Eating Out in St. Petersburg, Florida

Author: , January 6th, 2014

St. Petersburg, FloridaA typical St. Petersburg itinerary might include seeing the Dali Museum, having a drink at the storied Vinoy hotel and checking out nearby beaches. As in any good-sized city, the downtown and waterfront areas have plenty of restaurant options, from seafood and Italian to Asian and Mexican.

But just west of downtown along Central Avenue, in St. Pete’s emerging Grand Central District, a funkier, somewhat less grown-up array of eateries is bubbling up.

Here, amid a dozen antique and thrift shops, just beyond Haslam’s enormous book emporium, you’ll find bars and cafes with unique themes. The clientele ranges from hipsters and tattooed 20-somethings to middle-aged couples and groups of friends out for a fun evening.

Authored By Beth J. Harpaz – See the Full Story at Edge Boston

Click here for gay travel resources in St. Petersburg.

Gay Road Trip – St. Petersburg, Florida

Author: , August 5th, 2013

St. Petersburg, FloridaAt the crack of dawn outside Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, where a rising sun is beating back the darkness and thousands around me are still wiping the sleep from their eyes, I am standing at a starting line that is both literal and metaphoric. I am lunging forward in a pair of revealing Adidas shorts in an attempt to really feel the stretch in my quads as I wait for the shotgun blast that will signal the start of the St. Pete Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon (

The annual 13.1-mile course zigs and zags its way around all the iconic sites Sunshine City has to offer and is part of the same guitar-driven running series that pops up in cities across the country. But I’m also at another starting line. Less than 24 hours ago I touched down at Tampa Bay International Airport as part of a ten-day road trip through the Sunshine State that will loop through big cities, ancient swamps, legendary gay playgrounds, and everything else I can scrunch in-between. It is a balmy Sunday in February and the journey begins here.

St. Petersburg is situated on a gorgeous, dangling peninsula that is slightly pinched at its northern tip and hemmed in by Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. It’s sedated compared to other Florida cities, but I prefer its stately charms, celebrated beaches, and growing indie scene over Tampa’s oddball zoning and petulant Ybor City-centric nightlife.

Authored By Jason Heidemann – See the Full Story at Passport

Click here for gay travel resources on Florida’s Central West Coast.

Gay Guide to Russia’s St. Petersburg

Author: , May 3rd, 2013

St. Petersburg, Russia - AutostraddleEver wanted to visit a truly exotic land? Alea at Autostraddle took a trip to St. Petersburg (the one in Russia, not Florida), and reports back:

I arrived in St. Petersburg, Russia on September 5, where I eagerly met the new host family that I would be living with for the next three and a half months. With its elegant architecture, massive churches and broad streets, Petersburg makes you feel like you’are living in a dream. Though it’s got its share of pros and cons, the memories you make in this gorgeous city will stick with you forever.

Get Down With Your Bad Self

As a general rule for club going in Russia, the party doesn’t really start until well after 1 am! For those of you staying in different parts of the city, it helps to be aware that the metro closes at 12 pm and that bridges leading back to specific islands go up, and could leave you stranded. Try to book a hostel or hotel in the center of the city so that you can avoid these hassles because who really wants to go home before midnight anyway?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Russia.

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: GayStPete House, St. Petersburg, Florida

Author: , January 23rd, 2013

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

GayStPete House, St. Petersburg, FloridaGayStPete House is a small, inexpensive guest house with a private, clothing optional pool area – relax in our tropical atmosphere and soak up the wonderful Florida sunshine. There’s also a large, private sundeck, and a jacuzzi where you can de-stress under the stars.

Our St. Petersburg guest house is in a great location – close to both the downtown area and local beaches, and to the gay friendly Grand Central District of Saint Petersburg.

Our rooms are decorated in bright tropical colors with full- or queen-sized beds, and some have views of our tropical pool courtyard. Each room also has a TV and DVD player.

This St. Petersburg guest house was originally built in 1929, and has a combination of long-term rentals and vacation guest rooms.

See the GayStPete House Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

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

Russia: St. Petersburg Gay Rights Activists Call for Travel Ban on Homophobic Officials

Author: , March 21st, 2012

St. Petersburg, RussiaGay rights activists in St. Petersburg have sent letters to governments of U.S., EU, Australia and Canada asking them to ban entry for city officials behind the controversial gay propaganda ban.

St. Petersburg’s Governor Georgy Poltavchenko on Sunday approved a law penalizing “the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia among minors.” The law effectively outlaws any Gay Pride events.

Activists say Poltavchenko and city lawmaker Vitaly Milonov, who initiated the bill “violated the fundamental rights of LGBT people to freedom of expression, the right on which all democratic and free societies are based.”

Full Story from RIA Novosti

Click here for gay travel resources in Russia.


How Gay Friendly is St. Petersburg, Russia?

Author: , February 23rd, 2012

St. Petersburg, RussiaGay travel websites herald St. Petersburg as Russia’s most gay-friendly city. According to, “St. Petersburg is to Moscow what San Francisco is to New York. Culture and nightlife are explosive yet there’s a sense that people aren’t in nearly as big a hurry.”

That statement was arguably true up until February 8, 2012, the date when St. Petersburg approved a controversial bill that threatens to impose fines of up to $16,700 for the “promotion of homosexuality.”

The bill–if signed in to law by St. Petersburg’s mayor–will criminalize reading, writing, speaking or reporting on anything related tao gay, lesbian bi or trans people, and will make illegal almost all activity related to defending or promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) equality. “Pride parades, literature, or NGOs that openly serve LGBT people will be wiped out, or pushed underground,” said leading global lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered rights group

Full Story from eTurboNews

Click here for gay travel resources in Russia.


Purple Roofs Gay Travel Newsletter: January, 2012

Author: , January 9th, 2012

Welcome to the Purple Roofs Newsletter for January, 2012!

We just launched an all new version of the Purple Roofs gay travel site – our first in more than 8 years – with a great new look, and new features, including local articles, events, and links to our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages. Take a look at the new site here!

We even redesigned the blog!

We’ve got lots of great stuff for you this month – from featured articles on Italy’s Oltrepo Pavese, Davao in the Philippines, The Berkshires, and St. Petersburg, to other gay travel articles from around the world!

You’ll also find some great accommodation specials and discounts, tons of upcoming gay travel events, and much more.

Salsbury House B&B, Courtenay, BC

Our January Newsletter Sponsor:

Salsbury House B&B
Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada

Salsbury House Bed & Breakfast is in the heart of the lovely Comox Valley, on the Georgia Strait side of Vancouver Island.

Salsbury House Bed & Breakfast is the perfect base for exploring the Comox-Courtenay area and central and northern Vancouver Island, whether you’re here for a romantic weekend, vacation, or a business trip.

1 250 338-2720 | Email Salsbury House | Visit the Salsbury House B&B Website

Our Featured Articles This Month:

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: St. Petersburg: THE Major Art Destination City in the CountryTRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: St. Petersburg: THE Major Art Destination City in the Country
by Don and Ray, Gay Travelers

St. Petersburg, Florida is certainly one of the very major art destination cities in the country. Sure, New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, etc. offers a large variety but for a medium size city in the country, no city can even come close to what St. Petersburg has to offer. In addition to the fabulous art museums and galleries which are basically all located right downtown sitting on the Bay, one can shop and dine in dozens of exciting and interesting retail shops and restaurants.

Oltrepo Pavese, The Tuscany of the North
by Stef Smulders, B&B Villa i Due Padroni

The Oltrepo Pavese is the largest wine producing area of Lombardy in the North of Italy, only 50 km from Italy’s Gay Capital Milan, but is also virtually unknown abroad. It is reminiscent of Tuscany, but without the tourist industry. The landscape is beautiful, the people are kind, the food is authentic and there are lots of possibilities for walking, hiking, cycling and sight-seeing. The smooth hills are covered with vineyards, castles and medieval villages and this landscape reminds one of Tuscany. Pace of life is slow, food is traditional and wine can be tasted anywhere, in one of the over 100 independent cantines.

The Davao LifeThe Davao Life
by Josephine, Davao Condo Rental

The city of Davao is the largest city on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. It has a population of over 1,600,000 people. Which makes it the second largest city in the Philippines, second only to Manila. It offers an international airport and its seaports are among the busiest cargo hubs in the Philippines. In recent years, Davao has developed into the business, investment and tourism hub for the entire southern Philippines. It ranks as the 87th fastest growing city in the world by the city Mayors Foundation and is listed by the Foreign Direct Investment Magazine as the 10th “Asian City of the Future”. In 2008, it was named as the Most Livable City in the Philippines by the Department of Tourism.

The Berkshires – All Weather Enjoyment
by Nana Simopoulos, Topia Inn

The Northern Berkshires is a place where outstanding nature and culture experiences combine for all weather enjoyment. Mt Greylock is the tallest peak in Southern New England. There are many trails to the summit that start in Adams for hikers of all levels as well as lakes and waterfalls to swim in. Across the valley is Savoy Mountain National Forest with pristine lakes and sandy beaches. The Aschuwillticook rail trail is now a smooth 11 mile bicycle path alongside rivers, a bird sanctuary, lakes and mountain views. Mass MoCA is the largest contemporary art museum in the country with a year round performing arts center. The contemporary music ensemble Bang on a Can are among their resident artists every summer.

More Gay Travel News

We also scour the web to bring you all the gay travel news we can find. You can see these posts on a daily basis at, or sign up for our RSS feed. Here are some of our favorites from the last month:

Carlos Melia

Intrepid traveler Carlos Melia is also posting to the Purple Roofs Gay Travel Blog – here are his adventures this last month:

Gay Travel Events The Next Two Months:

Check out our new events calendar, where we list gay events around the world – Here are the events for the next two months:

Sign Up for Our Gay Travel Sweepstakes

Boston, Massachusetts Sweepstakes: We’re teaming up with the beautiful Bulfinch Hotel in Boston ( to give away 5 nights in Massachusetts.

Check Out Our Special Offer Section

Our innkeepers and travel agents offer exclusive specials to travelers who find them on Purple Roofs. This month, we have 158 Accommodation/Tour offers listed in 18 countries! No membership required.

Visit Our Other Websites:

Gayapolis: Personals, daily news, and a great gay and lesbian directory.

Mi Casa Su Casa: Our home trade network, with over 310 members around the world, for just $75 for 5 years.

Gay Realty Network: Real estate professionals around the world.

Purple Unions: Gay friendly wedding vendors around the world.

Find Us On Twitter:

We now have a twitter account – follow us at

Find Us On Facebook:

We now have a facebook page too – like us at

Find Us On Google+:

We now have a Google+ page as well – follow us at

Marriage Equality News:

Also check out Gay Marriage Watch, our daily news blog about gay marriage: We bring you all the news on the fight for gay marriage daily. Join our blog email list by sending a subscription request to Find the full blog at You can now also find us on Twitter with regular updates every day at

That’s it for this month – enjoy the newsletter!

Mark & Scott
PurpleRoofs –, PO Box 4666, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

PS: Wanna sponsor this newsletter and reach over 25,000 people? Email us at for details.

Gay Travel: St. Petersburg in the New Russia

Author: , May 1st, 2011

St. Petersburg, RussiaIt was in 1967 that I flew from New York to Luxembourg on a $169 round trip on Icelandic Air. I picked up a Bug at the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, Germany, choosing a sunroof over a radio, despite the fact that it pushed the cost to $1,025, $25 over the high end of my budget.

After a lurching start as I belatedly familiarized myself with a standard transmission, I set out with a friend for a two-month-long drive in the Soviet Union. The trip had been planned and paid for in advance through the New York office of Inturist, the Soviet government-run agency, with vouchers awaiting our arrival at the assigned border crossing for everything from gasoline to campsites, meals to hotels and the services of a private guide when we were in cities like Moscow and Leningrad.

Fast-forward 42 years. It’s 2009 and I’m returning for the first time since ’67 with my daughter Martine, who is about the age I was when I last set foot here. The past 20 years have followed the dissolution of the Soviet Union and an end to the stifling impact of Soviet communism.

Full Story from The Hawaii Reporter

Click here for gay travel resources in Russia.

Featured Property: Mansion House B&B, St. Petersburg, Florida

Author: , October 10th, 2010

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

Gay Friendly Tampa/St. Petersburg Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Mansion House B&B - St. Petersburg, FloridaThe historic Mansion House I and MHII are mirror-image arts and crafts houses built in 1901-1904 – we’re celebrating our centennial in 2001! We’re a traditional B&B inn in the heart of beautiful St. Petersburg’s Old Northeast and the arts and entertainment district, The QuARTer. Just two blocks from one of the loveliest natural harbors, the Vinoy Basin and the Renaissance Vinoy Resort, Straub, and Vinoy Parks – the perfect place to see the sunrise, take a run, rollerblade, bike or walk.

Mansion House was the home of the first mayor of St. Peter, David Moffett. It was built by one of the movers and shakers of this area, A.F. Thomasson and his wife, Phoebe Mackie. MHII was built by Julia Kemp and her husband, a noted physician in town. Each room is furnished differently – mostly antiques and rich woods.

A few of our local attractions:

Straub and Vinoy Parks: A 5 minute stroll where open air concerts and festivals are held regularly.
Museum of Fine Arts: Providing outstanding examples of world art in an inviting, elegant setting.
St Petersburg Holocaust Museum: The fourth largest Holocaust museum in the country.
Fort Desoto Park: Besides the glistening 7-mile stretch of beach, the park offers outstanding opportunities to view wildlife.

See the Mansion House Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here


Author: , August 7th, 2010
Email Don & Ray | Visit the Gay Travel Guys Website

Visit the Purple Roofs Florida Page

Want to Get Married in Florida? | Looking for Gay Florida Real Estate?

Florida Beach Chairs

Florida BeachWith all the television, radio and newspaper media telling the whole world about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, thousands of tourists are thinking that the coasts of Florida are all oily.

WRONG!!!! We have received dozens of emails from readers asking about the Florida coasts. The coast line of Florida is still as beautiful as ever!

Forget what you have heard. We recently flew down for a visit to both coasts and everything is perfect and we do mean perfect!

Ft. Lauderdale, FloridaThe east side of Florida including Jacksonville, Daytona, Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami are fabulously wonderful.

The west side of Florida is equally as great including Naples, Ft. Myers and the St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay area.

Most gays usually go to Ft. Lauderdale where there are dozens of gay resorts, or they go to the St. Petersburg/Tampa area.

Flamingo Resort, St. Petersburg, FloridaWith the opening of the new Flamingo Resort in St. Petersburg, more and more gays are going there now. The Resort has 130 rooms.

Others prefer the smaller coastal cities such as St. Augustine, Daytona Beach on the east coast or Naples and Ft. Myers on the west coast.

The favorite for many, many years was Key West. How we wish that we had been going to Key West back in the 1960’s!

With the straight cruise ships landing in Key West, it has changed somewhat, but it is still a very unusual place to visit.

It is hot everywhere in the country this summer so head down to the Florida beaches and take advantage of their beautiful sandy beaches. Actually we enjoy going to all the beaches in Florida.

Ft. Lauderdale is one of the most popular destinations for gays all over the country since it has so many things to see and but don’t forget the rest of the beaches in Florida. GO visit the coasts of Florida this summer and enjoy yourself!

Before traveling to Florida this summer, here are great websites to check out:

and for our leather friends:

and of course ALWAYS check out anyplace where you are traveling by going to

Don & ray - Gay TravelersAlways 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 and visit their website at