Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Hillcrest Inn, Seaside, OR

Author: , April 30th, 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 Oregon North Coast Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Hillcrest Inn, Seaside, OregonWelcome to the Hillcrest Inn in Seaside, Oregon – we offer guest lodging with a Cape Cod ambience. At our seaside inn, you’ll find cottages, spa-rooms, mini-suites and traditional guest rooms.

Many of our guest rooms include with full/partial kitchens, as well as wood or gas fireplaces.

The Hillcrest Inn is just half a block from the beach and two blocks from Seaside’s charming downtown district.

See the Hillcrest Inn Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Dolly Travels A Beautiful Day in Paris

Author: , April 30th, 2011

Gay Friendly Paris Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Our dear friend, Bella (Dolly Goolsby) is on the go again, this time starting in Paris.  She has graciously allowed us to republish her travel blogs. Enjoy!

Paris

Wednesday, 20 April

ParisFinally, the weather has warmed up a bit. Over the weekend it just kept getting warmer, but breezy. Yesterday and today were just perfect. Sunday we got on the hop on- hop off bus, and toured the city, then, since it was a 2-day pass, we did the reverse yesterday.

We still managed to walk at least 3 miles each day, probably more. We did find out that our days of not running into tourists are finished. On Sunday, we stopped before we got to Notre Dame, as the square in front of the church was packed. We did get to see a line dance demonstration in front of the Hotel de Ville, the city hall. That was interesting!

{arosWe went back to the Eiffel Tower area yesterday, walked through the park there, then walked on back to our apartment. I went to the grocery, but couldn’t find what a wanted, but Frank in the meantime, found a very nice bar in a hotel, that served very gourmet small plates, so we ended up doing those four our dinner. Very elegant.

Today we walked even further than before. We left home about 9:30, had our usual breakfast at the boulangerie on the corner, then headed toward the Invalides area. We went across the Pont Alexandre, to the Place Concorde, to the Madelaine Church, to the Opera, had lunch, then walked back home by the Louvre, followed the river for a bit, finally getting back here about 3:30.

We are sure seeing a lot of Paris, but have not gone to one museum yet. We are just enjoying being here, having the leisure to stop when we want, do just what we want. Pretty fun! But not too exciting for a blog. All the walking is keeping the calories from adding pounds to us, I hope.

Paris

As I said before, we haven’t been doing anything exciting, but on a personal note, my Italian language has improved. It took me 3 days to quit saying “Si” and start saying “Oui”.

I cannot get the hang of this language where every word has at least 5 vowels and you don’t pronounce any of them.

We wanted to find a laundromat, and no matter how I tried, no success. I had Rick Steves’ phrase book, plus a dictionary, and still no go. Frank, naturalemente, does better than me. I even had to learn to pronounce wine differently.

Now, wouldn’t you think a word that is so simple, spelled VIN would sound like vin?.. Oh no, it is VAAN..I did get the “rouge” is red, now I had to make my choice between a verre (glass) and a pichet (pitcher), then if I wanted a verre, did I want 15 cl, 30 cl, or 50 cl? Not a chance of getting a full liter of house wine….we had to get 2 orders of 50 cl…did someone out there send a notice that I was on my way here?

Am I to be subjected to the French AA? Now I am, in my mind, translating English to Italian, then to French….that doesn’t work, either, as my Italian is pretty bad, too.

Paris

But, I do have to say, we have not encountered snooty waiters, or rude salespeople. The Parisiens that we have met, are very cordial, welcoming, happy that we are here. We are having a great time, but I wish I knew a few more words in French. However, we are doing OK, and my interpretation of their language does give them something to talk about.

Now, tomorrow we are going to do the Paris Historic Tour, as outlined by Rick Steves. Then, in the next few days, we will take a tour of the castles in the Loire Valley, south of Paris. We have decided to do a guided tour for that…getting lazy, I guess, butntrain connections are not the best form those castles.

Au revoir for now,
Dolly

Want to Follow Bella’s Latest Adventure Directly? Check Out Dolly Travels

OH: Columbus Pride Turns Thirty

Author: , April 30th, 2011

Ohio’s capital city, known as one of the most gay- and lesbian-friendly destinations in the U.S., is making final preparations for its Columbus Pride Festival, which attracts more than 100,000 visitors. One of the 10 largest gay pride celebrations in the country, this year’s festival is slated for Fri., June 17 through Sun., June 19, while June is filled with Pride-related events around Columbus. Complete travel information is found at experiencecolumbus.com/glbt and Pride Celebration event information is available at columbuspride.org.

With the support of various Columbus patrons and Stonewall Columbus, the Columbus Pride Festival celebrates 30 years this summer, having debuted in 1981. Stonewall Columbus uses the event to raise funds to support its pursuit of fairness, equality and safety for the GLBT community.

The annual event includes a festival, rally and parade, which takes place at noon, Sat., June 18, beginning in downtown Columbus and finishing at Goodale Park in the nearby Short North Arts District. June 19 features a Pride Brunch and the Columbus Lesbian and Gay Softball Association’s wildly colorful and popular Bat n’ Rouge softball game, pitting the Drag Queens against the Dykes.

Full Story from Out in Cincinnati

Click here for gay travel resources in Ohio.

Gay Travel: A Walking Tour in Berlin

Author: , April 30th, 2011

Berlin Holocaust MemorialIf you cannot make it to Berlin anytime soon, please allow me take you on a little walking tour through one of my favorite European cities via my travel photos.

Berlin is my favorite big cities in Europe right now especially because it is incredibly International and it is quite easy to get around speaking and reading English. The people are fun, happy friendly, educated, classy, and energetic. This is a veritable hot spot for any jet setting cosmopolitan on the go when visiting Europe.

Paris and London and Madrid are great, but Berlin is all of that plus it is noticeably more affordable and friendly than those others. Berlin is incredibly flat and makes for easy walking from all the eye popping landmarks. Since World War II and the bombing There are museums and walk from eye popping historical landmark to eye popping historical landmark then Berlin is your place.

Full Story from the Boy Butter Blog

Click here for gay travel resources in Germany.

Manchester Pride Turns Twenty One

Author: , April 30th, 2011

Manchester PrideORGANISERS of this year’s Manchester Pride festival are planning the mother of all parties to celebrate their big 21st birthday of the extravaganza.

I hear bosses will be pulling out all the stops for the landmark anniversary of the event, which celebrates the lesbian, gay and transgender culture in Manchester.

Tickets officially go on sale on Sunday, and organisers and celebrities were preparing for the launch with a huge bash at Taurus bar tonight.
Bosses are now busily working on securing a host of star name acts to appear during the festival’s Big Weekend, which runs over the four days of August 26-29.

Full Story from the Manchester Evening News

Click here for gay travel resources in Lancashire, UK.

Mariposa County, California: John Muir Route Celebration in June

Author: , April 29th, 2011
by Margi Tanner, Penon Blanco Lookout, Coulterville, CA
Email Margi | Visit the Penon Blanco Website

Visit the Purple Roofs Mariposa County page

Want to Get Married in California’s Central Valley & the Sierra Nevadas? | Looking for a Realtor in California’s High Sierra?

John Muir Highway

John MuirSaturday, June 4th is the anniversary of the dedication of the John Muir Historic Route, the 14-mile stretch of highway extending from Coulterville, up J132 to its terminus at Hwy. 120.

Events will take place in Lake Don Pedro, Coulterville, Greeley Hill and Groveland that day, many of which are free, an all of which will allow participants to experience Muir’s love of nature and his appreciation of the unique beauty of the surrounding foothills… the gateway to the High Sierras. Remarkably, the pristine beauty he discovered in his journey in 1869 remains mostly untouched 142 years later.

Lake Don Pedro

The LDP Trailblazers will be holding a Spring Hike & Ride, open to everyone. Ample parking for horse trailers is available at the El Prado Horse Camp on El Prado Rd from which the ride departs at 10 am sharp! Hikers can depart at their leisure. Trail system maps will be available. There will be a “You and Your Horse photo op” at the Horse Camp from 9 am – 2 pm; cost is 10 for an email copy of $15 for a hard copy. Call 209-852-9459 for more information and directions to the Camp.

Coulterville Features Events Sponsored By History Center, Chamber, Master Gardeners and Fire Brigade

Bower CaveThe Northern Mariposa County History Center has organized two free 4-hour guided tours to Bower Cave, each of which can accommodate just 15 individuals. Frank Oyung tour guide, is sponsored by the Tuolumne Group of the Sierra Club. The tours will depart from the History Center at 8:30 am and 1:30 pm. Yosemite Bank is sponsoring the transportation for both tours. The reservation deadline is May 20th, but call 209-878-3750 right away as these tours are likely to fill quickly!

Muir Display

The museum will also be hosting a John Muir Student Art Show. Invitations have already been sent to all schools along the John Muir Corridor. Museum visitors will also be able to meet renowned photographer Scott Miller and get him to sign a copy of his new pictorial edition of Muir’s My First Summer in the Sierra. This book depicts Muir’s 1869 amble, herding a flock of sheep up to the high country along the Merced River, through the rolling hills of what is now Lake Don Pedro, over Penon Blanco, with a vividly described stop in Coulterville for supplies and then up to Greeley Hill, past Bower Cave and Alter Rock and beyond. Both the Art show and the Book Signing are scheduled from 10 am to 4 pm. Call 209-878-3015 for additional information.

The Coulterville Park will feature works by local artists, demonstrations and other nature and historically oriented activities sponsored by the Mariposa County Chamber of Commerce. Representatives of the Muir Homestead will be on hand with additional information about him. The park will be open from 9 am ’till 4 pm. No admission fee. Call 209-878-3074 or email coultervilleevents@gmail.com for information.

CoultervilleThe members of the Coulterville Fire Brigade, Mariposa County Fire Fighters Stations 26 and 31 and the Mariposa County Master Gardeners will conduct tours of the newly landscaped demonstration garden near the Coulterville Fire Station and explain plans for future development. The three groups are combining to offer a variety of children’s games, demonstrations, art activities and information related to the theme of the day, the John Muir Legacy. Contact 209-878-3483 for additional information.

Bean Creek Preserve/Greely Hill

The Sierra Foothill Conservancy will be hosting a dedication of the new Bean Creek Preserve, donated by Ken and Teri Pulvino, on Fiske Road in Greeley Hill, starting off with a John Muir reading at 10 a.m., with naturalist and biology instructor Rodney Olsen leading a walk “in the Footsteps of John Muir” through the beautiful and panoramic acreage. Lunch will follow that will be free for Conservancy members and $10 for other participants. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. The Preserve will close its gates at 2 pm. Call Gretchen Coll at 209 742- 5556 or register online at www.sierrafoothill.org (select Hikes & Classes; Event Calendar; June 4).

John Muir Play, “Hand-On” History, Earthfest, Bicycle Tour All Happening in Groveland

Big Creek Meadow Ranch, located at the terminus of the Historic John Muir Route at 10551 Smith Station Road, will have activities all day long on June 4th as well as be the location for the “Wild Adventures of John Muir” play on three consecutive evenings, June 3, 4th and 5th. Admission is free to all daytime activities, open 10 am to 5 pm. “Hands on” History booths and experiential “Nature Stations” will be intermingled with eco-friendly arts, crafts and book sale areas.

The Yosemite Playhouse players will perform an historical rendition of John Muir’s exciting Yosemite adventures. Bring your own picnic by 5 pm or buy a Tri-tip dinner. The play is from 6- 7:30 pm. Advance tickets are $12 adults, $3 children., all tickets are $15 at the door. Tri-tip is $15 in advance, $18 at the door; kids can have a free corn dog and chip dinner. Beverages will be available for purchase. Call 209-962-1942 or check out www.bigcreekmeadowranch.com for more information.

The Sierra Earth Fest at the Mountain Sage Nursery begins at 9:30 with the last act, a funky Bay Area blues band, Tracorum, starting off at 5:30 pm. There will be ongoing kid’s activities, educational booths, a local artisan market, and speakers and entertainment all day long.

Those athletic enough to enjoy off-road bicycling will be able to sign up for a Saturday tour along the John Muir Route and over to Bower Cave as well as a weekend package beginning with a dinner on Friday at 5 pm and lasting through Sunday lunch. This trip is being organized by Grimes Getaways Bicycle Tours who have recently moved their headquarters to Groveland. The fee for the Saturday ride is $45 and included SAG support, route sheet, lunch and snacks; the weekend package is $250 and includes meals and snacks from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch. Call Nikki Grimes at 510-545-7969 for more information.

The John Muir Route Steering Committee (JMRSC), is helping to promote cooperation between the various events in both Mariposa and Tuolumne Counties. They organizing a VIP Pass to encourage visitors to stop in at the various commercial establishments throughout the region. Participants will get free drawing tickets and special discounts at each participating vendor. In addition to the various event organizers, the Yosemite/Mariposa County Tourism Bureau, The Tuolumne County Tourism Bureau, the Yosemite Chamber of Commerce and the Mariposa Chamber of Commerce are all involved. We invite you to assist the committee in this exciting endeavor. For additional information, please call Joy Kitchel at the Coulterville Visitors Center, 209-878-3074 Friday or Saturday, 9 am – 4 pm or Ann Schafer at 209-962-1942 in Groveland.

Penon Blanco LookoutPENON BLANCO LOOKOUT, a unique bed and breakfast is located on 200 sprawling acres, overlooking Lakes McClure and Don Pedro, directly on the John Muir Trail. A short picturesque drive away along the John Muir Highway is beautiful Yosemite National Park.

Penon Blanco Lookout, a unique bed and breakfast, offers travelers romantic casual luxury. Guests can gather on the lake view patio in summer or before the cozy fire in winter and delight themselves with a bottle of wine from our fine extensive selection. At days end guests relax in the spa beneath the sparkling crystal clear stars above. Many shooting stars can be seen and the Milky Way is directly overhead.

PENON BLANCO LOOKOUT, a unique bed and breakfast is located on 200 sprawling acres, overlooking Lakes McClure and Don Pedro, directly on the John Muir Trail. A short picturesque drive away along the John Muir Highway is beautiful Yosemite National Park.
Penon Blanco Lookout, a unique bed and breakfast, offers travelers romantic casual luxury. Guests can gather on the lake view patio in summer or before the cozy fire in winter and delight themselves with a bottle of wine from our fine extensive selection. At days end guests relax in the spa beneath the sparkling crystal clear stars above. Many shooting stars can be seen and the Milky Way is directly overhead.

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Wildflower Village, Reno

Author: , April 29th, 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 Nevada Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Wildflower Village, Reno, NevadaWelcome to Wildflower Village Bed & Breakfast, a comfortable retreat to return to after your day in Reno and Truckee Meadows.

Each of our guest rooms room has a private entrance, full bathroom and cooking facilities, so you can make your own meals at home if you don’t want to go out every night.

Our rooms also include designer linens, french lace from Sauverne and tiffany-style lamps to create a comfortable and informal setting.

We also offer views of the Truckee River from your porch.

Each morning, you’ll wake to a delicious gourmet champagne breakfast, brought right to your front door.At our Reno bed and breakfast, we offer a number of workshops and events, including on-site artist studios and retreats, workshops for women, and even art classes – check our events page on our website for more information. We have two art galleries on-site, and even a cafe serving coffee drinks, hot chocolate, tea, soda, juices and more.

See the Wildflower Village Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

China: Country of Contradictions

Author: , April 29th, 2011

Gay Travel ChinaThink of China and images of crowded cities, cheap goods and sweat shops come to mind, all set in a land of strict government and media censorship.

But China is a country full of contradictions; still revering many of the old communist values when Chairman Mao Tse Tung once ruled with an iron fist, while also grappling with the overwhelming pace of change and growth as the country finds its own way of doing things in the modern world.

Huge skyscrapers salute China’s industial achievements and aspirations; the new China is hot on the lips of every business strategist and economist keen to preempt the next game change. China is embracing its evolution – even part of the ancient Silk Road trade route is now giving way to an ultra-modern high speed rail link between Beijing and Tibet, providing a backbone for the country’s sprawling infrastructure.

Full Story from the Gay Traveller Blog

Click here for gay travel resources in China.

Traveling Route 66

Author: , April 29th, 2011

Gay Travel: Route 66It’s great to be back in San Francisco, after a three-week vacation — where I flew to Chicago, and then drove all the way back to California via Historic Route 66. When I was a child growing up in Chicago, I learned of the great “Mother Road” that takes you from Grant Park to the Santa Monica Pier — and it was my dream to drive all of its 2,448 miles. It’s the road that Okies took during the Great Depression to find jobs in California, and in the 1950s and ’60s it came to symbolize America’s move west to the Sunbelt.

And the fact that Route 66 no longer exists (the U.S. Highway System had the road de-commissioned in 1985, because the Interstate made it obsolete) made this trip feel like a real adventure. I blogged every day, and learned a lot of things along the way — some profound, some of them just plain obvious. Here are my top 10 insights from driving Route 66, as we leave Chicago for Los Angeles.

(6) Amarillo Has A Good Gay Scene: Here’s a pop quiz: which city has more gay bars? Amarillo — a city of 200,000 in the very, very Republican Texas Panhandle, or Albuquerque — a city of 500,000 in the “leaning blue” state of New Mexico? The answer, surprisingly, is Amarillo — with its vibrant venues like Sassy’s (which has karaoke every Friday night until 12!) My theory is that if you’re gay in the Texas Panhandle, there is really nowhere to go but Amarillo. But gay singles don’t really mingle in Albuquerque. New Mexico is where middle-aged same-sex couples settle down and look at the stars.

Full Story from the Huffington Post

Click here for gay travel resources.

Gay Travel: Why You Should Really Visit Gay Sydney

Author: , April 29th, 2011

Sydney Gay TravelThere are a great many reasons to visit Sydney, Australia. Among them are the beautiful scenic vistas and panoramas, the famed Sydney Harbor Opera House and a downtown rich with food, shopping and culture.

And then there’s the men. Though you might not read about it in any of the guidebooks, the men of Sydney are a sight to behold. It’s reason enough to book a numbing 20-hour flight and travel halfway around the world. I, for one, was caught completely off guard by the hotness of Australian men.

After being cramped in a plane between a crying child and sneezing old lady, I decided to stretch my legs at one of the local gyms called Fitness First. This particular gym was situated on Oxford Street, the epicenter of Sydney’s gayness. I grabbed a guest pass and found my way to the locker room. What I would see changed my life forever.

Full Story from GayTravel.com

Click here for gay travel resources in Sydney, Australia.