With the world in lockdown, the thought of a holiday might be the last thing on your mind. But surely all this time inside is the perfect opportunity to start planning your next big holiday as soon as the lockdown lifts?
Read on for some LGBT holiday inspiration, looking at both staycations and vacations for your traveling pleasure.
The best staycation destinations
Cheap, cheerful, and close to home, these are the top staycation destinations in the US.
Ah, San Francisco. Arguably the world’s gay capital, this city is a beautiful, effervescent hubbub of LGBT+ life. It’s virtually a Mecca for the scene, and it’s well worth making a trip to this stunning city at least once in your life.
Head to the iconic Castro District to experience America’s oldest LGBT neighorhood, then head to Castro Street to see the old location of Castro Camera, gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk’s old stomping ground.
Beyond its thriving gay scene, San Francisco has an array of visual delights and attractions. From the stunning Golden Gate Bridge to the city’s historic cable cars, there’s plenty to do when you’re not partying the night away.
If you’re a San Francisco native and you want to try somewhere new, why not head to the Big Apple itself, New York? This bustling metropolitan hub is the perfect destination for those of you with a taste for city life.
New York is renowned for its colorful nightlife, and there’s no shortage of excellent bars, clubs, and all-night cafes for you to partake in. And of course, the theatre scene is second to none — be sure to visit Broadway to take in a show.
As well as a stellar nightlife, New York is also home to some important moments in gay history. Get yourself to Lower Manhattan and visit the iconic Stonewall Inn, a designated US National Historic Landmark & National Monument and scene of the landmark Stonewall riots of 1969.
Chicago might be the Windy City, but it’s also a stellar holiday destination for America’s hip and happening LGBT tourists. Its LGBT+ scene dates back to the Twenties, where a solid gay scene was established in Towertown.
Today, Chicago boasts a number of important LGBT institutions.
From the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame and National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame to the Leather Archives & Museum and the Windy City Black Pride, Chicago is home to some cultural institutions that the history-lovers amongst you would do well to partake in.
The best vacation destinations
Fancy a little globetrotting next year? Here are the best destinations you need to try.
San José, Costa Rica
Want a little sunshine from your next trip abroad? Hustle your fine selves over to San José, Costa Rica’s capital and a shining gay gem of Latin America.
Sunny Costa Rica is more than just a travel destination — it’s also a bastion of progressiveness in Latin America. The country recently ruled a years-old ban against same-sex marriage illegal, and in 2018 Costa Rica approved recognition of transgender gender on national identity cards.
If you’re a drag queen, a drag follower, or you just want a little panache and glam in your life, you’ll love San José’s Club Teatro. The drag shows are out there, perfectly performed, and visually stunning — well worth a trip if you can.
England’s answer to San Francisco, Brighton is a thriving hub for the LGBT+ scene in the UK. Indeed, its gay scene rivals even that of the country’s capital, London — Brighton Pride is the biggest Pride event in the UK.
But beyond Pride, Brighton also hosts a dizzying array of bars, pubs, and nightclubs that cater to the city’s populous LGBT+ scene.
If you’re feeling artsy, time your visit to coincide with Eyes Wide Open, Brighton’s queer film strand that showcases the best of films highlighting sexual and gender minorities across the city.
Tel Aviv, Israel
It might come as a surprise to some that Tel Aviv has a thriving LGBT scene. Despite the significant conservative faction within Israel, the country also boasts a thriving and energetic gay culture that is enough to rival anything you might find in the US.
Situated on Israel’s Mediterranean coast, Tel Aviv is a sun-drenched sprawl of stunning Bauhaus architecture, gorgeous beaches, and nightlife that will test even the most hardened partygoer.
What really sets Tel Aviv apart from other LGBT+ holiday destinations is that its scene involves weekly parties rather than dedicated gay bars or clubs. While there are plenty of gay bars in the city, the weekly mean it’s easy to find a great night out that brings everyone together.
Use your time in lockdown wisely and plan the holiday of a lifetime to look forward to. Whether you opt for a staycation or something a little more exotic, take some inspiration from the list above and make it a holiday to remember!