Paris Gay History and Art Tour

Author: , April 20th, 2017

Everybody knows that Paris is a fantastic city to visit, with fascinating historic neighborhoods, amazing museums, fabulous shopping, and of course spectacular food. But many people seem not to realize that Paris is also one of the greatest cities of gay history. But so it is: I think Paris has so many other great sides that people almost overlook this one.  France was the first modern country to decriminalize homosexuality—in 1798, almost 2 centuries before the US. And from that time on, it was a relatively free city for gay life, and gay themes appeared more and more openly in French culture. Read more…

North Carolina is Perfect in October

Author: , September 20th, 2014

North CarolinaNorth Carolina might just possibly be at its best as summer gives way to fall. In the mountains, the leaves turn brilliant colors, and the days are still warm enough for beachcombing at the coast. But that’s just the beginning. Here are four reasons why October just might be the best month to visit the Tar Heel State.

Hit the Highways

Leaf-peepers driving the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway get a two-fer in the autumn — not only are the hills ablaze with fall color, but the monarch butterflies begin their annual 2,000-mile migration to Mexico in mid-September, which lasts for several weeks.

Near Cashiers, in the southwestern part of the state, this is when the “Shadow of the Bear” emerges from hibernation. This bruin-shaped shadow, formed by the sun setting behind Whiteside Mountain, begins its gradual appearance about 5:30 every evening and lasts through early November.

By Deb Hopewell – Full Story at Shermans Travel | North Carolina Gay Travel Resources

Seven Affordable, Gay Friendly Off-Season Getaways

Author: , September 20th, 2014

Rainbow FlagSummer has bid us adieu, but that’s no reason to put your luggage away. There are lots of great LGBT-friendly destinations to consider this fall, many of which are more affordable than they were just a month ago. (Resort communities hate the term “off-season,” but travelers love it.)

What new adventures should be on your itinerary? Peep our picks below, and start planning your getaway today, from warm climes to more autumnal.

Puerto Vallarta

With the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains on one side and Mexico’s picturesque Bay of Banderas on the other, the four-Diamond, luxury beachfront CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa is a sight to behold. And now that it’s become the first hotel in the area to earn a certification in LGBT Service Excellence from Out Now Global, there’s no reason to consider any other accommodations. Available experiences include cultural immersion programs, tequila tastings, voluntourism opportunities like sea-turtle rescue programs, beachside dining, and more. Rates start at an eye-rubbing $89 per night so you can live la vida loca without going broke-a.

Full Story at The Dallas Voice

Must See Fall Foliage Getaways – Gaycation Magazine

Author: , September 17th, 2014

It is not too late for travelers to book their fall getaway and see autumn in its full glory. Here are HomeAway’s top places across the U.S. to take in this season’s best fall foliage with stays at vacation rentals ideally located near state parks known for their vibrant color displays.

Owls Head Village Post Office

Northeast

New England is one of the best-known regions for dazzling foliage displays set amid bucolic backdrops.
Peak time: Late September to Mid-October

Maine – Travel from Rockland to Augusta up Route 17 for the best views.
Stay:  Owls Head Village Post Office (converted)
Sleeps 6 / Bedrooms 2 – Starting at $140 nightly
http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p152137

Luxurious Historic Barn

Vermont  Take routes 100, 107, 12 and 106 through Gaysville, Barnard, Woodstock and Ludlow to see the dazzling display.
Stay: Luxurious Historic Barn
Sleeps 8 / Bedrooms 2 – Starting at $200 nightly
http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p3003186

NOTE:  This is an excerpt from the original post found at Gaycation Magazine – Must See Fall Foliage Getaways.

 

Five Amazing National Parks for Fall Colors

Author: , September 17th, 2014

Gay Travel: Time for a New England Road Trip!If you want to catch our nation’s deciduous trees taking on a vibrant palette of yellows, reds, and oranges, now’s the time to plan a road trip. Naturally, some of the best drives for fall foliage wind through our beautiful national parks. Here are five trails for unbeatable views.

1. Teton Park Road in Grand Teton National Park & Blacktail Plateau Drive in Yellowstone National Park

Brilliant yellow aspens burn brightly against the backdrop of the Teton Range in Grand Teton National Park. For the best views, stick to the Teton Park Road and stop at Oxbow Bend and Snake River Overlook for great photo opps. Keep an eye out for wildlife — if you’re lucky, you may see elk sparring or black bear and moose nibbling on berries. To make the most of your trip, you can continue to Yellowstone National Park, which is less than an hour away. If you have a car that can handle an unpaved road, opt for the one-way Blacktail Plateau Drive, a turn off just before Phantom Lake, for amazing fall views and wildlife.

By Teresa Bitler – Full Story at Shermans Travel

Rest Easy

Author: , April 14th, 2014

We all know those iconic Vermont images like covered bridges, maple syrup and world-class skiing, but what about sophisticated resorts for primping, pampering and eating your way to complete relaxation? I bet that isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, is it? You’ll be happy to know that you can find just what you’re looking for at the fantastic Essex Resort and Spa.

Photo courtesy of Essex Resort and Spa

Snuggled between the Green Mountains and stunning Lake Champlain is Vermont’s only AAA 4 Diamond Culinary Resort. The 18-acre campus has everything you need to unwind, relax, enjoy nature and indulge in delectable cuisine, no matter what time of the year.

My partner and I decided to take a little stay-cation to the Resort – a get away in the middle of February to warm up our Winter-weary bones—saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs, and massage tables—it sounded glorious. With the winter we had in the Northeast, we felt we deserved it!

The Essex Resort is as progressive as the State it resides in. At the main entrance, we were showered with welcome greetings in many different languages. We couldn’t help but notice the rainbow flag and Human Rights Campaign logo proudly displayed, as well. The staff was just as welcoming.

Like many gay and lesbian couples, our dog is like a child to us. Whenever possible, we try to bring him along on trips. With a little extra charge, the Essex Resort had no problem with our canine companion. They even supplied a little welcome gift for him with a travel bowl, a rope toy Frisbee, and house-made dog treats. That was only the tip of the iceberg of the level of service you can expect at the Resort.

Our room was large, with huge windows overlooking a tree that had been wrapped in white lights, bringing a soft glow to our room in the evening. The bed was just right – soft but not too soft – with more pillows than we knew what to do with. Truth be told, it made thoughts of anything but long, luxurious naps difficult… We rallied, though, because there was no way we were going to miss out on everything the resort had to offer.

There is so much to do at the Essex Resort that with our two-day stay we felt we had to concentrate on one aspect of the services offered. While there are cooking classes that sounded fantastic–they offered a Paella class during our stay – we decided that on this particular trip we would concentrate on the indulgence of the incredible in-house spa.

There are tons of choices for treatments at the spa. Just by staying at the resort you have access to the 25-yard indoor pool (with an additional outdoor pool for the warmer months), an oversized outdoor hot tub, sauna, steam room and fitness center. The first night that we got there, we decided to take a swim in the pool. Though it was bone chilling outside, we braved the cold to sample the outdoor hot tub. We lounged comfortably, not even realizing our wet hair was freezing up! Once we were ready to go back inside our warmed bodies couldn’t even feel the frosty air against them.

The Essex Resort has two onsite restaurants. We chose to eat at the Tavern (a traditional pub-style restaurant with a vibrant bar scene), rather than the more sophisticated dining experience of Amuse. Both restaurants are part of the Vermont Fresh Network, so you can expect amazing locally sourced meals. The Tavern was so delicious that we went back for breakfast the next morning. It was just what we needed: low key, great food and wonderful service.

The next morning, before breakfast, we got up early to walk our dog and enjoy the crystal blue skies and white landscape that makes February so special. We couldn’t wait for 10:30am to arrive, so we could begin our spa treatments. I chose an 80-minute massage that began with a steam, a sauna, and a shower (with a rain shower head – my new obsession, by the way). An indulgence, indeed… but austerity has never been my cup of tea… Comfortable with a copy of US Magazine and a cozy terry cloth robe, I had a short wait in front of a roaring fire before my massage therapist brought me upstairs for the treatment. It was a delightful experience; we chatted just enough, she used just the right amount of pressure, and the requisite world music was sufficient to wash away my cares.

My partner, coming off of months of his busy work season, decided to really splurge with a package deal. His choice was the two-hour Pure Relaxation: a 30-minute deep soak; a 30-minute muscle melt, consisting of a warm body wrap to relieve sore, tired muscles and joints with a healing blend of herbs, mints, and grains mixed with aloe vera and a stimulating application of Sport Massage Cream. It was finished off with a 60-minute aromatherapy massage.

As I was finishing my massage and being escorted to the lounge, my massage therapist pointed out the aroma in the hallway: “Can you smell that?” she said. It was an invigorating perfume of eucalyptus and other products. “That’s your partner’s muscle melt.” If I hadn’t been completely relaxed from my wonderful massage, I probably would have felt some envy. As it was, I was too blissed out to be anything but happy that he was getting his much needed pampering.

I relaxed in the lounge for a few minutes until he was done with his spa treatments. Then, we were served a delicious, light lunch, which we’d ordered earlier. It was the perfect ending to our spa day.

After a lazy stroll with the dog on the bike path across from the resort, we decided that we need a little retail therapy. Not even a half-mile down the road from the resort is the Essex Outlets. While it may not have the largest assortment of stores, it has some great ones like Polo Ralph Lauren, Under Armour, and Orvis. We spent our hard-earned money in a few stores and thought about a movie at the adjacent Essex Cinemas, with stadium seating and the largest screen in Vermont. Instead, we decided to go back to our room for that much needed afternoon nap… in our king sized, insanely pillowed bed. Pure heaven.

By the time we were ready to check out, all three of us were perfectly relaxed, thoroughly warmed and comfortably satiated. The Essex Resort provided a charming experience. While far from inexpensive, it was certainly worth it. Vermont truly offers so much more than what you may imagine.

September & October – Provincetown’s Second Summer

Author: , March 27th, 2014

Provincetown - Apple Maps

from Apple Maps

For many people, Provincetown means a summer of beautiful beaches, hot pool parties and exciting nights — and it is certainly that. But it’s not too early to make plans for a rejuvenating fall getaway, and Provincetown might be of the nation’s best kept secrets during September and October, the ‘second summer’ months, as Ptown fans like to say.

While most vacation destinations are shuttering their windows and packing away the patio furniture, Provincetown, Mass., is rolling out a fresh season of diverse events that can only be found in this idyllic haven at the tip of Cape Cod.

Locals cherish this time of year, as warm sunshine mixes with cool ocean breezes, and long sunsets unfurl slowly into the sea. The town’s quaint shops, charming restaurants and renowned art galleries keep their doors open, and the award-winning beaches remain a picturesque spot for fun and relaxation.

See the Full Story at Edge Boston

Click here for gay travel resources.

Edge Boston’s Pics for Fall Gay Travel

Author: , February 8th, 2014

FallThe final installment in our four-part series, EDGE’s travel editor Matthew Wexler scopes out 12 months of adventure, relaxation and surprises for the LGBT jet setter. For our final hurrah? EDGE explores Fort Lauderdale, Chicago and Johannesburg.

Fort Lauderdale

Once cast in the shadow of her more gregarious sister, Miami, Fort Lauderdale has become a major player in the LGBT vacation scene as well as an appealing destination for full-time residence. EDGE National Nightlife Editor JC Alvarez says, “There’s plenty happening in Fort Lauderdale — people are calling it the ‘New South Beach,’ and there are many folks from New York City actually moving down there just because the living is better.”

Whether you choose to go for the weekend or early retirement, you’ll be in good company: Last year Fort Lauderdale welcomed 1.2 million LGBT visitors.

See the Full Story at Edge Boston

Click here for gay travel resources in Fort Lauderdale.

Click here for gay travel resources in Chicago.

Click here for gay travel resources in Johannesburg.

Watch the Leaves Change in These 8 Cities This Fall

Author: , November 4th, 2013

FallThe Fall season is an exciting time to travel. The leaves are changing colors, the temperatures are cooling off, and everyone seems more relaxed in general. If you’re looking at taking a trip any time soon, you should consider one or more of these cities.

Savannah, Ga.

If you’re going to travel to see the leaves change, what better place to go than the South? Head down to Savannah and enjoy the historic buildings. In addition to enjoying nature, check out the historic district and enjoy a performance at the Savannah theatre. The city has many free Wi-Fi locations, so if you’re not sure what to do, be thankful that you’ve brought your Lenovo convertible laptop so you can research some ideas.

Charleston, S.C.

Charleston is a very walkable city, and in the Fall you’ll be able to take full advantage of that fact. If you happen to find yourself in Charleston on a Saturday, drop by the Charleston Farmer’s Market in Marion Square. In the French Quarter, swing by the Robert Lange Studios and enjoy the various paint styles and photographs. If you feel like listening to some music, head to the Youth Orchestra of the Lowcountry. Most of the shows are completely free, so feel free to check it out when you feel like it.

Honolulu, HI

In the Fall season, you’ll find some amazing travel deals to this island paradise. One of the best deals you can find, surprisingly, is a ticket to Honolulu. The best deals for Honolulu occur during this time of the year. It’s also humpback whale season, so in addition to whale watching, you’ll be able to take tours, laugh in the face of death by taking a volcano tour, or just relax in a hammock by the ocean.

Nashville, Tenn.

Head to the Music City to enjoy the nightlife and the Fall weather. The less humid nights allow you to enjoy your time downtown while checking out each bar and nightclub. There are many antique shops to browse in, as well as local record stores, like Grimey’s or Third Man Records. Head East for a few hours and you’ll find yourself in the Smoky Mountains, where you can watch the leaves change from a great vantage point.

Austin, TX

The best part about visiting Austin in the Fall is that it’s not nearly as hot as it is in the Summer. Austin is a well-known college town, so you’ll be able to swing by and catch the local football game. Austin is also well-known for its diverse music scene, and there are plenty of venues to listen to some great music around the city. There’s also a lot of local barbecue joints.

Miami, Fla.

Now that Florida has finally cooled off a bit, head to Miami. There’s an art show in December in the new Perez Art Museum that’s worth checking out. Stop at South Beach to shop and party the night away. If you have young ones, be sure to stop by Zoo Miami and the Seaquarium. If you’re looking for a more educational venture for them, check out the Miami Children’s Museum.

Portland, Ore.

Come relive the dream of the ’90s in Portland this Fall. Portland is beautiful in the Fall. If you visit in September, check out its annual food fest Feast. Spend some time shopping, because there are zero sales tax. There are many venues that feature local bands that you can check out. There are multiple river and winery tours that you can take. Don’t drive around; instead, rent a bike and traverse the city that way.

Montpelier, Vt.

Head to the capital of Vermont — it’s known as the go-to spot if you’re looking to watch the leaves change. Check out the multiple tours offered, pick apples at one of the many apple orchards, or just take a day to yourself and explore. If you visit Vermont’s tourism site, they have a list of drives that you can take that’ll allow you to see the best nature has to offer. The drives range anywhere from 30 miles to 210 miles, so it just depends on how far you feel like driving that day.

Fall is a great time to take a trip thanks to cheaper traveling rates. What makes it even better, though, is that the temperature is finally cooling off in cities across the nation, so you’ll actually be able to enjoy everything they have to offer. When Fall rolls around, do you have a city that you like to head to? If so, where do you go?

Autumn in Germany

Author: , November 4th, 2013

Autumn in Germany - Adam GroffmanAutumn in most countries is usually pretty, but when in the spa city of Baden-Baden in southwestern Germany a few weeks ago, I found it particularly beautiful. Maybe it was the bath salts and smell of luxury that permeated the air. The perfectly manicured city is small, but certainly colorful.

Authored by Adam Groffman. See the Full Story at Travels of Adam here.

See Adam’s full blog here.

Click here for gay travel resources in Germany.