Businesses are the building blocks of any great US state. From cooking up a feast to providing luxury establishments for you to stay, amazing places to patronize will make any trip to a destination memorable.
Which is also why Illinois is one of the best places to visit, as it’s positively brimming with restaurants, BnBs, and interesting shops run by and for LGBTI people, proving just how open the state is for the community.
So while it’s always important to support local businesses, supporting LGBTI businesses is even better. Next time you’re in the state, get yourself down to these businesses run by LGBTI people.
1 The Jail Hill Inn, Galena
Found in Galena, The Jail Hill Inn is a bed and breakfast offering luxury and hospitality in equal measure. The building sits atop a hill, giving gorgeous views of the surrounding area. Alongside the eye candy, though, are equally well-designed rooms, boasting big beds and traditional interiors. Yet no BnB is complete without amazing food, which is why they offer a delicious three course breakfast and nightly wine and cheese evenings.
2 Inn at Irish Hollow, Galena
This gorgeous country bed and breakfast isn’t just a super-romantic getaway perfect for same-sex couples, it’s also LGBTI run. Guests can stay in a variety of wonderful cabins complete with fireplaces, luscious baths and beds you can sink into. What seals the deal here is its awesome location. You’re not just staying in a gorgeous hideaway, but you’re surrounded by the stunning sights of the countryside.
3 Hewn Bread, Evanston
Hewn specializes in hand-made artisan bread, with the result being some delicious and Insta-worthy creations. Each loaf is mixed, shaped and baked by hand, using local ingredients. This local-made philosophy is used in the bakery’s design, with everything from the wood panels to the lights being sourced locally.
4 Wood, Chicago
This Boystown restaurant has been earning international acclaim since it opened in 2012. The restaurant has won the Michelin Bib Gourmand Award – a prestigious accolade given to eateries of incredible talent with affordable prices – several years in a row thanks to a creative menu of small and large plates. When they’re not blowing you away with its exquisite food, they’re delivering amazing cocktails and an atmosphere fitting for its Boystown location.
5 The Cardologist, Springfield
A business with its tongue firmly in its cheek, The Cardologist has been a Springfield resident for thirty years now. It showcases the best in Illinois humor, with everything from family-friendly jokes to gifts that would make your mom blush. The perfect place to stop by for a souvenir or a cheeky gift for a loved one.
6 The Phoenix Center, Springfield
The Phoenix Center started its life as a small space created by LGBTI teens for them to meet safely. It has since grown into a massive resource center, helping young people through the promotion of equality, health, and education. Alongside the more serious stuff, they host fun events for young people to attend, fostering a true sense of community.
This excellent initiative shows how much Illinois looks after LGBTI businesses. The organization exists to promote and champion LGBTI businesses throughout the state, all while increasing exposure and serving the community. It gives a support system both socially and economically, while supporting the wider community, making it invaluable to the state.
Illinois Office of Tourism is a partner of Gay Star News.