Austin’s South by Southwest Eco Light Garden.
Photograph by SXSW
Austin, TX is one of the few blue blips on the Texas map and arguably one of the most friendly lesbian travel destinations in the US. Stay at the lesbian-owned Hotel San Jose. It’s a retro 1930s’ motor lodge, that has been completely revamped. It’s hip in a “not trying too hard” kinda way. While you’re in town grab some spray paint and leave your mark at the HOPE Outdoor Gallery. Plan your trip around one of the famous festivals in Austin like South by Southwest (SXSW) or try out your kite flying skills at the Zilker Kite Festival.
Come on - you had to see this one coming, right? NYC is still the peak of city travel for the LGBT community, but queer and lesbian travel in particular. There are four different lesbian bars and more queer parties than I could count. Our favorites were definitely Whitney Day Events for a higher end club vibe and Hot Rabbit Productions for a dive bar ragers. Not a bar person? That’s cool - there are literally millions of things to do and see in NY. Brunching is practically a sport. You can see some of the best street art in Brooklyn or go to the theater and see a show. The options are only limited by your imagination - well & your budget.
“As a community, we need to protect and support queer and lesbian-owned spaces.”
Who knew Minneapolis was so awesome? I sure as heck didn’t. Go to the Lowry Hill East. It’s filled with a bunch of cute quirky shops and artsy things. Check out queer owned Bryant Lake Bowl it’s Funky retro-style alley & bar that hosts DJs, musical acts and theater performers while serving a simple American menu. For your coffee buzz head up to Blue Moon Coffee Cafe before checking out Soo Visual Arts Center, a nonprofit space that champions up-and-coming, lesser-known artists.
The Rocky Mountains just outside of Denver.
Denver is the stuff of hipster lesbian dreams. There’s hiking, outdoor concerts, and lesbian owned coffee shops. What’s not to love? When you’re in town you have to hit up the Red Rocks Amphitheatre for a concert. Stroll around the LoDo, or Lower Downtown, area for shopping and excellent restaurants. Don’t forget to shop for some handmade crafts at The Source, one of the coolest markets I’ve ever seen. For some queer community check into Blush & Blue - It’s like The Planet - yes THAT “The Planet”- coffee shop by day, party spot by night.
All the Portlandia jokes aside, it’s actually a pretty awesome town. At about 1.5 hours from Cannon Beach, Portland makes a perfect combination beach and city vacation. Portland is also home to a thriving queer community and some seriously badass queer businesses. Do some shopping at the DapperD or Wildfang stores. Grab brunch at queer owned Byways Cafe and stop for an afternoon coffee at Either/Or Coffee. Because it’s Portland and It’s weird you’re going to have to check out some the weird shit Portland has to offer, like the Woodstock Mystery Hole [Google it, don’t say I didn’t warn you]. Or track down the street signs for all the characters of the Simpsons; ya know because Portland.
Seattle is one hell of a gorgeous city. With mountain views on one side and the Puget Sound on the other you’re getting the best of both worlds. Stop by Pike’s Place for some touring or some fresh fish, ya know- whatever you’re into. Check out the Wild Rose for a drink because it’s one of the few lesbian bars left in the world. BUY A DRINK before it’s gone. Stop by Babeland, which is the nicest sex shop I’ve ever seen and take a class or shop for some new toys. Have dinner at queer owned restaurant The Tin Table before you leave.
While DC doesn’t have a specific lesbian section of town, it definitely has plenty of cool activities that queer folks would be interested in doing. I could spend days wandering around the Smithsonian Museums, shopping in Georgetown, exploring Dupont or hitting up The Coven, DC’s hottest queer party. The National Monuments are also here, but that’s a little nationalistic for me. But whatever - different strokes. If you’re a brunch aficionado try Nido or Founding Farmers both are excellent choices.
I visit Los Angeles several times a year and always stay in West Hollywood or WeHo if you’re in the know. I just love the funky eclectic little town inside a sprawling urban mega-city. Each time I find something new to discover and explore. I can’t lie, I also love that it’s SUPER gay. Like really really gay. It just kinda feels like a home away from home where I can let my hair down and relive all my craziest L Word based fantasies. Check out some of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles and if you’re feeling really fancy book a room at the Mondrian.
P-Town is the real life version of the separatist colony we dreamed up and wished we could move to after the 2016 election. It’s got all the cute little quirks of a Cape Cod town and it also has excellent queer nightlife and events. Plan to go for single women’s weekend if you’re looking to party. Have lunch at The Lobster Pot, grab a cup of coffee at The Wired Puppy and tour the many local art galleries.
Philly is just flat out cool. Stay at the Kimpton-owned Hotel Monaco, it’s LGBT friendly AND visually stunning. Head to north Philly if you’re looking for some hipster haunts. Try some margaritas and the crispy fish tacos [no seriously, they’re bomb] at lesbian-owned Lolita. Head over to The Philly Magic Garden to see some truly astounding mosaic works. Before leaving town, check out the Mutter Museum, where their mission is to disturbingly inform their visitors. You’ll get to see some truly weird shit that rivals the likes of Portland. Like a piece of Einstein’s brain is on display or right now they’re exhibiting a collection of human skulls.
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