Arkansas’ Fabulous Crystal Bridges Museum

Author: , June 9th, 2014

Crystal Bridges MuseumMarriage equality isn’t the only reason Arkansas is shaking up the South. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, located in Bentonville, Ark., was created by Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton and heiress to the family’s multi-billion-dollar fortune. If we had the kind of money that is in her bank account, we would spend each and every day throwing piles of $100 bills into the air and giggling with glee.

However, Alice Walton is a better person than us, because she decided her hometown in Northwest Arkansas needed some culture, and she was going to bring it there herself. After she spent several years sharpening her skills as an art collector, she amassed what is arguably one of the most interesting and delightful collections of Colonial American to contemorary art found anywhere from sea to shining sea. And it’s open to the public for free, every day.

Walton is well-known for going against the grain in the ultra-conservative Christian social circles of her Bible Belt home. Although she donated large sums of money to Mitt Romney in 2012, she is already showing her Arkansas pride by writing checks to Hilary Clinton in 2016. She also hired an openly gay man, who has a stay-at-home partner and a child, to run Crystal Bridges. Insert “gasp” here.

Full Story at Queerty | Arkansas Gay Travel Resources

Little Rock, Arkansas – An Improbable Oasis

Author: , December 13th, 2013

Gay Hot Springs, ArkansasLittle Rock, Arkansas may not show up on most LGBT travelers’ domestic bucket list, but maybe it’s time that bucket got bigger. Located in the heart of a very conservative state in the deep red South-a state where, in 2004, voters approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman and employment discrimination against the LGBT community is still legal-Little Rock is a surprisingly sophisticated and seductive city.

Named in September by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance as the country’s best moderately sized metropolis, the city heartily embraces gay residents and visitors. With a wealth of LGBT-friendly bars, restaurants and shops, a booming drag scene and a smorgasbord of special queer events, Little Rock, Arkansas just might be the South’s next great gay destination.

Little Rock’s Main Drag

Travelers anxious to experience the best of Little Rock LGBT culture would do well to start with its transcendent drag shows. Female impersonation took center stage in the city in 1972, when resident Norman Jones won the first Miss Gay America crown in Nashville. Jones eventually bought the pageant (producing many of the contestants in Little Rock) before opting out in 2005. Today, Jones owns the nightclubs Triniti, which is open Fridays, and Discovery, which opens on Saturdays. Housed in the same massive space, they offer three bars, DJs spinning nearly all night and live entertainment including, of course, drag.

Authored By Jill Gleeson – See the Full Story at Edge Boston

Click here for gay travel resources in Arkansas.

Little Rock, Arkansas: An Improbable Oasis

Author: , November 27th, 2013

Little Rock, Arkansas - Apple Maps

from Apple Maps

Little Rock, Arkansas may not show up on most LGBT travelers’ domestic bucket list, but maybe it’s time that bucket got bigger. Located in the heart of a very conservative state in the deep red South-a state where, in 2004, voters approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman and employment discrimination against the LGBT community is still legal-Little Rock is a surprisingly sophisticated and seductive city.

Named in September by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance as the country’s best moderately sized metropolis, the city heartily embraces gay residents and visitors. With a wealth of LGBT-friendly bars, restaurants and shops, a booming drag scene and a smorgasbord of special queer events, Little Rock, Arkansas just might be the South’s next great gay destination.

Travelers anxious to experience the best of Little Rock LGBT culture would do well to start with its transcendent drag shows. Female impersonation took center stage in the city in 1972, when resident Norman Jones won the first Miss Gay America crown in Nashville. Jones eventually bought the pageant (producing many of the contestants in Little Rock) before opting out in 2005. Today, Jones owns the nightclubs Triniti, which is open Fridays, and Discovery, which opens on Saturdays. Housed in the same massive space, they offer three bars, DJs spinning nearly all night and live entertainment including, of course, drag.

Authored By Jill Gleeson – See the Full Story at Edge Boston

Click here for gay travel resources in Arkansas.

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Part Two

Author: , July 18th, 2013
Email Donald & Ray | Visit the Gay Travel Guys WebsiteVisit the Purple Roofs Arkansas Page
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Blue Sprngs

es statueEureka Springs is the first city in Arkansas to officially endorse same-sex marriage and the first and only city in the state with a Domestic Partnership Registry, Eureka Springs is also the number one vacation destination in the entire Midwest for Out and Proud LGBT travelers. The antithesis of the redneck stereotype, their micro Mecca has been a beyond-gay-friendly getaway for decades– long before out was in. In Eureka Springs, one Gay Pride weekend won’t do.

es fernSo, Spring, Summer and Fall they also celebrate a trifecta of Diversity Weekends that attract thousands of gay and lesbian gaycationers. A microcosm of San Francisco, they boast a disproportionately large gay population, dozens of gay-owned and gay-friendly B&Bs, hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, art galleries, shops, turn-of-the-century Victorian homes and vintage trolleys plying steep and narrow village streets.

For a weekend or a week, find out for yourself how easy it is to be Out In Eureka Springs! They have one of the finest gay organizations in the entire country, www.outineureka.com so be SURE and check out their website for a complete listing of what is happening and the different entertainment that they have in store for you. They also have a listing of merchants who WANT your business. It is too bad that larger cities do not have as great of an organization as they do.

es fine artShopping downtown is a real treat. You will not find shops filled with things made in China. Instead you will find actual hand-made and hand-crafted creations, many of which are made directly by the artisans in the area. The shops are filled with art work, jewelry, garden statues and items related to your outdoors, lots of pottery, etc. Plus a few shops with very unusual clothing. One of our very favorite clothing shops was THE FINE ART OF ROMANCE, www.fineartofromance.com It is a large shop filled with Fine Art, luxury intimate attire, books and romantic gifts. It is a FUN shop. It is owned by Kelly and Leslie who also owns the Voulez Vous Lounge across the street. The general manager, Lilah is so personable, friendly, extremely professional but most of all she is FUN ! Don’t miss walking into this shop !

es mountain  useThe MOUNTAIN ECLECTIC. This historic Gadd Springs home and shop is one of Eureka’s more eclectic shops and a must see for many who find it hard to believe there is a flowing spring inside, garden accessories and hundreds of other items that are very unique and different. They have a fenced side yard that is filled with beautiful flowers and shrubs. The owners Paul Aulgur and Jack Bratt are terrific guys. They are located at 104 North Main Street just a couple of blocks North of downtown. They have plenty of free parking. Do NOT miss this shop!

Other very interesting shops that we visited were EUREKA’S NUT HOUSE full of some of the finest and tastiest nuts you ever had.

FUSHION SQUARED, www.eurekafusion.com Owners and partner are John Jarrett and John Rinehart . John Jarrett was instrumental in helping round up underwriters for your visit. He’s also acting president of the new Eureka Springs Gay Business Guild. John Rinehart is a fabulous glass artist and jewelry maker.

QUICKSILVER GALLERY, www.quicksilvergallery.com Co-owned by Lamont Richie, one of a very few gay elected officials in Arkansas. He’s a Carroll County Quorum Court Judge (in plain English, that’s the equivalent of a “county commissioner”). He wrote the marriage-equality resolution passed by the city council in November 2012– making Eureka Springs the first city in the state to officially endorse marriage equality
OUT ON MAIN GALLERY,www.outonmain.com located on a staircase between Spring St. and Main Street, directly across from Basin Spring Park. Partners Pat Lujan and Lee Kroll. They’re amazing potters and show the work of other artists in their gallery. Some of the most interesting pottery involved using horse hair as accents.

es sean paulFor nightly entertainment you have a wide choice of special bars and lounges. A ‘MUST SEE” show when you are in Eureka Springs is at the Intrigue Theater. “The ILLUSIONIST and THE MEDIUM staring the incredible talents of Illusionist, Sean-Paul and his wife Juliana Fay. Together they amazed and stunned THE audience with their unbelievable talents.

The entire audience was in total AWE of what they did. The Theater is located in a historic old stone church that closed several years ago and that setting only adds to the mystic of the wonderful experience. We have seen Illusionists from coast to coast and Sean and his wife Juliana are the best of the best and truly remarkable. Do not miss this show ! Their website is www.intriguetheater.com

For daytime entertainment there are all types of possibilities of things to do. There are lots of places to fish, hike, or just see the sights and sounds of the village. We loved to TURPENTINE CREEK WILDLIFE REFUGE,

www.turpentinecreek.org It is located just 10 minutes East of town and is the largest big cat refuge in the world. It is open to the public 7 days a week. They have all types of wild animals. Be sure and take your camera. BLUE SPRING HERITAGE CENTER,www.bluespringheritage.com (photo at top) is located about 10 minutes west of downtown. It is a natural wonder, pouring 38 million gallons of cool, clear water each day into a trout feed lagoon. You walk over the entire area on a very landscaped trail. Take a picnic and enjoy hours there. It is hard to get closer to nature than visiting there.

If you arrive in Eureka Springs by bus, train, walking or anyway other than by auto, be sure and check out ABUNDANT TRANSPORTATION, 479.553.8294. They are a full service Taxi company and the have great rates. They are the only Gay Owned & Operated taxi service in the Northwest Arkansas Area. They offer clean late model cars at a great rate! They also offer service to Rogers/Bentonville as well as the many area Airports.

es domestic useAnd speaking of Domestic Partnerships, Ann Armstrong, the City Clerk presented us with our own Domestic Partnership certified papers from the city. Although we are already LEGALLY married in 13 states, we really appreciated this recognition and as you can see we already have it framed.

So, GO to Eureka Springs to enjoy life ! to enjoy yourself and to enjoy others. Eureka Springs truly is a hidden gem in the Midwest. We know people that go there like every other month. Eureka Springs is all about being yourself and enjoying everybody there. Their friendliness will really rub off on you and you will return home a better person. Meet new people and TALK to everyone. Again, we thank Michael Walsh and OUT IN EUREKA for a wonderful (NO), FABULOUS time in their hidden gem. Also a special thanks to C. D. White and Ann Armstrong. And P.S. Did we mention how FRIENDLY of a town this is? Just be sure and check out www.outineureka.com before visiting.

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

TRAVELING 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 IG.LTA. You can email them atgaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

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 gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Cliff Cottage Inn, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Author: , July 15th, 2013

Cliff Cottage Inn - Eureka Springs, ArkansasPeriodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Only B&B in Very Heart of Historic Downtown!: Named “Most Romantic Inn of the South”, only B&B with a fairy who delivers a full-gourmet breakfast right to your door. All double-Jacuzzi suites and cottages with private hottubs. Fireplaces. Complimentary champagne/wine. Private balconies overlook town. Off-street parking. Be prepared to be pampered!

See the Cliff Cottage Inn Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Arkansas

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Author: , July 3rd, 2013
Email Donald & Ray | Visit the Gay Travel Guys Website

Visit the Purple Roofs Arkansas Oage


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Eureka Springs Downtown

Eureka Springs - PenisFirst off, we want to thank the handsome and very personable Michael Walsh of Eureka Springs. We are also very grateful to the OUT IN EUREKA organization, http://www.gayeurekasprings.com/.

It is hard to believe that there is this very special and unique village in the Midwest where people go to on weekends to get away from their day to day lives. Actually people go there all week long! It has been called the “Switzerland of America”, “Key West of the Midwest”, “The stopping point between San Francisco and Ptown”.

It has also been called dozens of other names and they would all be perfect for this little village with a population of about 2,100 people. There are no gay bars and you really won’t see too many gay flags. They don’t need that as most of the shops, bars and restaurants are owned by gays and lesbians. Everybody is there to have a fun time. It is the first city in Arkansas to officially endorse same-sex marriage and the first and only city in the state with a Domestic Partnership Registry.

It is also the number one vacation destination in the Midwest for OUT and proud LGBT travelers. As we have been telling our readers for the past 12 years, traveling is all about “PEOPLE” and trust us on this, you will meet all types of people in Eureka Springs and you will come away with a new outlook on life. Life is to be lived to the fullest and most of the residents in Eureka Springs do just that. We are all born and we all die and it is what you do in between that counts. If you have never been to Eureka Springs, we HIGHLY recommend you go!

This is a lovely little village that draws all kinds of tourists from coast to coast and even from Europe! 95% of everybody in Eureka Springs marches to their own beat. No two people in the town are the same.

They dress different, act different, talk different and that is a great thing. You won’t find much in the shops made in China. Almost all of the shops have hand made items that are made LOCALLY! From beautiful jewelry, pottery, yard decorations, art work, etc. On weekends the tourists come in by the droves to take advantage of this town.

The restaurants and bars are packed with people and everybody has a GREAT time. It is as though the Village People are in town and everybody is having a fabulous fun time. It is NOT a place to bring children. This is adult town for adults to kick back and enjoy themselves, AND THEY DO! We met people who go there like every other month!

Gilded Lily B&B - Eureka SpringsThere are dozens of small B&B’s in this little village of 2,100 residents. There are over 30 listings on Purpleroofs! We stayed at the GILDED LILY BED AND BREAKFAST, http://gildedlilybedandbreakfast.com/ which is owned by Lee and Walter. It is in a wonderful old house and has tons of history.

Gilded Lily B&B - Eureka SpringsTwo sisters originally owned the house years ago and although they have been dead for many years, for breakfast every morning the owners set two place settings for each of them at the table. They serve one of the finest hand made breakfasts that we have ever had. Lee and Walter love what they are doing and their guests return again and again. During our stay at the B&B, we met a wonderful young couple from Oklahoma, Jessica and Nick. They restored our faith in the younger generation. They were educated and had great views on life.

Lee and Walter also own the largest bar in town, the Eureka Live Underground which is a blast. We are not going to give addresses of the different places in town as they are all within walking distance of each other. Merely drive downtown, park your auto and walk or walk from your B&B. Their website is: www.eurekaliveunderground.com

New Delhi, Eureka SpringsThere are many restaurants in town, and one of our favorites was THE NEW DELHI CAFE, http://thenewdelhicafe.com/. The owner is Bill and what can we say about him? He is fun, funny, FABULOUS and more! Words cannot describe his personality. He has the cafe plus several outdoor decks on the patio which is always packed with people having FUN! The food and the drinks are wonderful.

New Delhi, Eureka SpringsIt is ALWAYS busy there from breakfast thru closing which is late at night. And if you are real lucky you will get ‘Grandma’ to be your server. Her real name is Penny but everyone calls her “Grandma”. She is a real jewel. But then most all of his entire staff is great and different and different is a good thing. And for our single str8 women who read our travel columns ask to see if a customer named Tom is around. He would make a great catch for any single woman. The New Delhi Cafe and Patio Bar is a place to see and be seen!

Voulez-Vous, Eureka SpringsAnother great restaurant and bar is the VOULEZ-VOUS LOUNGE, http://www.voulezvouslounge.com/ which is owned by Kelly and Leslie. This is a very upscale bar like something you would find in New York City. The drinks and the French food are to die for. Their menu is terrific and the decor is really unusual. The owners are wonderful and they have local entertainment on weekends.

This is a lounge bar with plenty of upholstered furniture to sit and relax and enjoy yourself. Here, you can return to the age of jazz in the Lounge and enjoy a champagne cocktail or a classic drink in an elegant atmosphere, as you sway to notable jazz combos or relish class burlesque. You can sample the distinct selection of specialty cocktails, cognacs, scotches, wines and champagnes and you can dine from the simple yet exquisite menu of French Cuisine. and enjoy the luxury of a bygone era.

Casa Colina - Eureka SpringsFor a FABULOUS Mexican experience, BE SURE and dine at CASA COLINA MEXICAN GRILL AND CATINA, www.casacollinagrill.com. The ambiance, the service, the food presentation, the perfectly cooked food makes for a “F.F.” dining experience! Owners, Dani and Joe are terrific and the staff that was there the day we dined, Steve, Nick and Taylor were superb! This is what dining should be all about, a perfect blend of everything. Below are some photos of what we had to eat. You can either dine inside or out on the patio and if the weather is good, by all means dine on the patio. We really would rate this as one of the finest Mexican restaurants in the entire Midwest.

Casa Colina - Eureka SpringsOther wonderful restaurants are DeVITO’S, http://www.eureka-springs-usa.com/devito/. It was voted the best Italian Restaurant in the entire State of Arkansas and has been in business over 26 years.

LOCAL FLAVOR CAFE, http://www.localflavorcafe.net/ is a MUST DINE AT restaurant in town. You can either dine inside our on their patio overlooking the street. It is a great place to people watch and their food on a scale of one to ten is a solid TEN!

CAFE AMORE, http://www.cafeamorearkansas.com/ is another Italian restaurant that serves wonderful home cooked Italian.

Part Two of our national travel column on Eureka Springs, Arkansas will be out next time and we will tell about the sights and sounds and shopping, entertainment and places to visit while in Eureka Springs, plus a special section for all Gay and Lesbians and why ALL GAYS AND LESBIANS SHOULD VISIT THIS WONDERFUL VILLAGE!

Donald and Ray

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

TRAVELING 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 gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/