Neal Broverman, Editor in Chief, Out Traveler; Contributing Editor, The Advocate
I keep vacillating between Curacao and New Orleans (pictured above) as my two favorite spots I was lucky enough to visit this year. The vast expanse of the Queen Juliana bridge on the gay-friendly Caribbean isle is etched in my mind, along with the colorful buildings that line the streets of Willemstad. But America’s most fascinating city wins out in the end. Remembering the walk along Canal Street with my boyfriend as streetcars clinked by. Sitting and talking after midnight in the Ritz-Carlton’s open-air courtyard. Drinking whiskey with a gay historian as he takes me to centuries-old pubs, restaurants, and a hotel with a rotating carousel bar. Perusing the French Market after eating beignets and coffee at Café Du Monde. Gawking at the beautiful houses of mid-city and the Garden District. Exploring the colorful changes occurring in Marigny and the Bywater. Exploring the New Orleans Museum of Art and its wonderful sculpture garden. Seeing where Tennessee Williams wrote his plays. Food, food, food. Oysters, catfish, and bananas foster at Arnaud’s. King Cake at the Court of Two Sisters. Simply can’t wait to return. Read more about NOLA here.
Michelle Garcia, Managing Editor, The Advocate
This October, the spouse and I embarked on a two-week trip through Europe, and the last part of our trip, which we spent in Barcelona, was the most incredible part. I mean getting lost in the tiny streets in Barri Gotic, the laying in the sand in La Barceloneta, the way-staying in El Raval reminded me of the neighborhood in Queens I grew up in (I know, that sounds crazy, but it’s true); its all stayed with me. The food? Incredible. The people? Gorgeous and friendly. The architecture, though — I remain mesmerized by my trip to La Sagrada Familia. I’m hardly even religious, but just seeing the immense, seemingly endless efforts to build this church as a display of faith was mindblowing. Read more about Barcelona here.
Lucas Grindley, Editorial Director, Here Media
To celebrate the girls' third birthday (they're twins), we stayed over in Disneyland, where Mickey lives in California. We talked about going for days, if not weeks, before actually arriving. So when the girls spotted the first hint of a Minnie bow on an otherwise innocuous road sign, the excitement meter went to 10,000. Our first ride of the day was a seemingly simple spin around in a mini rocket ship in Tomorrowland. But, from watching our girls, you would have thought that the joystick that controlled whether our rocket went up or down was actually firing fuel packs. My daughter Annabel had a smile on her face that said this was exactly what she'd been hoping might happen. And luckily we've managed to raise polite daughters, so after the ride, she squeezed my neck as hard as her little muscles could manage and said, "Thanks so much, Daddy." Read more about Disneyland here.
Diane Anderson-Minshall, Editor in chief, HIV Plus; Contributing Editor, The Advocate
Curaçao is a small Caribbean island that’s a wonderful hodge podge of influences: it’s part of the Netherlands, even though it’s in the Caribbean; it only has 150,000 people in the whole country. It rolls out the stops for LGBT travelers. When our Olivia cruise ship arrived, there were dozens of women standing near the dock, a giant sign painted on a large white sheet said, "Welcome! From the Lesbians of Curaçao.” After a day of touring the colorful capital city of Willemstad, then snorkeling nearby, we ate the Krioyo, the local Carribbean-Latin American fusion food that’s delicious (albeit with a lot of goat meat) met the women (most were mixed-race and a combination of Dutch, Jewish, African, Portugese, and Southeast Asia, but all spoke English fluently), and partied for hours at a local gay nightclub. We were too late for Curaçao’s LGBT Pride parade, but if I have the chance to go again, I’d like to see that. Clearly one of the most LGBT-friendly island in the region, Curaçao holds the largest IGLTA membership in the Caribbean, so finding welcoming folks there and places to play, stay, and eat, is as easy as as visiting a medium sized U.S. city. (but with beaches!). Read more about Curaçao here.
Sunnivie Brydum, News Director, The Advocate
My favorite place this year is undoubtedly the Wild Horse Inn, located in Fraser, Colo., where my partner and I got married in August. The cozy, all-inclusive B&B was welcoming (right down to our dogs) and happy to accommodate our special needs, including keeping the entire weekend’s home-cooked menu gluten-free. Nestled in a flower-filled valley against the picturesque backdrop of the Continental Divide in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, our pretty queer wedding was even more magical than we’d imagined — right down to the rainbow that appeared above our heads just before dinner. While we enjoyed the mild, temperate summer at Wild Horse Inn, those seeking a winter wonderland will be glad to know the venue was just named the number two best place to spend Christmas in America by Impulcity.com. Read more about Wild Horse Inn here.