8 of "20 Top Gay Cities" in U.S. are also great cruise ports

Richard Florida (I’ve always envied his last name) of “Creative Class” fame has announced a fairly compelling and believable list of America’s Top Gay Cities. Developed through a variety of methodology in conjunction with Gary Gates, a scholar at UCLA’s law school. The duo announced the list on The Daily Beast, where Florida is a frequent contributor.

The cool thing for cruisers? Nearly half of the cities on the list are also cruise ports!

Cruise Ship in San Francisco, the #1 Gay City in America. Photo courtesy Mila Zinkova, Wikimedia Commons

Cruise Ship in San Francisco, the #1 Gay City in America. Photo courtesy Mila Zinkova, Wikimedia Commons

Next time you’re planning a cruise that includes U.S. ports either as embarkation points or as stopovers, consider including one(s) of the following (shown in ranking order from the report):

1. San Francisco, CA. Duh. The Gay “Mother Ship” is an obvious spot to cruise!  Click here for a list of cruises visiting San Francisco in 2010.

8. Portland, Maine . While it’s not a huge destination, plenty of ships call on this progressive community, especially during Autumn Leaf season. See which ones on the Portland Maine Cruise Calendar.

4. Boston, MA. Have your own gay tea party onboard when sailing through this great city of American history. Here’s their port schedule for 2010.

5. Seattle, WA. While many Alaska cruises use the fabulous Canadian port of Vancouver, BC, as their launch point, a big number also use Seattle. Check out our list of great pre- or post-cruise gay-friendly hotels and B&Bs in Seattle, and then book a cruise using the Port of Seattle Cruise Calendar.

9. San Diego, CA. With arguably the best year-round weather in North America and perfect proximity to the beach destinations of the Mexican Riviera (like gay-popular Puerto Vallarta), San Diego has become your Editor‘s favorite destination in the western U.S. It has a great gay vibe and one of the most convenient cruise terminals on earth, plus there are loads of great gay friendly places to stay in San Diego. Here’s the San Diego 2010 cruise ship schedule.

11. New York City, NY. It’s your Editor’s favorite travel destination on earth. If you want to know why, you’ve never visited the spot announced nightly on David Letterman as “The Greatest City in the World.” MeetMeOnBoard.com has scouted out some great, gay-friendly New York hotels near the cruise pier, and here’s the New York cruise ship schedule.

15. Washington, D.C. The port isn’t in D.C., it’s 40 miles away in Baltimore, MD (which didn’t make the list). But the nation’s capital is close enough to a major port to make it a viable stopover for a few days before or after your trip. Check out cruise ship information for Baltimore.

18. Los Angeles, CA, as a kid I thought this was the only embarkation point in the U.S. because Pacific Princess, aka The Love Boat sailed from there each week. As ports go, this one is terribly inconvenient, and I recommend you fly into Long Beach rather than LAX. Of course the LA area is chock-a-block full of homos. When cruising from LA, I enjoy staying in the Long Beach area, which has a good vibe and plenty of gays rather than traipsing clear up to the West Hollywood scene. Here’s the cruise ship schedule for Los Angeles.

20. Miami / Ft. Lauderdale, FL, hard to believe this was the last city(s) on their list, considering South Beach and Ft. Lauderdale are both high on the travel gaydar scale. But better last than not at all. Both Miami and Fort Lauderdale are great gay destinations; personally I prefer Miami for hanging out (and not just for South Beach), but Fort Lauderdale Pier’s (Port Everglades) proximity to the airport is perfection. Here’s the Miami cruise ship schedule, and here’s the Fort Lauderdale cruise ship info.

  • Dave Cantrall

    This particular article has great appeal to me – first becuase I love San Francisco; and secondly, because I have repeatedly tried (unsuccessfully) to garner interest in an all gay cruise OR even a gay group cruise with S. F. as a disembarkation port or embarkation port.

    If San Francisco IS still a “gay favorite” as the article implies, why is that it is impossible to arrange for a gay cruise including this city?
    I suggested a gay cruise which would begin in San Diego and end in Vancouver, B.C. However, I was told it cannot be done. Why? There is a straight cruise – May 2011 – that will make almost the SAME port visits as I recommended and in the time frame I mentioned.


  • JayTaylor

    Great article. I have been on cruises that left from New York many times. I just found a great dinner cruise on http://www.NewYorkCruises.com . They have some of the best cruises in New York.