Author Archives: Ken Porpora

By @ 09/08/14 in Gay travel, Travel

munich copyCome September 20, Munich will be abuzz with its epic, world-renowned Oktoberfest, and attendees would be wise to heed our advice and book a room at the Deutsche Eich, a Münchner staple since 1864 and a 2014 ManAboutWorld Editor’s Choice award recipient, this is the city’s sole gay-owned hotel. Forward-thinking film director Rainer Fassbinder was a regular here during the 1970s, as was Queen’s Freddie Mercury. Partners Dietmar Holzapfel and Sepp Sattler purchased the property in 1993 and have since refurbished it to its modern, convivial, reasonably priced state. Juxtaposed to the fact that Germany’s largest bathhouse is located in the rear of the grounds, straight couples and families are welcome. This is also one of the only hotels in Munich that boasts a rooftop terrace, and the proximity to both the Altstadt (Old Town) and Glockenbachviertel means you can have your schnitzel and eat it too.

The event itself runs for 16-days, concluding on October 5. We covered Munich in our 2013 July/August summer issue that you can download here.

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By @ 09/04/14 in Austin, Gay pride, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel

austinComing up on September 20, Gay Pride will take over the always weird city of Austin, Texas. The day of pride will feature the Festival at Fiesta Gardens from 11am-6pm and a parade through downtown Austin. Tickets can be bought here for $17 (or $20 at the door, cash only) and proceeds are donated back into the community through the Austin Pride Cares program.

We covered Austin in all of its weird glory back in March of 2013, which you can buy here to get the inside scoop on our favorite Texas city!

 

 

 

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By @ 09/03/14 in Ft. Lauderdale, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel

mawWhile it implies objectivity, “best” is almost always subjective, or — at best — qualified. When we ask for the best hotel or restaurant, the answer can be as much a reflection of our sensibilities as it is of any objective quality measure.

Generally, “you get what you pay for,” but finding “the best” isn’t simply a matter of picking the most expensive option — it’s knowing what resonates for you. In our first two years of ManAboutWorld, we’ve seen more than 100 destinations and 1,500 hotels on six continents. Much of it is a blur. But some of it stands out. Editors’ Choice winners are the ones that resonated most for us. The ones that truly shared our values. The ones we would go back to… and sometimes do, when we’re not busy searching out new and different places to recommend.  (download the list as a pdf from the link at the end)

And this year’s Awards go to…

DESTINATION OF THE YEAR: Fort Lauderdale

Gay-popular since the ‘70s, Ft. Lauderdale is still on the rise while other gay destinations are mainstreaming. With its white sand gay beach, 16 exclusively gay guesthouses (the most of any destination), and a nightlife scene that’s busy seven nights a week, Ft. Lauderdale is one of the few places where you don’t have to rely on a phone App to hook up. And while it wins our hearts with its sun, sand, surf and fun, it’s also home to the Stonewall Museum, one of the only permanent spaces in the U.S. devoted to exhibitions relating to LGBT history and culture, and the world’s first AIDS museum.

Not content to rest on gay assets, the county’s tourism promotion board sets industry standards. The county has worked tirelessly in the last year to bring new gay events and many meetings to Greater Ft. Lauderdale, and to support the advancement of LGBT rights in Florida and around the world. In July, it became the first Convention and Visitors Bureau in the country to call for a repeal of its states’ gay marriage ban. It is currently conducting the first survey of transgendered travelers, showing sensitivity to all segments of the LGBT travel market.

Previous winner: Provincetown, Massachusetts 



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By @ 09/01/14 in Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel

louWelcome to our newest global correspondent, Louis Boshoff!

Louis started at an early age; when other boys dreamed of becoming firemen, he wanted to become a tourist; travelling is in his blood and soul. After years of hospitality design and events management, Louis decided to share his take on the details that could make and break those important getting away moments.

His advice is not purely destination driven but focuses on the things that make a difference. Having travelled in Europe and Africa, his expertise is not just the high-end experience but also the little discoveries that make travelling such an addictive activity. His background in art and design makes sure that you can sample sophistication while his darker side may tempt you into some subversion. By reporting on art and design and publishing new artists, Louis gets the lay of the land wherever he goes.



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By @ 08/29/14 in Gay travel, LA/West Hollywood, ManAboutWorld, Travel

mysteryThe small house has an ugly facade, and from Sunset, you can’t even see it. All that exists from the street is a unpronounced sign that says “First Edition.” Walk through the entranceway to a dead-end, take a right down another alley, down some stairs and hidden away is this little house called Mystery Pier Books. Inside, you’ll meet Harvey, a gracious, soft-spoken host who will let you browse the small two-room house full of some of the world’s rarest first edition books. This store is a wonder. It’s a classic piece of West Hollywood, unknown to most, a museum of literature, housing first edition copies of In Cold Blood, works by Faulkner and Hemingway, some of which are priced in the $100,000 range. On the wall, photos of Johnny Depp and Pierce Bronson and other celebrities who frequent the shop.

 

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By @ 08/28/14 in Billy Kolber, Gay travel, Greece, ManAboutWorld, Travel

delosbkOur publisher, Billy Kolber, mimics an ancient Greek statue on the historic island of Delos. So what is Delos? It’s an UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Aegean Sea just a few miles from gay-popular Mykonos. It’s also the place where mythology was born, the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, known locally as the cradle of the Gods, an island  rich with artifacts from the third millennium. We like to think of it as a fabulous day-trip after you’ve had your fill of partying on Mykonos.

 

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By @ 08/27/14 in Asia, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel

cambodiaWe’ve discovered a new favorite market in Siem Reap, hidden away in the courtyard of the chic Shinta Mani Resort, called Well Made in Cambodia. This must-see outdoor market and street fair  takes place every Saturday and Sunday from 4 to 9pm where you can buy quality crafts and support local artisans while listening to live music. Well Made in Cambodia is the best of local craftsmanship, where you’ll find artisan jewelry, textiles, ceramics, and clothing. International artists such as Eric Raisina sell their goods here. The marketplace is free to the public.

Our colleague Billy Kolber is staying at Shinta Mani later this year and we’ll have next spring.

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By @ 08/26/14 in Australia, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Michael Siebert, Travel

fraserOur Australian correspondent Michael Siebert sent us this fascinating update from Australia, a perfect island getaway for coupled gays

Fraser Island – the largest sand island in the world, full of natural beauty and great for a three day escape – is off the coast and a short ferry ride from Hervey Bay about 50 minutes. Champagne Pools are located just North of Indian Head, an island off the coast of Australia, at the northern end of the famous 75-mile long eastern surf beach. You will actually be stopped by cops for a breathalyzer test. These pools provide a very popular swimming hole with the ocean crashing over the rocks.

 



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By @ 08/25/14 in Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Paul Heney, Travel

gaygames169Our correspondent Paul Heney sent us this photo from the ground in Cleveland from the Gay Games. The games wrapped last week but the memories of the event are still being felt throughout the city! Congrats to all the performers, athletes, and organizers of this historic event!

 

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By @ 08/22/14 in Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Phoenix, Travel

bluehoundThe Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails is located inside the Hotel Palomar in downtown Phoenix and is the city’s newest and, we think, best restaurant to come along in some time. This modern space is gorgeously designed and would not feel out of place in New York or San Francisco. This is big city dining at its finest. The rustic chic decor, the floor-to-glass windows, the quirky menus and the beautiful lobby create a hip, bustling experience unmatched in this city working hard to make its name as an urban powerhouse. The cuisine is a creative, upscale take on comfort food: bacon-infused tater tots and macaroni & cheese, along with generously-sized portions of braised beef ribs that are a must-try. For after dinner drinks, hit the Lustre Bar on the hotel’s rooftop, a laid-back outdoor lounge with yummy libations and sprawling views. The Blue Hound earns our highest recommendation.

We covered Phoenix in our Dec. 2012 issue. Click here to subscribe!

 

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By @ 08/20/14 in Amsterdam, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel

amsterdamOur correspondent Louis Boshoff sent us this colorful photo of Conchita Wurst at the very recent Amsterdam Pride!

Conchita Wurst, the winner of Eurovision 2014 and neo-ambassador for gay rights, has helped Amsterdam solidify its position as one of the leading European hosts of Gay Pride. It remains one of the continent’s most unique pride events and has become an event that is embraced by the entire city. From elderly couples to the young and restless take time out in a celebration of tolerance and acceptance. If you’re doing some advanced travel planning be sure to keep Amsterdam Gay Pride in mind; it is extremely well organized with next year’s party agenda already out featuring circuit parties and themed events planned at the participating venues.

We covered Amsterdam in our Dec. 2012 issue. Click here to subscribe!

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By @ 08/19/14 in Gay travel, Haven Caylor, ManAboutWorld, Travel

dollywood

Sure, we had heard of Dollywood, but our correspondent Haven Caylor recently turned us on to this park as a fun family event for gay dads and their kids. Check out what Haven has to say about Dolly Parton’s legendary park and why it should be at the top of your destination list:



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By @ 08/18/14 in Gay travel, Greece, ManAboutWorld, Mykonos, Travel

delos1Lying just next to Mykonos, Delos is the mythological birthplace of the (hot) God Apollo and considered one of the most sacred sites of the ancient Greeks. The ruins are worthwhile to visit and it makes for a nice break if you’ve been in the Mykonos circuit a few days. Why not go gay to Delos? There is a mostly gay cruise to Delos (daily except for Mondays) organized by Mykonos Accommodation Center. It only takes 30 minutes each way. Maybe you’ll find your own Greek god during this short excursion.

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By @ 08/15/14 in Gay travel, Greece, ManAboutWorld, Mykonos, Travel

mykonosLocated on the beach of Agios Ioannis (one of the most picturesque beaches on the island where the movie Shirley Valentine was filmed), and just under three miles from Mykonos Town, the Mykonos Grand is close enough to walk home in a pinch but far enough to really escape from the touristy hordes when you need to get away. The staff and clientele, while mostly straight, are very open and gay friendly. The intricate mosaics and hand-carved marble throughout the resort add a touch of elegance, as do the simple décor, infinity edge pool and drop-dead beautiful views. It’s one of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World and a top Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice award recipient.

We covered Mykonos in our June 2013 issue. Click here to subscribe!

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By @ 08/14/14 in Gay pride, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, ManAboutWorld, Travel

curacaoNot everywhere in the Caribbean is gay-friendly (we’re looking at you, Jamaica!) but Dutch-owned Curacao is among the gayest of all the islands, and next month they celebrate their 2nd annual Gay Pride. From September 24-28, the small island of charming European architecture, cute boys, and 35 beaches, celebrates the LGBT lifestyle in the region. Go for the fun, the UNESCO World heritage Sites, the boys and the colors and the turquoise water. This is one of the most unique and lively prides in the world.

The charming, adults-only Floris Suite Hotel is the host hotel for Curaçao Pride and centrally located to all the events.

 

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By @ 08/13/14 in Gay travel, Jeff Guaracino, Las Vegas, ManAboutWorld, Travel

MGM Grand – KÀ – Imperial Twins – Photo by Eric Jamison

When it comes to Vegas, three days may as well be three months! It’s a whirlwind city and when planned wrong, or not at all, it’s the type of vacation you need a serious vacation from. Our Global Correspondent Jeff Guaracino fills us on on how to plan the perfect group trip to Las Vegas, where to find the gay, and how to actually enjoy Sin City.



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By @ 08/12/14 in Gay pride, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, ManAboutWorld, Prague, Travel

pragueThe 4th annual Prague Pride kicked off yesterday and will be taking over the storybook city all week with more than 117 gay-themed events, concluding on Sunday, August 17th with the parade itself. The biggest side event of this year’s festival is the performance of Pet Shop Boys, on August 13th at Forum Karlin.The Prague Pride opening ceremony at Containall will be kicked off by the New York band Betty, best known from “The L Word.”



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By @ 08/11/14 in Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Paul Heney, Travel

blogOur correspondent Paul Heney is back with another report from Cleveland on the Gay Games from this past weekend:

GG9 is here!

Saturday will go down as a true life highlight for me—along the lines of attending the 2013 inauguration of President Obama. As a participant in the Gay Games, I was able to march into the Opening Ceremony, held at “The Q” … the downtown arena where the Cleveland Cavaliers play.



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By @ 08/11/14 in Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, San Francisco, Sydney, Travel

bahrainLast night, the Super Moon wowed spectators the world over, capturing incredible photographs of the rare event. From Bahrain to San Francisco, these are some of our favorite snapshots of the moon from our favorite cities.



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By @ 08/08/14 in Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Paul Heney, Travel

 

gaygames1

Our correspondent Paul Heney chimes in with a personal story about the Gay Games coming to Cleveland this weekend! We recently covered Cleveland earlier this year and are offering our Cleveland guide for free here. Here’s Paul on Cleveland and what the Gay Games coming to his hometown means to him (click “Read more”):



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