Must visit sum­mer travel des­ti­na­tions

Our picks for some of the most ex­cit­ing and LGBT-friendly va­ca­tion spots

GA Voice - - Summer Travel -

By DAR­IAN AARON

daaron@the­gavoice.com

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.

Toronto, Canada 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.

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/)

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.

Where To Stay: What To Do: 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.

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 dai-

What To Do: May 13, 2016

Coun­ter­clock­wise from top right: Salt House Inn is one of the best Province­town has to of­fer. The amaz­ing lo­ca­tion isn’t the only rea­son to love the elegant gay-friendly Sof­i­tel Philadel­phia ho­tel. At the Chelsea Ho­tel in Toronto you’ll have com­fort­able and af­ford­able ac­com­mo­da­tions in the heart of down­town Toronto with a short walk to ma­jor at­trac­tions. (Cour­tesy pho­tos) ly 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)

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.

What To Do: Province­town, Mas­sachusetts 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.

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)

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.

Where To Stay: What To Do: Austin, Texas 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. San Jose Ho­tel This ur­ban bun­ga­low-style ho­tel is gay-

Where To Stay:

owned and is sur­rounded by lush green­ery. It’s also a short walk from restau­rants and nightlife. (www.san­jose­ho­tel.com)

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.

What To Do: Philadel­phia, Penn­syl­va­nia Why Go:

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.

Sof­i­tel Philadel­phia 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. (www.sof­i­tel.com)

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.

Where To Stay: What To Do:

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