With COVID-19 forcing everyone to stay close to home, it’s safe to say we could all use an escape more than ever. The LGBTQ community found innovative ways to embrace safe travel during the pandemic, but which nearby getaways and natural landscapes were the most popular? The results of GayCities’ 12th annual “Best of GayCities” poll help tell the story of how LGBTQ people stayed sane and social throughout the past year – as well as the trips they plan to take when the pandemic is over.
Readers of the most visited LGBTQ travel website cast 50,000 votes across nine pandemic-safe categories, including Best “Revenge Travel” destination – for those coveted post-Covid vacations we’re all dreaming of – to Most “Iconic Road Trip,” an experience that travelers could enjoy from the safety of their own cars.
Here is the complete list of winners:
Iconic Road Trips: Miami to Key West This category consisted of well-trodden road trips as lovely as they are safe. The Great Outdoors: San Francisco’s Twin Peaks This category highlighted locations near major cities that offer the safety–and beauty–of nature. Nightlife Safety Champion: Lance Bass of Rocco’s WeHo Lance took the top spot among nightlife figures who have tried to keep bars and clubs going by creating safe gathering venues outside.
Urban Outdoor Hangout: New York’s Christopher Street Pier The nominees in this category were outdoor locations where LGBTQ people could safely congregate over the summer.
Show Must Go On: Biqtch Puddin The nominees in this category kept fans entertained with virtual performances while we sheltered in place. Revenge Travel: Sydney This category consisted of vibrant cities that travelers plan to visit when the pandemic is finally under control.
Murals That Matter: Black Lives Matter art in front of Trump Towers The protest movement spurred by the murder of George Floyd Jr. in Minneapolis has galvanized a renaissance in public protest art.
Pride in Black-Owned Business: Jeffery Pub in Chicago This category honored bars and restaurants by and for people of color, who endure the dual ravages of racism and the pandemic. Covid Time Travel Video: New York City The cities nominated in this category are looking forward to hosting LGBTQ travelers in a safer world. Q.Digital CEO Scott Gatz said the awards program illustrates how eager LGBTQ travelers are to get back on the road when the pandemic subsides, while highlighting the places they safely socialized across outdoor locations in their urban neighborhoods.
“The LGBTQ community over-indexes in travel, and GayCities has continued to be a valuable source for what to do both during the shelter-in-place and for when things open up again,” he said. “This year, we saw continued admiration for urban parks, supporting local businesses, automobile road trips to gay resort areas, as well as a pent-up desire to revisit amazing world destinations like Sydney, San Francisco, and Paris.”
“GayCities members have made GayCities into the number one site to discover where to go and what to see all over the world, and I want to sincerely thank each individual who voted,” Gatz added. “Your votes not only encourage worldwide destinations and businesses to continue partnering with LGBTQ travelers but also help us gauge changing trends and sentiments among our dynamic community.”
To see the full list of winners and runner-ups, visit https://www.gaycities.com/best-of-2020/