LGBT spring travel picks for 2014

 Miami Beach

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Photo by Phillip Pessar/Flickr

Miami Beach Gay Pride is an exciting event, April 11 to 13, that features a massive beach party, a parade and festival with more than 125 LGBT-friendly vendors and businesses, exciting celebrities, musical performances, refreshments, food and a family-friendly play area.  Coming into its sixth year, the hugely successful event in 2011 attracted more than 40,000 people, in 2012 more than 60,000 people and in 2013 more than 80,000 people from around the world. This year’s Miami Beach Gay Pride attendance could easily top 100,000 with international superstars Gloria Estefan and Kenny Ortega serving as the grand marshals.

For more information on visitng Miami and a calendar of events throughout the year, check out gogaymiami.com and miamiandbeaches.com.

Palm Springs

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Photo by Merri/Flickr

It is one of the largest gay events in the world and this year it celebrates its 25th anniversary. White Party Palm Springs will be held April 25 to 28. Widely recognized for its entertainment, the event has helped launch the careers of many of today’s top stars including Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, and Icona Pop. With nearly a dozen pool party and dance events, the White Party experience is only enhanced by the splendor and beauty of Palm Springs, which provides a truly unforgettable desert backdrop at the foot of the surrounding mountains. The host hotel has already sold out but rooms are still available at the new Hard Rock Hotel and the remodeled Hilton Hotel.

For more information on visiting Palm Springs and a calendar of events throughout the year, check out visitgaypalmsprings.com.

Chicago

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Photo by yooperann/Flickr

From May 23 to 26, the Windy City will be dominated by the LGBT community as one of the foremost leather/fetish events in the world returns to Chicago. International Mr. Leather will be celebrating its 36th annual contest as the hottest leather men from around the world converge on the Marriott Magnificent Mile for four days of events, including the contest shows, parties, and hugh vendor market. 

For more information on visiting Chicago and a calendar of events throughout the year, check out choosechicago.com.

Orlando

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Photo by Jericl Cat/Flickr

Orlando is the top travel destination in the United States and for more than two decades during the first weekend in June it has played host to thousands of LGBT visitors converging on the city to visit Walt Disney World and attend related events, including Gay Days (June 3 to 9) and One Magical Weekend (June 6 to 8). The traditional visit to Magic Kingdom will be held on Saturday, June 7. 

For more information on visiting Orlando and a calendar of events throughout the year, check out orlandogaytravel.com and visitorlando.com.

Troy Petenbrink is Metro Weekly's contributing writer for food and travel. He can be reached at troy@metroweekly.com.

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