A RECENT ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN by the San Francisco Travel Association carried a rather attention-getting line: “San Francisco’s gay neighborhood is called San Francisco.” And that pretty much sums up the appeal of this city by the bay with LGBTQ travelers.
“San Francisco has been ground zero for much of the struggle for LGBTQ rights,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO, San Francisco Travel Association. “This is the birthplace of the rainbow flag and the AIDS Memorial Quilt. San Francisco was the first city in the nation to recognize same-sex marriage and hosts the largest Pride Festival in the nation. In 1977 Harvey Milk became the first openly gay elected official.”
Indeed, San Francisco has lots to offer LGBTQ travelers. D’Alessandro’s advice to visitors: “First of all, relax. You are in the most gay-friendly city in the world. Here, individuality is celebrated, so experience being in the company of the most diverse and creative community around.”
The San Francisco Travel site offers a variety of LGBTQ itineraries and recommendations to satisfy different types of travelers, from foodies to fashionistas. The most legendary neighborhood for the LGBTQ community, of course, is the Castro, one of the nation’s first true gay neighborhoods. It’s still a great place for a drink or a night out, and it’s also home to the GLBT History Museum, which documents the struggle for equality.
In addition to the annual pride event, which takes place at the end of June, San Francisco also hosts several other popular annual LGBTQ festivals, including the Folsom Street Fair, billed as “the world’s largest leather event,” in September, and the Frameline LGBTQ Film Festival, which brings a variety of noteworthy films to local screens in June.
As the tourism office loves to proclaim, everything in San Francisco is gay-friendly. But if you’re looking for small-scale, gay-owned accommodations, one of the best choices is the Parker Guest House, a 21-room hotel located in the Castro, with lovely Edwardian architecture and tastefully decorated guestrooms. For larger-scale luxury, the Grand Hyatt San Francisco and Hyatt Regency San Francisco are both members of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. San Francisco-based Joie de Vivre Hotels is another good gay-friendly option with several properties in the city, including Hotel Rex, a centrally located Union Square hotel graced with contemporary art, and the hip Phoenix Hotel, located in the Tenderloin district. In San Francisco, as the slogan implies, you’re staying in a gay area no matter where you are.
This summer, The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles began highly-anticipated enhancements. The property celebrates its 10th birthday next year and the renovations are the largest changes the property has ever seen. They impact the hotel lobby, all 123 guestrooms and suites, corridors and Club Lounge.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Seats on new JetBlue flights between New York City (JFK) and Georgetown (GEO), Guyana, are now available for purchase. The route takes off April 2, 2020, on the new Airbus A321neo aircraft. With a flight time of five hours from New York City, the route delivers intrepid travelers to what JetBlue calls “a playground for adventurists and modern-day explorers.” The route also serves the largest Guyanese American community in the United States, located in New York City.
Hawaiian Airlines will relaunch its service between the island of Maui (OGG) and Las Vegas (LAS) with flights set to begin in December.
British Airways launched a new in-flight entertainment channel in honor of its year-long centenary celebration. The new channel, christened Celebrate BA100, highlights the best of British in-flight entertainment.
An industry-first update to the award-winning Four Seasons app allows guests to plan travel more seamlessly. The app, completely overhauled, now includes a new trip planning itinerary feature that allows guests to easily customize their stay.