Gay Travel: A Look at Queer Berlin

Author: , February 28th, 2011

Berlin's Queer SceneQueer Berlin is almost a tautology. In a city in which homosexuality was once glorified, and then so horribly vilified, today LGTB culture is a driving force of the Berlin underground, as DW’s Stuart Braun found out.

A weeknight at Roses bar in Berlin: men with men, women with women, men with women, Kanye West shaking walls padded in pink fluorescent faux fur, disco balls reflecting luminous garlands of kitsch fairy lights, leopard skin chairs filling up with smiling regulars.

Chris, my neighbor at the cramped bar, first visited in 1993 and says Roses hasn’t changed since. It’s a Berlin gay bar, kind of, but as midnight approaches it’s simply a party as the music gets louder and hostess Gabriella shells out more shots, habitués always kissing before clinking glasses.

This is Berlin’s Kreuzburg district, predominantly Turkish, and better known for its raw indie kudos than campy corners like Roses. But look closer. Queer culture is arguably the defining force in this bastion of the Berlin underground. Right next door to Roses is SO36, Berlin’s punk and rock ‘n roll venue of lore – David Bowie and Iggy Pop, then Berliners, attended the opening in 1978 – but also a queer scene playground, including the Gayhane parties where the pan-Arabic and Turkish LGTB scene let loose to Oriental beats.

Full Story from DW-World

Click here for gay travel resources in Germany.

OutGames Coming to Vancouver in July

Author: , February 28th, 2011

Vancouver OutGamesPerched on a stool at the Pumpjack, Roge Gariepy’s eyes widen. “Get out! We’ve known since 2008? I don’t see any publicity,” he says when asked if he’s aware that the Outgames are coming to town. “No one has talked to me about it,” he adds. “I hope they’re planning a big blitz, because the time is now so people can plan, not two months before the event.

Organizers should “start flying the Outgames flag down at English Bay, where they fly all the flags,” he suggests. “Anywhere they put an Olympic flag, stick an Outgames flag. And not just in the West End but in the whole city. It’s going to be a major event.”

Brett Chamberland, who works at Junction Pub, does recall hearing about the Outgames a year ago. “I actually forgot about it,” he admits. “You should have something where everyone comes down and they can meet some of the athletes,” he says. “Have a little mini-Games to get into the spirit. Have a hockey net set up, something like that would be fun to get the youth involved, just to get everyone like, ‘Yeah, it’s here, it’s exciting.'”

Full Story from Xtra

Click here for gay travel resources in Vancouver.

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Harborfront Inn, Greenport, Long Island

Author: , February 27th, 2011

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Gay Friendly Long island Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Harbourfront Inn, Greenport, Long island, new YorkWelcome to the Harborfront Inn, a beaufitul boutique hotel on Long Island’s North Fork, with thirty five guest rooms, including junior suites and the remarkable seven hundred sf Terrace Suite.

Each of our guest rooms is stylishly designed with custom furnishings and artwork, and includes many amenities for your luxury and comfort.

The Harborfront Inn has thirty five oversized guest rooms, including five suites. Each large room, averaging four hundred square-feet, is decorated in warm earth tones that complement our custom-built cherrywood furniture. Most of our rooms have private balconies offering fantastic views of Peconic Bay, Greenport Harbor, Shelter Island and Mitchell Park & Marina.

Each of our guest rooms offers flatscreen TV’s, CD players. high speed internet, goose-down comforters, refrigerators, and safes for your valuables. Our bathrooms include designer fixtures, limestone vanities, above-counter sinks and wall mounted faucets, stone-tiled walls and floors and shower enclosures with five adjustable massaging body sprays.

See the Harborfront Inn Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay New York City is Non-Stop, 24-7

Author: , February 27th, 2011

Gay New York CityThe warmth of the vodka is settling nicely across my face, improving my complexion and adding a rosy pallor to my demeanor. I slide my keycard in the door and excitedly open it. A weekend in New York, how exciting, I mumble to myself privately. My brainchatter stops in mid-syllable as I drink in my temporary home: a two-story loft mini-apartment on the 18th floor of the W New York. It’s palatial!

Oh my goodness, it has two bathrooms! Look at this view! Built-in speakers connected to satellite radio throughout! Wet bar! Did someone say party?

I drop my bags and do a little jig, because I have a weekend in New York and I couldn’t be more ecstatic. I used to live in Brooklyn, and left because it was a bit too much for me. Visiting for three nights is perfect – just enough time to get my fill and get out before it eats my brain.

Full Story from GayTravel.com

Click here for gay travel resources in new York City.

New Gay Priscilla Tours to Trek Thru the Australian Outback

Author: , February 27th, 2011

Priscilla ToursAlways had a dream to travel to the centre of Australia, climb Kings Canyon in a full-length Gaultier, sequined heels and tiara? Are you ready to pack your drag and be one of the first aboard a spectacularly fabulous tour following the footsteps of Felicia, Mitzy and Bernadette in the movie Priscilla, Queen of the Desert?

With the new Priscilla Desert Tours you can now board a luxurious five-star coach leaving Broken Hill on a seven-day journey through the magnificent Australian outback to Alice Springs. You’ll be buzzing with the contrast of vast wilderness and neverending horizons, three-inch heels and glitter.

Priscilla Desert Tours has created a luxury tour the girls could only have dreamed about, where you will be the star on board this gay and lesbian-only outback desert tour. Incorporating the best of the famous scenes from the movie in this ultimate road trip, you’ll be enjoying a seafood and champagne dinner cruise on the Spencer Gulf one day and flying high over Uluru in a helicopter the next.

Full Story from the Star Observer

Click here for gay travel resources in the Northern Territory, Australia.

Philadelphia Cracks the Top 10 Gay Friendliest US Cities

Author: , February 27th, 2011

Gay PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia broke into the top 10 U.S. destinations visited by gay and lesbian travelers in 2010-just seven years after the launch of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation’s ( GPTMC ) groundbreaking Philadelphia – Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay(R) campaign. According to expert gay and lesbian research company Community Marketing, Inc.’s annual LGBT Tourism Study, Philadelphia tied for the #9 spot on the list of most-visited destinations and tied for the #2 spot on the list of the destinations most effectively promoting to LGBT travelers. Before GPTMC’s gay and lesbian tourism marketing campaign kicked off in 2003, the region ranked outside the top 20 destinations.

“This is great news for Philadelphia, a destination that relies on high-yield markets such as gay and lesbian travelers,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of GPTMC. “These visits mean jobs for our residents and economic impact for the whole region.”

In partnership with San Francisco-based Community Marketing, Inc., GPTMC created a custom study about Philadelphia’s gay and lesbian travelers. Here are some key findings from the report, titled Philadelphia’s Gay and Lesbian Visitors: Despite the recession, Philadelphia’s gay and lesbian travelers are spending more money ( 57% ) on their trips than the region’s general market visitors.

Full Story from the Windy City Times

Click here for gay travel resources in Philadelphia.

Ireland’s Beautiful North Coast

Author: , February 26th, 2011
by Trevor Kelso, Carnately Lodge, Ballycastle, Ireland
Email Trevor | Visit the Carnately Lodge Website

Visit the Purple Roofs Ireland page

Ireland's North Coast

Welcome to the beautiful north coast of Northern Ireland.

Experience the Causeway Coastal Route, one of the world’s great road journeys. The Causeway Coastal Route provides a journey of exploration, where imagination meets reality and where every village and town, castle and rocky shore are waiting to be discovered.

Ireland's North CoastIt is a fine base to travel to see the magnificent world heritage site of the Giants causeway. Discover the legend and magic of this wonderful site. This is Ireland’s top tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Giant’s Causeway displays unusual formations of six sided baslt rocks and columns, amid a wealth of local and natural history.

Also the world famous Old Bushmills Whiskey Distillery is nearby. Why not opt for the guided tour and taste free samples of this fine whiskey.Also learn the secrets of the special water from Saint Columb’s Rill in Ireland’s Oldest Licenced distillery.

The romantic ruins of Dunluce Castle are nearby as well.

This 14th Century Castle is thought to be the most romantic and picturesque Castle in Ireland.

These are just a few of the fabulous sites around Ballycastle.

Why not attempt to cross the rope bridge at Carrick-a Rede. This rope bridge spams a 24 metre deep chasm from the mainland to give access to a salmon fishery.

Or travel over to the nearby Rathlin Island and do some seal or bird spotting.

Ireland's North CoastThe North Antrim Coast and Glens hosts a world of magnificent scenery, both of the rugged cliff top and shore line drives. View over to Rathlin Island and beyond to Scotland. If interested try a spot of deep sea fishing.

Cycle through the Glens of Antrim or perhaps try a round of Golf on the many Golf Courses around the coast.

If you want to travel to see Historical Derry City it is only an hours drive away. Here you walk around the old walls of the city and see the historical monuments. Derry/Londonderry is the only remaining walled city in Ireland

Carnately Lodge - Ireland's North CoastCarnately Lodge Bed and Breakfast is on the outskirts of Ballycastle, and welcomes all guests to Ireland but is quite happy for LGBT travellers to come and enjoy the company of the owners Trevor and Robert. Carnately is a boutique style Bed and Breakfast offering a peaceful and charming rest to the weary traveller. All dietary requirements can be catered for, so whilst you may enjoy a hearty Ulster Fry for breakfast why not try something lighter like our local free range eggs scrambled served with Smoked Irish Salmon.

Trips can be arranged to various locations, cycle hire can be arranged as well as horse riding, golf, fishing trips, shopping trips etc. So when in Ireland give Carnately Lodge a call and have a wonderful stay. Carnately Lodge. Bed and Breakfast. 51 Moyarget Road, Ballycastle. BT54 6HJ. County Antrim. Tel. 0044(0)2820978626.

Vancouver: Maybe Not the Gayest, But the Best?

Author: , February 26th, 2011

Gay VancouverI am surrounded by gays, and I’ve only been in Vancouver for two hours! I’m sitting with my boyfriend Kevin at Glowbal in Vancouver’s trendy Yaletown district. We’ve just dropped our bags at the Opus Hotel, a popular boutique hotel that came highly recommended among friends.

Brunch is the name of the game, and the gays reign supreme no matter what country. Even so, I was surprised to see so much gay in such a concentrated space: A big group of Canuck gays at 10 o’clock, Dutch gays in tight jeans at my 9 o’clock, and a gaggle o’ gays just arriving.

“Do we have a reso?,” questions one black-clad gentlemen to another, over his shoulder. There’s no answer as they swoosh inside, where I hope they discovered whether or not they had a reservation. I shot Kevin a look, and we both started laughing.

Full Story from GayTravel.com

Click here for gay travel resources in Vancouver, BC.

Miami White Party Begins March 6th

Author: , February 26th, 2011

Miami Winter PartySince 1994 the Winter Party Festival has kept South Beach a hot, happening place for Florida residents and snowbirds alike. This year more than 10,000 revelers are expected to attend the events, which are planned by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. You can also feel good about ticket purchases, as two-thirds of revenue supports local organizations, through grants administered by the Miami Foundation. The remaining third sponsors the task force nationally.

“Miami Beach is, arguably, the world’s favorite playground,” said Chad Richter, Festival Chairman of the Winter Party. “Our centerpiece event is the Winter Party Beach Party because heading to the beach is the main reason people come to Miami from all over the world during the winter.”

The famous beach party will take place Sunday, March 6, from noon until 6 p.m. at Lummus Park and 12th Street, one of the most famous gay beaches in the world. Each year the Winter Party Festival partners with different vendors, venues, and performers so that the party can grow each year.

Full Story from SFGN

Click here for gay travel resources in Miami Beach.

The Big Gay Train Departing Napa on March 12th

Author: , February 26th, 2011

Napa's Big Gay TrainWhen the Big Gay Train pulls into the Napa Valley Wine Train station on Mar. 12, it will be full of, what else, Big Gay Winemakers. The group is gathering for a gourmet dinner chugging down the rail tracks, with plenty of good food and wine, and, well, a big old gay time. Now, before anyone starts firing off cranky emails my way, let’s note that I cobbled together this faboo event description from the event organizers themselves, a clever new group calling themselves Out in the Vineyard.

As an “experiential Wine Country tour and event company promoting positive LGBT lifestyles and offering exclusive, luxury itineraries and events to the discriminating gay and lesbian traveler,” Out’s mission is come up with delicious, different things to do.

Such as enlisting the talents of five of NorCal’s finest gay winemakers and winery owners to host a marvy meals-on-wheels party anchored by a five-course dinner paired with the winemakers’ favorite wines. After dinner, guests can continue the theme, with special overnight packages offered at the gay-owned Chablis Inn of Napa.

“We were trying to come up with something original and fun,” says Out in the Vineyard founder Gary Saperstein, who, along with partner Mark Vogler, formed the business last June. “We asked the folks at Napa Valley Wine Train, and they loved the idea.”

Full Story from The Inside Scoop

Click here for gay travel resources in Napa County, California.