California Dreaming – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , June 22nd, 2018

California Dreaming

Time flies when you are having fun! After a year in Asia, we fly to the other side of the world. Now we can call our trip a world trip for real! After some fantastic days in Hong Kong and Macau, we fly to San Francisco. The culture shock is huge, the jetlag as well…

HELLO SAN FRANCISCO!

As soon as we arrive, our friend David – who we met in Myanmar – takes us to the Golden Gate bridge. We enjoy the view over the iconic bridge from the best spot you can think of, and David also surprises us with some champagne. We couldn’t wish for a better start. Later on, not only the jetlag but also the champagne kicks in.

During the first days in the States, it’s difficult to adapt. The jetlag is enormous, it’s cold and rainy outside and the people are so different. People talk small talk to us, and we are not used to that at all. Besides that, it’s the first time after a year of travelling that I feel unsafe. Something I never expected to happen in San Francisco. There are so many homeless people, which is shocking to me. Feeling unsafe had something to do with being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I would not recommend people to be in the city centre and the areas close to the city centre of San Francisco late at night.

Before arriving in the States we were thinking of hitchhiking from San Francisco all the way down to San Diego (we like adventure), but after hearing a couple of horror stories, we book the first night bus down to Los Angeles. From Los Angeles, we travel further down by bus, to San Diego. The buses in the States are not that bad at all!

By Roxanne Weijer – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

California Gay Travel Resources

Adams No Eve – Gay San Diego Guesthouse

Author: , August 3rd, 2017

Adams No Eve - Gay San Diego Guesthouse

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

Adams No Eve is a unique 2 story studio guesthouse in a quiet tropical backyard with a Zen like atmosphere. This is the perfect setting for you to relax and refresh after adventuring out in beautiful San Diego CA.

The private entry of this unique Studio Guesthouse opens to a Kitchen painted in festive colors and a small bathroom with a pedestal sink and a cozy stall shower. 14 stairs lead you up to the sleeping area where a queen size bed awaits you. A 55″ TV with local HD channels and Amazon Fire stick and a sound system you can plug your mobile device into allows you feel at home. WiFi service is available in the guesthouse and the surrounding lagoon pool area.

Adams No Eve is located in a very quiet single family neighborhood in the mid-city area of San Diego CA. The Main House and the Studio Guesthouse share the \0xBD acre terraced property. Citrus trees, fruit trees, avocado trees and a working vegetable garden along with the tropical lagoon pool make up this unique property.

The backyard view to the north gives you Cowles Mountain and night lights. Cowles Mountain is a prominent mountain which is a popular hiking area and the highest elevation of the city of San Diego. On any given day you will see neighbors out walking and socializing with each other. Ample on street parking is available for guest, however off street parking can be available for an additional fee.

Once you enter off the driveway through the locked entrance, prepare to be relaxed. The surrounding tropical Zen atmosphere takes over and compels you to relax and unwind. Guests are free to use the tropical lagoon pool and surrounding backyard. Hosts John and Rick live in the main house and are on site to answer any questions and to ensure you enjoy your stay.

Pool hours are 9 AM to 9 PM, No glass or food by pool, Quiet hours are 10 PM to 8 AM, 2 Adults maximum occupancy, no children, no pets, Tobacco free. 420 friendly.

Adams No Eve is just a short drive or an inexpensive Lyft or Uber ride to Hillcrest, Gaslamp, Downtown, Balboa Park, North Park or any of San Diego’s fun attractions and a quick 20 minute ride to the Mexico border. The Studio Guesthouse is a short walk through the neighborhood to public transportation and one mile from San Diego’s trolley service.

See the Adams No Eve Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in San Diego

San Diego’s East Village: Fringe No More

Author: , May 23rd, 2016

San Diego East Village

Fashions come and go, as do housing trends. Once folks left their urban environments and flowed into suburban green zones. Today the traffic is in the opposite direction, from the suburbs back to metropolitan centers rife with places to go and things to do.

A recent Nielsen report on trends reflecting millennials found just that. This group is fond of mixed use communities where housing is intermingled with stores, restaurants and service businesses. Activity is no longer shunned, and proximity is prized over serenity.

This trend offers an opportunity for communities down on their luck, or replete with a mixture of industrial and commercial properties, to be redeveloped into thriving live-work communities. This fate has befallen East Village, actually the largest urban neighborhood in downtown San Diego, located east of the Gaslamp quarter.

By Del Phillips – Full Story at LGBT Weekly

San Diego Gay Travel Resources

City Sunday: San Diego

Author: , December 20th, 2015

San Diego

Hey all,

Welcome to our weekly series on the blog and our Facebook travel groups – City Sundays. Each week we’ll select a different LGBT friendly city to talk about, and we’ll invite our innkeeper and travel agent/tour operator friends to come talk with us about it as well.

San Diego is a beautoful and gay friendly city. From the beautiful beach on Coronado Island to the Gaslamp Quarter downtown, from Balboa Park to the gay Hillcrest district, from Oldtown to Solana Beach’s funky Los Cedros Street, there is so much to do and see here. Oh, and did I mention Old Town? The San Diego Zoo? The Wild Animal Park?

Have you ever been? What did you do while you were there?

Do you wanna go?

Let’s chat! Join the conversation here:

Gay (Men) Travelers: Gay Travel Club
Lesbian Travelers: Lesbian Travel Club
Transgender Travelers: Transgender Travel Club
Bisexual Travelers: Bi Travel Club
LGBT Families: LGBT Families Travel Club

Check out our San Diego page here:

https://www.purpleroofs.com/usa/california/casandiego.html

And our San Diego articles on the blog here:

http://purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-blog/?s=San+Diego

Keep Calm and Wander – Arts and Culture at Balboa Park

Author: , September 24th, 2015

Balboa Park - Alain

San Diego’s Balboa Park is teeming not just with green spaces but also with arts and culture. It’s a different kind of park I’ve been to before. While New York City’s Central Park boasts its size in the middle of Manhattan, Balboa Park is a public space for architecture, museums, gardens, sculptures, performances, outdoor installations and many more.

Beaches come to mind when visiting San Diego. I can’t blame you—their sunsets are breathtakingly stunning, too! And if you’re into hot guys, the surfers are there to test your libido. Hahahaha! It’s best to be there in late afternoon when they’re either shirtless or clad in their body fit wet suits.

Ok, let’s talk about Balboa Park now. 🙂

San Diego is pretty hot in summer. So, you better start exploring the park in the morning. Should you need to avoid the sun, there are shades everywhere. The park is huge-and if you’re up for walking around, be sure to wear a comfy pair of shoes. If not, there’s a trolley that goes around. You can hop on and off to places of interests inside the park.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander | San Diego Gay Travel Resources

Featured Gay Accommodations: Keating House, San Diego, California

Author: , March 22nd, 2015

Keating House - San Diego

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

In the late 1800s, during San Diego’s boom period, many of its prominent citizens chose Banker’s Hill, an elevated area of the city, to establish residences. Now over 100 years later, several magnificently restored Victorian homes remain in this residential area and among them proudly stands Keating House, San Diego’s Historical Site No. 198. Our graceful home has been faithfully restored to its turn-of-the-century elegance and now, as a Bed & Breakfast, awaits your visit…

See the Keating House Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

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

Gay San Diego – Getting Around

Author: , December 31st, 2014

Walkable San DiegoGay San Diego also has a great transportation system – if you don’t rent a car and want to avoid taxis, you can ride the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) – a combination light-rail and bus transit system that’s very affordable.

The trolly system runs from El Cajon and Santee on the northeast to San Ysidro and the border in the southwest.

San Diego is also a very walkable city – the great weather means you can use your feet almost year-round to get around, especially downtown. We even walked this last trip from the heart of Downtown San Diego up to Hillcrest, and back. It’s a bit of a hike, but you pass through some great neighborhoods.

San Diego is an all-year city – averaging a high of 77 degrees in the summer to a low of 64 degrees in December.

So bring your bathing suit!

San Diego Gay Travel Resources

Gay San Diego – Solana Beach

Author: , December 30th, 2014

Solana Beach - Cedros Design District

Solana Beach - Cedros Design DistrictWe lucked into the Cedros Design District (Solana Beach, cedrosdesigndistrict.net) by accident – we were attending a wedding reception in Solana Beach and had a few hours to kill before it started, and we wound up here. You’re gonna love this place.

To get here, take the 5 Freeway north from San Diego about half an hour. Exit at Lomas Santa Fe Dr., turning west toward the beach at the base of the exit. About half a mile down, you’ll reach South Cedros Avenue, just before the railroad tracks and Old Highway 101. Turn left and you’re here!

Solana Beach - Cedros Design DistrictThis place is amazing – filled with unique boutiques, galleries, little restaurants and outdoor cafes, and more cool shopping than you can shake a stick at (believe me, we tried, and the stick broke halfway through).

The district was once a cabinet making and woodworking center, filled with industrial buildings, and began its transition to a funky, hip, upscale design, art and shopping center in the ’90’s with the arrival of a West Hollywood developer, Sean MacLeod, who articulated the new vision for the district. He opened the Cedros Trading Company, a consignment mall, which nurtured a number of vendors who eventualy moved into their own shops in the district. Buildings were renovated and painted, and the District continued to grow and thrive.

Solana Beach - Cedros Design DistrictThe Belly Up Tavern (www.bellyup.com), which has brought in a wildly varied group of entertainers since the ’70’s, was renovated, and MacLeod opened up the Wild Note Cafe next door in 1997.

We ate at the Wild Note Cafe (www.bellyupcantina.com/index.html) for lunch – the food was really good, and the funky jazz atmosphere enjoyable.

Menu items for lunch include sandwiches, burgers, seafood, quesadillas, and more, with entrees running from $7-12. Dinner includes seafood, steak and chicken, with entrees running from $15-23.

 style="margin: 6px;"There’s no Starbucks or Peets Coffee here (I know, shocking) – but for a quick drink and snack, check out Zinc Cafe (www.zinccafe.com), a super-cute cafe with an ivy-covered outdoor patio to relax in under the trees and a large umbrella (see below, right)

It’s truly a pleasure to walk down South Cedros – the whole district is just a couple blocks long on a single street, but take a look at a small sample of what’s packed into these blocks – there’s lots of street art and art that happens to be on the street.

Here are a few of our favorite stores and shops along South Cedros:

Solana Beach - Cedros Design DistrictLeaping Lotus (www.leapinglotus.com) – ever been to one of those converted old warehouses that’s been broken up into a bunch of little antique stores, each individually rented by someone to show off their wares, usually dusty old things no one really wants?

Leaping Lotus is like that, but much, much better – think antique mall on steroids – instead of old dusty lamps and soda bottles, it’s filled floor to ceiling (actually, two floors to ceiling) with interesting arts and crafts.

We found all kinds of interesting things here, from oil paintings to masks, from wooden Hawaiian gods to woven baskets and hand-made candles. And yes, there were even lamps here.

Solana Beach - Cedros Design DistrictTimeless Furnishings (www.timelessfurnishingsandpatio.com) was another cool home store (with locations both in Hillcrest and in Solana Beach) with exotic imports – kind of a local Pier 1).

There’s also a Farmer’s Market (www.solanabeachfarmersmarket.com) on Sundays from 1-5 PM.

The Cedros Design District in Solana Beach was far and away the best shopping place we found during our recent visits to San Diego – a great place to spend an afternoon.

San Diego Gay Travel Resources

Gay San Diego: Coronado Island

Author: , December 21st, 2014

coronado-beach

We’re profiling gay San Diego after our trip there in late October. We’ve talked about shopping and restaurants – now we’ll talk about some of the places to visit while you’re in town.

Coronado IslandWe’ll start with Coronado Island. This flat island lies just across the bay from downtown. This “island” is actually connected to the mainland via a slim strip of land, but to reach it that way, you’ll have to take Highway 5 south to Imperial Beach – about nine miles south and then nine miles back north.

More likely, you’ll take the Coronado Bridge, which connects downtown (on the south side) directly to the island. It’s a tall bridge that rises above the San Diego Bay, and affords some great photo opportunities of both downtown San Diego and Coronado Island.

For the best city views of the island, visit the Ferry Landing Marketplace, a cute little shopping center with a public pier that you can walk out onto to get some great shots of downtown.

San Diego Downtown

Coronado Island is home to the North Island Naval Air Station, and also to miles of white sand beaches and a cute little main street area with a number of boutiques and restaurants.

Hotel del CoronadoOn the far side of the island. along the Pacific Ocean, there’s a great beachwalk – park on the street here around Ocean Blvd. and Church Place (cheaper than paying for hotel parking), and walk south to the Hotel del Coronado (affectionately called the Hotel Del). It’s an iconic property – they shot Some Like it Hot here – and there’s a bit of shopping here.

Or bring a blanket and a picnic lunch and enjoy the beach here – miles and miles of white sand. If you want to spend a day at the beach, Coronado is your place – but it can get very crowded in the summer.

San Diego Gay Travel Resources

Gay San Diego – The Shopping

Author: , December 18th, 2014

We did a bit of shopping while we were in San Diego, including a mall, some LGBT sotres, and a really cool and funky place where you can find all kinds of unique stuff for your house. Here are our favorites:

Architectural SalvageArchitectural Salvage
Little Italy
http://www.architecturalsalvagesd.com
Architectural Salvage is like Restoration Hardware on acid.

With salvaged gems (door knobs, whole doors, windows, and all sorts of other things) on display from around the world, you can find that perfect piece here to give your house a little needed funkiness.

It’s fun just to wander through the store and gape at all the bric-a-brac.

EstablishEstablish
Hillcrest
http://www.establishsd.com
Filled with cool things for your house and for gifts, this home and lifestyle store has some furniture, but is mostly filled with lots of great, colorful knick-knacks. Well worth a look when you’re in Hillcrest.

Horton PlazaHorton Plaza
Downtown
http://www.westfield.com/hortonplaza/
Right in the center of the downtown core is a great outdoor mall – Horton Plaza, a multi-level, outdoor mall.

Horton Plaza also provides free wheelchairs, perfect for folks who need a little assistance getting around this large, multi-level mall. This is a great mall to roam on a sunny day, filled with fanciful architecture and a great mix of shops. The mall is on the edge of the Gaslamp Quarter, a cute shopping, dining and entertainment district with many bars (mostly if not all straight/mainstream).

Hot Rod Garage SaleHot Rod Garage Sale
North Park
http://hotrodgaragesale.com
You gotta make an appointment to see this place (we know friends of the artist), but it’s a really cool stop for your San Diego trip. Brian bent is an internationally respected artist who specializes in cool urban funk. Give him a call and check out his iconic arty while you’re in town.

Hotel Del CoronadoHotel Del Coronado
Coronado Island
http://hoteldel.com
The Hotel Del is an iconic destination – the scene of the film Some Like it Hot.

It has a small shopping gallery, the hi-light of which, for us, was the toy store there.

I found the perfect Christmas gift for my mom – an adorable hedgehog (yes, she collects them).

MankindMankind
Hillcrest
http://mankindsd.com
Mankind is a little farther down the street – it’s basically an underwear place – if you want to look good in your skivvies (or at least as good as possible given your anatomy LOL…) check out Mankind.

ObeliskObelisk
Hillcrest
https://www.facebook.com/ObeliskShoppe
If you’ve ever been to a Spencers. you’ll love Obelisk – it’s a gay version of the novelty shop. Headlined as a Men’s Clothing Store, you’ll also find gifts, cards and accessories, and huge bonus points for the neon Hillcrest sign in the middle of the store.

PigmentPigment
North Park
http://www.shoppigment.com
This is a really cool corner store up in North Park, the next neighborhood over from Hillcrest. Filled with really cool gift items, from candles to children’s books. And extra points for carrying Go the Fuck to Sleep.

Seaport VillageSeaport Village
Downtown Waterfront
http://www.seaportvillage.com
This little center is an adorable collection of brick buildings and walkways along the waterfront, strewn with fountains and beautiful trees – fun to stroll through.

And check out the Headquarters next door, a former historic San Diego Police Headquarters complex, now restored and turned into an outdoor shopping center with a central plaza for events.

Torreon ImportersTorreon Importers Hillcrest
Hillcrest
http://www.torreonimporters.com
Torreon Importers has one of the best selections of framed mirrors we’ve ever seen under one roof. Stop in and see yourself reflected hundreds of times in this store – the perfect place for the closet narcissist.

VitreumVitreum
Little Italy
http://www.vitreum-us.com
This is a cool, funky little store with a serious asian influence on the edge of Little Italy – Japanese incense, decorations, mugs and lots of other cool, gifty stuff.

There are so many other great places to shop in San Diego – you might also want to check out Solana Beach along South Cedros Ave – it’s an artist colony with some amazing shops and restaurants which we visited on our last trip to San Diego – also check out our Old Town section there.

San Diego Gay Travel Resources