Eco-Tourism in Taiwan

Author: , February 26th, 2012

With lush-green mountains towering over 13,000 feet and a sub-tropical climate, Taiwan offers a variety of incredible natural resources. Recently named by Lonely Planet as one of the “Top 10 Best Countries to Visit in 2012,” the island is progressively transforming itself into a “Nature Wonderland” for international travelers to enjoy.

In March, Taiwan will host two popular green events; the International Orchid Show in Tainan from March 3 – 12, and Yilan Green Exposition in Yilan from March 31 – May 20, to demonstrate its commitment to eco-tourism.

“Taiwan’s mission to provide green sustainable living has been recognized by our international peers,” said Trust Lin, Director of Taiwan Tourism Bureau Los Angeles. “Our island is considered a ‘green trendsetter’ because of our continuous effort to develop impactful events focusing on green living. To us, this style of living is the only way to preserve Taiwan’s natural treasures, and a healthy sustainable environment for our people and travelers.”

Full Story from Edge Boston

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Visiting Langford, British Columbia – Victoria’s Lakeside Secret

Author: , February 25th, 2012
by Joanne Cowan, Cycle Inn, Victoria, British Columbia
Email Joanne | Visit The Cycle Inn Website

Visit the Purple Roofs Southern Vancouver Island page

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Butchart Gardens, Victoria

Langford, British ColumbiaLangford, British Columbia is know as the fastest growing community in Canada just now, and there is much evidence of this growth activity. Besides the abundant new housing of tasteful variety, and affordability, one spin off bonus is that there are also lots of infrastructures for enjoyment being built.

We now have a bowling alley, an indoor/outdoor skating rink, a mini golf and ballorama entertainment centre, and our 2 great artificial turf soccer fields which host the Rugby team, all with in walking distance.

A swimming pool is on the future horizon, as well as a new high school. It all sounds rather dense and “cityish” but no, there are lakes and seashores bordered with walking paths, biking trails, and beautiful vistas. Nearby are mountains to climb and hills to explore.

Craigdarroch Castle, VictoriaIf you like the city – there are cinemas, spa services, restaurants, technical service centers, DVD rental places, malls, and offices of all descriptions for your needs. If progress must be made, let’s do it with balance, and good taste.

Besides this little community there are the surrounding areas, which offer wonderful touristy opportunities, activities, and learning. The Butchart Gardens (photo at top), the Butterfly Gardens, the Victoria Art Gallery, the Royal BC Museum – with the IMAX Theatre- and the Craigdarroch Castle are all within biking distance for those of you who like to feast your eyes.

The Parliament Buildings, China Town, the Ross Bay Cemetery, the Maritime Museum, and Fort Rodd Hill are examples of historic sites, which offer great learning opportunities.

Golf in LangfordGolf? Many opportunities for those of you who like to golf 12 months of the year. I need not list them all but want to mention that there are enough near to the Cycle-Inn that you will not be wanting for a tee off time.

Tennis? Out door courts in every recreation centre, and indoor tennis in may areas as well including the Oak Bay Recreation Centre. Curling? Lots! Mountain climbing, hockey, figure skating, swimming, diving, skate boarding, BMX – and biking of all styles – in fact with the exception of snow activities (snow happens rarely) sports of all kinds flourish in Victoria.

Coming up are the Canadian Archery Championships, which will take place in the West Shore, for the target competition, and Duncan for the field events. The Bowman club is experienced in hosting national-level championships and is looking forward to showing this community the accuracy and precision involved in Olympic and National status. Opening Ceremonies are in the Victoria Bowmen Archery Club on Aug 9th. The competition is to take place on the soccer fields of West Shore Parks and Recreation from Aug 10-12.

Cycle Inn, Victoria, BCCycle Inn Bed and Breakfast is a great place from which to enjoy all these various activities. Located on the famous Galloping Goose Trail, and on the fresh water Glen Lake, it is an ideal location in which to relax, after a long and interesting day of sight seeing. You are welcome if you are on a bike, or in a car, or any other mode of transportation, with the exception of gas powered motorboats or airplanes (sorry there is a bylaw to that effect!). We have a 4 PM check in time but have ability to be flexible if you call us ahead to make other arrangements. People of all ages and from all over the world enjoy staying here, and your hostess, Joanne, welcomes you all with enthusiasm.

It is not unusual for Joanne to take you on a short bike ride before you head off to dinner, to show you a beautiful sunset, or scenic view of a lake or seashore. She is also know to send delicious healthy lunches for bike outings, and to invite guests along to rehearsals to experience the art in the making in various areas of music performance, and to volunteer alongside competitors in National Events. Life is enjoyment, and Cycle-Inn is a good place to share in this appreciation.

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Straven Guest House, Edinburgh, Scotland

Author: , February 25th, 2012

Straven Guest House, Edinburgh, ScotlandPeriodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

We (Mac and Marian) do it all so you get the BEST SERVICE – we hope it shows. Our guest house is in Edinburgh’s seaside quarter – sunny Portobello.

Best of both worlds – a peaceful residential area with lovely seaside walks and village atmosphere yet only 20 minutes to City centre. We are proud holders of the Gold award for Green Tourism so we are eco-friendly, Gay friendly, all culture friendly – and just generally friendly!

For B and B in Edinburgh enjoy a comfortable bed, breakfast choices to die for all served with – GOSH – a GSOH. What more do you need? Our Edinburgh B&B rooms are each individually styled but all share the same high standard of facilities.

Why pay city centre prices when you can stay in a peaceful and relaxing seaside location just a 20 minute bus ride away from all the hustle and bustle?

See the Straven Guest House Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Southern Scotland

Gay Travel: Top Ten Things to Do in Boston

Author: , February 25th, 2012

Boston, Massachusetts Gay TravelFor gay and lesbian tourists who love to go sightseeing, “The Walking City” is the perfect destination. Massachusetts is a progressive and metropolitan beam of light in New England, allowing same-sex couples to marry. Whether you’re visiting the city for the first time or want to discover it all over again, here’s our list of gay hotspots to check out.

10. First Fridays: If you’re an art lover or just want to pretend for a night, head over to the SOWA arts district and prepare to be amazed. More than a dozen galleries and 50 studios along Harrison Avenue take part in the popular event.

9. Cambridge: Want to nab yourself an Ivy-league chap? Look no further! Pop into a bookstore or coffee shop and take your pick of hot, nerdy, studious types. Cambridge is also a great place to find diverse restaurants and hear local musicians perform.

Full Story from

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Mister Gay Greece In Athens This Summer

Author: , February 25th, 2012

Mister Gay Greece 2012On Sunday, 10 June, 2012, beauty, knowledge, and talent will be recruited to highlight the proudest gay man in Greece, the man who deserves to represent the country in European and world gay contests.

The MISTER GAY GREECE FOUNDATION started in 2002 in Mykonos presented by the famous diva of 80s Amanda Lear. The contest continued successfully for five years with events in Mykonos & Athens and will be organised again in Athens, more dynamically, under the partnership of IGLTA (International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association), on Sunday, 10 June, 2012

The MISTER GAY GREECE FOUNDATION is not a simple beauty contest. It aims to highlight the proudest gay man in Greece, the man who will represent worthily the image of the modern gay man. The man who will make the whole of the Greek LGBT community proud for his representation.

Full Story from Edge Boston

Click here for gay travel resources in Greece.


Passport TV Visits Gay Friendly Las Vegas

Author: , February 25th, 2012

Our reporter Camilo Gomez takes us on a whirlwind tour of gay-friendly Las Vegas. Our first stop is sleek and sexy, The Chandelier at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas where he discovers Fire Breathing Dragons.

Full Story and Video from Passport Magazine

Click here for gay travel resources in Nevada.


LGBTQ Book Festival Returns to Palm Springs in March

Author: , February 25th, 2012

LGBTQ Book Festival in Palm Springs at Casitas LaquitasPage-turners of the gay and lesbian romance novel type are in for a big treat next weekend, when Bold Strokes Books holds its sixth annual LGBTQ Book Festival in Palm Springs.

The book festival begins Thursday, March 1, 2012 and runs through Sunday, March 4. Once again partnered with Casitas Laquita Resort, the four day festival will feature 30 authors reading from their latest releases, signing copies of their many books and conducting interactive panel and round-table discussions with attendees.

Bold Strokes Books (BSB) was founded in 2004 by Len Barot, author of over 40 books and anthologies herself, under the pen names Radclyffe and L.L. Raand.

Full Story from SDGLN

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Relax, Wine and Dine in Central Illinois

Author: , February 23rd, 2012
by Monika Sudakov, Chestnut Street Inn, Sheffield, Illinois
Email Monika | Visit The Chestnut Street Inn Website

Visit the Purple Roofs Illinois page

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Hunter's Ridge, Sheffield, Illinois

Hennepin Canal, Sheffield, IllinoisJust a quick 2 hour drive south of Chicago lays a perfect haven for rest and relaxation. The area along the I-80 corridor offers numerous activities for a quick weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Everything from outdoor activities like hiking and biking to historical sites, antiquing and shopping to fine dining, you can find it all in Central Illinois.

First, stop is the famous Starved Rock State Park. Open year round, the trails and spectacular nature hikes are breathtaking here. For another unique outdoor activity, try biking or hiking the Hennepin Canal Parkway. Beginning at Bureau Junction and continuing on to Colona, IL, this hard packed gravel trail is approximately 60 miles in length. A great length for just a short ride or you can explore the entire trail for more avid bikers. There is also extensive geocaching and letterboxing along the canal trail.

For the history buff, several unique sites are open for tours. The Hegeler Carus Mansion in La Salle, IL offers a step back into the late 1800’s. This unique home is partially renovated and in the process of being completely restored. View everything from the old kitchen to the original work out room complete with horse and rings.

Covered Bridge, Sheffield, IllinoisThen make your way to Princeton, IL where the Lovejoy Homestead, part of the Underground Railroad, can be toured by reservation. This historic landmark and museum is a special part of the history of equality in Central Illinois.

Finally, make your way to Bishop Hill to view the historic Swedish colony from the mid-1800’s. It has been said that for a period of approximately 20 years, during the height of this utopia, about 80% of all brooms in the country came from Bishop Hill. Plenty of shops, restaurants and artisans are on display here, particularly in the summer months.

If shopping is your passion, Historic Princeton, IL has a bustling main street full of unique gift shops and numerous antique stores. Princeton is also home to Festival 56 and November 10, one of the only remaining true summer stock theater festivals in the country.

The festival produces approximately 6-8 shows per year, including their popular Shakespeare in the Park and numerous other straight plays and musicals.

For the furniture and home decorating buff, a stop at Good’s Furniture is a must. Encompassing most of the downtown area of Kewanee, IL, Good’s has practically any kind of furniture you can think of. Even if you aren’t looking for anything in particular, it is worth a couple of hours to look around. And their unique gift shop and restaurant are the perfect respite after an afternoon of shopping.

Enjoy visiting wineries? There are a number in the Central Illinois region. August Hill Winery in Utica offers tours and wine tastings daily of their extensive wine selection. Of particular note are their Almond Infusion and Raspberry Infusion, both of which are great with dark chocolate for a special treat.

At Lavender Crest Winery in Colona, IL not only can you do a tour and wine tasting, but they have a great spot for a quick lunch. They too have a number of award winning selections that are perfect for a special gift or treat.

Chestnut Street Inn, Sheffield, IllinoisAnd finally, if you are a foodie, than you must pay a visit to the Chestnut Street Inn in Sheffield, IL. This award winning bed and breakfast features gourmet Mediterranean cuisine using locally grown foods. The bed and breakfast offers luxurious accommodations and is open to the public for meals by reservation only. Recently featured in Midwest Living Magazine and the recipient of the 2012 Awards for Best Restaurant and Best Selection of Recipes, the inn specifically extends a welcome to the LGBT community. Formerly from Southern California, the innkeepers both come from a theater background. They retired from performing to pursue their dream of owning their own bed and breakfast and restaurant.

Sample menu from the inn includes a North African Inspired Shrimp Scampi Appetizer, Roasted Butternut Squash and Chestnut Soup with Arugula and Creme Fraiche, Filet Mignon with Middle Eastern Spiced Blueberry Sauce, Goat Cheese Creamed Quinoa and Roasted Asparagus, Cinnamon and Orange Blossom Creme Brulee. Menus vary seasonally. The innkeepers also make a specific point of accommodating various dietary restrictions, in particular gluten free, but also vegetarian, vegan, dairy free and any other restriction. Whether it is just for a day or for a long weekend, Central Illinois is the place to come. There are lots of activities to fulfill your every desire or a whole lot of peace and quiet for a romantic, peaceful few days off to get away from it all. So what are you waiting for?? We are waiting for you.

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Bird Song Cottage, Kilauea, Hawaii

Author: , February 23rd, 2012

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

Bird Song Cottage, KauaiPrivate, free-standing Kauai vacation rental cottage with wrap around lanai, outdoor shower and tub, and its own driveway.

Our Kilauea vacation rental cottage is decorated with Asian and Balinese furniture, including some unique antique pieces. You’ll be surrounded by flowers, fruit orchards, and tropical hardwoods, and the mele (song) of the many local manu (bird).

Every detail of Birdsong Cottage was carefully designed with quality and care by the designer and our landscape architects. This Hawaiian vacation rental cottage include many many windows and high ceilings for great air flow and lush tropical views.

The furniture is made of hardwoods and is both beautiful and comfortable. The granite which graces the kitchen and bathroom is imported from India. You’ll feel so at home that you may find it hard to return to reality.

See the Bird Song Cottage Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

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

Seven Night Greek Isles Cruise Announced for August 2012

Author: , February 23rd, 2012

Grek Isles CruiseConcierge Travel, the largest gay-owned and operated travel agency and tour operator in the state of Texas, announced details on its first all-gay Europe cruise. The full ship charter cruise will sail on the Star Clipper to the Greek Isles and Turkey for seven nights from August 25, 2012 to September 1, 2012.

Founded in Houston in 1997, Concierge Travel entered the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) market in 2000. In 2011, the company offered its first all-gay luxury sailing ship cruise to Costa Rica and Panama aboard the Star Flyer. Today, Concierge Travel has grown its customized vacation offerings to include cruises to the Caribbean and Amazon, as well as land excursions to South Africa and Peru and now its very first gay and lesbian cruise in Europe.

“We’re very excited to offer our very first all gay and lesbian Europe cruise,” said Kim Gustavsson, vice president of sales and marketing at Concierge Travel. “We take great pride in offering our guests an experience focused on camaraderie and new friendships, and I’m thrilled to be able to introduce guests to a part of the world as unique and exquisite as the Greek Isles and Turkey.”

Full Story from Edge Boston

Click here for gay travel resources in Greece.