New Frontiers: 3 States For Wedded Bliss


By Andrew Belonsky

For those celebrating upcoming nuptials or even singles looking for unexplored territory, these states each have their own vibrant cities, roaring hot spots and scenic routes.

MARYLANDKnown to gay travelers primarily as the state that gave us John Waters and the late, great Divine, Maryland's hub remains Waters and Ms. D's hometown, Baltimore, aka The Charm City.

First, the food: Obviously you'll want to try the wide variety of crab cakes, but we've also had great success at the outdoor terrace at Regi's American Bistro at 1002 Light Street and couldn't resist the oysters at the upper-scale but never-snobby Ryleigh's Oyster, and there's no shortage of fine, affordable dining in Mount Vernon, Baltimore's gay epicenter. The Helmand, an Afghan restaurant on N. Charles Street, comes highly recommended, as does Sammy's Trattoria. After dinner, you can have a wedding dance at "the gay entertainment complex" Grand Central, a structure massive enough to fit its name, or perhaps enjoy a quiet evening over drinks at the more divey Drinkery or another neighborhood bar, Mixers.

Once you're ready to turn in for the night -- or stay in for the night, whatever the case may be -- we recommend the gay-owned Scarborough Fair Bed and Breakfast, a converted early-19th century structure that's convenient to almost anywhere you'd want to visit, or there's also the more ornate, harbor-side Inn at Hendersons Wharf, part of the Harbor Magic hotel chain.

Those looking for some fresh air and exercise should take a short trip to Gunpowder Falls State park and check out the name-sake waterfall, hike the verdant trails or stroll by the reservoirs - swimming is technically forbidden, but maybe if no one's watching? Further north of Baltimore, there's Patapsco Valley State Park, or about 25 miles south of town you can rock climb around the Appalachian Trail near Annapolis. Singles may even be lucky enough to spot a cadet romping around the woods.

And while you're touring around Maryland, why not take a short road trip over the border into Delaware, where gay Rehoboth Beach is waiting to help you swim and tan to your heart's content -- weather permitting, naturally.

Tags: Pictorial