TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Getting Ready for Going SOUTH For the Winter

Published Date Author: , September 29th, 2013
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Fort Lauderdale BeachIt is time to start thinking about winter traveling for those of us who are retired or have the time and money to go south for a few weeks this winter. In the United States unfortunately we have few options however there are always new and exciting places to go. Ft. Lauderdale is still the #1 favorite for gays in the United States as well as Canada. When we winter in Ft. Lauderdale we are always running into dozens of Canadians.

Monthly rentals are found everywhere down there and with all of the gay resorts you are sure to find whatever you are looking for. Our favorite is the Grand Resort and Spa, and we have been staying there for a dozen years. Greater Ft. Lauderdale really offers anything and everything that any gay person would want including fine dining, fabulous beaches, a huge variety of gay bars and wonderful shopping.

grand courtyardAlways check on to find dozens of listings for South Florida. Accommodations in South Florida do book up early, so it is time to begin your bookings now.

South Florida is much warmer than the middle or upper Florida and after all, we all go down there for the warmth don’t we? Two of our other favorite areas in Florida are St. Petersburg and Daytona. They both have a very heavy gay population. Both have great beaches. We always enjoy visiting both of these cities in the winter.

grand pool  twoWe enjoy the Gay St. Pete’s Guest House in St. Petersburg, and in Daytona we enjoy the VILLA INN,

You might want to venture on down to Key West which is always busy in the winter time. South Beach (Miami) is also a very hot spot for gays. Some gays go only as far down as the panhandle of Florida where they do have nice beaches however the weather is not as warm.

South Texas is another place where gays winter, down by South Padre Island as well as Houston and Galveston. There seems to be a lot of gays that travel down there in their RV’s. Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona has nice weather for those who are living on the west coast. There are a large variety of gay places to stay in either city and they both offer a lot of nightlife activities for gays.

resort photoSan Diego and Palm Springs are always great places to winter on the west coast. Palm Springs especially is full of gay accommodations and lots of nightlife. Las Vegas is yet another great place to winter. And yes, even though they have a lot of real ‘high end’ restaurants in the city, there are still dozens of very inexpensive places to dine off the strip.

Whether you are going south for just one week, or a couple of weeks or a month or two or three months, there are a lot of fun places. We were talking with some Canadian friends of ours and they spend one month in Palm Springs, California and then one month in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

On another subject, there seems to be a lot more scams and disgruntled travelers concerning accommodations. We still cannot imagine booking an accommodation online from a third party like Expedia or Hotwire. You never know what you are getting into and yet you pay upfront with no recourse if the property is not what you were expecting.

This really seems to happen to a lot of travelers when they want to rent an apartment or a condo for a month or two. If you stay in a regular Bed and Breakfast, resort, hotel or motel, you can always check out after the first night and find another place to stay. However if you pay the entire amount of your stay upfront then you are in for a very bad situation. On Christopher Elliott’s national blog, he is always getting dozens of people trying to get their money back to no avail.

Another thing one has to look out for when traveling by auto is at the gas pumps. They will have a huge sign up posting their price per gallon. Then when you get to the pumps and start putting in your gas, you will see in very small print (cash price). So if you are paying by a credit card, the price is much higher.

Another ploy that they are using now in some states that allow it, is that they charge you a small fee for using your credit card and that small fee can run from 35 cents up to a dollar! So one just has to be alert and be a very wise traveler.

We hope that all of you have a wonderful winter season and as we said you do need to plan ahead now.

Always remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

Donald and RayTRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married). Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at and visit their website at

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