Tag Archives: Miami

Miami Beach to Host World Outgames

gay socks running

Attention gay sports fans (and allies!):  Miami Beach and Miami will host the World Outgames in 2017, marking the first time the sporting event is held in the United States.

Sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association (GLISA), the World Outgames–a gay-inclusive Olympics of sorts–takes place every four years in a different global city.

Included in the Miami Beach-Miami bid were proposals to host a human rights conference, a diverse cultural program, a World Outgames Village, opening and closing ceremonies, and 30 sporting events over 10 days, all under the South Florida sunshine.

Consider this your four-year warning:  It’s time to squeeze into the Speedo, dust off your running shoes, or bedazzle that figure skating costume.

(Photo via GayNZ.com)

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Miami Parties With a Purpose

Winter Party

“Now this is the winter outfit I’ve been waiting to wear all season,” said my new friend Richard as he strutted onto the pool deck of Miami Beach’s Surfcomber Hotel. He wore short shorts and a naked torso, accessorized by a pearly white smile.  “I have friends who go skiing every year, and I say ‘No thank you!’ My way of celebrating winter is to get as far away from it as I possibly can.”  And so every year, he and a group of friends from Chicago trade their winter coats for… well, as little as possible.

With an average temperature of 76°, Miami has been officially inviting the gay community and its friends to celebrate winter under the hot Florida sun for nineteen years.  Yet from its inception, the goals of the aptly named Winter Party have extended beyond a good time…

Read the full article on TravelSquire.com

Photos by Juan Saco Mironoff

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Miami Beach Gay Pride Photos

One of the earliest, hottest, and most diverse Pride celebrations kicks off the season this weekend with the Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade and Festival on Sunday, April 15.

The weekend is packed with block parties, dance parties and pool parties as only Miami can offer.  For all events and information visit MiamiBeachGayPride.com

And to get you in the mood, here’s a photo tour of last year’s festivities:

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Winter Party Heats Up Miami

Winter Party Beach Party

Get a tan this winter.  From February 29 to March 5, Miami heats up the season with the 10,000-guest, six-day Winter Party Festival.    This year’s events range from cocktail soirees to cultural outings to—yes—parties, parties, and more parties.

And as if you needed another reason to head south, Winter Party is produced by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which donates the majority of net proceeds to The Miami Foundation and the Task Force’s national efforts to “build power, take action and create change for the LGBT community.”

Once again, the Surfcomber is serving as the host hotel, though this year’s guests can expect some delightful surprises.  In December, the Surfcomber officially reopened as a member of the Kimpton Hotels brand, following a multi-million dollar renovation.   Kimpton Hotels are always inclusive and sassy, and now they are inviting you to party on South Beach.

This year, the official events begin on Wednesday and continue beyond the weekend.  Two of my favorite, not-to-be-missed events are the Under One Sun Pool Party at the Surfcomber Hotel and, of course, the main event: the Winter Party Beach Party, grooving on the South Beach sand to the beats of DJ Joe Gauthreaux.

For a list of all Winter Party events and passes, visit their website at winterparty.com.

Surfcomber Hotel

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IQ on Proud FM: Miami, Florida

South Beach, Miami

Ivan Quintanilla is the featured travel expert on Toronto’s Proud FM Radio “Your Morning With Richard & Chris.”

In this segment, IQ talks about thawing from the cold in Miami, Florida.

Click below to listen (3 minutes):

And click here to read my South Beach article published in Out Traveler.

*Photo by David Mahler

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Miami Celebrates Our Orgullo

Fuerte y Orgulloso. Strong and Proud. To celebrate the diverse, cultural heritage of LGBT Latinos, Miami Beach will host the first-ever Celebrate Orgullo on Saturday, October 1. Latinos are the fastest growing minority group in the United States and, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, comprise 65% of the total population in Miami-Dade County.

Azucar! The party kicks off at 12 p.m. on South Beach’s Lummus Park, at 12th Street and Ocean Drive, with dancing, singing, DJs, and a headlining performance by five-time Grammy Award winning Latin superstar, Olga Tañón.

The festivities coincide with the observance of Hispanic Heritage Month, from September 15 to October 15.   This year’s national theme is “Heritage, Diversity, Integrity and Honor: The Renewed Hope of America.” Well, on October 1, Celebrate Orgullo sprinkles a little Pride into the mix.

STAY:
Stay with family. No, not that kind—a different kind of papi. The Lords Hotel South Beach  opened last year as the pioneering property of the first gay hotel brand in the U.S.   It’s sassy and classy, and delightfully attitude-free.

EAT:
You are in Miami; you need a taste of Cuban. David’s Café  has been serving up Cuban food on South Beach for 33 years. Open 24 hours at 2 locations, David will satisfy your cravings anytime.

DRINK:
The Palace Bar and Grill  continues to be the only gay bar/restaurant on Ocean Drive. Perfect for post-beach drinks and Sunday T-Dance.

DANCE:
An oldie but a goodie. With the motto, “Never a cover… Always a groove,” Twist  is seven bars in one, each with its own, unique vibe. Dance to hip-hop, salsa, top-40 or club music, or enjoy the “Bungalow Bar” with—truly—some of South Beach’s hottest go-go dancers.

This article was originally published in FuerteMen.com

Heading to Miami?  Learn why Miami Beach has been an icon in our gay lives for decades.

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Express Yourself–Miami Style!

(Photo provided by Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau)

Miami Beach has been an icon in our gay lives for decades.  We visited Grandma in the 70’s, were seduced by the addictive glamour of “Vice” in the 80’s, partied like it truly was 1999, and embraced Euro chic elegance in the new millennium. Beyond seducing with an average temperature of 76 degrees, the world’s largest concentration of Art Deco architecture, and a culture that is at once American, European and Latino, South Beach is once again reinventing itself.   Serving up new hotels, attractions, and a fresh tourism slogan encouraging you to “Express Yourself,” Miami Beach has something unique to offer this decade, and it goes something like this…

Click on the picture below to read the full article, published in Out Traveler:

… And click here to listen to my radio interview about Miami with Toronto’s Proud FM.

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A Vacation Package For You, Princess

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride? Don’t worry. Someday your prince will come. Chances are, however, it won’t be on April 29. So as Kate Middleton becomes the newest member of the British royal family, forget about letting down your hair, Rapunzel, or laying down for a nap, Ms. Beauty. Instead, power up that computer with a little 21st century independence, and book yourself a royal vacation at one of these amazing beach destinations.

*Important to note, these deals can only be booked on “Williamton’s” special day, April 29, 2011.

CUISINART RESORT & SPA
Offer: In celebration of England’s Royal Wedding, CuisinArt Resort & Spa is offering the “Royalty in Paradise Package.”
Package includes:
– 4 Nights in a beachfront junior suite
– 1 Romantic beachfront dinner for two
– 1 Bottle Veuve Cliquot champagne
– 1 Couples Rendezvous spa package:
– Couples massage
– Floral bath soak
– Anguillian coconut pineapple scrub
– Swiss duet rain shower
Rates: From $2,250 (A $925 savings)
Valid for Travel: April 30 – November 22, 2011. Based on availability, blackout dates apply.
Reservations: http://www.cuisinartresort.com

CASAMAGNA MARRIOTT CANCUN RESORT
Offer: In celebration of England’s Royal Wedding, the CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort is offering the “Royal Romance Package.”
Package includes:
– Transportation from and to the Cancun Airport
– Daily breakfast buffet for 2 adults
– One bottle of sparkling wine per stay
– Free upgrade to Ocean view (room already upgraded at the time of booking)
– 40% discount on Spa treatments
– 20% discount on food and beverage, and gift shop purchases
Rates: From $149 USD per night
Valid for Travel: May 1 – November 20. Based on availability, blackout dates apply.
Reservations: Visit http://www.casamagnacancun.com and input promo code L9Z

JW MARRIOTT CANCUN RESORT & SPA
Offer: In celebration of England’s Royal Wedding, the JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa is offering the “Royal Romance Package.”
Package includes:
– Transportation from and to the Cancun Airport
– Daily breakfast buffet for 2 adults
– One bottle of sparkling wine per stay
– Free upgrade to Ocean view (room already upgraded at the time of booking)
– 40% discount on Spa treatments
– 20% discount on food and beverage and gift shop purchases
Rates: From $189 USD per night
Valid for Travel: May 1 – November 20. Based on availability, blackout dates apply.
Reservations: Visit http://www.jwmarriottcancun.com and input promo code L9Z

HOTEL KURA HULANDA SPA & CASINO, CURACAO
Offer: The “Royal Treatment Package” includes three night accommodations in a Deluxe Room and a half-day of pampering at the spa for two guests. Spa treatments include a 50-minute relaxing massage, 60-minute food reflexology and your choice of a Mini Facial or Gentleman’s Total Care Facial
Rates: Three night package: $1,180
Valid for Travel: Now until Dec 23, 2011
Reservations: Call 877-264-3106 or email reservations@kurahulanda.com

SANDPEARL RESORT / CLEARWATER BEACH, FLORIDA
Offer: Enjoy a royal getaway to the Sandpearl Resort in Clearwater Beach, Florida, when you book the “Royal Romance Berries & Bubbly Package.”
The package includes accommodations in a luxury room or resort suite category of choice, champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries on the night of arrival and complimentary breakfast for two each morning. A package savings of over 20 percent!
Rates start at: $299 per night
Valid for travel: April 29 through December 30
Reservations: Visit http://www.sandpearl.com and use promo code ROYAL in the Corporate / Promotion box, or call 1-877-726-3111 and ask for promotional code ROYAL.

MORNING STAR MARRIOTT BEACH CLUB/ ST. THOMAS
Offer: The “Royal Bliss Package” includes accommodations in room category of choice, bottle of champagne and rum punch drink upon arrival, welcome gift, $200 food and beverage credit per room for entire stay and breakfast buffet for two each morning. A package savings of 20 percent!
Rates start at: $288 per night
Valid for travel: April 29 through December 30
Reservations: Visit http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/sttfr/ and use promo code EAT in the Corporate/ Promotion box, or call 1-800-524-2000 and ask for promotional code EAT.

ST. KITTS MARRIOTT RESORT
Offer: In celebration of England’s Royal Wedding, St. Kitts Marriott Resort is offering a free room upgrade and bottle of sparkling wine with the “Escape! For Two Package.” Package includes:
Accommodations (automatic room upgrade)
1 massage per person (per room, per stay)
1 facial per person (per room, per stay)
Breakfast buffet for two, daily
1 Bottle of sparkling wine
Spa amenity basket and welcome gift
Rates: From $238 per room/night, inclusive of tax and gratuity. Based on double occupancy. Subject to availability / blackout dates.
Reservations: http://www.stkittsmarriott.com / Promo code ES8

MIAMI MARRIOTT BISCAYNE BAY
Offer: The “Royal Escape Package” includes complimentary breakfast for two and a bottle of champagne and strawberries upon arrival.
Rates: From $239 per night
Reservations: Call 305.374.3900 or visit http://www.marriottbiscaynebay.com; use promotional code ROM

Because when Prince Charming does come… you’ll look much better with a tan!

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Preview of Miami Beach Gay Pride

Read IQ’s article published in Out Traveler by clicking on picture:

This week, Miami Beach gets a little gay(er).

It’s raining men.

Hallelujah! On Saturday, April 16, it’s time to celebrate the 3nd Annual Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade, now the city’s largest single-day event.  Starting at noon on 5th Street, elaborate floats will shake and shimmy their way up Ocean Drive to 15th Street.  Last year’s parade brought out over 35,000 people from all over the world, proud to enjoy an inclusive celebration in one of America’s most popular cities.  This year, “Watch What Happens” when Bravo TV’s Andy Cohen serves as Grand Marshal.   Following the parade, the festivities continue at the Pride Festival at Lummus Park, along Ocean Drive between 10th and 14th Streets with music, food, and live performances.

Enjoy a prix-fixe brunch and bottle of champagne, with a heaping helping of eye-candy, directly along the parade route at Ocean Drive’s favorite gay spot, the Palace Bar.  Seatings begin at 10:30 a.m. and continue throughout the day; call 305-531-7234 for reservations.

Don’t stop ‘till you get enough.

Following the fun-in-the-sun of the Parade and Festival, bop over to The Official Gay Pride Closing Party at Ice Palace Studio West on 71 NW 14th Street, featuring music from DJs Abel and Paulo.  The party starts at 10 p.m. and goes well into the next morning.

All the single ladies can whip their hair back and forth alongside the hot Go-Go-Girls of the MEGA Dance Ladies Party at Score on 727 Lincoln Road from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

If we took a holiday… took some time to celebrate.

Want more?  The official Pride at Sea sets sail on a four-night cruise to the Bahamas on Monday, April 18.  Relax, unwind and dance the last dance aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Norwegian Sky.”

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Fort Lauderdale Steps Into the Spotlight

 

(Photo of STEAK 954, courtesy of W Hotels)

Every Mary has her Rhoda.  Every Marcia has her Jan.  For many years, Fort Lauderdale played second fiddle to ever-popular Miami.  But with the opening of the Ritz Carlton in August 2008 and the W Hotel in April 2009, Fort Lauderdale is shedding her braces and graduating from finishing school.  No better place to experience the transformation than overlooking the beach at the W’s stylish, new restaurant, Steak 954.

Created by Stephen Starr (of New York’s Buddakan fame), Steak 954 infuses the classic steakhouse with a modern, South Florida flair.  At dinner, steaks range from an 8 oz. Filet ($35) to a 36 oz. Australian Tajima Kobe Porterhouse ($245). Non-beef-lover options include Butter Poached Maine Lobster (MP), Miso-glazed Black Cod ($27) and Seared Duck Breast ($26).  Weekend nights can be a bit of a scene, but the restaurant, with its sleek jellyfish aquarium and outdoor terrace, is successful at accommodating an eclectic mix of guests.

For a more relaxed experience, enjoy the ocean view while sipping a Bloody Mary ($12) during the weekend brunch.  Traditional favorites like the Vanilla French Toast and Mushroom & White Cheddar Omelet share the menu with funky breakfast creations like the Short Rib Benedict and Cuban Egg Sandwich with pulled pork, and lunch-sized portions of the dinner entrees (most under $20).  Whether you are in the mood for a little “br” or a little “unch” a side order of the Truffle French Fries are a necessary complement to your meal.  I promise; you will thank me.

Steak 954 keeps with the slick, modern vibe of the W brand while incorporating the relaxed environment of a beachside café.  Fort Lauderdale is slowly but surely cultivating its own kind of casual glam that works well for this friendly beach town.  In the last few years, this wallflower has blossomed into a sophisticated, trendy new presence and is enjoying her time in the spotlight.

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