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Gay-friendly honeymoon spots

Have love, will travel

for The Brooklyn Paper
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You’ve said, “I do,” stepped on the glass or culminated your wedding with another tradition — and the honeymoon is just beginning.

But where should you spend those first relaxing moments since you decided to get hitched and got on the wedding treadmill?

Sure, there’s always a celebratory romp around San Francisco or the predictable pleasures of Fire Island, but you only get one honeymoon (OK, maybe two), so it’s time to think further afield for locations that are not only exciting, but also accepting of your no-longer-forbidden love.

Any of these places — all scenic, romantic, and OK to hold hands in — will do:

Montreal

Who doesn’t love to French? Gay marriage has been legal in Canada since 2005, but Quebec’s main city remains the undiscovered country for more recently equal folks. The town has its own gayborhood — “Le Village,” which boasts bars, drag shows and a pedestrian plaza spanning the length of Sainte-Catherine Street during summer months — as well as noted gourmet and divey restaurants (you can get poutine, Montreal’s trademark fries with cheese curds and gravy, almost any time of day), a thriving cultural scene that runs the gamut from rock bands to orchestral concerts and the national ballet, and even a championship NHL team for the more butch traveler. It’s the smaller, easy-to-drive-to Paris that you’ve always dreamed of.

Napa Valley

Yes, you fly into San Francisco, but instead of heading straight for the Castro, make a beeline out to the Napa Valley, where a similarly accepting vibe mingles with a more rustic atmosphere. Rent a private home or hole up in one of the many easy-to-find LGBT-owned bed and breakfasts, and prepare for a boozy week of winery tours, overpriced antiquing and meals at impossibly precious little bistros. That’s right: heaven.

Not a month goes by here without some sort of festival — be it film, art or music, it’s always really about wine — at which to wile away your time. The more adventurous honeymooners will take advantage of the different towns that dot the area, each with its own charms, while the thirstier traveler will find the wine tours that all of the local vineyards — and there are more than 350 — offer regularly.

Fort Lauderdale

No matter how gay your spring break experiences were, there’s more to this Atlantic Ocean beach town than just university Greek types binge drinking and sunning themselves into early carcinoma. The city placed an ad in the New York Times encouraging gay newlyweds to come visit, and a number of local hotels are getting in on the action by offering discounted honeymoon packages, many of which include spa treatments, poolside champagne and beach-adjacent pampering.

And should you want to slip into a varsity jacket and make yourself sick on too many cheap beers with a scrum of college-aged revelers, well, there’s always the chance to do that, too.

Mykonos

Mykonos, of all the Greek isles, has long had a reputation as a playground for the jet-set homosexual crowd. And why wouldn’t it? Between its famous nightclubs, nude beaches stocked with bronzed bodies and picturesque Mediterranean views, there’s nothing uninviting about this island — which became popular with celebrities and society types in the 1950s but has since settled down just a bit. LGBT-friendly cruises to neighboring islands are easy enough to find if you feel an Odyssean need to roam, but even with Greece in shambles, there’s very little reason anyone would ever want to leave Mykonos.

Burlington

So, you’re crunchy. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, and there’s no reason why you should spend your honeymoon stuffed into a Speedo and preening on a beach when you’re more interested in enjoying impressive wood. The forests of Vermont — where gay marriage has been legal since 2009 — are one of the Green Mountain State’s most impressive assets, and when you’re done hiking, there is skiing, snowshoeing, dog-sled rides, and even ice fishing. And while your overalls dry off, Burlington — an easy flight or drive from New York City — offers all of these outdoorsy pleasures in addition to top-notch dining, shopping and entertainment.

Tulum, Mexico

Compared to the nearby Mayan ruins, you’ll never feel old. So, what can you do with the youthful exuberance that a trip to Tulum will inspire? A stay at a gays-only resort like Adonis will let you take advantage of a spa, four outdoor hot tubs, a Caribbean-facing infinity pool and the comfort that comes with being surrounded entirely by other LGBT travelers — as long a none of them are your exes. If, by chance, you tire of your time in the walled city of Tulum, trips to nearby Cancun and Cozumel are a breeze to arrange. The short flight from New York makes the “Mexican Rivera” one of the easiest-to-get-to exotic destinations in the hemisphere.

Hawaii

“Aloha” means hello, goodbye, peace and, it has recently been discovered, gay honeymoon. Well, not really, but it might as well. The 50th state had a rocky past with gay marriage itself (currently only civil unions are legal), but the six visitable Hawaiian islands are noted for being exceedingly gay-friendly. Whether or not you stay at one of the LGBT-owned resorts, like Maui’s Sunseeker, you can enjoy a classic Hawaiian honeymoon, complete with hula girls, volcano visits, lots of beach time and plenty of chances to — sorry! — get lei’d.

Puerto Vallarta

Long considered the premier gay destination in Latin America, PV is known for its stunning beaches — especially the “blue chairs,” on the south side of town where gay men are known to congregate. After a day at the beach, honeymooners congregate at one of the town’s many nightclubs — but morning people beware, nothing tends to kick off until after midnight.

If lounging and partying ever gets old, the resort town is dotted with shops and art galleries just waiting for those tourist dollars to pour in. Gay-owned resorts and bed and breakfasts are abundant, but for the utmost in privacy, renting a private residence is the way to go.

Curaçao

This Dutch-Caribbean island features 17 hotels that are members of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, meaning there are plenty of places to stay where being a doe-eyed honeymooner doesn’t have to be kept in your room, as well as all of the charm of any Caribbean island — well, any island that isn’t scarily lacking in human rights awareness.

A 4,446-acre national forest, underwater jungle and caves stuffed with stalactites and stalagmites are just some of the attractions here, though the capital city of Willemstad does boast fine dining and nightlife if nature-gone-wild isn’t your idea of a good time.

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