EDGE’s Top Lesbian Travel Destinations for 2014
From flannel-fabulous Halifax to an epic 21-day adventure throughout New Zealand and Austrialia, EDGE gives a shout out to the ultimate lesbian travel experiences for 2014.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
It’s cold. It’s far away. There can’t be much queer stuff going on there. Oh, such preconceived notions of charming Halifax, Canada’s hidden gem. Nova Scotia’s humble capital city, just east of Maine, is not so distant. It has four distinct seasons, though yes, the chill vibe exists year-round. Plus it’s so down-and-dirty gay, Halifax could be called the New Orleans of the north.
Stay: The Lord Nelson is Halifax’s most historic hotel. Built in 1928, it’s perfectly located in the heart of town across from the idyllic Public Gardens; walking distance from the city’s lively waterfront; and a cab ride from the up and coming North End neighborhood.
Eat: Brooklyn Warehouse has served some of Halifax’s best food and drinks since it opened in 2007. It focuses on the obvious ingredients - local, seasonal and seafood - with inventiveness worthy of its namesake New York borough.
Most Surprising: Maybe it’s the local universities, affordable cost of living, or sexy-tattoo culture, but many Haligonians believe that more lesbians dwell in "The Fax" than do gay men. While the headcount may not be official, consider doing your own research.
Don’t Miss: Halifax Pride July 17-27, 2014! They say it’s a bigger parade, festival and party weekend than even Canada Day... and they’re probably right.
Find out more: Destination Halifax.
In both location and spirit, Milwaukee falls fittingly between bustling Chicago and easygoing Madison. And over the past few years, "Brew City" (so nicknamed for its abundant breweries, including Miller, Pabst, Schlitz, and many more) has emerged as a proud home to everything from gorgeous urban renewal and savvy entrepreneurship to clean transportation and one of the busiest fairgrounds in the country. It’s also got a great gayborhood in Walker’s Point, plus the Third Ward, a former industrial district now home to boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.
Stay: The Iron Horse Hotel transformed an old-school industrial building into the city’s hottest motorcycle-geared hotel, restaurant and bar when it opened in 2008. Today it remains the place to see and be seen - even if you’re not straddling a Harley-Davidson (which were invented in Milwaukee, by the way).
Eat: Zaffiro’s Pizza, a local institution since 1954, serves what locals consider their hometown pizza, made with cracker-thin crusts and family-recipe crushed tomato sauce.
Most Surprising: "Festival City" earned this nickname thanks in part to the 76-acre Maier Festival Grounds, which hosts all manner of culinary, music, ethnic and other themed festivals from spring through fall. This June 6-7, check out PrideFest Milwaukee, one of the country’s biggest LGBT Pride celebrations.
Don’t Miss: Milwaukee’s biggest festival is the two-week-long Summerfest, with scores of amazing local bands, flashback performers and major headliners - this year led by Lady Gaga who is scheduled to perform June 26.
Find out more: Visit Milwaukee and MKE LGBT Center.
Las Vegas, Nevada
It’s hard to argue with Las Vegas for a vacation. The lights, sounds, crazy Elvis impersonators - some things never change, but with a nickname like "the Capital of Second Chances," rest assured there’s always something new rolling in Vegas. Whether it’s the new El Loco roller coaster at Circus Circus; the Cosmopolitan’s 40,000-seat amphitheater, The Chelsea; or bowling with queens at Drink & Drag Lounge, you’ll never be bored in Sin City.
Stay: The Paris Las Vegas was among the first resorts in town to go out of its way to cater to LGBT clientele, and continues to serve up great packages, rewards, and special offers for couples tying the knot or honeymooning.
Eat: Hash House A Go Go is where weary, hungry party gals head to heal the morning after a memorable Vegas night. With three locations in town, the newest will open in 2014 inside the Rio, serving oversized portions of all things savory and sweet, and maybe with a little hair of the dog that bit you.
Most Surprising: In a refreshing twist of added service, the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore (a Wynn property) are two resorts offering a Pride Concierge. Call or visit them to help find the latest queer hotspots and discover local lesbian secret hangouts.
Don’t Miss: Caesar’s Palace, in partnership with Live Nation-one of the world’s leading live-event promoters-plans to fill the renovated AXIS at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino with major acts. First among them is the 2014 residency of Britney Spears, with other fun nightly acts like Sin City Comedy & Burlesque.
Find out more: LasVegas.com and Gay Vegas.
Work hard, play hard - that’s the Sweet traveler. The "lesbian travel company with a twist" is going strong in its fifth year, pulling together splashy vacations by sea and by land. Plus it remains an outfit that does the right thing by planning trips that are carbon-neutral, meaning that it offsets the pollution it creates through reforestation and other sustainability practices. The company also contributes time and money for worthy women- and queer-centric causes. So you can feel as good about your Sweet journey as you do just being on it.
Go: Like most travel companies, Sweet plans its journeys well in advance. While 2014 will bring the annual Mexican Riviera cruise and two Sweet lesbian Mexican-resort getaways, this fall is your chance to join its 10-day African Safari, led by guide Jody Cole of Wild Rainbow African Safaris.
Most Surprising: Being on a Sweet vacation is like attending a lesbian film festival, comedy show, concert and excursion at the same time, all while rubbing sunscreened elbows with the very slate of smiling celesbians you came to behold. On the roster for upcoming trips meet Cathy DeBuono, Jennie McNulty, "Elena Undone" star Traci Dinwiddie, Frenchie Davis from "The Voice," and many other saucy ladies who’ll spice up your trip.
Don’t Miss: January 2015 will bring the Sweet Down Under epic adventure trip. Bold ladies can sign up for either six- or 10-day trips to New Zealand, or five days in Australia, or a whopping 21-day combined trip for the whole shebang. Pricing is surprisingly affordable for such a sweet deal.
Find out more: Discover Sweet.