TravelQ: 4 Reasons to Visit The Palm Beaches
A major traveling concern for queer folks is the uncertainty of the level of acceptance that awaits us. As a people, we have to be cognizant of possible safety and discriminatory issues. The questions that often arise are: will I feel protected? What are the laws? What am I to expect there? Will I have be comfortable perusing the entourage, or will I have to hide my gayness? And the list goes on… If we are not at ease with the answers to the preceding questions, that destination will most likely be removed from the list of places to visit.
Early this month, Discover The Palm Beaches and dapperQ, sent me to Florida to find out what it's like to experience Palm Beach as a queer woman. I was not dissatisfied. Florida is a popular vacation destination; Its fun, wild and care-free appeal, while maintaining a calm and elevated level of class is what impressed me the most. Here are 4 reasons why I enjoyed my visit to The Palm Beaches:
#1 LGBT friendly
The Palm Beaches, more specifically West Palm Beach and Lake Worth, were particularly queer friendly. They are home to a multitude of gay bars and restaurants. Furthermore, a Gay and Lesbian community center, Compass, is located in the area.
Palm Beach hosts a couple of high-profile annual events: Palm Beach Pride, which takes place in March, and the International Gay Polo Tournament, which occurs in April. The events bring the community together to celebrate Pride Week, all the while amassing a large of population of LGBT residents, visitors, and athletes. I was lucky enough to the Gay Polo Tournament, and although it was a sultry day, the adventure was quite pleasant. No need to understand the game to disport one's self in the ambiance.
#2 Food, Food, & Mo' Food
Food is a major part of the county. With meals made from fresh ingredients, great diversity can be found in the flavors that live in Palm Beach. From French, to Caribbean and Tropical, to South American, to Mediterranean, the possibilities are endless.
During a food tour, I got to taste Brazilian street food and true key-lime pie, and drink the best coconut water I've ever had in my life (I'm not kidding, and I don't even like coconut water). In addition to the breakfast served at the hotels, I went to various different restaurants, ranging from farm-to-table feel good food to Italian cuisine, and they were all finger-licking good!
#3 Fun Things to Do
Whether gallivanting with friends, vacationing with family, or traveling for work, there are plenty of fun activities one can partake in. An evening at The Colony's Royal Room Cabaret will leave you in awe, and perhaps with a dent in your wallet, which just might be worth it. On a tight budget? Enjoy the show sans nourriture for $60, especially if the talented Nunziata brothers, Will & Anthony, are performing. Heads up, dinner jackets are mandatory! (see below)
Multifarious diversions are available, such as shopping outlets, recreational golf, museums and other cultural attractions, and spas. I highly suggest carving out and dedicating at least one afternoon to the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, where you will gaily relish treatments, massages, and cupcakes and champagne.
There's also a great opportunity to learn about the history of Palm Beach by taking a visual tour with the knowledgeable Leslie Diver of Island Living. The tour takes place in the "wealthiest zip code in the U.S.", according to the USPS, where the most glamorous homes can be spotted.
#4 Places to Stay
For the first couple of days, home was Boca Raton's Waterstone Resort & Marina, a 4-diamond luxury hotel. With a minimalistic style approach, and a beautifully designed lobby with modern elements, I'd recommend it for the pal who enjoys a quiet environment and appreciates art.
Some of the things I really enjoyed were the breakfast display of deliciousness in the mornings accompanied by a delightful chat with Chef Lionel, a fellow Haitian kitchen master - hm hm good! The room had great sunlight, which made it easy to photograph my outfit grids, and an elongated worktable that worked wonders for all of my essentials. Although I didn't get to enjoy any them, the hotel also offers watersport activities like kayaking and scuba diving.
For the remaidner of the trip, I sojourned at the Kimpton Tideline Resort & Spa. It had a calming and relaxed atmosphere. The stunning view of the beach, located at the rear, can be enjoyed while savouring a meal in the restaurant. I wouldn't recommend missing the sun rise or set at the Tideline.
Some of the thoughtful perks of being a Kimpton member are the personalized touches. If you're like me and you love Snickers, it will be waiting for you in your room upon arrival! They're also pet-friendly (no extra costs), and serve a complimentary wine hour daily. Alcohol on the beach? Yes, please!
Obviously, I'm gay. From the way I dress, people usually come to that conclusion alone. Not to mention, I was on this trip with six to eight other gay men. There wasn't a time where I felt uncomfortable during the trip because of my sexual orientation. However, I do have to admit that a couple of times I felt very conscious of the color of skin.
I should say that this was a sponsored trip, specifically for gay journalists. Would it have been a different experience if I made this trip on my own? I don't think so; it's gay-ok! That being said, I would recommend the trip to a friend looking to have a good time in Florida.
Thanks for stopping by! Have a gay day!