A historic event took place back in 2015, when Florida’s first same-sex marriage united local gay activists Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones. The fact the ceremony took place at Key West’s Monroe County Courthouse says a lot about the destination’s long-time welcoming attitude.
Today more than 250,000 LGBTQ+ visitors vacation in Key West yearly, according to Key West Business Guild, a nonprofit devoted to promoting the destination to LGBTQ+ travelers. And the southernmost city in the continental United States is more than just a gay vacation hot spot: About 30 percent of Key West’s 25,000 residents identify as part of the community. So it’s no wonder the destination enjoys such a great reputation with gay globetrotters from around the world.
Same-sex weddings and honeymoons remain a major focus for the destination’s tourism industry … and with good reason. Key West was Florida’s first city to recognize same-sex domestic partnerships and marriage equality, and the city’s Monroe County was the state’s first county to recognize those same rights for the entire chain of Florida Keys.
Most gay and lesbian weddings in Key West and the Florida Keys are intimate gatherings with fewer than 30 guests, according to Guy Ross, LGBT sales manager, Monroe County Tourist Development Council. “Perhaps the only ‘change’ that we are seeing now with the advent of marriage equality is the inclusion of more family members and more mainstream friends in gay and lesbian ceremonies,” he said.
Memorable entertainment offers another selling point for Key West. Nightlife fans out among several bars including Bourbon St. Pub, which hosts fanciful theme parties, and LaTeDa, a boutique hotel home to world-renowned female impersonators. The Key West Pride celebration takes place in June, while Fantasy Fest brings yet another parade and lots of open-air festivities to the city’s streets in October (canceled this year due to the global pandemic). A variety of gay-owned and gay-friendly hotels also roll out the welcome mat for LGBTQ+ visitors — including the male-only Island House and Equator Resort hotels, as well as Alexander’s Guesthouse and a variety of upscale properties welcoming all travelers. In Key West the rainbow carpet rolls out just about everywhere — even in the streets, where the four corners at the intersection of Duval and Petronia streets boast permanent rainbow crosswalks.
Buenos Aires, Argentina, comes to life at night. Translating to “good airs” or “fair winds,” Buenos Aires is an autonomous district filled to the brim with eclectic European architecture and a rich cultural life. The multicultural city, a melting pot of language, history, incredible food and music, comes to life at night. When you travel to Buenos Aires, be prepared to eat late, choose from hundreds of restaurants and thousands of bars and clubs, and dance beyond dawn. The city’s nightlife, as varied as it is intense, allows you to dance to whatever rhythm takes your fancy. A city that oozes sex appeal, it proves dynamic and passionate, and the beauty and rhythm will get under your skin for an amazing trip.
Nashville’s once-modest skyline continues to evolve as its luxury market grows. Lavish hotel properties are added to the landscape while acclaimed chefs stake claim in the robust culinary scene and premier cultural offerings round out the city’s repertoire.
Like most big cities, Seattle’s distinct personality is made up of the sum of its many parts. Each of The Emerald City’s unique neighborhoods offers something distinct, and exploring them provides as much of an adventure as visiting the Space Needle or wandering stalls at Pike Place Market.
Awareness about fair and sustainable travel continues to grow around the globe, with travelers everywhere considering a destination’s eco-friendly options before visiting. As public consciousness for this important aspect of tourism strengthens, tourists also look beyond just ecotourism and delve deeper into types of travel that allow them to respect the local culture, interact with locals and distribute benefits fairly.
Sleek, light, minimalist and your someone special’s new favorite travel gear, the TSA-ready Travel Pack from NOMATIC is cleverly designed to carry everything needed for shorter trips. And, if a professional silhouette is required for some expeditions, the pack’s slim profile and patent-pending strap system easily converts it into a briefcase that’s also RFID-safe.
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