As businesses start to open up and queers start to travel again, don't forget the thousands of LGBTQ+-owned businesses that need our support. If you're going to travel, you may as well keep it in the fam, right?
Here are some of our favorite places to stay for your next queer getaway, whether you're flying solo, with friends, or with your present or future soul mate.
This story is part of Out's 2021 Travel Issue. The issue is out on newsstands on April 28, 2021. To get your own copy directly, support queer media and subscribe — or download yours for Amazon, Kindle, Nook, or Apple News.
Pictured: Models Magdiel Gonçalves (left) and Joshua Sorrentino at Stickett Inn wearing Parke & Ronen low-rise briefs.
Located on the Delaware River in the heart of scenic Barryville, N.Y., Stickett Inn has a lot more going for it than just a suggestive name. As you explore the sleepy town’s shops and eateries, you might bump into locals Melissa Gilbert and Timothy Busfield, or designers Parke and Ronen, who first visited as Stickett Inn guests before buying homes in the area.
Owned by husbands John Pizzolato (also co-owner of International Playground) and Roswell Hamrick (an interior designer who served as production designer on the original Queer Eye series), the property is surrounded by forests and faces the river. Guests stay in one of the four two-room suites (aptly named Drink, Eat, Soak, and Steam), or the two-bedroom cottage behind the Stickett Inn cheekily named The Rear. When not following the saucy innuendo — or washing down tacos and drinks at the on-site Bang Bang Bar — there’s plenty to keep guests safely and responsibly occupied just steps away, Pizzolato says.
“The Delaware River is practically outside our front door, and one of our guests’ favorite summer activities is tubing,” he says. “They drive you upstream and you float back down to across the street, usually a little tipsy and sun-kissed.”
The bluffs above town played host to a Revolutionary War battle, and the Inn’s grounds are home to a tomb honoring two unknown soldiers who perished fighting that day. The 57-acre Minisink Battleground now features self-guided walking tours. Other town events include the annual Butterfly Ball in August and plenty of picture-perfect romantic moments exploring the Roebling Bridge crossing the Delaware River. @stickettinn
Roughly a two-and-a-half-hour drive from both Manhattan and Boston, The Inn at Kenmore Hall awaits the weary quarantined traveler. The five-room B&B with an additional cottage house is a late-18th century Georgian estate in the middle of Berkshire County, Mass.
The project is the love child of restaurateur and artist Scott Edward Cole and his partner, Frank Muytjens, former J. Crew head of menswear. Together they lovingly restored and impeccably decorated the house, which was commissioned in 1792 for a merchant and Revolutionary War minuteman, Henry Sherrill. The couple’s efforts have produced a timeless property, where craftsmanship and period details are enhanced by modern conveniences and luxuries that accentuate rather than dominate. The improvements proved “perfectly suited to the restrictions” of the global pandemic, Cole says. “Each guest room has a completely independent air system, and even when fully booked there are never any more than 10 guests in the main house, plus another two to four in our guest cottage.”
Guests certainly won’t suffer from cabin fever at The Inn. Simply step outside and explore the estate’s 20 acres of meadow, gardens, orchard trees, and woodlands. Both the estate and surrounding area are rich with natural resources, hiking trails, lakes, and more. Other activities such as yoga classes, massages, and guided mountain biking tours can be arranged, as can visits to nearby Edith Wharton estate, Norman Rockwell Museum, and Hancock Shaker Village. @theinnatkenmorehall
For nearly 30 years now, Pond Mountain Lodge & Resort has been a beloved queer oasis nestled in the lush Ozark Mountains. Owned by longtime proprietor Judy Jones, Pond Mountain is the longest continuously operating lesbian-owned resort in Eureka Springs, Ark.
The resort attracts a diverse mixed crowd of queer and straight visitors every year and specializes in all-inclusive LGBTQ+ weddings. Though Pond Mountain is kid- and pet-friendly, it features several adult-only cabins and accommodations with cozy fireplaces and private hot tubs, making it the perfect romantic getaway. In addition to gorgeous scenery, the resort’s 130 private acres provide access to many fun and relaxing outdoorsy activities. One highlight is its historic spring-fed twin ponds that sit atop the area’s highest mountain, the most popular setting for weddings as well as for fishing (or just daydreaming) off the long wooden pier. These natural springs were used for their healing properties by Indigenous peoples long before Eureka Springs’ founding.
“Our ceremony was perfect...just as we had envisioned it,” one lesbian couple wrote about their wedding on the company’s website. “We are glad we chose Pond Mountain for our anniversary, wedding ceremony, and honeymoon. Sitting and chatting after our ceremony, we felt as if we were with long-cherished friends.”
Pond Mountain also holds the perfect balance of nature and convenience. At the resort you’ll be surrounded by the mysterious and peaceful beauty of the Ozarks, yet the downtown area of Eureka Springs is only a few minutes’ drive away and boasts a thriving art scene as well as great food, music, and shopping. In addition, the town has some fun and fabulous LGBTQ+ nightspots and hosts not one but three annual Pride celebrations. Eureka Springs’ Diversity Weekends are held seasonally in the spring, summer, and fall, and feature an array of events and activities (2021 Diversity Weekend plans were yet to be announced as of press time).
The coolest thing about Provincetown, Mass., is that no matter where you lodge, you’re only steps away from the town’s fine shops, enticing eateries, and sandy beaches. As you explore it’s easy to see why queer artists, LGBTQ+ tourists, and lovers of history (the Pilgrims first landed here) continue to flock to the tip of Cape Cod each year.
The Bradford offers perfectly positioned accommodations just steps from the start of Commercial Street’s vibrant retail and restaurant scene, and close to The Boatslip Waterfront Hotel and Beach Club, which hosts the world-famous queer Tea Dance, P-town’s largest outdoor dance party.
Owned by husbands Patrick Wilson and Stephen Walker since 2019, The Bradford itself has quite the history. The three-story main house was one of the most impressive buildings on Bradford Street when it was originally built in 1888. Although centrally located (you’ll never need a car), the inn still offers peace and quiet. With breathtaking sunset views, The Bradford is a romantic getaway not far from the town’s bustling square.
“I’ve always felt Provincetown has a timeless charm where the world seems to stop,” says Walker. “You can play like a child again no matter how old you are, feel safe and loved without judgment. That’s what you can expect from The Bradford and your hosts, a safe and beautiful place to call home while you’re in this magical town. You’ll make friends for the week or, as we have, for life.” @thebradfordptown