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Exclusive | Ask the Travel Expert, June 2008

Exclusive | Ask the Travel Expert, June 2008

Romantic weekend in Salt Lake; Dude Ranches, Secret gay-friendly spots in the Caribbean and Mexican sun

Ed Salvato, who's responsible for and, is the editor-in-chief of the award-winning Out Traveler magazine.

A pre-eminent gay travel expert, Ed speaks often about gay travel and is frequently quoted in the press. He writes a monthly syndicated travel column and appears regularly on radio and TV.

Ed and his team know gay travel, and they prove it by answering your questions.

Romantic weekend in Salt Lake
Just inquiring if you have any great recommendations for a quaint, not-too-costly hotel/boutique hotel in Salt Lake City. I will be there with my girlfriend and was hoping to find some sort of great accommodation.
Salt Lake City is an excellent destination. The Mormon metropolis has an enticing gay side, some great gay-favored restaurants and even a gayborhood of sorts -- the leafy area around 9th East and 9th South. My top hotel recommendation for you would be the Peery. It even offers a 10 percent discount for gay travelers. For more on Salt Lake, click here.

Dude, where's my ranch?
I am looking for a dude ranch-type vacation spot that is quiet, peaceful, serene, rustic, with a log cabin, etc. I also want to do some fishing. reported: "If you're keen on finding kindred cowpokes for long adventurous days in the saddle and romantic sunset barbecues, there are several gay-owned or gay-friendly "dude ranch" destinations designed to satisfy that 'rangey' urge in all of us. From activity-packed packages to drop-in informal -- for the experienced rider as well as the more timid urban adventurer -- these "horsey" holidays offer an increasingly rare opportunity for authentic Western riding and whistling under the stars."

To read more, click here. For other "Brokeback"-type trips, click here.

Secret gay-friendly spots in the Caribbean and Mexican sun
My boyfriend, many of my closest friends from graduate school and I recently returned from a five-day vacation in Aquadilla, Puerto Rico, a quiet surfing community with few tourists and many things to do, but incredibly inexpensive. We really lucked out. That it was also very gay-friendly without having to advertise it was even better. For young professionals who are tight on money but want to see the world and have a relaxing vacation with lots of options, are there any other Aquadillas out there?
You would love Ajijic, just 20 miles from Guadalajara. Situated on Lake Chapala, a 60-mile-long lake, former artists' colony Ajijic (pronounced ah-HEE-heek)is full of colorful cobblestone streets. It's beginning to become popular with expats, so go now before everybody else does. There's a gay-owned inn, Casa Flores.

Another option would be Martinique, the second-largest island in the French Caribbean. Home, briefly, to the artist Gauguin; it has gorgeous beaches and ample rum-drinking opportunities. Sample the spirit from the source at estates such as St. James Distillery. Visit during harvest season -- February to June -- to witness fresh sugar cane go from field to bottle. Like fellow Frenchie St. Barts, Martinique boasts a similar laissez-faire attitude to gay and lesbian travelers as well as a small scene in the capital, Fort-de-France.

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