Ed Salvato is editor-in-chief of the award-winning Out Traveler magazine, its Web site OutTraveler.com and exciting new blog, GPS. A pre-eminent gay travel expert, Ed speaks often about gay travel and is frequently quoted in the press. He writes a monthly syndicated travel column and appears regularly on radio and TV.
I am looking for an inexpensive vacation spot for my boyfriend and me. We would prefer something within driving distance to Chicago and we only have time for a very short-term vacation. Any ideas?
There are a plethora of fantastic options within easy driving distance of Chicago. For instance, it?s 2.5 hours drive to Saugatuck. Dubbed the "Cape Cod of the Midwest," the diminutive twin towns of Saugatuck and Douglas are a gay-friendly haven on the languid shores of Lake Michigan. These resort towns boast all the quaintness and lack of pretense of small-town America -- along with a surprising diversity and tolerance, a thriving artistic community, and a very visible gay presence. Saugatuck attracts mainly those from nearby Chicago, though you'll see visitors from throughout the Midwest.
If you?re more in the mood for an urban escape, you?ve got some of our favorite college towns within a few hours drive, including Madison (2.5 hours), Ann Arbor (4 hours), Bloomington (4 hours), and Columbus (6 hours).
In a recent article, Andrew Collins wrote, ?[Columbus is] still a secret to some -- especially those coastal dwellers who mistakenly assume that Chicago is the only Midwestern metropolis with a dynamic gay scene -- but the liberal and prosperous city of Columbus enjoys a phenomenal ?family? following. ?. That?s due in part to its proximity to the ?bertrendy Short North district, a giddy jumble of queer-frequented lounges, clubs, coffeehouses, and shops.? Click here to read the rest of the article and to discover more of the thrilling cities just a few hours drive away.