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Even if you're one of the 85% who have a passport sometimes you need to give it a rest. Does that mean stop travelling? Hell no! Does that mean we?re keeping it quotidian? Not necessarily. The results from Community Marketing Inc?s 16th Annual LGBT Tourism Study are in, which means a whole bunch of cities are out. Just who made the list of the Top 20 Most Popular Leisure Destinations last year amongst the gays? Click next to find out.20. Provincetown, Massachusetts With the highest proportions of same-sex couples in America, P-town is an obvious, excellent hotspot. The charming seaside community is one of the world?s most popular summer gay beach destinations.
Last year?s ranking: #16 19. Napa, CaliforniaJust an hour or so north of San Francisco, the gorgeous drive up is half the fun. But once you get there, it?s all about food, wine and natural relaxation -- and more wine. It doesn?t hurt that Out in the Vineyard is really upping the LGBT game in neighboring Sonoma as well.
Last year?s ranking: #18 18. Hawaii Eight islands, one polysexual past -- add in same-sex Civil Unions starting January 1st and no wonder the rainbow state is, well, gay. We say chill out on the Big Island, grab your hulu skirt for the nightlife of Honolulu, or just scope out the surfer brahs down at the beach. A perfect holiday.
Last year's ranking: #19 17. Key West, Florida Ends of the Earth feel, a tropical clime, cutesy plantation houses, an active LGBT community and resort scene, it?s no wonder candy-colored Key West has been a gay vacation mecca since Hemingway. We?re just saying?
Last year?s ranking: #20 16. Atlanta, Georgia Despite Nene and the wifies trashing up the place (or perhaps because of), Atlanta is apparently hot on your radar with parties and pride and restaurants galore. With a vibrant and visible gay and lesbian population, sometimes it feels like the whole of Atlanta is a "gayborhood" ? and for the first time you?re taking notice.
Last year?s ranking: Not on list 15. New Orleans, Louisiana New Orleans ain't just Mardi Gras, but damn if that joie de vivre doesn?t keep us coming back (and apparently you as well) year after year for music, food, drink, and mega soul. 14. Seattle, WashingtonPortland?s may have the lock of queer-sters, but for the Pacific Northwest?s grown up gay scene -- and the country?s most phallic building -- Seattle continues to come out on top: culinary heaven, arts and shopping bolstered by thriving tech companies, and nearby mountains just ripe for exploring. 13. San Diego, CaliforniaWith 300 days of sunshine a year and more laidback vibe that LA, San Diego is popular with everyone. Gays flock to compact, bustling Hillcrest and more artsy North Park.
Last year?s ranking: #10 12. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Apparently all y'all have been taking the city?s nickname literally. Full of cobblestone streets and history, great cultural, culinary and artistic scene, like last summer?s inaugural Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, and plenty of nightlife, "City of Brotherly Love", indeed.
Last year?s ranking: #13 11. Orlando, Florida How can Orlando not be on the list when it hosts the annual Gay Days, a week of shirtless parties and red-shirted play at the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and more.
Last year?s ranking: #9 10. Boston, Massachusetts As the first major city to get same-sex marriage in the States, no wonder Boston is close to your heart and travel wallet. All the cobblestoned collegiate energy has nothing to do with it. (Okay, maybe a little.) The city?s historic gayborhood, the South End, is the perfect starting point or pack a car to the burbs in Dorchester.
Last year?s ranking: #11 9. Miami, Florida There's Mainland Miami and there?s South Beach and both are hot, hot, hot. Sun, sand, style and nightlife -- ?Bienvenido a Miami!
Last year?s ranking: #12 8. Palm Springs, California Another fact from CMI?s survey: the LGBT community are "warm weather travelers." And it doesn?t get much hotter than Palm Springs! Book in advance if you?re aiming for one of the 30 gay guesthouses in the winter, or head the mixed/hipster hotspot the Ace Hotel. Their White Party Weekend pool parties are something to behold.
Last year?s ranking: Same 7. Ft Lauderdale, FloridaHosting two Pride events each year, and being a hot and steamy Southern Florida destination -- why wouldn?t Fort Lauderdale be in top 10? True it might have an "older brother" image to Miami but that lack of scene translates to serene, especially as prominent gay guesthouses up the luxe to full hotel status.
Last year?s ranking: Same 6. Washington, DC Our Great Gay Lands? surprisingly queer capital (all those intern sex scandals have to come from somewhere) is no surprise to this list. Here, history, politics, culture and R&R combine in an affordable, accessible and exciting way. Where else can you spend your days in a museum as expansive as the Smithsonian for free and your nights with a treasured congressman tucking those dollars saved in a stripper?s socks.
Last year?s ranking: Same 5. Los Angeles, California There?s more to Los Angeles than West Hollywood, there?s also Silverlake and Echo Park. And the beach. And Hollywood. And the warm, dry, sunny Mediterranean climate,plus fashion, architecture, nightlife, dining, and entertainment. And local Angeleno celebs like Johnson Hartig, Joe Zee, and Brad Goreski with their finger on the pulse. But with its spot at No.5, you apparently got the memo.
Last year?s ranking: #4 4. Chicago, Illinois Prime dual-airline-hub location, luxe hotels, a dining scene that?s rivaling New York -- plus some damn tasty hot dogs -- plus a gay beach on Lake Michigan?s edge, Chicago has been climbing the ladder (and getting gayer) by the year.
Last year?s ranking: #5 3. Las Vegas, Nevada One of the world?s most popular destinations, period, Las Vegas has been grabbing for the gays for years -- and it?s working, holding strong at No.3 You might say it?s a hetero-Midwest-fest, but with blazing lights and dazzling entertainment (Elton, Cher, Cirque, and Celine!), plus shopping, dining, and kitsch, a healthy does of sin is in. Stag party weekend, anyone?
Last year?s ranking: Same 2. San Francisco, California "Going to San Francisco" used to be a euphemism for gay, and well, nothing?s changed. Occupying the No.2 spot again this year, one of the most gay-friendly, gay-popular and gay-integrated -- not to mention exciting -- cities in the country also happens to be one of the most tourist rich. Clang clang goes the trolley! Ding ding ding goes your computer booking a flight.
Last year?s ranking: Same 1. New York, New York For the 16th year in a row, New York City claims No.1 spot on your frequent flier miles card. Design, architecture, fashion, food, arts, nightlife -- and sex-- the list goes on (and on and on). Were you one of the 50.2 million tourists the city had this year? Per square inch there doesn?t seem to be a gayer place in the country. Just ask Debbie Harry, Pierre-Henri Mattout, Phillip Crangi, William Ivey Long, Duckie Brown or your neighbor, or best friend, or officemate or online hookup. Chances are they?ve been here. Chances are you have, too!
Last year?s ranking: Same