Looking for gay weekend getaways that will be more unique and less clichéd? Thankfully majority of people came to their senses in North America and most destinations have become more gay friendly. So if you’re looking for some gay weekend getaways or want to travel with gay friends, your boyfriend/girlfriend, whatever; I’ve compiled a list to give you some ideas.
Also can we all agree that as gay people we don’t have to go to specifically “gay” destinations anymore. However in North America there is still prejudice towards gays and let’s face it, there are more gay friendly cities over others. I choose cities and specifically states that have become more open-minded. We’ve come a long way but still have ways to go!
Puerto Vallarta, México
If you’re thinking about gay weekend getaways in México and want an authentic but also gay friendly experience, it has to be Puerto Vallarta. Cancun is fine and you won’t have a problem there either but Puerto Vallarta is the real deal. The scenery is wonderful, tequila, beaches, and real Mexican food. You know where we get the image of México, it’s from Puerto Vallarta!
Pros: Inexpensive, gay beach scene, authentic Mexican experience
Cons: Long flights from the US/Canada, passport, pollution problems
Gay rights and weed really moved fast in Colorado and now the state is much more open-minded. If you’re the hiking and skiing type of gay, then really everywhere in Colorado is open for you. But Vail is special because it’s one of the few American cities where no cars are allowed in the city center. Come winter or summer for hiking, biking, golfing, horseback riding, fishing, and the Vail Film Festival.
Pros: Great mountains, 2 hour drive from Denver, après-ski scene
Key West, Florida
A mere 90 miles north of Havana, Key West is our most southern island in the lower 48. This city has always been out-of-the-way and a haven for those seeking refuge. Today it is an expensive beach/party city and very welcoming towards gays; they even had a gay mayor! Go whenever as it never freezes in Key West but if you’re into the gay scene then go in early June when PrideFest happens.
Pros: Always warm, beach paradise, party scene, safe
Cons: Somewhat expensive, 4 hour drive from Miami
If you’re looking for a different Canadian experience than Montréal, Québec should be on your list. It has always been one of the most gay friendly cities in North America and even has its own gay village. Beyond that Montréal is French-Canadian cuteness with its own cultures, foods, and people. If you love gay pride you will love Montréal’s every August.
Pros: 2 hour drive to Québec City, easy flights from New York, Chicago, etc…, unique Canadian city
Cons: Somewhat expensive
Perhaps you have never heard of Saugatuck but many gays in the Chicago/Detroit area have. This city is known for its bed and breakfast scene and charming city filled with art, independent shops, boat tours on the Kalamazoo River, dune riding and of course the beaches on Lake Michigan. Voted one of the coolest cities by Budget Travel in 2010.
Pros: Midwest beach scene, 2 hour drive from Chicago, Relatively inexpensive
Cons: Off-season shop closures, lake water is cold
The city that is separate from the rest of Texas; how can you hate Austin! I’m a native Texan and have had the pleasure of living in Austin. So what if there is traffic, focus on the delicious bbq/tex-mex, food trucks, hipster scene, Lake Travis, and of course the Hill Country. As Texas most liberal city, gays walk in with open arms as well as anybody who isn’t in the majority.
Pros: Hill Country, relatively inexpensive, Texan friendliness, good eating, mostly warm
Cons: Must drive everywhere, sometimes conservative
Vermont is not like any state I know and that’s why I love it. It’s so liberal everybody feels like a tree-hugger with a million dollar home also with a cabin in the woods. It’s insanely scenic, especially Burlington which sits on Lake Champlain overlooking New York state. Around the area is a wilderness lover, kayakers, and hikers dream.
Pros: 2 hour drive from Montréal, easy to escape into the outdoors, pretty town
Cons: Expensive to fly into, far drive from East Cost cities
What can I say, I love Canada and I love Vancouver. Traveling there twice, I can no doubt say that it’s the best city in North America. Super friendly city with variety of restaurants, mountains close by, cool fresh water all around the city, wonderful parks, charming shopping, dramatic scenery and a vibrant gay scene. I mean come on, it’s hard to compete with Vancouver.
Pros: Safe, friendly, beautiful scenery, 3 hours from Seattle, 2 hours to Whistler
Cons: Expensive, need a passport if not Canadian
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe quietly grew to be a gay friendly city and now has many gay residents. It is actually one of the oldest cities in North America and still preserves some important architectures dating back to early 1600’s. With warm weather, artful architecture, scenic landscapes, and a charming city center, it’s an off-beat tourist hot spot.
Pros: 1 hour drive from Albuquerque, authentic culture/buildings, mostly warm weather
Cons: Moderately expensive, need a car to get there
Napa Valley, California
Perhaps one of the best climates and most scenic landscapes in the world, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Napa Valley. This isn’t historically a gay friendly destination but it has grown into one thanks to more affluent gay tourist who enjoy wine and appreciation for stunning scenery. There are of course wine tours, or you can explore on your own!
Pros: Beautiful weather, scenery, and wines, 1 hour drive from San Francisco