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5 Off-the-Beaten Path LGBTQ Destinations

Friday May 17, 2019
5 Off-the-Beaten Path LGBTQ Destinations
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As if we needed an excuse to travel? Even so, Pride Month is all the more reason to pack your rainbow paraphernalia and hit the road.

Orbitz (which happened to be the first online travel company to launch a microsite dedicated to queer travelers) data shows that hotel searches for Pride weekends this year have increased by more than double digits compared to 2018. So, if you have not yet booked your Pride trip, get to it!

If you're not the big revelry type, check out these five destinations:

Cruise in Alaska
The Frontier State: So much land, so few people! Lesbian cruise company Olivia offers two Alaska itineraries this summer while RSVP Vacations (now owned by Atlantis) offers a "Summer in Alaska" ship that hits up places like Juneau and Ketchikan. Also, most mainstream cruise ships offer onboard meetups for queer folk.

Gay Rodeo in Arizona
Gay rodeo is a nationwide phenomenon, and Arizona is as good a place as any to squeeze into your tightest pair of Levi jeans and give the Cowboy lifestyle a try. The 34th Annual Arizona Gay Rodeo happens in Phoenix in February 2020; the World Gay Rodeo Finals happen this October in Scottsdale; and then there's queer country western bars in Phoenix including Charlie's, the Cash Nightclub and Lounge, and Latin-flavored nightclub Karamba (which hosts occasional cowboy nights).


Cocktails in Indiana
Gay bars have the best names (think C.C. Bloom's in Edinburgh or Nellie's in Washington DC), but surely the best of the bunch belongs to the Back Door in Bloomington. Hilarious moniker aside, the Back Door is a gay bar par excellence located in one of the coolest college towns in America. The crowd is diverse, energetic and friendly as heck, the lineup includes all kinds of crazy cabaret and queer entertainment and the gay naming even carries over into the drink menu. Boozy Bottom anyone? How about a Citron My Face?

Camp it Out in Michigan
The West Coast of Michigan is one of the most underrated coastal regions in the country and a slice of Midwest heaven. Sibling towns Douglas and Saugatuck are both longtime queer meccas boasting LGBT-owned B&Bs, pubs, shops and more. At least once, pitch a tent at nearby Campit Outdoor Resort, a 33-acre queer campground boasting cabins, a clubhouse, in-ground swimming pool, nature trails and general store that's friendly to both men and women (check out their calendar of events geared toward lesbians). Mosquitoes aside, summer days and nights here are blissfully perfect.


Eclectic Nebraska
Omaha is quickly becoming one of the hippest cities in the U.S., and a big part of that is the city's colorful LGBT scene. The city doesn't have a "gayborhood," per se, but rather its robust gay community is well-woven into its tapestry, the most worthy part of which for travelers is festive Flixx Cabaret. With weekend performances featuring both drag queens and drag kings in an eclectic range of comedic, dramatic and even burlesque-themed shows, Flixx will shatter the stereotype you probably have of gay life in Nebraska.

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