In 2002 the Canadian province of Québec became the first jurisdiction in the world to recognize civil unions for LGBT folks, and just three years later Canada legalized same-sex marriage. Locals claim this is a political reality today because of Canadians’ progressive attitudes towards cultural and sexual diversity. So what better place to spend a summer vacation than French-speaking Montréal, one of the most welcoming and gay-friendly cities on the North American continent? This is a place where tourists spend their summers sipping cocktails on terraces around the city, sampling rich cuisine, or enjoying one of many world-renowned open-air arts festivals.
Speaking of festivals, Montréal is home to one of the largest LGBT cultural events in the world. Now in its 17th year, Divers/Cité (diverscite.org) is a mostly free festival of arts, entertainment and culture that will bring more than 55 hours of outdoor and indoor programming to the city this year. Spanning the last week of July and the early days of August, the festival will showcase Canadian and international music, dance and drag performers, outdoor cinema and a photo exhibition. An award-winning Canadian tourism event, Divers/Cité is also home to one of the biggest, sexiest and most fun annual lesbian parties in the city, Lesbomonde.
To make it easier for you to join the fun, festival organizers have partnered up with a score of travel entities, so you can book flights and accommodations directly from its Web site. If you’re looking for comfort and convenience, check in to the four-star Hôtel Gouverneur (Place Dupuis, 1415 St Hubert St, 888-910-1111, gouverneur.com, from CAD 179). This is Divers/Cité’s official partner hotel, located within the actual festival grounds, so you can be sure you’ll never miss out on the action. Lindsey’s Bed and Breakfast for Women (3971 Laval Avenue, 888-655-8655, lindseys.ca, from CAD 100) is a lovely alternative for those of you who want the option of resting in an elegant room on a quiet tree-lined street after a day of excitement. Located in the heart of the Plateau neighborhood, this Victorian B&B is a manageable walk away from Montréal’s principal attractions.
If you’re in the Plateau, be sure to stop by Suite 88 Chocolatier (3957 Rue Saint Denis, 514-844-3488, suite88.com), Montréal’s original chocolate lounge and boutique. A heaven for cocoa aficionados, this place offers chocolate in every shape and size, from shooters to exotic truffles. Sit down and enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee with your dessert, or take away one of 40 different chocolate bars.
If you’re in the mood for a meal before all that chocolate, make your way to the Latin Quarter and visit lesbian-owned La Paryse (302 Rue Ontario Est, 514-842-2040), a classic diner-style burger joint that boasts some of the tastiest sandwiches in the city. For the vegetarians and vegans, a good alternative is Le Cagibi (5490 Boulevard Saint Laurent, 514-509-1199), a friendly café with a solid lesbian fan-base, located in the Mile End neighborhood.
Venture into Le Village, Montréal’s busiest center of queer life, and stop in at Ella Grill (1237 Amherst, 514-523-5553), a lesbian-owned Mediterranean restaurant with a mouth-watering selection of offerings, ranging from Greek salads for two and oyster mushrooms to the amazing baklava. Call ahead to find out about events, as Ella Grill is known for its lesbian gatherings.
If you’ve had your fill of food, walk along Rue Saint Catherine Est, the main strip of
the Village, and stop in at one of the many parties. Le Drugstore (1366 Rue Sainte Catherine Est, 514-524-1960, ledrugstore.com) is one of the largest and most colorful lesbian clubs in North America, a six-floor lesbian love affair that knows how to put on a show. If you’re in the mood for singing competitions, karaoke, drag or other fun happenings, check the calendar for special events.
Another popular nighttime distraction for the ladies is Girlz in the Sky, a monthly party for women at Sky (1474 Rue Sainte Catherine Est, 514-529-69696), another multi-level club located in the heart of the Village. Cirque de Boudoir (cirquedeboudoir.com), a regular party with a unique formula, brings to Montréal’s queer scene elements of dance, fetish and dress-up that are sure to spice up your Canadian experience. “We wanted to go to parties where there was a creative and inspiring theme, amazing music, and an open minded crowd ready for a little kinky romp,” the organizers declare on their Web site.
And, of course, there’s Meow Mix, the famous monthly lesbian party at Sala Rossa (4848 Boulevard Saint Laurent), thrown by the lovely Mim Productions and popular with the local dyke crowd. Check mimproductions.org for a schedule of events, as every Meow Mix night begins with a performance—burlesque, drag or other types of live art—and only after you’ve had your share of entertainment does dancing ensue. Some of the previous Meow Mix performers go on to become Montréal ladies’ favorite entertainers, as was the case with Dukes of Drag (dukesofdrag.com), an 11-member music-based drag troupe featuring performers of all gender identities. Their 2007 debut performance sold out Meow Mix, and they now make appearances all over Canada.
For more entertainment in the summer sun, we recommend the Montréal International Jazz Festival (montrealjazzfest.com), now in its 30th year, which will take place between June 30 and July 12. Stevie Wonder will be joined by an array of talented artists, like the Harlem Gospel Choir, Estelle and Madeleine Peyroux. Music fans, plan your visit accordingly! And to top off your vacation with a short immersion into the contemporary arts scene of the country, visit Montréal’s Contemporary Arts Museum (185 Rue Saint Catherine Ouest, angle Jeanne Mance, 514-847-6226, macm.org) one of Canada’s largest and most comprehensive museums of contemporary culture.
Summer’s here. You’re queer. So pack your sunblock and beachwear and head to one of the best lesbian summer spots in the tri-state area. Asbury Park, NJ, is a crossroads between the city and the sea, a one-mile stretch of beachfront where urban spunk meets seaside fun to create a perfect cocktail of summer relaxation. And, thanks to the city’s rising popularity, the boardwalk and downtown are filled with a slew of new restaurants, shops and girl-watching hangouts.
In Asbury Park, you’ll feel welcomed before you’ve even finished checking in to your vacation digs, as the town offers a number of queer-friendly accommodations to choose from. Pamper yourself with a stay at the historic Hotel Tides Restaurant and Spa (408 7th Ave, 732-897-7744, hoteltides.com, from $145), and let one of their licensed massage therapists make the tension of a year’s hard work disappear. This gay-owned and -operated boutique hotel has been completely renovated, and has all the amenities you could ever want, including a sun-drenched pool, spa, intimate bar/lounge and an incredible French fusion restaurant. If you’re looking for something more low-key, try the Six Avenue House (305 6th Ave, 732-361-6609, sixthavenuehouse.com, from $150) for the ultimate bed and breakfast experience. It’s quiet, affordable and even pet friendly. For those looking to be in the middle of the action, the Empress Hotel (101 Asbury Ave, 732-774-0100, asburyempress.com, from $225) is located right across the street from the beach. It’s home to Paradise Bar and the most titillating Sunday poolside tea dances on the Jersey Shore, in the heart of the queer community.
After you check in, ditch the bags and hit the 5th Ave Beach, the epicenter of the lesbian and gay daytime scene. You’ll find everything you need here: food, shopping, volleyball, mini-golf, not to mention every kind of Jersey Girl you can imagine, basking in the summer sun. North of Convention Hall on the 8th Ave beach is the spot where surfer babes go to catch their waves, so this is
the place to live out your own Blue Crush fantasy! Check out theasburyparkboardwalk.com for details.
After a day of summer activities, it’s time to put your lips together and Pucker (4th Ave Pavilion) up for some of the most delicious lemonades and beach fries at this lesbian-operated venue. For a healthier alternative, try Sea Greens (3rd Ave Pavilion, 732-456-0034), a health food spot whose menu includes pick-me-up fresh juices and shakes with ingredients from local farms. After these sustainable treats have cleared your conscience, go get your sweetie some sugar at Candyteria (1st Ave Pavilion, candyteria.com).
For a more hearty selection, try one of the fabulous gay-friendly downtown restaurants. First up is Brickwall Tavern and Dining Room (522 Cookman Ave, brickwalltavern.com) which pairs a generous drink selection with high-end comfort food. This is a local favorite with gals who just want to grab a beer and watch the game. For the vegetarians, there’s Twisted Tree Cafe (609 Cookman Ave, twistedtreecafe.com). It serves up delicious vegetarian soups, salads and sandwiches with homemade bread, and its reasonable prices make it a great choice for lunch. Taka (632 Mattison Ave, takaapnj.com) is the best Japanese fusion restaurant around, a moderately priced BYOB locale where they will be happy to put your Pinot or six-pack on ice while you wait for a scrumptious sushi roll. Otherwise, spice it up with Latin-infused cuisine Laila’s (806 5th Ave, 732-988-8806), Munch for brunch (632 Cookman Ave, munchasbury.com), gorge on gelato at Il Pavone (531 Cookman Ave, ilPavonegelato.com) and dine divinely at Plan B (705 Cookman Ave, restaurantplanb.com).
Now you’re ready to check out the nightlife, and this is an area where Asbury Park never disappoints. For a romantic night gazing at the full moon with your girlfriend, Watermark
(800 Ocean Ave, watermarkap.com) offers an incredible ocean view and big leather
sofas where you can snuggle up and sip amazing champagne cocktails. Gay-owned and
-operated, the venue draws a hip, mixed crowd. The famed Wonderbar (5th & Ocean Aves, thewonderbarasburypark.com) puts a spin on the traditional two-for-one specials every Thursday during “Yappy Hour,” when gals and their canines can spend some precious bonding time tipping a few at the outside bar. The gold standard hole-in-the-wall lesbian bar is Georgies (812 5th Ave, georgiesbar.com), which on Friday and Saturday nights has great karaoke and the best live talent around. The after-dinner drink crowd can grab a stool at the Harrison Restaurant (716 Cookman Ave), a cozy bar with a friendly atmosphere and a great selection of wines and Martinis. If you and your girls are in the mood for dancing, head to Paradise (101 Asbury Ave, paradisenj.com), the club where queers go to come undone. Every Saturday night, country western line dancing from 6:30 to10pm leads into an all-night dance party with DJ Shep Pettybone. And, on the last leg of your weekend, the Sunday poolside tea dance here is like a dream come true.
This beach town doesn’t hold back from throwing wild special events. Aww Mama Productions will rock the Jersey shore this summer with an array of new and exciting lesbian events. Check out the new girl party, Crush, on June 20 at The Beach Bar Convention Hall (1300 Ocean Ave, awwma
ma.com), a gorgeous oceanside venue. DJ Brenda Black will be spinning and drink specials will be flowing.
Roadtrip 8 (roadtripasbury.com), Asbury Park’s annual LGBT Weekend Party runs from July 16 to 20 this year, with renowned comic Suzanne Westenhoefer kicking off the celebrations with a one-time event at the Stone Pony (913 Ocean Ave, awwmama.com). On Friday July 17, thousands of lesbians and gays will come together at the oceanfront welcoming party, which will be followed the next afternoon by a beach boogie at Sandblast (sandblastonline.com), with hundreds of women dancing only a few feet from the crashing waves. Fireworks and other free events add sparkle to the entire weekend. Don’t miss it!
To make things even more appealing, Asbury Park is only an hour and a half from Manhattan, and easily accessible by train or bus. NJ Transit even sells discounted beach passes with its train tickets. Visit gayasburypark.com, the best source of travel directions and local business information. For up to date lesbian and gay Asbury Park summer event listings, check out asburyparkevents.com.
Cherry Grove, Fire Island
Beautiful Fire Island National Seashore, particularly the uber-Sapphic Cherry Grove, is the Hamptons’ queer little sister. A little more low-key, a lot more lesbian-friendly, and a hell of a lot more fun. Cars aren’t permitted onto the island, which makes for a clean, refreshing vacation spot where beach-loving beauties abound. And no, bathing suits are not required on the beach. This is the perfect locale for a day, a weekend or for the whole summer!
We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: the Cherry Grove Beach Hotel (158 Bayview, 516-597-6600, grovehotel.com) is one of the best places you could stay in on Fire Island. Book far enough in advance and rooms are very affordable. This past year they’ve done all sorts of renovations and really re-vamped the place, so it’s better than ever.
If you’re looking for more than just a day or weekend trip, get a seasonal rental. This way you can participate in the community, party or even do some fishing. Renting for a week is a good start. Many owners will simply post signs outside of their properties with contact numbers. Evelyn at A Summer Place Realty (631-597-6140) and Prudential Douglas Elliman (631-597-3100) can help you find weekly and seasonal rentals as well. Just remember to do your grocery shopping
on the mainland, or you’ll be eating out all summer—not that that’s a bad idea.
No one does breakfast like Floyd’s. The egg sandwiches are great and the people-watching is even better. Jack’s Restaurant, oceanside, offers a piano bar, beverages and nightly specials (lobster on Fridays!). Or grab a bite to eat at the wonderful Island Breeze (178 Bayview Walk, 631-597-6570), open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Weekend nights, you can also dance to top-notch DJs at this fabulous spot. And on Sunday, afternoon, check out the mixed-crowd tea dance before hitting the clubs and beach parties at night.
Cherry’s On the Bay (158 Bayview Walk, 631-597-7859, cherrysonthebay.com) is a bar, restaurant and club, and the home to queer events on the Island. Positioned right by the water, you can watch the sunset with your special lady, eat delicious food, take in a drag show, play bingo on Wednesday nights with Kenny Dash or just dance the night away with an eclectic and sunkissed crowd.
The Cherry Grove Beach Hotel offers daily shows, including the amazing “‘girl’ with a thousand voices,” Porsche. Don’t miss karaoke, as well as weekday events like bingo, trivia, a Chinese buffet and “Bring your Own Meat” (they’ll grill it up for you and provide the sides!). It’s toga-time on June 20 at a special Toga Party, and every Thursday at 10pm starting June 18, Ariel Sinclair hosts the Kamikaze Kabaret.
Sexy and sporty gals abound at Angelique Irizarry’s Diva Dodgeball Tournament (divaontheshore.com/fireisland.html), which runs in Cherry Grove August 28 through 30. Liberate your inner kid and get involved in this sexy tournament, where you and thousands of fun-and-games-loving queer ladies can play for hours on end! Live music and an assortment of refreshments keep you serving and spiking in top form. The competition is fierce, and so is the after party (at Cherry’s).
For a 4th of July like no other, head to Fire Island for the Invasion, a long-running drag pageant, a sort of protest and an all-day party. Everyone in the Grove puts on a whole lotta drag (boys and girls alike), piles onto one big ferry, and makes their way to the Pines (the other part of Fire Island). After each and every queen disembarks in front of a cheering crowd, the parties officially
get underway. The tradition began when a Pines restaurant refused service to a drag queen. When her friends in the Grove heard the news, they bravely staged the in-famous Invasion—now re-enacted every year. Read more about the history at fireislandinvasion.com.
Not a party scenester? Then check out the Community House and non-profit Cherry Grove Arts Project. They offer theatre, dance events, art exhibits, support groups, yoga and the ever fabulous Casino Weekend in late July. Also, Concerned Women of the Grove will be hosting the important and always popular 14th annual Breast Cancer Benefit the first weekend of August.
On the first Wednesday of August, Cherry Grove hosts the annual Volleyball Challenge, in which the local team plays against the Suffolk County Police. The court is right in the middle of town, and hundreds of Grovers, cheerleaders and off-islanders scream and yell for their favorites.
If you’re feeling adventurous, take a walk outside Cherry Grove to the infamous Meat Rack. This lovely enchanted forest resides between the Pines and the Grove. Or take the ferry over to the Pines for a total change of pace (it’s definitely more popular with the boys). Grab a drink at Sip & Twirl or the Blue Whale with the fellas. And on the other side of Cherry Grove, delve into the beautiful Sunken Forest, the only forest below sea-level on the East Coast. It’s a good four-mile walk, but an extremely romantic one.
A few tips, particularly if you are day-tripping to Cherry Grove: Don’t feed or touch the deer. They are covered with ticks. Don’t forget suntan lotion (it’s our duty to remind you!). Bring water and a sandwich or pick one up at the Cherry Grove Deli. And don’t drink too much, ‘cause it’s a long ride back!
Visitors can get to Fire Island by driving to Sayville, New York and parking the car in the lot across the street from the ferry. It’s $10 daily during the weekend. Or, you can take the Long Island Railroad to Sayville, get a lift to the ferry in a shuttle van ($5), then hop on. Ferry prices and schedules can be found at sayvilleferry.com.
For more information about accommodations and other happenings, be sure to visit fireislandcc.org. Once you’re out there, pick up the weekly Violet Letter, which lists every single thing going on in the Grove, complete with pictures. See you at the beach!
Almost visible from the skyscrapers of Manhattan, just beyond the horizon to the west, there is a small town waiting to embrace New Yorkers with the quiet simplicity of just being. So leave work, stress and the struggling economy behind and spend a weekend in New Hope, Pennsylvania.
A square mile of diversity and community located along the Delaware River, New Hope is proof that size doesn’t always matter when it comes to beauty and pleasure. Known for both its woodsy scenery and its semi-urbane, artsy environment, New Hope was settled by the Lenape, a very social, neutral Native-American tribe. It later became a key hangout for the American Revolutionists, and still later a stop on the Underground Railroad, developing a reputation as a community for the non-conformists and the politically conscious. It has been a popular gay getaway since the 1940s, when artists, authors and entertainers of every kind flocked there for a quick fix of rest, relaxation and inspiration.
With abundant galleries and theaters, it was only natural that restaurants and specialty shops appeared around them, along with antique stores and studios for craft groups such as woodworkers, jewelry makers and clothing designers. Nowadays, New Hope is a sophisticated “Greenwich Village south,” spawning sprawling country homes of the rich and famous. Oscar Hammerstein lived nearby, as did Rogers and Hart.
With such a diverse populace, New Hope became known as a tolerant, welcoming environment for the LGBT community. Today, New Hope screams quirkiness, with an active witchcraft community, an abundance of piercing and tattoo parlors, and loads of fine jewelry shops. Each Sunday the town is filled with bikers and their broads, making it the “something for everyone” destination, a place where everyone peacefully coexists.
Politically, New Hope was the first small municipality in Pennsylvania to pass a sweeping anti-discrimination law, protecting all citizens from being treated with prejudice. Four of the current Borough Council members are queer, including the lesbian president, and a significant number of members of the Chamber of Commerce are also LGBT. It is the town where drag queens ride on
fire engines and police cars sometimes sport rainbow flags. New Hope Celebrates (newhopecelebrates.com), the town’s all-volunteer LGBT marketing organization, holds annual pride and film festivals, among other activities of interest to the queer community.
New Hope is also famous for its quaint bed and breakfast guesthouses. Those specifically gay-owned or gay-friendly are the Wishing Well Guesthouse (144 Old York Rd, 215-862-8819, wishingwellguesthouse.com), Hotel Du Village (2535 River Rd, hotelduvillage.com) and Inn at Stoney Hill (105 Stoney Hill Rd, innatstoneyhill.com). Nevermore Hotel (6426 Lower York Rd, thenevermorehotel.com) is the one-stop-shopping venue for all your travel needs. Posh yet tasteful, this refined hotel features a cabaret, bar, pool and elegant restaurant. But be careful, because you may never want to leave its premises!
In recent years, New Hope’s lesbian population has increased significantly. Consequently, more women’s events are being organized here, making this charming town a great destination for both socializing and relaxation. Check out ladies2000.com for details on upcoming parties and events for women. The Raven (385 West Bridge St, 215-862-2081, theravennewhope.com) is the area’s long-standing restaurant, gay bar and pool place. Closed recently when it switched owners, The Raven has re-opened and is better than ever! John and Peter’s, a lesbian-run bar establishment, has lived on Main St for over 37 years (95 South Main St, 215-862-5981, johnandpeters.com). This multi-faceted rock ‘n’ oll relic has a great bar, food, theater and live music to satiate all your senses. Karla’s (5 West Mechanic St., 215-862-2612, karlasnewhope.com), a delicious European-inspired restaurant, offers a selection of lusciously addictive martinis and a beautiful atrium dining room. It’s
a romantic, yet not-too-formal, place to recharge your batteries and quell your hunger.
Ladies who love to shop need look no further than New Hope. Nearly every street features one-of-a-kind specialty stores and tons of art galleries that boast eclectic collections (newhopepa.com/gallerie.htm). Best of all, most of the art is quite affordable. Wonderful antique stores such as Legacy Antiques (Route 202,215-862-9404, legacyantiquesinc.com), old bookstores and flea markets abound in New Hope, as do new-age stores. Mystikal Tymes (127 South Main St, 215-862-5629, mystickaltymes.com) is a local favorite, filled with pagan gifts of all varieties. A seven-minute trip down the road to Lahaska, a historically replicated Peddler’s Village sports 65 such stores, surrounded by gardens and greenery, as well as chain outlets.
Only a two-hour trip from New York by Transbridge bus from Port Authority or an hour by train from Penn Station to Trenton, getting to New Hope is effortless, especially relative to getaways to the often congested Hamptons or the Jersey shore. If you drive, pack your bikes or boats, as the area is teeming with recreational opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking and tubing (delawarerivertubing.com). You can even view “Oz” as the Wizard did: high above in a balloon.
Not into effort? New Hope-Ivyland Railroad (newhopeivylandrailroad.com) will show you a smattering of the land in historic style and Bucks County Trolley (buckscountytrollies.com) will take you deep into the woody back forest, known for its preserved covered bridges. There are historic carriage rides (buckscountycarriage.com), and you can patrol the Delaware leisurely on the town’s ferry from Ferry Street.
Located on the tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown isn’t merely gay-friendly; it’s an LGBT mecca.
“The thing about Provincetown is that it’s safe to be gay all day, every day, everywhere,” Lynette Molnar, the creator and producer of Girl Power Events, told us. “You can walk down the street holding your girlfriend’s hand, kiss her on the street, or make out with her on the beach with the total freedom of knowing you are completely safe. I haven’t experienced that anywhere else in the world.”
Lori Michaels, who performs here every year, agrees. “I love the vibe. I love how easy and laid back Provincetown is, and how wild the ‘partays’ can be as well. I love the restaurants, the shops, the salons, the gyms, the art galleries, and the performance hotspots. I love the gayness and the straightness and all that is in-between.”
Not only is P-town, as our community has affectionately dubbed it, the most queer-friendly place on earth, but it is also one of the most beautiful. Its Herring Cove is one of the few lesbian beaches in the United States. And, as if that isn’t reason enough to head over there right after you’re done reading this article, there are countless other perks to visiting P-Town this summer.
With so many charming inns and guesthouses, you’ll definitely find the right hideaway to escape the stresses of everyday routine. The Women Innkeepers, a P-Town organization of seven women-owned and -operated inns, is a great resource for women looking for lodging in the town. To learn more or make a reservation, visit womeninnkeepers.com. The Inn at The Moors (59 Provincelands Rd, 800-842-6379, innatthemoors.com) is a 30-room National Seashore accommodation where you will wake up to the scent of the ocean and a wealth of scenic vistas. For those of you who are looking to save a little money or to enjoy some quality down-time preparing dinner with your girl, a good alternative would be to rent an efficiency by the week. The ones at Ravenwood (508-487-3203) even have their own kitchens.
When you feel ready to hit the town, your first stop should be to sample the fresh local cuisine. Stop by the Central House Grill (247 Commercial St, 508-487-1430, onlyatthecrown.com/centralhouse), and have a meal out on the porch, where you can enjoy the sea breezes and the hustle of Commercial Street. This restaurant is part of the P-town’s Crown and Anchor complex, which houses a restaurant, several clubs, and a hotel where popular funny girl Kate Clinton lives throughout the summer.
To spice up your vacation, we recommend one of our favorite new informal dining spots, the South African Karoo Kafe (338 Commercial St, 508-487-6630, karookafe.com), and our longtime favorite, recently relocated Caribbean Corner (269 Commercial St, 508-487-2023, caluvesu.com), which boasts some of the best Caribbean food in the area. Also check out the new Wabi Dumplings (206 Commercial St), a high-end takeout-only joint where you can re-fuel between adventures.
Treat yourself to some fine dining at Victor’s (175 Bradford St, 508-487-1777, victorsptown.com), one of the hottest and hippest establishments in the whole town, where you can feast on exquisite tapas like potato, leek and Swiss frittatas or sake-steamed mussels. All of their dishes are made from the freshest local ingredients, so your meal will be both eco-friendly and healthy. Whether you choose to take a romantic getaway with your girl or an unforgettable queer family vacation, Provincetown is an experience that no lesbian should miss. Molnar never stops creating new and exciting ways for lesbians around the world to come together in a unique community that is truly ours. Her company, Girl Power Events, is the creative force behind most of Provincetown’s special events for women, including Single Women’s Weekend, a great way to meet other single lesbians from throughout the nation, July’s Girl Splash, the quintessential summer women’s party, and June’s Women of Color and Friends Weekend.
In October, the Women Innkeepers will produce one of the town’s biggest events, October’s Women’s Week, now celebrating its 25th anniversary. Women’s Week will be all about entertainment, offering you non-stop festivities that include comedy and drag shows, dance parties, live music and much more. And, of course, a score of mega-talented lesbian performers will be there, including Kate Clinton, Suzanne Westenhoefer, Lea DeLaria, Vickie Shaw, Karen Williams, Judy Gold, Michele Balan, Cris Williamson, Suede, Jennie McNulty and Mimi Gonzalez, to name a few.
One of P-Town’s most glorious attributes is its proximity to great whale-watching spots. “Whale-watching is like the eighth wonder of the world,” says Molnar. “And it’s even more spectacular when the boat is full of lesbians.” Girl Power Events are planning on hosting an all-women Whale Watch during Girl Splash on July 24, a part of their annual tradition. If you can’t make it then, check the schedule on the Dolphin Fleet at McMillan Pier (508-240-3636).
If sightseeing tickles your fancy, you’re in luck. Check out Art’s Dune Tours (artsdunetours.com), where a one-hour narrated tour takes you through the sand dunes, along the National Seashore, and past the dune shacks where literary greats Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neill wrote some of their masterpieces. You can’t help but be inspired.
If you’ve been craving retail therapy, P-Town is the place to go shopping. Commercial Street features a bevy of quirky galleries and shops, without the monotony of national chains or mega-malls. More than 100 lesbian-owned businesses are located on this street, making Provincetown home to the highest per-capita rate of women-owned businesses. Visit the Provincetown Business Guild’s Web site at ptown.org for a comprehensive list of all of the gay-friendly businesses on Commercial Street. Womencrafts (376 Commercial St, womencrafts.com) or “lesbian central,” as Molnar affectionately describes the iconic shop, holds a terrific selection of music, books, pottery, and jewelry, all made by women. D Flax (214 Commercial St) is a great clothing store for hip, fun casual wear, especially sweatshirts and t-shirts. The HRC Store (205-209 Commercial St), a fabulous shop for all things gay, generates money that helps support the upstanding organization. Toys of Eros (508-487-0056), a women-owned sex toy store, will bring you and your sweetie endless fun and games long after you’ve returned home.
Check out provincetownforwomen.com for an extensive guide to all that Provincetown has to offer, and be assured that your vacation here will be memorable. “There’s no place like Provincetown,” concludes Molnar. “It’s the gayest place on earth.”