Looking for the best gay-friendly spot for your next vacation? Thinking San Francisco or London? Think again, say some of the world’s leading travel agencies. It’s time to look beyond the obvious. Here’s what the industry thinks are five of the best up-and-coming gay-friendly tourist hot spots in all corners of the world and for every budget.
Named the best new gay tourist destination in 2009 by the travel agency TripOut Gay, the Dutch Caribbean island is a smaller version of the European country, with its relaxed attitude, paradise beaches and all-year-round sun.
Cape Town, South Africa
The second-biggest city in South Africa has been named the second-most gay-friendly city in the world in a survey by travel website Expedia Australia (Sydney is No. 1).
According to the travel agency, Cape Town combines breathtaking natural sights with plenty of gay-friendly bars, clubs and accommodations. Visit in February for the two-week-long Cape Town Pride.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
This South American nation recently became the latest to legalize same-sex marriages. With a very vibrant gay and lesbian community, paired with low prices, it’s one of the best new destinations in the world. Look out for one of the dozen new gay-friendly boutique hotels in trendy Palermo Soho, an area packed with stores, restaurants and clubs.
Recommended by Out Traveler magazine and the runner-up of TripOut Gay Award 2009 for “Breakout Gay City,” Shanghai has a growing gay scene. It’s packed with skyscrapers, shops, street food. Be sure to escape to some of their small, lovely beaches.
Istanbul’s history, food, architecture and friendly people make it a perfect destination. Add nightlife and a growing gay community and you have the perfect gay destination.