Out Now, our minds must full of vigor. After reportedly conducting the largest ever research study on LGBT travelers, the group reports that we will spend approximately $165 billion on travel in 2012 and even more next year. Furthermore, LGBT dollars are going to some traditionally beloved cities like San Francisco and Miami as well as less typical destinations such as Cape Town and Tokyo. The following are the top 20 most coveted travel cities among LGBT tourists, according to the Out Now survey.
(Related: Out Traveler Guide to Miami | 12th Street Beach is listed as one of theworld's best gay beaches | Tale of Two Cities: Miami versus Ft. Lauderdale)
19. Cape Town, South Africa
(Related: Sizing Up South Africa | Clifton Third is listed as one of the world's best gay beaches)
18. Rome, Italy
(Related: Three Gay Days in Rome)
17. Mexico City, Mexico
(Related: Travel + Fashion: Boys of Brazil | Millions Pack the Streets for São Paulo Pride)
14. Barcelona, Spain
(Related: Nearby Sitges listed as one of the world's best gay beaches)
13. Melbourne, Australia
(Related: Melbourne, A Food Lover's Paradise)
12. Hong Kong, China
(Related: A Culinary Trip Around Hong Kong | What Dennis Hensley Learned by Traveling to Hong Kong)
11. Las Vegas, Nevada
(Related: Romance and Roulette: Why Vegas Is for Gay Lovers | Showstopping Design)
10. Los Angeles/West Hollywood, California
(Related: Out Traveler Guide to Los Angeles | nearby Santa Monica's Will Rogers Beach listed as one of the world's best gay beaches | WeHo Without Wheels | A Quieter Riot at the Andaz Hotel)
9. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
(Related: Out Traveler Guide to Amsterdam | Is Amsterdam Still The Most Gay-Friendly Travel Destination? | Going Dutch in Amsterdam )
8. Tokyo, Japan
(Related: Get Married in Cinderella's Castle )
7. Buenos Aires, Argentina
(Related: Out Traveler Guide to Paris)
(Related: Out Traveler Guide to San Francisco | San Francisco's Treats |Miking the Castro's Queer History)
4. London, England
(Related: Out Traveler Guide to London | Hosts of World Pride 2012 | Heathrow Airport's Lounge Act )
3. Sydney, Australia
(Related: North Bondi Beach listed as one of the world's best gay beaches)
2. Rio de Janeiro, Argentina
(Related: Farme de Amoedo listed on one of the world's best gay beaches |Detoxing on the Shores of Ipanema)
1. New York City, New York
20. Provincetown, Massachusetts With the highest proportions of same-sex couples in America, P-town is an obvious, excellent hotspot. The charming seaside community is one of the world's most popular summer gay beach destinations.
19. Napa, California Just an hour or so north of San Francisco, the gorgeous drive up is half the fun. But once you get there, it?s all about food, wine and natural relaxation -- and more wine. It doesn?t hurt that Out in the Vineyard is really upping the LGBT game in neighboring Sonoma as well.
18. Hawaii Eight islands One polysexual past -- add in same-sex Civil Unions starting January 1st and no wonder the rainbow state is, well, gay. We say chill out on the Big Island, grab your hulu skirt for the nightlife of Honolulu, or just scope out the surfer brahs down at the beach. A perfect holiday.
Ends of the Earth feel, a tropical clime, cutesy plantation houses, an active LGBT community and resort scene, it?s no wonder candy-colored Key West has been a gay vacation mecca since Hemingway. We're just saying.
16. Atlanta, Georgia Despite Nene and the wifies trashing up the place (or perhaps because of), Atlanta is apparently hot on your radar with parties and pride and restaurants galore. With a vibrant and visible gay and lesbian population, sometimes it feels like the whole of Atlanta is a "gayborhood" and for the first time you're taking notice.
15. New Orleans, Louisiana New Orleans ain't just Mardi Gras, but damn if that joie de vivre doesn't keep us coming back (and apparently you as well) year after year for music, food, drink, and mega soul.
14. Seattle, Washington Portland's may have the lock of queer-sters, but for the Pacific Northwest's grown up gay scene -- and the country's most phallic building -- Seattle continues to come out on top: culinary heaven, arts and shopping bolstered by thriving tech companies, and nearby mountains just ripe for exploring.
13. San Diego, California With 300 days of sunshine a year and more laidback vibe that LA, San Diego is popular with everyone. Gays flock to compact, bustling Hillcrest and more artsy North Park.
12. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Apparently all y'all have been taking the city's nickname literally. Full of cobblestone streets and history, great cultural, culinary and artistic scene, like last summer's inaugural Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, and plenty of nightlife, "City of Brotherly Love", indeed.
11. Orlando, Florida How can Orlando not be on the list when it hosts the annual Gay Days, a week of shirtless parties and red-shirted play at the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and more.
10. Boston, Massachusetts As the first major city to get same-sex marriage in the States, no wonder Boston is close to your heart and travel wallet. All the cobblestoned collegiate energy has nothing to do with it. (Okay, maybe a little.) The city's historic gayborhood, the South End, is the perfect starting point or pack a car to the burbs in Dorchester.
9. Miami, Florida There's Mainland Miami and there's South Beach and both are hot, hot, hot. Sun, sand, style and nightlife -- Bienvenido a Miami!
8. Palm Springs, California Another fact from CMI?s survey: the LGBT community are "warm weather travelers." And it doesn?t get much hotter than Palm Springs! Book in advance if you?re aiming for one of the 30 gay guesthouses in the winter, or head the mixed/hipster hotspot the Ace Hotel. Their White Party Weekend pool parties are something to behold.
7. Ft Lauderdale, Florida Hosting two Pride events each year, and being a hot and steamy Southern Florida destination -- why wouldn?t Fort Lauderdale be in top 10? True it might have an "older brother" image to Miami but that lack of scene translates to serene, especially as prominent gay guesthouses up the luxe to full hotel status.
6. Washington, DC Our Great Gay Lands? surprisingly queer capital (all those intern sex scandals have to come from somewhere) is no surprise to this list. Here, history, politics, culture and R&R combine in an affordable, accessible and exciting way. Where else can you spend your days in a museum as expansive as the Smithsonian for free and your nights with a treasuredcongressman tucking those dollars saved in a stripper?s socks.
5. Los Angeles, California There?s more toLos Angeles than West Hollywood, there?s also Silverlake and Echo Park. And the beach. And Hollywood. And the warm, dry, sunny Mediterranean climate,plus fashion, architecture, nightlife, dining, andentertainment. And local Angeleno celebs like Johnson Hartig, Joe Zee, and Brad Goreski with their finger on the pulse. But with its spot at No.5, you apparently got the memo.
3. Las Vegas, Nevada One of the world?s most popular destinations, period, Las Vegas has been grabbing for the gays for years -- and it?s working, holding strong at No.3 You might say it?s a hetero-Midwest-fest, but with blazing lights and dazzling entertainment (Elton, Cher, Cirque, and Celine!), plus shopping, dining, and kitsch, a healthy does of sin is in.Stag party weekend, anyone?
2. San Francisco, California "Going to San Francisco" used to be a euphemism for gay, and well, nothing?s changed. Occupying the No.2 spot again this year, one of the most gay-friendly, gay-popular and gay-integrated -- not to mention exciting -- cities in the country also happens to be one of the most tourist rich. Clang clang goes the trolley! Ding ding ding goes your computer booking a flight.
1. New York, New York For the 16th year in a row, New York City claims No.1 spot on your frequent flier miles card. Design, architecture, fashion, food, arts, nightlife -- and sex-- the list goes on (and on and on). Were you one of the 50.2 million tourists the city had this year? Per square inch there doesn?t seem to be a gayer place in the country. Just ask Debbie Harry, Pierre-Henri Mattout, Phillip Crangi, William Ivey Long, Duckie Brown or your neighbor, or best friend, or officemate or online hookup. Chances are they?ve been here. Chances are you have, too!
10 small-town destinations for LGBT travelers
Looking for a getaway outside the U.S.'s big cities? The Huffington Post lists 10 small towns or cities deemed particularly friendly to LGBT tourists. Among the vacation spots are New Hope, Pa.; Asheville, N.C.; and Eugene, Ore. The Huffington Post/Gay Voices