Category Archives: Places of Interest

Columbus Ohio Celebrates 200 Years

People who live in Columbus Ohio know it’s a great place to live! But the tourism board is working hard to prove to people it’s a great place to visit, too!

We have done several articles on Columbus, since our visit last Spring.

A new article in the Columbus Dispatch says
what we discovered last Spring:

During the past five years or so, Ohio’s capital city has been getting big props from major travel trendsetters.

“Lord knows, there are a million rankings, but we have been doing
really well with them lately,” said Scott Peacock, media-relations
manager at the Experience Columbus convention and visitors bureau. “I’d
say in the last two years, it’s really taken off.”

The high point was in August, when National Geographic’s
website named Columbus one of the 10 best fall destinations in the
world, alongside places such as Zanzibar and Dublin (the one in Ireland,
not the one along I-270).

Columbus turned the BIG 200 this year!  There are events and happenings scheduled all year long!  

You can also stop by their LGBT specific page for what to see and do.

Columbus Ohio is a highly recommended place to see and visit.


Finger Monkeys from The Rain Forest


I just had a friend get back from a gay travel vacation to the  Amazon rainforest by way of Brazil.

A bit of geography trivia!    The Amazon Rainforest also known in English as Amazonia or the Amazon Jungle, is a moist broadleaf forest that covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America.

It  encompasses seven million square kilometers (1.7 billion acres), of which five and a half million square kilometers (1.4 billion acres) are covered by the rainforest.

This region includes territory belonging to nine nations. The majority of the forest is contained within Brazil, with 60% of the rainforest, followed by Peru with 13%, Colombian Amazon with 10%, and with minor amounts in, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and France (French Guiana).

The Amazon represents over half of the planet’s remaining rainforests, and it comprises the largest and most species-rich tract of tropical rainforest in the world.

My friend was telling my about these finger monkeys!! He took some photos – but his dud not turn out that great = so I found these to share.

Finger monkeys are, as a matter of fact, pygmy marmosets.
They are also known by the names “pocket monkey”and “tiny lion”.
This cute little primate hugs and grips on to your finger so tight that it pulls your heartstrings and
you wish you could take it home with you.
The finger monkey is the tiniest living primate in the world. It’s so small that it can hold on to your finger.
These primates belong to the family Callitrichidae, species Cebuella and genus C. pygma

How adorable?!

Ideas for Exploring Hawaii

Hawaii attracts visitors of all kinds throughout the year,
and with the vast array of shops, nightclubs, and activities forming a
conglomeration of possibilities, it is not a stretch to suggest that there
truly is something for everyone. The island of Oahu’s LGBT community has built
a particularly active and thriving scene, which has made it one of the most
popular gay friendly tourist destinations over the years. Waikiki, with its
buzzing beach and active nightlife, features a large array of gay friendly Hawaii
hotels and plenty of gay bars and clubs waiting to be explored. The rest of
the island follows suit, with plenty of gay friendly
activities that are aimed at locals and visitors alike, ensuring that the Aloha
spirit is felt regardless of where you’re from! And with the recent recognition
of same-sex unions in Hawaii, why not come and celebrate under the island sun.
As is the case with any vacation, the problem is finding time to take it all
in, and for someone hoping to experience the vitality and energy of Hawaii,
here is a list of some of the favorite LGBT activities and hangouts so you can
streamline your schedule while meeting fun and interesting people from all
over!

 

The Right Starting Point

A close proximity to the sights and sounds of this dynamic island
will ensure that your schedule is fast and action packed. A series of boutique,
LGBT-friendly Waikiki hotels offering
comfort and luxury just minutes away from the best spots are there for your
choosing, and are a great place to call home during your island visit.

 

Bars and Nightclubs

Honolulu features a host of gay bars and nightclubs that,
depending on your mood, can either energize you or help you unwind after a long
day. In Between, a karaoke bar near the famous Kuhio and Kalakaua Avenues, is a
favorite for those hoping to relax, have a drink, and sing in a very casual,
friendly environment. Locals and tourists mingle here in perfect harmony.
Fusion, on the other hand, is a high-energy, buzzing night club that promises a
late night of fun and dancing. Open till 4am, this locally-owned club is sure
to entertain with its drag show, loud music, and diverse crowd.

 

Beaches

While all beaches on Oahu promise a fun time in the sun,
Queen’s Surf Beach has emerged as one of the best-loved gay beaches on the
island. Work your tan to a state of perfection while enjoying the warmth and
endless bliss of the water!

 

Hiking clubs, shops, and other gay-friendly ventures help
make Oahu the accepting, diverse paradise that it is. Come forge memories and
friendships that you’ll never forget!

Wieliczka Salt Mine outside of Krakow

I have not been to Poland yet –  but I would like to go one day. I am told it is not the most gay friendly place on Earth.   Someone from Krakow told me, “Being gay in Poland is like being a Michael Bolton fan at a metal
concert: it’s looked down on, not something you announce in a crowd of
skinheads, and might get you beaten up
.”

Historically, unlike in many other Central and Eastern European
countries, homosexuality was never punished by law in Poland – but to
say it was tolerated is a stretch.  Until 1991, homosexuality was listed as a disease. Today, legally
homosexuality is allowed, and the age of consent for gay (or straight)
sex is 15 years. Gay and lesbian couples do not need to register their
partnership, but adoption by gay or lesbian couples is not permitted.
Prostitution, however, is legal.

But for a country as homophobic as Poland, the gay rights movement is
surprisingly strong and well-organized, especially in recent years.

There is a site called  Cracow Life which provides LGBT information. Everything from clubs to restaurants.

I AM TOLD that Krakow’s Wieliczka salt mine is no less magnificent than the Egyptian pyramids. A subterranean world of labyrinthine passages, giant caverns, underground lakes and chapels with sculptures in the crystalline salt and rich ornamentation carved in the SALT ROCK!  Pretty Amazing!  Visitors   also marvel at the ingenuity of the ancient mining equipment in the Wieliczka salt mine. And the unique acoustics of the place have made hearing music here an exceptional experience.

The Wieliczka Salt Mine, located in the town of Wieliczka in southern Poland, lies within the Kraków metropolitan area. The mine, built in the 13th century, produced table salt continuously until 2007, as one of the world’s oldest salt mines still in operation.

The mine’s attractions include dozens of statues and an entire chapel that has been carved out of the rock salt by the miners. The oldest sculptures are augmented by the new carvings by actual artists. About 1.2 million people visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine annually.

FOR  900 years, it used to be one of the world’s biggest and most profitable industrial establishments when common salt was commercially a medieval equivalent of today’s oil. Always a magnet, since the mid-18th century Krakow’s Wieliczka salt mine has become increasingly a tourist attraction in the first place. Today visitors walk underground for about 2,000 m in the oldest part of the salt mine and see its subterranean museum, which takes three hours or so.

Top 5 Cheap Restaurants in Washington DC

Top 5 Cheap Restaurants
 in Washington DC

There are many luxury hotels in Washington DC where you will certainly find yourself a fine meal; in fact you will undoubtedly dine well in any of the hotels in Washington DC. If however, you are looking to venture from the hotel here are some of the places you can lick your lips to.  

Looking for something ritzy and expensive? 1789, located at 1226 36th Street, is open every day for dinner. It has been around for five decades now, and is known for delicious, modern American cuisine. Dress formally, this place is so classy that they even offer valet service.

Not lucky enough to have $40.00 to spend on an entree for one? That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 places to eat in Washington DC for prices that the average person can afford. You won’t find a valet at these restaurants, but you will find good food for reasonable prices.

Amsterdam Falafelshop: Located in Adams Morgan, the Falafelshop boasts of tasty Middle Eastern fast food. It’s known for late-night dining, and it’s outdoor seating. Every meal is priced under $14.00, offering a nice atmosphere and great food for a decent price. If Amsterdam Falafelshop is your style, you may also enjoy El Khartoum.

Ben’s Chili Bowl: Enjoy a good chili dog and shake? Look no further. It can be found in Shaw neighborhood, next to the Lincoln Theatre. The Bowl is a huge part of Washington DC’s history. It was a main spot for the 1968 riots, and the founders of the restaurant have been inducted into the city’s Hall of Fame. Celebrities such as Bill Cosby, Chris Tucker, and Barack Obama have all eaten here. The American meals sold here are all normally under $10.00 each.

CF Folks: Home of the Well Dressed Burrito, this is a little diner with a little lunch counter, located in Dupont Circle. Outdoor seating is also available for patrons that enjoy CF’s American cuisine. Everything is under $14.00, and everything is delicious. The only downside is that it’s closed on weekends. If you enjoy this type of American food, the Shake Shack may also hit the spot for you.

Etete: Vegetarian? Etete is an Ethiopian food restaurant that will have plenty for you, as well as your meat eating friends. You won’t find much for over $14.00 here. Little Ethiopia Restaurant is another great Ethiopian eatery in Washington DC.

Levi’s Port Cafe: Interested in some southern soul food? This place is perfect to bring a large group, because of their all-you-can-eat buffet. You’ll pay less than $14.00 per person for some down-to-earth barbeque.

There’s something for everyone in Washington DC, no matter how much money you have.
You’ve just got to be willing to look.

Some of the Best attractions in Boston

Some of the Best
attractions in Boston

Boston City in Massachusetts is a diverse place filled with various historical and cultural landmarks. Boston is the biggest city in New England, also regarded as Massachusetts capital city. Amongst the many hotels in Boston you have to choose from you will also be in the presence of some amazing attractions.

Home to world-famous Harvard University and MIT, Boston is a hub for education. Tourists flocked to the place because of Boston’s numerous attractions. A plethora of fun-filled recreational activities await the visitor including the following:

Taking a leisurely hike in the Freedom Trail will transport you to the olden times when America was young. The trail enables the traveler to experience Boston on a more personal level. The trail is two and a half kilometers long which starts at the Boston Common and ends at the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown.

The trail provides views to the most historically significant places in Boston such as the Old State House, Old South Meeting House, Quincy Market, Faneuil Hall, USS Constitution, Paul Revere’s Residence, The North End, the site of Boston Massacre and other Revolutionary landmarks.

The Bunker Hill Monument is another historical place that hikers will pass by as they trod the Freedom Trail. The Bunker Hill is the site where the Revolutionary War between American soldiers and British troops was waged. A giant obelisk about 200 feet in height stands as a commemorative symbol of the brave soldiers who lost their lives during the war.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace is one of the most visited landmarks in all of US, accounting for 20 million visitors in 2011. It ranked fourth most popular tourist destination next only to Times Square, Las Vegas Strip and National Mall and Memorial Parks.

The Faneuil Hall was built by Peter Faneuil in 1742. This is a festive marketplace housing hundreds of stores for dining, shopping and drinking. It is located between North, Congress and State streets. It is a commercial center of the city. It is also known for its historical significance particularly when Samuel Adams delivered his speech about independence. Most of the visitors frequenting the place today are shoppers who are looking for great finds.

Boston has a number of world-class museums known for their extensive collection of artifacts and other precious pieces. The Museum of Fine Art is the biggest and most popular which houses more than 450,000 pieces of art. More than a million tourists visit the museum each year. Other notable museums in Boston include Harvard Fogg Museum, Boston Beer Museum and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Why not treat yourself to one of the many luxury hotels in Boston and take in the finer traits of the city.

Awesome Travel Photography from Around the World


Balloons in Cappadocia…Cappadocia which is unique in the world and is a miraculous nature
wonder is the common name of the field covered by the provinces of
Aksaray, Nevsehir, Nigde, Kayseri and Kirsehir in the Central Anatolian region.

Banpo Bridge in Seoul , South Korea .  GAY  SEOUL  KOREA

Desert with Phacelia (Scorpion Weed). Flowering once in several years.

Favelas of Brazil . The boundary between wealth and poverty.  Sad.

Dubai is the leading regional commercial hub with state-of-art
infrastructure and a world class business environment to support and
sustain its great grouth potential. The buildings are just amazing.  It’s funny if you Google  GAY DUBAI our site comes up in top search!  And Dubai is not gay at all!

The Happy Rizzi House (usually just “Rizzi House”) is a contemporary building in Brunswick , by the American artist James Rizzi designed by the architect Konrad monastery was implemented.

Restaurant on a cliff on the east coast of Zanzibar, Tanzania . Depending on the tide, you can sometimes walk out to the restaurant.  The Rock Restaurant is an extraordinary seafood restaurant located on a rock in the middle of the Indian Ocean.  It serves up to 14 tables, all facing a wonderful terrace on the Ocean.

Where will you travel to in 2012?!
Let me help you decide!
Travel Leaders     David  Hodgkinson    1-800-942-1280

Gay Travel for the Single Man



 People often ask us, where is the best place to go on a vacation, if you are gay and single.  Gosh, there are so many choices!

Travel is  one of the most enriching experiences a person can undertake.  But deciding where to go can sometimes be a challenge. With almost any option possible and (in the case of a solo traveler) nobody else to have to pander to, in some respects choosing your destination can be more of a challenge than the actual journey itself.  What is it you want from the trip?


In the US –  I would  suggest  Palm Springs.  They have a lot of small intimate resorts and guesthouses that make it very conducive to mingling and make new friends. Palm Springs California is well-known as one of the most reliable and consistent sunny destinations in the USA. Abundant sunshine, clear blue skies, low humidity, warm temperatures and only a hint of rain characterize the consistently beautiful weather in Palm Springs, Ca. In fact, the sun shines in the Palm Springs California area more than 350 days a year!


Big city –  obvious gay meccas like West Hollywood and San Francisco are not my first choice for the single guy. Though you can have fun in both cities. It just depends on how outgoing you are – and what you are looking for.   New York City is amazing, for all kinds of reasons. 

Chicago  (below) is very laid back – it’s very easy to walk into a bar and start chatting with strangers. Huge gay population concentrated in some very cool neighborhoods (Lakeview-Boystown, Andersonville, Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park), friendly people, the only major US city that’s actually affordable to live in. You have  Lake Michigan, beaches, shopping and world class dining.



Fort Lauderdale is certainly very nice – but very spread out – whereas Key West is small enough to feel  at home. Key West is very easy to navigate and meet new people. Key West is a Lush tropical island with  fascinating architecture, friendly people, a rich history, and plenty of activities to keep you engaged or help relax


Columbus Ohio is a new and upcoming gay travel destination.  The Short North/Victorian Village/Italian Village/Grandview area of town is a huge and vibrant gayborhood that mixes trendy shops, art galleries, fun dining, nightlife, high end dining, lots of homes, apartments and new condos, and culture. The city can skew a little young at times due to Ohio State, but there are lots of young urban professional gay men all over Columbus. It’s sort of a smaller version of Chicago.

There is a great tour group called  Spirit Journeys. Spirit Journeys offers extraordinary gay travel, retreats and workshops at magical destinations all over the world. Whether it be on adventure tours or attending a retreat, our aim is to offer you a chance to “get away from it all”, to connect with others and to explore the mysteries and cultures that are in the world around us. You can see a lot of the world, with a gay group.


David Hodkinson, of Travel Leaders agrees. ” For gay, single individuals, small group gay travel is the easiest and best way to meet other singles. There is a lot of variety in the type of travel one can choose, often very specific, i.e. adventure, cultural, active, ecotourism, spa and health, etc. Small groups vary in size….perhaps ranging from 8 to 18 and some even larger. Since participants often share the same interests, there are many opportunities for discussions and dialogue.



The companies that offer this type of travel are numerous…travel to exotic destinations, ski (Gay Ski Weeks), small ship cruising, river cruising, gay safaris (outstanding!), Gay Games, active (hiking, dude ranches, climbing, rafting, skiing), and the list goes on.

Gay travelers should check out agencies that are members of IGLTA (International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association) since these agencies can direct them to appropriate suppliers and provide guidance in making decisions.”
 
He also says, “Amsterdam is my  #1  choice…..the bars and clubs are like nothing else and there is something for everyone and every preference. The biggest festivals are Amsterdam Pride and Queensday with many celebrations, concerts, parties, etc. held not only in the streets but in the numerous clubs and bars. Europe’s biggest gay dance party is Rapido and one of the best and most famous is held in Amsterdam during Pride, at Rapido Paradiso (a phenomenal venue). Tickets sell out fast and must be purchased months in advance. Gay and single….Amsterdam is an easy to meet and mingle and English is spoken everywhere. Winter is a bit dreary but there’s always something going on.”



Puerto Vallarta Mexico is great for couples, friends or single travelers. Beautiful ocean bay beaches
World class dining, mountains and jungles, and a huge gay & lesbian community.  Very friendly. Lots to see and do. Still affordable.

Toronto’s gay and lesbian village is most famous for having provided the location for much of the Showcase series Queer as Folk. Canada’s laws regarding legal same-sex marriage make this city a perfect destination for a wedding and honeymoon vacation. Church Street’s lively bars, warm cafés and friendly people provide a fun and a very welcoming atmosphere for gay and lesbian travelers.




In Europe.  Prague is one of my favorites.  Paris is one of my least favorites.


Prague is VERY AFFORDABLE  and the city of spires has more than just gorgeous architecture and a fascinating history to offer gay and lesbian travelers. The city boasts numerous gay and gay-friendly clubs, bars, restaurants, cafés, saunas and accommodations. Lots of shopping. Lots of culture. Lots of GAY!   Very easy to meet people. Prague is like one large outdoor museum with myriad wonders to explore.  – On the other hand, Paris is like a huge large outdoor museum, but for the most part, not over-friendly. Hard to connect with people. and triple the price of Prague.




Costa Rica has been  dubbed “Central America’s Gay Paradise.”  From cloud forests, rainforests and rushing rivers to active volcanoes and tropical beaches, Costa Rica boasts innumerable natural wonders that will arouse your senses. With its progressive laws protecting gay rights, Costa Rica is a friendly place to visit without hassles.



Phuket, Thailand.   Patong  beach has become a gay hotspot because of its unbelievably inexpensive nightlife, exhilarating water sports and friendly atmosphere. The dazzling beach has been host to pride festivals and remains a perfect place for gay and lesbian travelers to meet and enjoy the excitement of Southeast Asia.


These are just some of our top picks.  There are many more great places, depending on what you are looking for. Don’t be afraid to travel alone. You will find so many places around the world that are friendly and very open to talking to you! Even despite language barriers, many people are so nice and will try to communicate  with you! –  Even you need help making a decison, call an expert for advice.




Bone Church…A short trip from Prague




Kutna-Hora is a small village located just a few miles east of the Czech Republic’s capital city, Prague.

Kutna-Hora would be a fairly anonymous town were it not for its bizarre, and some might say macabre attraction, THE
BONE CHURCH OF KUTNA-HORA. Built in the 12th Century by monks, the Bone Church, or “Ossuary” had a small cemetary, which over the years, soon ran out of burial space.

The monks’ solution?

Decorate the Church with the bones of deceased parishoners. 
 40,000 human bones–mostly from the plague years in the 14th century–artistically arranged.

Soon, it became a status symbol of sorts to have your bones on display at the Church. Today, visitors climb the winding, craggy hill to view this most unusual of places of worship.

The most interesting creations by Master Rint are the chandelier in the centre of the nave, containing all the bones of the human body , two monstrances beside the main altar and the coat-of arms of the Schwarzenberg noble family on the left-hand side of the chapel.



 GETTING THERE- A  train stops at the town’s Hlavní Nádrazí (main train station); a smaller commuter train will take you onward to local stops. Get off at the first stop, Kutná Hora-Sedlec, and follow the signs to the Kostnice, or ossuary (a 10-minute walk from the main train station).

AFTERWARDS, Back at Kutná Hora-Sedlec, grab another commuter train to the station called Kutná Hora-Mesto, near the old town (or walk–the ossuary is a mile and a half away). Kutná Hora was an ancient center of silver mining and minting. Those riches paid for the stunning Cathedral of St. Barbara, founded in 1388; the flying buttresses and soaring spires make it one of the best examples of late-Gothic architecture in Central Europe.

A three-minute walk down Barborská Street, the Czech Museum of Silver offers tours of the remaining mines and displays of historic coins. When it’s time to recharge, wander over to Dacický Pivnice, where the hearty meat-and-potatoes fare is updated from medieval recipes and the boisterous taproom pours five types of beer–the pilsner is excellent with the buttery roasted trout. Get in a quick game of ninepins in the pub’s backyard before heading over to the creepy Alchemy Museum, devoted to the times when people tried to convert base metals into gold. Finally, for a one-of-a-kind souvenir, pick up a colorful handmade hat by milliners Bára Jelínková and Lucie Franková at the Salon Meluzína. 

More details online.


 

Hocking Hills…SouthEast Ohio’s Hidden Gem of Nature and Waterfalls


(Photo Left-Joe Braun)

Hocking Hills Ohio,
where waterfalls, remarkable hiking trails and amazing wildlife await!

We just discovered this hidden gem last month –  and WOW!  What a treat!
This is a photographers paradise. Hikers will love it. Take a deep breathe of fresh air….and just relax with nature.

Whether it’s antiques, fine art, breathtaking scenery, a hike to Old Man’s Cave or a getaway in a woodland cabin, you’ll find it all just outside Logan in southeast Ohio.
Just 60 minutes from the beautiful city of Columbus!

 There is so much that makes Hocking Hills State Park unique. Cascading waterfalls, breathtaking cliffs, deep recess caves and forestland as far as the eye can see are just a few distinctive features of the region. And everything to see is FREE.


Located in the picturesque sandstone region of Southeastern Ohio, Hocking Hills State Park encompasses some of the most scenic areas in the entire state.  Rock outcrops, deep cool gorges, and waterfalls are found throughout the 6 main park areas.  The pristine beauty of the area is enhanced by the abundance of wildlife found throughout the Hocking region. Visitors to the park can almost bet they’ll see Ohio wildlife such as white tailed deer, wild turkey or even the cumbersome box turtle.


The natural history of this region is as fascinating as the caves are beautiful.  Here, in these sandstones and shales, one can read Ohio’s history from the rocks. The scenic features of the six areas of the Hocking Hills State Park complex are carved in the Blackhand sandstone. This bedrock was deposited more than 350 million years ago as a delta in the warm shallow sea which covered Ohio at that time. 
Subsequent millions of years of uplift and stream erosion created the awesome beauty seen today.


And of course, you can still see the erosion at work when the spring rains fill up Queer Creek near Old Man’s Cave and she pours her excess into what is  called Cedar Falls. 

The Cedar Falls area is where we stayed.  The 
Inn  and Spa at Cedar Falls is recognized by SELECT REGISTRY, as one of the distinguished Inns of North America.


Surrounded on three sides by Hocking Hills State Parks, The  Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls, in Logan, Ohio, features a setting that puts guests in tune with the harmony of nature, the peace of solitude and the simple joys of the Earth’s beauty.  It was beautiful!  And they have been   green certified, by the Hocking Hills Tourism Assoc.

Mammoth rock formations, caves and waterfalls native to the Hocking Hills, Ohio region share their breathtaking beauty with the Inn’s charming cottages,  log cabins and antique filled bed and breakfast rooms.





The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls is THE place you want to make sure you stay at! It is the original, in this area. Over the years, many mom and pop inn’s have sprouted up, but this one is THE BEST. And it has a wonderful history.

It is ran by Ellen Grinsfelder and her husband Terry Lingo.  It was Ellen’s mother,  Anne Castle who had a vision in Hocking Hills. Anne was  a well respected businesswoman who gave up her corporate life to establish a place where the ever-growing number of urban dwellers could retreat to a natural setting.


After two and a half years in the making, the vision became a reality when The Inn opened in 1987. Those two plus years were not without struggle. Located in each room at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls, is a brief history of The Inn. It states: “This is not a Pollyanna-glad-girl story, however, the struggle to withstand backbreaking work, mind-bending discouragement, seemingly countless physical, emotional and financial blocks, is a long tale…” A story not unlike many great entrepreneurs.


The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls is distinguished by the 1840′s log houses that are homes to The Inn’s gourmet kitchen, dining rooms and tavern. Constructed with 18-inch wide logs and the original plank floor, the main dining room offers a romantic setting. Outside dining on the gorgeous and lush patio offers guests the opportunity to view hummingbirds at feeders and dine under the stars.


 




 


 


 The Inn is a barn-like structure housing 9  antique-furnished rooms each with its own private bath. The porch and veranda feature a spectacular view of the Hocking Hills. A large common room is available for guests or business meetings.

Over the years, 12  Cozy cottages were added and  nestled into the woods, affording privacy and tranquility.

For large groups or just more space, 5 larger renovated, fully equipped 19th Century log cabins feature privacy and cooking facilities. So you really have 3 choices when selecting your place to stay.



 

 Ideal for a tranquil romantic getaway, each Hocking Hills Cozy cottage is situated on two acres of natural wooded beauty and has the charming ambiance of a gas log stove and private deck. Relax and unwind in a whirlpool hot tub for two after a day of hiking the Hocking Hills. Sit on the back deck and sip a glass of wine and admire the brilliant evening sky full of stars.


Plush robes, fine soap, lotions, and lip balm add an extra touch  for cottage guests. Towel warmers and hair dryers are also provided. Fresh baked cookies await your arrival in the cottages.

The Sumac Cottage is handicap accessible. Two Dog Friendly Cottages are Trillium and Yarrow. Children of all ages are welcome in some of the  cabins. The rooms and cottages are not set up to accommodate them. Additional features offered in the Supreme Cottages.

And what about a commitment ceremony?  The Hilltop Garden is simple, but beautifully landscaped with local flowers, fruit trees and benches. Couples desiring an outdoor wedding make this an ideal setting. It offers sitting or standing room for up to 50 guests.

The new Rooftop Garden is a 1000-squarefoot rooftop herb and flower garden with walking paths. There is a small gazebo and it is ideal for smaller weddings of up to 20 people. The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls provides the PERFECT romantic backdrop for ceremony/dinner/honeymoon. Owner Ellen says, “We’ve created an environment that makes the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls an ideal place for your ceremony. The Inn’s 75 acres is perfectly suited for small, intimate gatherings of up to 50 people. Make your day unique and unforgettable by allowing us to help you envision, create, plan, and fulfill your special day. Your every last wish is delightfully anticipated!”



 


 A unique dining experience awaits Hocking Hills guests in the double log cabin. The open kitchen is the heart of this bed and breakfast inn, where guests may chat while watching gourmet meals being prepared from scratch. Fine American cuisine is the specialty and in-season patio dining is available. Executive chef Anthony Schulz creates  Wonderful food!  In a casual setting.



Each season, the Inn, presents a new menu. “We have incorporated Ohio’s vast cultural influences into our style of preparation. Local Ohio products inspired by classic, culinary traditions yield a delicious way to explore our national heritage.” – Breakfast, lunch and dinner’s available. Full bar and extensive wine list.




SPA!  AHHHHHHHH.    A quiet retreat awaits those seeking the luxury of spa services gently balanced with a closeness to nature. There’s a moment when it all comes together — when you discover the best in yourself. In the middle of your busy schedule, it’s easy to miss these special times that can awaken you to life’s possibilities. Open daily, the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls offers packages, treatments and gift certificates for men, women, couples and groups.





The Inn continues to grow and review its mission, constantly evolving. It’s idea has remained the same throughout 23 years of operation. Simply put, it says, “We are a Country Inn in a peaceful, natural setting, where people can connect with the earth and universe. We are dedicated to high standards — standards of Excellence. We have committed ourselves to quality food, quality surroundings, quality service and quality employees.”


WHEN TO GO?  Pretty much anytime during the year. In the winter it’s like a wonderland, in the summer it looks like something us city dwellers, only see in magazines. Witness the fall colors in Autumn or the magic of the holiday season.

Insider hint –   WEEKDAYS are better than weekends, in my opinion. It  is less busy.

Editors note – No TV or computers here. This is about GETTING AWAY FROM IT ALL!   ESCAPE! There is wi-fi available in the main building, should  you absolutely  feel the need to check in with the rat race!

Hocking Hills Official site
Hocking Hills State Park

Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls
Inn’s  and Spa’s Special Event Calendar


 

Curacao Jazz Fest in September 2011

Selected as one of the ‘Top 21 Places We’re Going in 2011’ by Fodor’s, one of the ‘Hottest Destinations for 2011’ by AOL Travel and one of the ‘Destinations to Watch in 2011’ by SmarterTravel, Curaçao is a unique Caribbean island paradise, boasting 35 uncrowded beaches, and an eclectic mix of history and culture. Explore the vibrant, culturally diverse capital city of Willemstad – a UNESCO World Heritage site – with its distinctive architecture, museums, monuments and world-class shopping. Indulge in Curaçao’s vast selection of flavorful restaurants, with a mix of sophisticated international and tasty local cuisines.


Time is running out for travelers to reserve a spot at the hottest concert series of the season, the highly-anticipated second annual Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival, September 2-3, 2011! This year, the star-studded line-up already has many hotels across the island almost completely booked, but some limited rooms and packages are still available at hotels, including the Plaza Hotel Curaçao & Casino, Atlantis Diving & Apartments, Royal Sea Aquarium Resort and Breezes Curaçao Resort, Spa & Casino.
 
Acclaimed Jazz musician Branford Marsalis and his quartet have been added to the A-list line-up of musicians performing this year. Marsalis will join 16-time Grammy award-winner Sting and 25-time Grammy award-winner Stevie Wonder, who are headlining the sizzling, soulful event.
Marsalis, a three-time Grammy award-winner and brother of famed jazz artist Wynton Marsalis, will bring his world-renowned sounds to the World Trade Center Curaçao in Piscadera Bay, where the event will be held. Two of the Branford Marsalis Quartet albums, Braggtown and Eternal, have been nominated for Grammys.

“Our incredible line-up of iconic award-winning artists, including Stevie Wonder, Sting and now the Branford Marsalis Quartet, will be a huge draw for this year’s Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival,” says Curaçao Tourist Board Marketing Manager North America André Rojer. “Building on the success of last year’s Festival, this year’s event is sure to heighten awareness of Curaçao as the hottest island in the Caribbean, as evidenced by the many hotels that are already fully booked for the Festival dates.”

Having recently been named one of the ‘Best Islands in the Caribbean for Bar-Hoppers’ by The Huffington Post, it is no surprise that Curacao and its Festival have attracted so many followers.  Living up to its title, the island’s popular party spot Mambo Beach will transform into a week-long music-inspired, social extravaganza, with pop-up concerts and events happening every day until the kickoff of the Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival.

The first-class jazz and blues concert series will also incorporate soul, rock and Latin music this year with performers including Dionne Warwick, Earth, Wind & Fire, Ruben Blades, Roberto Fonseca, Juan Luis Guerra, Terence Blanchard, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Poncho Sanchez, Danilo Perez Trio, Levi Silvanie, Chucho Valdes Afro Cuban & Messengers and Ronchi Matthew.

Day passes for this year’s event are priced at $185 and may be ordered online at www.curacaonorthseajazz.com. For more information on Curaçao or to book your trip to the 2011 Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival, please visit Curacao.com.

Discover Curaçao’s abundant natural beauty, pristine dive sites and spectacular snorkeling at secluded beaches – including Cas Abao Beach, selected as one of the ‘Top 10 Beach Destinations for 2011’ by SmarterTravel. Curaçao offers idyllic weather, situated on the fringe of the Hurricane Belt. To learn more about the island of Curaçao visit Curacao.com. To request a FREE Curaçao information package click here or call toll free 1.800.328.7222.

Gay Nude Beaches Around the World

There are GAY BEACHES…
and then there are GAY NUDE BEACHES!
 

Gay Nude Beaches are  few and far between, but they do exist.   I have listed a few of the  gay  nudes beaches I have enjoyed….as well as a few we have read about.

San Diego –  Blacks Beach – Probably one of the most famous gay nude beaches. There is no easy to get there!  It’s a bit of hike, a climb and a jump! There is info online with suggested routes to access Blacks Beach.


Both Province Town, which has Herring Cove Beach and  Saugatuck, MI, (the Provincetown of the Midwest)  has Oval Beach. Both  have sort of a nude beach area. TECHNICALLY, at both beaches, laws prohibit nudity. But it seems no one really seems to care and it is not enforced by the authorities.

At Herring Cove beach, full nudity is usually only found about 3/4 mile further down the beach at the end of the gay men section.  At Oval Beach, gays head towards the the back dunes area of Oval Beach, which  is perfect for sunbathing in the nude.



Just south of North of Miami, you will find Haulover Park and Beach.
South Florida Free Beaches/Florida Naturist Association, Inc. founded the clothing optional section of Haulover Beach Park in North Miami in 1991. There is a straight section on the right, and the gays hang out on the left! It is super busy on holiday weekends!  I was there on a non holiday weekday, and there were about 200 gays out there!


If you go down under to Australia, Sydney has Lady Jane Beach. Lady Jane Beach (official name is Lady Bay Beach) is located just at the mouth of the Sydney Harbour, where Sydney Harbour meets the open sea, the Tasman Sea. From Lady Jane beach you have the most spectacular views which any beach can boast to have. Apart form the gorgeous naked man frolicking around you; you also have the Sydney Harbour in the background, Obelisk Gay Nude beach just across the harbour directly opposite Lady Jane, Manly Harbour to your right and the open ocean if you walk to the lighthouse.

If you know some more, please feel free to share in the comments section!


NewGayTravelGuide
BestGayCities


Phallological Penis Museum in Iceland

ICELAND is often called 
 One of the most beautiful countries on earth!

Iceland is closer than you think. This mid-Atlantic island is the USA’s closest European neighbor. With a flight time from New York less than five hours, you’re ready for action as soon as you arrive.

There’s also plenty of choice for relaxing indulgence and pampering yourself. The chilliest thing about Iceland is its name! In January, the average temperature in the capital Reykjavik is higher than that in New York. And Iceland’s welcome for tourists is always warm. Almost everyone speaks fluent English and Icelanders aren’t really given to formalities. The telephone directory even lists people by their first name!



As Iceland is a very small country with population just over 300.000 people the gay scene is relatively small and mostly limited to Reykjavik. There are usually one or two gay bars/cafes and one or two clubs.

But they do have a PENIS MUSEUM!

The Icelandic Phallological Museum is probably the only museum in the world to contain a collection of phallic specimens belonging to all the various types of mammal found in a single country.

The Icelandic Phallological Museum  in Húsavík,  (formerly in Reykjavík) is a museum devoted to penises. As of September 2009, the museum houses 272 specimens from 92 species of animals displayed, like hunting trophies, embalmed in formaldehyde, or dried in display cases. The museum attempts to collect penis specimens from every mammal in Iceland, including several species that are endangered or currently extinct in Icelandic waters.

How wild is that?!


New Caledonia is Emerging as a new Gay Lesbian Travel Hotspot

New Caledonia –
a French Territory in the Coral Sea between Australia and New Zealand – is emerging as a hot travel destination for international gay and lesbian travellers seeking the “nouvelle” and a little French bliss. Rainbow Tourism Launches South Pacific Website Focusing on New Caledonia as Gay Travel Destination.

The South Pacific island nation has several hotels with gay welcome mats and tour operators who have created “pink packages” that include visits to gay clubs and restaurants. The local community boasts the Homo-Sphere association, which holds events for locals and visitors around gay owned and gay friendly venues.

To collate the buzz about cosmopolitan and stylish Noumea and her hidden gem islands (the Loyalty Island and Isle of Pines), Rainbow Tourism New Caledonia website was created. It is the place to go for information and images of authentic Melanesian culture, world-class sporting events, cruise shore excursions, dining and shopping – and where to find a bilingual tour guide if you want an insider’s view to New Caledonia.

You could imagine you’re in the south of France. In fact you’re two hours from Brisbane. Just a short flight from our east coast, Australia’s next-door neighbours speak French, eat snails and enjoy duty-free wines from Bordeaux. This is Noumea, capital of New Caledonia, a slice of paradise being rebranded as a long-weekend getaway for Australians.

New plane schedules and holiday packages have brought the stunning French territory into line with Bali and Fiji as a place where Australians can make a dash for a three-day suntan.

The main island – Grande Terre – is 400kilometres long, covered with dense jungle which rises to the highest peaks. To reach distant valleys and meet some of the 30 Melanesian groups still living traditional lifestyles calls for local knowledge; fortunately English expat John Brighton’s VIP Tours offer full-day hinterland trips calling on tribal villages (email j.brighton@mls.nc).

Many short-break visitors restrict themselves to the idyllic Isle of Pines, a short flight from Noumea or a little more than two hours by high speed catamaran. Once there, they usually abandon themselves to hedonism. This is a place with luxurious hotels, lush gardens, breathtaking lagoons and beaches – and seafood cooked fresh from the ocean.

*Tips and Secrets!

*Wine: European wines are duty free.
Australian favourites are scarce, but French wines are available for a fraction of the cost paid in Australia.

 

* Drives: Hire a car and head for the mountains and stark red soil of the Great South district. Blue River Park has lakes, mountain streams and rainforest walks; nearby are the pretty Madeline Falls. You may even spot the cagou – a small, flightless bird that barks at sunrise and sunset. The road near Yate follows dramatic mountains, escarpments and palm-lined beaches.

 

The New Caledonia regional site is part of the Rainbow Tourism Network which publishes dedicated sites for Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand. It has other gay destinations and countries coming online in 2011.

Christmas and Holidays at Hearst Castle in San Simeon

Hearst Castle,
William Randolph Hearst’s
iconic palace in the San Simeon hills, is one of the most popular attractions in San Luis Obispo County, CA all year around; 90,000  Sq Foot of  FABULOUS! 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, 41 fireplaces and 19 sitting rooms! Jaw Dropping!

But, during the holidays, the opulent historic landmark becomes even more exquisite and alluring. From Thanksgiving through to the New Year, visitors on the “Experience Tour” will get in the Christmas spirit amid the castle’s 1920s-era holiday décor, including two 18-foot, decorated Christmas trees.  “Christmas at the Castle” is enchanting! 

Every year the staff at Hearst Castle works hard to decorate the estate for the Holidays, creating a special atmosphere that is sure to get you in the Holiday spirit.

Hearst Castle does not have a specific themed tour for Christmas. The main house and all three guest houses will be decorated for the holidays.

During the holidays the Evening Tour program includes Living History Docents dressed in 1930s period clothing along with the holiday decorations in many of the rooms. Two 18-foot Christmas trees fill the Assembly Room as Living History Docents dressed in 1930s period clothing socialize before dinner. Weekend Evening Tours are difficult to reserve, but we have many available during the week.

All of the Hearst Castle tours are highlighted by stops at each of Hearst’s two swimming pools. The Neptune Pool is a magnificent Greco-Roman style pool that features unparalleled coastline views from the hilltop. The Roman Pool is an indoor pool decorated from ceiling to floor with 1″ square mosaic tiles. QUITE MAGNIFICENT!

We did a story on the castle a couple years ago – and when ever we go to visit, we always stay this nearby quirky landmark, called the Madonna Inn.  Read that post here on New Gay Travel Guide .

Kent Connecticut Is Becoming The Place For Nuptials, Hiking, Camping and Sking

GUEST AUTHOR LYNDON EVANS
shares his take on Kent, Connecticut.

When folks think of travel and tourism in Connecticut most think of the southeastern part of the state from Essex/Deep River over to Mystic and up to the casino area of Uncasville and Mashantucket. But I’d like to tell you about my part of Connecticut the western side.

Recently the Litchfield County Times ran an article by Kathryn Boughton about same-sex marriage and how the village of Kent is becoming the place to celebrate nuptials.

A quiet revolution has been taking place in Kent as same-sex couples have made their way to the beautiful little town to solemnize their marriage vows. Town Clerk Darlene Brady said that the number of marriage licenses issued in the town has more than doubled since a New York State minister started to promote Kent as a location for gay and lesbian weddings. She reports there have been 161 gay marriages in Kent since 2008 and another 13 civil unions performed before that.

Also boosting the number of same-sex marriages are the occasional unions between current town residents and weekenders, she added. But the largest number of weddings comes through the Rev. Sara Henderson of Pawling, N.Y., who has reached out to the gay community through her Web site, gaylesbianweddings4u.com. Ms. Henderson is an interfaith minister and a graduate of The New Seminary in New York City. She was ordained at St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City. On her Web site she defines “interfaith,” as a “spiritual philosophy [that] honors and values the fundamental beauty and wisdom in all religious traditions/spiritual paths.”

While Kent may becoming the “Rainbow Wedding Capitol of CT”, Kent and the surrounding area has a great deal to offer those wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of other tourist areas of Connecticut. Kent (and similar small towns in Litchfield County) has long been a getaway, second home or primary residence for many writers, actors, artists, singers and politicians. Sorry no name dropping .. okay just one, Henry Kissinger.

Kent is a reasonable drive from New York City time wise and once you get off I-84 in either Danbury or Brookfield, you traverse Route 7 in the northerly direction (Route 7 begins in Norwalk, CT and ends at the Vermont/Canadian border) towards New Milford. As you’re driving up Route 7 to Kent those of you who enjoy antiquing will have the time of your life. When you get to New Milford be sure to get off Route 7 long enough to take a ride around the village square and it’s quaint New England setting. Back on Route 7 make a quick stop at one of the couple of shops in Gaylordsville and then it’s onto Kent. Route 7 in spots runs parallel to the Housatonic River and up in Bulls Bridge be sure to check out the covered bridge.

As far as places to stay, once you get away from Danbury which has the usual prolifera of hotel chain accommodations you’ll find bed and breakfast inns. One of these is The Inn At Kent Falls (photo at top) which is listed at the website Purple Roofs, is gay owned & operated, and has been voted Best B&B for 2010 by Connecticut Magazine. A photo at the Inn’s website taken during winter looks like something right out of the Miller or Budweiser Christmas holiday commercials. Speaking of winter you skiers will like staying in Kent and skiing at nearby Mohawk Mountain.

Campers and RVers will find the Kent area a place to stay with Macedonia Brook State Park in which the Macedonia Brook traverses the picnic and campground with some pools of water deep enough to sit in or swim and cool off on a hot summer day. A bit further up Route 7 and almost into Sharon is the Housatonic Meadows State Park which shoulders the Housatonic River. No trip to Kent is complete without taking in the cascading Kent Falls and driving up to West Cornwall and taking a photo of probably one of the most famous covered bridges in New England, the West Cornwall Bridge. Auto racing enthusiasts will enjoy Lime Rock Park in Sharon with its winding race course and picturesque Connecticut background. For those who just like to drive there is no better and scenic road than Route 7 going into Massachusetts and onto Vermont.

So nuptials or not, with the fall foliage season coming soon why not take a trip to Kent Connecticut and see what the western side of my state has to offer. By the way you antiquers may what to consider renting a U-haul trailer to take home the goodies you’ll buy.

Gay Lesbian Travel to Philadelphia…A New Hotspot?

Philadelphia was named a “Best U.S. Destination” by LOGO, the gay and lesbian network owned by Viacom’s MTV Networks. An international panel of travel journalists compiled the list, made up of Philadelphia, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Provincetown and San Francisco, for LOGO’s annual “TripOut Gay Travel Awards.”

Travelers can vote online for their favorite U.S. destination among the six contenders through October 18, 2010. To vote for Philadelphia, go to Visit Philly  or Trip Out Gay Travel .

Philadelphia is an exceptional getaway for gay travelers,” said Ed Salvato, one travel expert who participated in the “TripOut Gay Travel Awards” nomination process. “This city stands out for its historic attractions, friendliness and gay nightlife scene.”

“We’re grateful to LOGO for the recognition, and we encourage our loyal visitors to vote early and often,” said Meryl Levitz, president & CEO, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation. “Philadelphia is welcoming, open and authentic, and it is clearly one of the best destinations in the country.”

This past July, Philadelphia’s historic Gayborhood  celebrated its 40th anniversary  with a two week long party, complete with special events and discounts throughout the neighborhood. Restaurants, bars and gay friendly hotels, the whole  town was  full of excitement and fun!

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region’s vitality.

For more information about travel to Philadelphia, go to  Visit Philly   where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to HearPhilly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676.

New Gay Travel Guide

Gay Travel and Gay Pride Around The World 2010

As summer winds down so do the gay pride parties.
Here is a sampling of Gay Pride 2010 from around the world!

How Gay is Waterford Crystal and Waterford Ireland?

Perhaps the most famous crystal company in the world, Waterford Crystal was founded in 1783.  New prestige crystal factory for the company plans to captivates visitors from around the world  demonstrating more than 225 years of crystal making.

A new beginning for Waterford Crystal was marked today with the official opening of the House of Waterford Crystal on the Mall in the heart of Waterford City.  Comprised of a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, visitor centre and retail experience store, the opening ensures that the history of more than 600 years of heritage, tradition and craftsmanship remains firmly rooted in Waterford. This milestone event is the result of an agreement between WWRD Holdings Limited (“WWRD”), the leading luxury goods group which owns and operates the Waterford Crystal, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton brands, and Waterford City Council.

Visitors to the new facility will marvel at a replica of the Waterford Times Square Ball and will be impressed by the varied exhibitions, including a collection of exclusive Waterford Sport trophies, Statement Design pieces and the Faces and Places Exhibit, a favorite, showcasing specially- commissioned Waterford Crystals pieces that have been presented to famous celebrities, presidents and dignitaries.
 

Additionally, the world’s largest display of Waterford Crystal will be featured in the retail experience store, including pieces from world famous designers such as John Rocha, Michael Aram and Jasper Conran.
 
The House of Waterford  is located two miles from the city centre on the N25 Cork Road in Waterford, Ireland. Factory tours are open to the public all year round, Monday to Sunday. Guided Tours are also available seven days a week.

Today Ireland has a lively “gay scene”, especially in Dublin and Belfast. Some favorite hang-outs like the “George” in Dublin are clearly identifiable by their use of the “rainbow flag”, others are far more discreet. The best bet for visitors who want to meet other gay people is to obtain a copy of  the GCN  , a monthly magazine with comprehensive listings.

Gay Travel to Beirut Lebanon…The Paris / Provincetown of the Middle East

WHAT??
Yes, you read correctly.
Beirut is an up and coming gay travel hotspot.
Some are even calling it the Paris of the Middle East.
Some  say  Provincetown of the Middle East.

San Francisco, Las Vegas, Barcelona, Sydney and … Beirut? As surprising as it sounds, the buzz is building around Beirut, Lebanon, as a top gay travel destination.

The New York Times dubbed Lebanon’s capital “the Provincetown of the Middle East” in a 2009 article and the winter 2010 edition of Netherlands-based Winq magazine devoted eight pages to the city, citing its emergence as “the (gay) party capital of the Middle East.”

Beirut is booming and trendy. Although homosexuality is still illegal, beirut’s gay scene is flourishing and pure fun, especially for tourists. Besides the incredible nightlife, Lebanon packs in its small size everything you want.

“Lebanon is a very liberal country. Once you’re here, you’ll be surprised,” said Bertho Makso of IGLTA, who is based in Beirut. “It’s a county rich in attractions to appeal to LGBT travelers. Beirut is like nowhere else!”

Tourism  has empowered the Beirut gay and lesbian community and has made it the most liberal place in the Arab world. “Tourists come from all over the world because they know Lebanon is a fairly open society,” says Georges Azzi, head of the Beirut-based organization Helem (Arabic for “dream”), the Arab world’s first and only gay advocacy group. “This is especially so for Gulf Arabs,” he explains, referring to the Middle East’s most lavish spenders, from countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. “So the police couldn’t crack down on the nightlife scene even if they wanted to.”

Food:
 Lebanese food is known to be the best in the middle east. Never eat too much of the delicious entrees ( Mezze) as the main course is huge as well. Don’t forget to wash down your food with a cool Almaza beer or excellent lebanese wines (Chateau Musaar, Ksara and Kefraiya). You can also visit the wine-valleys and have a wine tasting there.

Nightlife:
Beirut nightlife is extraordinary. It does not matter where you are going, you will see the crowd dancing in ecstasies on chairs, tables and even the bar. Lebanon has some great DJs and, of course you can hear some tunes which are not even played in Europe.

Hospitality:
You will realise in Lebanon that you get invited always. For tours, for after-parties, for dinner and – of course- sex.

READ  MORE  AT  FLYER  TALK  FORUM.