Worth the wait

08 Jul 2013

Worth the wait

Francis Atkins puts together suggestions perfect for same sex couples

Image gallery

Image gallery

This year we’ve seen a huge step forward for marriage equality in the UK and America, with The Marriage (Same Sex) Bill passed by the House of Commons and Proposition 8 deemed unconstitutional.

Now that more loved-up couples can start planning their big day, thoughts quickly turn to celebrating with a honeymoon that proves worth the wait. With so many options in Europe and across the pond, here are some of the most gay-friendly, fun-filled and cultural locations to start the rest of your lives together.

TORREMOLINOS, COSTA DEL SOL

This coastal town is ideal for honeymooners, offering a choice of both lively and peaceful beaches, fantastic shopping and the chance for a bit of pampering. As one of the most popular gay hotspots in Spain, there are more than 30 gay bars and clubs to unwind in for the evening. Take in a tasty dish of international cuisine on the terrace (a real suntrap) at the El Sabor Restaurant, before grabbing local wines to toast your relationship success at the El Gato Lounge. As honeymoons are more than just a getaway, take the chance to explore the region with a day trip to nearby Malaga City, one of the oldest cities in Europe, and then hop over to Gibraltar to hang out with the famous Barbary Macaques. The more you see of this beautiful region, the more memories you’ll make to last a lifetime.

TOP TIP: Planning weddings can be quite stressful after organising the venue and guests, so now you’re married, how about some retail therapy at the Plaza Mayor shopping centre? There’s every shop you could ask for, so buying souvenirs won’t be a problem, and there’s even a cinema to snuggle up in.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

Fantasy Vegas getaways are perfect for fun-loving couples looking for an action-packed honeymoon. Las Vegas is known for its amazing shows, 24 hour casinos and wild nightlife, while it prides itself on being colourful and attractive. There are many live music venues for serenading your new coupledom, as well as performance based nightclubs to enjoy; the infamous Krave nightclub, for one, is extremely popular amongst the gay community. While you’re here, you’ve got to try the large portions of food on offer - you’re married now, so ditch the diet and indulge! A hip and tasty restaurant to try is the Firefly tapas bistro or, for a hearty breakfast to get your energy levels up after a night on the town, Denny’s Diner serves up a feast at very reasonable prices.

TOP TIP: There are many gay-friendly hotels to choose from, with the Mandalay Bay, or Mandalay Gay as its better known in the gay community, being a firm favourite among same-sex couples.

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands

Ahead of the UK, the Netherlands made same-sex marriage legal back in 2001, and its capital is a great city for a cultural break after you’ve tied the knot. There are plenty of attractions to marvel at, including the famous canals, with café stops in-between. Three sights not to be missed are Museumplein, or museum square, the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum. With so much to do, it’s an exciting way to start your married life together and fill up the photo album. When you need a break from the hustle and bustle, head to the Begijnhof for tranquil gardens hidden within the city. These gardens, located on the grounds of a 14th century convent, promise romantic walks amid gothic architecture and stunning marble columns. Remember to whisper, as this romantic courtyard is visited mainly by people looking for serenity.

TOP TIP: Get cycling! Throughout the Netherlands, hitting the pedals is a popular way to get around and it’s a healthy, energetic activity to do together. Renting a bike is easy, but with around 550,000 other bicycles in Amsterdam to dodge, stay alert!

FLORIDA KEYS

LGBT newlyweds are made very welcome in the Florida Keys and especially Key West, where they can enjoy sun-kissed days on the beach, snorkelling around the stunning coral reefs or indulging in some delicious sea food cuisine. Join the Gay Key West Trolley Tour which leaves every Saturday from City Hall; this is a sociable and colourful way to see the best the town has to offer. As the sun sets on the beach, parties go on long into the night with live music and drag shows at the Aqua Nightclub and rousing nightly performances at the Bourbon Bar. The nightlife along the main strip, Duval Street, is unmissable, with cabaret at Le Te Da and a great range of karaoke bars if you feel so happy you could sing!

TOP TIP: Events are held here throughout the year, including the Key West Pride (5th June), Tropical Heat (15th June) and Fantasy Fest (22nd October), all of which guarantee a fun time. If Florida Keys sounds right for you both, be sure to overlap your stay with these events to optimise the fun.

Wherever your journey as a wedded couple begins, remember to enjoy the time to yourselves and relax. Honeymooning abroad means there’s always somewhere new to go and something new to see; share it together and take photos to look back on.

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