The world is truly your oyster—step outside of your comfort zone and discover the beauty of North America or Mexico in one of these fabulous cities this summer. You’ll be glad you did.
Why Go: It’s a quick flight from Hartsfield-Jackson but far away enough to get a new stamp on your passport and bragging rights for having immersed yourself in this progressive and exciting city.
Where To Stay: Chelsea Hotel, Toronto
You’ll have comfortable and affordable accommodations in the heart of downtown Toronto with a short walk to major attractions. If you’re traveling as a family, this hotel also includes a family fun zone, kid center and teen lounge. (www.chelseatoronto.com/en/)
What To Do:
Church Street is ground zero for LGBT tourists. Travel at the end of June to participate in Toronto Pride or take a self-guided tour of “Queer as Folk” landmarks—the show was filmed here. The Royal Ontario Museum and Bata Shoe Museum are also LGBT favorites.
San Diego, California
Why Go: If Los Angeles is a little too fast paced, then you’ll want to seriously consider San Diego. The city offers access to water, top-notch dining, shopping, nightlife and a slew of attractions.
Where To Stay: Porto Vista Hotel
Centrally located in the heart of Little Italy, Porto Vista Hotel is the gateway to all San Diego has to offer. You’ll enjoy stylish guest rooms and suites with sunset views and fine cuisine. This property is also pet-friendly.
What To Do: No trip to San Diego is complete without a visit to Sea World or the San Diego Zoo, which is conveniently located amongst 15 museums in Balboa Park. And beer drinkers will enjoy daily tours of Stone Brewery in Escondido. (www.portovistasd.com)
Mexico City, Mexico
Why Go: Mexico City continues to deliver on its reputation as a welcoming city to diverse populations. And with their yearly celebrations, nightlife, and historic attractions, you’ll have a front row seat to Mexico’s urban culture.
Where To Stay: Hotel Habita
This ultra-chic hotel is an LGBT favorite during visits to Mexico City. Guests have access to a gym, pool, sauna and outdoor Jacuzzi. There’s also a spectacular view of Mexico City from the hotel’s sixth floor. (www.hotelhabita.com)
What To Do:
Mexico City’s Centro Histórico is a vibrant neighborhood filled with LGBT nightlife, cantinas and drag bars. You’ll want to stroll through Roma and Condesa—two of the hippest neighborhoods lined with cafes, bookstores and mid-twentieth century architecture. Also, add a visit to the home of the late artist Frida Kahlo.
Why Go: Provincetown isn’t called the original gay destination for no reason. You’ve either been here before or have been privy to stories filled with details of sweet sin and debauchery. Regardless, go.
Where To Stay: Salt House Inn
This boutique hotel is one of the best Provincetown has to offer. In addition to the comfort and rustic vibe of the rooms, you’ll awake each morning to a delicious in-house breakfast with a menu that changes daily. (www.salthouseinn.com)
What To Do: There’s plenty of shopping, restaurants and galleries on Commercial Street. You can also enjoy the scenery by bike riding instead of driving, which can also come in handy during Bear Week.
Why Go: It’s true, Austin is a rare progressive gem in the heart of a deeply red state. This city is out and proud when it comes to embracing its LGBT residents and tourists alike.
Where To Stay: San Jose Hotel
This urban bungalow-style hotel is gay- owned and is surrounded by lush greenery. It’s also a short walk from restaurants and nightlife. (www.sanjosehotel.com)
What To Do:
South Congress Avenue is on every LGBT traveler’s itinerary for shopping and dining while visiting Austin. The Austin music scene is unparalleled and you’re likely to find live music in bars and even grocery stores.
It’s the city of brotherly love and now thanks to a wonderful ally in Mayor Jim Kenney, Philly is also on the list of must-visit cities for LGBT travelers.
Where To Stay:
The amazing location isn’t the only reason to love this elegant gay-friendly hotel. The rooms also come with a fully stocked minibar and French bath amenities.
What To Do:
The gayborhood stretching from Chestnut to Pine Street is lined with coffee shops, restaurants and bars. May kicks off festival season—South Street Spring Festival and GayFest are crowd favorites.