Go Gay USA: Chicago
We just returned from the Windy City where we had a great seven days of fun.
Although you can have fun anywhere in the city, Boystown and just to the north on Clark Street is where the main gay action is. There are dozens of gay owned bars, restaurants and shops in the area.
We stayed at the Ashland Arms Guest House Bed and Breakfast, just north of Boystown, in an old hotel dating from the 1920’s the new owners have renovated to perfection.
The rooms are spacious and beautiful. On weekends they serve a wonderful full breakfast; the hosts, Michael, Eric and Jimmy are very professional and friendly.
Walk out the front door and take a few steps is the city bus stop which will take you anywhere in the city and just a few minutes to the heart of Boystown.
On Clark Street we found a leather bar on both sides of one intersection with a fantastic neighborhood bar across the street. We really enjoyed the Jackhammer Bar next door.
Across the street is a new bar that recently opened called the Parlour. It is one of the nicest and most friendly neighborhood bars we have visited anywhere from coast to coast.
Chicago is full of culture. We were busy every morning and afternoon visiting the Adler Planetarium, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Botanic Garden, The Field Museum, the John Shedd Aquarium, the Lincoln Park Conservatory, Lincoln Park Zoo, Millennium Park, Navy Pier and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
You can purchase a "City Pass" which lets you go to all of these places at a greatly reduced price.
The performing arts is alive and well. We got to see the Broadway show, Billy Elliot when we were there. They also have the Chicago Opera Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Joffrey Ballet, the Music of the Baroque as well as others.
For fine dining, we highly recommend Jack’s on Halsted, 3201 No. Clark. We had one of the best steaks that we have had in years. Everything is made fresh and they have a great ambiance.
For Mexican food, be sure and dine at Las Mananitas, 3523 No. Clark. It is one of the finest Mexican restaurants in the entire Midwest. We used taste buds that we have not used in a long time. Service and ambiance was terrific.
For casual dining, we enjoyed Hamburger Mary’s, 5400 No. Clark. We have dined at several Hamburger Mary’s around the country and this one is the best. It’s fun, campy and outrageous plus they have great food.
The bar scene in Chicago runs the entire range of whatever you are into including a piano bar, leather bars, dance clubs, neighborhood bars and meg-bars.
You really do not nor need a car when visiting Chicago. We took Amtrak there - the station is right downtown.
Public transportation in Chicago is one of the best in the nation. The Bus system as well as the El takes you within 3 or 4 blocks of anywhere in the city.
They are safe and clean. Downtown Chicago is a treat to itself with the magnificent shopping and architecture.
Of all the cities in the country, it is easier to get around in Chicago than anywhere. Their public transportation system is simply the best and the city is laid out so well so that you can get anywhere quickly and safe.
Sightseeing tours around the city as well as on the Tall Ship Windy which takes a cruise out to Lake Michigan can be quite an adventure.
For more information on Chicago, go to www.gaycities.com to get more information on the bar scene and www.funmaps.com has great maps to check out. For a complete listing of things to do when in Chicago, visit www.explorechicago.com .