Vacation spots you will love if you are LGBT
1. Guerneville, California
The hub of the fabled Russian River region, a densely verdant, redwood-tree-shaded valley in western Sonoma County, unpretentious and quirky Guerneville lacks to high costs and occasional pretensions of nearby Wine Country towns – but it’s still an excellent base for wine-touring. This small town 70 miles from San Francisco has several gay bars, a colorful main drag lined with both funky and stylish shops and galleries, and several GLBT resorts and inns. During the warmer months, this is a perfect base for hiking among the redwoods and canoeing on the river. Nestled amid those very redwoods, the Highlands Resort is a wonderful collection of pet-friendly cabins. The R3 Hotel (formerly the Triple R) is one of California’s longest-running gay resorts. Both places are very affordable.
2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
More than 300 years ago, William Penn founded Philadelphia on the principles of equality and freedom of expression. Today, the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection rolls out the red carpet for LGBT travelers from around the world. You’ll know you’re in “the Gayborhood”—yes, that’s what it’s actually called—when you spy the rainbow street signs and crosswalks. From Chestnut to Pine Streets and Juniper to 11th Streets—and in some of the alleyways inbetween—you’ll find most of the city’s gay spots, notably Tavern on Camac, Woody’s and The Bike Stop.
3. Ogunquit, Maine
Smaller, more low-keyed, and less expensive than Provincetown, the scenic oceanside village of Ogunquit, Maine is one of New England’s leading gay resort communities – it’s just 90-minutes from Boston, and less than a half-hour from the gay-friendly Maine city of Portland. This dapper little village of about 1,200 that’s home to an acclaimed summer theater and first-rate art museum and abounds with gay-owned accommodations, festive lobster shacks, and tasteful shops and boutiques, and it contains 3.5 miles of glorious sandy beach. Relatively affordable in summer, it’s an absolute bargain during the fall and spring shoulder months. Try staying at the elegant 2 Village Square Inn or the inexpensive, well-located Ogunquit Beach Inn.
4. Taos, New Mexico
Taos is one of the most stunningly situated small towns in North America, set on a high-desert mesa in the shadows of the 13,000-foot-high Sangre de Cristo mountains. A historic arts colony that retains its creative spirit today, this diminutive town of about 6,500 has long been favored by bohemians, free spirits, progressives, and gays and lesbians. Funkier and with far more affordable places to eat and stay than Santa Fe, Taos is a fantastic destination for hiking, biking, photography, and white-water rafting during the warmer months, and it’s a terrific ski town in winter. First-rate, gay-friendly lodgings that won’t set you back a fortune include the famed Taos Inn near the Plaza and the charming American Artists Gallery House B&B.
5. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
This historic treasure along colonial Mexico’s fabled silver route, San Miguel de Allende has been a popular vacation spot and, increasingly, permanent home for American expats for years. Often compared with the U.S. city of Santa Fe because of the elegant Spanish Colonial architecture, trendy yet refined eateries, and hotels, and first-rate arts scene, San Miguel is a relatively good deal for visitors from the U.S. and Canada thanks to the favorable exchange rate. This gay-friendly, hilly town of cobblestone streets lies about 180 miles north of Mexico City. Recommended lodging options include Casa Crayola, a colorful collection of casitas near the must-see Fabrica La Aurora art-gallery center, and somewhat fancier Las Terrazas San Miguel.