Booking a gay travel and adventure vacation is easy if you know where to look. A number of tour operators specialize in gay adventure travel and matching travelers with destinations where they'll have fun and feel welcome.
Some gay travel and adventure vacation destinations are more welcoming to openly gay visitors than others. Some of the favorites among LGBT travelers are Key West, San Francisco, Toronto, and Provincetown. Here's a thumbnail sketch of a few gay-friendly destinations:
- Key West - America's "Caribbean," this island outpost defines relaxation and ease. The former haunt of Ernest Hemingway, President Truman, and scores of artists, poets, and writers, is a traditional gay-friendly destination. It offers a good selection of gay guest houses and inns and vibrant gay community and nightlife.
- San Francisco - San Francisco is a favorite among gay travelers for its temperate climate, wonderful restaurants and shopping, and gay-friendly attitudes. The Pride parade held each June is one of the largest in the country and the city's Castro district has long been a center of Gay nightlife, movies, restaurants, and community.
- Puerto Rico - Puerto Rico, an US territory in the Caribbean, is known for its active gay community, the largest and most liberal in the Caribbean. The island offers a number of gay-friendly small inns and guest houses. In addition, San Juan's Old Town district is home to a variety of dance clubs, gay bars, and gay social clubs.
- Toronto - Ontario's liberal attitudes and clean, friendly cities make Toronto a favorite of gay travelers. The city offers excellent theater, fun and funky antique shopping, and a variety of gay nightclubs, restaurants, and guest houses.
- Provincetown - Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod, is a primarily gay enclave with picturesque storefronts and houses, plentiful seafood restaurants, and spectacular sunsets. It's also home to a vibrant art and theater community.
A great resource for LGBT travelers are the Damron Guides. This series of reference books list gay-friendly restaurants, accommodations, gay clubs, and gay neighborhoods in scores of cities around the world. They're a must for the frequent traveler.
Gay Tour Companies
Although gay travelers are welcomed by most tour companies, some travel operators specialize in organizing trips, designed for gay adults. Among these are:
- RSVP Vacations - This tour company organizes a variety of cruise groups each year, designed especially for LGBT travelers. Offerings range from the elegant Queen Mary II to Caribbean Cruises to Alaska. In addition to the ease of traveling with gay vacationers, RSVP groups offer special activities, cocktail parties, and shore excursions.
- Olivia - Olivia, founded in 1973, caters to lesbian vacationers. The company started by organizing cruises for women with gay-friendly entertainers and activities, and has expanded into adventure travel, such as kayaking, hiking, and biking trips to Bryce Canyon and Yellowstone National Park and exotic travel, including a current nine-day cruise around Thailand.
Booking Gay Travel and Adventure Vacations
Most gay tour operators, such as those listed above will accept reservations directly from travelers. In addition, seek out a travel agent who specializes in gay travel. Because he works with travel on a daily basis, he is in a great position to alert you to the hottest new destination and the best new deal that comes along.