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.





Go Now✈ Go Later✈: Don’t miss these gay getaways 🌈🍸

30 07 2019

Some gays plan their gay getaways far in advance. Some plan last minute. Some go both ways. We’re those gays. But no matter which you are, we’ve got awesome recommendations for gay getaways to go to now. Next year. Or both!

Gay Getaways: GO NOW!

Atlantis Events takes on Europe with the Oasis of the Seas for the biggest European gay cruise ever. Meet guys from all over the world as this gorgeous Royal Caribbean ship sets sail for a trip of a lifetime. Amazing parties by night, and incredible ports by day. Enjoy bike rides in Mallorca, snorkeling in Capri, wine tasting in Provence and art walks in Florence. The ship departs on Saturday, August 25 and returns September 1.

Don’t miss this epic European journey. Book now and GO!

Join ManAboutWorld’s Billy Kolber (and up to 2,000 of our closest friends!) for the first full-ship LGBTQ+ charter with VACAYA aboard the five-star Celebrity Summit.

The ship will depart NYC on Sunday, August 11 and sail to Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Then, it’s a day in quaint Bar Harbor, Maine, and then two full days in fabulous Provincetown.

Kristin Chenoweth kicks off the departure from Cape Liberty, with lots of entertainment onboard and off — including an overnight call in Ptown to kick off their crazy Carnival week. Vacaya’s maiden voyage, promises a new kind of LGBT+ experience. Book now and GO!
Save & Close

Morocco should be at the top of any queer travelers bucket list! Take the journey with OUT Adventures from Casablanca to Marrakech.

The epic experience kicks off September 13 and lasts for 10 unforgettable days. Travel with a pack of gay travelers through desert landscapes and moody villages. Sleep in a hotel made of Saharan sand, picnic in mountain gorges, cook classic North African cuisine, and share memories that will last a lifetime. Book now and GO!

GAY GETAWAYS: GO LATER

Two continents. 35 countries. Five languages. One love. No matter who you who are, Greater Fort Lauderdale invites you to celebrate LGBT+ advocacy on the beach at the first-ever Pride of the Americas in 2020. All are welcome to fly their flag high, make an impact and radiate life. Join the ManAboutWorld team for this first ever Pride uniting our community from Arctic Canada down to Tierra del Fuego! Book your flights and accommodations today! 

Atlantis and Virgin Voyages will make history in 2020 when they embark on the first gay charter of the Scarlet Lady. The ship will set sail on May 31 – June 7, 2020 from Miami and traverse the Mexican Caribbean. Be one of the first to discover Virgin Voyages adult-only by design experience that will transform the cruise industry.

The Atlantis charter isn’t on sale yet – it’s not even listed on the Atlantis website. But trust us, you’ll want to be on this first gay charter of the Scarlet Lady, the revolutionary new cruising experience from Virgin. Mark your calendar and reserve your vacation days now.

Gay Wine Weekend 2019 just happened, and it was epic. If you missed it, mark your calendar now for next year. Called “One of the best events of the summer season,” Gay Wine Weekend takes over Sonoma Valley from July 18-21 for a 3+ day celebration of food and wine in Northern California’s Sonoma Valley!

Check out the 2019 details, and mark your calendar now.

The hosts of this super fun event look forward to meeting you Out In The Vineyard of “our” Wine Country!

The boys at OUT Adventures have an incredible safari planned for 2020! Their brand new gay tour of Kenya kicks off outside Nairobi – Safari Capital of the World – before venturing into the savannah. Here, authentic yet luxurious tents and lodges will provide shelter in Amboseli National Park and Masai Mara National Reserve. All meals are included on this excursion, including a fab Bush Barbecue. OUT Adventure trips sell out far in advance … so Book now and GO! 

Our very own Kenny Porpora will experience this fabulous OUT Adventures Kenya safari this August 2019. Follow his safari on Instagram at @wozels1102 and get a sneak peek at everything that awaits you in 2020.





Bottoms Up! Gay Wine Weekend in Sonoma is Coming Soon 🍷🏳️‍🌈

16 05 2019
Gay wine weekend Sonomoa 2019 and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Called “One of the best events of the summer season,” Gay Wine Weekend takes over Sonoma Valley from July 18-21 for a 3+ day celebration of food and wine in Northern California’s Sonoma Valley!

Tell me more about Gay Wine Weekend!

Celebrate with world class wine and culinary delights, music and dancing in a private estate vineyard, VIP receptions, wine Gay wine weekend Sonomoa 2019 and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineexcursions, a drag queen brunch, wine auction and pool party in one of the most famous wine destinations in the world.

VIP All Access Passes Available and/or individual event passes.

The hosts of this super fun event look forward to meeting you Out In The Vineyard of “our” Wine Country!





CheckOut: Yotel Boston

4 10 2018

Boston’s seaport is the city’s hot new neighborhood, and YOTEL Boston is at the heart of it. Built on a platform of design and technology and inspired by first-class airline suites, Yotel delivers modern luxury in compact “cabins” whose ingenious use of space offers everything you need, at remarkably affordable prices. It’s a perfect match for the spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship and artistic endeavor that characterize the neighborhood. This CheckOut was originally published in ManAboutWorld’s summer issue and republished here. 

Location

Located between the beautiful waterfront and the historic Fort Point District, the seaport integrates repurposed 100-year old warehouses with modern architecture to create a vibrant, exciting new neighborhood that is home to some of the city’s best dining, shopping and art. The hotel is built atop the Courthouse Station of the Silver Line  — a free 15-minute transit from Logan Airport. And many important locations are within walking distance: Boston’s South Station, serviced by Amtrak and Bolt Bus is a 10-minute walk. The Convention Center is about 12 minutes and the Institute of Contemporary Art is six minutes away, as is the Boston Harbor Ferry to Provincetown (The Bay State ferry is 15 minutes away). The gay bars of the South End are a best accessed by Lyft — a 10- to 15-minute ride depending on traffic.

Room/Bathroom

YOTEL’s cabins start at 154 sqft — about the size of a standard cruise cabin but filled with savvy design features that make it feel much more spacious and luxurious. At the heart of the room is the adjustable SmartBed – like a cross between a futon, a luxury mattress, and a lie-flat airline seat. It slides from a couch-like reclining position to a queen size bed with the touch of a button. Set it to the perfect angle for lounging, and lay it flat for sleeping. Like a yacht, space is maximized with built-in furniture and storage solutions. Plenty of room is left for the bathroom, including a rainfall shower that could easily fit two, and stocked with premium amenities. If you require more space, upgrade to a Premium Queen Plus at 201 square feet or a First King at 318 square feet. If you’re really feeling royal, there’s a VIP suite with 487 square feet of space and a stunning 180º view of the city and harbor.

Amenities

Technology is at the heart of everything YOTEL, and while the “Mission Control” staff is always available to help you, check-Boston Yotel in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinein/check-out is handled  primarily by App and Kiosk; and emergency supplies or extra towels are delivered by YO2D2, the house robot! A Club Lounge on the ground floor and Sky Lounge Rooftop and Terrace offer casual dining, drinks and comfortable indoor/outdoor places to relax or work. The gym is open 24/7, and features free weights and  cardio machines. A guided meditation is offered every Tuesday morning, and the wifi is free and fast.

Gay factor

We wouldn’t stereotype you by saying that the design, style and technology were clearly designed with gay travelers in mind, but YOTEL’s modern stance is perfectly suited for us, and we’re betting you too. It’s a bit farther than our old haunts from the (not-quite-so-gay-anymore) South End, but we’d rather be close to all the new excitement of the seaport, and we’re betting you would too.

Rates

Rates in Boston can be shockingly high when conventions roll into town, but figure a Queen Premium cabin is around $160 in the dead of winter, typically closer to $250-350, and as high as $550 (when a generic Hilton room might be $700). Save 10-15% and earn Flying Blue or Flying Club miles when you join Club@Yotel for free.

Ready to go

For rates and reservations at YOTEL Boston, visit the website.  

About the CheckOut

ManAboutWorld highlights properties we have recently and personally stayed at, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please  let us know. We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure.





Video: ManAboutWorld’s Travelin’ Tom Visits Kyoto, Japan

10 09 2018


Konnichiwa from Kyoto, Japan! For thousands of years, Kyoto was the cultural center and capital of Japan — and It shows. Kyoto boasts expansive temples and a deep sense of tradition. As Kyoto modernized, it never lost its sense of culture and history, making it a fascinating example of modern and ancient Japan living side by side.

Join Trav’lin Tom for a fun, fast-paced tour of temples, bamboo groves, food markets, and even Japanese karaoke.

Tom Goss is a ManAboutWorld global correspondent. He travels with his husband, Mike, all around the world and sends us these video updates. Click on his video and follow his KinosakeOnsen adventure. Follow Tom’s other video adventures here.

TOM’S ALSO A TALENTED PERFORMER

Tom is also a singer, songwriter, and filmmaker whose concerts and projects keep him constantly moving. When not traveling for work, Tom is usually traveling for fun. Check out his music at TomGossMusic.com and more Trav’lin Tom videos on YouTube.

Also connect with Tom on the following social media platforms:

Meet all of our Global Correspondents hereSubscribe to ManAboutWorld here and find insights from Tom, our global correspondents and the staff writers at the magazine Ed, Billy and Kenny.

Tom.Square.Bed





Correspondent update: Giuseppe Giulio’s Top 5 Italy Hot Spots

18 06 2018

Giuseppe Giulio's top 5 gay Italy hot spots in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine Beauty, the romantic town of Naples and the soaring height of Etna are just some of the treats in store for LGBT travelers making their way to this country — a gay-friendly jewel in the world. Here, we take a look at my 5 top Italy hot spots.

Sicily

One of the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily is an autonomous region of Italy Places that also includes several smaller isles. Home to every great Mediterranean civilization, Sicily is rich in art and history; from Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples to Palermo’s Baroque churches.

Lakes

The Romans were first to see the potential of the Italy lakes as a holiday destination. They built their sumptuous villas in some of the prime positions around Como and Garda, where the southern foothills of the Alps sweep down towards the Mediterranean and the fertile plains of northern Italy.

Giuseppe Giulio's top 5 gay Italy hot spots in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineVenice

Venice never loses its capacity to enchant in Italy. There’s a reason why it’s popular: the sheer loveliness of an exquisite city that seems miraculously built on water. It’s important to remember Venice’s churches and museums offer antique glories aplenty, but there is also a vibrant art scene, even away from the Art Biennale.

Tuscany

Italy’s most famous region, Tuscany conjures images of beautiful rolling hills, olive groves, vineyards and cypress trees. The many pleasures of Tuscany include tasting wine in Chianti, simply relaxing in hill towns such as San Gimignano or exploring Renaissance art in Florence.

Naples

Naples, Italy birthplace of pizza has drawn many hungry visitors, including those hungry for culture: its historic center is the largest in Europe, covering over 4,000 acres and 27 centuries. Piazza Bellini, by day a quiet square with cafes to relax from the hustle and bustle in the nearby Via dei Tribunali, at night a popular hangout of young Neapolitans.\

Giuseppe Giulio's top 5 gay Italy hot spots in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Story and photos by Giuseppe Giulio

Giuseppe Giulio, IGLTA member, is a Travel Design and Digital PR Specialist, who serves several tour operators, online magazines and startups reaching the LGBTA community using SEO, Web 2.0, Social Network marketing and Strategic Online Media Placement.





Journey to Asia Part 2: Escapades in Kuala Lumpur

11 06 2018

ManAboutWorld global corresondent Barry Hoy contemplating the city of Kuala Lumpur shirtless. Because.

Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia and a place where you will find a variety of cultures from the region, all living together in one city. There is Chinatown, Little India, Malay village and many more neighbourhoods. In this city, it is not uncommon to find a Muslim mosque, a Hindu shrine, a Christian church, and a Buddhist temple – all in the same area! Story and photos by ManAboutWorld correspondent Barry Hoy.

Click here to read Barry’s Journey to Asia Part 1: Discover Hong Kong.

And here is Journey to Asia, Part 3: Adventures in Shanghai.

WHERE TO STAY

Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur – Set in the heart of the city’s business and shopping district, and near major landmarks such as the Petronas Twin Towers and the Kuala Lumpur City Center. Despite it being right in the city centre, the hotel is still set amidst plenty of lush greenery, and has a good size outdoor pool and lounge area.

WHERE TO EAT

There are a lot of food options to try in Kuala Lumpur. Here are a few to wet your appetite!

  • Nobu – Located on the 56th floor of the Menara Petronas, it boosts dramatic 360-degree views of the KL city skyline, including the iconic Petronas Twin Towers.
  • Jalan Alor – Famous street food in Kuala Lumpur and bustling nightlife.
  • Old China Kafe – Step back in time at this charming and authentic café in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown.
  • Fatty Crab (Fei Lo) – Best known for its seafood. Make sure you try the Sweet and Sour Chili Crab!
Some of the many delectable food items on offer in Kuala Lumpur via ManAboutWorld global correspondent Barry HowTHINGS TO DO
  • Petronas Twin Towers – The iconic Petronas Twin Towers are basically the symbol of Kuala Kumpur, and they dominate the skyline. Make sure you buy tickets in advance (especially for the bridge connecting the two towers). Visit com for tips to save some money and enjoy a cocktail at the same time.
  • Batu Caves – Deep inside a Limestone Mountain, just outside the city of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, is the Batu caves. The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India.
  • Chinatown – Wander down little laneways and into cute coffee houses and restaurants, or around the markets filled with fresh fish, fruits and vegetables, and out on to the lively main street of Chinatown.
  • Little India – colourful neighbourhoood with lots of restaurants where you can sample different types of fragrant curries or snacks.
  • Pavilion KL – This is a huge shopping centre where you can satisfy all your shopping needs.

Make sure you also visit the beaches and little towns outside of the city of Kuala Lumpur. The city itself offers some great food and sights, but it’s not a place where you would want to spend more than a weekend.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY:

Gay sex is still technically illegal in Malaysia and punishable under a colonial-era sodomy law. Foreigners are generally safe from this, but caution is still recommended.

Want more information? Visit asianmapleaf.com and read more about our adventures in Kuala Lumpur. Also, stay tuned for more of our ultimate must-see travel stops around the globe.

Click here to read Barry’s Journey to Asia Part 1: Discover Hong Kong.

And here is Journey to Asia, Part 3: Adventures in Shanghai.








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