Providence, Rhode Island: A hidden delight for queer travelers 😃🏳️‍🌈

1 08 2019

Rhode Island Pride in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineWhile I’d heard some nice things about Providence, Rhode Island’s state capital and largest city, over the years, I’ll admit that I didn’t know a whole lot about it. I mostly thought of it as a cheap alternative airport to often-overpriced Boston Logan International.

Story by Paul J. Heney, MAW correspondent

But a recent weekend there, coinciding with Rhode Island Pride, completely sold me on this East Coast gem as an excellent getaway for LGBTQ travelers. Here are four reasons why you should put Providence on your list as a destination to check out.

  1. A thriving queer scene.

Walking around Providence was like being in a gay Disneyland at times. I was genuinely surprised at the number of out queer couples in the city —walking the streets holding hands, eating in restaurants, wandering the stores, chilling in cafes. I chatted with numerous locals, from restaurant servers to Uber drivers, hotel staff and people in clubs, and they all had positive things to say about how accepting the city and community is.

We hung out in several clubs, such as The Dark Lady, EGO Providence, and the Eagle, and they were crowded and lively. At a time when many smaller and mid-sized cities have gay club scenes that are dried up or gone entirely, it was refreshing to see such a thriving group of bars.

Check out Options magazine, published bimonthly, for the latest calendar of queer events. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the number of listings, from drag brunches to queer book clubs, as well as tea dances, happy hours and networking meetings.

  1. Arts to die for.

Providence has christened itself “The Creative Capital,” a cute nod to the city’s artistic side as well as its being the center of state government. And the moniker is well earned, with a wealth of art museums, galleries, performing arts spaces and urban murals.

From March through November each year, 27 of the city’s hottest art spots open their doors on the third Thursday of the month as part of Gallery Night Providence. And WaterFire Providence, a unique local arts celebration, revolves around the city’s downtown rivers, with more than 80 sparkling bonfires lit on the waterways.

Not to be missed is PVD Fest, an annual arts celebration in the city. It selects local artists to design and create arts installations, many of which remain in perpetuity, adding to the city’s cool urban vibe each year. Many of downtown’s mesmerizing murals are the result of previous years’ PVD Fest installations.

  1. It’s easy to get to and easy to get around.

Getting to Providence is fairly easy for much of the country. In addition to the aforementioned cheap flights to the city’s T. F. Rhode Island Pride in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineGreen Airport, Providence is an hour’s drive from Boston, as well as about three hours from most of the New York metro area. It’s within two hours by plane from much of the East Coast and Midwest, making it an easy weekend trip.

Providence is connected to Boston’s South Station via the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority commuter service, and within the city, grabbing a rideshare service is simple — or visitors can check out the local Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA), which provides busing as far away as Newport or Kingston. But I found downtown Providence, including its lovely Arts District, to be very walkable and pedestrian friendly.

  1. Its annual Pride festival is simply incredible.

Providence’s annual Rhode Island Pride completely exceeded my expectations. Attracting well over 100,000 attendees, I was blown away by how many Boston-area celebrants were there. I’d have thought the big city folks would have turned up their collective noses at smaller Providence, but that wasn’t the case at all! In fact, I heard story after story about how much they loved attending both Pride celebrations, a week apart.

RIPride has a laundry list of pre-celebration events, from VIP parties to game nights to interfaith services. The PrideFest itself takes place downtown along the Providence River, with a long narrow outline that provides great water views at every turn. There are countless vendors, a huge main stage, a beer garden, and more.

But the highlight of the weekend for me was the Illuminated Night Parade. RIPride is one of only a few pride celebrations anywhere that features an evening parade. Floats and marchers are encouraged to dress up their displays with lights, glowsticks, fluorescent paints and the like. The result is really spectacular, with 100,000 attendees watching the festivities. At the conclusion of the parade, multiple areas of downtown were cordoned off for huge block parties, as music roared into the night until the wee hours.

And for those who managed to get some sleep, the post-Pride Drag Brunch was a great top off to the weekend, with this year’s event featuring Jasmine Masters from RuPaul’s Drag Race, as well as a half dozen very talented local performers.





Guide to Montreal’s Gay Village in Time for Pride

17 07 2018

Our correspondent, Barry Hoy, left (and his partner) in Montreal's Gay VillageWe all know Montreal has a reputation for being a place of acceptance and inclusion, especially in Montreal’s Gay Village, which is is just east of downtown around Beaudry Metro station, running along Saint Catherine Street. Montreal’s Gay Village is where most of this year’s Pride activities will happen. Whether you are visiting for the parties or shows, you still need to know the best spots to get yummy cocktails and, of course, where to fill up. We got your covered! Here are the village’s top bars and restaurants:

Top bars in Montreal's Gay VillageTop 5 bars in Montreal’s Gay Village

Sky Complex – This is the city’s most popular gay club/bar and it has several spaces, from a dance clue to a male strip bar, to a cabaret. The rooftop terrace is also amazing.

Bar Renard – This sexy cocktail bar and lounge has a great selection of spirits and happy hour.

Bar Aigle Noir – Traditionally, the Black Eagle bar for the leather enthusiast. The crowd is now getting more diverse serving up beer and drinks in a classic setup with guest DJs and a buzzy patio.

Stock Bar – One of the more popular male strip bars in Montreal where you can grab a drink and watch hot buff men dance around you!

Le Stud – Le Stud is more of a dive bar with cheap drinks and great happy hour.

Our correspondent, Barry Hoy in Montreal's Gay VillageTop 5 restaurants in Montreal’s Gay Village

O’Thym – Asophisticated French bistro that uses seasonal ingredients and has a relaxed, yet cute ambiance. You can also BYOB!

Saloon – This campy restaurant has a great outdoor terrace so that you can people watch. They also serve amazing martinis!

Kitchenette – Located just outside the village, in case you want to escape for a more intimate dining experience. They offer a great 5 course tasting menu where you choose 2 starters, 2 main dishes, and a shared dessert!

Bato Thai – A casual BYOB setting with the best Thai food in the area. This is a great place for a quick bite if you want something yummy but not too formal.

Le Red Tiger – Le Red Tiger offers Vietnamese affordable street food that is both delicious and unique. Portions are small but shareable, so order at least a few items per person.

Add a few, or all, of these spots to your list and you are bound to have an amazing trip. For more things to do and places to visit in Montreal, stop by www.asianmapleleaf.com





Tune into an Important Twitter Chat on LGBT Pride Travel Safety, Tuesday, June 6 at 1pm ET

2 06 2017

LGBT pride travel safety Twitter chat Tuesday, June 6, 1pm ET; follow #prideguide Join @MAWTravel, @TravelGov and @OutRightIntl for an important chat about LGBT Pride travel safety, Tuesday, June 6 at 1pm EST. Just follow #PrideGuide on Twitter.com.

Pride is a season of joy and celebration, and we want you to travel, let your Pride flag fly and come back safe! Please follow along with us during this important LGBT Pride travel safety chat. Ask questions. Answer questions. Just be sure to join in the conversation. Look at some of the amazing participants we have including: The U.S. State Department; Centers for Disease Control; Human Rights Watch; OutRight Action International; NYC & Company; TravelGuard; IGLTA; and many more!

See you on Tuesday, June 6 at 1pm ET!

MORE ABOUT MANABOUTWORLD  

Download ManAboutWorld, our free digital/mobile-only gay travel magazine app covering destinations, themes and events around the globe including a FREE Guide to Ft. Lauderdale. Find the ManAboutWorldApp on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. We support iPads, Android tablets, iPhones and Android phones. There are a few other free publications in the app. Register here for a FREE three-month subscription.





Ft. Lauderdale Pride 2017 is on the Beach This Year & Hotter Than Ever

9 12 2016

Ft. Lauderdale pride 2017 will be on the beach this year. Check it out via ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineWe prefer our cake by the ocean, and our Pride on the beach! Fort Lauderdale Pride is turning forty, which means it’s officially the hot daddy of Pride parades, and celebrating its milestone on the beach for the first time ever.

That’s right, Pride will be celebrated this year on the white sand beaches of the most LGBT-welcoming city on earth. The annual event is on Sunday, February 26th 2017 and for the first time on the sands of Fort Lauderdale Beach. Expect tens of thousands to show up for world renowned entertainers, local and national exhibitors, food courts and of course, Lauderdale’s world-class white sand beaches.

The celebration is expanding this year with programming for families and seniors, and adding educational and history exhibits, sporting areas, and even a first-ever Sober Zone. Pride will take place at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park South,  adjacent to the B Ocean Hotel & Resort, which just putting the final fabulous touches on a major renovation. For the best experience, stay there or the adjacent (and also recently-renovated) Marriott Harbor Beach Resort, and purchase one of the limited VIP passes with front row seating, premium cocktails, and a VIP restroom.

MORE ABOUT MANABOUTWORLD  

Download ManAboutWorld, our free digital/mobile-only gay travel magazine app covering destinations, themes and events around the globe including a FREE Guide to Ft. Lauderdale. Find the ManAboutWorldApp on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. We support iPads, Android tablets, iPhones and Android phones. There are a few other free publications in the app. Register here for a FREE three-month subscription.





We’re Going To Taiwan LGBT Pride

23 10 2015
Taiwan Pride in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Taiwan Pride

The city of Taipei, Taiwan has the largest LGBT pride celebration in Asia. It’s scheduled for next Saturday, October 31. ManAboutWorld has been invited to experience the festival and also see other parts of this very interesting country that is not (yet) popular among US gay travelers. We’ve heard a lot about it already and our Taiwan-born global correspondent Allister Chang wrote about this up-and-coming gay destination for us in November 2012.

We’ve already been promised the world’s best pineapple cake, bubble tea, and foot massages! What else is in store? Visit back here next week and find out. Also be sure to check out our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts for more regular updates. (We will use the hashtag #Taiwan.)

Here’s a map so you know where we are going. China is west of Taiwan; Korea and Japan to the north/northeast; and Philippines to the south.

Map showing Taiwan (the island, center) in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Map showing Taiwan (the island, center)

GET MANABOUTWORLD: We last covered Taipei in November 2012. But check back here for when we’ll include it in our magazine again (probably spring 2016). And be sure to check out our digital gay travel magazine for savvy gay travelers by downloading the ManAboutWorld App on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. We support iPads, iPhones and Android devices. There are a few FREE publications in all of the apps and you can click here to register for a FREE three-month subscription. Go on, what are you waiting for!

Images: Carrie Kellenberger via Flickr. Map: Courtesy Google Maps.

 





Gayography: Gay Travel News Update

21 08 2015
Gayography: gay travel news update, in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineThis info-packed gay travel news update is compiled by ManAboutWorld correspondent Ashton Giese who publishes this indispensable digital gay travel news update weekly: GAYography.

This week’s GAYography brief has some exciting new secret beaches in SE Asia as well as where to go if you want to bare it all this weekend in the Poconos. You can also follow the Atlantis Cruise around the Mediterranean or simply start at the Elixsor party in Mykonos!Plus, with the recent tragedy in Bangkok, be sure to register with the State Department when you travel abroad — especially alone! Check out all the important LGBT news from Uganda to Boston.

An important resource for LGBT travelers, focusing on news, vacation insights, advocacy and current events in major cities around the globe, the GAYography brief publishes every Thursday.

Check out a unique digital gay travel magazine for savvy gay travelers by downloading the ManAboutWorldApp on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. We support iPads, iPhones and Android devices. There are several FREE publications in all of the apps, and you can click here to register for a FREE three-month subscription. Go on, get downloadin’!





Win A Trip For Two To Barcelona Via MyGayPride

20 08 2015
MyGayPride promotion in Barcelona and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

They have gay pride!

ManAboutWorld correspondents and gay blogger duo Two Bad Tourists are promoting a contest to win a trip for two to Barcelona as a part of their MyGayPride campaign. You can see this gay blogging pair jumping for joy in Barcelona (right). Learn more about Auston Matta — left in the photo, who makes up one half of Two Bad Tourists (who are good travelers) — here. Read below for information on participating in the MyGayPride promotion and start practicing your Catalan.

One lucky winner will receive a free trip to Barcelona including two round trip tickets on Norwegian, a $350 credit with misterbnb plus airport pickup and LGBT city tours provided by Rainbow Barcelona Tours. Barcelona welcomes 1.3 million LGBT visitors each year and travelers can enjoy the popular ‘Gay-xample’ neighborhood, beaches, famous monuments, unique architecture and feel comfortable in one of the most gay-friendly destinations in Europe.

For more information about the MyGayPride contest, check out the related blog post on ManAboutWorld.








%d bloggers like this: