Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Sep 22 2009

Philly's Scene For Gay And Lesbian Travelers Heats Up This Fall

City Welcomes The Newest Kimpton Hotel And Nightclubs Q Lounge And Voyeur

Gay and lesbian travelers looking to extend their summer fun into autumn need look no further than Philadelphia in 2009 and beyond. With a handful of new restaurants, bars, clubs, events and hotels to complement Philadelphia’s cherished and historical gay-friendly heritage, Philadelphia is the place to Get Your History Straight And Your Nightlife Gay®.

Make It A Weekend—Or More:
One of the nation’s leading gay-friendly hotel chains, Kimpton makes its Philadelphia debut on October 15 with the Hotel Palomar Philadelphia, a 24-story property housed in the 80-year-old American Institute of Architects building. Themed “Art in Motion,” the Art Deco building’s interior design pays homage to fashion, dance, literature, architecture and the visual arts—as evidenced by the original artwork on display by local Philadelphia and national artists. What’s more, Hotel Palomar delivers a stylish and modern design while preserving many of the building’s historic details.

In New Hope, Pennsylvania, an artsy enclave filled with owner-operated boutiques, galleries galore and intimate dining spots, is the newly re-opened The Raven, a top gay spot for dining, dancing, singing, swimming and sleeping in newly styled contemporary rooms.

Visitors can book their gay-friendly hotel accomodations at gophila.com/gay.

Eat, Drink & Shop:
Philadelphia’s 15-square-block Gayborhood, home to the nation’s oldest GLBT bookstore (Giovanni’s Room), is ushering in the cool weather season with new restaurants, bars and shops. Paying homage to the pin-up girls of days past, Evan Turney’s third Gayborhood spot, Varga Bar, serves up stylish gastropub fare and an impressive roster of craft beers. Turney’s sister Marcie recently teamed up with life partner Valerie Safran to open Verde, a speciality flower, gift and artisinal chocolate boutique—a welcome addition to the 13th Street corridor dominated by the couple’s Gayborhood businesses, including Lolita (Mexican cuisine), Bindi (Indian fare), Open House (home goods) and Grocery (gourmet market). In other dining news, Eric Paraskevas has taken over the reigns as head chef at Tavern on Camac’s newly renamed restaurant, terra, adding inventive twists to create a completely new menu, taste and attitude while continuing the tradition of great food at this neighborhood gem.

On the nightlife scene, PURE Nightclub switches to Voyeur on September 25, but remains an after-hours dance spot. A week later, on October 1, Bump makes the jump to q lounge, featuring locally grown meats and produce from nearby Lancaster County, fruit-inspired cocktails and the area’s hottest DJs and talent.

An Event-filled Fall:
A full calendar of events make Philly the place to be this fall. On September 26, just one day after its grand opening, Voyeur hosts the first-ever Gayborhood Games, including competitions in dancing, singing, hairstyling, bartending, cooking, and more. Next up, it’s OutFest National Coming Out Day, a fun-filled block party and the largest coming out day in the world, on October 11. Across town in Historic Philadelphia, where the nation’s first historical marker to acknowledge GLBT history stands, the National Constitution Center hosts Diana: A Celebration, October 2, 2009-January 3, 2010, an exhibition that chronicles the life and times of Princess Diana from her childhood to her lavish royal wedding. The month winds down on a creepy note when Eastern State Penitentiary hosts a special GLBT community night during Terror Behind the Walls, the nation’s #1 haunted Halloween attraction in 2008 according to AOL City Guide, on October 21. And, on Halloween night, it’s the grand Henri David Ball, a Philadelphia tradition since 1968.

Philadelphia is also making a statement this fall with top-notch style and design events the aesthetically inclined won’t want to miss. There’s the fifth annual—and biggest yet—DesignPhiladelphia celebration, October 7-13; the first-ever Philadelphia Fashion Week, October 8-10; and the arrival of the Arts of Fashion Symposium, Design Competition and Fashion Show, another first for the city, October 24-28.

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region’s vitality.

For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit gophila.com or uwishunu.com, where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to Hear Philly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676.

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