San Francisco

Welcome to one of the worlds best cities for LGBT travelers. San Francisco, California.

The city by the bay has lots to see from museums to parks to bridges and more. Here are my top choices for things to see.

Adventures By The Bay:

Calling all thrill seekers: Climb aboard RocketBoat for the ultimate high speed adventure on the San Francisco Bay! Get blown away as you hold on for the most exhilarating ride of your life. Your daredevil captain will entertain you with wild twists and turns as RocketBoat bolts down to the Bay Bridge and beyond. Stunning views and a classic Rock ‘n’ Roll soundtrack add to the 30-minutes of fun — it’s never the same ride twice! RocketBoat runs seasonally, May through October. Click here for more info.

Want to experience a more relaxed cruise on the bay? Go on board one of the Hornblower Dinner cruises to experience a bridge to bridge romantic cruise. Hornblower offers many different cruise options. The 4 course dinner cruise is the best bet, delicious main course options include; salmon, chicken and lamb. On board entertainment includes a live 2 piece band and DJ dancing after dinner. Upper deck of the boat provides for incredible views of both the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge. You can’t go wrong with a Hornblower dinner cruise.




Party by the Bay: You must experience the nightlife in The Castro. You won’t find the large, high ceiling discos you see in other major cities, but SF has a fun row of clubs and bars to delight any traveler. If you want to enjoy sexy gogos you must visit The Cafe (You’ll also get to see the Drag Race girls here too). Great drinks and great prices you need to head over to Toad Hall, famous for their 2 for 1 happy hours (the bartenders are sexy too!) Other main stays in the Castro are Mix SF, Q Bar, Midnight Sun and Lookout.

Top Eats in SF
Calling all foodies. SF is full of tasty bites and over the top cuisine from seafood to burgers to the best steaks around. There are so many amazing restaurants to try in SF here are my top three. You may not think of Hard Rock Café as a top spot for culinary delight but their SF location is different. Under the lead of Executive Chef Jason Yerbick they have revamped the menu and added dishes unique to SF. You must try his take on clam chowder and the mouth-watering Ahi tuna burger. You won’t be disappointed.

If you’ve heard of clam chowder in a bread bowl, you probably have heard the name Boudin. Their clam chowder restaurants are all over SF. In Fisherman’s Wharf, they have a flagship store and Boudin Bistro. The menu has so much more to offer to get your mouth watering. The best ceviche you’ll ever have, and crab cakes that will leave you wanting more.

osso-sf-1017-750Are you looking for a fine dining experience while on vacation? Osso Steak House is the place to go in SF to be wowed! The service from the moment you walk in the door is superb. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and will be able to match the perfect wine, appetizer and steak to your tastes and take you on a culinary journey through the courses. Their signature steak, the Osso filet; served medium rare is best steak you’ll ever taste. This is on the higher end of the price spectrum but is worth every dollar. Treat yourself, you’ll be happy.

Other restaurants to check out include: Franciscan Crab, Squat & Gobble and Hunan House.

Explore Chinatown:


Where to Rest Your Head

The city is full of hotels, as a tourist is can be hard to select the perfect one for your needs. Are you looking for a hotel high above one of the cities hilltops, with great views and surrounded by history? You should check out the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins atop Nob Hill, with its luxurious accommodations, classic character and historic charm. The staff will take care of every need you can possibly desire from the moment they open the grand doorway for you upon arrival. The hotel offers different packages to make your stay event better. The Leisure Escape package will get you access to the exclusive Nob Hill Club where you can enjoy breakfast, cocktail hour and more extras. This package also includes 2 cocktails at Top of the Mark and a late check out time (2:00pm). The hotel is walking distance to Osso Steakhouse and Grace Cathedral (this LGBT inclusive church is a must visit).

Lets Get Adventurous!

Never be afraid to go on an adventure! Here are 4 of my favorite places to explore!

Bootleg Canyon, NV

Head out to this desert canyon about a 30 minute drive from Las Vegas. In Bootleg Canyon you will find some of the world’s best off road bike trails, hiking trails and zip lines. Book a tour with Flightlinez BC and set off on a hiking and Zip line adventure with views and thrills you’ll definitely remember. The tour includes hiking trails with breathtaking views of the Vegas valley in the distance and the canyon terrain. Four zip lines will have you zooming at speeds up to 60 mph and over a mile and a half of zip lines. Don’t forget to apply your sunscreen, drink plenty of water and keep your eyes open.

about-0517-8Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Wild Trek Tours takes you on a single or double ATV from the romantic zone in downtown Puerto Vallarta up through the mountains surrounding the town. Climb the side of the mountain in your ATV and take in the incredible views, while winding your way through the jungle until you reach a camp site. Here you’ll enjoy an authentic Mexican carne asada lunch with tequila tasting. There’s also a small waterfall and cliff diving spot where your tour guides will you guide you as you take a leap off the edge into the majestic waterfall. Hop back on your ATV and go back down the mountain into town and see more sites before returning to the tour headquarters. Take time to enjoy something other than the beach in Mexico.

about-0517-9Niagara Falls, NY & Canada

Take time to visit one of the wonders of the world, Niagara Falls. There are great things to do on both the US and Canadian sides of the falls. Start on the US side with a journey down into the falls at the Cave of the Winds. Put on your rain coat and slip on your water shoes as you’ll be walking right up to one of the falls and having the water pour down over your head for a big rush of adrenaline. On the Canadian side the new zip line attraction lets you wiz past the side of the falls and get intense views as you fly by. Height, speed, adventure and a World Wonder all in one. You can’t ask for more fun!

image3Zipaquirá, Colombia

Zipaquirá is a small city about 30 miles from Bogota, Colombia. This city is well known for its Catedral de Sal (Salt Cathedral), an amazing engineering accomplishment 220 yards deep into the ground in an old salt mine. You don’t have to be catholic or religious to enjoy this adventure. Yes, it is a cathedral and probably not a place you think a gay travel guy would go. But it is truly life changing and spiritual place. The grandeur of the caves, hallowed out salt mines and artwork carved into the walls is breathtaking. I recommend planning a vacation to Bogota and making this one of your day trips. You can thank me later for this recommendation. And when you head back into the city after your tour, you can “Sin it up” at the popular Theatron disco, one of the world’s largest nightlife complexes.

(This column first appeared in GED Magazine: CLICK HERE for more #AbOUTtheGlobe in GED.)

Xtreme: Vegas

Here’s an older but goodie video of Xtreme things to do in Las Vegas. The video is from 2010 but you can still do everything in the video except walk on top of the Luxor Pyramid (Yes I really did, watch.)

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is a “gay Mecca,” you must visit at least once in your life. The sun, the beach, the boys and the booze all make for an amazing time!

Adventure in Vallarta: Take a day trip by boat to Isla Marietas. The bluest water and most amazing snorkeling, paddle boarding and kayaking. (The tours to Isla Marietas are sometimes postponed due to the season, so plan ahead to see if tours are operating.)

Food Tip: Vista Grill, the best views in the city with the freshest seafood and tastiest local treats.

Nightlife: CC Slaughters and Paco’s Ranch are the 2 dance gay clubs in Vallarta. Paco’s is the place to take in the best club drag shows. CC’s is a later crowd and more circuit scene. Both are a blast and just steps from one another. If you want to be a little naughty you can visit Wet Dreams and Anthropology. These both have naked dancers and private lap dance rooms. Let your mind do the rest. Ha!!!

Great Views in NYC

Great Views: 2 places to get the best views of the cities. Top of the Rock, with amazing views of Central Park and the best place to get a photo with the Empire State Building in the background. Empire State is also an amazing view of the city with two observation decks, the first on the 86th floor and an additional on the 102nd floor.

Heading to the ATL?

Heading to the ATL? The 404? Here are my Top things to do in Atlanta. For the best views of the city take a ride on the SkyView located near Centennial Olympics Park. After taking in the best views in town you will be near my other fave things to do. All of these are in walking distance of each other. The Georgia Aquarium will delight the kid in all of us, with many awesome under the sea creatures. (TIP: Buy tickets online prior to arrival, they will be cheaper.) CNN (TIP: Pay the few extra dollars for the VIP tour, it’s worth it, and when I went it included a photo package. Ask about it.) and The World of Coca-Cola are two must do’s in the city. Both offer an insider look into two iconic ATL brands.