My First Big Gay Atlantic City Weekend

This weekend was not only my first big gay weekend at the Borgata Hotel & Casino, it was my first time going to Atlantic City, period.

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Our carload on the way to Atlantic City. I’m the one in the back with the dark beard.

A group of us from G Philly—and other queer folks from up and down the East Coast—were invited down to stay two nights at the Borgata (you can’t miss its shimmering gold towers as you enter Atlantic City) for the hotel and casino’s first OUT at Borgata weekend. This was the kickoff event for their new initiative to lure down queer folks to AC with parties and entertainment catering to the LGBT crowd. For the opener they invited ’90s songstress Sarah McClachlan and comedian Kathy Griffin.

But the entertainment’s only a fraction of the draw to the Borgata. Once you’re there, you’re in a city all its own, full of top-notch restaurants, a luxurious spa, and shopping if you’re not in the mood to Jitney over to the nearby Tanger Outlets (which is worth a trip if you have the time).

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Borgata Launches Major LGBT Initiative With a Celebration Weekend

Kathy Griffin will headline the OUT at Borgata March weekend.

Kathy Griffin will headline the OUT at Borgata March weekend.

If you’re looking for a gay getaway, Atlantic City’s Borgata and Water Club are rolling out the rainbow carpet … literally. The luxury resort, which features a casino, two hotels, and multiple spas, is launching an OUT at Borgata initiative, and they’ve got a killer March party planned with headline entertainment all weekend long. Read more »

10 Gay-Friendliest Places to Travel in 2015

Just in time for your 2015 travel-planning, Lonely Planet has put together a list of 10 of the “most progressive, inclusive and accepting destinations that open their arms to the LGBTQ traveller.”

Unfortunately Philly didn’t make the cut, but there are lots of great options here, whether you want to go overseas or make a stateside sojourn. Check out the list below, and head over to Lonely Planet for a more-detailed explanation about their choices:

  1. Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. New Zealand
  3. Toronto, Canada
  4. Palm Springs, U.S.
  5. Sitges, Spain
  6. Berlin, Germany
  7. Skiathos & Mykonos, Greece
  8. New York City, U.S.
  9. Reykjavik, Iceland
  10. Montevideo, Uruguay

WATCH: Drone Offers Stunning Overhead Look at P-Town 2014

Videographer David Cox stuck an HD camera on a drone and let it coast over and around P-Town. The footage is quite stunning, featuring the coast, and lots of parties, like a tea-dance, and last week’s Comic Book Carnival Parade.

The footage serves two purposes: For those like me who haven’t been to P-Town, it’s the ultimate kick in the pants to start making plans for next year. For regulars who missed it this year … well, you’re probably kicking yourself in the pants that you missed it. Check out the video above.

Source: Instinct

LONG WEEKEND: What Happens in Gay Vegas, Stays in Gay Vegas

The Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.

The Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.

This was my fourth trip to Las Vegas, and for the first time, I saw something rather cool: Two guys were holding hands in walking down the Strip—in broad daylight.

I’ve always felt that Vegas was very gay, so to speak (I mean, where else in the world are there Louis Vuitton stores on every corner?)  However, during my recent vacations there, I found myself clearly surrounded by more and more LGBTQ folks in the open, playing slots, eating at some of the best restaurants around, shopping, splashing in pools.

Are there distinct gay bars in Vegas?  Yes.  But, they are all off the Strip, and, best put by a self-described “former circuit queen” who once cut my hair, they are “far too seedy.”  I mean, many things in Vegas are seedy, especially when you stray off the main drag of Las Vegas Boulevard; plus, there is no real reason to look outside the fabulous places to drink, party, and eat right at your doorstep.

It is totally doable to do a “quickie” (three days, two nights) Vegas trip from Philly—flights are relatively affordable, and if you catch a morning non-stop flight, you’ll end up having almost the entire first day to explore (Vegas is three hours behind us.) If you’re feeling lucky, here are some of my suggestions to enjoy a fun, fast, and furious Vegas weekend.

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LONG WEEKEND: Gay Puerto Rico


Jumping for joy on the beaches of Puerto Rico.

Leonard Bernstein begins his classic song “America” from West Side Story with Rosalia singing, “Puerto Rico, you lovely island.” (Anita has a rather guttural rebuttal, but we’ll let that be.) We feel Rosalia’s ardor: Lush, lively and lavish, sun-soaked San Juan is an exciting, gay-friendly getaway from the winter doldrums—and just a four-hour flight from chilly Philly.

The fashionable Condado district, with its pale blue water, white beaches, and easy access to nightlife, is your prime destination. Rest your head at the luxurious and welcoming San Juan Marriott, with a beachfront location and two alluring pools, one equipped with a swim-up bar. (Guess which one I parked at.) Afterward, the Condado has much to offer, including great shopping. Boutiques Monsieur and Root, both on Ashford Avenue, curate exquisite collections of menswear to drop a little change, or a whole lotta change, on.

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Two Philly Guys Create New Gay Travel Site

The men behind Fagabond may be mugging in the photo booth, but they're serious about gay travel (courtesy of Jim Werner)

Partners in life and business, Mike Sheridan and Jim Werner were first inspired to create Fagabond in 2007. Tired of using the same old websites to plan their oh-so-gay vacays, the couple decided to create a full-service travel site exclusively for the LGBT community. Werner, who works at a tourism and marketing organization, and Sheridan, at a luxury hotel, may both live in Philly, but their new site spans everywhere from popular gay destinations like Asbury Park and P-Town to New Orleans, Austin and San Francisco.

“While the descriptions and headlines are tongue-in-cheek,” says Sheridan, “we want people to actually enjoy the planning stage – the content is informational, accurate and compelling for a gay person mapping out their next getaway.”

As Pride month comes to an end and summer kicks into high gear, the site is using some unique features to woo would-be travelers, including a booking widget from Travelocity. Sheridan says it gives an LGBT-focused lowdown – including destination descriptions, nightlife picks, must-try restaurants and fabulous events –  for 20 of the country’s top LGBT-friendly cities, including Philly. Users can also find new travel deals on a daily and weekly basis and sign up for the e-newsletter to keep on top of deals.

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