Gay Travel: Tourism Vancouver Offers Vacation Sweepstakes

Author: , December 23rd, 2010

You Could win a trip for four to Vancouver during the “Choose your Season” Sweepstakes.

Blessed with four distinct seasons, yet a moderate West Coast climate, Vancouver is the ultimate year-round destination. And now, you could win a Vancouver trip during the season of your choice.

Go to the Tourism Vancouver site to enter today.

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Top 10 Gay Travel Destinations From RNW

Author: , December 23rd, 2010

What’s the place to be these days if you are gay or lesbian? Here’s our top ten of the world’s gay-friendly destinations.

Homosexuality was still officially illegal in one part of Australia – Tasmania – as late as 1997, but times had already changed in other parts of the country by then. Sydney, for example, has long played host to the world’s biggest gay parade each year: the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in the gay district of Darlinghurst every February.

Place to be: Darlinghurst, and Oxford Street in particular. One of Oxford Street’s most celebrated bars/clubs is Slide.

San Francisco has a rich history of gay rights. In the gay district known as The Castro, rainbow flags fly proudly all year long, bearing witness to this long tradition of emancipation. Fifteen percent of the city’s residents identify themselves as homosexual, the highest proportion in the United States. It was in this city that an openly gay man, Harvey Milk, was first elected to public office in the US.

Place to be: Twin Peaks, which lays claim to being the first gay bar in the city and perhaps even the country.

Full Story From RNW
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Gay Friendly Catalina Island – More Gays Than Eagles?

Author: , December 21st, 2010

Catalina Island Gay Travel“Are there more resident bald eagles on the island or resident gays?” My lesbian wife, the always-sunny Mary B., and I are 22 miles away from mainland USA on a chunk of land known as Catalina Island.

True to lesbian cliche, we met only months ago in the GayTravel Guru finals, and now we consider ourselves wed, making this island adventure our honeymoon of sorts. We are on a tour of the vast, rugged interior with two gay residents who work for the organization that controls 88% of the land here, the Catalina Island Conservancy.

There is an awkward pause, and then laughs all around. “Definitely gays,” exclaims Shaun, the knowledgeable biologist tasked with removing invasive plant species on the island.

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Click here for gay travel resources on Catalina Island.

FL: Planned Gay Resort in Wilton Manors Cancelled

Author: , December 21st, 2010

Wilton Manors Gay ResortWhat was marketed as a large, luxe gay resort will not be built in gay-friendly Wilton Manors, the developers have decided after months of resident protests about traffic, density and noise. Last week G Worldwide yanked its application, and a company representative said officials have soured on the city and will seek a site for the G Resort elsewhere in eastern Broward County.

Residents of east Wilton Manors who had organized angry protests and besieged commissioners for the past three months declared victory. “It was nothing personal,” said John Fiore, the openly gay former mayor who led the protest. “We were fighting for our neighborhood, our property values and our quality of life.”

“This truly was an outstanding example of home-grown citizen activism,” said Fiore, president of Save East Wilton Manors.

Full Story from South Florida Gay News“>Click here for gay travel resources in Broward County, Florida.

Buzios, Brazil: A Great Destination For Gay Travelers

Author: , December 21st, 2010

Gay Buzios, BrazilJust 120 miles north of Rio de Janeiro lies a small peninsula known as Armacao dos Buzios. It is only eight kilometers long and adorned with over 20 magnificent beaches bathed in brilliant sunshine year-round.

Some beaches are small and accessible only by short hikes or water taxis and others are expansive, sandy stretches of shoreline with restaurants, cafes and bars. The diversity and options these beaches offer creates the perfect setting for vacations in the sun with fun outdoor activities.

No wonder this small Brazilian paradise has already been discovered by numerous LGBT travelers seeking the perfect relaxing gay-getaway. Buzios has a long history as a small fishing community and holiday destination. But in 1964, when Brigitte Bardot — super model, actress and icon of the Sixties — posed for photographs in Búzios wearing a bikini swimsuit, which was a new rage at the time, the peninsula gained a new reputation.

Full Story from SDGLN

Click here for gay Brazil travel resources.

Top 10 Gay Travel Stories of 2010

Author: , December 19th, 2010

From the good and the bad, to the downright bizarre, here is our list of the top 10 LGBT travel news headlines of 2010.

Gay Miami10. Ultra-Gay Hotels: In November, Lords South Beach Hotel opened their doors in Miami. More than just a beautiful luxury property, the hotel is a sign of something much bigger. Lords is the first brand to cater exclusively to the LGBT community. Other hoteliers are taking notice and following suit. In early 2011, Fort Lauderdale Palms will reopen, re-branding itself as North America’s biggest “full-service” gay retreat. Out NYC, a massive “urban resort” is also set to open next year.

9. No Room at the Inn: A gay couple is suing the owners the Chymorvah Private Hotel in Cornwall, United Kingdom. Martin Hall and Steven Preddy claim they were denied a room with a double bed because they are same-sex partners. They are seeking 5,000 Pounds in damages. The owners of the hotel, Peter and Hazelmary Bull say they do not allow any unmarried couples to share a room, gay or straight. On their website, the Bulls state they will only let heterosexual married couples share rooms.

8. Ceremonial Dress in Iceland: Donning a floral-print dress, comedian turned Reykjavik mayor Jon Gnarr kicked-off the city’s pride parade. The event took place just months after Iceland’s government decided to legalize gay marriage. Known for eccentricity, Gnarr’s new Best Party won city council polls after a campaign that advocated free towels in city swimming pools and a polar bear for the zoo.

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Gay Travel: What to Do in Sarasota, Florida

Author: , December 19th, 2010

From The Curious Traveler:

I’m moving to Siesta Key and staying with the folks in November. Is there a “gay” area of Sarasota like Halsted St. in Lakeview in Chicago?
—Mark, Chicago, IL

Editor: While there is no gay “section” comparable to Halsted St. in Chicago, Sarasota’s LGBT community is known for making their own fun.

In addition to Passport’s article in August 2006, Gay in Sarasota ( is a wonderful resource. Sarasota has a history of gay bars opening and closing faster than you can order a drink, so it’s best to find out current LGBT hangouts from the locals.

Full Story from Passport Magazine

Click here for gay travel resources in Sarasota & Central Florida.

Will San Francisco Have a Pride Parade in 2011?

Author: , December 19th, 2010

San Francisco PrideStaffing changes and money woes have plagued the organization that puts on the SF Pride festival, raising the possibility of major issues for the event in 2011.

Recent woes include the resignation of a co-chair, furloughs for staff, the resignation of its executive director, the loss of its beverage manager, and questions regarding the organization’s fiscal health. Significant budget deficits were revealed last month. The City Controller is currently conducting an audit of the group’s finances.

Earlier this year, the event’s beverage partners discovered that they’d been underpaid by thousands of dollars. Pride described those underpayments as a “misunderstanding” and pledged to fix the oversight, but so far has yet to do so.

Full Story from NBC Bay Area

Click here for gay travel resources in San Francisco.

Gay Travel Off the Beaten Track in Apulia, Italy

Author: , December 18th, 2010

by Augusto, Hallmark Travels

Email Augusto | Visit the Hallmark Travels Website

Visit the Purple Roofs Apulia, Italy Page

Piazza Martina Franca, Apulia, Italy

Apulia TreesThere are lots of reasons for heading off the beaten track and Apulia, southern Italy, is an unspoiled region that’s ideally suited to is, where the art of the “far niente” (doing nothing) takes place. This area has so many things to offer that it is difficult to know where to start.

Apulia FishermanYou’ll find miles and miles of coast line, coves and glorious beaches (either busy or secluded) many backed by cliffs, dunes or pine woods, as well as picturesque nice villages, deep culture and traditions, excellent food and wine. But most of all, the warmth of our people that will let you feel like you are one of them. They have a kindness and an altruism that you can only find in the South.

Monte del Giorno, Apulia, ItalyTraditionally focused on family, food and celebration, Apulia’s culture is the result of the many incursions that occurred in the past (Greek, Romans, Goths, Lombard, Byzantines, Saracen, Norman, Spanish, Turks, Venetians, etc..).

Locorotondo, Apulia, ItalyApulia is a region in southeastern Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, the Strait of Otranto and Gulf of Taranto in the south. Its southern portion, a peninsula known as Salento, forms a high heel on the “boot” of Italy. The climate is hot and dry in the summer, and there is some rain in the fall and the winter months.

The fine cuisine in Puglia is famously known to be one of the best and healthiest in Italy with its mosaic of flavours, being very creative to cook with whatever is available. The food of Puglia is in essence a home-based cuisine, not marked by the influence of great chefs or restaurants but by all the invasions the region has been subjected to.

Apulia Meat TastingSince three quarters of the area of Puglia is surrounded by the sea its products are abundant and popular: oysters, mussels, cuttlefish, and octopus are cooked in simple ways, sometimes even eaten raw in the markets. However fish is a big part of the pugliese cuisine, meat is very much appreciated: in the area of Cisternino it’s very common at night to go to the “macelleria” (butcher shop), some have a restaurant side, choosing the meat you wish to eat. They cook it on the BBQ and they serve you with grilled vegetables and some local wine.

Apulia GrapesWine production in Apulia is among the best in Italy, with Apulian producers mostly focusing on quality production. Best know Apulian wines, which in the last years have become more and more popular, are Negroamaro, Primitivo, Uva di Troia, Verdeca, Malvasia and Moscato.

It is also has an ideal climate to cultivate olive trees – in fact, with its 50 millions olive trees, the Region is actually known for being the first producer of olive oil. Amazingly, some of the trees are 1000 years old, all with different shapes, almost like pieces of Art.

Trulli in Apulia, ItalyAnother of the “icons” of Apulia are the trulloes, amazing Apulian stone dwelling with a conical roof traditionally built without any cement or mortar, thus avoiding taxation. In Alberobello atop a trullo’s cone there is normally a pinnacle that may be one of many designs, chosen for symbolism. Additionally, the cone itself may have a symbol painted on it (as shown in the picture of the trulli in Alberobello.) Such symbols may include planetary symbols, the malochio (evil eye), the cross, a heart, a star and crescent, or quite a few others.

Hallmark TravelsHallmark Travels works in partnership with its Clients to create exceptional tailored vacation experiences, wishing to understand their objectives so to be able to design best wine and food tours according to their unique travel needs. All the travel arrangements are settled in connection with the local best tourism suppliers.

Hallmark Travels will let you feel like a native in the places you will visit, through people normal facts most telling their true identity and traditions, making available to you unique emotions you will cherish in your heart when back to your everyday life. For example, all visits to winemakers involve a visit to the cellars, an introduction to the wines produced hold by the owner or the local oenologist and a wine tasting with some local food specialties. Describe us your dream holidays… and we will turn it into reality, paying our maximum attention to every detail.

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: La Nuestra B&B, Cuernavaca, Mexico

Author: , December 17th, 2010

Gay Friendly Morelos, Mexico Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

La Nuestra B&B - Cuernavaca, Morelos, MexicoLa Nuestra B&B is a cozy Bed and Breakfast hosted by two Americans. They have studied at several of the language schools and lived the immersion experience. The owners of La Nuestra understand the needs of those who prefer a Bed and Breakfast experience, rather than living with a family.

Since the 1960s, students of all ages have made Cuernavaca their destination for one the multitude of language schools. These schools, specializing in Spanish, emphasize a total immersion study creating a cottage industry of hospitality. Hundreds of students spend one week to six months studying Spanish in a school setting during the day while living with Mexican families at night.

Hundreds more, however, want the experience of studying and living in Mexico but prefer more privacy and more freedom. They are looking for a home away from home, foreign but more akin to home – a place like our place – La Nuestra Bed & Breakfast.

La Nuestra B&B has four tastefully decorated rooms, each with a private bath. There is a lovely garden, a terrace and pool for your enjoyment. Breakfast is served each morning outside under a covered terrace. The breakfast area is supplied with a microwave and small refrigerator stocked with a variety of beverages.

Both English and Spanish are spoken at La Nuestra. This allows for easy communications for all skill levels, and also provides an opportunity for everyone to learn from each other.

See the La Nuestra Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here