Different people have different “bucket lists” (things to see or do before one “kicks the bucket”).
Here is our Bucket List of places to visit in the United States for the LGBT traveler. These cities and towns are filled with Gay history in all forms, and several of them have a Gay history museum.
Fortunately, we have already been to all of these places, and we would highly recommend them to everyone.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
This has for years been the epicenter for the Gay community. Many years ago it was THE place for all Gays to visit, and it still is. Although it has changed a lot, one must just see it in person to really get the feel of it. The Castro area has always been the place to be, filled with dozens of Gay bars and businesses. Years ago, it was the only place in the country where we could all be “ourselves” and enjoy everything. Luckily, in today’s world, we can usually be “ourselves” anywhere in the country. Still, we have visited San Francisco over a dozen times and never tire of it.
A great website is: www.sanfrancisco.travel/lgbt.
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA
The Gay suburb of greater Los Angeles, the zip code 90069 only proves how Gay it is! Everywhere you turn, you see Gay, Gay and more GAY – from the Gay flags on businesses to men holding hands walking down the street while shopping.
For further information, go to: www.visitwesthollywood.com/special-interest/lgbt.
PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA
The place where Gay men and women retire and live. Once the home of Hollywood actors and actresses, it is now very Gay, and visitors always have a delightful time while they’re there.
An informative website is:www.visitgaypalmsprings.com/.
SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO
There are very few Gay Flags, and they don’t need any. Everyone gets along with everybody in this fabulously wonderful place.
Gays and Lesbians began going to Santa Fe years ago. The town has always been filled with authors, writers, poets, artists, sculptors, jewelry artisans and extremely interesting people.
We have been going there since 1982, and love it every time we return. It is just a completely different way of life there and very mesmerizing.
Find information at santafe.org/Visiting_Santa_Fe/GLBTQ_Travel/Gay_Lesbian_Events/.
KEY WEST, FLORIDA
Always Gay and still Gay, however, the cruise ships now dock there, so there is an influx of straight visitors all the time.
However, it is still a “must see” place for all Gays. There is a lot of Gay history there, and it is very exciting, historical and interesting.
Info online at www.fla-keys.com/keywest/gaykeywest.cfm.
LAUDERDALE (including SOUTH BEACH and PALM BEACH), FLORIDA
Gays have been flocking to the beaches of Ft. Lauderdale for years and years. It has more than 150 Gay-owned hotels, bars, clubs, restaurants and businesses.
South Beach, on the east side of Miami, is filled with lots of hot men and the bars stay open all day and night.
Palm Beach, to the north of Ft. Lauderdale, is filled with some of the finest shops in the entire nation. Find it all at www.sunny.org/lgbt/.
NEW YORK CITY and THE HAMPTONS
If you have never been to New York City, go now!
Yes, it is expensive, but it is worth every bit of what you spend there. The shopping, restaurants, bars, Broadway shows, museums and galleries are things that you will remember forever.
Head out to the Hamptons and enjoy the good life.
Information online at www.nycgo.com/articles/gay-nyc
FIRE ISLAND, NEW YORK
It is not like it was in the 1970s and ‘80s, but it is still a great place to visit. And yes, it is an island and you need to take a ferry over.
Get details online at fireisland.gaycities.com/
PROVINCETOWN (P’TOWN), MASSACHUSSETS
This was the place for all Gays to go to be themselves for years. Nearly the entire town was and is Gay.
P’town is a very small town. You do not need a car, so one can take the ferry from Boston to get there. However, it is a very scenic drive going around through Hyannis Port.
The website is ptown.org/
It is a very laid-back Gay resort town right on the ocean, and Gays have been going there for years.
What was once an artist colony turned into a Gay resort town years ago. There are plenty of Gay bed and breakfasts to stay in.
Find information at www.gayogunquit.com/
Before going to any of these resort towns and cities on this list, go to www.purpleroofs.com to find the perfect place for you to stay.
Always remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone.
Donald Pile and Ray Williams are award-winning celebrity travel columnists and proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com.
Article republished with permission from The Gay Word.