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Knot Legal: Top Five Gay Honeymoon Hotspots

Knot Legal: Top Five Gay Honeymoon Hotspots

With the growing number of options for marriage-equality-affirming gay honeymoon getaways, you’ll need our guide to find the ideal locale to celebrate your “I dos.”

5. OGUNQUIT, MAINE

If you?re planning a fall wedding, consider the charming gay-popular beach resort Ogunquit, situated on the Atlantic Coast just north of New Hampshire. Barring any unforeseen delays, the same-sex marriage legislation passed on May 6 should be in effect starting September 16 in the Pine Tree State. The picturesque fishing hamlet offers a bevy of cute inns (like the lovely gay-owned Admiral?s Inn), fine seafood restaurants, and a scattering of vibrant but refreshingly unpretentious LGBT bars against a backdrop of granite cliffs, evergreens, and birch trees looming over rocky coves and a pristine, wide white-sand beach (rare for this part of New England).

Leave the Hotel Room
Be sure to grab some lobster in town at the Lobster Pound. Sit at an outdoor bench, tie on your bib, crack those steaming red crustaceans, and delight in the fact that, legally speaking, you and your honey are equal to every other couple there.

4. CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Celebrate your love going the distance by jetting off to Cape Town. A legal gay and lesbian wedding destination since November 2006, South Africa?s oldest city wins acclaim for its idyllic beaches, wealth of excellent accommodations, exciting dining scene, and De Waterkant area gay bars -- and it serves as an perfect jumping-off point for a plethora of exhilarating wildlife safaris (including game parks of all sorts and even penguin sanctuaries) and wine tours. It?s easy and, given the downward trend in travel to exotic lands during the current economic crisis, surprisingly inexpensive to get there via Delta and South African Airways.

Leave the Hotel Room
The surrounding Cape Wineland boasts 200 vineyards where you can toast to your love, with the best cellars situated along four routes: Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek, and Wellington.

3. BERGEN, NORWAY

The perfect honeymoon destination for those looking for somewhere unusual, dashing Bergen basks on the west coast of Norway, 292 miles from the capital Oslo. A jaw-dropping scenic seven-hour train journey links the two. Known as the Gateway to the Fjords, Norway?s second city is a warm and friendly locale of 250,000 souls, nestled under a handful of peaks called De Syv Fjell -- the Seven Mountains. If you visit this university town (founded in 1070) during summer, you?ll enjoy nearly 24 hours a day of sunlight.

Leave the Hotel Room
Brightly painted houses confetti the city?s streets; the ancient harbor -- home to dozens of 15th- and 16th-century buildings -- features on UNESCO?s World Heritage list; and there?s even a gay bar, the Fincken.

2. VALENCIA, SPAIN

Spain?s third-largest city is an overlooked gem, though it's gaining in popularity among in-the-know travelers. Perched on the hem of the Mediterranean amid orange groves and rugged mountains, Valencia?s gorgeous scenery stuns visitors. A futuristic arts and sciences district, with incredible architecture by hometown "starchitect" Santiago Calatrava, contrasts with Valencia?s gracious old town, home to the ornate Gothic-Renaissance Silk Exchange, a bustling, mosaic-adorned market, and stately tree-lined streets with elegant bistros and bars, including over a dozen LGBT venues. Marriage has been legal in this Catholic country since 2005.

Leave the Hotel Room
Perfect romantic picnic spots abound, from the 5.5-mile-long Jardines del Turia, built along a diverted riverbed, to freshwater lagoon the Albufera and glorious El Saler beach.

1. QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC, CANADA

Vibrant, colorful, romantic, this 400-year-old bastion of all things Francophone makes for an irresistible honeymoon destination. Walk impossibly quaint cobblestone streets, eat al fresco overlooking the grand St. Lawrence River, and stay at an atmospheric centuries-old inn or chic modern boutique hotel in the only fortified city in the Americas north of Mexico. Quebec became the third Canadian province to allow same-sex marriage in March 2004, and its most gracious city. The ?Gibraltar of America? is alive with an exquisite joie de vivre that makes it the perfect place to celebrate your union.

Leave the Hotel Room
Ride the Old Qu?bec Funicular for a bird?s-eye view of the city, with Auberge Place d?Armes hotel and the quaint Quartier Petit-Champlain district below.

 

These days there?s even more to consider -- and celebrate -- when you?re about to tie the gay knot. With legal same-sex marriage busting out all over the world, including in a growing number of American states, you now also have the option of a legal same-sex honeymoon.

Luckily these gay marriage utopias are also idyllic locales for a post-nuptial escape. Consider your choices: the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, and Sweden not only enshrine marriage for same-sex partners as the law of the land but also offer a huge range of picture-perfect honeymoon options. Closer to home, you?ll find delightful honeymoon hotspots in each of the states where same-sex marriage is (or will soon be) legal: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire.

There?s an added bonus to planning your wedding getaway in these beautiful locations. Weddings and honeymoons cost a pretty pink penny. By spending your gay dollars in destinations that offer us civil protections, you send a loud, clear, quantifiable message that legal same-sex marriage is not only morally right, but good for the economy, perhaps encouraging other destinations to push for same-sex marriage rights for a piece of this ever-expanding gay pie.

With an almost impossibly wide range of dreamy destinations on offer, where?s a married same-sex couple to go after the ?I dos? are done? Click here for a tour of our top five recommended romantic hotspots that truly take the cake, starting with number five and counting down to our number-one favorite marriage-equality-affirming honeymoon getaway.

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