Welcome to Insider Out Travel, a blog about LGBT travel written by LGBT tourism professionals. Travel the globe and gain insight into the tourism industry (with a gay twist), brought to you by the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Philadelphia: The City of Brotherly Love

By Ed Salvato

With its motto "The City of Brotherly Love," Philadelphia seems tailor-made for gay travel. Bursting with history, charming architecture, a sizzling food scene, and red-hot nightlife, Philly offers loads to see and do for LGBT visitors. Plan a visit to Philadelphia only, or pair it with other east coast faves like New York or Washington, D.C.

The city just celebrated the 40th anniversary of its vibrant "Gayborhood." Consider making your temporary home at the 24-room Indepedent Hotel Philadelphia, a located in a lovingly restored Greek Revival building (on the National Register of Historic Places) in the pink heart of this centrally located and eminently walkable area. This friendly, cozy boutique hotel offers oodles of charm and luxurious touches (think feather-soft pillow-top mattresses, hardwood floors, and French windows). Some rooms have fireplaces.

Now, it's time to toast this milestone in one of Philly's hot bars or clubs. You only turn 40 once. (Well, most people!) For a casual start to your evening hit Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar in the northern section of the Gayborhood, where you'll find a super-friendly, relaxed atmosphere, locally brewed beers and decent bar food. If sports aren't your thing, head upstairs to the casual lounge, where there's often a themed event.

You're almost guaranteed to meet gay and lesbian softball players at the recently remodeled Westbury, which practices Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection with a friendly welcome: great, inexpensive food and drinks and the sponsorship of softball teams of all stripes.

Woody's Bar and Nightlife Complex is a reliably fun option for gay men or women for a drink or for a night of debauched fun (and everything in between). If you can't quite get enough nightlife at the bars, see and be seen at Voyeur Nightclub, located within stumbling distance of Woody's. This multi-level sophisticated hotspot never fails to deliver on great music and attractive guys.

Ladies, Philly's got you covered, too. Sisters Nightclub, located near Woody's, is one of the biggest and most energetic venues for lesbians (and their gay pals) in the Northeast. For more nightlife and wide range of other gay trip-planning information, check, out VisitPhilly.com/gay.

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