Category Archives: Vacation Home

Building Your LGBTQ Road Trip Bucket List

There are a number of places around the U.S. that played a key part in getting the LGBTQ community to where it is today. Some people like to visit these historic sites to learn more about what part they played in LGBTQ history, while others enjoy the welcoming atmosphere and openness. You might even love one of these areas so much that you want to move there! While some are fairly well-known, others may not immediately come to mind when you think about places to visit with LGBTQ history. Here are a few places that need to be on your road trip bucket list.

San Francisco

Building Your LGBTQ Road Trip Bucket ListOf course the number one spot on just about every LGBTQ road trip list is San Francisco. Widely regarded as the Mecca for members of the community, people come from around the world to visit the Castro district and experience San Francisco’s annual pride festival. It’s definitely a place to visit at least once. If you’re thinking about moving to the Bay Area, consider the suburbs. Buying in San Francisco itself will cost you a good amount, but the areas surrounding the city itself are much more affordable. The BART rail system can get you just about anywhere, so commuting isn’t a problem.

Boystown

The Chicago neighborhood of Boystown is notable for being the first gayborhood in the country. This relaxed area may not seem that important to the LGBTQ movement at first glance, but many of the homes and businesses here have been owned by or catered to the LGBTQ community for decades.

Greenwich Village

All of New York City could be on your LGBTQ road trip bucket list, of course, but the Manhattan neighborhood of Greenwich Village definitely needs to be on the itinerary. It’s the home of the Stonewall Inn, the location of the famous Stonewall riots that took place in June of 1969. This event was one of—if not the most—important event that started the modern LGBTQ movement for equal rights. Visitors can learn more about the riots at the Stonewall National Monument.

Go to a Large Pride Festival

Most large cities around the country hold annual pride events. If you’ve never been to one before, it’s time to change that! These festivals are a great place to meet new friends, experience unique events, and have a lot of fun. Just being in a place where you know you’re accepted by everyone around you can be a life-changing, or at least life-affirming, event.

Up and Coming Gay Neighborhoods

Despite some reports, the death of the gay neighborhood is far from true. These areas may not be as prevalent today since more and more people are welcoming LGBTQ individuals and families into their neighborhoods, but they still exist. In fact, there are a number of new “gay ghettos” that have burst onto the scene, giving people options other than New York City, San Francisco, or Boystown in Chicago. Here are a few of these up and coming gay neighborhoods you could as your gay or lesbian real estate agent about.

New Orleans – the Bywater District

Up and Coming Gay NeighborhoodsNew Orleans has always been a very welcoming place for LGBTQ people, though it hasn’t achieved the fame some other cities have. It’s home to the oldest continuously open gay bar in the country, and many people come to celebrate Mardi Gras every year. While the French Quarter has served as something of a gay neighborhood over the years, the Bywater District has become more and more popular lately. This area contains many unique boutiques, artist stands, and more.

Denver – River North

Denver, Colorado, is another city with a long LGBTQ history. The city held one of the first pride events in the country and is home to organizations such as the Colorado Gay Rodeo Association. In 1990, the city even passed laws banning discrimination based on orientation, something few other cities were doing at the time. Today, River North is one of the up and coming gay neighborhoods. It’s an art district, which shouldn’t be a surprise—many LGBTQ people express themselves through art.

New condos have recently gone up in the area, but there are still a number of older homes here that are quite affordable. You’ll find new art galleries and boutiques next to older factories and historic areas, creating an interesting mix of old and new.

Salt Lake City – The Marmalade

Salt Lake City is often a surprise to LGBTQ people. They think of the city as home to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a religion that hasn’t exactly been welcoming to LGBTQ individuals. But Salt Lake City is actually fairly liberal and welcoming. The city has actually had an openly gay mayor and hosts a major pride celebration every year. The Marmalade district is the city’s biggest gay neighborhood, although it is a fairly new part of the city. Despite that, it’s growing quickly and has become home to many young professionals who have moved to Salt Lake City.

These are just three of the newest gay neighborhoods. If you’re looking at moving to a different area, do a little research—chances are, there’s a gay district there!

Great Places to Live in Connecticut

Thinking about moving to the New England area? There are many beautiful sights to see and places to live here. If you’re a part of the LGBT community and want to make sure you’re comfortable and safe in your new home, you might want to consider some of the cities in Connecticut. It was the second state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage, which should give you an idea of how open and welcoming it is. Many gay and lesbian real estate agents are active in the state, too, so you can get help in finding that perfect home. Here are a few of the cities that have good-sized LGBT populations and are definitely more than welcoming to all.

Westport

Great Places to Live in ConnecticutWestport is home to a number of famous names. Martha Stewart herself even lived in the city for some time. It’s full of people who are very liberal and highly educated, which is why many LGBT people feel right at home here. With low crime rates, a top notch school system, and a number of pride events, Westport may seem like the perfect place to live. There is one downside: most of the people here make a good amount of money, and the cost of living has increased to match.

New Haven

Home to Yale University, New Haven is one of the best cities in the area for LGBT students and non-students alike. One area you definitely want to visit is Wooster Square, the center of the LGBT community in New Haven. There are many great restaurants and parks here as well as affordable homes. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the New Haven Gay Pride festival in September and Gay Pride Weekend.

West Hartford

If Hartford is a bit too large and crowded for you, you might want to step over to West Hartford. This suburb is a little smaller, although it’s still home to more than 60,000 people. It’s nice if you want everything a city of that size offers but don’t want to feel crowded all the time. There’s very little crime here, which is great, and the education system is outstanding. It’s similar to Westport in that regards, and just like Westport, the cost of living is higher than in some other areas of the state. There are many different LGBT events here, too, plus a number of services provided by the city.

If you’re thinking of moving to Connecticut, you can’t go wrong with one of these three cities.

The Gayest Cities in California

California is known as a haven for the LGBT community. A gay or lesbian real estate agent will tell you that people move from around the country to San Francisco, thinking it will solve all of their problems. But while San Francisco has a long history with the LGBT community, it’s also just one of the very open and supportive cities in the state. As it’s quite expensive, many people find themselves looking at other places in California. Here are some of the gayest cities in the state based on a number of factors, including the number of same-sex couples in the city and the number of city ordinances protecting LGBT people.

Palm Springs

The Gayest Cities in CaliforniaWhile it’s still fairly expensive, Palm Springs actually has more LGBT households per capita than any other city in California. More than eight percent of all households here are same-sex, so you know you’ll be able to find some LGBT friends pretty easily. This also means that the school system is very open to kids with same-sex families.

West Hollywood

While technically different from Hollywood, West Hollywood is still as open and welcoming as its more popular sister. It’s also much less expensive than Hollywood proper, though it is still a part of LA, so you can expect housing costs to be a bit higher than they’d be elsewhere. Still, with more than six percent of households made up of LGBT-identifying individuals, it may be worth the extra cost.

Cathedral City

You may not be familiar with Cathedral City. It’s not one of the most well-known cities in California, but it is home to many LGBT people. The city only has a little over 50,000 citizens, so it’s nice and small. It’s located in the Coachella Valley not too far from Palm Springs. Overall, things are cheaper in Cathedral City, so it’s a nice change of pace from the rest of the area. In addition to its lower cost of living, Cathedral City is known for its number of gorgeous parks.

Rio Dell

Another small city, Rio Dell has less than 4,000 people living in it. Out of these, around three percent of households are same-sex. Like Cathedral City, it’s more laid back, relaxed, and low-cost. This town is also in the Northeastern part of the state, so it’s perfect for those who don’t want to get caught up in the rush of LA or San Francisco.

These are just a few places where the LGBT community is very large and strong. Check them out if you’re planning a move to California.

Cities to Consider if You Want an LGBT Friendly Vacation

Is the thought of an upcoming vacation starting to enter your mind? Perhaps life has just gotten crazy lately, and you simply want a place to go to relax? We can all relate. However, if you want to find a new place to visit that also happens to be LGBT friendly, then that list of places that sound appealing changes slightly. Here are some of the best places to go that also happen to be welcoming to members of the LGBT community.

Let’s Start with Tel Aviv

Cities to Consider if You Want an LGBT Friendly VacationTel Aviv, Israel, is incredibly welcoming to the LGBT community. You can go around and visit some of the most amazing places on earth. Plus, you can partake in many of the pride events that take place around Tel Aviv on a regular basis. There are new sights to see, foods to eat, and cultures to explore.

Berlin is Another Great Destination

If you want to consider going to a unique LGBT friendly location for a vacation, then you may want to look into Berlin. Known for its roots in Cabaret, there are plenty of activities that one could go and enjoy. There are constant parties to attend, mega-events at a lot of the local clubs, and bars that can keep you in touch with the locals who can show you a great time!

If You Want LGBT Friendly, Consider Guadalajara, Mexico

One of the most welcoming cities of Mexico, to the LGBT community, is definitely Guadalajara. You can go there and feel like home, only better! You can go out to nearly any bar or party and feel welcome. Plus, if you want to really get crazy, you can even go and enjoy the weekly underwear party at Voltio!

With a little research, you can easily find a lot of places that will be a lot of fun. Step outside of the box and find something that brings a smile to your face. Do not just go out and have the same old boring vacation. Plan one that will leave you with fond memories that will leave you smiling for years to come. That way, when you go back home, you have pictures to share, and stories to tell all of your friends and family. They will love the fact that you feel so rejuvenated, and you will love the time you spent there!

Posted on October 7, 2017 in Gay and Lesbian, Vacation Home

Living the LGBT Life in Connecticut

Thinking about moving to the northeast? Connecticut is one of the most beautiful states in New England, and it’s also one of the friendliest towards the LGBT community. The state was the second in the country to legalize same-sex marriage, so that should tell you right off that you’ll be quite welcome there. There are also hate crime laws that protect people on the basis of sexual and gender identity, employment protection laws, and more. Same-sex partners can enjoy full state employee benefits, too. While these protections are statewide, there are still some cities that stand out as amazing places for those in the LGBT community to live. Here are a few of these places.

New Haven

Living the LGBT Life in ConnecticutNew Haven is home to Yale University, and that means this city is full of college students during the school year. It also means it’s an incredibly welcoming place to live. The city’s parks are gorgeous, while the harbor provides a great backdrop to many of the events in New Haven. Many in the LGBT community live near Wooster Square, which is also the city’s “Little Italy.” This part of the city features a number of art studios and small boutiques. The city hosts a large pride festival and other LGBT-friendly events. Housing is also quite affordable.

West Hartford

West Hartford is its own city, but many consider it a large suburb of Hartford. It’s a quiet, residential area where the median age is older than many locations. The crime rate here is incredibly low, while the school system is considered one of the best in the state. Like New Haven, you’ll find a number of gay and lesbian real estate agents here to point you to new homes.

South Norwalk

South Norwalk is known as a fairly up and coming city in Connecticut. It has a thriving LGBT community thanks in part to the many corporations that have their headquarters there. Xerox, Priceline, Pepperidge Farms, and Diageo all have their headquarters here. Homes in South Norwalk aren’t cheap, but they’re lower than what you’d find in some of the other large cities in New England.

Westport

Finally, there’s Westport. This is another city that’s really liberal. Crime is low, and while a lot of celebrities have lived in Westport or have vacation homes here, you’ll still find that homes are fairly affordable.

Ready to move to Connecticut? These cities are definitely great places to start your search for your new home!

Where Are LGBT Individuals Vacationing?

Want to know where some of the best places to live are for members of the LGBT community? One tip is to check out where they’re vacationing. While it’s not always true, some gay and lesbian real estate agents have found that cities with a growing LGBT tourism industry do tend to be much more open and welcoming. No one wants to vacation in a city where they’re going to be looked down on because of their sexual orientation. Some people get enough of that in their day-to-day lives—they don’t want to deal with it on vacation, too. So where are LGBT people spending their vacations in 2017? Here are some of the top spots.

Palm Springs

Where Are LGBT Individuals VacationingCalifornia is always a welcoming destination for LGBT people, so it should be a surprise that Palm Springs is on the list. What is interesting is that it’s the California city of choice this year, not San Francisco. There was a time when Palm Springs seemed played out – people were bored of it. Then the Coachella Music and Arts Festival moved in and brought the crowds back. What’s great for those looking to buy a house is that Palm Springs is just as welcoming as San Francisco or LA but is more affordable. It’s still fairly pricy, of course, but if you live on the outskirts of the city, you’ll find prices aren’t as bad.

Denver, Boulder, and Other Cities in Colorado

The entire state of Colorado has become very open and relaxed. In fact, few people realize that a county clerk in the state actually issued some marriage licenses to same-sex couples back in 1975! The state has become known for its laid back, live and let live attitude that prevails in most of the larger cities. It’s also seen in vacation towns such as Telluride and Aspen. Living in those areas may not be for everyone. The huge influx of visitors during the tourism season is a lot to handle. However, Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, and other locations may fit all of your needs.

Orlando

Orlando, Florida, is often on lists of the best LGBT areas to visit or live in. Last year, the city made headlines with the tragic shooting at the Pulse Nightclub. This mass shooting was the worst in the country’s history. Despite this, Orlando hasn’t lost its status as one of the best places for LGBT people to visit or live. In fact, the community became even stronger after the tragedy. Orlando offers a lot to its residents, and in some parts of the city, you’ll hardly ever see tourists.

Should You Consider Moving to New Jersey?

If you’re considering a move to New Jersey, you may start looking for great cities that are also known for being LGBT-friendly. While the state is often overshadowed by nearby neighbors such as New York and Massachusetts, New Jersey does have a number of great places for LGBT people to live. In fact, the state has a growing LGBT community because it’s much cheaper to live in New Jersey and commute to Manhattan and other more expensive neighborhoods to work. Here are some of the top New Jersey areas to live for those in the LGBT community.

Maplewood

Should You Consider Moving to New JerseyMaplewood is a small town located in the northern part of New Jersey. As such, it’s perfect for commuters who are looking for that small-town feel, but still want access to everything a large city has to offer. The town’s downtown area is home to several locally run restaurants and other businesses that are always welcoming no matter who you are. Many people in the city work in the theater industry and operate a local theater company.

Jersey City

Jersey City is perhaps the top LGBT city in New Jersey. In 2016, it was awarded a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign for its dedication to LGBT rights. The city has a number of LGBT households and hosts its own pride festival every year. It’s also home to an LGBT community center and even has LGBT community liaisons in both the mayor’s office and the police station. Recent city ordinances have extended medical coverage for city employees to cover transgender medical needs and gender reassignment surgery.

Jersey City is larger than Maplewood. In fact, it’s the second largest city in the state with over 260,000 people living in it. It’s technically a part of the New York Metro Area, too, and is connected to the larger city by a number of rapid transit rail systems. The Hill and The Heights are both popular neighborhoods with unique apartments and homes.

Lambertville

Another city ranked highly by the HRC, Lambertville was only two points short of making a perfect score this year. It’s located on the western side of New Jersey, almost directly opposite of Jersey City. Lambertville sits on the Delaware River and is much smaller than Jersey City. In fact, it only has about 4,000 people living in it. For those who want a very small town to call him, Lambertville will certainly fit the bill. Just because it’s small, though, doesn’t mean it isn’t the perfect place for you to call home.

New Cities Top LGBT Vacation Destination List

In the past, lists of top LGBT vacation spots or places to live were no surprise: cities like San Francisco, Seattle, and New York were in the top five over and over. But things have begun to change, and the 2016 LGBT vacation destination list contains some surprising cities. In a survey done by Gogobot, a number of cities that are considered second-tier have taken over the list, replacing the more well-known LGBT cities.

Breaking Down the City List

New Cities Top LGBT Vacation Destination ListAtlanta has topped the 2016 list, which some may find surprising due to the various recent battles over LGBT rights in the south. However, the city is one of the largest in the region and has a very diverse population. Coming in second is Minneapolis, followed by Boston and Austin, Texas. Boston should come as no surprise—it has always been a very popular with the LGBT community. Austin, however, is another liberal city in a fairly conservative state that serves as a haven for gays and lesbians in Texas. Later down the list are Dallas and Washington, D.C., both of which are known for their good-sized LGBT populations. Tampa, Florida, completes the list.

Why are gay and lesbian tourists visiting these cities instead of San Francisco and New York? Some may actually be looking for places to move to, while others have visited the larger cities in the past and have no desire to do so again. There’s also a cultural shift into going smaller and looking to more local destinations and shops, something these second-tier cities are more apt to have.

Getting Their Names Out There

Another factor that may have had an impact on these rankings is marketing. A number of cities have begun marketing themselves as LGBT friendly destinations that actively want LGBT tourists and residents. This is especially true in states like Georgia and Texas, where city officials may be concerned that they are being stereotyped by the actions of other southern states. Dallas has spent years building up its friendly reputation, for example, and Austin is working to replicate their success.

Of course, that’s not to say that LGBT tourists have abandoned New York or San Francisco completely. Those two cities still remain a major draw for LGBT tourists, but the expense of both cities has certainly impacted the number of people who can afford to spend long holidays there. These second-tier cities tend to be much cheaper to visit and to live in.

4 Best Vacation Home States

The most important thing to think about when buying a vacation home is the location. This crucial detail can influence how much you’ll use the home, the cost of upkeep, and the ability to resell the home in the future.

If You Plan on Buying a Vacation Home, You May Want to Consider One of These Four StatesInstead of guessing and second guessing at what states are the best for vacation homes, let us give you some ideas! Below is a list of the five best vacation states taking things like weather, local economy, and resell ability into account.

#4 Hawaii

Love the beach? Then Hawaii is about as good as you can get. The entire state is made up of endless alabaster beaches and deep forest with colorful wildlife.

“So why is it only #4?” you might be asking.

Well, vacationing in Hawaii is a huge commitment and might be completely impossible for some people. In addition, transporting a vehicle is expensive and rust from the ocean requires you to do quite a bit of upkeep. These problems along with its out of the way location make it a little less attractive for some, yet still a popular vacation spot.

#3 Nevada

Las Vegas alone is enough to put Nevada on the list of best vacation home destinations. If you move here you’ll never be without something to do if you enjoy a fast paced lifestyle. However, Nevada only makes #3 because of one critical flaw.

If you enjoy beaches or snow, you won’t like Las Vegas as it does not have either. In addition, if you do not particularly enjoy the entertainment that Vegas has to offer, then there may be better places.

#2 Arizona

Even though it’s not near the waterfront, Arizona still manages to have a smorgasbord of activities for retirees. There’s rock climbing, desert tours, hot-air ballooning, and plenty of golf. The best part of Arizona however is the home prices. Some homes that would easily be worth $300,000 or more in another state are priced at $170,000 or lower in popular places like Phoenix. That’s a total steal!

#1 Florida

Florida has it all. The beaches, theme parks, city life, countryside, months of endless sun and dozens of viable vacation towns make Florida the most attractive vacation home spot in the country. Combine that with the fact that the homes in this state average out to a fairly modest $170,000 and you have yourself a recipe for success!

Posted on July 2, 2015 in Buying a Home, Vacation Home