New England's glorious little gay getaway
What fuels your passion for travel? For some it's winter white ski hill and sub-zero temps, while others congregate in the chalet and give thanks for hot toddies, cozy fires and blissful spa treatments. For us, it's dreaming about our next trip to New England in the summer. There's nothing quite like that short window of time between spring and fall. For gay and lesbian travelers around the world, Provincetown is the crown jewel of GLBT travel. But drive just four hours north and you'll find Ogunquit, Maine.
Ogunquit is home to less than 2,000 residents, but in the heat of summer, this quaint, charming beach community comes alive, catering to gay and lesbian travelers. Ogunquit differs from other resort towns in Maine in that most of the restaurants, galleries, hotels and dance clubs ... that's right ... dance clubs, are gay-owned and operated.
At the start of the beach you'll find families and young couples, but walk half a mile beyond and you'll find your GLBT family.
Beyond the beach
If you're a sucker for art, there are incredible galleries featuring the work of local artists, including The Barn Gallery and Art & Soul Gallery, both located on Shore Road. The great thing about Ogunquit is that most of the shops, museums, hotels and restaurants are located within walking distance to the beach. Trust me, this is a blessing because parking can be a nightmare and if you time your entrance or escape out of town at the wrong time, it could take the better part of an hour to get back to the highway.
A cloudy day is also the perfect time to check out John Lane's Ogunquit Playhouse. Located just a few miles outside of the center of the action heading back to the highway, this is a great venue to enjoy popular shows like Avenue Q, The Music Man or Chicago.
Ogunquit may be a small town, but most of the local businesses thrive on tourist dollars, so there's no shortage of dining options for gay and lesbian travelers looking for a quick bit or extravagant romantic meal. Angelina's is a charming restaurant and wine bar if you're looking for something tres romantique, Cape Neddick Lobster Pound is great if you want to experience local cuisine. Keep in mind, not all of these establishments are created equal. On a recent visit I dined at a restaurant which will remain nameless and had to tell the bartender how to make a Mojito. Something I never would have expected to happen in a town fueled by the gay dollar. After explaining the recipe, the bartender handed me a glass containing seltzer, rum and mangled brown mint leaves, #fail!
Ogunquit's night clubs
If anything can redeem a lackluster cocktail, it's a night out on the town. Don't be fooled by Ogunquit's size, the clubs are incredibly fun and get packed. Front Porch is a great place to start your evening. It's a piano bar filled with locals, Bostonians and visitors from points beyond. Even if you aren't a singer, the mood is infectious, the waiters ... adorable and the drinks are potent.
Next, head across the street and pick your poison, you have two options to choose from to prolong your buzz and dance the night away. First is the staple of gay and lesbian Ogunquit, MaineStreet. Dance music, drag shows, pool and sexy bartenders, all the prerequisites are here. There's also a spacious porch located outside if you want to have an audible conversation with some friends.
Oxygen Lounge is close to MaineStreet. It's that gay bar in town that's been in business for years but constantly changes ownership. It's a great place to end your night, whether you're still in the mood to dance or want to grab a drunken bite at the rooftop café.
Remember ladies and gents, Maine isn't just lobster and lighthouses. If you're that gay or lesbian traveler who wants a change from Provincetown, Key West, Fire Island and the other typical GLBT summer haunts, Ogunquit is a refreshing option. It offers all of the trappings of most other gay resort towns with smaller crowds and lower prices.
This article is courtesy of GayTravel.com, which connects gay and lesbian travelers with gay friendly destinations, hotels, cruises and tours throughout the world. Their missions is to provide visitors with the most comprehensive and accurate information available to ensure that every vacation is both pleasurable and comfortable.