Tel Aviv, one of the most progressive cities in Israel, is the gay capital of the Middle East. Its weeklong Pride festival is filled with events celebrating the LGBTQ community. The festival culminates in a parade on June 13, which begins at Meir Park and moves toward the Charles Clore Beach and Park. The area is gorgeous, peaceful, and relatively isolated, but it transforms on the day of the parade. The party following the parade is full of thousands of people dancing on the beach until sunset. As the weather in Tel Aviv in June is very hot, almost everyone jumps into the Mediterranean Sea to cool off.
Barcelona, Spain: June 19–29
If you want to experience the Mediterranean coast of Spain, spend a week in Barcelona, Catalan’s capital and Spain’s most cosmopolitan city, and experience the Catalan LGBTQ scene. Pride Barcelona is very new and much smaller compared to MADO in Madrid, but it is growing rapidly each year.
The entire week will be filled with free events. On Friday, June 27, there will be the Miss Drag Pride race, and in the evening everyone will be soaking in the biggest outdoor foam party in Europe. On Saturday, June 28, the parade will wind through the colorful architecture of Barcelona and will transform into a huge party. The weekend will finish off on Sunday, June 29, with a street party filled with food and drink stands, and for amusement park fans, the Tibidabo Amusement Park will be discounted for the day. Tired after this crazy weekend? Relax and recuperate on the beach by the Mediterranean Sea.
The ruins of Copán are about a kilometer east of Copán Ruinas on the road toward San Pedro Sula, set off the road in a six-hectare wooded archaeological park along the edge of the Río Copán. After buying your US$15 entrance ticket, walk up the path from the visitors center through tall trees to the entrance gate, where a guard will take your ticket. If you’d like to enter the archaeological tunnels, buy an additional ticket for US$15 (a high price for the experience, recommended for archaeology buffs only). (Tickets for the adjacent Museo de Escultura Maya are also sold at the visitors center, US$7 and highly recommended.)
Much of the original sculpture work at Copán has been removed from the grounds and replaced by exact duplicates. Although this is a bit disappointing for visitors, it is essential if the city’s artistic legacy is not to be lost forever, worn away by the elements and thousands of curious hands. Most of the finest stelae and carvings can now be seen in the Museo de Escultura Maya.
Just before the place where the guards check your ticket is a kilometer-long nature trail with examples of ceiba, strangler fig, and other plants characteristic of the jungle that originally covered the Valle de Copán, worth taking a brief stroll along either before or after visiting the ruins.
Utila feels lost in a tropical time warp. Listening to the broad, almost incomprehensible Caribbean English coming out of islanders with names like Morgan and Bodden, it seems pirates ran amok here just a few years back instead of three centuries ago. Life on Utila still moves at a sedate pace; local conversation (imbued with an island lilt) is dominated by the weather, the state of the fishing industry, and spicy gossip about the affairs of the 2,800 or so inhabitants.
In the past couple of decades, Utila has gradually come face to face with the modern day. A steadily growing stream of budget travelers flow in from across the globe, all eager to get scuba certificationfor as little money as possible (about US$300 in early 2012, including dorm-style accommodations) and to enjoy the balmy Caribbean waters and famed reef. With its semiofficial designation as the low-budget Bay Island, Utila has become one of those backpacker hot spots like Zipolite or Lake Atitlán—packed with young Europeans and Americans out for a good time in the sun. Utila is also well known among sea-life enthusiasts as one of the best places in the world to see the whale shark, the largest fish in the world. These monstrous creatures, getting as big as 15 meters, frequent the Cayman Channel right off Utila and can be spotted (with much patience and a good captain) frequently throughout the year, and particularly in April, May, August, and September.
Although Rio’s more exhibitionistic and hedonistic gay scene is more legendary, Sampa’s gay offerings are more numerous and much more eclectic. In Centro, the area between Praça da República and Largo do Arouche shows few signs of gayness during the day, aside from a smattering of funky clothing boutiques. After dark, however, the area attracts a fantastically mixed (but definitely not fashionable nor yuppie) gay crowd of all ages as well as trans women and hookers. Most bars are on the once-elegant Avenida Vieira de Carvalho. The scene is kind of seedy but very vibrant.
A classic club with an after-hours vibe, Cantho(Largo do Arouche 32, Centro, tel. 11/3723-6624, 11 p.m.–5 a.m. Wed. and Fri.–Sat., 9 p.m.–3 a.m. Sun., R$15–20) reels in a 35-and-over bear-ish clientele with ’70s and ’80s tunes, glittery globes, and lots of Cher and Madonna videos as well as strategically placed sofas in dark corners.
In November 2, 2004, President George W. Bush signed a bill into law to create the 59th national park in the United States. The Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks honor explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, whose journey in 1804-1806 paved the way for the U.S. settlement of the West. The park focuses on the sites at the mouth of the Columbia River, where the Corps of Discovery spent the famously wet winter of 1805.
The park is somewhat unusual in that it is essentially a rebranding of current National Park facilities and a federalization of current state parks. The new park includes a dozen sites linked to Lewis and Clark exploration, campsites, and lore. One of these, Fort Clatsop National Memorial, south of Astoria and where the Corps actually spent the winter, was already operated by the National Park Service, while Cape Disappointment State Park formerly Fort Canby State Park, on the Washington side of the Columbia, remains a Washington state park but is managed by the national park entity.
Commemorating the Stonewall riots, June is LGBT Pride month. Honoring courage and celebrating diversity, Pride events take place all over the world. While many events occur in June, some cities host festivities throughout the summer, incorporating education, activism, history, motivation, and, of course, fun. Best known are the Pride parades, which feature floats, dancers, abounding rainbows, confetti, drag queens, live music, and more.
Here are a few upcoming events in the U.S. Stay tuned for more event info over the next few weeks.
Washington DC: June 1–8
Capital Pride brings together education and entertainment within a colorful, weeklong street festival in Washington DC. Get your body moving to some Latin beats at the Latino Fiesta Dance Party on Thursday, June 5, or show off your sci-fi costumes at the indoor/outdoor BLAST OFF! party on Friday, June 6. (For $20, you can get your ticket in advance; last year’s party sold out!) Enjoy the parade on Saturday, June 7, and then dance the day away at the Capitol Sunset closing party with DJ Tracy Young on Sunday, June 8.
Parque Nacional Rincón de la Vieja, an active volcano in a period of relative calm, is the largest of five volcanoes that make up the Cordillera de Guanacaste. The volcano is composed of nine separate craters, with dormant Santa María (1,916 meters/6,286 feet) the tallest; its crater harbors a forest-rimmed lake popular with tapirs. The main crater—Von Seebach—still steams; it features Linnet Bird Lagoon, to the southeast of the active volcano. Icy Lago Los Jilgueros lies between the two craters. The last serious eruption was in 1983, but occasionally the park is temporarily closed, most recently in 2006, due to volcanic activity. The national electricity company has a geothermal plant, Planta Las Pailas, just below the Las Pailas Ranger Station.
For those traveling to Montréal, here’s a helpful list of the top sights and attractions in the city’s various neighborhoods.
You’ll be captivated by the heart of the city’s historical district, with cobblestone streets, early-New France architecture, regal Beaux- Arts buildings, and the grandeur of theBasilique Notre-Dame-de- Montréal. It’s here that you’ll also find some of the city’s trendier restaurants, shops, and hotels. In the south end, a gradual slope leads to the converted warehouses and green spaces of the Vieux-Port and the St-Lawrence River.
Though it’s not as large or visible as in New York or San Francisco, there has long been a thriving gay community in Philadelphia. As far back as the 1930s and ’40s, underground gay house parties and social networks existed not only in Center City but in West Philadelphia, Germantown, and other areas. There was also a group of mob-owned gay bars centered around 13th and Locust Streets—the area that remains the nexus of gay culture in Philly today. This east-of-Broad, south-of-Market neighborhood, also called Washington Square West, is most commonly called the “Gayborhood.”
A pivotal change occurred in Philadelphia in 1965 when a group of protesters began an annual July 4 march in front of Independence Hall. Four years before the Stonewall Riots in New York ignited the worldwide modern gay rights movement, this period began the era of openness in the city. Gays and lesbians began to come out in increasing numbers and to claim their rightful place in the community.