If you are an LGBTQ+ parent or part of an LGBTQ+ family, finding a welcoming vacation spot is important. Where can you go where you can hope to be treated with respect and kindness? Here are some vacation ideas, from big-time cruises to summer camp-style adventures where LGBTQ+ families can be themselves.
Hit the high seas
R Family Vacations is celebrating 20 years of providing LGBTQ+ welcoming getaways for LGBTQ+ parents and families. The upcoming Anniversary Cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas starts in Orlando and makes stops in CocoCay, Bahamas, Cozumel, Mexico, Roatan, Honduras and Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico. In addition to the standard features of a Royal Caribbean cruise, R Family brings in their own talent, including Broadway entertainers, a theater camp and LGBTQ+ comedians.
Speaking of Royal Caribbean, the cruise company which also includes Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises, scores a 100 on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index. It’s also Pride 365 certified. Even if you aren’t traveling on an R Family trip with Royal Caribbean, the company and staff have shown a commitment to equality to their LGBTQ+ guests.
Paint the town rainbow
There are several LGBTQ+ welcoming cities across the country that have much to offer visiting families. You’d be hard pressed to find a more welcoming place for the family to vacation than Provincetown, Massachusetts. “P-Town” as it’s known to locals and tourists alike, has a week specifically designed for LGBTQ+ and their families to enjoy the charming town and beautiful beaches. This year’s Family Week kicks off July 22 and offers a schedule filled with activities, meetups and entertainment. According to Provincetown Tourism, Family Week is the largest gathering of LGBTQ+ families in the world.
San Diego, California scores a 100 on the HRC Municipal Equality Index, making it one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly cities in the country. This Southern California city sits on the Pacific Ocean, about 15 miles north of Mexico. San Diego has lots of activities for families to explore, including the San Diego Zoo, consistently named one of the top zoos in the world. There’s also no shortage of theme parks (Legoland, Sesame Place and SeaWorld all have locations there) and museums to visit. Or, just spend the day at the famous 1,200 acre Balboa Park or catch some waves at the beach. You’ll probably catch some sea lions at play while you’re at it.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the perfect spot for families looking to experience the history of the United States. This home of the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall also scores a 100 in HRC’s Municipal Equality Index. Take the whole family to Philly and immerse yourself in history by strolling through Independence National Historical Park, the “most historic square mile in America” or Valley Forge National Historical Park. If you aren’t in the mood for the city’s famous cheesesteaks, check out the queer-owned Winkel or Mission Taqueria, and grab treats for the kids at Darnel’s Cakes.
When looking for an affordable place to stay wherever you travel, the Choice Hotel brand, which includes Comfort Inn, Clarion and Econolodge, has been named a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.”
Marriott International, Hilton and Hyatt Hotels Corp. have all also made the “Best Places to Work” list and continuously score highest marks in the Corporate Equality Index. Wherever you go, you’re likely to find a welcoming place in these hotels.
Located about 25 miles east of Syracuse, New York, the Oneida Pines Resort is a welcoming spot for LGBTQ+ families who want to have a more rustic vacation experience. Hook up your own RV or rent one of their cabins to experience themed weekends, swimming and even live music events on the 52 acre property. Just a few miles from the campground, there are family-friendly activities, restaurants and even an amusement park.
Want to experience summer camp for the whole family? CampOut Camp is made for the LGBTQ+ community, where families can share the thrill of a traditional summer camp without judgment. The camp is located in the Southwest Michigan town of Decatur, campers young and young at heart, can participate in traditi0nal camp activities like archery, canoeing and arts and crafts, plus evening singalongs and more. Parents can even drop their kids at babysitting and a movie, while they enjoy socializing with other adults in the later evening.
Do you have an LGBTQ+ family friendly vacation spot you want to recommend? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.