Utah’s National Parks

Author: , April 22nd, 2014

Utah National ParkEver heard of the “Mighty 5?” You will this year, if Utah’s tourism office has anything to say about it. This quintet of famous national parks – Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyon Lands, and Arches – is the focus of a massive new ad campaign run by the state. Whether you’re newly convinced to head to the rugged West, or you’ve had Utah on your travel bucket list for years, here’s our guide to help you choose where to go first…

For big groups or families…

Your kids may be glued to their iPhones throughout the flight (or car ride) to Utah, but once they spend a few minutes hiking the rose-orange dirt roads that criss-cross Capitol Reef National Park, they’ll change their tune. Mammoth, jagged-edged rock formations shoot up into the sky. These wrinkles in the earth’s surface developed tens of millions of years ago, and Google Maps doesn’t do the dazzling scene a bit of justice. Plus, if you’re on a budget, the cost of admission can’t be beat. (Admission: $5 per vehicle.)

For honeymooners or romantic types…

Pretty much every inch of Bryce Canyon’s perfectly chiseled landscape is a Kodak moment (or maybe an Instagram moment?) waiting to happen. Even if you’re not snapping photos at every turn, the vast ridges and valleys make the perfect backdrop while you inspect the indigenous plants and wildlife, or descend along narrow paths on a mule (rides $60-$80 per person). (Admission: $25 per vehicle.)

By Alex Schechter – Sherman’s Travel | Utah Gay Travel Resources

Elevate Your Winter

Author: , January 27th, 2014

Elevation MammothWhen you look up the word elevation the definitions are: 1. The action or fact of elevating or being elevated or; 2. Height above a given level, especially sea level. Both fitting descriptions for the trio of mountain experiences Tom Whitman and his team have created, when you think about them.

It’s all about being high in the sky, whether literally, as on a mountain with a pair of skis or a snowboard, or the emotional high one gets when connecting with friends and having a euphoric blast.

The concept began with Elevation Mammoth 11 years ago. It was a “Why not try it” idea of Whitman’s after a stretch of super-popular LGBT events throughout Los Angeles. A long line of successful parties, of which I would wager most of us have attended at one time or another. You know the routine – dancing all night to great music, played by amazing DJs, with beautiful men and having a ball!

Authored By Joel Martens – See the Full Story at Edge Boston

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Visiting Park City, Utah

Author: , December 11th, 2013

Utah mapIn 2002, the Winter Olympics took place in Salt Lake City, which put the destination in the public’s eye. The city grew, loosened its necktie (minimally, some will argue), and proved to be welcoming to all types of travelers. But it’s not Salt Lake City that won the gold medal for tourism, it was Park City just 30 minutes away that hosted a number of the Olympic Games. It was also Park City, not Salt Lake, that was home to unbeatable skiing, great mountain biking, and a community that welcomed people with open arms. Park City eventually grew to become one of the top destinations in the world for outdoor recreation, luxury hotels, and, of course, a small little film festival called Sundance.

While the Olympics helped facilitate growth, Park City had already served as an otherwise esoteric tourism destination, mostly for highbrow skiers. In the late 1800s, the city was founded as a silver mining town, but when that industry crashed it became a ghost town (both literally and figuratively, considering its “paranormal” history).

It wasn’t until 1963 when Park City Mountain Resort opened that wealthy skiers went beyond bunny slopes and began to bring out the whole family. In 1981, Deer Valley skiing started to develop. Not only were tourists coming, they were renting apartments and staying all season. It was more “word of mouth” then, like a best-kept secret, where they have miles and miles of great skiable terrain all to themselves. Now, millions of outdoor enthusiasts around the world not only witness some of the state’s best scenery on their cable TV, many also personally experience it.

Authored By Jimmy Im – See the Full Story at Passport Magazine

Click here for gay travel resources in Utah.

Visiting Bryce Canyon National Park

Author: , July 20th, 2013

bryce-canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park is, for lack of a better word, stunning. Filled with towering rocks spires (which are called hoodoos by the way) created by water seeping into the limestone structures and then expanding as it freezes, Bryce Canyon is almost otherworldly. Trails crisscross the massive structures, attracting hikers and horseback riders from all over the world. The park winds around the edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau, with heavily forested areas on one side and the Paria Valley dropping down on the other.

Dozens of streams have eaten into the land over millions of years and formed horseshoe-shaped bowls. The largest of these bowls is Bryce Amphitheater, and it functions as the heart of the entire park. The rugged and alien landscape draws nearly 1,400,000 visitors annually, and you better believe that some of those hikers are gay.

In fact, in recent years Bryce Canyon has become something of a haven for the gay and lesbian community. This may come as a surprise to some people. After all Utah isn’t the most obvious vacation destination for same-gender couples, Bryce Canyon does in fact offer same-gender couples a chance to experience the magnificence of Mother Nature in all of her glory, and to be themselves while they’re doing it. Whether hiking through the deep orange stone of the rocky towers or avoiding flash floods in the various slot canyons (no joke, you’ve got to be careful because they do happen), you and your partner will enjoy the romance of being together in one of the most interesting and memorable environments imaginable. When you’re in Bryce Canyon National Park, just sit back and enjoy the world.

And as far as sleeping arrangements go, don’t sweat it! Bryce Canyon Lodge Reservations can be handled online, and many of the hotels in the area are gay-friendly, including some lovely little bed and breakfast joints such the Red Brick Inn of Panguitch and the Buffalo Sage Bed & Breakfast. Of course, some of the lodges are a fair distance from the entrance to the park itself, so do your research and plan accordingly.

So, for your next vacation, do something unexpected. You and your partner will absolutely love your time spent in Bryce Canyon National Park, and who knows, maybe you’ll want to come back next year as well.

Author Bio: Vincent Stokes is an outdoor enthusiast and an experienced world traveler. He also writes writes for the National Parks and works to promote pride in homegrown travel destinations. You can also connect with Vincent on G+ or twitter (@TravelingGlobal).

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Quail Park Lodge Kanab, Utah

Author: , July 14th, 2013

Quail Park Lodge - Kanab, UtahPeriodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Retro on the Outside – Comfy on the inside!: Wonderful roadside lodge with convenient location to Zion, Bryce and Grand Canyon North Rim. Incredible views of red hills and Kanab canyon. Underwent a complete renovation in Spring of 2009 and returning to the classic ‘Route 66’ motor lodge with today’s updated amenities. Features: triple-sheeted beds, down-like comforters, iPod/mp3 players, free bike rentals, microwaves and refrigerators.

See the Quail Park Lodge Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

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

Utah Pride Coming at the End of May

Author: , April 17th, 2013

Utah Gay pride 2013…and the good folks over at GayTravel.com have all the details:

The Utah Pride Festival is one of our favorite events of the season! With entertainment, a festival, and epic parade, Utah Pride is the best of the best in pride celebrations. Read GayTravel.com’s exclusive interview with Megan Ribson of Utah Pride!

SN: What sets Utah Pride apart from other events of its type?

MR: The Utah Pride Festival is one of the largest outdoor Pride Festivals in the Intermountain West and the second largest outdoor Festival in Utah. Over 25,000 people attend the annual Festival from all over Utah and surrounding states. The Utah Pride Parade is the longest parade in Utah with over 120 entries and an estimated 35,000 attendees.

Read the rest at the link above. Utah pride starts on May 30th in Salt Lake City.

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Quick Escapes for Business Travelers in Salt Lake City

Author: , February 27th, 2013

Gay Travel Salt Lake CityAs far as “small” big cities go, Salt Lake City has a lot of appeal. A lot of common annoyances found in booming metropolises are either diminished or vanquished altogether here, making it a highly enjoyable locale to end up in on business.

It’s also a ridiculously great time of the year to visit, with temperatures inching milder each day and snow-capped peaks still glistening. In an effort to get you outside of the boardroom and into the wilds of Utah, we’re offering up two restaurants, three attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings.

EAT: Conveniently, the Arrow Press Square Shopping Center is located directly adjacent to the (awesomely named) Salt Palace Convention Center. There, you’ll find quite a few local eats, but Caffe Molise is one that shouldn’t be missed. Italian is the specialty, but it’s a pretty broad definition that includes way more than just soups and pasta. Being as close as it is, it’s an easy spot to head for a quick lunch or an early dinner.

Authored By Darren Murph – See the Full Story at Sherman’s Travel

Click here for gay travel resources in Utah.

 

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Under The Eaves B&B, Springdale, Utah

Author: , June 21st, 2012

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

Under The Eaves B&B, Springdale, UtahUnder The Eaves Inn is surrounded by Zion National Park on three sides. It is a romantic 1931 landmark home centrally located in the heart of Springdale with beautiful gardens and shade trees offering easy access to the Park entrance, shops and restaurants.

Guests can enjoy the views from “the best front porch in Utah” with stunning sunsets on the Watchman Mountain directly opposite. The sunrise on the West Temple Mountain, directly behind the Inn, reward those who get up early enough!

We provide our guests with a voucher for a delicious complementary full breakfast, two doors down at Oscar’s Cafe – your choice from the menu. (7:00 – 11:00am for breakfast). Breakfasts are no longer being served at the Inn; this change has been made for your convenience, enabling you to choose a breakfast that best fits your schedule.

See the Property Under the Eaves Listing on Purple Roofs Here

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

Sexy in Salt Lake City

Author: , February 10th, 2012

Gay Travel Salt Lake City“Try the AMF,” the lad next to me says while pushing to get a little closer to the bar.

“The what?”

“AMF,” he repeats, “it’s what everybody here drinks.”

“Right then,” I shout to the bartender behind the counter, “one AMF please. Whatever that is.”

Clearly I must have looked even more helpless than I felt to elicit such eager help from a stranger. Then again it isn’t the first time on this trip that a local’s interest levels suddenly perk up after he notices my English tones. For many Americans a foreign accent appears to be as irresistible as catnip.

Full Story from Pink News

Click here for gay travel resources in Utah.

 

Dispatches From Gay Sundance: A Talk With Andrew Ahn

Author: , January 23rd, 2012

We all have a coming-out story: the porn stash your father found that forced your hand, the tearful family gathering where you just couldn’t keep it in anymore, the tender moment shared with a confidant over the phone. But director Andrew Ahn’s exit from the closet is a decidedly different one–he did it by casting his conservative Christian Korean-American parents in his queer short, “Dol (First Birthday).”

“Dol” follows Nick, a first-generation gay Korean-American who goes to his nephew’s traditional first birthday party, leaving his live-in boyfriend at home.

Full Story from Gay Cities

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