Category Archives: Places of Interest

San Miguel de Allende

san-miguel-de-allende-gay-travel

About San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende, better known as “the heart of Mexico,” is considered the spot where national independence was forged, the birthplace of illustrious historical figures and a colonial urban jewel distinguished by the warmth and generosity of its people, rich history, and cultural and architectural heritage. On July 7, 2008, the city was named a UNESCO Cultural Heritage city, under the title of “Protective town of San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco.” The United Nations agency awarded the city this distinction in recognition of its cultural and architectural contribution to the Mexican Baroque style of art and architecture.

 
For more information, please visit: www.visitsanmiguel.travel

Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende closed a successful awards season today with the announcement that Conde Nast Traveler magazine has named the UNESCO World Heritage site fifth in the overall “Best City in the World” category at this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards.

The accolades come four months after the colonial city was named the No. 1 city in Mexico and Central and South America and No. 3 in the World’s Best Cities category at Travel + Leisure magazine’s World’s Best Awards 2016. Conde Nast Traveler readers also honored San Miguel de Allende’s accommodations infrastructure by voting three of its hotels into the Top 5 in Mexico: Hotel Matilda, in first place; Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, in second place; and Hotel Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada, in fourth place. Hotel Matilda also ranked as #3 in the world listing.

“San Miguel de Allende is a top Mexican destination, attracting international travelers to our city because of its meticulous colonial architecture,” said Ricardo Villarreal, Mayor of San Miguel de Allende. “The fact that Conde Nast Travelers recognize the authenticity of our city is a sign that we are maintaining the city properly.

“We welcome all visitors to come and experience an authentic Mexican city, and continue to strive to provide a unique one-of-a-kind destination in Mexico and Latin America,” he added.

Located in the Bajio region of Mexico, in the state of Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende has a mystical quality. Its picturesque cobblestone streets and colonial architecture — combined with colonial-era traditions both religious and secular, a spectacular natural setting and Mexico’s vibrant culture — are only enhanced by the embrace of all its many facets by both the friendly locals and the diverse, melting-pot population comprised of hundreds of expats, representing 63 nationalities, who have made San Miguel de Allende their home.

In 2008, the city was named a UNESCO World Heritage site, under the title of “Protective Town of San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesus Nazareno de Atotonilco.” The distinction was granted due to the city’s cultural significance, its architectural contribution to the Mexican Baroque art and architecture movement, and also the role it played in the fight for Mexican independence.

Conde Nast Traveler readers took part in the 29th annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey by submitting millions of ratings and tens of thousands of comments to help us create a list of winning favorites.

For a full list of Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards. click here

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WHERE TO STAY in Chicago

 

It’s funny, we have lived here about 10 years and have always known about these three hidden gems.

Yet, I talk to people who have lived here their whole life! And they are not familiar with City Suites, The Majestic and The Willows.

Willows and Majestic are tucked away in quiet neighborhoods, where you can blend right in with the locals. While City Suites is right on Belmont amidst the buzzing energy!

Summer and Fall are fantastic times in Chicago! Whether you are a local and have friends traveling that will need rooms or you are a traveler reading this – it’s NEVER TO EARLY TO RESERVE YOUR ROOM. The small inventory of rooms in Boystown and Lakeview always sell out.


IMPORTANT DATES TO KNOW:

Market Days August 13-14, 2016
Out in the Park at Six Flags Sept. 10, 2016

 

Halloween in Chicago – October 29-31, 2016

(not to mention, every weekend is a great weekend, in Chicago!)


In Boystown/Lakeview you get small, intimate restaurants and a treasure trove of shopping neighborhoods with unique shops and art galleries! Golf courses, the Lincoln Park Zoo, Wrigleyville and the Cubs Stadium, Old Towne, marinas and harbors, Hollywood gay beach, Andersonville, plus endless waterfront walking and bike paths, are all very accessible!

 

For years, visitors and locals alike have branded The Majestic Hotel the pre-eminent boutique hotel in Chicago. Offering the atmosphere of a well-appointed, upscale English country estate, this 100 percent, non-smoking Hotel offers the perfect haven of relaxation amidst the energetic city life found in the popular Lakeview neighborhood.

 

Broughton Hotels has 3 properties in the area. The Majestic Hotel, The Willows Hotel & The City Suites – each welcome you with an abundance of personality, style and charm that epitomizes the essence of their environments.

Exuding the charm of historic buildings – circa 1920s – They are a collection of boutique hotels that combine a stylish, unique and alluring atmosphere with a location that is ideal and accessible – just 10 minutes north of downtown Chicago’s business, financial and shopping districts – and brimming with the quintessential qualities of an upscale, city hotel. You can be just steps away from all of the gay events, in a cool neighborhood!

 

All three properties in Boystown pride themselves on their personalized care, premier service and exceeding the needs of their discriminating leisure and business travelers. The staff is passionate here and ensure an enjoyable and memorable stay – something you don’t often see in the big hotels downtown. These properties boast a welcoming “neighborhood” charm yet with all the luxury boutique services and amenities of a full-service hotel.

Many packages are available depending on your interests. Everything from theatre and dining to comedy and baseball!

Use CODE BGC When Booking!

CITY SUITES HOTEL

THE WILLOWS

MAJESTIC HOTEL
The Majestic 773.404.3499
The City Suites 773.404.3400
The Willows 773.528.8400

The Best of Gay Chicago

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Stefan and Sebastien of Nomadic Boys travel blog

Stefan-and-Sebastien,-gay-couple--Nomadic-Boys-travel.

GAY COUPLES  SHOULD SEE ASIA

Stefan and Sebastien, a gay couple traveling the world and owners of the Nomadic Boys travel blog,  spent 18 months traveling in Asia last year and absolutely loved it.

Although most Asian countries don’t have the best reputation when it comes to gay rights, here are their  five reasons  ( HuffPost  Gay Voices)  they think traveling to Asia is fun, romantic and above all, important for supporting and inspiring local LGBT communities.

 

Check out their site  and  their  social media  stuff! Nomadic Boys is owned by Stefan Arestis and Sebastien Chaneac.

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Gay Days at Disneyland Anaheim

gay-days-disneyland-anaheim

About 12 weeks  away!

It’ll be here before you know it!

GAY DAYS ANAHEIM  @  Disneyland!

This is one of our favorite parties – and favorite cities!

Gay Days Anaheim 2015
October 2 – 4

The schedule is awesome this year and you can pick and choose which parties and events you wish to attend.  Coco Peru  will be back this year  and the fabulous WILLAM  from  Ru Pauls drag race fame. The parties run  Friday  thru Sunday  but I encourage you stay a few more days.  There is SO MUCH  to see and do in Anaheim and Orange county.  CHECK OUT THESE PAST ARTICLES!  Shopping,  dining, fresh air, art galleries  and ocean waves. The historic Packing District showcases culinary offerings and events in a communal gathering space in the heart of downtown Anaheim, and celebrates their one year anniversary next month. You could spend an entire day here.

 

Discounted Park Tickets Available Now! Click here

Check out the Schedule of Gay Days Anaheim events HERE

Introducing the Gay Days Anaheim Concierge! Click for more information

If you’re not already on the Private Email List, sign up now!

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Gay Travel Belize and El Secreto

romantic romance gay travel belize

Wedged between Mexico and Guatemala, the tiny and eclectic country of Belize has become one of the most popular eco tourism destinations in Central America. The weather is mild, the beaches are spectacular, the history is rich, and yes, it is a land of swaying palm trees, azure waters  and colorful sunsets.

This is an absolutely fascinating country and the only English and Spanish speaking nation immediately south of Mexico with which it shares a land border.

gay-travel-belize-central-america

I have some dear friends that have been going to Belize for over 20 years. In recent years Belize has been garnering major international buzz  and for sure there is no signs of it slowing down. With its amazing flora, fauna; breath taking natural resources; the quick accessibility to both a rain forest and a Caribbean beach complete with  palms and white sandy beaches are all reasons why people return to these shores year after year.

While the country is experiencing more tourists, and thus  more diversity in recent years, it’s still very much a conservative democracy. Public displays of affection of all kinds are generally discouraged. Some people will be shocked by gay PDA, so be discreet and mindful of the country’s attitudes. Just be respectful and enjoy the natural scenery; you’re sure to have a wonderful time.

Belize is a romantic and adventuresome destination where you can lounge in luxurious accommodations with a lover, or explore caves and go deep-sea diving with  friends. The  beautiful tranquility of the natural Belizean geographical features will leave you breathless though, so don’t let that small setback keep you from visiting this idyllic land!

gay-lgbt-belize

WHEN TO GO?   Anytime!  The average yearly temperature is 84° F (29°C), which means that it is pretty much near perfect all year round.

WHERE TO STAY?  There are more than 200 islands in Belize that are known as cayes (pronounced “keys”) that are easy accessible and can serve as ideal bases for fishing, snorkeling and diving. For me personally, I don’t care for the big international hotel chains – I prefer smaller, quaint and romantic places to stay.

el-secreto-beach-resort

El Secreto nestles 13 exclusive individual thatched roof villas with a smart combination of contemporary and traditional elements. This beautiful gay friendly, Boutique Resort sits on the Caribbean beaches of Ambergris Caye, Belize.

(Temptation Island was filmed nearby on Ambergris, 36 miles north of Belize City, and the caye is the country’s liveliest, with open-air bars and restaurants spilling into the white sand in the main town, San Pedro.)

belize-gay-travel-places-to-stay

Appointed with fine Belizean tropical woods, marble finished bathrooms with a tandem bathtub, outdoor private jacuzzi and shower patio. All the villas are equipped with a King size bed, a state of the art led lighting system, air conditioning, iPod dock station, LCD TV, mini bar, safe, hair dryer, Melita coffee maker, 400 thread Egyptian cotton Vivenda linens and Malin & Goetz amenities. They have made many  TOP 10 lists and won many awards for luxury experiences!

gay belize Lake Villa night

best-gay-belize

Enjoy a unique dining experience at El Secreto Restaurant. A romantic setting where you can “feel” the breeze and admire a beautiful ocean view. It doesn’t get much better than this!

GET PAMPERED with Spa services. Ikal meaning “spirit” in Maya, will reconnect you to the essence of life. A wonderful natural setting where you will indulge to a peaceful atmosphere enjoying Island rituals with the benefits of the sea, bamboo, tropical fruits, spices and aromatherapy.

 

award-winning--LGBT-places-belize

A member of Design Hotels.

Award Winning El Secreto.

LIKE them on Facebook!

Browse rooms and pricing today for your luxurious getaway!

GETTING  TO BELIZE  is outlined on this page.

 

 

 

 

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Bad Reviews for Tourist Attractions

bad-reviews-for-big-tourist-attractions

I don’t read movie critics reviews.  And I try not to listen too much to public opinion. Half the time people  hype up a movie, then I see it, and am disappointed, expecting so much more.

That’s why user generated reviews can usually give  you a wide variety of samplings to pick from.

This week on Thrillist  they picked 10 top tourist attractions  and showed  the worst reviews  for them. Let’s face it – many tourist attractions are over rated!

If you want a good laugh – check this out!

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Beyond Puerto Vallarta – Riviera Nayarit

four seasons punta mita riviera nayarit

When you arrive at PVR airport, you head south through the  Marina Vallarta Hotel Zone to get to Puerto Vallarta. If you head north instead, that takes you to Riviera Nayarit which begins at  Nuevo Vallarta and continues north with 200 miles of coastal beauty framed by the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains that more and more LGBT travelers are now discovering.

A number of hotels in Riviera Nayarit have recently been accredited as “LGBT friendly,” including the top-end Four Seasons Punta Mita. (above).

mexcaltitan island riviera nayarit

From Punta Mita, a secluded beach oasis known for luxury resorts, to peaceful Mexcaltitán Island*, the birthplace of the Aztec civilization, Riviera Nayarit offers traditional and friendly seaside villages, lush jungles, colonial history and quiet beaches. With an array of gay-friendly hotels, bars, restaurants, spas, stores and tourist excursions, LGBT travelers can choose a vacation that best fits their style and mood. (*You’ve never seen anything like it. Mexcaltitán Island, located northwest of Santiago Ixcuintla, is quite literally a magical place.)

Riviera Nayarit is less touristy and more refined than Puerto Vallarta, but is an equally fabulous holiday paradise with a visible, relaxed gay community. There are numerous beachside towns to explore by car, waves to surf, and tantalizing food to eat.

Hotel_MarivalResidences_view

Gay-owned establishments include Billy Bob’s bar in the historic port of San Alas, whose surroundings are the prime bird watching spot of the northern hemisphere, and the Xaltemba restaurant gallery in the town of La Peñita. The “hippy chic” town of Sayulita with its eclectic mix of cultures and surfing attracts the LGBT market year round.

beaches riviera nayarit mexico

Ultimately it’s the area’s pristine beaches and wide-ranging activities – from whale watching to spa experiences – with its luxury properties and diverse coastal towns, which are the biggest draw. Many of Hollywood’s celebrities have been coming here, because it is less touristy and there many 5 star resorts. Riviera Nayarit’s luxurious accommodations, top restaurants and chefs, matchless nature, and growing number of attractions for cosmopolitan visitors have led Riviera Nayarit to be one of the new top tourist destinations in Mexico for members of the LGBT community.

Hotel_St. Regis_CascadePool

The region attracts and satisfies vacationers of all tastes and budgets with its wide range of accommodations including chic luxury resorts, eco-tourism boutique hotels and quaint B&B inns. Riviera Nayarit is recognized as a “Virtuoso Preferred Destination.” In 2015, Riviera Nayarit was recognized by Travel Weekly as “Mexico’s new holiday destination on the Pacific coast,” by Yahoo! Travel as “Mexico’s New Playground” and on Conde Nast Traveller UK 2015 Hot Destinations List.

It’s an ideal place for anyone looking to be close enough to the LGBT action without actually being in the thick of it, as Puerto Vallarta’s main LGBT scene is between a 30 to 45 minute drive away.

 

Contact Dave for all your LGBT travel needs worldwide:

dave@donovantravel.com
(401) 942-7700        1-800-942-1280

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Singapore’s Changi International Airport RAIN Art

Kinetic Rain Singapore's Changi International Airport

WOW!

I have never been to this airport  – yet – a friend of mine just saw this!

 

World’s largest kinetic art sculpture unveiled at Changi Airport
SINGAPORE,  2012 — Passengers and airport visitors entering the Departure Check-in Hall at Singapore Changi Airport’s Terminal 1 (T1) can expect to stop in their tracks and be captivated by a new art installation. Kinetic Rain, as it is titled, takes pride of place at the terminal, enthralling visitors with its fluidity, distinctive shapes, elegant and refined movements and precision-perfect technology.

Kinetic Rain, installed as part of T1’s recent refurbishment, is the icon of the revamped Departure Check-in Hall. This specially commissioned sculpture, a first in an airport globally, comes as a pair, each installed several metres apart from each other and visible from many areas of the Departure Check-in Hall.

Kinetic Rain is made up of 1,216 bronze droplets that transform elegantly into multiple shapes, akin to poetry in motion. Carrying an aviation theme, the key element in every shape shows the movement of flight through slow, fluid movements. Some of the more recognisable shapes include an aeroplane, hot air balloon and a kite. One can also make out a dragon and a flock of birds amongst the 16 different programmed segments.

Each droplet is connected to motors installed in the ceiling of the Departure Check-in Hall. The motors contain a high precision rotary encoder which keeps track of the exact position of each droplet. A computer programme is used to control the movement of the droplets to form Kinetic Rain’s unique shapes and patterns. A video on the making-of Kinetic Rain can be viewed here.

Kinetic Rain was created over a span of 20 months. Artists, programmers and technologists were engaged to analyse the space available at T1 and conceptualise a masterpiece that would be representative of the new terminal. The refurbished T1 is aptly themed ‘Tropical City’ in keeping with Singapore’s garden city status and where rain, is very much a part of the tropical climate.

Mr Yeo Kia Thye, Senior Vice President for Airport Operations, Changi Airport Group, said, “When we decided to upgrade Terminal 1 in 2008, we were mindful that people have fond memories of the terminal including the old Mylar Cords, the circular curtain of water that straddled three stories of the building. We wanted an art sculpture, which we found in Kinetic Rain, that was able to add the signature touch linking back to T1’s illustrious past in a new and exciting way.

“With more than a thousand raindrops working together in harmony, Kinetic Rain also symbolises the thousands in the airport community who work together every day to provide our passengers and visitors with a positively surprising and memorable Changi Experience.”

An audio commentary and official video are also available for visitors who wish to know more about Kinetic Rain. All they have to do is scan the QR code present at the display boards at the T1 Departure Check-in Hall with their smartphones. For more information about the refurbished T1, please visit: www.changiairport.com/terminal1

About Changi Airport Group

Changi Airport Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd (CAG) (www.changiairportgroup.com) was formed on 16 June 2009 and the corporatisation of Singapore Changi Airport followed on 1 July 2009. As the company managing Changi Airport, CAG undertakes key functions focusing on airport operations and management, air hub development, commercial activities and airport emergency services. Through its subsidiary Changi Airports International, the Group invests in and manages foreign airports to spread the success of Changi Airport internationally.

Changi Airport (www.changiairport.com) is the world’s most awarded airport having garnered more than 400 accolades since it opened in 1981. To serve passengers and visitors from the world over, there are 360 retail stores and 130 F&B outlets across the airport’s four terminals. Changi handled more than 46 million passenger movements in 2011, an annual record. Today, it serves some 100 airlines flying to over 220 cities in about 60 countries and territories worldwide. A flight takes off or lands at Changi roughly once every 100 seconds.

WATCH

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Incredible Travel Experiences

sistine chapel gay travel

According to my Trip Advisor  account,  I have been to 51 cities in 9 countries. I was feeling kind of proud – until I read this article on LIFE HACK, 50 Incredible Travel Experiences to Have in Your Lifetime!

Seems  I have done  NONE OF THEM!

tigers nest gay travel

Most are in countries I have not seen yet – and some countries I really don’t care to visit.  Just because any of our travel experiences are not on this list – does not lessen  their  value.  So what I have not been to India. or Peru.

gay travel paris france

I HAVE been to Paris and sat at a sidewalk cafe and people watched;

I HAVE been to Budapest and seen the ornate bath houses;

I HAVE been to Prague and looked over the city of spires from the TV Tower;

I HAVE been to New York City and admired the Twin Towers before they fell;

I HAVE been to Hocking Hills  Ohio and walked inside the majestic caves and forest;

I HAVE been to the Grand Canyon….

An incredible travel experience can be anywhere – and different  for everyone…

What have been YOUR BEST travel experiences?

 

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Mens Hair Loss Solutions Specialist

best-hair-less-techniquesMinimally Invasive Hair Restoration
With (FUE) Follicular Unit Extraction And Surgical Robotic Technology

 

International lecturer and teacher, Dr. William Yates, M.D., Board Certified Hair Restoration Surgeon, breaks through the old stereotypes of hair loss and hair transplant and brings Chicago’s North Shore the very latest cutting edge technological advancements in the field, offering patients an array of state-of-the-art facial and hair restoration services. He is a world-renowned expert in Follicular Unit Extraction.

(* Dr Yates is in Chicago but see’s patients from all over the US. You may even qualify for special discounted  travel arrangements.)

He is so passionate and confident the Follicular Unit Extraction technique is superior to traditional methods; he only performs this highly skilled technique for hair transplantation.

Dr. Yates specialized skills make him one of the elite surgeons to educate and train other physicians to perform this specialized technique both locally and internationally.

ARTAS-hair replacement machine

What is FUE?

While performed under local anesthesia, the hair or follicular units are individually harvested or punched from the back of the scalp or donor area in the hands of Dr. Yates using whatever instrument is best for his patient to obtain optimal results. He utilizes the most advanced ARTAS Robotic Hair Transplant System or various manual, hand-held instruments to delicately punch out each individual hair follicle.

The camera system and algorithms in place with the robot or Dr. Yates skilled eyes and hands, choose the most robust hairs to remove for transplantation. With the traditional strip method for hair transplantation, not only do you have to take all hairs (even weak hair), the patient also incurs a painful cut, stitches and scar that they have to live with and conceal the rest of their lives.

hair-regrowth-restoration-chicago-best

Dr. Yates utilizes state of the art biological solutions such as Hypothermosol and ATPv (adenosine triphosphate) to store, protect and ensure optimal survival of these valuable grafts while awaiting transplant into the balding areas of the scalp for both men and women.

The finishing touch is completed by Dr. Yates artistic ability to create a natural hairline and hair density in his patient’s areas of thinning throughout the scalp. He uses micro-incisions to create sites to place each individual follicular unit, which will grow into a natural, undetectable pattern over the next year.

The results – – Phenomenal, Natural, Permanent Hair that patients can style anyway they desire without a scar in the back of the scalp. It’s cutting edge methodology like this that separates Dr. Yates’ concierge practice from the cookie cutter competition, who still rely on the antiquated guesswork with a scalpel from when they started 30 years ago.

 

“It’s permanent and not many people can do it right,” says Dr. Yates. “This is the investment that lasts.”
WITH FUE THERE ARE NO TRANVERSE VISIBLE SCARS ACROSS THE BACK OF THE HEAD

If someone is unable to shave the back of his or her scalp for FUE, he also has an answer for this. Dr. Yates is able to creatively trim the hair so that the donor area is completely concealed and you can return to work immediately without any visible signs of a procedure.
Dr. Yates is also very skilled at restoring facial hair such as beards, mustaches, goatees and eyebrows.

He also performs recovery and repair work on patients who have had multiple, visible scars; old-fashioned and undesirable plug procedures; and creative body hair (beard, chest, back hair) harvesting for transplantation for individuals who are “tapped out” of donor hair in the back of their scalp.

 

dr yates illinois hair doctor

State of the Art

Non-Surgical Options…

 

PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)
This therapy has been FDA approved and utilized for over 30 years for advanced wound healing. Now, we are seeing exciting results with PRP for hair growth. A patient’s blood is drawn and spun in a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets to a specific concentration effective for hair growth. The platelets are then activated and injected back into the scalp at the level of the hair follicles. This process stimulates the body’s own growth factors and stem cells to slow hair loss, reverse miniaturized hair to produce a strong, visible hair again, and if used at the time of a hair transplant, it encourages faster graft growth. This has been very effective for both men and women.

Stromal Vascular Fraction or Stem Cell Therapy with Fat Transfer
Adult stem cells are most concentrated in our bodies in bone marrow and even more so in fat tissue or adipose. Dr. Yates is able to harvest these fat cells and concentrate and purify them in a centrifuge system. He then combines the fat cells with PRP to inject into the scalp to stimulate hair growth and stabilize further hair loss. This process offers even more benefits than just PRP alone by replacing the lost layer of subcutaneous fat in the scalp where the hair follicle thrives.

Scalp Micro-Pigmentation (SMP)
With SMP, pigment is used on the scalp to create the appearance of real hair follicles recreating hairlines, adding the appearance of density to thinning areas and covering unsightly scars. This advanced solution for hair loss replicates real shaven hair follicles on the scalp. The appearance is so realistic that it actually looks like you have hair. We know how the hair should look when pigmented, because that’s all we do everyday – HAIR! If someone has limited donor hair and has been told they were not a good candidate for a hair transplant procedure, they now have a great option! This is perfect for those who wear a very closely cropped hairstyle!

Hair Styling for Thinning Hair

Since hair loss affects so many people and everyone’s self-esteem, Dr. Yates even offers an onsite Licensed Cosmetologist with over 17 years of experience. She studied in Italy, Spain, Greece, Germany, New York, Miami and Chicago. She specializes in styling and educating patients to look their best if they suffer with hair loss.

 

Someone doesn’t have to be bald to feel the confidence shaking reality of hair loss. For many, it can appear as a lack of volume and expanding thinness. Slowly, their scalp becomes more apparent through the diminishing volume of their hair. Dr. Yates can stop that hair loss in its tracks and reduce the appearance of thinning hair for men and women using the most advanced treatments available in the industry.

chicago-board-certified-hair-doctor

 

When hair transplantation is done correctly by a proficient surgeon, the results look so natural that nobody would know you had a procedure. To achieve the best, natural, and attractive results, you need a meticulous surgeon with proven results.

The team at Yates Hair Science Group delivers the best care and quality everyday and are recognized leaders in the field.

565 Lakeview Parkway Suite 108
Vernon Hills, IL 60061
AND

50 E Washington, Suite 200,Chicago, IL 60602
PHONE: 312-261-0872 or visit them online at dryateshairscience.com

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BEST European Countries for Food and Drink

best food drink world italy

While Italy is NOT the gayest European city, it did rank as the best food and drink in Europe – not surprisingly.

THRILLIST  recently ranked all 48 European countries  by food and drink. Italy, France and Spain  were on top. Followed next  by  Germany, Belgium and Croatia.  – At the bottom of the list were countries like Andorra, Monaco and  Montenegro. Check it out HERE.

 

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Playa Del Carmen and Xcaret Mexico

gay mexico cancun xcaret

I have spent plenty of time in Puerto Vallarta, and this year decided to explore the Caribbean side of Mexico and the Riviera Maya.

We have all been to or read about Cancun. It’s been growing in popularity every year it seems.  And with that seems to come more and more “bad tourists“.  But as you go down the coast, more and more travelers are discovering the beauty of Riviera Maya, attracting  many  LGBT travelers  as well as  Europeans and Canadians.

South of Riviera Cancun, Riviera Maya is home to many of Mexico’s best hotels and all-inclusive resorts. Stretching 70-80 miles, from just south of Puerto Morelos to the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum, the area offers endless white sand beaches, lush jungles and ancient Mayan cities including Chichen Itza, Tulum and Coba. Enjoy trendy shopping, wining and dining on Playa del Carmen’s Fifth Avenue, and amazing watersports in the quaint towns of Puerto Aventuras and Akumal. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is just offshore. Be sure to visit Xel-Há, the world’s largest natural aquarium, and Xcaret, where you’ll see fascinating indigenous wildlife and can snorkel in underground rivers.

xcaret park hotel mexicogay mexico xcaret park

Our travel agent ( Dave @ 1-800-942-1280 – he is the BEST! ) suggested we stay  at  Occidental Grand Xcaret and right next door is  Xcaret Park.  GREAT SUGGESTION!  We flew in the first week of December, just  before rates started climbing for high season. The cost was about $1200  each. That included airfare from Chicago to Cancun, transfers to and from the hotel, 7 nights accommodations, all meals  and  ALL DRINKS including all  alcohol.  That came out to about $115 pp  per day for room, food and drinks. Pretty amazing deal! Of course, January and February those rates go up to  $140-$170  per day, so watch when you go to get the best deal, and Dave will be happy to advise you and help you plan your trip.

I could write pages about Riviera Maya and the resort and all it had to offer – but the focus of this article is  XCARET PARK.

Xcaret (pronounced ESH-cah-ret)  is a Maya civilization archaeological site located on the Caribbean coastline of the Yucatán Peninsula, in the modern-day state of Quintana Roo in Mexico. It is south of Cancun about 40 minutes. And just South of Playa Del Carmen by a few minutes. The site was occupied by the pre-Columbian Maya and functioned as a port for navigation and an important Maya trading center. Some of the site’s original structures are contained within a modern-day tourism development, the privately owned Xcaret Eco Park.

xcaret_park mexico

Xcaret Park is a  “theme park“, resort and ecotourism development. It is named after the nearby archaeological site Xcaret, a settlement constructed by the pre-Columbian Maya some of whose structures lie within the boundaries of the park’s 81 hectares (200 acres) of land holdings.
The land was originally purchased by a group of Mexican entrepreneurs, led by architect Miguel Quintana Pali. 5 hectares of the land was purchased in 1984.

rio-subterraneo-xcaret

When he began to clear the land, he started uncovering cenotes, sinkholes formed by collapsed cave ceilings weakened by 3 million years of erosion from underground rivers running through them and flowing into the sea. He saw the potential for tourism and formulated the idea of an Ecological Park open to the public, and soon joined forces with Oscar, Marcos and Carlos Constandse, achieving this goal in December 1990.

At the same time, contact was established with the National Institute of Anthropology and History (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia) with the objective of rebuilding the remnants of the Mayan pyramids and buildings that were found in the area. The park’s administration subsidized all the operation and the INAH put in charge a team of specialists.

The nature-based attractions of the park include a river that goes through the Mayan village, a subterranean concrete sluice in which people can swim and snorkel with a life vest. Near the inlet there are recreational activities at the beach, snorkeling, Sea Trek and Snuba in the nearby reefs, or swimming with dolphins.

macaw-conservation-mexico

(There are about 400  Macaws  in the wild, in the world. Xcaret has nearly 1000  on their property. Couples live together in lush surroundings  and  frequently mate and on average the park is able to successfully  raise  100-150  babies every year, to be released back into the wild. )

The park also has a coral reef aquarium turtle nesting site. Next to the inlet there’s an area for manatees. The park also has a bird pavilion, butterfly pavilion, bat cave, orchids and bromeliad greenhouse, an island of jaguars, and a deer shelter, among others. The park is focused  on conservation. From allowing Macaws to couple off and breed, butterflies to flourish, and constantly growing new greens to be planted and make their forests more lush.

The cultural attractions include an open church, replica of a Mayan village with real artisans at work, a Mexican cemetery, a museum, an equestrian show, Mesoamerican ball game, an open theater with performances of pre-Hispanic dances, Papantla flying men and the Gran Tlachco (theater with a six thousand people capacity) where the Mesoamerican ball game is represented, as well as the meeting of two worlds, the Mayan and the Spanish, and the presentation of several Mexican folklore dances. Other demonstrations of Mexican traditions include Day of the Dead celebration and the “Travesía Sagrada Maya” (Mayan Sacred Crossing), an annual rite when Mayans would cross the sea from Xcaret and Playa del Carmen to Cozumel to pay homage to the lunar goddess Ix Chel. The park truly offers an amazing way to enjoy its natural beauty and cultural richness.

cementerio-xcaret-03

I especially loved the Mexican cemetery.  So much work and detail went into creating this gem!  Discover the trails of the Mexican Cemetery in Xcaret where ancestors are remembered with respect, but also with hints of humor and the typical Mexican mischief step into the Bridge to Paradise!

Explore a spiral architecture that reveals a large number of tombs and expressive personalities. There are multiple passages and entrances to the cemetery, but we assure you that there will always be something that will surprise you … do not be afraid! This is a place of great value to the Mexican culture and its relationship with the traditional Day of the Dead.

This unique architectural work has a special significance that simulates a hill with seven levels, referring to the days of the week. On the outside you can find 365 graves that symbolize each day of the year, and finally at the main entrance is a staircase with 52 steps representing the weeks. Additionally, its spiral shape refers to a conch shell, as used in ancient times to communicate with the gods through their breath, the wind.

The park also has a Temascal (house of heat) and Spa, numerous restaurants, dressing rooms, souvenirs and handicrafts stores with items from all over Mexico.

1 day admission  is  $89-$99.  (Purchase 21 days in advance online for the best savings). There are over 40 attractions here – if you really want to see everything and explore the entire property without being rushed, I would add on a second day, which is half price.  At first glance, this might seem a little expensive; but think of Walt Disney and Disney World and EPCOT…Xcaret is lush and gorgeous and educational and full of Mexican history.

 

There is not a lot of  gay nightlife in Riviera Maya but there are a couple clubs here and there – but we found almost every where accepting and gay friendly.  Gay marriage is legal  in Mexico City and Quintanaroo! Visit the Portal Gay Quintanaroo   and Facebook for updates on the LGBT community in Quintana Roo (Cancun, playa del Carmen, Tulum, Chetumal).  There is great info for locals and visitors from all over the world!

 

 Experiencias Xcaret operates several great attractions in the area!  Experiencias Xcaret has the best Parks and Tours in Cancun and Riviera Maya. Endless adventure and fun for all our guests like swimming with dolphins and diving into underground rivers at Xcaret and Xel-Há; challenge your senses at the zip lines of Xplor and admire great treasures of nature with Xenotes tour; live an authentic Mexican fiesta on board colorful trajineras at Xoximilco and visit amazing archaeological sites with Chichén Itzá, Tulum and Cobá tours.

experiencias-mexico-xcaret

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PHIND Information to Landmarks

phind-gay-travel

Anyone who has ever explored a new city or even their hometown has come across something that they wanted to learn about.

Until now, they were limited in ways to access the information. Available today on iOS, PHIND is a new, easy and fun way to explore life by doing what comes natural to us, taking photos. PHIND gives users information on locations, attractions and landmarks with a one-button push. Combining the two words of photo and find, PHIND gives users a wealth of information in an easy-to-read tile layout about what they are currently looking at.

 

“The idea for PHIND came to me when I was in London admiring the Wellington Arch,” said PHIND Co-Founder & CEO Rishi Jhunjhnuwala. “At the time, I didn’t know what it was and I wanted to learn who created it and why it was there but had no way of knowing besides doing a generic text search and combing through the hundreds of results. With PHIND, all that is needed is a simple photo and anyone can access all of that information and more in seconds.”

PHIND has access to over 100 million photos of locations, attractions, landmarks, and places in its database. If a traveler uses PHIND to take a photo of the Santa Monica Pier, they would receive a vast amount of information on the Southern California landmark including restaurants, bars and attractions, to name a few, that are available nearby. PHIND also works on smaller landmarks like statues by providing information on the artist and the history of the piece. Complimenting its patent-pending visual search algorithm, PHIND narrows its search results down based on the user’s location. All of this is done in a matter of seconds.

 

Additionally, PHIND builds contextual bridges that aggregate information on locations from Foursquare, Yelp, and Wikipedia along with many of the other major content providers to present historical facts, photos, reviews, hours of operation, social media profiles and more. PHIND also easily connects users to Uber to help get them to any destination.

PHIND works across the United States and in key international cities all over the world. Future releases of PHIND will see Android compatibility, the ability to share locations on social media accounts, purchase tickets for attractions and more.

 

PHIND is available for download in the App Store at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/phind/id898016251?mt=8. Users can sign-up for a PHIND account either by using their Facebook account or signing up for a native user ID. 

(ANDROID  IS  IN THE  WORKS!)

 

For more information, please visit http://www.phind.it, like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/phindapp and follow them on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/phindapp.

 

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Gay Travel with Alain and his Rainbow Wig

  WHAT is the one thing you CAN NOT travel without?

For some
people  it me  be something as simple and small as an iPod. For others, they  might insist on bringing along their favorite pillow. I travel with my lucky underwear!!

But  for Alain, The Sojourner, he doesn’t go anywhere without his rainbow
wig.

What started off as a Halloween costume in 2006 has now become a global
movement, with Alain taking the wig to 11 countries and countless
cities.

He’s even started a photo collection of friends and strangers wearing the rainbow.

‘I pose with it in every country I’m going to. I did it in the Great Wall of China, in Angkor Wat in Cambodia, in front of the Statue of Liberty in New York and some other places.

‘Why am I doing this? It’s because travel is supposed to be fun. It’s not just about the exciting places you’re gonna land on, not only about the incredible people you’ll be meeting or the unscripted lessons you’ll learn – but also about how you make the best out of it!

‘As a couch-surfer, I’ve met hundreds of people and hosted some of them. And the good thing is, they’re ALL willing to wear the rainbow wig, without really thinking about my sexuality.

Follow him on Facebook or his blog!

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Ohio’s Hocking Hills region offer breathtaking scenery and quirky lodging options

Antique train caboose, old school house, general store, yurts and more among Hocking Hills’ accommodations!

 

 

Not only does Ohio’s Hocking Hills region offer breathtaking forests, waterfalls, scenery and
unforgettable experiences, but it also boasts a host of lodging options
that are truly one-of-a-kind.  Travelers can spend the night in a historic train caboose or an old-fashioned gypsy wagon as they experience first-hand just how special a visit to southeast
Ohio’s Hocking Hills can be.  Incredibly affordable, some of these offbeat options are available for as little as $50 per night. Complete accommodations booking and visitor information is
found at  ExploreHockingHills.com.

Intrepid travelers can “Sleep in History” — literally — thanks to the creative
preservationists at Historic Host Vacation Rentals. Among this unusual
lodging company’s offerings are a restored general store/post office, with its original scale, shelving and other vintage touches. The old Dunkle Schoolhouse, a 1926 B&O train caboose and an Ohio early farmhouse are also available for overnight accommodations. Historic Host’s
Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum, two historic B&Bs and several  charming little cottages and cabins in its Fiddlestix Village round out the offerings.  Each is lovingly restored so guests enjoy a
comfortable yet authentic overnight stay that carefully preserves the
rich history of not just the shelter, but the Hocking
Hills region itself.

At Boulders Edge Cabin and Tipi Retreatallows visitors to experience the magic and tranquility of
camping in traditional Sioux Native American tipis, reminiscent of
“Dances with Wolves.”  Each tipi sleeps 10 comfortably, sits on a wooden
deck and has a wood-burning stove inside.  Guests provide their own sleeping gear cot or mattress, sleeping bag and chairs.  But picnic tables, fire rings and a solar shower are provided.

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CURACAO LGBT Honeymoon Paradise

The island of Curaçao embraces the Gay and Lesbian community

With exceptional gay friendly hotels and attractions, the Curaçao
Tourist Board encourages gay and lesbian travelers to visit the island
and experience its ‘Live and let live’ atmosphere for themselves.

“It is important to us that it’s known to the gay & lesbian community that everyone
is welcome in Curaçao. Our island offers diverse culture, art
galleries, beaches, museums, fine accommodations and exquisite cuisine
that are enjoyed by all visitors to the island.” commented the Executive Director of the Curaçao Tourist Board.

Joining the millions who support LGBT marriage and the recent U.S.
Supreme Court decision to overturn the “Defense of Marriage Act,” the
southern Caribbean island of Curaçao
has always embraced the LGBT community with a “‘Live and Let Live”
philosophy and attitude.  

Today, Curaçao’s progressive environment,
UNESCO World
Heritage city of Willemstad, world-class diving sites, beautiful
beaches and luxury hotels and restaurants make the island the ideal
destination for Caribbean commitment ceremonies and honeymoons for all
the LGBT couples who have, or plan to, tie the knot.

What makes Curacao special among Caribbean islands? Authenticity. “For centuries, we have forged a vibrant and rich culture rooted in history and hospitality. Our heritage is both European and African – representing more than 50 nationalities. We speak Dutch, Spanish, and English – as well as a local language, Papiamentu, a colorful Creole dialect.

Exploring Undiscovered Curaçao

The best part of exploring Curaçao is that it feels undiscovered, like an exclusive hideaway. One of the tiny “ABC Islands” – Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao – this secluded slice of paradise is the Caribbean’s best-kept secret. The Curacao tourism board wants to help you uncover its many wonders. There are no “tourist traps” here. Locals and visitors mingle in harmony throughout the island. Relax and unwind amidst Curacaoäns working, playing, and enjoying life to its fullest – the same as they have done for generations. We love to socialize, so don’t be surprised if someone waves and tosses a friendly “Bon Bini!” (Welcome!) or “Kon ta bai?” (How’s it going?) your way.”

Curaçao’s current promotion –
Every 4th Night Free

– includes many LGBT-welcoming properties, ideal for honeymooning
couples celebrating in Curaçao.  The offer gives guests one
complimentary night for every three nights booked.  INFO   HERE

 

Many properties are also offering special upgrades for newlyweds, including:

 

-In-room mimosas at the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort.

-Sparkling wine and chocolates upon arrival at the Hilton Curaçao.

-A 15%  spa treatment discount, along with complimentary champagne at JanThiel Villas.

-Daily complimentary breakfast buffet, plus a
$75 food and beverage credit at the Sandton Kura Hulanda Hotel &
Spa and sister property Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club.

-A complimentary upgrade (subject to availability) and a bottle of sparkling wine at the Renaissance Curaçao Resort.

-A VIP picnic basket with snacks compliments of the Floris Suite Hotel.

-A 20% discount on spa treatments at the
Papagayo Beach & Lounge Resort on-property spa as well as a $50 food
and beverage credit.

-Complimentary champagne at both the Sunscape Beach Resort & Casino and the Lions Dive & Beach Resort. 

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Laguna Beach Paradise Found

 

When I first visited California about 20 years ago, I was living in Michigan at the time. I bought something at a store and used a credit card and had to show my ID. The salesman said, “Oh! I am from Michigan too! I moved here 5 years ago!

When I asked why he loved it, he said, “Look around you….this is God’s country! It’s like heaven!” And he was right.

His words stick in my head every time I visit. California is the most beautiful state I have ever visited. From North to South, California has so many beautiful options.

California’s diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west, to the Sierra Nevada mountains in the east – from the Redwood–Douglas-fir forests of the northwest, to the Mojave Desert areas in the southeast. The center of the state is dominated by Central Valley, a major agricultural area. California contains both the highest and lowest points in the contiguous United States (Mount Whitney and Death Valley), and has the 3rd longest coastline of all states (after Alaska and Florida).

 

Myself, I have always been drawn to Southern California and the Anaheim and Orange County area. I love the beaches. Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and my favorite, Laguna Beach.

With seven miles of coastline, Laguna Beach is home to more than
20 coves and beaches (all with public access), you can play in the
water, build sandcastles or explore  pristine tidepools. They are a
protected marine preserve, so no motorized boats are allowed in or out
of their waters, which keeps the tidepools fresh and teeming with sealife
you can observe at low tide.

Eco-Tours abound from observing dolphins and whales up close, sea kayaking above the colorful garibaldi, or taking a wildlife & beach tour to check out sea lions, seals and
tidepool life. There is also a docent-led tour of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, the only marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation center
of its kind in Orange County.

Laguna Beach became a popular tourist destination in the late 1800s. Today, visitors can catch a glimpse of Laguna’s past by strolling the downtown and stopping at local landmarks, many dating back to the early 20th century. Laguna was a rich artists’ colony and a seaside retreat many Hollywood stars called home.

This is probably my favorite part of Laguna Beach. The downtown is quaint yet contemporary.  Discover their walkable downtown village. Eclectic fashion boutiques,
gourmet kitchen and home furnishing stores, art galleries and jewelry
shops offer unique one-of-a-kind finds and gifts. And the first Thursday of the month, they do a gallery walk.  First Thursday Art Walk goes year round. The next one is January 3rd, 2013!  This free and art educational event is funded by member galleries, lodging establishments, and the City of Laguna Beach. Browse more than 100 art galleries and 72 pieces of
public art. Pick up a self-guided tour map of the artworks at the Laguna
Beach Visitors Center. The map delineates where public sculptures, art
in public places and artist-designed benches are located throughout
town, many of which were created by local artists. You can also tour
working artists’ studios in Laguna Canyon.

Twenty-thousand acres of wilderness attract hikers, bikers, bird watchers, backpackers and Plein Air painters, all of whom find beauty in the area’s hills, cliffs and marine sanctuaries. Hiking,
biking and equestrian trails are located throughout the protected reserves.

Be an artist for a day! Sign up for a Sawdust Studio Art Class where you’ll create a unique art piece to wear or to share, in just one session. Offered every Friday and Saturday at 10am and 2pm, each two-hour workshop is led by a professional artist. Choose from jewelry,
ceramics, pottery or fused glass. Or try an “Art of Tidepooling and Watercolor Journaling” class guided by an art instructor, where you’ll explore tidepools and craft your own watercolor journal of the tiny creatures you observed.

Each summer, Laguna’s renowned art festivals
take place: Art-A-Fair, Festival of Arts and Sawdust Art Festival.  ART, ART and more ART!!  Meet local artists, take in artist demonstrations and classes, and purchase
unique works of art. The world-famous Pageant of the Masters uses
volunteers, costumes and elaborate sets to create living pictures, and
magically transforms cast members into famous works of art.

Take a cooking class at Laguna Culinary Arts.
Located in Laguna Canyon, Home Chef Classes are held in the evenings;
there’s a weekend program of half- and full-day classes exploring
specific techniques and culinary styles; and a three-day, mid-week class
for beginners. It also features a gourmet Cheese and Wine Shop/Cafe and
Tasting Room offering 350 different wine labels and 90 different
cheeses from around the world, as well as olives, charcuterie, imported
oils & vinegars, breads & crackers, cookbooks and cooking accessories.

See why I LOVE this place?!

Find out more and plan your next California getaway!

Laguna Beach Info

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Beautiful Christmas Displays Around the World

It’s like flowers in spring or colorful foliage in fall: You know it’s Christmastime when everywhere you go, there are colored lights and fanciful decorations.

Some Christmas displays are modern updates of traditional shopping
district standbys: The evergreen inventiveness and humor of Macy’s
window displays, or Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. Shoppers walk by
carrying gifts, kids are everywhere and holiday music ribbons the whole
scene. It’s like a warm Christmas bath: if holiday shopping has you worn
down early, a visit can help even the Grinchiest visitor find the
spirit. 
The area around Richmond, Va., has become a Christmas beacon over recent
decades, where cars and tour buses fill with families for hours-long
sightseeing trips. Winn Tours’ “Tacky Lights Tours” drives customers by
some of the area’s best-decorated homes, complete with personalized
Christmas music and a full bar–even eggnog. “We do over 100 of these
tours every season, each with a group of 40 or more people,” says Mark
Pounders, director of operations for Winn Tours. “There are all types:
large families who come together, church groups, office parties.”
See more at FORBES


From wacky residential displays to professional over-the-top spectacles, AOL Travel has rounded up the 10 Best Christmas Light Displays in the U.S. Unlike your kooky neighbor’s blow up Santa Claus, these Christmas light displays have been bringing visitors back year after year. Some are classy, others tacky — but each one sparkles with unmatched holiday cheer.

Here is the America’s Best Online list of the Best Christmas Light Shows in America. After the top ten light shows and festivals there is a
list of honorable mentions. Many are listed with the approximate dates
they are available for viewing but start and end dates change yearly.

HAPPY GAY HOLIDAYS!

SPONSORED BY….INNdulge Palm Springs

Naked Men in the Desert

Clothing is Forever Optional


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Gay Travel to Anti Gay Countries – Would You Go?

I don’t know about you, but I have no desire to go to countries that are anti gay! I work too hard for my money to spend it in countries that hate gay people!

I came across this writer on Huffington Post this week, Laurence Watts, who says there are at least

10 Breathtaking Sights You’ll Miss If You Boycott Anti-Gay Countries.

I can see them in books, right?

Me personally, I have no desire to go to Libya, Dominica, Jamaica, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Uganda,Pakistan/Afghanistan, Namibia, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Iraq, Russia and even Dubai. Sorry. I am not going. When there are hundreds of other places that welcome gay people. 

Laurence goes on to say, “I’ve been to dozens of countries where homosexuality is illegal, and
where our government warns people not to go. Through common sense, I’ve
managed to enjoy my visits
.” –  why walk on eggshells and have to look over your back all the time? And act straight?  Seriously?  You really want to go spend money in Uganda when they want to kill you???? You go Laurence, and take some pictures for the rest of us.

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Best Conservatories and Floral Exhibitions

Ahhhhhh, Spring is in the air!  Tree’s are busting out of their buds and flowers are popping up everywhere!

If you love flowers and appreciate the beauty of nature –  here are some MUST SEE Conservatories around the country:

Franklin Park Conservatory – Columbus Ohio.


Built in 1895, Franklin
Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a botanical landmark two
miles east of downtown Columbus. It is a premier horticultural and
educational institution showcasing exotic plant collections, special
exhibitions, and a signature collection of work by glass artist Dale
Chihuly.

Set within the 88 acres of Franklin Park, the Conservatory houses 400
species of plants from a variety of global climate zones and features a
Victorian Palm House with more than 40 species of palms. It is
surrounded by botanical gardens and floral displays.

RIGHT NOW you can see  – 

Blooms & Butterflies: Now on view
Central Ohio’s iconic sign of spring returns! Get an up-close view
as hundreds of newly emerged butterflies are released into the Pacific
Island Water Gardens— a tropical haven where exotic butterflies of all
sizes and colors fly freely and feed on nectar from colorful blooms.
Learn about the fascinating life cycle and ecological importance of
these amazing insects during daily educational presentations and related
activities.

Orchids! Vibrant Victoriana
Awaken your senses on a dreary winter day and take a stroll
through a warm Victorian garden. Hundreds of orchids of all forms,
colors and sizes are artfully displayed in the Dorothy M. Davis
Showhouse. Explore the Victorian collectors’ fascination with the exotic
species through displays emphasizing the form, color and pattern of
individual blooms. Learn more about orchids in these special programs.

Cocktails @ the Conservatory

Spice up your humdrum work week with an evening visit to the
Conservatory. Stroll through warm, tropical plant collections and view
current exhibitions while enjoying live music, specialty cocktails, and
delicious appetizers. Reserve a table for your friends and colleagues!
Call 614.645.1800 for more information.

Thursdays, 5:30 – 10pm         21 and over
Full bar, featured cocktails, small plate menu
$11 admission, in return each guest receives $10 in tokens that can be used toward the purchase of food and drinks.


*It’s also the 200th Bicentennial Anniversary for Columbus this year!  Lots going on!  A great time to visit!

Read more about Gay Columbus and see they  have been voted a hot new LGBT destination!


  Golden Gate Park– San Francisco CA.

The largest and best known park in San Francisco is the
1,017 acre (411 ha) Golden Gate Park. Its history goes back to
1870 when the site was an area of wild sand dunes. At
the time, the area, known as ‘outside lands’, was well
outside the city’s developed limits.

The
main attractions of the park are located at the eastern
side. Here you find the Conservatory of Flowers as well as the
Japanese Tea garden and the adjacent M.H. De Young Museum.

The Conservatory of Flowers, a Victorian-style
greenhouse is modeled after the Palm house at the Kew
Gardens in London
. It was
built between 1876 and 1883 and houses a collection
of tropical plants and flowers.

The M.H. De Young Museum has its origins in the
1894 Midwinter International expo. The Fine arts Museum,
temporarily built for the expo, was so successful that it was decided
to establish a permanent museum. The museum has a very
diverse collection, including paintings from the Laurence
Rockefeller collection.

Another remnant from the 1894 expo is the Japanese
Tea Garden
. Following the success of the expo’s
Japanese village, a Japanese Tea Garden was constructed
to display the Japanese lifestyle. The garden, covering
5 acres, features a teahouse, sculptures, ponds, bridges
and many native Japanese plants.


Chicago, IL  –  There are actually 3 great gardens and conservatories in Chicago.

Lincoln Park Conservatory, 2391 N. Stockton Dr., located in the heart of the city and  connected to the Lincoln Park Zoo – Step inside and be transported to another place and time!  Take a journey to the Lincoln Park Conservatory where you will find
tropical palms and ancient ferns right in the heart of Lincoln Park.
Designed both to showcase exotic plants and grow the thousands of plants
needed for use in the parks, the Conservatory offers visitors a
tropical experience within its four display houses: Palm House, Fern
Room, Orchid House and Show House, which is home to the annual flower
shows. This historic facility continues to provide an escape to nature
to the millions that live in and visit Chicago. No matter the time of
year, Lincoln Park Conservatory is always green and lush. Come take a
stroll and let yourself be transported away. Admission is free.

Chicago Botanic Garden –  is located just outside the city limits. Take a walk and discover early spring trees and shrubs in bloom,
including Joel bush cherry and Appalachian Red redbud, as well as
Autumn flowering cherry. Joining the host of narcissus and early tulips
in bloom are Lenten roses and Virginia bluebells. 

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Garden! Today, 2.5
million plants, 24 display gardens, and four natural areas thrive here.
Visit our anniversary website to view Garden milestones since the 1972 opening.

Located  at  1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022  •  (847) 835-5440
Admission is free – However, it costs  $20 to park.

Garfield Conservatory is just west of the city a mile or so. Visit one of the nation’s premier conservatories — six
multi-faceted greenhouses and two grand exhibition halls.

The Garfield Park Conservatory sustained catastrophic damage in the June
30,
2011 hailstorm, shattering approximately half of the glass panes
in the roofs of the historic Fern Room, Show House, and
ten propagation greenhouses. The glass panes in the Desert House
also sustained significant damage. The pathways, ponds and plants in
the Fern Room, Show House, Desert House and propagation houses are
covered with broken glass, and shards of glass hang dangerously from the
roofs. Until the roofs are repaired, rain will cause the ponds to
overflow, and direct sunlight will destroy and kill the plants that have
been so carefully and lovingly conserved for so many years. – It is still open to the public and the rebuilding continues.

The
Garfield Park Conservatory is open every day of the year. Located at 300 N. Central Park Ave., 10 minutes west of
downtown Chicago and easily accessible by automobile or
public transportation.

HAPPY   SPRING!




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