Category Archives: Gay-Friendly

By @ 05/07/19 in Chicago, Gay Illinois, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Illinois, LGBT Illinois, LGBT travel Illinois, Travel

Gay-friendly Illinois in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineGay-friendly Illinois is a big, important state full of hometown pride, queer culture, and adorable small towns. But what do you really know about Illinois? You’re going to say Chicago, right? We thought so.

And yes, Chicago is fabulous. But there’s so much more in this wonderful state to explore, and so we did! And what we found were small towns full of charm. Welcome, pivotal moments in American history. Iconic architecture. And a historic road called Route 66 (you may have heard of it) that helped change a nation and still captivates the world.

More Gay-friendly Illinois

This is just one of our many favorite stories and hotspots to help you discover gay-friendly Illinois for yourself. Begin your exploration here.

Enjoy a more immersive Illinois experience in the magazine:

ManAboutWorld is an app-based travel magazine by gay men which provides travel inspiration and trip-planning information for all whether you’re in the LGBTQ+ community or are an ally. It’s built exclusively for mobile devices and is not available in print. We first published these articles in the spring 2019 issue and make them available here for your enjoyment. The app and issues are all free. Download it for Apple devices or Android devices.

Photo: Ed Salvato



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By @ 05/07/19 in Chicago, Gay Illinois, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Gay-friendly Illinois, Illinois, LGBT Illinois, Travel

LGBTQ guide Chicago in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineLGBTQ Guide Chicago: Looking for a warm-weather getaway that offers a bustling urban environment, sprawling green spaces, public parks, and a sandy beach, steps from the skyline? Head to the heartland to experience Chicago’s thriving LGBTQ offerings

Each of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods offer distinct character and personality, with culture and history interconnecting to create a vibrant tapestry of community life.

Chicago has long been an epicenter for queer culture and Lakeview’s Boystown (the U.S.’s first recognized gay village) section remains one of the most vibrant gayborhoods in the nation. With dozens of queer bars, venues, and monuments, the neighborhood is a haven for LGBTQ residents and visitors. Its history of queer icons — from literary heroes like Lorraine Hansberry and Jane Addams to gay rights activists such as Henry Gerber — is inspiring. Their stories can be discovered on a self-guided LGBTQ Landmark Tour and provide a terrific frame of reference for what has become a robust LGBTQ community.

This summer, on June 29, Chicago will make queer history with the first-ever Pride in the Park Chicago in Grant Park. The event will feature celebrations of love and protest, live music performances by international and local talent, top queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race, artisanal food vendors and a fireworks show. About 15,000 are expected to attend.

The summer of LGBTQ also includes International Mr. Leather. From May 23-27, leather-bound attendees will descend upon the city, letting their freak flags fly, and capping off the festivities with the Black and Blue Party on Monday.

Early June will see the ANDERSONVILLE MIDSOMMARFEST. The Andersonville neighborhood is one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly in Chicago, and Midsommarfest is a street festival for the arts, retail, music and more in the area.

The BACK LOT BASH runs from June 28 – 30 (butting up against Pride in the Park this year) kicking off with a safe space for families to celebrate pride followed by a two-day outdoor music festival. The event is now in its 16th year and is one of the best-attended lesbian Pride events.

And finally, come end of June, the free and fabulous NAVY PIER PRIDE on June 29. The event consists of a full day of family-LGBTQ guide Chicago in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinefriendly festivities in honor of the LGBTQ+ community. This event includes Storytime with Drag Queens, live performances, special film presentations, and a new “Queer the Pier” fashion and music show headlined by special guest CeCe Penistone.

Thanks to an easy-to-navigate elevated rail system (referred to as “the L” by locals), getting around town is convenient and affordable. Visitors can also quickly tap their way through apps like Uber and Lyft for personalized pick-ups and drop-offs. For those wanting to pre-burn calories in anticipation of indulging in deep-dish pizza or Chicago-style hot dogs, Divvy offers more than 580 bike share stations throughout the city.

Summer Sizzles

Chicago’s cultural calendar overflows throughout the year, but things really heat up in the summer with these annual signature events, providing a terrific anchor for a weekend getaway.

Chicago Pride Fest and Parade (June, 2019) – Mark your calendars for these back-to-back LGBTQ celebrations. Chicago Pride Fest (June 22-23) is a two-day festival the weekend before the actual parade on June 30, which marks its 50th anniversary.

Lollapalooza (August 2-5) – More than 170 acts descend upon eight outdoor stages for this mega-musical festival that dates back to 1991. Attendees get just as excited about the “Chow Town” food offerings, art market and merchandise.

Northalsted Market Days (August 10-11, 2019) – Boystown becomes a thriving street festival each August, packed with live music on four stages, more than 200 vendors, and plenty of rainbow pride.

Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival (September 19-29, 2019) – The festival dates back to 1981 and is the second-largest of its kind, including features, shorts and special appearances by the filmmakers.

Curtain Up

Arts lovers can hit a home run in Chicago, even if they’re not at Wrigley Field. This year shines a spotlight on live performance as the city declares 2019 The Year of Chicago Theatre. From Broadway musicals to storefront theaters producing new works, LGBTQ stories have a home in Chicago.

Pride Film & Plays – Located in the Pride Arts Center, the theater company produces works with LGBTQ characters and themes.

About Face Theatre – In its 20-year history, the boundary-pushing company has produced more than 60 productions exploring the narrative of the LGBTQ community.

Broadway in Chicago – Broadway’s best can be found in Chicago (and is often more affordable than its New York City counterpart). Pre-Broadway runs and national tours can be seen at five distinctly gorgeous venues throughout the city.

Mark Your Calendar:

Desire in a Tinier House (May 30 – June 29, 2019) – A world premiere about the challenges of maintaining a gay relationship in today’s culture. (Pride Film & Plays).

Falsettos (May 28 – June 9, 2019) – William Finn and James Lapine’s Tony Award-winning musical about an unconventional family at the beginning of the AIDS crisis. (James M. Nederlander Theatre).

Stay a While

From affordable to luxurious, hotel accommodations run the gamut and suit every style and budget. Here are three distinct picks to consider:

Hotel Lincoln – Steps from Lincoln Park Zoo, this boutique property features a rooftop bar and tons of quirky design touches.

Hotel Zachary – Wrigley Field architect Zachary Taylor Davis inspired this recently opened Marriott property (use those points!), which resides within a pitch of the famed baseball stadium and neighboring Boystown.

The Langham Chicago – Modern luxury reigns supreme at this stylish hotel located within an iconic Mies Van der Rohe landmark building.

ACME Hotel Company

The ACME is loaded with character and artsy touches, hipster vibes, and a super friendly staff. The chalkboards on the doors allow everyone to represent their true selves. But it’s really the location that’s paramount here: steps from The Loop, the mall, and the famous UNO’s.

Where to Eat

Wells Street Market – The newly opened food hall in the Loop offers something for everyone. Favorite bite: Furious Spoon’s shoyu ramen.

Bavette’s Steakhouse – Honoring Chicago’s long tradition as a steakhouse town, this swanky spot offers French flair and romantic enclaves for the ultimate date. Favorite bite: Chicago cut classic ribeye with béarnaise.

Southport Grocery and Cafe – Baked-from-scratch pastries and all-day breakfast can be found along with ancho chili-infused Bloody Mary’s at this Lakeview neighborhood spot. Favorite bite: grown-up pop tart with preserves and mascarpone.

Hot “G” Dog – Along with Chicago-style pizza, hot dogs are a Chicago staple. These artisan (and budget-friendly) options are a favorite among locals. Favorite bite: Chicago dog with a side of duck fat fries (weekends only).

From Dusk ‘til Dawn

Overwhelmed by so many amazing choices? Here’s an itinerary to jumpstart your weekend:

FRIDAY NIGHT:

Head to Sidetrack, the legendary Boystown video bar that has been the city’s go-to LGBTQ destination since 1982. Extend your getaway by a day to stay for Musical Monday, a standing ovation-worthy tradition.

A drink at Little Jim’s Tavern, the city’s first gay bar, is also essential. The bar has tons of old-school charm, local gays and daily drinks specials. And as far as legendary bars go, no pub crawl is complete without an Uber to Andersonville for some lesbian karaoke at Spyners Pub. By now, you’re plenty drunk enough to belt out some Journey.

SATURDAY:

The Legacy Walk, located in Lakeview, features 37 bronze memorial markers and interactive technology to connect with the people and places that have been instrumental in the nation’s LGBTQ movement. Check out the historic stroll during the day before heading to The Art Institute of Chicago for some of the country’s most stellar art. Be sure to visit the incredible 68 Thorne miniature rooms.

Come nightfall, head uptown to explore the city’s diverse collection of bars. Big Chicks is a friendly, low-key vibe that can be found Uptown with a different energy than Boystown bars. For the high-energy millennial crowd, Hydrate is a high-energy club with a stellar roster of DJs including former “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestant Nina Flowers. Also pop into Berlin, a “pan-cultural” late-night dance club open ‘til 4 a.m.

SUNDAY:

Drag reigns supreme at the Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club, a terrific spot for brunch (prix-fixe menu plus a la carte) and entertainment.

More gay-friendly Illinois:

This is just one of our many favorite stories and hotspots to help you discover gay-friendly Illinois for yourself. Continue your exploration here.

Enjoy a more immersive Illinois experience in the magazine:

ManAboutWorld is an app-based travel magazine by gay men which provides travel inspiration and trip-planning information for all whether you’re in the LGBTQ+ community or are an ally. It’s built exclusively for mobile devices and is not available in print. We first published these articles in the spring 2019 issue and make them available here for your enjoyment. The app and issues are all free. Download it for Apple devices or Android devices.



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By @ 05/07/19 in Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Gay-friendly Illinois, Illinois, LGBT Illinois, LGBT travel Illinois, Personified, Travel

Jonna Cooley in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineJonna Cooley is an LGBTQ trailblazer, a pioneer and an Illinois native. She grew up in Meredosia, and then moved to Springfield in 1979. She began working at the Phoenix Center, Central Illinois’ LGBTQ Community Center, in April of 2006. The center provides a variety of services and activities for the LGBTQ community, including youth groups, transgender support groups, and a parent group, among others. The organization also provides various social and educational events such as an LGBTQ Film Series, Springfield PrideFest and drag shows.

The center also provides safe, supportive housing for homeless HIV+ men and women, transitional housing for homeless LGBTQ individuals, a variety of prevention programming and counseling.

Jonna is also one of the people proudly responsible for bringing pride to Springfield. In 2010, she brought a group of people together because she thought it was time to talk about having pride in Springfield. The attendance was overwhelming and Springfield PrideFest was born.

The first event was on Harvey Milk Day in 2011, one city block of 3,000 people. Today, the event has grown to 4+ city blocks, food and drinks, vendors, a kid’s area, and a teen drag show competition. Last year there were an estimated 20,000 people in attendance. Jonna’s been with her partner, Lisa Tomasino, for 19 years. They have a daughter, Erin, who lives and works in Florida. They live in Springfield with their three cats: Doc, Cleo, and Oliver, and their big five-pound chihuahua, Dino.

We sat down with Jonna to chat about LGBTQ life in Springfield and how the city continues to inspire her.

Jonna Cooley: tell us about life as an out gay person in Springfield. Is there a strong sense of queer community here?

While Springfield is a capital city, it is small and surrounded by rural communities and farmland. I love that because I grew up in a small community and my grandparents were farmers. Springfield tends to have a conservative image, but I have to say that overall, I’ve found Springfield to be supportive of the LGBTQ community.

I think there is a strong sense of queer community here – in a small-town kind of way. On one hand, the LGBTQ community seems to be fragmented. There are a lot of people who hang out together, who do stuff together, but they may or may not participate in LGBTQ-focused events or even be out to others in the LGBTQ community. On the other hand, everyone seems to come out (pun intended) for PrideFest and there is always great support from all factions when Phoenix Center is in need of assistance. In addition, there have been successful gay bars in Springfield that seem to be another common gathering place.

How does Springfield standout from the rest of Illinois?

For a small city, we really have a lot to offer. We are the only city to have an LGBTQ Community Center south of I-80. There are Jonna Cooley's gay-friendly Springfield, Illinois in ManAboutWorld Magazineother groups and organizations, but there is no other not-for-profit facility to go to for services, housing, groups, counseling, etc. on a daily basis with full-time, professional staff.

In addition, Springfield is a clean and friendly city with a small-town feel. We have lots of history and great places to visit like Lincoln’s Home & Tomb, the Old State Capitol, the Dana-Thomas House, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Every time I go there, I say to myself, “I can’t believe this amazing place is in our great city!” We also have a lot of locally owned shops and food establishments that are amazing and unique, and great local theatre. At the same time, we don’t have a rush hour and you can get from one end of the city to the other in 15 minutes!

What are some places in Springfield that inspire you?

Having lived here 40 years, I still get a feeling when I drive down Capitol Avenue and see the capitol dome. My partner always says it never gets old, and it doesn’t. Just the sense of history here is inspiring—to think of all those who have walked the streets of Springfield before me, including Abraham Lincoln. I am always inspired walking or sitting in Washington Park or Lincoln Memorial Park where, regardless of the season, I find beauty in so many things.

What is it in Springfield that should entice LGBTQ travelers to visit. And how can LGBTQ visitors support the queer community when they visit your area?

Springfield PrideFest of course! It is free, family friendly, and lots of fun. Regardless of who you are, everyone should visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. It is a phenomenal experience as are the many other historical sites. LGBTQ visitors can support the queer community by visiting businesses and restaurants that are LGBTQ owned and/or supportive.

How would you like to see the LGBTQ community change or evolve, if at all, in your area? What’s missing? What could be better?

I would like to see us all work together to create an even greater LGBTQ community within our city. I would like to see more LGBTQ individuals get involved and be active and out in city and county government and in key positions to create change.

Tell us your perfect Springfield day.

An early morning visit to the amazing downtown Farmer’s Market, maybe grabbing breakfast with friends at D&J Cafe. Then going for a long bike ride on one of the many great trails or a walk at Lincoln Memorial Gardens, sitting at Café Papo or Vans and drinking an ice tea and reading a book. Finally, dinner with my amazing partner at one of our favorite places; maybe Nick & Nino’s or The Old Luxemburg.

What local tips do you have for people visiting Springfield for the first time?

Don’t miss the Lincoln Presidential Museum, Lincoln’s Home & Tomb and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Dana-Thomas House. Take a walk at Lincoln Memorial Gardens. Have a “horseshoe” (a local favorite food dish) or try the “fire brand” chili at The Chili Parlor.

Visit downtown Springfield. If in the summer, get tickets to the Springfield Muni—our great outdoor theatre. Whether you are here for a day or a week, do not eat at a chain restaurant. We have so many great local places.

More Gay-friendly Illinois

This is just one of our many favorite stories and hotspots to help you discover gay-friendly Illinois for yourself. Continue your exploration here.

Enjoy a more immersive Illinois experience in the magazine:

ManAboutWorld is an app-based travel magazine by gay men which provides travel inspiration and trip-planning information for all whether you’re in the LGBTQ+ community or are an ally. It’s built exclusively for mobile devices and is not available in print. We first published these articles in the spring 2019 issue and make them available here for your enjoyment. The app and issues are all free. Download it for Apple devices or Android devices.



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By @ 05/07/19 in Gay Illinois, Gay pride, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Gay-friendly Illinois, Illinois, LGBT Illinois, LGBT travel Illinois, ManAboutWorld, Travel

River City Pride, Peoria, Illinois in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Pride season is upon us and there’s no shortage of inclusive events in the urban centers and historic townships of Illinois. Whether you’re looking for an excuse to get out of the city and support smaller LGBTQ+ communities or don’t want to stray too far from an “L” station in Chicago, the Prairie State’s strong queer community has you covered.

The Swedish Pride celebration in Chicago

While not a traditional pride, Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood throws its annual Midsommarfest every summer, an event that’s now so popular in the LGBTQ+ community here it’s become something of an honorary queer event. The low-cost, family-friendly event runs June 7-9 and will split its time between celebrating the neighborhood’s Nordic roots and its present distinction as one of Chicago’s best and most vibrant gay communities. Round up the crew (whether that’s bears or your kids, everyone’s welcome here!), practice your best Swedish greetings—Skål!—and get ready to dance around the Maypole.

Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey

The River City Pride Festival — you might know it as Whiskey City Pride — is Peoria’s annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. Just a couple hours southwest of Chicago, the event celebrates Central Illinois’ vibrant queer community as well as its legendary distilleries. It’s slated for August 3 at the Peoria Park District Glen Oak Amphitheatre and is a great excuse to get out of the city, enjoy the region’s famous whiskeys, Peoria’s fantastic park district, and celebrate all things LGBTQ+. The free event is put on in part by Peoria Proud, a coalition that promotes community unity through education and outreach.

A Decade of Pride in Urbana-Champaign

PrideFest, Urbana-Champaign’s annual pride celebration, is going strong in its 10th year as Central Illinois’ go-to queer celebration. The event features live music, guilty-pleasure food and family-friendly activities, so get decked out in your best rainbow duds come September. (The date for this year’s pride is still pending.) Check here for more information as the event draws closer. While Pridefest is a family-friendly event, Urbana-Champaign is a college town, so party-seekers should take note. Be sure to thank PrideFest’s organizers at the Up Center, a pillar in the region’s LGBTQ+ community, while you’re there!

River City Pride, Peoria, Illinois in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine
New Queer on the Block

There’s a new family-friendly pride celebration that started up just a stone’s throw from Chicago. The Buffalo Grove Inaugural Pride Parade in Buffalo Grove, just 40 minutes northwest of Chicago, kicked off June 2. The event was free and featured floats, live music, entertainment and a megadose of rainbow costumes and pageantry. The event garnered massive support from Buffalo Grove’s LGBTQ+ community and ally volunteers led by Molly, the queer 13-year-old who led efforts to bring Pride to her hometown. Check the website for next year’s edition and get out there and support an exciting new LGBTQ+ event.

Whether it’s in one of the most famous cities in the world or a small township of a few thousand, LGBTQ+ pride is everywhere in Illinois. Bring your kids, your friends, and your allies to celebrate some of the best small-town prides in America.

More Gay-friendly Illinois

This is just one of our many favorite stories and hotspots to help you discover gay-friendly Illinois for yourself. Continue your exploration here.

Enjoy a more immersive Illinois experience in the magazine:

ManAboutWorld is an app-based travel magazine by gay men which provides travel inspiration and trip-planning information for all whether you’re in the LGBTQ+ community or are an ally. It’s built exclusively for mobile devices and is not available in print. We first published these articles in the spring 2019 issue and make them available here for your enjoyment. The app and issues are all free. Download it for Apple devices or Android devices.

Photos: Cre8jax



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By @ 05/07/19 in Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Gay-friendly Illinois, Illinois, LGBT Illinois, LGBT travel Illinois, Travel

Route 66 in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Illinois is a state of undiscovered wonders. It will surprise you with its openness, dazzle you with its art, and astonish you with its depth of American history. When stepping out of Chicago and into the small historic towns, you’ll find iconic scenes you’ll need to capture.

When traveling around the Prairie State and especially along Route 66, you’ll find Illinois to be among the most Instagrammable places in America. You won’t want to miss some of these Insta-worthy spots:

Route 66 Mural in Pontiac 

The most famous route in America is loaded with iconic imagery, history, and art! Take a road trip through Illinois on Route 66 and discover LGBTQ gems along the way.

Gemini Giant in Wilmington 

The most fun selfie in the state is with the Gemini Giant. On a quiet, pretty street corner stands this colossal astronaut beloved by locals and tourists alike.

The Lincoln Family at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum in Springfield 

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum has many Lincoln wax figures depicting his life through the years: Lincoln as a boy, a young lawyer, a father, and a president. The likeness is extraordinary at the Lincoln Library and Museum. Pose with him as president, during his lawyer days, or in his dress-down clothes.

Lincoln’s Tomb in Springfield, Illinois 

Lincoln was buried in Springfield, and next to his tomb is a giant sculpture of his head. Over the years, so many people have rubbed his nose for luck it’s been discolored. It’s since become iconic and insta-worthy.Lincoln's tomb in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum in Lisle 

The Morton Arboretum is an outdoor public garden with a catch: the lush grounds abound with adorable, artsy and gigantic troll sculptures that make for terrific Instagram posts.

Piasa Bird in Alton 

Somewhere between Alton and Elsah is the Piasa Bird — a giant painting on the side of a rugged mountain cliff with lore as big as the art itself. Finding it is fun but snapping a selfie with it is mandatory.

White Squirrels in Olney 

The white squirrels of Olney are elusive and adorable — but if you can spot one and get them to sit still long enough for a pic, you’ll be the envy of Insta.

Downtown in Galena 

Galena’s downtown is something out of a storybook. The cobblestone streets, the art galleries and queer-owned shops and hotels make it a charming and inclusive jaunt from Chicago. Take a selfie in front of the iconic, century-old buildings for your perfect Insta moment.

Next time you’re in Chicago, take a trip outside the city and into the small towns of Illinois simply bursting with heart, charm, and history — and fill your Instagram stories with unforgettable images.

More Gay-friendly Illinois

This is just one of our many favorite stories and hotspots to help you discover gay-friendly Illinois for yourself. Continue your exploration here.

Enjoy a more immersive Illinois experience in the magazine:

ManAboutWorld is an app-based travel magazine by gay men which provides travel inspiration and trip-planning information for all whether you’re in the LGBTQ+ community or are an ally. It’s built exclusively for mobile devices and is not available in print. We first published these articles in the spring 2019 issue and make them available here for your enjoyment. The app and issues are all free. Download it for Apple devices or Android devices.



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By @ 10/04/18 in Billy Kolber, Boston, CheckOut, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Hotels, Travel

Boston’s seaport is the city’s hot new neighborhood, and YOTEL Boston is at the heart of it. Built on a platform of design and technology and inspired by first-class airline suites, Yotel delivers modern luxury in compact “cabins” whose ingenious use of space offers everything you need, at remarkably affordable prices. It’s a perfect match for the spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship and artistic endeavor that characterize the neighborhood. This CheckOut was originally published in ManAboutWorld’s summer issue and republished here. 

Location

Located between the beautiful waterfront and the historic Fort Point District, the seaport integrates repurposed 100-year old warehouses with modern architecture to create a vibrant, exciting new neighborhood that is home to some of the city’s best dining, shopping and art. The hotel is built atop the Courthouse Station of the Silver Line  — a free 15-minute transit from Logan Airport. And many important locations are within walking distance: Boston’s South Station, serviced by Amtrak and Bolt Bus is a 10-minute walk. The Convention Center is about 12 minutes and the Institute of Contemporary Art is six minutes away, as is the Boston Harbor Ferry to Provincetown (The Bay State ferry is 15 minutes away). The gay bars of the South End are a best accessed by Lyft — a 10- to 15-minute ride depending on traffic.

Room/Bathroom

YOTEL’s cabins start at 154 sqft — about the size of a standard cruise cabin but filled with savvy design features that make it feel much more spacious and luxurious. At the heart of the room is the adjustable SmartBed – like a cross between a futon, a luxury mattress, and a lie-flat airline seat. It slides from a couch-like reclining position to a queen size bed with the touch of a button. Set it to the perfect angle for lounging, and lay it flat for sleeping. Like a yacht, space is maximized with built-in furniture and storage solutions. Plenty of room is left for the bathroom, including a rainfall shower that could easily fit two, and stocked with premium amenities. If you require more space, upgrade to a Premium Queen Plus at 201 square feet or a First King at 318 square feet. If you’re really feeling royal, there’s a VIP suite with 487 square feet of space and a stunning 180º view of the city and harbor.

Amenities

Technology is at the heart of everything YOTEL, and while the “Mission Control” staff is always available to help you, check-Boston Yotel in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinein/check-out is handled  primarily by App and Kiosk; and emergency supplies or extra towels are delivered by YO2D2, the house robot! A Club Lounge on the ground floor and Sky Lounge Rooftop and Terrace offer casual dining, drinks and comfortable indoor/outdoor places to relax or work. The gym is open 24/7, and features free weights and  cardio machines. A guided meditation is offered every Tuesday morning, and the wifi is free and fast.

Gay factor

We wouldn’t stereotype you by saying that the design, style and technology were clearly designed with gay travelers in mind, but YOTEL’s modern stance is perfectly suited for us, and we’re betting you too. It’s a bit farther than our old haunts from the (not-quite-so-gay-anymore) South End, but we’d rather be close to all the new excitement of the seaport, and we’re betting you would too.

Rates

Rates in Boston can be shockingly high when conventions roll into town, but figure a Queen Premium cabin is around $160 in the dead of winter, typically closer to $250-350, and as high as $550 (when a generic Hilton room might be $700). Save 10-15% and earn Flying Blue or Flying Club miles when you join Club@Yotel for free.

Ready to go

For rates and reservations at YOTEL Boston, visit the website.  

About the CheckOut

ManAboutWorld highlights properties we have recently and personally stayed at, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please  let us know. We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure.

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By @ 04/04/18 in Dennis Hensley, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Key West, Travel

Dennis Hensley Key West update on a podcast and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineManAboutWorld correspondent Dennis Hensley was recently in Key West, Florida. He had planned to post a collection of short interviews he did with the people he met. Then Hurricane Irma happened. He did manage to organize two interviews: One with an openly gay man who ran a small tour company. And another with a woman who’s been tirelessly working to promote Key West for years. Here’s Dennis’ report.

UPDATED April 4, 2018

Key West podcast update by Dennis Hensley for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineDennis updated his post with this very cool new podcast featuring short interviews with some of the folks he met in Key West. Give a listen here.

 

 

Cody White, passionate Key West resident

One of the people I met and interviewed while I was there was Cody White who until recently ran a small tour company with his husband RyanListen to the podcast here. In the wake of Irma, the pair decided to focus on other endeavors … but I spoke to Cody before the storm over blizzards at a Dairy Queen not far from the gay resort I was staying at, The Equator. We talked about how he ended up in Key West, what it’s like to have an Airstream trailer, Key West’s passion for costume parties, how tourists react when they learn he’s gay and why Key West is the place for him. Listen to the podcast here.

Dennis Hensley Key West update on a podcast and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineCarol Shaughnessy, Newman Public Relations, Key West

Met lots of awesome people on my trip to Key West, FL in August for Man About World magazine. One of them was local writer and publicist Carol Shaughnessy. Listen to the podcast here. Over breakfast with our small group of journalists, she regaled the table with the story of Mel Fisher, the legendary treasure hunter who spent 16 years combing the waters around Key West for treasure from a Spanish ship that sank in the 1600s.

It was such an amazing tale–complete with a $450 million ending–I asked Carol to tell it again on the podcast. We also talked about the giant rainbow flag that went from the Atlantic ocean to the Gulf of Mexico down Key West’s main boulevard and the spirit of Key West and how the community supports people in their dreams, no matter how out there they may be. I’ve heard from Carol since Irma and she said that Key West’s motto of “One Human Family” if in full display as everyone works together to get back to normal. Listen to the podcast here.

More from Dennis Hensley on ManAboutWorld here.



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By @ 03/21/18 in Gay family travel, Gay honeymoon, Gay tours, Gay travel, Gay travel news, Gay-Friendly, Hotels, Kenny Porpora, ManAboutWorld, Travel, Travel Show

Gay travel experts Ed Salvato and Kenny Porpora at the Travel Show for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineMingle with LGBTQ travel businesses at the first-ever LGBTQ Travel Pavilion at the Denver Travel & Adventure Show, March 24-25. For FREE tickets, click here and enter code MANVIP18. You’ll meet the ManAboutWorld team (pictured above) along with representatives of the following awesome businesses which offer tours, cruises, experiences or insurance catering to LGBTQ travelers and their family and friends.

  • Wild Rainbow African Safaris: Owned and operated by Jody Cole, the business runs under one simple philosophy—ensure every traveler has the time of their life.
  • HE Travel: Adventure, culture, leisure or luxury, HE Travel is the leader in gay travel tours and gay adventure travel today and for the last 40 years. .
  • AIG Travel: Whether you’re planning a two-day getaway, a cruise, an adventure vacation, or a month-long international holiday, Travel Guard is designed to fit every traveler and budget.
  • Depart SmartDepart Smart is on a mission to make travel awesome in life-saving ways with online tools and safety certification.
LGBTQ TRAVEL PAVILION AT THE DENVER TRAVEL & ADVENTURE SHOW

All are welcome at the Denver Travel & Adventure Show  first-ever LGBTQ travel pavilion! Learn about hot destinations and events as well as tours, cruises and experiences right here in the U.S .and to the farthest corners of all seven continents and on the high seas — for gay, lesbian, transgender and queer travelers and their straight friends and family. All brought to you by ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

New Free Guide to Same-sex Weddings, Honeymoons and Celebration Travel by ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Ask questions. Gather information. Book travel

Whether you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight, you are welcome here. Find travel information tailored for you and those you love.

FACEBOOK LIVE SATURDAY, MARCH 24 AT 2 P.M. MDT/4 P.M. EDT

If you can’t join us at the LGBTQ Travel Pavilion at the Denver Travel & Adventure Show tune into our Facebook Live Q&A Sunday, Saturday, February 24 at 2 P.M. MDT/4 EDT P.M Meet the travel experts at the booth and ask your travel questions!

FOLLOW THE RAINBOW

Find us under the rainbow in booth number 405.

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By @ 02/16/18 in Ed Salvato, Gay cruise, Gay tours, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Out on Tour, Peru, Tour operators, Travel

Ed Salvato aboard the Aqua Expeditions Aria in the Amazon and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineWhen you hear river cruise you probably think, Europe, which is where the vast majority take place. And that the passengers are all much older. And white. And it’s lovely but perhaps a tad too genteel.

Well, think again! That’s not the experience you’ll find on this river cruise. I was invited to experience a three-day journey in Peru’s lush Amazon basin aboard the modern Aqua Expeditions Aria, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls wrapping all three customer decks which virtually blends into the jungle as it smoothly plies the inky river ways. The common areas are casually elegant: understated but sumptuous like Ralph Lauren’s flagship-store on Madison Avenue (minus piles of Polo shirts). But the most dissimilar aspect from other mainstream river cruises we’ve taken: your fellow passengers.

Out on Tour aboard the Aqua Expeditions Ara in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Amazon sunsets. Better than YouTube!

Besides our small group of lesbian and gay media and travel agents, the 26 remaining guests (all couples including two gay men) ranged in age from their late 20s to early 60s, with passengers from Japan, Australia, the U.K., Germany, Italy and American coastal states. What everyone had in common was an interest in the Amazon, one of the world’s last great unexplored regions perched high atop many the bucket list, and an open-mindedness that comes with frequent long-distance travel. No one batted an eye at our big group of homos nor at the quiet but romantic gay couple, warmly welcomed into all groups. Read on to discover a unique and enriching experience that you may not have even thought possible.

Story by Ed Salvato pictured above and below (here with a fellow traveler, Lynda Gregory)
Ed Salvato on an Aqua Expeditions cruise of the Amazon River in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine
MEMORIES AND MOMENTS ABOARD THE AQUA EXPEDITIONS ARIA
Swimming in the Amazon

The three skiffs — each filled with 8 passengers, a pilot in the back and a guide up front — motored quickly away from the Aria as the sun began its punctual descent in a blaze of glory. Sunset and sunrise times don’t vary much near the Equator. Our skiff found a remote location; the pilot cut the engine so nothing manmade drowned out the ever-present jungle sounds. Unseen birds cawed while a Black-collared Hawk swooped to the river to pluck out an unlucky fish; a troop of barely seen Titi monkeys rustled through the trees in streaks of red; the eyes of an alligator-like caiman silently broke the surface to investigate this bulky intruder.

On a skiff heading to the jungle“Ok, if anyone wants to jump in the river, now’s the time.” Crickets. Not the insects but the lack of response from my skiff-mates. We are told this is a deep part of the river, and our guide ensures us there aren’t any piranhas. Right?… right?! Ok, no one is going in. What the heck! It’s been on my life list since, well, forever. Without allowing myself more time to think, I strip down to my shorts and jump in. After a few minutes two others join me. We swim around for about a half hour. Was that a little nibble at my foot? Hmmm, maybe the piranhas were curious but realized I was just too big to eat. We get back into the skiff — an ice cold local beer as reward.

Fishing for piranhas

Each day the staff of th Aqua Expeditions Aria organized excursions, included in the price, which are mostly waterborne experiences when the rivers are at their highest levels (generally November through May) but with many land-based excursions during the drier season (generally June through October). This morning we are going to fish for … wait for it … piranhas! We’d watched local villagers grilling them for dinner, dinner-plate-size specimens with razor-sharp teeth jutting out in menacing (and obviously this time anyway futile) defense. But wouldn’t they just bite through the line? We skiff to a likely section of the river — not too deep where this carnivorous fish likes to cavort. The fishing gear is comprised of a strip of bamboo, a nylon string, hook and a little piece of chicken gristle. Very Huck Finn. Agitate the water with the tip of the pole then let the baited hook sink into the water a couple of feet. Feel a little tug? Pull sharply up and behold a piranha! Of course it’s catch and release, and we’re assured the fish feels no pain.Ed Salvato aboard the Aqua Expeditions Aria in the Amazon and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

French toast and maple syrup in the jungle

The onboard cuisine never included piranha but everything was as fresh as possible, all locally sourced from villages we visited during our journey or the farthest shipped in from Lima, a couple hours by plane and boat. The TripAdvisor reviews and magazine coverage all rave about the incredible cuisine on the Aria but how could that be true on this small boat with one chef and two assistants working in a galley kitchen no bigger than what you’d find in most New York City apartments? Well, after three sit-down dinners and our buffet-style breakfasts and lunches, I can verify, that yes, this is some of the best cruise cuisine I’ve ever eaten, all prepared by a team that came from the nearby jungle villages with a passion for cooking and a lot of training at schools in Lima.

Ok, I was hoping for and expecting all the incredibly fresh and exotic fruit several of which I had never heard of but everything else was a revelation. Some of the best Italian style fresh pasta I’ve ever tried. A variety of vegan options, including colors of quinoa I had never seen. Delicate sauces. Homemade bonbons. Espresso. Fresh-baked croissants. In the Amazon! Delicious. One day the manager asked if we wanted anything else. I half-jokingly said French toast and maple syrup. The next morning: voila, my breakfast choice along with syrup they prepared overnight from a local fruit.Out on Tour aboard the Aqua Expeditions Ara in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Exploring the Amazon jungle and local communities

In the drier season, the Aria team leads overland excursions. Just as on an African safari, our guides, all from local villages, are highly trained naturalists, making jaunts up and down the diluvian trails highly informative. Their eagle eyes spotted creatures who otherwise blended into their surroundings, including poisonous frogs, elusive macaws, ever-smiling sloths, countless birds and a variety of plants including rubber trees (which was the source of incalculable wealth in this part of the world for a brief period a century ago). At one point our guide’s lightning-fast reflexes allowed him to snatch a baby caiman from the shallows at the river’s edge.

The highlight of our exploration was meeting local villagers whose tiny communities dot the banks of the Amazon and its many tributaries. The main river branches are pretty busy with passenger and cargo boats and you can see puffs of smoke from villages along the banks and further inland. Some have electricity but most don’t. Their homes and community buildings (schools, clinics, administrative buildings) are perched on stilts, a hint of just how high the river gets in rainy season. A number of villages are truly remote, and there remain uncontacted peoples in the deepest most inaccessible parts of the jungle. Most villagers speak the local dialect as well as Spanish though many only speak the dialect. We didn’t meet any openly LGBT locals however our guides told us that in the jungle bisexuality especially among men is common.

Out on Tour aboard the Aqua Expeditions Ara in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Super cute school children in an Amazon village

The Aqua Expeditions Aria randomize visits to local communities so none become dependent on the gifts that passengers are encouraged to bring (mostly basic medical and school supplies). Each visit had a feeling of mutual, respectful curiosity. A highlight was our visit to a “large” community with a half dozen homes for extended families and a schoolhouse, where the children prepared several songs. Family life remains traditional with the men leaving early in the morning to hunt or fish and the women mostly remaining at home to cook and look after children. There is some agricultural cultivation by villagers who tend small plots of land. The community lives in the jungle so it was no surprise to see many animals traipsing through town, including a 10-foot long anaconda, a pair of adorable three-toed sloths, and a furry Spectacled Owl.

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By @ 02/07/18 in Boston, Ed Salvato, Film festival, Gay cruise, Gay family travel, Gay honeymoon, Gay pride, Gay ski, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Travel, Travel Show

Meet Ed Salvato at the Boston Globe Travel Show Sat Feb 10Meet ManAboutWorld’s Ed Salvato at the Boston Globe Travel Show, Saturday 1:30pm at his presentation entitled LGBTQ Travel: Hot Destinations, Cool Events & Unforgettable Experiences. Get a FREE ticket to the show here. The travel show takes place at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.

ManAboutWorld’s chief content officer, Ed Salvato, the world’s leading LGBTQ travel expert, will highlight new cruises and tours, not-to-miss events and up-and-coming hot spots around the world. Ed has visited six continents and over 75 countries as an out gay traveler. He’s also written for all the leading LGBTQ travel publications and is the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs’ LGBTQ travel expert, so bring your travel questions!

Meet Ed Salvato at the Boston Globe Travel Show Sat Feb 10

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By @ 01/23/18 in Billy Kolber, Ed Salvato, Gay cruise, Gay family travel, Gay honeymoon, Gay pride, Gay tours, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Kenny Porpora, ManAboutWorld, New York, Travel, Travel Show

ManAboutWorld at the LGBTQ Travel Pavilion at the New York Times Travel ShowMingle with 10 LGBTQ and LGBTQ-friendly travel businesses at the LGBTQ Travel Pavilion at the New York Times Travel Show this weekend, January 25-26. Get FREE tickets here with code LGBTQ. You’ll meet the ManAboutWorld team (pictured above) along with the following awesome businesses all of which offer tours, cruises and experiences tailored by and for LGBTQ travelers.

LGBTQ Travel Pavilion

All are welcome at The New York Times Travel Show first-ever LGBTQ travel pavilion! Learn about hot destinations and events as well as tours, cruises and experiences the world over — from right here in New York City to the farthest corners of all seven continents and on the high seas — for gay, lesbian, transgender and queer travelers and their straight friends and family. At the LGBTQ travel pavilion, proudly organized by Ed Salvato, editor in chief of gay travel magazine ManAboutWorld, you’ll meet a wide range of L.G.B.T.Q. travel experts, including:

Ask questions. Gather information. Book travel.

Whether you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight, you are welcome here. Find travel information tailored for you and those you love.

Meet LGBTQ Travel Expert Ed Salvato 1P.M EST on Saturday
  • Topic: “L.G.B.T.Q. Travel: Tours, Cruises, Events and Destinations for 2018”
  • Saturday, January 27, 2018 from 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM
  • Location: Booth #933
  • Meet the Experts complete schedule
Facebook Live Sunday, January 28 at 1 P.M. EST

If you can’t join us at the LGBTQ Travel Pavilion tune into our Facebook Live Q&A Sunday, January 28 at 1 P.M. EST. Meet the travel experts at the booth and ask your travel questions!

Follow the Rainbow

Find us under the rainbow in booth numbers 120, 122, 124 and 126.

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By @ 01/16/18 in Gay cruise, Gay family travel, Gay honeymoon, Gay rights, Gay tours, Gay travel, Gay travel news, Gay-Friendly, Human rights, Travel, Twitter chat

 

Twitter chat on LGBT travel safety, Tuesday, Jan 16 2pm ET via ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

LGBT travel safety is becoming an increasingly important topic. Join ManAboutWorld, Human Rights Watchthe U.S. State Department-TravelGovOutRight Action International and many other organizations for an important chat about LGBT travel safety, Tuesday, January 16 at 2 pm EST. Just follow #LGBTtravel on Twitter.com.

We want you to travel safely all year round. Let your rainbow flag fly and come back safe! Please follow along with us during this important LGBT travel safety chat. Ask questions. Answer questions. Just be sure to join in the conversation. Look at some of the amazing participants we have including: The U.S. State DepartmentCenters for Disease ControlHuman Rights WatchOutRight Action InternationalNYC & CompanyTravel GuardIGLTA; and many more!

See you on Tuesday, January 16 at 2 pm ET!

MORE LGBT TRAVEL SAFETY AND OTHER TOPICS AT MANABOUTWORLD  

Download ManAboutWorld, our free digital/mobile-only gay travel magazine app covering destinations, themes and events around the globe including a FREE Guide to Ft. Lauderdale. Find the ManAboutWorldApp on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. We support iPads, Android tablets, iPhones and Android phones. There are a few other free publications in the app. Register here for a FREE three-month subscription.

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By @ 11/28/17 in Budapest, CheckOut, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Ronnie D'Amico, Travel

Kapital Inn, Budapest, Hungary gay-owned B&B in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineCHECKOUT: Kapital Inn, Budapest: Top/bottom line

The Kapital Inn, Budapest, Hungary reigns as the #1 bed and breakfast on TripAdvisor for the past 10 consecutive years. That might be because it’s gay owned/operated by Albert, a local Hungarian and former 5-star hotel exec and Paul, a South African and former advertising exec. You’ll find the Kapital Inn on the penthouse floor of an elegant 19th century apartment building. They recently renovated the Inn blending the neo-renaissance architectural interiors with contemporary furniture, to create modern living spaces. This is the place to stay when you are in Budapest, and here’s why:

Location

Nestled in the 6th district of the Pest side (east of the Danube River), the Kapital Inn is set one block back from the city’s Andrássy Avenue, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Budapest’s answer to Paris’ Champs-Elysées. The Avenue is home to an abundance of upscale shops and restaurants and it’s side streets have just as much action. The Millennium rail line, the first subway line in continental Europe, is just steps away to access the entire city.

Here are just some of the top attractions within walking distance:

Hungarian State Opera House: Um. Madonna filmed the balcony scene from Evita here. If that’s not enough, there’s vocal and orchestra performances throughout the year.

  • The House of Terror Museum: The only of its kind dedicated to those victims of two terror regimes.
  • 360 Bar: An iconic Budapest rooftop terrace with 360° panorama views atop the tallest building on Andrássy Avenue. They recently installed six themed heated igloos with designer furniture to sip cocktails in during the winter months.
  • Széchenyi Thermal Bath: Budapest is known for their baths and this one is the largest medicinal bath in Europe. Tip: Dip in once the sun goes down to let the steam rise around you into the night sky.
  • Jewish District: Emerged as one of Budapest’s hippest neighborhoods, known for its quirky ”Ruin Bars”, cafes, art galleries and design shops.

Room/Bathroom

The Kapital Inn is a quintessential BnB boutique housing just seven rooms. Each is spacious, clean and smartly renovation and designed. The best I’ve seen in Europe. Even with an intimate feel, you won’t find yourself uncomfortably close to any other guests. And you’ll get a good night sleep; there’s a refined and calming stillness from being up in the penthouse that silences the bustle of Budapest below.

Kapital Inn, Budapest, Hungary gay-owned B&B in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

The rooms to book:

  • Deluxe King Room: This is the largest room and boasts a relaxing contemporary design, high ceilings, large French style windows and a comfy king-size bed. It has a big en-suite bathroom, his and his or hers and hers vanity, a walk-in shower and a two-person bathtub. The shower design is sexy, sleek and where you’ll want to spend your time.
  • Deluxe King Suite: For those traveling with family or more than one couple, this spacious 65sqm suite two bedroom has a living room and a large en-suite bathroom with walk-in shower. It is furnished with an eclectic mix of contemporary furniture and lighting, and features high ceilings, queen size beds and four large French style windows for a light and airy atmosphere.
  • Deluxe Double Rooms: Very spacious rooms, each with their own en-suite bathroom fitted with “RainDance” showerheads and walk-in showers large enough to fit two. They both feature contemporary design, which blends modern and vintage style furniture.

Amenities

Breakfast: Each morning head to the elegant kitchen for breakfast (8:00am and 10:30am) where you’ll sit at the huge island with other guests from around the world. There you’ll find Albert or Paul ready to take your order for eggs, bacon or one of their must have omelets (Albert is a Hungarian trained chef). A choice of coffee or tea is available, alongside apple and orange juice, traditional pastries, a selection of cereals, fresh fruit, yogurt, cream cheese and Hungarian salami. *Breakfast is included in the price of your room. They accommodate specific dietary requests too.

Kapital Inn, Budapest, Hungary gay-owned B&B in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineRoof Top Terrace: After checking in I was completely surprised to find a 600-sq. ft. private terrace with rooftop views. Weather permitting, this is where to sip a cocktail before heading to dinner or to relax after a day of sightseeing. There’s also a fully fitted guest kitchen area located next to the terrace.

Guest Office: A private guest office comes equipped with laptop and printer if you need to connect with the real world. There’s free Wi-Fi throughout the property and the office is packed with books, games, DVD’s and more.

Other room amenities include: All air-conditioned room, daily housekeeping, hairdryer, shower gels and soaps.

Kapital Inn, Budapest, Hungary gay-owned B&B in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Local Experience

From the moment you arrive, you feel the love.

Arrival Love: Albert or Paul will graciously welcome and sit down with you to chart out your Budapest experience. They’ll pull out a map, pen and begin marking up things to do that best fit your interests.

Local Love: Albert, a native Hungarian, knows the city, it’s people and politics. You can’t ignore the passion he holds for the city. Breakfast time is when you can learn the most from Albert and Paul about Budapest and make up of its culture. You may be a thousand miles from home, but you’ll never feel you’re that far away with the conversation and hospitality provided by Albert and Paul.

Gay Factor

  • LGBT owned and operated
  • Conveniently located near gay bars and clubs (ask Albert and Paul for recommendations)
  • Started out as a strictly gay BnB, but now open to all – but still caters to many gay guests.

Rates

Rooms start at €65 for Standard rooms start and slide up to €99 for the the Deluxe Suite.

Ready to go

For rates and reservations click or tap the website for Kapital Inn, Budapest.

About the CheckOut

ManAboutWorld highlights properties we have recently and personally stayed at, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please let us know.  We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure.

 

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By @ 10/30/17 in Allister Chang, CheckOut, Gay family travel, Gay honeymoon, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Miami

 

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineTHE RITZ-CARLTON KEY BISCAYNE: TOP/BOTTOM LINE

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami is a luxurious escape that’s great for gay families, including those of us aiming to fulfill our guncle duties with a little extra help. Drop your kids off at Ritz Kids for a kickball game or an interactive marine biology lesson, and enjoy a cocktail by the adults-only pool. Or take your princ(ess) out for a mani-pedi, complete with complimentary shirley temples. Secluded on an exclusive barrier island, this Ritz-Carlton feels far removed from the other three Ritz-Carltons in Miami – it’s more private, peaceful, and family-focused. This is not your resort to have a crazy weekend to meet new guys. It’s a tropical getaway for you to share with your partner and family.

LOCATION

Convenient and private. The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne is just 20-minutes from the Miami International Airport, yet feels secluded from the hustle and bustle of downtown Miami. Key Biscayne is an exclusive barrier island, and this Ritz-Carlton is the island’s only hotel. Guests have front door access to hiking and biking trails of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. It’s a 20-minute taxi or Lyft ride to the gay bars and clubs in South Beach.

RATES

Ocean view guest rooms start at $400. The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne is not an all-inclusive resort. For breakfast, snacks, cocktails, a private concierge, and a private kids room, add club lounge access. Offerings of snacks at the club lounge during our stay included raw oysters and sushi. Club level rooms with ocean views start around $700. If you’re bringing kids, Ritz Kids offers full-day activities for kids from 9AM to 3PM for $120. ESPA menu items include “THE Mens Facial” at $160 for 50 minutes and a deep muscle massage at $175 for 50 minutes. Our favorite, the 110-minute Tequesta Ritual is priced at $330. Prices for rooms and spa treatments lower during low-season (July to September). The Ritz Carlton Key-Biscayne spa also participates in Miami Spa Month (usually July and August) and even extends these discounted offerings to October.

ROOM/BATHROOM

Just renovated this past year, each of the 490 guest rooms now offer a lighter, more casual and open aesthetic. The new color-schemes more closely reflect the hues of blues and greens of the beach-front tropical landscape. We appreciated the convenience of bedside outlets during our stay. We also appreciated the efficiency of the layout for the marble bathrooms, though we wished there had been more space to place our champagne during our bubble bath. Rooms with oceanfront views include balconies that look over the resort’s two pools. Open the windows at night to be lulled to sleep by the waves. For the ultimate family escape, book the new Ritz-Carlton Suite, which includes 2 bedrooms, a full kitchen, a dining room, and 2 balconies offering panoramic views of the ocean.

AMENITIES

Testament to the quality of the hotel’s restaurants and spa treatments, guests return year after year, as do the local elite. The Tequesta Ritual, our favorite of the spa’s 3 signature location-specific treatments, is a 110-minute detoxifying ritual. The algae wrap, sticky at first, warmly envelopes you and awakes your skin even as your thoughts drift away. The aromatherapy massage and scalp massage bring you back into your body. Request Adrian. After getting re-centered at the spa, take a private class at the resort’s tennis center, or take a jog down the white sand beach to Florida’s third oldest active lighthouse.The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Enjoy a beachside cocktail in the St. Tropez style cabanas at DUNE, and if you’re feeling extra hungry and carnivorous, try their giant bison burger with foie gras. Keep an eye out for Gino, DUNE’s bartender who has been at the resort since the beginning, and ask him to make you his famous 3-rum mojito. The resort’s newest restaurant, Lightkeepers, offers coastal-inspired dishes, including a Sunday brunch with caviar and a full-room dedicated to desserts. Cantina Beach, the resort’s second oceanfront restaurant, offers Mexican food, South Florida’s largest tequila collection, and their own in-house “guacamologist.” Rumbar, their Cuban lobby lounge, offers rums, cigars, and live music Thursday through Saturday. Wrap-up your tropical escape with a complimentary photo shoot with staff photographers.

GAY FACTOR

This resort may not look like a typical gay getaway. Key Biscayne was Richard Nixon’s favorite vacation destination, no gay weddings have yet been hosted at the resort. But look closer, and you see that the resort has been made with a gay touch. Take a complimentary workout class with Mauricio, or ask Omar at the spa front-desk for some green-tea scrub he stashes away for family. Timothy Williams, the Spa Director, who is currently leading a re-imagination of the resort’s shops, tells us that part of why he has enjoyed working here is that the “Ritz Carlton has always focused on equality.” Tim adds that as our community starts to think more about where we want to take our children, nieces, and nephews on vacation, “nothing else compares to this property… nowhere else in Miami has a kids program like here.”

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Ready to go

For rates and reservations check out the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne,  Miami’s website

About the CheckOut

ManAboutWorld highlights properties we have recently and personally stayed at, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please  let us know.  We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure here. This hotel was reviewed by ManAboutWorld correspondent Allister Chang

 

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By @ 03/28/17 in Dallas, Gay cruise, Gay family travel, Gay honeymoon, Gay travel, Gay travel news, Gay-Friendly, Kenny Porpora, ManAboutWorld, Travel, Travel Show, Zachary Moses

Meet LGBT travel experts at the Dallas Travel & Adventure Show, April 1-2Meet the ManAboutWorld team at the Dallas Travel & Adventure Show April 1-2 at the Dallas Market Hall.

ManAboutWorld’s Ed Salvato will moderate a fun, information-packed LGBT travel panel at the Show on Sunday, April 2 11:45 AM-12:30 PM.

Register here for a free ticket but hurry we only have a limited supply.

All are welcome! Our booth provides information (and free guides) for all travelers (gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and our straight ally friends). The panel is designed for LGBT travelers as well as travel professionals interested in learning about trends, destinations, tours, cruises and events. All you need is an open mind and the passion to travel. Join this interactive and informative panel with leading experts in gay, lesbian and LGBT family travel.

Our moderator, ManAboutWorld’s Ed Salvato leads a very well-traveled group in a lively discussion touching on new cruises and tours, not-to-miss events and up-and-coming hot spots around the world. Come with your travel questions. This is a session you won’t want to miss!

We’ll be covering the world of LGBT travel, which is big! But among the many takeaways, here are three:

  • Destinations to put on your must-go list in 2017 and beyond
  • Events around the globe that are popular with LGBT travelers
  • Travel opportunities for LGBT families
  • Cruises, tours and how best to work with a travel agent or tour operator
THE LGBT TRAVEL DREAM TEAM AT THE DALLAS TRAVEL SHOW!

Travel experts include:

Meet ManAboutWorld's Ed Salvato at the Travel & Adventure Show in Dallas April 1-2

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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 @ 08/12/14 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 @ 03/08/14 in Adam Groffman, Correspondent, Gay travel, Gay travel magazine, Gay travel magazine for iPad, Gay-Friendly, ManAboutWorld, Parting Shots
Tel Aviv, Adam Groffman

Tel Aviv, Adam Groffman

Our Global Correspondent and true man about world Adam Groffman quit his job as a graphic designer in Boston and went on a life-changing 15+ month trip around the world. Since 2011 Adam has been living in Berlin – Europe’s most hipster city. His blog, Travels of Adam, focuses on finding the coolest cultural things to do around the world. We spoke to him about his passion for travel, and we selected his journeys as this month’s Parting Shots in our magazine. Here’s the expanded story and more of his photos.

Why do you love to travel?

For me, traveling is a great way to learn, see and experience new things. While I might try new things when I’m home, it’s when I’m out exploring a new part of the world that I really begin to embrace change and try new things. I’ve learned so much from traveling — not just typical skills a backpacker or traveler might pick up, but life skills too.

1. How far in advance do you plan your trips?

It varies. I tend to plan at least a month or two beforehand, but I’ve been known to book quite a few last-minute trips. Sometimes if the airfare is right, why not?!

2. Who do you travel with?

I’ve traveled every which way and I can’t honestly tell you how I prefer it. I’ve done group tours, trips with friends or groups of friends, alone and with my boyfriend. I think there’s a time and a place (and a destination!) for every type of travel.



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By @ 12/02/13 in Event, Gay travel, Gay travel magazine, Gay-Friendly, Hotels, ManAboutWorld, Miami, Travel
Meyer Riegger Miriam Cahn Nachdenken über cyan, magenta etc. 8.11.2010 Courtesy Meyer Riegger

Meyer Riegger
Miriam Cahn
Nachdenken über cyan, magenta etc. 8.11.2010
Courtesy Meyer Riegger

What a great excuse to escape from whatever chilly winter place you live in. Art Basel Miami (December 5-8) is one of the most important gatherings of artists, curators, galleries, collectors and looky-loos on the plane with over 250 of the world’s leading galleries participating and over 50,000 visitors every year.

And what a setting. With its endless sandy beaches and beautiful Art Deco architecture, not to mention a few great art museums, buzzing restaurants and thumping nightlife, Miami is a fabulous place to take in art and other objects of beauty, namely hunky guys running, biking and swimming. For a full rundown of what’s happening visit the Art Basel website. To find out where to stay, eat and play in an absolutely fabulous way, download our our Miami issue (Jan/Feb 2013).

Wynwood, the arts district, is one of the centers of action during Art Basel. Be sure to check out R House, an exciting new gay-owned restaurant, art gallery, lounge set to open the same week. It’s owned by Tom Shirk who also owns the fabulous White Porch Inn in Provincetown, which has recently been named one of the “Top Art Inns” by BedandBreakfast.com.

 

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By @ 10/15/13 in Correspondent, Gay dads, Gay family travel, Gay travel magazine, Gay-Friendly, Haven Caylor, ManAboutWorld, Orlando, Travel

WDW haven

Haven Caylor is a ManAboutWorld Global Correspondent, father to two incredibly cute kids and one of our “Gay Traveling Dads.” He and his husband recently took Ammon and Carter to Walt Disney World Resort. Here his update from the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

‘Let the Memories Begin’ … and treasure them in your heart when the awesome adventure is over. Ammon, Carter, Sean, and I spent the 3rd week of September at Walt Disney World Resort.  For 8 adventure-filled days, we spent time in the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and the Animal Kingdom. My synoptic advise for Walt Disney World is GO THERE! Save your money, plan your itinerary (https://disneyworld.disney.go.com was my all-inclusive helper), go, and ENJOY! I also have 3 other pieces of advice I would like to share.

1) Stay on the Walt Disney World Resort. The use of its monorail and bus system is first rate. I highly recommend the Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Carter, Ammon, Sean, and I stayed there, and it was in a perfect location. We could walk to the Magic Kingdom in less than 10 minutes, and in the evenings if we were leaving from the Magic Kingdom, it was the first stop off the monorail. We had chosen to drive our own vehicle from our home in Chattanooga to Orlando, and when we parked our car upon our Bay Lake Tower arrival, we didn’t touch it again until 8 days later when we returned home.



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