT&ABOUT,  the Hacienda has stood the test of time”
Pura Vida (5 Palms)
“Sleek modern design, and luxury amenities”
Santiago (4 Palms)
Comfortable and sexy, without being sex-focused, Santiago charmed us with attention to detail”
The Parker
“The best mainstream resort in Palm Springs — posh, elegant, chic”

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
Hotel Palomar
“Stylish decor and professional, friendly service”

Phoenix, Arizona USA
Arizona Biltmore
“This stunning luxury resort has spared no detail”
Hotel Palomar
“A sophisticated and cosmopolitan choice in the heart of downtown”

Portland, Oregon USA
Ace Hotel
“Bohemian-chic Ace was founded here by three gay men, with fresh thinking about what a modern hotel should be”
Heathman Hotel
“A National Historic Landmark oozing with sophistication, luxury and sustainability”

Provincetown, Massachusetts USA
8 Dyer Hotel
“Classic beachy chic” (4.5 Palms)
Brass Key
“Set the standard for gay guesthouse resorts” (5 Palms)
Carpe Diem
“A modern, sexy and sophisticated stand-out” (4.5 Palms)
 Eben House
“Elegant yet minimalist option in Provincetown from same owners as Salt House Inn”
Inn at 7 Central (unrated)
“A relaxed, casual style from new energetic young and gay owners”
Land’s End
“A gothic-chic masterpiece” (5 Palms)
Prince Albert Guest House
Provincetown’s best gay location” (3.5 Palms)
Salt House Inn
“Martha Stewart meets André Balazs loaded with Cape Cod charm filtered through an urban sensibility” (4.5 Palms)
White Wind Inn
“A great guesthouse and a solid value with a stellar location” (4 Palms)

Rehoboth, Delaware USA
Bellmore Inn & Spa
“The go-to for upscale accommodations”
Silver Lake Guest House
“Lakefront elegance and comfort”

Québec City, Québec Canada
Auberge Place d’Armes
“Its design and location make this quirky and charming small hotel a top choice”
Hotel Le Germain-Dominion
“A gem in the Old Port area, with modern, cozy-chic accommodations”

SAINT PETERSBURG, FL USA
The Birchwood
“St. Pete’s sexiest downtown boutique with a delicious restaurant and thriving rooftop”
Loews Don Cesar Hotel
“The gold (or should we say pink?) standard for Florida’s Gulf Coast, the Don Cesar remains the go-to for A-listers”


San Diego, California USA
Andaz San Diego
“Downtown’s most upscale design hotel”
Pantai Inn
“Balinese style meets in tranquil La Jolla”
Tower 23
“A fabulous choice in Pacific Beach”

San Francisco, California USA
Best Western Americania
“Our top mid-range recommendation in town”
Hotel Vitale
“Understated elegance with spacious, stylish rooms — it’s the best hotel in the Embarcadero”
Intercontinental San Francisco
“Sleek and modern, it’s the nicest hotel closest to the gay action in SoMa”
Parker Guest House
“This gay-owned Victorian on the Castro-Mission border has long been a favorite”
St. Regis San Francisco
“Everything you could want in a modern luxury hotel”

Santa Fe, New Mexico USA
Inn of the Five Graces
“One of the most romantic places we’ve ever stayed”
Inn of the Turquoise Bear
“This lovingly-restored gay-owned historic inn remains one of our favorite places to stay”

Seattle, Washington USA
Ace Hotel Seattle
“As hip as they come; very central and convenient with an unbeatable price”
Gaslight Inn
“A very comfortable and well-appointed gay-owned B&B”
Hotel 1000
“One of Seattle’s most stylish luxury properties”

Sonoma, California, USA
MacArthur Place
“Beautiful grounds and individually decorated rooms.

TAMPA, FL USA
Epicurean Tampa, Florida
“A hidden gem in the heart of Tampa’s nightlife scene. This hipster boutique is not to be missed”

Toronto, Ontario Canada
The Drake
“Fabulous artist-designed rooms”
Four Seasons Toronto
“Spiffy new flagship property for the posh iconic brand founded here”
Thompson Hotel
“Its rooftop pool and lounge is one of the sexiest, most happening spots in town”

Washington, DC, USA
Hotel Monaco
“Modern, stylish interiors in a classic Georgian building with a tourist-perfect location”

Vancouver, British Columbia Canada
Opus Hotel
“A best-bet, with stylish, generously sized rooms”
Shangri-La Vancouver
“Nothing surpasses the pampering of the Shangri-La’s first North American outpost”

Vermont, USA
Moose Meadow Lodge
“Combines rustic charm with creature comforts”
 Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa
“Casual, gay friendly and Ideally located”

LATIN AMERICA

Argentina
Legado Mitico (Buenos Aires)
“The quintessential Palermo experience with perfect service”
Algodon Mansion (Buenos Aires)
“Recoleta’s best luxury boutique”
Cavas Wine Lodge (Mendoza)
“Sets the luxury standard in the area”
Entre Cielos (Mendoza)
“A swirl of luxury that’s as deliciously intoxicating as their house-label Malbec rose”

Brazil
Pousada Casas Brancas (Buzios)
“Airy and modern, with top-notch service”
Hotel Das Cataratas (Iguazu)
“A pampering oasis in the jungle. Oh and one of the world’s most amazing waterfalls is just outside!”
Pousada Casa Turquesa (Parati)
“Sophisticated, stylish and quite exclusive”
Hotel Fasano (Rio)
“Swanky, modernist style evoking Rio’s ‘50s and ‘60s Bossa Nova heyday”
Ipanema Plaza (Rio) “Moderately-priced rooms just steps from the gay beach
Emiliano (Sao Paolo)
“Exclusive boutique on the prestigious Oscar Freire street”
Renaissance (Sao Paolo)
“High-rise business-focused hotel, with great views”
Pousada Estrela D’Agua (Trancoso)
“Sophisticated rustic-chic”

Costa Rica
Hotel Banana Azul
“A beloved 14-room B&B on the beach”
La Mansion Inn
“Stunning in every way”
Monte Azul
“Four casitas adorned with contemporary art, set along a gorgeous riverside”
Nayara Hotel Spa & Gardens
“A favorite among gay visitors, it just keeps getting better and better”

LIMA, PERU
Arts Boutique Hotel B
“A beautiful small hotel in the trendy Barranco neighborhood, with an extraordinary collection of art throughout”Merida,

Mexico
Rosas & Xocolate
“Brilliantly merging traditional and modern with a terrific spa”

Mexico City, Mexico
Condesa DF
“Personal attention that can make all the difference”
Hotel Habita
“It doesn’t get cooler than the starkly minimalist chic of the Hotel Habita”
Room Mate Valentina
“Budget boutique in the heart of the Zona Rosa”
St. Regis Mexico City
“Luxury at a fraction of the usual St. Regis price”

Panama City, Panama
American Trade Hotel
“Reflects historic aura of Casco Viejo yet projects a modern face”

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Casa Cupula
“This stylish boutique hotel is one of the best gay-owned and gay-marketed properties around”
CasaMagna Marriott Resort and Spa
“A favorite of the LGBT community for its reasonable rates and large resort amenities”

San Miguel de Allende
Rosewood
“One of the best hotels in all of mexico, a charming Colonial retreat in a majestic city”
Susurro
“Gay-owned gem with boatloads of charm”

Vieques
W Retreat and Spa
“Huge rooms with ocean views”

EUROPE

Amsterdam, Holland
The Conservatorium
“Modern luxury with a gorgeous spa”
The Dylan
“Our first choice for its artful decor and best location in the city”
Van Ostade
“The best B&B in Amsterdam, and one of the most charming in all of Europe”
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam
“Steeped in history, opulently appointed and perfectly located”

Berlin, Germany
25 Hours Hotel Bikini
“A charming, hip hotel that happens to feature the exotic rumble of African wildlife thanks to its proximity to the zoo”
Hotel Adlon Kempinski
“The first choice of rock stars and royalty”
Hotel de Rome
“Undeniably posh, the hotel never feels pretentious”

Brighton, U.K.
The Amsterdam
“With seafront rooms, a sexy sauna and a gay-central location, we’d love to book a room for the whole summer”
Hotel Pelirocco
“Sexy, funky, eccentric and unforgettable”

Brussels, Belgium
The Dominican
“Our top choice in town is a gorgeous 150-room design property right next to the opera house”
Aloft Schuman
“A superbly stylish stay on the cheap”

BARCELONA, SPAIN
Axel Hotel Barcelona
“In the heart of the gayborhood, the Axel sets the standard for modern “hetero-friendly” hotels”

Budapest, Hungary
Brody House
“A private club like SoHo House, with a little less attitude and a little more art and culture”
Budapest Marriott
“The Executive Lounge deck has the city’s best views and all rooms face the river”

Cologne, Germany
Excelsior
“Top-choice for old-world luxury”
Stern am Rathaus
“Sophisticated design, great value and location”

Copenhagen, Denmark
Andersen Hotel
“Colorful and hip with excellent service and complete embrace of LGBT travelers”
Hotel D’Angleterre
“The city’s finest hotel with an unbeatable location”

Edinburgh, U.K.
Balmoral
“Gilded-age tradition meets contemporary luxury”
Hotel Portmeirion
“Idyllic setting and outdoor heated pool”
Tiger Lily
“Sexy cool glamour hidden behind a traditional Georgian facade”

Hamburg, Germany
25 Hours Hamburg HafenCity
“An outpost of nautical cool anchoring the city’s new neighborhood”
Le Méridien Hamburg
“A gay-perfect location, sophisticated modern style and a lake front view”

Lisbon, Portugal
 Internacional Design Hotel
“Stately, chic and sexy as hell hotel in the heart of Lisbon”

London, U.K.
The Boundary
“The best of Shoreditch, semi-retro and totally stylish”
Chiltern Firehouse 
“André Balazs’ London outpost brings his quirky celebrity-friendly service and style across the pond”
The Goring
“London’s ritziest hotel, fit for royalty”
Hoxton Hotel
“Loaded with flavor, smart design and thoughtful amenities at a great price”
St. Pancras Renaissance
“Blending Victorian and contemporary in a compelling 5-star way”
Soho Hotel
“Glamour in the thick of iconic London”
The Edition London
“The Marriott/Schrager love child sets new standards for luxury lifestyle hotels”
Town Hall Hotel
“Fabulously chic new hotel with surprisingly low rates”

Lyon, France
Cour des Loges
“The crème de la crème of lodging; sumptuous and romantic”

Madrid, Spain
Only You Hotel and Lounge
“Luxury and style in the heart of the gay neighborhood”
Room Mate Oscar
“Modern style and the most gay-popular rooftop bar in town”
The Ritz Hotel
“The grandest address in Madrid”

Manchester, U.K.
Radisson Blu Edwardian
“Low-key luxury and sophisticated, contemporary style”
Velvet Manchester
“Stunning boutique style in the heart of the gay village”

Marseille, France
Au Vieux Panier
“Six small but charming affordable rooms decorated by local artists”
Radisson Blu
“Chic and stylish rooms with breathtaking views”

Milan, Italy
Bulgari Hotel & Spa
“The pinnacle of Milano luxury”
Hotel Spadari al Duono
“Centrally located and modern, with some of the friendliest staff in Europe”

Munich, Germany
The Charles
“Inviting, luxurious and lush”
Deutsche Eiche
“Gay-owned, modern, convivial and reasonably priced, we love the rooftop terrace and location”
Sofitel Munich
“Graceful, modern and sleek”

Mykonos, Greece
Elysium Hotel
“The most exclusive gay hotel in Mykonos”
Geranium Hotel
“Very gay popular friendly and fun place to stay”
Myconian Imperial Hotel
“Like staying with friends who happen to be super rich with exquisite taste”
Semeli Hotel
“The best budget luxury option in Mykonos town”

Paris, France
Hotel Esmeralda
“Funky charm and affordable rates in a great location”
Four Seasons George V
“In a city full of luxury, this is our first choice, and one of the best in the world”
Jules & Jim
“Funky, minimalist decor in the heart of the Marais”
One By The Five
“An unusual, dreamy escape”
W Paris Opera
“One of W Hotels’ most glam outposts, with a 9th Arr. location we love”

Porto, Portugal
Yeatman
“A cocoon of wine-deepend serenity overlooking the River Douro”

Puglia, Italy
Borgo Egnazia
“The feel of typical village with town square, fab spa and restaurants and multiple pools in serene location”

Ravello, Italy
Palazzo Avino
“The best way to experience one of the most beautiful and romantic places on earth”

Reykjavik, Iceland
101 Hotel
“Contemporary design as cool as the nearby glaciers”

Rome, Italy
Donna Camilla Savelli Hotel
“A heavenly stay at affordable rates”
JK Place Roma
“Contemporary luxury and personalized service in the heart of Rome”
Kolbe Hotel
“Mid-range luxury with reasonable prices, a great location and a copious breakfast”
Palazzo Manfredi
“Opulent and modern, with spacious rooms, a great art collection, and drop-dead views of the Colosseum”

Emilia Romagna, Italy
Locanda del Guerriero
“This castle-turned-quaint B&B in the countryside is Italy’s most charming hidden gem”

Sitges, Spain
Hotel Calipolis
“Contemporary and modern, located right on the gay beach”
Hotel Subtur
“A charming and convenient budget option”

Stockholm, Sweden
Nobis Hotel
“A marvel of sophisticated Swedish design”

TALLINN, ESTONIA

Three sisters
“Charming Medieval and amazing modern in Old Town”

Vienna, Austria
The Ring
“With a great location and consistently good service, its huge rooms at inexpensive prices are a great option between the luxe choices and bare bones options”
Sans Souci
“Serving up some significant swank without taking itself seriously”
Guesthouse
“An unbeatable location with cool Conran-designed interiors”

Warsaw, Poland
Hotel Bristol
“Elegant Hollywood Regency rooms, a grand historic building, friendly warm service and affordable rates make this our top choice”

MIDDLE EAST

Tel Aviv, Israel
Brown TLV
“Chic, gay-owned boutique hotel”
The Norman Hotel 
“Sexy, stylish, and close to the beach; you’ll fall in love with its 1920s charm”

Petra, Jordan
Petra Marriott
“Beautiful views over the valley — a great place to end your day and watch the sunset”

CARIBBEAN/ATLANTIC

Bermuda
Elbow Beach Resort
“Gorgeous, relaxed elegance”

Grand Cayman
Westin Seven Mile Beach Resort
“An impossible choice between the perfect beach and the swim-up pool bar”
Ritz Carlton
“Chic and refined retreat far from the cruise-ship crowds”

St. Croix
Renaissance Carambola Beach Resort & Spa
“Drop-dead gorgeous”

St. Martin
La Samanna
“A highly desirable stretch of paradise”
Villa Rainbow
“Small, luxurious exclusively gay guesthouse with breathtaking Caribbean views”

San Juan, Puerto Rico
La Concha
“Gay-popular four-star property in the heart of Condado”

Saba
Queens Gardens
“Luxurious, charming, private and super gay-friendly for honeymoon or tranquil getaways”

Turks and Caicos
Parrot Cay by Como
“A decadent, pampered private-island retreat”

ASIA/OCEANIA

Cambodia
Shinta Mani Club
“Stylish accommodations and winning personal service”

Auckland, New Zealand
Hilton Hotel Princess Wharf
“Gleaming, with spectacular harbor views”
Mollies Boutique Hotel Ponsonby
“Luxurious and eclectic, with great views and a day spa”

Hong Kong
Four Seasons Hong Kong
“Luxury and convenience, with a choice of rooms in contemporary Chinese or Western decor”
Intercontinental Hong Kong
“The best unobstructed views of Hong Kong harbor”
Ritz Carlton Hong Kong
“Setting new heights for luxury accommodation in Hong Kong (literally and figuratively)”
Upper House
“A Zen haven with the best of modern east-meets-west sensibilities”

Japan

Aman (Tokyo)
“The pinnacle of luxury and opulence in the heart of Tokyo with some of the city’s best views”

Capitol Hotel Tokyu (Tokyo)
“The best luxury value in town”
Conrad Tokyo Hotel (Tokyo)
“An appealing vibrancy and energy convenient to public transportation and the famous Tsukiji fish market”
Hotel Granvia Kyoto (Kyoto)
“The very first hotel in Japan to court LGBT travelers, the Granvia is strategically located atop the Kyoto rail station”
Hoshinoya (Kyoto)
“The ultimate Japanese resort experience”

Melbourne, Australia
Art Series Hotels
“Modern and laid-back, with open-plan studio suites, and decor styled around the artwork of notable Australian artists”
Grand Hyatt Melbourne
“Fashion-forward luxury”

Laos
The Apsara, (Luang Prabang)
“The perfect blend of clean, convenient, affordable and friendly”

Thailand
Siam Hotel (Bangkok)
“An opulent, intimate urban resort where guests feel like royalty”
Sofitel So (Bangkok)
“This contemporary, sophisticated hotel is also the city’s most gay welcoming”
Dhara Dhevi (Chiang Mai)
“Sheer beauty and jaw-dropping attention to detail”
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle (Chiang Rai)
“Gorgeous tented camp tucked away in a jungle”
JW Marriott Hotel and Spa (Khao Lak)
“One of the best mainstream hotels, with modern Thai-influenced design and the longest pool in Southeast Asia”
Zeavola Resort (Koh Phi Phi)
“A pitch-perfect blend of remoteness, accessibility, luxury and casual ease”
Mai Samui (Koh Samui)
“Chic boutique hideaway on secluded beach”
Tubkaak Boutique Resort and Spa (Krabi)
“Locally owned resort distinguished by excellent, personal service and one of the best beaches in the area”
Kamala Paresa (Phuket)
“Heavenly views, impeccable service and dramatic accommodations”
La Flora Patong (Phuket)
“A handsome, contemporary, quiet oasis amidst the local hedonism”
Anantara Sikao (Sikao, Trang)
“Beautiful property surrounded by stunning rock formations, unspoiled beaches, and the breathtaking Emerald cave”
Six Senses Yao Noi
“54 traditional yet modern secluded villas with an excellent spa”

Taipei, Taiwan
W Taipei
“Our top recommendation in Taipei, a pinnacle of luxury in an otherwise modest city”

Vietnam
Six Senses Con Dao
“The ultimate exotic, remote, luxurious and contemporary resort”

AFRICA

South Africa
Ellerman House (Cape Town)
“One of our favorite small hotels of all time”
Derwint House (Cape Town)
“Exceptional hospitality at this 10-room lesbian-owned guest house at the foot of Table Mountain”
Mala Mala (Sabi Sand Game Reserve)
“Legendary, family-owned safari lodge with the best game viewing”
Sandton Boutique Hotel (Johannesburg)
“Five-star, gay-owned luxury B&B in Sandton, with impeccable service”
Singita (Sabi Sand Game Reserve)
“The most stylish and luxurious safari experience”
Twelve Apostles (Cape Town)
“The epitome of waterfront luxury”

EDITORS’ CHOICE AWARDS: RESTAURANTS
Bartola Corner (Buenos Aires)
Buenos Aires’ quaintest, most creative, and delicious café … bursting with style, beautiful men, and yummy brunch options”
Basa (Buenos Aires)
“Great food and a modern atmosphere make this our favorite spot for dinner”
Bottega Prelibato (London)
“A picture perfect Italian restaurant”
Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails (Phoenix)
“The best restaurant to come along in some time”
Buvette (New York)
“Buvette is the perfect neighborhood restaurant with a menu straight out of Provence”
Café Cluny (New York)
“A neighborhood restaurant that’s perfect for the cobblestoned corner it sits on”
The Canteen (Provincetown)
“A modern take on the classic New England seafood shack serves up summer’s best fast-casual meals”
Cuisine Wat Damnak (Siem Reap, Cambodia)
“The very best of modern Cambodian cuisine”|
Dabbous (London)   
“This ultra-chic post-industrial-style loft space may be the best restaurant in London”
DiverXO  (Madrid)
“Every course is a work of art — sometimes performance art — at this modern Michelin 3-star restaurant”
El Vez (Philadelphia)
“Eclectic, inventive Mexican cuisine and more”
Elmo (New York)  
“The best looking stream of patrons and staff in Chelsea”
The Restaurant at the Meadowood (St. Helena)
“The gold-standard of ground-breaking, inventive, haute cuisine in North America”

La Galerie Lounge (Paris)
“New chef David Bizet reenergizes this opulent yet comfortable space”
Girl and the Fig (Sonoma) http://www.thegirlandthefig.com/
“A favorite amongst locals and tourists alike”
Gramercy Tavern (New York)
“Still our #1 go-to choice for fine dining without pretension”
Iron Gate Inn (Washington, DC)
“Smashingly successful reinvention of a long-time gem”
Lucali (New York, NY)
“Lucali is in a league of its own when it comes to old-school Brooklyn charm and pizza”
Mani (Sao Paulo)
“A contemporary farmhouse… lovely afternoon lunch or a bustling dinner”
R House (Miami, Florida)
“Art house-cum-restaurant in the sizzling and still gritty Wynwood neighborhood”
Red Door Café (San Francisco)
“An exquisitely tasteful bistro”
Repris (Sonoma)
“Repris soars as a romantic lunch spot, tucked deep inside a romantic wine cave for a romantic dinner”
Tavern Road (Boston)
“Globally influenced local favorite in lively Fort Point neighborhood”

EDITORS’ CHOICE AWARDS: NIGHTLIFE
Coxy (Warsaw)
“Berlin-style nightlife lands in Warsaw”
lab.oratory (Berlin)
“This sex club embodies Berlin’s shame-free attitude towards sex”
Le Depot (Paris)
“The ne plus ultra of gay sex venues in Paris, and the biggest cruising bar in all of Europe”
Mälarpaviljongen (Stockholm)
“The crowd gets gayer as the night gets later at this chic floating restaurant bar and lounge”
Mister Sunday (Brooklyn)
“Warm-weather outdoor party cool enough to draw gays from Manhattan”
Viva (New York)
“The partnership of John Blair (the Roxy) and Ric Sena (Alegria) has given gay New York its Saturday night back”
The Week (Rio/Florianopolis/Sao Paulo)
“Beautiful decor, excellent sound and lighting and the hottest crowd in town”

EDITORS’ CHOICE AWARDS: CULTURE
Acropolis Museum (Athens)
“Magnificent: inside, outside and the contents”
Barnes Foundation (Philadelphia)
“A remarkable priceless art collection in a brand new home”
The Dali Museum (St. Petersburg, FL)
“An extraordinary collection and exploration of Dali’s art, life and times”
Museo del Baile Flamenco (Flamenco Museum; Seville) “Learn the history of flamenco at this interactive museum”
Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (New York)
“The first and only gay/lesbian art museum in the world”
The Neon Museum (Las Vegas)
“This outdoor museum is our favorite nostalgia piece in town”
The World AIDS Museum (Fort Lauderdale)
“The only museum in the world dedicated to documentation and education about AIDS”

EDITORS’ CHOICE AWARDS: SHOPPING
Goods Of Desire (Hong Kong)
“Clever and surprising gifts, apparel and housewares”
MAP (Provincetown)
“Always a step or two ahead of the trends”
Ock Pop Tok (Luang Prabang)
“A social enterprise bringing award-winning textiles to Laos visitors”

EDITORS’ CHOICE AWARDS: SPAS
Privet Body (London)
“Male-friendly spa for grooming your “privet” parts”
Ten Thousand Waves (Santa Fe)
“This Japanese-inspired bathing-focused spa is zen perfection in a beautiful setting”
Two Bunch Palms Spa (Palm Springs)
“One of America’s original holistic spas still feels modern and fresh”



By @ 05/10/15 in Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, New York, Travel
Gay destintation update includes the new Whitney Museum in New York

The Whitney, New York

Every issue of ManAboutWorld is packed full of essential and inspiring travel information including City Seen, a round-up of new (or new to us) hotels, restaurants, attractions and events brought to us from global gay destinations by our correspondents.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago
The first of a new Hyatt lifestyle brand that aims to be at the center of where you want to be, the 257-room hotel set in a historic building stakes its claim in Chicago’s premier business district. It couldn’t be more perfectly placed if we picked it ourselves. Oh, that’s right, we did. From museums and architecture boat tours to the Magnificent Mile and every kind of restaurant you can imagine — the Windy City is yours for the taking. The renovated 1920s-era Art Deco skyscraper (with some stunning views) offers bright, modern rooms with free WiFi, flat-screen TVs and iPod docks, mini-fridges and coffeemakers. Upgrade for a city view room with separate sitting area. Hotel amenities include a decent fitness center, the Cochon Volant (flying pig) French restaurant, with a casual yet crisp air, a bakery and a rooftop bar with fab views.

— Rich Martino

DALLAS, TEXAS Cafe Momentum
For a unique dining experience that will also make you feel good about yourself, head over to Café Momentum, a non-profit restaurant designed to provide troubled youth with valuable skills that will prepare them to enter the workforce and teach them responsibility, hopefully setting them on the right path for the future.  Under the guidance of Chef Eric Shelton, the “interns” here work as servers, dishwashers, cooks, and even do the laundry for the clothes worn here by the workers.  Not only is this place a great opportunity to see some terrific service to the community in action, but the food is good too!

Michael Verdirame

MIAMI, FLORIDA 1 Hotel South Beach 
Opened amid a flurry of new hotel brand launches around the world, 1 Hotel South Beach has been living up to its hype and has been garnering a lot of favorable press and attention among hotel critics and guests alike. This months-old oceanfront resort boasts spacious, light-drenched rooms (700 square feet on average) and an eco-consciousness baked into its DNA: the very comfortable mattresses are hemp-blend, there is a fleet of electric Teslas at your disposal (distance parameters apply), there are no bottled waters or disposable shampoo bottles and the entry key is made of wood! Also in tune with the major hotel trend of experiential travel, you’ll find a range of experiences on offer from kayaking in a nearby mangrove (which we did … it was amazing!) to stargazing and more. Tom Colicchio’s Beachcraft restaurant is delicious and well worth visiting even if you don’t stay at the hotel. Hotel development plans call for an 18,000-square-foot fitness center and a spa.

Ed Salvato 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK Whitney Museum of American Art
My god, where do we start? The Whitney is a triumph of art and architecture and it represents an emphatic exclamation point on the development of a part of town that was once best known for its slaughterhouses. The Meatpacking district’s cobblestone streets are now dotted by chic boutiques, tony bistros, camera-toting tourists and the starting point of the fabulous High Line elevated park. The industrial-looking Whitney sits at the very beginning of the High Line and offers views from every level of the museum both inside and outside. The art is, of course, simply stunning. The current exhibit, America Is Hard to See, includes a who’s who of modern American art works from the early 1900s through the present, opening with one of Marsden Hartley’s iconic images of gay love and war. Start on the 8th floor and make your way down to the 5th floor via the stairs to enjoy the unexpected views from each level. Check this link out for free tours.

Billy Kolber 

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA Cockscomb Restaurant
Open since December 2014 and set in a former shoe factory in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood, the suggestively named restaurant is the brainchild of Top Chef winner and James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Cosentino along with partner Oliver Wharton (who’s known for his nightlife-related projects in Las Vegas). Bring your carnivore friends. You’ll find meat-centric fare with a Spanish accent and lots of pork dishes like crispy pig’s ear and wood oven-roasted pig’s head and more daring offerings like sweetbreads and bone marrow and offal. We love the exposed concrete walls and high ceilings and the local artwork though it can be a bit loud when it’s crowded, which is like every night. But that’s ok. Start with a Negroni aperitif and work your way through some of the fabulous Spanish wines on offer and you will become one with the joyful din. After, head over to one of the many gay bars clustered in the SoMa area including Powerhouse on the weekends (if you’re feeling naughty).

Kenny Porpora

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By @ 30/09/15 in Baltimore, Gay dads, Gay family travel, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Paul Heney, Travel
Gay families in Baltimore, in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Gay families in Baltimore

ManAboutWorld correspondent Paul J. Heney, his partner and their two growing boys brought back this report from Baltimore after a recent visit. No kids? No worries! You don’t need progeny to enjoy this article or learn practical and important trip-planning information about Baltimore, like the use of Old Bay. You don’t know what that is? Read on!

Where

Baltimore has always seemed to me to be a bit misplaced — it has that “big city with a small town feel” that so many Midwestern cities tout. But this metropolitan area of 2.7 million people is strategically placed on the East Coast, about 45 minutes north of our nation’s capital. It’s easily accessible from New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. And its modern airport has always gotten our family through efficiently. It’s not much more than an hours flight from places like Chicago or Atlanta, so it’s a nice option for a long family weekend.

Why go to Baltimore

Baltimore’s famed Inner Harbor is the center of its attractions, and the density of things to do in such a small area makes it Gay family fun in Baltimore, in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinean ideal vacation spot for families of all shapes and sizes. The collection of museums, variety of restaurants, and waterfront activities can quickly fill up a weekend, making you wish you’d planned a few more days in this aptly named “Charm City.”

Weather is generally pleasant from spring through fall, although humidity can occasionally be overbearing in the middle of summer, so be forewarned. Baltimore has a great variety of festivals (including gay celebrations) throughout the year, so you may wish to check out the calendar at VisitBaltimore.com before planning your visit.

Gay factor

While neighboring Washington, D.C. may get more media attention for its gay life, Baltimore holds its own with its queer vibe. The “gayborhood,” if you will, is the lovely Mount Vernon neighborhood, just north of the city center, and its environs are quite LGBT popular and friendly. There are numerous theaters, art museums and gay establishments dotting this area. And who can forget that Baltimore is the beloved home of iconic director John Walters? Fellow Hollywood writers Barry Levinson and David Simon also grew up in the city. Annual LGBT-oriented events in the city include:

Planning resources

According to Tom Noonan, President and CEO of Visit Baltimore, his organization has an LGBT Tourism Advisory Committee that includes many of the city’s family-focused attractions, including the National Aquarium, Maryland Zoo in Baltimore and the American Visionary Art Museum. Noonan noted that there is a Baltimore LGBT Visitors Guide http://issuu.com/baltimoregaylife/docs/baltimorelgbtguide2014?e=1223151/7404635 that is produced by GayLife, the local gay monthly. The Visitors Guide offers a wealth of knowledge, with sections on accommodations, restaurants, nightlife, shopping, congregations, neighborhoods, and even a wedding guide.

For more about where to stay, eat, and what to do, download ManAboutWorld on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. We support iPads, iPhones and Android devices. There are a few FREE publications in all of the apps, and you can click here to register for a FREE three-month subscription.



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By @ 14/08/15 in Ashton Giese, Gay travel, Gay travel news, Gayography LGBT news, ManAboutWorld, Travel

Chicago's market place and more in this gay travel news update, ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineThis informative gay travel news update is brought to you by to ManAboutWorld correspondent Ashton Giese who recently celebrated a successful first year of the indispensable Geography.

Check out our fabulous event in Chicago as we supported LGBT rights abroad with Stoli drinks above Halsted Street for Market Days! Plus important marriage equality news from around the world. Traveling this weekend to Prague, Montreal or Copenhagen for Pride? Or perhaps Maui — This week’s GAYography brief sums it all up.

Also, the hand-holding experiment started in Moscow has been repeated in Jerusalem and Lisbon – with very different results!

Get this week’s gay travel news update here.

A vital resource for LGBT travelers, focusing on news, vacation insights, advocacy and current events in major cities around the globe, the GAYography brief is published each Thursday.

Please check our one-of-a-kind digital gay travel magazine for savvy gay travelers by downloading the ManAboutWorldApp on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. We support iPads, iPhones and Android devices. There are a few FREE publications in all of the apps, and you can click here to register for a FREE three-month subscription. Go on, what are you waiting for!

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