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  ACTIVITIES Rollin' on the river, courtesy of the Chicago Electric Boat Company

Running out of ideas regarding what to do this summer? Well, it turns out there's nothing like going down the river in a boat built for two ( with social distancing ). I recently cruised down ...


  TRAVEL San Antonio, a spot that defies and embraces Texas

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

San Antonio is one city that encompasses what one may think of Texas—but also extends beyond one's perceptions of the state. Yes, there are the seemingly requisite cowboy hats and ( emblematic of the notion that ...


  WORLD Travel meeting postponed, Hong Kong ruling, African refugees, Grindr sold

The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association—scheduled to take place in Milan, Italy—has been postponed to September/October because of coronavirus concerns, an organizational press release announced. The release stated, "The outbreak of the coronavirus has left all of ...


  Make a pit stop in Indy for a gay ol' time

Approximately three hours outside of Chicago, Indianapolis, Indiana has a lot to offer travelers in terms of cuisine, history and nightlife. Start off by staying at the Conrad Hotel in Downtown Indianapolis to be centrally located ...


  TRAVEL Ireland, Northern Ireland: A land of rainbows

Possibly the friendliest country anywhere, Ireland is a lush, green island in the North Atlantic. The Republic of Ireland is divided in two, with Northern Ireland being a part of the United Kingdom. This splits the ...


  TRAVEL Louisville: Putting a twist on Southern hospitality

The South is renowned for many things—including food and its vaunted hospitality. However, it also has been maligned for, among other things, what non-Southerners might call "backward thinking." Well, take a look at Louisville, which one ...


  The Camino Project, an experiment in travel

Far removed from the constructs of your typical theater experience, Theatre Y evokes participation, both physical and emotional. The Camino Project is an experimental experience birthed from its writer, Evan Hill's and its director, his wife, ...


  Event promotes LGBTQ tourism in Israel

On Aug. 8 at Goddess and the Baker, 225 N. Lasalle St., the Israel Ministry of Tourism hosted a happy hour. The most eye-catching display, perhaps, was the rainbow cake peppered with mini-Israeli flags. Next to ...


  TRAVEL Driftless and daring: Mineral Point, Wisconsin

Thousands of years ago when the glaciers razed the Midwest and flattened the landscape, they left certain areas untouched, unmarred. These areas—known as the "driftless" areas—abound with lush, green, rolling hills and timeless natural splendor. Meander ...


  TRAVEL Arizona: Hot and cool

"Arizonans are like lizards." I heard this sentence while recently visiting the neighboring cities of Phoenix and Tempe—and it certainly wasn't meant to slam residents. Rather, it was a comment on the habits of people who ...


  Gay tourism group cancels Ethopian trip after death threats

Dan Ware, the owner of Chicago-based Toto Tours—which has a mostly gay clientele—has cancelled an October trip to Ethiopia after receiving death threats from people in the African country, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The "Treasures of ...


  TRAVEL Portland: Something for everyone

First things first: Portland isn't nearly as granola as I thought it might be. Before visiting the Western city for the first time, I was told/warned ( by various individuals ) that Portland is, among other ...


  STAYCATION REVIEW The Langham Chicago

The Langham Chicago ( 330 N. Wabash St.; ) has earned plaudits from various publications, including five stars from Forbes. However, I checked out this place to see if it's really worth the money. —Location: ...


  NYC Pride announces World Pride opening ceremony June 26, Whoopi Goldberg to host

NEW YORK, NY, APRIL 05, 2019 — NYC Pride, the host of WorldPride 2019. Stonewall 50,formally unveiled today the location and initial talent line-up of the official Opening Ceremony of WorldPride. The Wednesday, June 26, 2019, ...


  Illinois Office of Tourism Wins Spartacus Traveler Award for #AmazingForAll

CHICAGO— The Illinois Office of Tourism's #AmazingForAll campaign received the Spartacus Traveler Award for best LGBTQ tourism campaign during ITB Berlin, the world's leading travel trade show. Spartacus, a leading LGBTQ travel magazine in Germany, created ...



The European-themed Swissotel Chicago ( 323 E. Wacker Dr.; ) brands itself as a luxury hotel—one of a part of a global chain, and is the only Swissotel in the United States. But is the ...


  STAYCATION REVIEW Fieldhouse Jones

River North spot Fieldhouse Jones ( 312 W. Chestnut St.; ) is certainly unique, thanks to its loft-style rooms, pervasive sports theme and laid-back style. But is it worth your time and, more importantly, money? ...


  TRAVEL Philadelphia, a lot more than the Liberty Bell

Mention Philadelphia, and most people seem to think of two things: Philly steaks and history. Regarding the latter, there are so many well-known places and items, including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and many more. However, ...


  WORLD Marriage news, HIV prosecution, Cuba travel

The president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, on Dec. 5, reiterated her support of marriage rights for same-sex couples, The Washington Blade noted. "There's only one race in the world and that's the human ...


  A visit to the gay capital of South Florida

Witon Manors, Florida, is perfect for a car free, carefree holiday—and it has arguably the best walkable LGBTQ village in the country. The small city is just north of Fort Lauderdale, in the southern part of ...


  TRAVEL Hello, Columbus, Much more than a college town

I've had the good fortune to travel to Columbus, Ohio, a few times—and I've convinced more and more people that it's a great place to visit. Why is that? Because, despite some individuals' perceptions that The ...


  VALUE TRAVEL Downtown LA, The city's walkable gayborhood

Have you been to downtown LA ( DTLA ) lately? If not, plan on a visit soon. I hadn't and was stunned to see that the downtown core has been totally repurposed as a cool hipster ...


  HRC Promotes Workplace Inclusion in Argentina at LGBT Business, Tourism Summit

BUENOS AIRES — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) Foundation, the educational arm of America's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer ( LGBTQ ) civil rights organization, participated in GNETWORK 360, Latin America's ...


  Local women arrange Italy LGBTQ adventures

Chicago's Lesley Pritkin and Rosanne Cofoid are offering LGBTQ-specific adventures in Italy with unique venues for same-sex wedding celebrations and honeymoons that cater to all tastes and budgets. Said venues include tiny secluded towns, sprawling olive ...


  TRAVEL Everything comes up roses in Pasadena

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

Pasadena is peaceful city located just 10 miles northeast of the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. The name "Pasadena" comes from the Chippewa word meaning "crown of the valley," describing the area at the base ...


  VALUE TRAVEL Fabulous Philadelphia, Perfect for a long weekend

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times by Bill Malcolm

Philadelphia makes for a perfect long weekend. Steeped in American history, the city is very walkable and has a great "Gayborhood" filled with lots of bars and restaurants including a great LBGTQ bookstore, Giovanni's Room. ...


  Travel map shows LGBTQI intolerance worldwide

Global travel insurance provider has released a map of ( in )tolerance — revealing which countries are potentially dangerous for LGBTQI travelers because of legal status and societal attitudes. The company says it's important gay ...


  Chicago women launch LGBTQ travel companies specializing in same-sex weddings in Italy

From a press release

CHICAGO, IL ( JUNE2018 ) —To Italy lovers, Rome is the most romantic city in Europe — sorry Paris! Amid passionate residents, spectacular natural beauty, great food, and flowing wine, Italy inspires love for all couples. ...


  Activities in Sullivan, Boutiques, antiques, beaches and more

Sidebar to Sullivan, Illinois, a theater and a thruple thrive

From theatergoers to campers to shoppers, Sullivan caters to tourists. The Little Theatre on the Square is the marquee attraction, but there area is burgeoning with additional options. Read on for things to do and places ...


  MORE ON SULLIVAN Reminiscing about Sullivan's theater


When I was 19 years old I was an Equity Apprentice at the Little Theatre-on-the-Square. At that time, being an apprentice was how you became a member of Actors Equity Association, the actors' and stage managers' ...


  VALUE TRAVEL Saugatuck summer getaway: Beaches, winery and more

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

Saugatuck-Douglas, Michigan, is the only LGBTQ resort area between the Russian River in California and Provincetown in Massachusetts. The area, located just a short hop from Chicago, has something for everyone. —Where to stay: Make ...


  LGBTQ travel conference looks at sustainability

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

Sustainability, diversity and inclusiveness were among the themes at this years International Gay Lesbian Travel Association Conference, held May 9-12 in Toronto. This was the conference's 35th year and featured attendees from 39 countries. Toronto itself ...


  VALUE TRAVEL A weekend getaway to Toronto

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times by Bill Malcolm

Toronto makes a perfect destination for a summer getaway, especially since your U.S. dollar is worth $1.28 Canadian. I was recently there for the International Gay and Lesbian Tourism Association ( IGLTA ) meeting and found ...


  Illinois Tourism Announces New Frank Lloyd Wright Trail in Illinois

From a press release

Chicago, IL — The Illinois Office of Tourism kicks off National Travel and Tourism Week ( NTTW ) May 6-12 by unveiling a new Frank Lloyd Wright Trail in Illinois to celebrate this year's NTTW theme, ...


  VALUE TRAVEL Wisconsin weekend a breeze

A weekend in Wisconsin is a breeze from Chicago. With six round trips daily, the journey to Milwaukee from Chicago takes just 90 minutes on Amtrak. The new Intermodal station takes one within walking distance to ...


  STAYCATION REVIEW LondonHouse Chicago, fabulous-but with a caveat

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

LondonHouse Chicago ( 81 E. Upper Wacker Dr.; ), part of Hilton's Curio Collection, is advertised as a luxury riverfront hotel. Windy City Times lets you know if this is a great staycation/vacation spot. —Location: ...


  VALUE TRAVEL Charlotte: Capital of the New South

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

Have you been to Charlotte, North Carolina, lately? It's reinvented itself again as claims itself to be the capital of the "New South." It is also know as the Queen City. The booming city is a ...


  Chicagoan among new board members of the Int'l Gay & Lesbian Travel Assn

From a press release

Chicagoan Sandi Robinson is among those named to the 2018-2019 International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. The board includes business leaders representing seven countries and a globe-spanning array of brands. Fort Lauderdale, FL ( 27 March ...


  Off the beaten path, 10 Illinois hiking spots worth walking

Illinois boasts a diverse system of state parks and recreation areas, showcasing natural features from towering cliffs to lush valleys, plant life from deep-forest pines to arid cactus, and wildlife of every shape and size. Here ...


  VALUE TRAVEL Celebrate Illinois' bicentennial with a train trip to Springfield

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

Illinois is turning 200 this year and what a better way to celebrate the Land of Lincoln's birthday with a trip on Amtrak to Springfield. Getting there-Springfield is a quick three-plus hours by train from Chicago. ...


  STAYCATION REVIEW Ace Hotel Chicago West Loop Hotel, modern AND retro

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

Ace Hotel Chicago ( 311 N. Morgan St.; ), the West Loop, just opened last year. There's has been quite a bit of hype surrounding the hotel—but is it worth your hard-earned bucks? Windy City ...


  VALUE TRAVEL Washington, D.C., Cherry blossoms, presidential portraits and more

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

Winter officially ends March 1 in the nation's capital but almost anytime of year is perfect for a visit—if only to see the new Presidential portrait of former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle ...


  Community leaders discuss LGBT travel at state confab

Illinois businesses looking to tap into the robust LGBT travel market need to look beyond the affluent "Dual-Income, No Kids" ( DINK ) stereotype, according to panelists at a Feb. 27 presentation. The forum—The Importance of ...


  VALUE TRAVEL The other Vegas, perfect for a winter getaway

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

Las Vegas is a great option for a winter getaway. With temperatures in the 70s, it is not too hot and is also very sunny and dry. There is lots to do besides gambling, seeing the ...


  STAYCATION REVIEW Millennium Knickerbocker, History, and a bit more

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

The Millennium Knickerbocker hotel ( 163 E. Walton Pl.; ) has been open since 1927, and has entertained everyone from Al Capone to John F. Kennedy to Janet Jackson—but how does this historic spot compare ...


  State travel/tourism conference in Chicago in Feb.

The Illinois Governor's Conference will hold three days of high-level speakers, educational panels and key networking opportunities in early 2018 in Chicago. The 2018 Illinois Governor's Conference on Travel and Tourism will take place Feb. 26-28 ...


  VALUE TRAVEL Puerto Vallarta

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is a bargain LGBT winter escape holiday adventure. Entrees are seven dollars, and it's four dollars for wine. Plus, it is arguably the most gay-friendly city in North America. Think Boystown combined with ...


  TRAVEL Taking in Tennessee

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

Nashville is the capital of Tennessee that is quickly growing too big for its britches. Windy City Times took a road trip down South to narrow down some of the new travel offerings and provide a ...


  TRAVEL Norfolk, Virginia: Naval-gazing--and much more

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

Norfolk, Virginia has certainly changed a lot since I grew up in the Hampton Roads area ( which includes such cities as Norfolk, Chesapeake, Williamsburg and Portsmouth, among others ). Of course, there are some things ...


  TRAVEL A WeHo car-free winter escape

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

Winter is the perferct time to visit Southern California. With temperatures in the high 60s to 70s ( and everything in bloom as it is the rainy season ), the area is a great respite from ...


  Illinois Gov Conf. on Travel and Tourism in Chicago

The Illinois Governor's Conference on Travel and Tourism is the state's premier gathering of tourism conference. Each year, the Illinois Governor's Conference brings the state's tourism industry and marketing professionals together for three days of high-level ...


  STAYCATION REVIEW Cambria hotel: Keeping guests in the Loop

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

The Cambria Chicago Loop/Theatre District hotel ( 32 W. Randolph St.; ) has been open for a few months, and seems to be ideally situated for travelers and theatergoers—but is this hotel truly worth your ...


  TRAVEL Charleston's Southern flair

"People come to Charleston, first, for its history and, second, for its food." These words were uttered by Charleston Area CVB's C. Doug Warner during a recent LGBT media trip to Charleston, South Carolina—and a recent ...


  Chicago setting tourism record

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the city is on track to reach the goal of 55 million visitors annually at the end of this year—three years early, according to a press release. Chicago has been ...


  Mountain high: Yellowstone Country Montana

Hi, my name is Kirk and I have problems with anxiety. From the moment the cat wakes me up at 5 a.m. with that ravenous look in her eye, to the seemingly endless procession of stop ...


  STAYCATION REVIEW The Ritz-Carlton: Class, comfort by Water Tower

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

I have stayed in many and varied hotels: As a pretty utilitarian sort, I never expected to stay in the Ritz-Carlton ( 160 E. Pearson St.; ). Recently redesigned with a chic, modern, yet still ...


  VALUE TRAVEL D.C. weekend getaway ideas

by Bill Malcolm

Fall is the perfect time to visit Washington, D.C.. The temperatures are cooler and fall lingers. The fall colors in the mountains west of D.C. ( Skyline Drive ) are great if you have a car ...


  DIVERSIONS: REVIEW Escape Reality: Expect fun, challenges

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

Want to do something different with a group of friends, business colleagues or even your significant other? Well, Escape Reality ( 158 W. Erie St.; ) is now in Chicago after opening its flagship location ...


  TRAVEL Checking out Saugatuck this fall

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times by Bill Malcolm

The Saugatuck area of southwest Michigan is offers plenty to do this fall in this charming city and surrounding area. The area consists of Saugatuck itself which is an art colony full of shops and restaurants ...


  STAYCATION REVIEW The Robey: A stylish, fun time in Wicker Park

There has been a lot of buzz about The Robey Chicago ( 2018 W. North Ave.; ) concerning everything from its restaurant to its rooftop—so I figured I had to check out this spot. ( ...


  Frank Lloyd Wright's Michigan masterpiece tour

From a press release

Experience a Prairie residence exactly as Frank Lloyd Wright intended when the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust takes a day trip from Chicago to Grand Rapids, Mich. to visit the restored Meyer May House, plus a private ...


  STAYCATION REVIEW Feeling the vibe at ACME Hotel Company

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

I was really feeling the edgy, musical vibe at a recent staycation at ACME Hotel Company ( 15 E. Ohio St.; ). However, it felt strangely familar—and I figured out why. I had, not so ...


  Provincetown and Boston: Perfect for a fall getaway

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times by Bill Malcolm

Put Provincetown on your bucket list if you have never been. Fall is a perfect time to visit Ptown ( as it is called ) as hotel rates are half peak season, the weather is still ...


  BUDGET TRAVEL Wisconsin: Great for biking

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times By Bill Malcolm

There is no finer summer vacation spot in the Midwest than Wisconsin. How do I know? I grew up in Madison and am a frequent visitor. Bring your bike if you drive. Madison and Milwaukee are ...


  BOOKS Brandon Hayes turns his camera toward U.S. parks

by Jake Ekdahl

Brandon Hayes is a professional photographer who specializes in nature photography. He and his husband, Sean Santos, plan to travel to and photograph all 59 U.S. national parks. ( Their trips are documented on ) ...


  Ken Schneck on his travelogue, radio show and teaching career

Ken Schneck's world changed forever in 2010, when he decided to go on a NGO ( non-governmental organization ) volunteer trip to Uganda. Before that trip, Schneck's experience with adventure consisted of Club Meds during his ...


  Travel with Pride in Illinois: New ideas for LGBTQ trips

From a press release

Chicago, IL — In celebration of Pride Month in June, the Illinois Office of Tourism introduced new trip ideas for LGBTQ visitors around Chicago, Oak Park, and Galena. With a variety of attractions around the state, ...


  TRAVEL IN ILLINOIS Great River Road, National Forest, Wine Country, Indian Mounds, Eclipse

Spending tourist dollars in a blue state surrounded entirely by red

The state of Illinois offers up amazing views and attractions from north to south and east to west. What follows are highlights, but you can see many more at the Illinois Office of Tourism website: ...


  TRAVEL IN ILLINOIS Four towns in DOWNSTATE ILLINOIS well worth the time

Vacations don't need to be expensive. Road trips can be thrilling, educational, and most importantly, a lot of fun. Exploring the sights, sensations, and hidden treasures of almost anywhere can be an unforgettable experience. Recently I ...


  TRAVEL: Getting Out: LGBTQ events and mainstream treats


Chicago is not just a city of neighborhoods—it is also a city of festivals, from major downtown venues to local street fairs, block parties, and other special events through the city and suburbs, and across the ...


  TRAVEL in ILLINOIS LGBTs in Oak Park and Western Cook County

Oak Park, the charming and historically significant village just west of Chicago, is unlike many of the communities that make up Chicagoland. As one of the first villages to roll out a domestic-partnership registry for same-sex ...


  TRAVEL IN ILLINOIS Oak Park: The Village Wright Built

With his renowned home and studio in the heart of its historic district, Oak Park has long been a good launching pad for exploring Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture. However, many people don't know that Oak Park ...


  STAYCATION REVIEW The highs of Loews Chicago Hotel

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

You'd expect a hotel that offers gourmet room-service menu items for pets to be pretty unique and luxurious. On both counts, Streeterville's Loews Chicago Hotel ( 455 N. Park St.; ) succeeds, although the luxury ...


  OUT! Chicago, Illinois LGBTQ Visitor's Guide available

From a press release

Visitors to Chicago and Illinois have a guide to help navigate LGBTQ and mainstream events and places to see: The 2017 OUT! Chicago and Illinois LGBTQ Visitor's Guide is now available. The 124-page guide, published by ...


  ManKind group invites GBTQQ men to training

Chicago-area men who identify as gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning ( GBTQQ ) have the opportunity to experience The ManKind Project's ( MKP's ) New Warrior Training Adventure ( NWTA ) this summer. The GBTQQ-specific ...

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