Now that the Supreme Court has declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states, dreamy gay honeymoons are within reach for millions more Americans. And with marriage equality and anti-discrimination laws on the rise worldwide, more places are looking fit for dreamy gay honeymoons.
In 2014, only about 55 percent of same-sex couples went on a honeymoon after their wedding ceremony, according to Community Marketing & Insights, a San Francisco-based market research firm that tracks LGBT travel trends. With the expansion of marriage equality in the U.S., those figures presumably stand to change a great deal, as more same-sex couples tie the knot who haven’t already been together for decades, or aren’t feeling rushed to meet some potentially short-lived legal window for doing so. Community Marketing senior research director David Paisley also attributes this figure to the fact that gays and lesbians tend to travel more than straight couples. A same-sex couple about to get hitched might deem that trip to Paris three months away their delayed honeymoon.
At the same time, the nature of gay travel is changing. Where once, the focus was on finding gay-owned hotels in (sometimes literal) islands of tolerance, younger gay travelers are looking more broadly, as more countries adopt the kind of marriage equality laws and legal protections that make LGBT travelers feel safe. Which is especially important on a honeymoon, if you plan on showing affection in public.
There’s also a generational shift at work here. Baby boomers are still big fans of the gay guest house or LGBT B&B, while millennials don’t tend to seek them out. (Luckily, these places tend to have so few rooms that baby boomers are enough.) Of course, there are also gigantic marketing budgets at play. “With Marriott and Hilton in a battle to see who can be the most gay friendly,” says Paisley, friendliness tends not to matter as much when it’s coming from hospitality companies. As a result, younger LGBT travelers tend to value location and quality over brand reputation, though tolerant laws and locals are as important as ever.
Up ahead, 12 ideal spots for gay honeymoons, running the gamut from the posh and tropical to the rural and serene.