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A R T S & C U LT U R E

SITES UNSEEN Lion’s Head offers a spectacular sunset view of the bay. Credit: LoAnn Halden.

Satisfy your wanderlust in these unexpected LGBT-friendly destinations. By

LoAnn Halden

Where to go next? For travel junkies, it’s the million-dollar question. Do you revisit the places you love or leap off the beaten path and find a new LGBT-welcoming destination? As more countries move toward equality for all citizens, the options are expanding rapidly. At the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), where we have travel business members in 80 countries, we’re often asked about new places for LGBT globetrotters. Here are a few of our favorites across three continents – two far-flung spots that are worth the long haul and one close to home for a quick getaway that won’t break the bank.

ning waterfront city than the nightlife. Hike to the top of Lion’s Head or Table Mountain for the sweeping vistas, visit Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned during apartheid to better understand the country’s fight for freedom, or take a day trip to the Cape Winelands for tastings far more affordable than Napa. Gay-owned Rhino Africa can assist with short excursions or longer South African safaris that include the country’s famous game reserves, like Kruger National Park.

The Harajuku district of Tokyo bursts with nighttime activity. Credit: LoAnn Halden.

Cape Town, South Africa Cape Town is already well known among LGBT Europeans, but Americans have been slower to follow suit. While the flight is long, airfares aren’t much pricier than a summer trip to Europe and the very favorable U.S. dollar-to-rand conversion rate ensures that you can vacation in grand style when you arrive. In 1996, South Africa became the first country in the world to enshrine sexual orientation protection in its constitution. Marriage equality followed in 2006, nearly a decade before the United States got on board. Although neighboring countries frequently make headlines for homophobia, South Africa is a pioneer – and nowhere is that progressive spirit more evident than in Cape Town. Think of it as the West Hollywood of Africa, with a cosmopolitan dining scene, fantastic regional wines, and plenty of queer nightlife. The LGBT scene centers on the De Waterkant/Green Point area. Visit Beaulah Bar for women-centric events, Beefcakes for burgers with a heaping side of drag, and Crew Bar for late-night dancing. But don’t forget, there’s more to this stun68 | Boston Pride 2016

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2016 Boston Pride Guide