Featured Lesbian Owned Accommodations: Holly’s Place, South Lake Tahoe, California

Author: , November 21st, 2014

Holly's Place

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

Tahoe’s Best Kept Secret: Holly’s Place is a miniture resort/retreat on 3.5 acres nestled in the pines only 1 block to Lake Tahoe close to all recreation with 8 vacation rentals enclosed We welcome all walks of life and their companions whoever they may be as long as they are friendly, too.

See the Holly’s Place Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in the Sierra Nevada

Gay Kauai – The Luaus

Author: , November 21st, 2014

We’ve been to several Luaus on the island – and we have a clear winner when it comes to the performances, but the other one has great food and amazing grounds to wander before the show.

Grand Hyatt Luau

Grand Hyatt LuauGrand Hyatt Luau – Poipu
http://kauai.hyatt.com/en/hotel/activities/hotel-activities/thegrandhyattkauailuau.html

The Grand Hyatt offers a fantastic luau – probably the best we’ve seen on the island. On a clear day, they hold it outdoors in a wide courtyard on the western side of the resort. The service was great, and the buffet meal was excellent – with all-you-can eat pork, the obligatory poi, and much more to choose from. The dancing was also excellent. There were very beautiful wahine (women) and very handsome, well-built kane (men).

The night we were there was perfect – with a crescent moon and the sky deepening to a cerulean blue as we watched the dancers. If you’re going to see a Luau while on-island, consider this one. There’s also a beautiful tropical central atrium at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, and if you visit at the right time, you may see a number of tropical birds – parrots, macaws, and cockatoos.

Smiths LuauSmith’s Tropical Paradise Luau
http://www.smithskauai.com

Smith’s Tropical Paradise sits alongside the Wailua River’s southern bank, just above the highway. The luau here is a little cheaper than the Grand Hyatt, and incudes a tram ride around the property, a chance to walk the gardens, a ceremony to unearth the pig at the imu pit, dinner, and the luau itself.

The food was amazing – the pork tender, the mahi mahi well cooked and seasoned, and the teriyaki steak and chicken were mouthwateringly good. The luau itself was a bit short, clocking in at about an hour, and it seemed a little lacking – the dancers were ok but not great, and it seemed to end too soon. So while you get a fair amount here for what you pay overall, we’d rate this one as the second-best on the island, after the Grand Hyatt Luau.

Kauai Gay Travel Resources

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: A New Type of Traveling

Author: , November 21st, 2014
Email Donald & Ray | Visit the Gay Travel Guys Website

click any image for full-sized pic

In our travels from coast to coast we generally always drive which is our favorite mode of transportation. We get to meet dozens of people along the way that has “passion” and that is one of the most interesting attributes that we admire in people Whether it is their passion for wine, food, sports, reading, their career or anything else, they have “passion”. We also get to see barns and scenery from “afar” but never close up.

Henry FortunatoWe have a friend here in the greater Kansas City area, Henry, who is a 50 something year old guy. In his regular life, he is a coat and tie professional guy. Instead of exploring the North or South Pole or Africa or Siberia, he would rather explore his home state. And instead of going down the highway at 70 or 75 miles an hour, he likes to travel going only 3 or 4 miles an hour. Yep, he likes to walk! And he has the “passion”. He grew up in Long Island, N.Y. and earned his undergraduate degree at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and worked in the nation’s capital as a magazine editor and then for 23 years as the owner of a marketing and communications firm. He also has a Master’s degree.

A couple of years ago he walked to Wichita, Kansas which is about 200 miles from Kansas City. It took him 13 days. He does not walk on the Interstate, but rather the back roads so that he can really see the State and meet people as he walks down country roads and even dirt roads. He stays either in motels, B and B’s and sometimes people along the way offer him a room for the night.

This year, he journeyed again by foot and walked the entire State of Kansas! which totaled nearly 500 miles and took 39 days! Dressed in a baseball cap and an orange coat, he took off from his house. Thru rain, winds, hail and hot temperatures, he made this trek. Again, he did not walk the Interstate highway but the back roads. He met a lot of extremely interesting people along the way. And yes, the local county sheriffs would stop him a few times to see what he was doing in their county. He took only one change of clothes and had to “wash and dry” every night. He did have a cell phone and another item he took with him was a large stick / cane. Dogs seem to be a problem sometimes, whether they wanted to chase and bite him or just friendly dogs who wanted to tag along with him. Of course he had a camera with him to document his trek across the state.

Don and Ray with HenryWhat a difference in what one sees when actually walking rather than driving down the highway. Many times while driving we have wanted to stop and take photos of an old barn or other structures or landscape but to actually be right there with plenty of time to take advantage of it would be better.

Recently Henry gave a lecture about his travels. It was a STANDING ROOM ONLY event. As Henry relates, “Most people think of Kansas as a dull, flat place as they zoom by at 70 miles per hour. But when you experience it at 3 miles an hour, you’re simply struck by the color, the beauty and the subtle changes in the landscape. you will also meet some extraordinary people.” We are awaiting his book on his walking adventures which will most likely be titled, “Kansas on Foot: A Long and Winding Walk Across the Sunflower State.

Thank you Henry for having the “passion” to do what you want to do in life. More people should have your passion in their lives. Fortunately, we do too!

It really does not matter what state you live in, you can do this trekking in any state. You can learn and discover things in our own state rather than to circumvent the world! Just have the passion to do something different for a change. You might just learn a few things, like being around different people and learning more about yourself! Happiness can be found in your own backyard! Thanks Henry for having the “passion”!

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/

Rainbow Reykjavik Winter Pride

Author: , November 21st, 2014

Rainbow Reykjavik Winter Pride

Rainbow Reykjavik is a small, queer, winter pride festival, organized by Pink Iceland in the end of January. Now in it’s fourth year, the festival attracts between 50 – 100 guests from abroad, ranging in ages and affilition with the LBGTQI alphabet. The 2015 festival starts Thursday January 29th and the full programme includes, a welcome party, dinners, horseback riding, Reykjavik city tour, a Blue Lagoon visit, a tour of spectacular nature, including erupting geysers, tectonic plates and one of the most impressive waterfalls in the world, a northern lights hunt and culminates in the Masquerade themed Pink Party which attracts hundreds of locals. Make sure you check out this  mature, inclusive and somewhat unusual Pride festival up north!
Rainbow_Reykjavik_Winter_Pride_festival_Iceland

West Iceland

Author: , November 21st, 2014

West Iceland tends to a be a bit overlooked by those visiting Iceland. This means that when you ‘go west’ you often feel like you have vast swathes of it to yourself. West Iceland is home to incredible nature, including two amazing waterfalls called Barnahoss and Hraunfossar, Langjökull Glacier, from where you can go snowmobiling, glacier walking or visit the Ice Cave and finally, Deildartunguhver hotspring, the highest flow hotspring in Europe. If that wasn’t enough, West Iceland is also home to a small farm dedicated to keeping the Icelandic Goat species alive through the efforts of one very strong woman. There are less than 820 Icelandic goats in existence but the numbers are growing, thanks to Jóhanna Bergmann of Háafell Goat Farm, the cast and crew of Game of Thrones who initiated a crowdfunding campaign, and the thousands who donated! Make sure you visit and say hello to Jóhanna and her goats, they’re all very friendly.

Goats_pink_iceland_gay_travel_lgbt

Gay Kauai: Our Favorite Beaches

Author: , November 20th, 2014

Kauai Aerial

While we lived on Kauai back in 2000 and 2001, we found a few great beaches, Here are the ones we like the best.

Poipu Beach KauaiPoipu

On Pe’e Road on a little bay halfway between Poipu Plantation and the Marriott, is a great Honu-watching spot – stand above the rocks on the eastern end of the bay in the morning and watch for a few minutes – they’re hard to spot at first, but you’ll start to see dark shadows in the waves, and if you’re lucky, you may see 5-10 turtles here.

There are actually three main beaches here in Poipu – Shipwreck Beach on the east, in front of the Hyatt, Brennecke’s Beach in the heart of Poipu, where you may see the Honu, and Lawai beach, to the west, near the Spouting Horn.

Tunnels Beach

Tunnels Beach Kauai

Tunnels beach kauaiThe famed Tunnels Beach, a popular surfing beach for the last half century, offers a great view of Bali Hai, the rocky outcrop that was used in the movie South Pacific as the Island of Bali Hai, though it’s really just a ridge on Kauai.

Tunnels is one of the few places on the north shore where you can view the sunset.

Our Italian friends Marco and Fabrizio chose tunnels for their wedding day, and they were married just before the sun set next to Bali Hai. It’s the perfect Kauai wedding location, especially at sunset.

Lumahai Beach, KauaiLumahai

Farther along the north shore, you’ll come to our favorite beach, Lumahai (pictured at left). There are rarely more than 5-10 people here at any one time, and the beach is really long, so it’s easy to find a bit of privacy. It’s maybe five minutes past Hanalei – after you leave the bay, the road winds up and around the coast.

After a couple minutes, the road straightens out and there’s a pasture to your left, often with wild horses. Just ahead you’ll see a two lane bridge where the road crosses high above a small river. Just before the bridge, pull off on the Makai side (ocean side) of the road – there’s a dirt turn-out here. Park and walk out to the beach.

This beach is fabulous. Most days when the Hanalei Bay is cloudy, you can find sun here. There’s a river that winds down to the sea at your left, where you can wade in warm water. Don’t try to swim in the ocean here, though, as there are rip tides and swimming can be very dangerous here.

The sand often piles up in two or three banks leading down to the water – put your towels and stuff down on the second bluff, and watch the tourists on the first bluff run when the water rushes up the hill and soaks their towels.

If you’re up for a hike, walk eastward about 15 minutes to the end of the beach. This is the quintessential Hawaiian Cove – dramatic black lava rocks rise up from the water, and beautiful tropical jungle frames the white sand cove. If the tide is high, you can reach the cove above the rocks, crossing through the jungle – just be careful because the rocks can be sharp.

Barking Sands

Where the sand is coarse and crunches (barks) under your feet.

Donkey Beach

A little ways up the road from Kapa’a, 7/10 of a mile past mile marker 11, there’s a path that leads across an old sugar cane field to Donkey Beach, one of Kauai’s unofficial nude beaches. Using this beach is AYOR, as nudity is technically illegal here, and there have been some enforcement efforts spurred on by development of this section of the island and prudish homeowners and politicians who don’t want their views, ummm, spoiled by unexpected outcroppings.

Kauai’s other nude beach is also here, just past Kilauea – Secret Beach is accessible at the end of Kalihiwai Rd. Again, using this beach naked is AYOR.

Queens Bath KauaiQueen’s Bath

While Queen’s Bath is not technically a beach, it is a beautiful saltwater pool on a lava rock shelf just above the water. Get there from a trail at the end of Kapiolani Rd. in Princeville, and follow the trail down to the ocean. For more detailed instructions, see The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook. Be aware the pool is not safe at high tide.

Ke’e Beach

Most folks goto the end of the road on the North Shore, where you’ll find Ke’e Beach, with a protected cove that’s ideal for swimming and snorkeling, and where you’ll find the start of the Na Pali Coast trail.

Kauai Gay Travel Resources

Rainbow Barcelona Tours

Author: , November 20th, 2014

The very first gay tour guide company lands in Barcelona with amazing reviews on TripAdvisor.

Rainbow_Barcelona_ gay_tours1

Barcelona, Cosmopolitan city and joy of the Mediterranean, is the headquarters of the first private tour company in Spain for the LGBT community (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals).

Rainbow Barcelona Tours opens a brand new informative service for both local and foreign gay/lesbian tourists. Included are great leisure offers for the city, so you can make the most of your stay, as well as a new world of knowledge about gay history in Barcelona, one of the most avant-garde cities that defends the rights for the gay community.

The tours, built to enjoy the city in a different way with links to the gay environment, try to show you emblematic places of Barcelona at your own pace, without hurries, and always accompanied by experienced guides. With them you will avoid the inconvenience of large groups, queues, getting lost or always looking at the map.

The company has prepared different routes around the city, which will allow you to visit the most important monuments like Paseo de Gracia, Cataluña square, las Ramblas, el Parc Güell, la Sagrada Familia, Montjuic Mountain, the Gothic quarter or the port area, among many others.

Rainbow_Barcelona_ gay_tours

They also have a tour by night for gays and for lesbians, so you get to know the newest and hottest clubs or the lifelong ones, and another tour to see one of the most beautiful and gayfriendly towns of the Catalan seacoast: Sitges. A former fisher village at only half an hour from Barcelona, famous for its Carnival, beaches, modernist buildings, cultural heritage, night life and for its gay environment.

While in Barcelona, they offer you personal shopper services, for him and for her, and soon they will offer balloon rides and a tapas tour to discover the fantastic Mediterranean cuisine. Likewise, they have a section for Accessible Tourism, offering tours in Barcelona suitable for slow walkers and wheelchair users.

The very first gay tour guide company wants to make tourist stay something special and unique, that’s why everything has been thought through in detail, the clients will even get free wifi during the tour.

Tours are available in several languages like English, Spanish, Catalan, French, German, Italian and Portuguese.
More information about the company: www.rainbowbarcelona.com
Email: info@rainbowbarcelona.com Let Barcelona and their best tour guides entice you.

It will be an unforgettable journey, that’s for sure!

Women in Travel Summit Planned for Boston in March

Author: , November 19th, 2014

Women in Travel SummitGo Girl Travel Network has officially launched its preliminary schedule for the second annual Women in Travel Summit (WITS). The schedule features 22 workshops conducted over the weekend of March 27-29, 2015 that fit under one of three tracks: The Traveler, The Blogger and The Entrepreneur. The weekend also includes a number of networking events, official parties, press trips, and more.

Speakers include Stephanie Yoder of Twenty-Something Travel, the Emmy award-winning Grannies on Safari, Tanya Churchmurch of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), and more. The two keynote speakers at the summit are entrepreneur Dina Yuen of Asian Fusion and blogger Kate McCulley of Adventurous Kate.

WITS is offering two ticket options. General Admission tickets (offered at $199) are for empowered travelers and travel companies. Blogger tickets (offered at $159) are available for published bloggers and media representatives who will be covering WITS on social media and their websites throughout the weekend.

Full Story at PR.com | Massachusetts Gay Travel Resources

Self Guided Tours of Madrid

Author: , November 19th, 2014

Madrid, Spain - Apple MapsAt first glance, Madrid seems like a sprawling maze of neighborhoods, monuments, and museums — but as locals will quickly point out, most of the sites you’re setting out to see are smack dab in the center. The best way to explore the Spanish capital? By foot. Here are four routes you can take to see it all.

Walk Through History:

Start your tour at the Plaza de Espana, a stunning square set on the end of the shopping street, Gran Via, surrounded by Madrid’s two tallest buildings. The square is just a 15-minute walk from the Campo del Moro palace gardens, Sabatini Gardens, and the Palacio Real — the royal palace dating back to the 17th century.

Get lost strolling through the pedestrian-friendly area as you make your way to the Plaza Mayor. Once the site of executions during the Spanish inquisition, the square and its archways are now home to cafe terraces surrounded by the stunning 16th and 17th century architecture. Nearby, the traditional Mercado San Miguel is an indoor market dating back to 1916 with 33 stalls filled with meats, cheese, and tapas.

By Lane Nieset – Full Story at Shermans Travel | Madrid Gay Travel Resources

Image via Apple Maps

Dueling Pianos – Nov 29

Author: , November 19th, 2014

One night only! A high energy, interactive, and all-request rock and roll event. From Bon Jovi to Billy Joel, you make the requests and you Capitol Centersing along – lots of music, and lots of laughs in one of the most interactive shows to hit the stage. Dueling Pianos http://glynnhouse.com/events/ shows are request oriented, interactive sing-a-long shows  wherein two piano players sit across from each other and trade songs.

The romantic Glynn House Inn – situated in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains and Lakes Region – offers guests and exceptional experience. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Bring your four-footed canine pal on holiday and reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. Venture away from the Inn and enjoy antiquing, art galleries, boating, fine dining, fishing, golf, hiking, historic sites, skiing, snowmobiling, “tax free” shopping and scenic drives along tranquil country roads. Visit the Glynn House website http://www.glynnhouse.com for additional information about the Inn and local activities.