The 5 Friendliest LGBTQ Vacation Hotspots

Author: , May 28th, 2016

There are fabled destinations with long-standing LGBTQ traditions—just ask Lesbos, Mykonos and New Orleans—where escaping from the confines of every day was never so easy, never so limitless and never so completely carefree. But the modern world has offered up fantastic cultural meccas that always take a keen interest in making everyone feel comfortable, and those who identify LGBTQ will fit right in.

So what are you waiting for—the party’s just ahead!

  1. Berlin, Germany

Berlin - pixabay

With a long standing history that is as intense as it is troubled, Berlin has arisen from the ashes of its past to become one of the most diverse, well-rounded, and respecting cities in the world with multi-ethnicities immigrating and thriving with the German population.

In addition to their incredibly progressive views, Berlin is also the gay capital of Europe with a gay museum, a gay memorial, and an openly gay mayor. While that doesn’t cover all the basis, the open-minded city is equally comfortable with the rest of the queer community. Head for Hafen, one of the most famous gay bars in town, Connection, a dance club that shouldn’t be missed, and Gay Hostel for accommodation—you’ll find plenty of like-minded people here to experience this amazing city with.

  1. Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles - pixabay

While most of Hollywood is constantly under scrutiny of being one or more of the letters in LGBTQ, the truth is that Los Angeles is a great place to be LGBTQ. Between the cultural metropolis and its heavy art, business, and beauty industries, there are plenty of LGBTQ-friendly beaches and nightclubs to frequent, and the weather is always perfect for a stop down by the sea.

Make a stop at The Abbey for the quintessential gay bar-lounge-party time, which includes both an indoor and outdoor areas and the most prominent members of the LGBTQ community as regulars on the busy weekends.

  1. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Marijuana and prostitution aren’t the only things bringing visitors to Amsterdam; it’s also the totally chill vibe of the city of Amsterdam. Between the canals and coffee shops, the city is thoroughly on board with the LGBTQ cause—in fact, the city legalized same-sex marriage in the early 1800s, the first place in the entire world to do so. But enough about the history; time to get to the cool stuff!

When in Amsterdam, do as the Amsterdamians do and hit up Cafe Dubbel D (formerly Cafe Rouge), one of the busiest shops in the entire city. Next, plan your day around Rapido parties, because this is a good time you aren’t going to want to miss. Then hit up Thermos for an excellent spa experience and Hemelse Modder for a perfect European meal and excellent service.

  1. Madrid, Spain

Madrid - pixabay

Madrid is home to perhaps the gayest community around, Chueca, where nightlife reigns supreme, as well as lots of rights and cultural nods to gay culture. Madrid recognizes gay marriages and openly uses LGBTQ lifestyles to influence trendy shops, restaurants, and hotels throughout the city. It’s one of the most progressive cities when it comes to gay rights in the world, and that shows in their laws, party scene, and every other corner of life.

The Cage (a popular fetish bar) is always a perfect place to head for a laugh or even something a tad more serious, but Space of Sound is one of my favorite hangouts for the go-go boys and total party vibe. Park it at Medea for the city’s oldest lesbian bar and don’t forget to leave plenty of time for a sauna experience—the Sauna Octopus is a must for every visitor! For a bonus into the city, I suggest downloading apps such as Grindr and Manhunt if outdoor cruising and sex parties are your thing (grab a Virtual Private Network for your phone to make sure the geolocation functions are working correctly)!

  1. Miami, Florida

Miami - pixabay

Take one look at the hot bods and it’s obvious why Miami is a gay capital of the world—but more than just being a place to get hot and sweaty out in the open, Miami flourishes with culture and happenings that accept all flavors of ice cream (if you pardon my expression).

While I think a stop at the topless-optional South Beach is an excellent way to spend an afternoon, I also suggest Da Leo Trattoria, for an excellent meal. Don’t miss out on Twist either for a run around the dance floor and then a relaxing evening on the roof for a drink and an overlook of the city that likes to party all night long.

Any city is a great place for the LGBTQ community to travel, but these picks are a specific brand of cultural richness that will just hit all the right notes, so enjoy!

Have any suggestions on where to head after finishing this list? Leave a comment or a next trip itinerary, and I will personally take the recommendation around for a ride!

About the Author: Cassie Phillips is an active tech guru, digital nomad, and wordsmith discovering the world as readily as she explores obscure depths of the internet. Curious about anything and everything, she loves her cat, her coffee, and her growing photography collection. Ask her about her famous Birthday Cake Pancakes recipe or her one-time run in with Ben Affleck and JLO—both stories are likely to leave you in disbelief!

All photos from pixabay, provided by Cassie Phillips

Eating Out in South Florida

Author: , January 26th, 2014

Miami Beach Gay TravelSouth Florida continues to establish itself as an exciting food destination with an ever-expanding selection of styles and cuisines. The annual South Beach Wine and Food Festival (www.sobefest.com) is certainly an indication of the passion people have for fine food here, but a visit to some of the newer establishments in the region will motivate you to return regularly.

For years, when anyone talked about food and Miami they generally meant South Beach. The resurgence of that neighborhood has been endlessly chronicled and it remains a fun, desirable destination. Recently, however, downtown Miami is quite rightfully getting a lot of attention. Culturally alive, with revamped hotels and new restaurants, downtown Miami is a hip, urban destination for the savvy traveler who wants more than just a typical beach vacation.

Smack in the center of it all is the comparatively new b2 Miami Downtown hotel. (Tel: 305-358-4555. www.bhotelsandresorts.com). Smartly appointed with a chic contemporary flair, the hotel is centrally located and the perfect jumping-off place for exploring some of the new restaurants in the downtown area.

Authored By Tom Pickney – See the Full Story at Passport Magazine

Click here for gay travel resources in Miami Beach.

Winter Party Festival Coming to South Beach in March

Author: , January 5th, 2014

Miami BeachLife, they say, is a bitch, but if you are heading to Miami for the Winter Party, it’s a beach — a giant oceanfront dance floor in ultra-glamorous South Beach.

To the east, the gentle waves of the Atlantic Ocean lap up to the shore only a few yards from you; to the west is the deco-and-neon skyline of Ocean Drive; and all around you are thousands of hot, muscular men packed into tiny swimsuits or gym shorts — along with a generous smattering of equally scantily clad bodacious women.

As the music wafts over you, you close your eyes and tell yourself, “This has to be a dream. A dream, or I’ve died and gone to heaven, because no place and nothing on earth is this good.” Then you reopen your eyes and realize that the dance floor sprawling over the beach is real, and all of those men are very, very real.

See the Full Story at Edge Boston

Click here for gay travel resources in Miami Beach.

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: South Beach in January

Author: , February 5th, 2012
Email Don & Ray | Visit the Gay Travel Guys Website
Visit the Purple Roofs Miami Beach, Florida Page

South Beach, Miami Gay Travel

Lord's South BeachLast month we were in South Beach, Florida again and everything about that place is so exciting with dozens of things to see and do. We always stay at the Lords-South Beach Hotel which is right in the heart of everything.

Located just a couple of blocks from the beach it is the perfect place to stay. Brian Gorman, General Manager continues to update everything about the hotel. He is by far the finest and most professional General Manager of any hotel where we have stayed. There is always something going on all the time there. All of their rooms are bright and airy and they have nearly 60 rooms.

They have the most professional and friendliest staff of any hotel where we have ever stayed. Their rates are quite reasonable. They have a bar and restaurant that is located right in the hotel. One can dine or drink outside on the front terrace and “people watch” all day long. Their website is: www.lordssouthbeach.com and their toll free number is 877.448.4754 and they are located at 1120 Collins Drive which is centrally located to everything to do in South Beach.

If you don’t have an auto, the bus service is quite handy there. They have a nice front lobby where you can always meet with other guests. When you do go to South Beach your first stop after you check into Lords-South Beach should be the Gay and Lesbian Center which is located just a block from the hotel.

They are extremely hospitable and friendly with plenty of brochures that they will give you so that you will have the best idea of what to see and do when in South Beach. George Neary, Steve Adkins, Michael Vita and Cindy Brown at the Center are great people to work with. They are located at 1130 Washington and you can email them at mdglcc@bellsouth.net.

There are dozens of museums and galleries to visit when in South Beach. Among our favorites were the World Erotic Museum which has the most interesting collection of erotica items from all over the world with items dating back to the Grecians to modern day.

The owner Naomi Wilzig has been recognized by the Gay community for her outstanding work for the community. Of all of the dozens of people that we have met in South Beach, Naomi is the “best of the best” and FUN ! This is one museum that you do not want to miss and is located just a block and a half from the Lords-South Beach hotel. Their website is: www.weam.com

Other interesting museums to visit are the Bass Museum of Art, www.bassmuseum.org the Holocaust Memorial, www.holocaustmemorial.org, the Jewish Museum of Florida, www.jewishmuseum.com was particularly interesting to see how the Jews were discriminated against as many Gays have been in the past. The Wolfsonian/FIU, www.wolfsonian.org is also located in South Beach and within walking distance as well.

Everglades SafariThe Everglades Safari Park, www.evsafaripark.com is extremely interesting as one rides on an airboat and goes right in the swamps and you can see first hand alligators and hundreds of birds.

The Miami Seaquarium, www.miamiseaquarium.com has lots of fish, flamingos, and all other types of animals relating to the area.

The Monkey Jungle, www.monkeyjungle.com and Jungle Island, www.jungleisland.com both have lots of animals to see in their natural habitant.

Vizcaya MuseumTwo very interesting home tours to take, and we use the term, home tours very loosely as these are not your standard homes. The first is the Vizcaya Mansion and Gardens located just to the South of Miami in Coral Gables. This was the home of the Gay Millionaire, James Deering who had the mansion built in the 1920’s. The White Party as well as other events are held at this mansion. It is a wonderful mansion to visit. Their website is www.vizcayamuseum.org. The Coral Castle is just down the road and is completely hand made out of Coral. Their website is www.coralcastle.com.

And then there are the beaches, the nightlife and the shops to visit when in South Beach. You will be busy 24/7 when visiting South Beach. Be sure and have breakfast on the Terrace at the Lords-South Beach every morning so that you can get a good idea as to what your plans will be for the rest of the day. There are people EVERYWHERE in South Beach, so talk to everybody.

One of our most memorable dining experiences was when we dined with Naomi at Symcha’s Restaurant, www.symchas.net. Owner Symcha Zylberman is doing everything right! Everything was perfect as it should be. The atmosphere, the service the food presentation as well as the quality of the food made for a perfect evening but then dining with Naomi anyplace would be a great dining experience. Her son, Sir Ivan the entertainer joined us for dessert.. Why can’t all restaurants treat all of their customers in this manner?

We meet so many wonderful and interesting people in our travels. THANKS NAOMI WILZIG and MICHAEL VITA for being so fun, funny, exciting and wonderful !

Before traveling to South Beach, check out these websites, www.gogaymiami.com and www.gaycities.com.

Always 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 gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

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 gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

Miami and Miami Beach: Year-Round Gay Travel Destination

Author: , February 19th, 2011

Gay Miami BeachLong a magnet for gay tourists, especially in winter but increasingly year-round, Miami is the largest and most diverse of the three prongs that comprise South Florida’s GLBT vacation trinity (Fort Lauderdale and Key West being the others). And it’s really a few destinations in one: there’s Miami proper, a city of about 440,000, and – across Biscayne Bay via a series of bridges – the separate city of Miami Beach (population 90,000), plus a slew of distinct neighboring communities that make up the nation’s seventh-largest metro area.

Leisure travelers tend to focus on the beaches, and GLBT visitors have long been particular, drawn to the southern end of Miami Beach, aptly known as South Beach, which bulges with trendier-than-thou luxe hotels, throbbing nightclubs, scene-y restaurants and gorgeous beachfronts (and sometimes appears utterly devoid of bulging tummies – indeed, the South Beach reputation for perfect bodies is both a hallmark and a criticism). What’s terrific about Miami Beach as a vacation getaway is that it’s a 10- to 15-minute drive from museums and growing cultural offerings of Miami proper. And once you’re here, it’s not much more than an hour’s drive to reach the edge of Everglades National Park, the thriving gay scene in Fort Lauderdale and the upper reaches of the scenic Florida Keys (Key Largo, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park). There’s a lot more to see and do on a Miami vacation than merely sunning your buns by the ocean – although there’s plenty of opportunity for that, too.

As you’re planning a trip here, keep a couple of resources in mind: The city’s Greater Miami Tourism has an excellent GLBT travel site (www.miamiandbeaches.com/visitors/gay.asp), which details recommended places to stay, eat, shop and play, along with relevant events. And right in the heart of South Beach, at 1130 Washington Avenue, the official Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce operates an LGBT Visitor Center (www.gogaymiami.com), where you can pick up advice on what to see and do – and where to stay – throughout Miami.

Full Story from SFGN

Click here for gay travel resources in Miami Beach.

Southern Florida Gay Accommodation Options Expand

Author: , January 12th, 2011

Thomas Armesto enjoys travel but doesn’t much care for the “generic” hotels he usually settles for.
So when the Miami Beach native discovered the new Lords South Beach in December — with its giant fiberglass polar bear in the lobby, bright yellow paint on the walls and huge portraits of Elizabeth Taylor in the rooms — he was sold.

“I like the hotel because I feel comfortable,” said Armesto, 23, who is gay and lives in New York City. “It lets you bring out your true colors without feeling intimidated.”

That’s exactly what founder Brian Gorman had in mind when he created the concept for the 54-room hotel at 1120 Collins Ave., which plans to expand to New York and West Hollywood, Calif., and calls itself “the first gay boutique hotel brand to open in the U.S.”

Full Story from Steve Rothaus

Click here for gay travel resources in Southeastern Florida.

Some Like it Hot: Gay Winter Party in Miami This March

Author: , January 7th, 2011

Miami Winter PartyTired of the cold and snow? Head south to “the magic city” for the Winter Party, March 2-7th. It’s all about sun, fun, great parties and an amazing cause. The event helps support the work of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Chad Richter, Chair of the Winter Party gave me a sneak peek at this year’s festivities.

JF: Each year the Winter Party is a must-attend event. What can partygoers expect this year?

CR: Bigger, Better, Hotter! We continue to raise the bar with our Winter Party Beach Party and Under One Sun Pool Party and all of our dance events. This year we are reminding guests that here in Miami Beach they can expect to have the HOTTEST WINTER IN THE WORLD and we mean that not only in temperature but with body heat and music beats too!

JF: The event is a great time, but also sponsors an important cause. How has the event helped improve the LGBT community?

CR: Many of our guests live abroad and don’t realize how much work we still have to do here to achieve equal rights. For any of you reading this who has a gay friend or loved one who is American or lives in this country, supporting WPF helps support the Task Force’s fight to achieve equality.

Full Story from GayTravel.com

Click here for gay travel resources in South Beach.

Gay “Lords Hotel” Premiers in South Beach

Author: , January 2nd, 2011

Lords Hotel South BeachHundreds packed the Lords South Beach gay hotel for its official grand opening Wednesday night. Among the revelers: hotel founder Brian Gorman, filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky (Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!!), Elaine Lancaster, Kevin Hopper of Mark Magazine and Florida Agenda and publicist Sharon Kersten.

Opening night also featured music by Tracy Young & Lady Bunny.

Full Story from The Miami Herald

Click here for gay travel resources in South Beach.

Hotelier Opens New Gay Hotel in South Beach

Author: , December 14th, 2010

Hotelier Brian Gorman, founder of the newly opened Lords Hotel, said he thought Miami was the perfect hot spot to set up his LGBT-friendly accommodations.

“I remember coming to South Beach in my late teens and remembering that it was just the ultimate experience — fun, sun, sand, clubs, everything,” he told Niteside of why he choice the Magic City as the place to start his gay botique hotel. “I just saw myself here more than anywhere else, it was meaningful for me personally. I knew I wanted to start my brand here.”

Gorman, founder of Lords South Beach Hotel, has put his heart and soul into the 53-room Art Deco confection where 10 percent of the profits made on certain rooms go to LGBT charities.

Full Story from NBC Miami

Click here for gay travel resources in Miami.

FL: New Gay Walking Tour Offered in South Beach

Author: , November 5th, 2010

South Beach Walking TourWith the overturning of the gay adoption ban in Florida and Proposition H8 in California, the momentary repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy (for shame, Obama), and Pink’s new music video, it’s a great time to be gay.

Celebrate your fabulousness by embarking on the new Gay and Lesbian Walking Tour of South Beach, a collaborative effort between the Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Miami Design Preservation League, and the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. The tour visits key spots that mark the contributions that lesbians and gay men have made to Miami Beach over the years. Here’s what Jack Johnson, Tour Manager for MDPL, had to say about the tour.

New Times: What are some of the key stops on the tour?

Stops on the tour will include the Palace Bar (home of Sunday drag shows), Casa Casuarina (known as the Gianni Versace house), MDPL’s Art Deco Welcome Center (MDPL was founded by a collaboration between Barbara Baer Capitman, a straight woman, and Leonard Horowitz, an openly gay man), the Breakwater Hotel where Bruce Weber shot a photograph that was used in a famous advertisement for Calvin Kein Obsession, and many more locations significant in the history of gay and lesbian people in Miami Beach.

Full Story from The Miami New Times

Click here for Miami Gay Travel Resources.