Travel Diary

Posted on 13 May 2009 at 6:07pm
By Arnold Wayne Jones Staff Writer


The City of Brotherly Love pushes its gay experience with a contest promoting queer Philadelphia.

Merry Olde England gets more ‘Mary;’ rainbow travel goes green
Big Wolf Expeditions wants to put the green back in the rainbow flag with eco-friendly adventure tours for gay and lesbian travelers. Those who enjoy exploring the outdoors can participate in new activity sports that satisfy both your inner thrill-seeker and tree hugger, with 5 percent of profits from the tours donated to Conservation International.

Destinations currently include Vietnam, Wales, Sweden and the less remote land of Massachusetts (home of gay marriage). Within the next year, tours will expand to Peru, Croatia, Ecuador and New Zealand. For more information, visit BigWolfExpeditions.com.

England recently put right-wing ideologue Michael Savage on its own version of the "no-fly list," saying his homophobic and racists rants make him unwelcome in Britain. That alone might be enough to want to book a trip to London. But there’s another reason, too: the nation’s recent push to attract gay and lesbian travelers. Its VisitBritain.com Web site provides a multitude of travel experiences, from the gourmet foodie trip to the culture vulture tour for history buffs to the night owl prowl of gay clubs.

Kimpton Hotels — represented in Dallas by the Hotel Palomar and the Hotel Lumen — undertakes its third annual Summer of Pride, offering a complimentary weeknight stay all summer long (May 21 through Sept. 27) when LGBT travelers book two nights. The deal also comes with a $50 dining credit. Log on to KimptonHotels.com/lgbt for details.

Dallas’ Palomar was also named one of "129 Hotels We Love" by National Geographic Traveler in April. To celebrate, you can get cocktails or breakfast for just a buck over the best available rate when you stay overnight.

Now we know the real reason Philadelphia is known as "the City of Brotherly Love." The birthplace of America has teamed with Southwest Airlines to launch a contest to promote the gay-friendly city: Philadelphia: Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay. Winners get "the ultimate gay stay," which offers two roundtrip airfares, a two-night stay at a central hotel, VIP tickets to the Franklin Institute of Science Museum, all-inclusive dinners, a shopping spree and two salon treatments. Visit GoPhila.com/gayphilly to enter.


Charlie David hosts the sexy travel series ‘Bump!’

Texas’ surprisingly gay-friendly small town of Galveston Island is still recovering from last season’s hurricane flooding with the reopening of the spa at the historic Hotel Galvez. The spa had just come online when Ike devastated the island, but the luxury facility will be up and running on June 1.

Farther along the Gulf Coast, another hurricane alley city, New Orleans, is also adjusting to the summer travel season. Harrah’s Hotel and Casino offers the romantic Summer Lovin’ Package (accommodations, champagne, even free bathrobes) starting at $228.

The W Hotel Los Angeles-Westwood doesn’t want you to limit your Pride celebration to June, offering the Pride 365 Package, including room, cocktails, a Bliss Spa facial kit and more. Book your room at Whotels.com/pride365. The package is actually available at other W properties as well, including the new one in Fort Lauderdale and of course Dallas… if you’re interested in a "staycation."

In fact, staycations — getting away from it all without the expense of travel — are becoming de rigueur in the new economy, and the Gaylord Texan Resort wants to welcome you to its lavish facilities in Grapevine. Room rates start at $179/night, and events include "fireworks Fridays" and wine and cheese pairings at the Old Hickory Wine Bar and Restaurant, led by chef Joanne Bondy.

Can’t get enough of "Mulligans" and "Dante’s Cove" star Charlie David? Then check out the new season of "Bump!," his gay travel series, now available on Logoonline.com or at Bumptv.com.

Most of us put on weight during a vacation, but Cal-a-Vie Health Spa (Cal-a-vie.com) promises a weight loss experience. The spa, 40 miles north of San Diego, offers a fitness center, gourmet (lite) cuisine and beautiful sunny weather.

It’s not the only place to have fun in the sun. Palm Springs is more than the city where Cher’s ex was once mayor — and more than the White Party. The very city is pushing its Summer Splash for queer travelers from June 1 through Aug. 31. You can read more about the options for a fun SoCal desert getaway next month in Dallas Voice.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 15, 2009.

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