After weeks of voting, we have winners for this year's Out Traveler Awards, which were decided with your votes. Check out the first three winners below, and stay tuned for the rest of the results this week. Oh, and venting, lamenting, and congratulating are welcome in the comments section.
Top Global Destination: Spain
Beating out Sweden, Denmark, Canada, and runner-up Curacao, Spain took home best global destination with a solid 32 percent of the vote. Spain has long been LGBT-friendly, but also warmer than Sweden, Denmark, and Canada, which may have been a factor in its win. Spain's cities, especially the Mediterranean paradise of Barcelona and the Almodovar playland of Madrid, have long been beloved favorites of gay travelers. There's also the gay beach resort of Sitges, beautiful Basque country, and historical spots like Toledo, Valencia, and Bilbao. We could go on and on, but you already know, apparently.
Most Amazing U.S. Destination: New Orleans
Runner-up: Los Angeles
It was a very close race for best place in the States, but NOLA topped the City of Angels by about one percentage point. New Orleans may unfortunately be located in the state of Louisiana, but that doesn't deter from its innumerable gay-friendly hotels, bars, clubs, and people. Bouncing back from Hurricane Katrina, now almost a decade in its past, the city has a renewed vigor that's evident in its packed (and surprisingly clean) streets, expanding streetcar lines, incredible food scene, and exciting neighborhoods like Bywater and the Marigny. Hey, even forward-thinking Solange Knowles knew enough to buy a place and host her wedding there.
Favorite Airline: Virgin America
No surprise here: everyone loves Virgin Airlines. The cool planes, black leather seats, on-demand entertainment, on-demand WiFi, personal outlets, and delectable food; not to mention, the very hip marketing campaigns. Also, if you see a cute guy or girl on your flight, you can break the ice by sending a drink or meal to them with their chat service and seat-to-seat delivery (match that, Spirit). Oh, and Virgin CEO Richard Branson is a very vocal supporter of LGBT rights.