help us plan a somewhat last minute, gay friendly winter vacation
November 6, 2013 10:20 AM   Subscribe

My wife and I are planning a last minute vacation for the week between Christmas and New Year's. We will be leaving from NYC and would like to go someplace warm where we can mostly relax and lay on the beach. Budget is ~5k-6k flights included. We are happily married lesbians and are not interested in pretending to be sisters/cousins/friends on our big vacation, so we are specifically looking for lgbt friendly destinations or possibly lgbt friendly resorts in moderately lgbt friendly locales.

So far I am looking at Puerto Rico, but when I say "looking" I mean I have done maybe 5 minutes of googling before getting completely overwhelmed with decision fatigue, so personal recommendations are very much appreciated in advance! Additional potentially relevant info:

-we are both in our late 20s, and not big partiers.
-we're fairly adventurous and in between all of our relaxing we would like to do some interesting activities and sightseeing.
-we want to stay someplace on the nicer end of things after years of hosteling/b&b/couchsurfing travels.
-we would prefer a flight under 5-6 hours.
posted by msjoannabanana to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Two friends of mine just had their honeymoon in Puerto Rico. They're lesbians and I'm pretty sure they did not encounter any problems there.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:22 AM on November 6, 2013

while the country is largely catholic, there are tons of gay-friendly destinations in costa rica. two married lesbian friends of mine recently traveled there together and had a fantastic time, no problems that I know of.
posted by changeling at 10:29 AM on November 6, 2013

Puerto Rico is my suggestion, too. My former partner and I had a great time there -- lots to see and do -- and lesbian friendly.
posted by Lescha at 10:30 AM on November 6, 2013

I second puerto rico. I know a lesbian couple one of whom is puerto rican and they go on vacation there often.
posted by manderin at 10:32 AM on November 6, 2013

from palm springs, you could rent a car and drive to the ocean.
posted by bruce at 10:45 AM on November 6, 2013

Tulum, Mexico would seem to be exactly what you're looking for. I loved it there. Stayed at La Zebra. They FAQs specifically state that they are a gay-friendly resort.
posted by blaneyphoto at 10:59 AM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

We (straight couple) took our honeymoon in Puerto Rico, on Vieques. We are adventurous non-partiers too and we LOVED Vieques. You really do need to rent a car, but once you've done that you can basically snorkel on your own over stunning reefs all day long. There's good biking and the beaches are gorgeous. There are some historical sites we enjoyed seeing and you can go horseback riding and hiking. The bioluminescent water is a must-see, and we had an absolutely fabulous kayak-and-snorkel trip to an accessible-by-boat-only reef off a remote area of the island (we recommend Abe's tours). I thought it was paradise.

We stayed at a cute guest house called Casa de Amistad. I'm fairly certain the owners are gay, and we thought they were great - super helpful and fun. The place isn't all that fancy; probably more along the lines of your typical B&B, although it's definitely not hostel-like. (The guest house is listed as gay-owned here and gay-friendly here.)

There is a super fancy resort on the island - the "W" - which we briefly saw. It is absolutely stunning, but of course extremely expensive.
posted by Cygnet at 11:22 AM on November 6, 2013 [5 favorites]

Playa del Carmen, méxico. About an hour drive from Cancun but more laid back and with newer resorts. You can see all sorts of people there and mostly everyone is made to feel welcome. 5k is a definitely good budget for flights plus a good hotel or all inclusive resort. There are many things to do other than staying on the beach, but I recommend a good book and some margaritas. You can probably get a direct flight from NY.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 11:27 AM on November 6, 2013

Getting you started with some info.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 11:31 AM on November 6, 2013

I was seriously considering Key West or another Florida Key this New Years Eve. It's warm and has beaches, and certainly is gay-friendly. If you like partying as much as you like relaxing I'd consider it as well as more expensive island destinations.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:27 PM on November 6, 2013

I am biased but I think Curacao ( is run by the tourism board here) is probably a good place and it is an absolutely fabulous place for New Year's Eve. PM me for more details if you want.
posted by HopStopDon'tShop at 1:37 PM on November 6, 2013

We are going to Puerto Rico that week! It seems awesome and fits your bill, but note that a lot a lot of places are already booked (and forget Vieques - you won't even be able to get there, much less stay anywhere/rent a car - we booked months ago and weren't able to get a car). But yeah! The guidebooks suggest that it's LGBT-friendly.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 4:04 PM on November 6, 2013

My favorite inexpensive beaches are in the Yucatan, about 45 minutes north of the capital, Merida. The small port town of Progreso is the most well known, but the homes east of there make for much better stays. I've rented homes there three different times and love how quiet, relaxing and private it is. You essentially have your own private beach and most of the homes have a pool as well. Rentals range from $650-2500/week. Want city life for a night? Head into Merida for dinner, dancing, shopping, etc. Want to explore ancient ruins? Plenty of Mayan ruins throughout the area. Swimming in cenotes is one of my very favorite things. Get in touch if you want more info and tips for rentals.

Merida is very gay friendly, with a large community of American ex-pats. I've never had any issues there with holding hands, etc. and I scream gay.

Key West is also great, but I find it more expensive and frankly, almost too gay. If you're going to go, splurge on one of the nice beach front hotels like Casa Marina. It's so nice to have your own little oasis to retreat to.

Another Florida option are the beaches of Pinellas county (St Pete, Clearwater, etc). The Don Cesar on St Pete Beach would be my suggestion.
posted by FlamingBore at 5:14 AM on November 7, 2013

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