IF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST enjoys a unique reputation as a progressive and naturally beautiful paradise in the United States, then Portland, Oregon, stars as one of the hubs featuring what people love best about the region. The city’s liberal, accepting vibe as well as its eco-friendly approach to life also explain why Portland is so popular with LGBTQ+ travelers.
Oregon’s largest metropolis is touting one of its latest developments. The Q Center, an LGBTQ+ community center, recently debuted the Q Makers Market, billed as the nation’s only Queer-focused artisan market. Taking place the second Saturday of every month, the event brings together vendors, food pop-ups and even live musical performances.
Travel Portland, the city’s destination promotion organization, makes it easy for LGBTQ+ visitors to plan their visits, with a robust array of listings and recommendations. Top nightlife options include CC Slaughters, a dance club that hosts a Sunday-night drag show; Hobo’s, a restaurant and lounge frequented by gay men and their friends; and Escape Bar & Grill, which draws a loyal clientele of lesbians and their allies, too.
Anyone interested in pride festivities should mark their calendar for June, when Portland Pride kicks off with a two-day festival at Waterfront Park every year. And in September, the Portland Queer Film Festival brings noteworthy works to the screen in a variety of genres. It’s actually easy to find noteworthy and welcoming events throughout the year in Portland. Among the reasons to dress up are the Red Dress Party, an annual soirée that raises funds for local LGBTQ+ organizations in May, and the Portland Queer Music Festival, showcasing the talents of local and visiting musicians in August, hosted by southeast Portland’s popular Crush Bar.
Portland is also heaven for travelers looking for stylish accommodations. New names on the scene include The Hotel Zags Portland, opened this year following a major redesign of the former Hotel Modera downtown; and the Moxy Portland, slated to debut in 2020. Top-of-the-line choices include The Nines, a Luxury Collection Hotel set in the historic Meier & Frank building; and the Hi-Lo, an Autograph Collection property set in the equally historic Oregon Pioneer Building.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city of Greece and the most important center of the area. Built near the sea, elegant and refined, the Greek “Lady of the North” is a modern, vivacious city that welcomes visitors eager to learn about its history and culture, and at the same time have fun, relax, go shopping or simply explore the cityscape by the sea.
Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.
Alaska Airlines recently debuted its new Pixar-inspired, special-edition aircraft livery. On both sides of the Pixar-themed Boeing 737-800 aircraft, travelers spot recognizable faces from the Toy Story franchise, including Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Jessie. Rex the Tyrannosaurus appears on the boarding door and the little green aliens show up on the aircraft’s winglets.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.