Gay Couple Travel Guide USA: The United States of America, still known as the land of boundless opportunities, is a varied destination for outdoor fans exploring the sea, mountains, and diverse cultural attractions in its 50 states on the North American continent. Our first trip to the United States of America brought us via Atlanta to Florida, where we spent some beautiful days in Orlando’s Disney Parks and Universal Studios. In the same year, we explored the South Western part of the USA, starting with California from San Francisco. We attended the Castro Street Fair, drove the Pacific Highway No 1, visited Los Angeles and Anaheim, and a trip to Nevada followed. First, we tried our luck in Las Vegas, and did not find any alien life on the Extraterrestrial Highway, but gasped because of the vastness of the Grand Canyon North Rim in Arizona and Zion National Park in Utah. Our way back led us to California’s Yosemite National Park, including the Ghost Town Bodie. But this meant to be just the beginning of our American explorations.
Visiting the USA the gay-friendly way
We have been back to the States already several times since our first trips. In 2019, we visited New York City near World Pride, taking a “weekend off” north of the Big Apple in Dutchess County. Back in California again – it simply is one of our favorite US-States so far – we attended the colorful LA Pride. Then, of course, Disneyland, Disney’s Island of Adventure, and Universal Studios Hollywood have been (and are again) on top of our bucket list.
Further north, we visited the green US-State of Oregon with its hip capital city Portland. Portland Pride was fantastic to experience though, the Pacific coast and the Crater Lake area should be part of everyone’s US travel plans. After flying east to the wind city, it was time for us to explore Illinois with its skyscraper city Chicago and the LGBT getaway Galena. And there is much more to come, for sure!
Illinois Gay Travel Guide
You cannot imagine how excited we are to share the highlights of our first-ever trip to Illinois finally and, of course, to Chicago with you. The city of wind by the great Lake Michigan was already on our gay travel bucket list for so long. But first things first! We started our Illinois adventure with a road trip visiting Galena, one of TripAdvisor’s top ten “Charming Small Towns” in the US right at the northwest border to the US states of Iowa and Wisconsin.
Known and loved for its mid-century architecture, Galena is becoming more and more popular among the LGBTQ+ community of Chicago and beyond. Then, on our way back, we put a one-day stop in Rockford on our list. Visiting the Murals in the city enter and the Japanese Garden and the Laurent House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright made this stop worthwhile. Then, before finally arriving in Chicago for Pride, we spent a night in Geneva, another beautiful community just a one-hour train ride from Chicago.
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South West of the USA
Road Trip USA Highlights American South West and beyond. It was a wonderful experience to travel around the country of boundless possibilities on our road trip around the southwest of the USA. Our tour started and ended in San Francisco, going counter clock around California, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada back to California. Being one month on the road as an openly gay couple allowed us plenty of time to feel the American way of life in all its facets from skyscrapers, and dense forests in National Parks to deserts, and dry salt lakes. But this was just our first trip to the US-American South West. In 2019, we revisited California for LA Pride and the opening of Star Wars Land in Disneyland! And we are confident we will be back soon again!
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New York Gay Travel Guide
In 2019, the time finally came for us to travel to the US state of New York, the embodiment of the new world, of the land of opportunity, also known as the Big Apple. After our short layover of 6 hours two years ago, we cannot wait to spend ten days on the East Coast, visiting some must-sees of New York like the view from the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. Though, the focus of our trip will be the LGBTQ+ history of New York, and you know why! Exactly, because 2019 was the year of World Pride and Stonewall50! But we also traveled upstate New York to explore the beauty of Dutchess County, north of New York City.
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Oregon Gay Travel Guide
Beer, Bears, and Bearded men – Known as the hipster metropolis of the USA, Portland, and the US-American state of Oregon have been a must-do on our gay travels to the United States of America. ‘The City of Roses’ is one of Portland’s nicknames, located in the Northwest of the USA, not far from the Pacific coast. Embedded between the Columbia and Willamette River, the biggest city of Oregon is known for its environmental friendliness due to a high percentage of bikers, for example.
But it is also known for its parks, the close connection to nature, and its high number of microbreweries and cafés. We spent almost a week in Portland, attending Portland Pride, before starting our road trip south. Nature created a stunning landscape in Oregon with Crater Lake National Park, spectacular waterfalls, and the vast volcano crater lake. Further, towards the Pacific, we spent our last relaxing days in nature close to the beach.
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Florida Gay Travel Guide
Sun, beaches, palm trees, and… theme parks. This year was our second time in Florida after Daan’s 30th birthday present was a trip to Orlando, visiting ALL major theme parks in 10 days. Guess where we ended up this time again first? Of course, in Orlando. Top on our list: Universal Studios, Universal Island of Adventures, and all Disney Parks. But our trip did not end here. We continued our journey in a southern direction, heading by car to Miami and Miami Beach and later on to Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors – for Pride of the Americas. We loved every minute of our Florida trip and cannot wait to share everything with you in the upcoming weeks! Until then, feel free to send us a message, and we will give our best to give you all the answers you need for the perfect gaycation in Florida. This year, we finally made it to the Florida Keys and Key West!
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How gay-friendly is the USA?
The United States of America expand from the Pacific Ocean (West) to the Atlantic Ocean (East), from Canada (North) to Mexico (South). The so-called “States” rank among the biggest countries in the world. After becoming independent of the United Kingdom in 1776, the American people celebrate their “Independence Day” every July 4th. But what is essential to know for the LGBTQ+ community on their gay travels to the United States of America?
Although we consider the US to be a gay-friendly destination, legalizing same-sex marriage in 2015, there are still many places where same-sex couples should pay attention to where they walk hand-in-hand. We have not had any negative experiences traveling as an openly gay couple in the US so far, and we hope that will stay like that. Furthermore, we are so glad about the outcome of the Presidential Election 2020. We couldn’t be more relieved to see that the new administration is strengthening equality laws while recognizing and implementing LGBTQ+ rights as what they are, human rights.
Good to know about before traveling to the USA
Some essential tips for planning your trip to the United States of America: Check your country’s US visa requirements. European LGBT travelers and all travelers coming from a Visa Waiver Program country don’t need a US visa for vacation purposes but have to apply for your ESTA form instead. We see it as our entry ticket to the USA, as it is necessary to show at the immigration check before entering the United States of America. Furthermore, check the validity of your passport. In some cases, it needs to be valid for a couple of months beyond your travel period.
If you are planning to make a road trip around the USA, which is a fantastic thing to do, check the driver’s license requirements and the possible necessity of an international driver’s license (rules differ from state to state). Also: Bring your adapter plug, since you require one to connect European/ Asian plugs to the electricity grid. Some hotels might have a few to spare, but bringing your own is always more thoughtful. What about the money? We always get a couple of hundred US Dollars from Europe, just in case. But you can pay with your credit card everywhere. Please be aware that sometimes you’ll need the pin code of your credit card, so make sure you know it.
Plan your trip to the USA with Couple of Men:
There are so many more places to visit in America. The highest on our list is undoubtedly more of the North-Western part of Washington State, including Seattle. But you can be sure that the Disney Parks in Florida, Key West, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and more central and more known LGBT and gay-friendly parts of the USA are super high on our bucket list again and again! In addition, almost every bigger city in the US has its annual Gay Pride, mainly during the Pride month of June. So, we are super excited when we will attend the next Gay Pride in the United States of America, maybe the Pride of the Americas in Florida?
Traveling to the USA the gay-friendly way with our Gay USA Travel Guide
Be it in the state of theme parks, Florida, in the southeast, the California lifestyle in the southwest, the vibrant city life of the Big Apple, the green state of Oregon, or the central state of Illinois – We love traveling around the North American Country!
And now, enjoy your preparations for a trip to the United States of America and see as well as experience the best of the USA through a couple of men’s eyes with our Gay Couple Travel Guide USA blog articles.
For any clarifications about your plans to travel to the USA, follow us and email us or drop us a line on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. See you around the world and the next time in the States and Northern America!
Karl & Daan