Great Small Towns for Queer Travelers

Author: , May 6th, 2019

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Throughout the 20th century, as particular neighborhoods in America’s largest cities became LGBTQ strongholds, a number of corresponding resort towns became similarly famous as gay vacation spots. Provincetown, Fire Island, Key West, Palm Springs, and the Russian River grew into international queer havens, united by their creative spirits and often flamboyant and permissive personalities. Slightly more low-keyed burghs—Laguna Beach, Saugatuck-Douglas, Ogunquit, Rehoboth Beach, New Hope-Lambertville—also developed big-time gay followings despite their tiny populations.

While all of these places—albeit to varying degrees—remain touchstones of queer vacation life; they also now have plenty of competition. In recent years, dozens of small communities with less pronounced queer cachet but nevertheless progressive vibes, alluring settings, and sophisticated cultural offerings have become increasingly fashionable with the LGBTQ set, both as places to live and travel.

Listed in alphabetical order, here are 10 of the most compelling of these diverse and desirable little towns with emergent gay followings. To be considered for this list, each community (as well the accompanying alternative recommendations) had to have fewer than 10,000 year-round residents, at least a couple of reliably inclusive lodging options (plus plenty of vacation rentals and Airbnb listings), and an exceptional mix of enticing activities and attractions.

Astoria, OR (pop. 9,800, travelastoria.com)

Dramatically situated where the mighty Columbia River empties into the Pacific Ocean, Astoria was visited by the Lewis & Clark expedition, permanently established as a fur-trading outpost, and eventually developed into a prominent port city and salmon-canning center. Today, with many of its stately downtown buildings and riverfront wharves occupied by hip lifestyle boutiques, artisan breweries and coffee roasters, and retro-chic cocktail bars, this hilly town at the northern tip of the spectacular Oregon coast has begun to resemble a miniature version of Portland (two hours away), complete with a sizable LGBTQ population and a super-fun Gay Pride weekend in mid-June. Pop culture alert: The Goonies was filmed here, and the former Clatsop County Jail—featured prominently in the movie—now houses the Oregon Film Museum.

By Andrew Collins – Full Story at Rainbow Times

How Queer Friendly is the Netherlands?

Author: , October 25th, 2018

Queer Netherlands - Once Upon a Journey

Travelling nowadays seems like the ultimate dream. We’re living that dream, and it is an absolute fairy tale! But, travelling the world as an LGBT traveller isn’t as easy as packing your bags and go. We have travelled to countries with anti-gay laws and we refuse to boycott countries for that reason. We believe travelling the world is for everyone! However, it’s important to do it safely. A few important questions to keep in mind before flying to a new destination: what are the LGBT+ rights? What’s the public opinion like? Where are the LGBT+ safe spaces? In our “How LGBT friendly is…” series we’ll share all so you have fewer worries and more fun on your travels! In this blog post, we answer all those questions about the Netherlands. How LGBT friendly is the Netherlands?

The Netherlands is often referred to as one of the most LGBT friendly destinations in the world (ranking #9 of Spartacus Gay Index 2018). Therefore it isn’t weird that LGBT rights in the Netherlands have been some of the most progressive in the world. The Netherlands is home to the world’s oldest existing LGBT organisation: COC Nederland, an organisation that has been fighting for LGBTI rights nationally and internationally since 1946.

In 2001, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize marriage. Registered partnerships between same-sex couples are allowed since 1998. Same-sex couples may adopt together and lesbian couples have access to IVF. There are anti-discrimination laws since 1994 that ban discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation. From 1985, transgender people can legally change their gender when undergoing surgery and hormone therapy and since 2014 without undergoing surgery and hormone therapy. It’s possible, from 1970, to state “sex cannot be determined” on a birth certificate. This year, the Dutch court has ruled that a third gender must be recognised, adding a neutral option to the ‘male’ and ‘female’ gendered boxes. Overall, the Netherlands has great LGBT laws and keeps working on them!

By Roxanne & Maartje – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Netherlands Gay Travel Resources