LGBT Memorial Day Weekend Travel Guide
Photo: Old Rag’s Peak
Memorial Day weekend always marks the beginning of the summer travel season. That being said, we’ve compiled a small list of places to go and things to see this weekend right here in the Commonwealth. You might be hard pressed to make a reservation, but some of these sites are only a short drive away! All the locations listed here are LGBT friendly, or as much as they can be here in Virginia.
The Inn at Court Square
One of the more liberal leaning towns in southwest Virginia, Charlottesville is already known to be very accepting of the queer community. The Inn at Court Square was featured in the Washington Post in a piece where the inn owner, Candace DeLoach said, “I want this to be an everybody- friendly place, but I want it especially to be gay-friendly.”
The town of Charlottesville has plenty of boutique shops along pedestrian malls and a number of bars and restaurants to cater to anyone’s taste. For those trying to groove in the historical downtown area, Club 216 is the premier gay club in Charlottesville, having dance parties nearly every weekend.
Blue Ridge Mountains
If you’re thinking about traveling to Charlottesville, those who are more inclined to outdoor activities should consider making the hour plus drive to one of the many hiking spots throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains.
There’s a number of hikes that accommodate to hikers of different experience levels. One of the most rewarding hikes that won’t be too challenging to even the less experienced would be Old Rag. Being extremely popular, you’ll likely come across many other hikers along the 5.5 hour trail. If you arrive before 8 am, you have a chance of avoiding the crowds. The views from the top are rewarding, with the panoramic views being well worth the challenging climb.
Another possible hiking destination could be Crabtree Falls. The hike results in a view of Crabtree Falls, considered the tallest waterfalls east of the Mississippi according to hiking website, Hikingupward.com. This is a shorter and less challenging trail than Old Rag, but it’s views are just as magnificent.
Virginia Women’s Music Festival
Camp Out, Also near Charlottesville , is a women’s only camping ground will host the Virginia Women’s Music Festival this weekend, May 24th through the 26th. The event which is hosted on the camp grounds located in Kent’s Store, Virginia will included artist such as Wicked Jezabel, Mama’s Black Sheep, and Indigie Femme. The event is billed as also having dancing, bonfires, and a 5k Trail run/walk which will be held Saturday at 8 am. Registration for the 5k is first come first serve, with no additional charge being made to admission fees for the festival itself.
Horse drawn carriages in Williamsburg
If you’re trying to escape reality and explore more of the great historical sites in Virginia, look no further than Williamsburg. For those unfamiliar with the area, the town is one of the most well-preserved and oldest towns that exists here in the United States. Some may find the charm in the colonial architecture and the people who inhabit the town in traditional garb to be romantic. If history isn’t your thing and find you find yourself in Williamsburg, there is always Busch Gardens and Water Country USA to get your amusement park fun on.
Colonial Gardens Bed & Breakfast is probably one of the most romantic stays you’ll have in your life, featuring an acre of gardens on its property, giving an old world charm in addition to the fine Italian linens and beautiful furniture inside the Inn.
The horses of Chincoteague
For the ultimate quiet weekend getaway, Chincoteague is secluded enough to enjoy the beaches without the hustle and bustle of locations such as Virginia Beach or Ocean City. Those who have an appreciation for horses will love Chincoteague, which is famous for it’s Wild Ponies that inhabit the island and are surrounded by myth about how they came to call Chincoteague home.
Again, Chincoteague is the perfect vacation for those looking to enjoy a serene weekend. The Cedar Gables Seaside Inn overlooks a bay and has a view of the Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge as well. Every room in the Inn includes a waterfront deck, meaning that you can wake up to the sun rise over the water every morning during your vacation.
While Virginia Beach will probably be extremely crowded for the memorial day weekend, some beach patrons will be excited about the crowds and the vibrant night life. “Vah-Beach” and the surrounding area has a few gay bars that will entice certain members of the LBGT community. The Rainbow Cactus considers itself to the Virginia Beach’s Premier Gay Bar and Nightclub, having very favorable reviews on yelp.com and a very steady amount of special and weekly events always happening. There’s Drag shows every weekend that typically brings out a crowd that makes for a good time.
While it’s easy to get lost in the listings of lodging in the Virginia Beach area, LBGT members should consider the Capes Hotel. Located right on the ocean front, this is a classy establishment full of amenities that you’d expect from a hotel on the beach. The Capes Hotel claims it’s a gay-friendly hotel being favorable for those identifying as LBGT who may have a harder time finding lodging among the more “family-oriented” hotels that are littered across the beach front.
While our Memorial Weekend guide covers plenty of locations and things to do, there is much more out there. If you’ve got any other great weekend get-a-way ideas, let us know – firstname.lastname@example.org
“Formal equal opportunity policy in the military provides no protection or redress for service members who find themselves victims of sexual harassment or discrimination based on sexual orientation.”May 26, 2015
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