WAVE YOUR LGBT FLAG FOR
THE TOP GAY HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS
The British LGBT Awards is an annual celebration of diversity in the UK which outlines the best personalities, organisations and destinations that show outstanding commitment to the LGBT community. We've rounded up the nominees for best destination 2017, and we're sure each beach resort and city break will have you waving that LGBT flag! The winner will be announced at 9pm tonight, so grab your popcorn and pick your favourite...
Miami in Florida has been waving the LGBT flag for years, with its stunning South Beach known for being a gorgeous gay-friendly stretch. This vibrant city is full of artistic and cultural influences, welcoming diversity with a whole host of exciting events including Aqua Girl Women’s Festival, Sizzle Miami, Winter Party Festival, MiFo LGBT Film Festival, Out in the Tropics, Miami Beach Bruthaz Conference, White Party Week, and most importantly the annual Miami Beach Pride - so don't forget your party pants! Miami also has it's own LGBT Visitor Centre for travellers who want more information on the best things to see and do.
The buzzing city of Amsterdam is a firm-favourite with the European LGBT community. Its winding canals and colourful gondolas, fairytale bridges and atmospheric cobblestone streets are home to an abundance of gay-friendly cafes and bars, including the famous Cafe t' Mandje. But the best time to visit this vibrant city is between July and August, when the Amsterdam Pride Parade takes place on the city’s meandering waterways - attracting party-lovers from all over the world. Amsterdam's bustling nightlife is sure to impress, with stylish clubs such as Church and NYX to head to, plus events including Milkshake Fest and Pink Saturday - we're not surprised it has such a lively LGBT scene.
For more information browse our list of LGBT destinations and general travel advice.
Sunny Barcelona ticks all of the boxes for a perfect LGBT-friendly destination, boasting fabulous beaches, a thriving city and an abundance of lively cafes, bars, and restaurants - all just a short hop away from the UK. If you're a fan of festivals, Barcelona hosts two of the biggest international gay festivals around, Circuit Festival (5th - 20th August 2017) and Barcelona Gay Pride (7th - 8th July 2017) so you won't be short of a party atmosphere. Relax on golden beaches like Platja de la Mar Bella and sip cocktailsin seafont bars, or liven up the pace by hitting the resort's clubs including Atame (great for happy hours), La Casa de la Pradera (serving free tapa with every drink) and La Penultima (a bustling bar that's busy well before midnight) - Barcelona has it all!
This atmospheric city boasts a mixture of cosmopolitan flair and natural beauty, with atmospheric squares, iconic sights, scenic landscapes and stylish fashion houses all rolled into one - no wonder it's a hot spot for the LGBT community. The buzzing New York is full of entertainment with a handful of lively dining spots, clubs and bars for upbeat evenings, with over 15 LGBT venues to check out including Flaming Saddles Saloon and Dinner with the Divas - a must-visit if you like old-school dinner theatre with a few faous faces thrown in. You'll also find The Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art alongside a variety of international events worth visiting during your holidays in New York.
California's Palm Springs is a hot destination for LGBT travellers (in more ways than one), thanks to its sizzling year-round temperatures, natural scenery and desireable desert oasis feel. Located just 100 miles away from vibrant Los Angeles, this city is home to the largest number of LGBT resorts in the world and is a firm-favourite with Hollywood film stars. This outdoor playground is thriving with things to see and do, whether you get involved in events including gay-friendly events the International Film Festival, Cinema Diverse, the Nabisco Classic and of course, the White Party. The city's annual Gay Pride Festival is action-packed with colourful parades, live entertainment, food, dancing and more.
Richmond in Virginia makes extra efforts to make LGBT travelers feel at home and this is evident from restaurants displaying rainbow stickers to community celebrations of same sex marriages. There are exhibitions, events and a gay pride parade having over 30,000 attendees. Richmond’s openness for gay pride goes back several years. The Fan and Museum districts are LGBT neighbourhoods known for their open-armed embrace of alternative sexuality and places like Nation café and Empress restaurant are full of cheer and friendly vibes.
San Francisco is famously known as the “Gay Capital of the World,” and for good reason. Colourful parades, buzzing street events and cultural film fests celebrating gay pride have rocked the city since 1970s. From electing openly gay leaders and same-sex marriages to employment without LGBT bias, it's say to say that San Francisco has championed gay rights. The iconic gay neighbourood of Castro comes complete with a large LGBT flag, rainbow-painted sidewalks, quaint al fresco cafes, cross-dressing boutiques and beyond - so it's easy to see why this city scores high on a gay traveler’s priority list! With year-round sunny weather and fantastic beaches too, it sounds like a winner to us!
Sao Paulo in Brazil is a bustling metropolis well-known as an LGBT favourite. Neighbourhoods like Frei Caneca, Augusta Streets and Jardins are full of places like Bar da Dida and Oscar Café where you can eat, drink and shop to your heart's content. The Parque Ibirapuera is great for relaxing amidst sprawling lawns and shady trees, while the tempo starts to quicken once the sun sets with venues such as Bubu Lounge and Cantho Club drawing in party-lovers. Every May, Sau Paulo hosts a gay parade that runs along a 4km route starting from Paulista Ave - it's even entering the Guiness Book of Records as the largest, so don't miss out!
The cultural capital of Sweden serves up a vibrant blend of architecture, fashion, nightlife and natural beauty, so you'll never be stuck for things to see and do. You'll find LGBT-friendly hotels, restaurants, bars and events dotted across the city (particularly in the Södermalm district) and iconic rainbow flags fly high in many of it's districts. Malarpaviljon gen and Chokladkoppen are fantastic al-fresco dining spots with a friendly LGBT following, while top nightclubs for lively gay and lesbian nights include Space STHLM, Limbo and Club King Kong in Gamla Stan. Along with Gothenburg, Stockholm will host the LGBT event Europride in 2018.
Vancouver, in Canada’s Pacific Northwest, has a lively LGBT sub-culture, primarily due to its appreciation of alternative sexuality. The Davis Village is a bustling suburb with easy access to gay-friendly bars, cafes and nightclubs. Little Sisters - a bookstore devoted to gay literature - is an institution of sorts and stocks LGBT books, local art, DVDs and more. Soaking up the sun on Vancouver’s secluded Wreck Beach (a naturalist beach with a separate gay section) is a must, alongside the annual Gay Pride event, which draws in crowds of over 6,50,000. The Commercial Drive area is great for pretty bistros, cafes and arty stores, too.