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LEISURE
 

Gay Travel

IGLTA: International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association

Top Destinations for LGBTQ Travel

VAX Vacation Access: LGBTQ Focused Tour Operators

NewNowNext: Most Popular LGBTQ Bars in the US

Navigaytour: LGBTQ Travel Resource Guide

Purple Roofs: Gay Travel and Accommodations

Video Tips: LGBTQ Friendly Travel

LGBTQ Nation: Most Popular Gay Bars in the US

Interactive Map: LGBTQ Outdoor Groups

Best LGBTQ Places in New York City

LGBTQ Travel Tips

 

Entertainment, Recreation, Leisure

 

"We do not while away our days drinking, dancing and being gay. LGBTQ cultural life and leisure interests are as diverse as those found in other communities."

-Brighton & Hove

 

"Over the past few years, opportunities for LGBTQ people who want to camp, hike, and otherwise spend time with real plants in nature (not aloe plants in apartments) have grown exponentially."

-Heather Dockray

 

"The history and ongoing engagement of LGBTQ Americans in sport and leisure cultures is varied and diverse, and often reflects the ebbs and flows of openness to gender and sexual diversity in mainstream culture. Though interrelated and shaped by similar cultural forces, institutional sports (professional and semiprofessional leagues, school-based athletics, and community sports programs) and leisure have very different places in LGBTQ life. Meanwhile in non-sport leisure cultures, LGBTQ individuals and communities often formed their own unique forms of leisure and entertainment outside the mainstream gaze."
-Katherine Schweighofer

 

 

What do LGBTQ people do for entertainment?  What kind of recreation do they engage in?  Where do they go to have a good time?  When LGBTQ people want to go out and have fun, they don't always go to drag shows, gay bars, and pride parades.

 

LGBTQ individuals, couples and families attend sports events, art shows, cultural festivals, and activities of all descriptions.  They go to movies, plays, concerts, and museums.  They play bingo and poker. They go to the beach. They hike, they bike, they sail, they ski, they golf.  They go on trips and vacations.

 

There are specialized activities, including gay softball leagues, gay tennis teams, gay rugby clubs, gay bowling leagues, and gay rodeos.  There are gay book clubs, gay supper clubs, gay choral groups, gay film festivals, and gay cruises.

 

LGBTQ Friendly European Travel

Damron: LGBTQ Travel

Info: LGBTQ Sports

LGBTQ Convention & Visitors Bureau

Virgin Airlines' All-LGBTQ Flights

LGBTQ Friendly Tour Operators

Gay Key West: Hotels, Dining, Shopping, Activities

LGBTQ Travel and Trip Ideas

LGBTQ People Breaking Barriers in the Great Outdoors

Video: What It’s Like to Travel If You’re LGBTQ

LGBTQ Nation: Most Popular Gay Bars in the US

Gay Outdoorsman's Epic Adventure

Best Gay Honeymoon Destinations

Gay Couple Explores Marseilles France

Video Advice: Should LGBTQ People Go to Homophobic Countries?

 

 

Best US Vacation Spots for LGBTQ People

 

According to Travel+Leisure Magazine, as of 2016, the following US cities are considered the best vacation spots for LGBTQ people:

 

--Atlanta, Georgia

--Minneapolis, Minnesota

--Boston, Massachusetts

--Austin, Texas

--Key West, Florida

--San Francisco, California

--Dallas, Texas

--Washington DC

--Tampa, Florida

--Los Angeles, California

--Provincetown, Massachusetts

--New Orleans, Louisiana

--Las Vegas, Nevada

 

 

Among the best international locations:

 

--Toronto, Canada

--Peurto Villarta, Mexico

--Tel Aviv, Israel

--Sao Paulo, Brazil

--Amsterdam, The Netherlands

--Hong Kong

 

LGBTQ Vacation and Travel

 

LGBTQ people in search of vacation destinations are well served by an array of LGBTQ-friendly and LGBTQ-operated hotels, resorts, cruise lines, and tour operators worldwide.  Organizations like Alyson Adventures, Atlantis Events, Hanns Ebensten Travel, Olivia, R Family, and RSVP Vacations cater exclusively to LGBTQ clients (and their families) seeking first-rate travel accommodations in an environment in which they can relax and be themselves.

 

Gay Travel

NewNowNext: Most Popular LGBTQ Bars in the US

IGLTA: International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association

VAX Vacation Access: LGBTQ Focused Tour Operators

LGBTQ Travel Tips

Video Tour: Most Welcoming Gay Friendly Vacation Islands

Biggest Lesbian Party in the World

Interactive Map: LGBTQ Outdoor Groups

Navigaytour: LGBTQ Travel Resource Guide

Info: LGBTQ Sports

Purple Roofs: Gay Travel and Accommodations

Video Tips: LGBTQ Friendly Travel

Best LGBTQ Places in New York City

LGBTQ Friendly European Travel

Video: Celebrities Show Support for LGBTQ Equality in Travel

Damron: LGBTQ Travel

LGBTQ Convention & Visitors Bureau

LGBTQ Friendly Tour Operators

Gay Key West: Hotels, Dining, Shopping, Activities

 

 

Traveling Abroad While Gay

 

LGBTQ people visit all of the same places we live: everywhere. And while travel has inherent risks for everyone, LGBTQ people face additional risks, particularly in places where sexual orientation or gender identity are criminalized or marginalized, but also in places where laws protect and recognize their equal rights. Whether we choose to go, or have to go (for business, family or other reasons) LGBTQ travelers face additional layers of complexity when travel can be challenging and stressful under the best of circumstances.

 

It’s more important than ever to know what’s going on with the local LGBTQ community in the countries you visit. The laws don’t reflect the reality in so many places, and the acceptance and welcome for LGBTQ travelers are constantly changing. It’s increasingly important to know where to get the most current information, how to apply that information to your itineraries and personal experience, and what travelers can do to help advance the cause of LGBTQ people in the places they visit.

 

Tour Operators Specializing in LGBTQ Travel
Interactive Map: LGBTQ Outdoor Groups

Video Tips: LGBTQ Friendly Travel

US State Dept: LGBTQ Travel Advisory
LGBTQ Guide to Travel Safety
Gay Travel

LGBTQ Travel Tips

WikiVoyage: LGBTQ Travel Tips

Michael and Matt: First Gay Cruise

LGBTQ Nation: Most Popular Gay Bars in the US

Video Advice: Should LGBTQ People Go to Homophobic Countries?

 

 

Homophobia has no borders. In these rapidly shifting times, it’s important for LGBTQ people travelling the world to better understand the cultures they are stepping into, the potential harms they face, and the resources available to ensure their confidence and safety. The issue of safety always goes beyond LGBTQ rights to the much broader topic of human rights. You will enter these countries with a responsibility to be mindful of their citizens as well as the circumstances of their lives, and to respect the local culture.

 

Travelers to LGBTQ-unfriendly countries usually don’t face the same discrimination, harassment and persecution that locals do. As someone with “tourist privilege,” you may make things better or worse for the local LGBTQ community.

 

There are 76+ countries where homosexual behaviors are against the law. But even legal issues aren’t black and white. In some places, like Singapore, there are laws on the books that are no longer enforced, while in other countries, like Egypt, the law does not prohibit homosexuality, but public decency laws may be used to harass and persecute LGBTQ people.

 

 

Acquainting yourself with local culture, speaking to locals, visiting some of the web resources we list below and reading recent news articles can prepare you to respectfully and safely navigate your way through countries and places where LGBTQ people face unique risks. If you learn how to engage with LGBTQ locals before your arrival, you’ll better protect

yourself and the locals you may engage with on your trip.

 

Traveling as your authentic self isn’t always easy. Even in countries with non-discrimination laws and suppliers that have been trained in sensitivity, many LGBTQ travelers hide their sexual orientation and gender identity. In countries and cultures where protections and acceptance are not the norm, personal authenticity is even harder.

 

Every circumstance is different, and only you can decide what feels right at any given time, in any given situation. But you’re not alone in struggling with these issues. Whether you’re choosing to reveal yourself to locals, fellow travelers or work colleagues, or trying to avoid conversations and situations that would do so, the experiences and anecdotes of those who have navigated this path before you may be helpful and instructive.

 

LGBTQ Focused Tour Operators

 

Brand G Vacations (Mixed)

Adventures in Good Company (Women)

RSVP Vacations (Mostly Men)

Steele Luxury Travel (Mostly Men)

Sweet (Mostly Women)

WomanTours (Women Only)

Atlantis Events (Mixed)

Olivia (Women Only)

R Family (Mixed)

 

 

Equinox Wilderness Expeditions (Women Only) / Canada

Out Adventures (Mostly Men) / Canada

Catherwood Travels (Mixed) / Latin America

EcoCircuitos Panama (Mixed) / Latin America

Flamenco Tour (Mixed) / Latin America

 

 

Greenway Nature Tours (Mixed) / Latin America

Kuyay Travel (Mixed) / Latin America

Orpheus Travel (Mixed) / Latin America

Alyson Adventures (Mostly Men) / Europe

Hanns Ebensten Travel (Mostly Men) / Europe

 

 

For A Cause (Mixed) / Europe

Gay Planet Holidays (Mostly Men) / Europe

Mabat Platinum (Mixed) / Middle East

OneNation Travel (Mixed) / Middle East

Himalayan Dreams (Mixed) / Asia

Luxury India (Mixed) / Asia

Magnet Tours (Mostly Men) / Asia

Pink Mountain Travels and Tours (Mixed) / Asia

Redefine Vacations (Mixed) / Asia

 

Night Life: Top Five LGBTQ Cities

 

If a party is what you crave for your lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer holiday, there are some well-known hotspots where you will not be disappointed in the rich variety of LGBTQ fun. Here are some of the most popular and populated cities for you to see and be seen:

 

New York City – Host to over 50 gay bars and hot clubs, the Big Apple has something for every flavor of LGBT nightlife. The city that doesn’t sleep is available for entertainment seven nights per week at places such as Mr. Black for indie dance parties of the het-homo variety, and Sugarland for gritty hipster.

 

 

San Francisco – For a world-class range of LGBTQ nightlife options, San Francisco is the choice. From the upbeat The Bar on Church to the gay Latino club Esta Noche, this city will have something for everyone.

 

Los Angeles – For young and old, LA has the scene for your LGBTQ holiday. From the lesbian Normandie Room to the bohemian Funky Akbar, the nightlife sizzles. WeHo and Silver Lake are the destination venues.

 

Toronto – This Canadian jewel served as the film location for “Queer as Folk” and will not disappoint those in search of hot nightlife. Woody’s and Fly Niteclub, both of QAF fame, still garner large crowds of gay and lesbian patrons.

 

Chicago – For a more relaxed and less image conscious destination, Chicago will fit the bill. In Boystown and Andersonville, you can find the largest concentration of gay clubs. Sidetrack is the most popular and Circuit has the largest 3-D glitter dance floor.

 

 

LGBTQ Honeymoons

 

Now that the Supreme Court has declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states, dreamy gay honeymoons are within reach for millions more Americans. And with marriage equality and anti-discrimination laws on the rise worldwide, more places are looking fit for dreamy gay honeymoons.

In 2014, only about 55 percent of same-sex couples went on a honeymoon after their wedding ceremony, according to Community Marketing & Insights, a San Francisco-based market research firm that tracks LGBTQ travel trends. With the expansion of marriage equality in the US, those figures presumably stand to change a great deal, as more same-sex couples tie the knot who haven’t already been together for decades, or aren’t feeling rushed to meet some potentially short-lived legal window for doing so. Community Marketing senior research director David Paisley also attributes this figure to the fact that gays and lesbians tend to travel more than straight couples. A same-sex couple about to get hitched might deem that trip to Paris three months away their delayed honeymoon.

 



At the same time, the nature of gay travel is changing. Where once, the focus was on finding gay-owned hotels in (sometimes literal) islands of tolerance, younger gay travelers are looking more broadly, as more countries adopt the kind of marriage equality laws and legal protections that make LGBTQ travelers feel safe. Which is especially important on a honeymoon, if you plan on showing affection in public.

There’s also a generational shift at work here. Baby Boomers are still big fans of the gay guest house or LGBTQ B&B, while Millennials don’t tend to seek them out. Of course, there are also gigantic marketing budgets at play. “With Marriott and Hilton in a battle to see who can be the most gay friendly,” says Paisley, friendliness tends not to matter as much when it’s coming from hospitality companies. As a result, younger LGBTQ travelers tend to value location and quality over brand reputation, though tolerant laws and locals are as important as ever.

 

GMA: Best Honeymoon Destinations fort LGBTQ Couples

Gay Friendly Honeymoon Hotspots

Travel Channel: Best Countries for LGBTQ Honeymoons

ABC News: Best LGBTQ Honeymoon Destinations

Best Gay Honeymoon Destinations

LGBTQ Travel Abroad: What About Public Displays of Affection?
 

 

LGBTQ Travel and Recreation

 

Gay Cities: Bars, Hotels, Restaurants, Reviews, Maps

Nomadic Matt: Lesbian Travel

Info: LGBTQ Arts, Culture, and Entertainment

Biggest Lesbian Party in the World

New York City’s LGBTQ History Tour

LGBTQ Travel Tips

The Most LGBTQ Friendly European Countries

LGBTQ Travel and Trip Ideas

Video Tips: LGBTQ Friendly Travel

Best LGBTQ Places in New York City

Nomadic Matt: Great LGBTQ Events

LGBTQ Nation: Most Popular Gay Bars in the US

Info: LGBTQ Sports

Video Tour: Most Welcoming Gay Friendly Vacation Islands

Playing it Straight: Article by Dan Savage

Nomadic Matt: LGBTQ Travel Tips

 

 

LGBTQ Friendly Destinations

 

From a survey of LGBTQ travelers conducted by the Travel Industry Association, here are the top 21 LGBTQ-friendly US destinations named by the panelists (in order) include:

 

--San Francisco, CA (76%)

--Key West, FL (57%)

--New York, NY (51%)

--Fire Island, NY (48%)

--Provincetown, MA (46%)

--Los Angeles, CA (38%)

--Miami/ South Beach, FL (37%)

--Las Vegas, NV (35%)

--New Orleans, LA(34%)

--Palm Springs/Palm Desert, CA (33%)

--Boston, MA (29%)

 

--Chicago, IL (29%)

--Fort Lauderdale/ Wilton Manors, FL (29%)

--San Diego, CA (29%)

--Seattle/ Bellevue, WA (27%)

--Washington, DC (23%)

--Honolulu, HI (22%)

--Palm Beach/ West Palm/Boca Raton, FL (20%)

--Portland, OR (18%)

--Philadelphia, PA (17%)

--Rehoboth Beach, DE (17%)

--Providence, RI (6%)

 

The top ten LGBTQ-friendly Canadian destinations named by the US respondents in the survey include:

 

--Montreal, QC (44%)

--Toronto, ON (39%)

--Vancouver, BC (38%)

--Quebec City, QB (20%)

--Victoria, BC (16%)

--Niagara Falls, ON (15%)

--Ottawa, ON (12%)

--Calgary, AB (9%)

--Halifax, NS (6%)

--Prince Edward Island (6%)

 

 

LGBTQ Friendly Hotels

 

Gay friendly hotels are popping up everywhere, which is fantastic news for the LGBTQ community. But what can you expect from a gay friendly hotel?

 

Information regarding the local scene - Obviously you will be wanting to check out the local LGBTQ scene. A good gay friendly hotel should have plenty of information regarding LGBTQ bars and clubs. The staff will also be friendly and approachable and be able to give you plenty of advice and information.

 

 

Run by locals that are on the scene - A good gay friendly hotel should also be run by local people in the LGBTQ community and support the local scene. It is good to know that your hard earned money is going into the local LGBTQ economy instead of some hotel conglomerate's pockets. A locally run hotel should also reflect the local culture, which will give you a much better experience.

 

Clean, friendly and relaxed - A good gay friendly hotel should be clean and have a relaxed and friendly attitude. There should be no expectations of you to have a certain style of dress and no problems with overnight visitors. The hotel should also be easy to find and not hide the fact that it is gay friendly. Also, the hotel should be a reasonable size with comfortable rooms with all the amenities you need, instead of being small, dingy, or sleazy.

 

Easy to make new friends - Another thing to look for in a gay friendly hotel is that it is easy to meet fellow guests from the LGBTQ community. This way if you come alone you won't have to look like you have no friends when you hit the bars and clubs.

 

 

LGBTQ Focused Hotels

 

Blue Chairs Resort | Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

East Canyon Hotel and Spa | Palm Springs, California

The Hacienda | Palm Springs, California

Parker Guest House | San Francisco, California

 

LGBTQ Focused Hotel Lists

 

TAG Approved: LGBTQ Welcoming Hotels Worldwide

Gay Travel: LGBTQ Friendly Hotels

IGLTA: LGBTQ Friendly Hotels

Travel+Leisure: LGBTQ Friendly Hotel Brands

 

 

LGBTQ Interest Groups

 

LGBTQ Meet Up Social Groups Worldwide

Lesbian and Gay Meet Up Friends Groups Worldwide

Meet Up Gay Professionals Group

Meet Up Lesbian Professionals Group

 

Breaking Barriers in the Great Outdoors

 

Up until approximately, mmm, yesterday, there's been a enduring stereotype of outdoorsy people: They're white, cis, straight, and love granola and/or semi-automatic rifles. Of course, there have always been people who love nature and don't fall into any of those categories. And over the past few years, opportunities for LGBTQ people who want to camp, hike, and otherwise spend time with real plants in nature (not aloe plants in apartments) have grown exponentially. Between summer camps for adult trans folks and stripper-heels-wearing backpacking queens, there's a growing outdoors community on Instagram and even in real life.
 

LGBTQ activists are making rural America a safer, queerer place. Queer culture has always been concentrated in cities. And most people who identify as queer continue to live in large metropolitan areas like San Francisco and New York City. Big and typically progressive, these urban areas have become home to bustling queer communities and their culture, often defined just by nightlife. That doesn't mean queer culture is confined to cities, or that there aren't members of the community who want to venture into the great outdoors.

[Source: Heather Dockray, Mashable, 2018]

 


 

LGBTQ Outdoor Sporting Activities

 

Outdoor recreation for LGBTQ people might include camping, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, backpacking, mountain climbing, cycling, fishing, sailing, surfing, horseback riding, archery, water skiing, and snow skiing. Several clubs throughout North America offer opportunities for LGBTQ outdoor enthusiasts.

 

NY Times: Celebrating Pride Outside

Venture Out Project

Interactive Map: LGBTQ Outdoor Groups 

Desert Adventures | Phoenix, Arizona

Outdoor Industry vs the LGBTQ Community

NRPA Magazine: Being Out in the Outdoors

Different Strokes Bicycling Club | San Francisco, California

Sierra Club: LGBTQ Adventures in the Woods

Gay Outdoors: Men’s Adventure Club

Glory Sailing and Yachting

LGBTQ People Breaking Barriers in the Great Outdoors

 

 

Out Kayaking / Portland, Oregon

Out Spokin’ Cycling Club / Colorado

Out Ventures Hiking and Camping / Seattle, Washington

SAGA North Ski and Snowboard Club / San Francisco, California

Sundance Outdoor Adventure Society / New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

 

LGBTQ Bar and Party Scene

 

Most Popular LGBTQ Bars in US

LGBTQ Cafe in Dominican Republic

Searching for the Last Lesbian Bars
Gay Scandinavian Cafe in Puerto Vallarta

Best LGBTQ Bars in New York City

LGBTQ Cafe in New Delhi, India

Best LGBTQ Bars in Los Angeles

Tour of Castro District in San Francisco

Biggest Lesbian Party in the World

 

 

Famous LGBTQ Bars and Clubs

 

Stonewall Inn - Christopher Street in Greenwich Village NYC

The Pulse Nightclub - Orlando FL

Twin Peaks Tavern - Castro District, San Francisco CA

Swinging Richards - Atlanta GA

Sidetrack - Chicago IL

The Abbey Food & Bar, West Hollywood, Los Angeles CA

Larry's Lounge - DuPont Circle, Washington DC

Therapy - Hell's Kitchen NYC

Hamburger Mary's, West Hollywood, Los Angeles CA

Bulldogs Bar - Atlanta GA

Bourbon Pub & Parade - Bourbon Street, New Orleans LA

Club Cafe - Boston MA

Roundup Saloon - Dallas TX

Al's on Seventh - Birmingham AL

Moby Dick - Castro District, San Francisco CA

Cubbyhole - East Village NYC

Pecs Bar - San Diego CA

Hunters - Fort Lauderdale FL

Roscoe's Tavern - Chicago IL

Pilsner Inn - Castro District, San Francisco CA

Tribe - Nashville TN

Duplex Cabaret Theatre - Christopher Street in Greenwich Village NYC

Gym Sports Bar, West Hollywood, Los Angeles CA

Rain on 4th -Austin TX

Q Bar - Castro District, San Francisco CA

Our Place - Birmingham AL

 

LGBTQ Dining and Clubbing

 

New York LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Chicago LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Orlando LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

San Diego LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

News Orleans LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Sydney LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Tallahassee LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Detroit LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Atlanta LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

London LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Houston LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

St. Louis LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Toronto LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Birmingham LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Harlem LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Tokyo LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

 

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