New England is among the most welcoming destinations in the U.S. for gay visitors. Not least because same-sex marriage is now legally recognized in all six New England states (Rhode Island’s State Senate just voted in favor of same-sex marriage legislation a few days ago) and gay-friendly accommodations are easy to find.
Our featured image by John Steiner Studio depicts Ogunquit, Maine.
Massachusetts was the first U.S. state to legalize gay marriage and unsurprisingly Boston has a vibrant LGBT scene.
Head to the South End, the city’s traditional gay enclave. There you’ll find elegant Victorian brick-row houses, über-trendy boutiques, bars and cafés, and fine restaurants along Tremont Street. The Calderwood Pavilion and Boston Center for the Arts make the area a treat for culture vultures, too, while world-class shopping is found nearby and on Newbury Street, just a short walk away.
Here’s where to tour beyond Boston…
Touring south of Boston
At the northern tip of Cape Cod you’ll find Provincetown. Funky, historic “P-Town,” as locals affectionately call it, is home to a prominent gay and lesbian artistic community. Look out for the wide selection of galleries and eclectic boutiques.
Renowned as one of the United States’ leading gay resort destinations, Provincetown boasts lively nightlife, charming beaches and some of the best whale watching on the east coast. Don’t leave before you’ve walked the mile-long jetty to Long Point Beach, an idyllic spot to watch the sunset.
Back along Cape Cod and into the state of Rhode Island is Providence. Visit this vibrant, artsy state capital and college city for its lively nightlife, diversity, burgeoning performing arts reputation, excellent shopping and fine art at the Museum of Rhode Island School of Design.
Providence is also home to RI Pride, a non-profit organization focused on the interests of gay and lesbian residents. The city offers a number of “TAG-approved” hotels that guarantee gay-friendly employment policies and services, plus support for the gay community.
Inland, less than two hours’ drive from Providence, is the small city of Northampton, Massachusetts. Nestled in the foothills of the Berkshires on the banks of the Connecticut River, Northampton has a great mix of urban, intellectual energy and rural splendor.
The city is home to a thriving lesbian community and arts scene, and every May it hosts one of the country’s largest gay pride events – Northampton LGBT Pride March & Rally.
Nearby attractions include the superb MassMOCA museum of modern art in North Adams, while a number of charming gay-friendly B&Bs can be found in the genteel village of Lenox.
Touring north of Boston
The small coastal town of Ogunquit, Maine sits a little more than 70 miles north of Boston. Once famous as the vacation resort of choice of Bette Davis and other celebrities, Ogunquit has been welcoming gay and lesbian visitors and their families for more than 100 years.
Most visitors come for its stunning three-mile sandy beach and the Marginal Way, an ocean trail that offers striking views of the rocky Atlantic coast. But Ogunquit is also a long-established artist colony and home to numerous galleries, antique shops and gay-friendly bars and restaurants.
Further north along the coast is Portland, Maine’s largest city. One of the country’s greenest cities, it has a funky mix of galleries, one-of-a-kind boutiques and shops, and enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a destination for foodies with a superb choice of traditional and experimental restaurants, especially in the Old Port district.
The fact that it also has excellent shopping, whale watching, and sunset lighthouse cruises, as well as a strong and vibrant gay scene, makes it a great LGBT destination.
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…