Why is it so difficult to find travel information for lesbians and queer women?
The internet is ripe with travel content for gay boys. Even when a travel company says they're LGBTQ+ friendly, they really mean gay male friendly, but feel obligated to lump us all in there for appearance's sake.
How do I know this? Well, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out when all the images under the LGBTQ+ tab of most travel sites have images of shirtless, hairless, six-pack-sporting men in speedos running down a beach.
When I moved to South Korea back in 2013, I had such a hard time finding travel specific information that I ended up creating my own travel blog with lesbian travelers in mind. While I'm proud of my little corner of the internet, I'd LOVE to see more queer ladies take up the travel banner and put their knowledge out into the world.
I reached out to some of my favorite lesbian travelers and asked them what their picks for the best lesbian friendly destinations are. I also gave a few of my own opinions. Here they are.
1. New York City, New York
NYC. It's not far from my home in upstate NY, but the atmosphere is so different. I like the hustle and how there are endless things to do and see. I have a lot of friends from home who have established themselves there, as does my girlfriend, so we always like to get a nice hotel to enjoy our alone time, and then meet up with our friends who bring us around to their favorite spots. We've recently added Burger & Lobster to one of our new favorite spots. I try not to plan too much and just go with it.
-- Emily M., 29
If you're looking for a mini weekend guide specifically for women and LGBTQ+ folks, check out this pride guide.
2. Los Angeles, California
I visit Los Angeles several times a year and always stay in West Hollywood, aka WeHo if you're in the know.
I just love the funky, eclectic little town inside a sprawling, urban mega-city. Each time, I find something new to discover and explore.
I can't lie, I also love that it's SUPER gay. Like, really really gay. It just kinda feels like a home away from home where I can let my hair down and relive all my craziest L-Word-based fantasies.
3. Miami, Florida
Miami hits that sweet spot between artsy, beachy, good vibes and city. While I usually prefer to go on international trips, I love the culture in Miami, and the diversity of activities. Definitely stop by Wynwood Walls, have some Cuban food, explore the Art Deco District and see a Heat game while you're in town.
-- Lindsay C., 29
4. Columbus, Ohio
While you may not expect the midwest to be home to an LGBT hotspot, it definitely is.
Turns out, Columbus is surprisingly young and hip. It could be because of the proximity to Ohio State University, the third largest university in the US, or it could be just because of the open minded and easy going nature of the locals.
Either way, it should definitely be on your bucket list of weekend trips. When you visit, make sure you experience the incredible restaurants, shopping and queer friendly nightlife of the area.
5. Cannon Beach, Oregon
I love Cannon Beach, Oregon. It isn't an exotic resort or anything, but it is stunning. Cannon Beach is on the coast of Oregon [Editor's note: 1.5 miles from Portland]. The beach is pristine, and the ocean is amazingly beautiful. Lots of walking and the beach and reading and sunbathing, if the weather cooperates. I generally eat nonstop when I visit.
-- Cait, 28
6. Washington, DC
While DC doesn't have a specific lesbian section of town, it definitely has plenty of cool activities that queer folks would be interested in doing.
I could spend days wandering around the Smithsonian Museums, shopping in Georgetown, exploring Dupont or hitting up The Coven, DC's hottest queer party.
7. The Finger Lakes
I'm from Rochester, which is about an hour outside of the Finger Lakes region of western NY. Driving down by the lakes, especially to me, brings on a sense of nostalgia matched only by going to my hometown. The region offers access to water sports, endless vineyards, breweries and gracious residents and eager tourists that are so welcoming. The wine trails are my favorite; they're worth the trip, even if for just a day or weekend.
-- Rachel M., 28
8. Bogota, Columbia
I met up with my first Tinder date ever in Bogota, and I was there for Pride. The festival felt more raw and political than the commercialized extravaganzas I have seen in the states. Queer people came together to march, not to see how many free T-shirts they could fill their goodie bags with. There was also an immense gay club called Theatron with tons of different rooms, one of which was called "Temple," which looked like a cathedral on the inside, but everyone was grinding to reggaeton. I want to go back. After having been in tiny Nicaragua [Editor's note: Char is an LGBTQ+ Peace Corps Volunteer stationed in Nicaragua], it was refreshing to see such a large queer community.
-- Char S.
9. Maui, Hawaii
If you visit during turtle hatching season, they have a whole beach on the north tip of the island near Turtle Cove where you can watch the baby turtles make their way down the beach out to the ocean. Maui is amazing for seeing and swimming with sea turtles in their natural habitats. We also did the Stairs of Doom. It's this super intense hike up over 1,000 rail ties to the top of this huge mountain. It was probably the most lesbian thing we did there.
-- Sarah W., 31
10. Seoul, South Korea
I've never seen so many lesbians in one place. It's like they're falling from the sky, and I've been to a lot of lesbian places. I definitely had to be on the down low with some former girlfriends, but that was due to their discomfort of being out in Korea, not mine.
-- Shaun G.
Despite having a rather anti-LGBTQ+ reputation, South Korea was a favorite.
11. Edinburgh, Scotland
I've only visited once so far, when I was 15. I wasn't out, not even to myself, but I stayed with my mom and sister at an adorable bed and breakfast run by two women. I knew they were together, and it made my stomach feel weird, in a good way. The city itself is insanely beautiful, full of history and a unique culture that, even at fifteen, felt amazingly open, accepting and free. The people are really warm, and it's known for having a fantastic queer community. Also, I find Scottish accents to be quite sexy.
-- Nicole M., 26