The Nomadic Boys Hulk Out at Universal Orlando

Author: , August 11th, 2017

Universal Orlando - Stefan and Sebastien

Whether you’re a Harry Potter fan, Simpsons geek, or you love good old fashioned wild rollercoaster rides, Universal Studios in Orlando will completely rock your world.

This was one of our highlights from our trip in Florida, especially the life size recreation of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and all those Marvel fantasies brought to life. Universal is simply overwhelming, exciting and completely magical!

This is our 5 favourite rides at Universal Studios in Orlando, which we loved so much, we went on each of them at least 2/3 times.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Harry Potter fans will be blown away the moment they step into Diagon Alley at Universal Studios for their first time. The immense detail that has gone into recreating everything is simply astonishing, from the Butterbear stands, the dragon atop Gringotts Wizarding Bank and the many different wizarding shops where you can buy souvenirs, wands and more.

On the other side of the Wizarding World, which is located at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, you can visit Hogwarts school and take the Forbidden Journey. This is a motion-based dark ride through Hogwarts and its impressive grounds with Harry and Ron leading the way. It’s so lifelike that you really feel like you’re flying on a broomstick through a Quidditch match. A must for all Harry Potter fans.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Orlando Gay Travel Resources

At Journey’s End B&B – Gay Friendly St. Augustine Bed & Breakfast

Author: , August 7th, 2017

At Journey's End B&B

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

Welcome to At Journey’s End Bed & Breakfast, conveniently located in the heart of historic Saint Augustine.

We’re on a quiet side street, away from street traffic and noise, but stil just steps away from everything the Oldest City in America has to offer:

  • The Castillo de San Marcos
  • Lightner Museum
  • Flagler College
  • The Bridge of Lions
  • The Bayfront

There are many fine restaurants and boutique shops, as well as ocean beaches and the St. Augustine Lighthouse. At Journey’s End is the ideal Bed and Breakfast for your visit to the Ancient City.

At our St. Augustine Bed & Breakfast, we offer the sophistication of a Bed & Breakfast with the comforts of a home! Your hosts, John Gallagher and Tim Millbern, are well-known in town for their welcoming personalities and the friendly, relaxed atmosphere they have created at their Saint Augustine Inn. You’ll arrive as a guest, and leave as our friend!

Our late 1800’s Victorian House is comfortably designed and decorated to make your stay in St. Augustine enjoyable. With only 5 guest rooms, we’re able to give our guests the personal attention and hospitality they deserve. Every room is individually decorated and appointed with:

  • King/Queen sized “sleep-tite” comfort(TM) beds
  • Ensuite private baths with RainShower(TM) heads giving you a luxurious chlorine-free natural shower.
  • Cable Television
  • Some rooms include private porches or verandas
  • Some rooms are Pet and child friendly

Our St. Augustine Inn also features onsite parking, wonderful breakfasts every morning, afternoon snacks, free sodas, wine and beer, and much more.

We also offer complimentary wifi access, bike/kayak storage, and we can make reccomendations and reservations for you for restaurants, sightseeing, and much more.

Looking for the perfect place to stay in beautiful, historic St. Augustine? Come stay with us At Journey’s End.

See the PROPERTY Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

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

 

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Urban Art in St. Petersburg

Author: , August 4th, 2017

St. Petersburg Murals

Urban art is usually associated with graffiti-ridden ghettos, not attractive beach resorts. But the LGBTI-friendly city of St Pete is exceptional.

St. Petersburg murals have spread across the city on Florida’s west coast in recent years. And the authorities have embraced this new generation’s way of beautifying the place they love.

After all, St Petersburg is no ordinary beach town. Since 2010 AmericanStyle Magazine has ranked it number one ‘America’s Arts Destination’ for mid-sized cities.

St Pete’s urban artists respect each other’s masterpieces. The murals haven’t sparked vandalism or tagging. They’ve inspired more art, with icons and themes often taken from the city’s cultural past.

And if you’re looking for free-loving, liberation-building, queer-styling art, you’ll find it everywhere.

By Tris Reid-Smith – Full Story at Gay Star News

St. Petersburg Gay Travel Resources

Gay Orlando

Author: , June 11th, 2017

gay Orlando

Florida has an array of amazing destinations, and many are famously LGBTI-friendly. Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Key West to name but a few. But there’s something special about gay Orlando; a magical draw that sets it apart it from its beachside brothers. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been desperate to go since you were four years old.

It’s known worldwide for being a friendly and welcoming place. Which in part explains why last year’s horrific massacre shocked in the way it did.

Almost exactly one year ago, on 12 June 2016, gunman Omar Mateen stormed Latino night at gay nightclub Pulse. Some 49 people were shot dead and another 58 wounded during the atrocious incident. But one year on, local LGBTIs are defiant, and visitors continue to descend on the city in droves. In fact, last year Orlando celebrated record tourism: 68 million people to be exact. (To put that into perspective, only around 262,000 live here!)

The only logical conclusion is that gay Orlando is, and always will be, amazing. Here are just 8 examples of that amazingness – starting with rollercoasters, obviously.

By Jamie Tabberer – Full Story at Gay Star News

Orlando Gay Travel Resources

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: The Ringling Museum

Author: , June 3rd, 2017

The Ringling

The RinglingWhen one thinks of the word  ‘Ringling’ most people think of the “Greatest Show on Earth” like the Circus. A trip down to Sarasota, Florida will put a new meaning to that word.  John N. Ringling of course was the founder of the Ringling Brothers Circus and with his brothers he did make it into the “Greatest Show on Earth” however there is much more to John N. Ringling than just his “Circus”. We call it ‘The Ringling in Sarasota’ and is located right on the beach of the Gulf of Mexico.

The RinglingThere are actually five main buildings at ‘The Ringling’. First is the main office complex with galleries, bookstore and is where you purchase your tickets. It also has the Center’s Education Art Library and Conservation Lab.

It also houses a very upscale dining room. The 2nd building is the Museum of Art. First stop after getting your tickets is to walk to the Museum of Art with 31 galleries filled with priceless pieces of art from Old Masters thru contemporary from throughout the world.  The exterior of the Museum is magnificent itself with statues and columns everywhere. One could easily spend a whole day just in the Museum of Art.

The RinglingThen a leisurely walk to the Gulf of Mexico to tour John and Mable’s Mansion. With 4 floors of magnificent European furniture, oil paintings, bronzes, crystal chandeliers, fine china and silver, it is breath-taking to see.  Located directly on the Gulf of Mexico with views to remember forever.

While you are there, visit the Bayfront Gardens. This is one of the most beautiful gardens that we have seen. It is as much ‘real art’ as one can witness. It is a true living treasure with plenty of statuary under the magnificent banyan trees and roses everywhere!

The RinglingAs you take another leisurely walk to the Circus Museum you will see the parade wagons, the posters, the glittering costumes and the cannon that shot performers through the air. It will surely bring back a lot of memories for you when the circus would come to town and you and your family would rush down to see it.

The 5th building is the beautiful historic Asolo Theater which is housed next to the main building. They have dramatic performances there that is a ‘must see’ for visitors.The theater has a remarkable history and you can read all about it at  https://www.ringling.org/history-historic-asolo-theater It actually dates back several hundred years and was brought over to the United States years ago and re-assembled.

The RinglingThey have two places to dine at “The Ringling”…… a very lovely sit down restaurant in the main building and an outdoor dining option close to the Museum of Art. Next time that you are in Florida, forget Mickey Mouse and visit the ‘Ringling’ instead. You won’t be sorry as this is a tremendous Museum to visit and one that you will remember forever.

The Ringling Museum is the largest museum in Florida.  They are located at 5401 Bay Shore Road in Sarasota. They are open daily, 10 AM -5 PM and Thursdays until 8 PM.  Their phone number is 941.359.5700 is www.ringling.org/   They have plenty of free parking.

When we visit museums and art galleries we always like to give praise to special people. At the ‘Ringling’ we want to praise Robin Findlay and Alice Murphy in the front office and to Mary Schreck who was one of the finest tour guides that we have ever encountered in all of our travels from coast to coast. She was extremely professional and informative about the Mansion.  Everyone in our group was extremely pleased with her knowledge and she answered all questions perfectly.

Don and RayAlways 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/

West Central Florida Gay Travel Resources

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Florida Holocaust Museum

Author: , May 27th, 2017

Holocaust Museum - St. Petersburg

When we were in St. Petersburg, Florida earlier this month we visited the Florida Holocaust Museum which is one of the largest such museums in the country.  This year they are celebrating their 25th Anniversary.

Their permanent exhibit, “History, Heritage and Hope” is on the first floor and features original artifacts, videos and photos. It deals not only with antisemitism but also with other victim groups. The Nazis classified not only Jews as ‘the enemy” but also included Roma (Gypsies), people with disabilities, Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, Afro-Germans as well as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Homosexuals.

Holocaust MuseumThe centerpiece of the museum collection is an actual train box car that transported victims of the Nazi regime to the concentration camps. It rests upon original track from the Treblinka Killing Center as a silent tribute to those who perished on the Holocaust.  Seeing this is a VERY daunting and somber experience.  Just to think of all the hatred in the world both in history and in today’s world as well !  Everyone claiming to be a right wing Christian and or ‘born again Christian needs to visit this museum as well as everyone else in the country!  You will walk away with a new appreciation toward life. The 2nd and 3rd floor has changing exhibits of art and history.
Besides having artifacts, photos, exhibits, etc. the museum also runs several programs of outreach within the community with the aim of continuing their mission of human rights. To put it simple…… they are an excellent and outstanding organization.

They are now having a very special exhibit thru July 2:  NAZI PERSECUTION OF HOMOSEXUALS – 1933-1945. Between 1933 and 1945, 100,000 men were arrested for homosexuality under Paragraph 175, the sodomy provision of the German penal code dating back to 1871.    Some were imprisoned, others were sent to concentration camps.  Of the latter, only about 4,000 survived. In 2000, fewer than 10 of these men were known to be living.  The exhibit is full of LGBT history with stories, photos and artifacts.

Holocaust MuseumFive of the survivors came forward in a documentary to tell their stories for the first time, considered to be among the last untold stores of the Third Reich. The documentary, “PARAGRAPH 175” tells of a gap in the historical record and reveals the lasting consequences, as told through personal stories of gay men and women who lived through it. including Karl Gorath, Gad Beck, the half-Jewish resistance fighter who spent the war helping refugees escape Berlin, Annette Eick, a Jewish lesbian who escaped to England with the help of a woman she loved; Albrecht Becker, German Christian photographer who was arrested and imprisoned for homosexuality, then joined the army on his release and Pierre Seel, the Alsatian teenager who watched as his lover was eaten alive by dogs in the camps. If you REALLY want to read a heart wrenching story, just ‘Google’ Perre Seel, actually ‘Google’ all of these people.

They are having a special film showing at the Museum on June 21 at 6:30. The FHM Film Series:  Paragraph 175. This event is free and open to the public! If you are unable to attend the see the movie yourself as it is at many local libraries as well as thru Amazon.com.
The Museum is located in downtown St. Petersburg at 55 Fifth Street South and their hours daily are 10 AM to 5 PM. You can call them at 727.821.0100 or visit their websites: www.thefhm.org or https://www.flholocaustmuseum.org/

We want to thank Kristen Wright at the Museum for her assistance.

We dedicate this travel column to Siegbert “Siggi” Wilzig, (1926-2003) who was a Holocaust survivor and  the Father of Sir Ivan, Sherry Izak and Alan Wilzig and the husband of our dear friend Naomi Wilzig,(1934-2015),

Don and RayAlways 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/

St. Petersburg Gay Travel Resources

Gay Fort Lauderdale – Windy City

Author: , May 25th, 2017

Fort Lauderdale

Going to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is an experience in warmth. The expected aspect of that would involve the actual air temperature; in fact, it was a record 85 degrees one “winter” day when I was there recently. However, the sunny disposition of the people (natives and tourists) was just as obvious as the climate and warm beach.

The first place this was obvious was The Grand Resort & Spa (539 N. Birch Rd.; GrandResort.net) Fort Lauderdale’s largest gay-owned and -operated men’s spa/resort—and there are a few in the neighborhood. Lee very kindly showed me around the spacious Grand, pointing out the pool, spa and, yes, clothing-optional grotto (where my cool suite happened to be). Yes, there’s warmth—and if you want to shed your inhibitions (and clothes), this is the place to be.

The spa ( which is essentially a bungalow ) features rooms that are comfortable. Massages (Swedish, mud and otherwise) are available, although I opted for a facial that left me feeling and looking refreshed.

After checking in to The Grand Resort, it was off to Wilton Manors restaurant Bubbles + Pearls (2037 Wilton Dr.; bubblesnpearls.com/), a champagne raw bar that can boast a Top Chef contestant as its owner—in this case, lesbian Josie Smith Malave. Malave, like various people I met and just observed, was extremely friendly, chatting up visitors and regulars alike.

By the way, if you can get her to tell you about her adventures in New York City, you’ll be transfixed. As for the food, there’s some excellent seafood—and the chicken and ribeye are pretty impressive as well. A side benefit was getting to introduce one of my dining companions to shishito peppers. He was so enthralled that he planned to send seeds to his own father sothe can plant some.

By Andrew Davis – Full Story at Windy City

Fort Lauderdale Gay Travel Resources

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Treasure Island, Florida

Author: , May 20th, 2017

beach house beach two

Need to get away and have a VERY comfortable, relaxing and enjoying time ? We have found the perfect place! Treasure Island, Florida is just about 8 miles west of downtown St. Petersburg and a little over 20 miles from the Tampa International Airport.  You drive over the causeway and you are there. They have the most beautiful  beaches and the beaches are extremely wide, like a block wide! The sand is perfect.

beach house fountainWe also found the perfect place to stay….. Beach House Cabanas is owned by Eric and David Barenz, a married couple. Located at 12035 Gulf Blvd. and just a short block from the beaches, this is a ideal location. Eric and David purchased a very wonderful accommodation about a year ago and since ownership they have made it into an extra fabulous accommodation!

beach house courtyardThey know how to treat and accommodate their guests and their guests are spreading the word from coast to coast about how wonderful this accommodation is. They have one of the finest listings on tripadvisor from over 100 guests who have reviewed them on tripadvisors. Check out: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g34693-d7390364-Reviews-Beach_House_Cabanas-Treasure_Island_Florida.html

beach house bedroomThey have 11 rooms and a magnificent courtyard area in the front with a huge fountain and palm trees and a lush tropical garden. All rooms are equipped with a fridge, micro-wave and even wine glasses and an opener. Each morning they have a Keurig coffee machine (and tea) and fresh fruit, breakfast bars and muffins and of course all is complimentary.  This is a beautiful place where all the guests mingle and get to know each other.

After your morning breakfast pick up one of their complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas and walk a short block to the beach. They are very close to shops to purchase anything that one needs.

There is a Trolley that stops directly in front of them and goes up and down the entire beach area. A large Publix supermarket is within a few blocks and there is a convenience store in their block. Within walking distance they have dozens of restaurants with menus varying from seafood, steaks, Mexican and anything else you are into.

In all of our travels from coast to coast we have never stayed in a place that is this super clean and found the owners so hospitable as Eric and David. They will make your stay on Treasure Island a remarkable memory that will last forever.

Just be sure and take some sun screen to take to the beach. As the reviews on tripadvisor express, you go there as guests and you leave as friends. Thank you Eric and David for being so professional and doing things the ‘right way’. We just wish that more accommodations were operated as professional as you operate the Beach House Cabanas.
For more information on Treasure Island, visit, http://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/cities/treasure-island.html

Check them out at http://beachhousecabanas.com/ You can make reservations by calling them at 727.201.9940 or email them at
beachhousecabanasti@gmail.com

Don and RayAlways 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/

Queer St. Petersburg, Florida

Author: , April 17th, 2017

Queer St. Petersburg, Florida

It’s a hot and humid summer night in St. Petersburg, Florida and flood lights are streaming down hard upon Tropicana Field where the Tampa Bay Rays are about to face the San Francisco Giants. Every last ticket has been sold for this home game (a first for the Rays), and thousands are slipping into black T-shirts bearing the team’s signature burst. It’s a night of excitement here in sunny St. Pete, but also one of somber reflection. This is no ordinary baseball game.

Less than one week prior, a 29-year-old gunman rushed into Pulse Nightclub in Orlando (just 105 miles away) and massacred 49 people while wounding 53 others. As a nation grieved, the Rays sprung into action by creating an impromptu Pride Night to benefit the victims and families of the shooting. It included a tribute to the victims, the singing of the national anthem by LGBT choral group Una Voce, a showcasing of the Pride flag on the field, and tens of thousands of fans donning free shirts that read “We Are Orlando” in rainbow colors. It was incredible.

But this is only one reason to love St. Pete, a quirky sun-drenched metropolis whose cultural attractions, stately downtown and LGBT friendliness are often overshadowed by other Florida cities. Some facts about Pinellas County: It is Florida’s second smallest county, but home to nearly one million people and by far the densest in the state. It boasts 35 miles of sandy beaches and a total of 588 miles of coast- line. It is the birthplace of both Wikipedia and Hooters and its mid-June Pride celebration is the largest in the Sunshine State. In short, it’s an interesting place.

I begin my weekend by cruising the Pinellas Byway away from the city and toward my hotel in sunny St. Pete Beach. The tollbooth attendant greets me with a fist bump (an auspicious beginning), and soon I am checking in at the Kimpton Hotel Zamora (3701 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach Tel: 888-809-1588. www.thehotelzamora.com), a Gulf-facing Mediterranean-style resort adorned with dramatic white archways, curvy balcony rails, and gangly palm trees standing guard on all sides. I am checked in by a slender young man and his senior counterpart. I believe both are gay and were handpicked just for my arrival. I enjoy their banter as they check me in (and check me out, if you know what I mean).

By Jason Heidemann – Full Story at Passport Magazine

St. Petersburg Gay Travel Resources

Key West Bar Crawl

Author: , March 9th, 2017

Key West Bar Crawl

Whether you’re visiting Key West for the LGBT history, art, food or something a little more adventurous, there’s one thing no vacation is complete without: drinks. The vibrant nightlife in Key West is every bit as unique as the rest of the local culture. Key West’s welcoming attitude, great weather and manageable size make it a perfect place to put together a bar crawl that’ll take you on a tour of all the scenes the island has to offer. With less car congestion and crowd crush as other Florida destinations, a stroll between Key West hotspots gives you a chance to take in the historic streetscapes between all those vodka sodas.

Below are five of our picks for a night out that’ll get you stumbling home wearing a smile (and maybe not much else).

SIP SLOW

Keep it classy while you can. Start your night slow with an early evening DIY wine tasting at D’Vine Gallery (526 Angela St.). You can help yourself to samples for as little as $1.50 per “taste” at this self-serve wine bar inside the Gardens Hotel. Once you find your favorite, grab a bigger swig or a full glass using the same state-of-the-art system. Depending on the day, you could catch live piano or jazz while you drink up.

Full Story at Towleroad.com

Key West Gay Travel Resources