By Smart Destinations

Chicago’sthriving LGBT population is largely concentrated in two neighborhoods: Boystownand Andersonville. Boystown, located in East Lakeview, is considered America’sfirst official gay neighborhood and is proudly the gayest region in Chicago.Andersonville, north of Boystown, boasts a more diverse population including astrong Scandinavian and Middle Eastern presence among its vibrant gay andlesbian community.

Whetheryou’re planning to trek down the Magnificent Mile or just looking for a newgay-friendly getaway, Boystown and Andersonville are prime spots for gaytravelers to enjoy a superb vacation. There are so many things to do inChicago but make sure you checkout some (or all!) of the following Boystown and Andersonville hot spots whileyou’re there.


·       Dine:  Fora lively crowd, full bar, and fantastic French food, visit Firefly, a French-inspired American bistro. This funky yet romanticspot is right in the heart of Boystown.

·       Drink & Dance: For a wild night out with adiverse crowd, stop at Spin Nightclub.Spin features 2 dance floors, 4 full service bars, several lounge areas, andstate-of-the-art sound and light systems. Every Friday night, Spin hosts a Shower Party followed by a ShowerContest that you won’t want to miss.

·       Shop:  Stock up on “gay gear” (everything fromrainbow adorned souvenirs to sex toys) at Chicago’s Gay Mart.  Need something towear for your night out? Stop by CRAMFashion to try on the hottest European trends.

·       Relax: Kick back and catch a flick at Music Box Theater. This historic andstylish cinema screens classics and recent films of the independent variety.


·       Dine: If you want upscale dining, experiencethe modish atmosphere and flavorful food atJin Ju Korean restaurant. For a less swanky (but just as delicious)breakfast, dine in at Tweet,notorious as a hangover spot and loved for its breakfast burritos and oversizedpancakes made with mostly organic ingredients.

·       Drink & Dance: Whether you’re in for asophisticated evening or a naughty night, there’s a bar for you inAndersonville. Visit Marty’s, anintimate, upscale martini bar, for expertly made martinis in a high-endatmosphere. Head over to Atmosphere(@mosphere) for a night of fun complete with sexy male dancers and daily drinkspecials.

·       Shop: Find fashion-forward garments at His Stuff, a male clothing storefeaturing top brand names.

·       Relax: Treat yourself to a spa day at Continuum Studio. This all-inclusivespa has services ranging from massages to waxing to skin care treatments andfeatures custom-designed spa packages to suit your individual needs!

Bonus Stop: If you’re traveling to Chicago inthe summer, you will definitely want to hit Hollywood Beach (now officiallycalled Kathy Osterman Beach) on the coast of Lake Michigan for fun in the sandunder the sun. It’s a popular beach for all Chicagoans and tourists, but thegay community and their friends tend to hang out on the south side of thebeach.

Smart Destinations is the premier provider of unlimited admission sightseeing passes in 15 major North American travel destinations from Oahu to New York City. Smart Destinations’ Go City Cards and Explorer Passes offer pre-paid access to over 425 museums, attractions, and tours for one low fixed price. 

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