CNN Travel names Asheville one of best places in the world to celebrate gay pride
"Politics will mix with partying this Pride season as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their allies around the world celebrate President Barack Obama's support for same-sex marriage and protest North Carolina's passage of constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions.
When planning a Pride vacation, pick a destination where the scale of the celebration is one that you can handle, recommends Ed Salvato, gay travel expert and editor in chief of Man About World, a soon-to-launch gay travel magazine for the iPad ...
... Known for its progressive politics and vibrant arts and culture scene, Asheville has been dubbed one of the 'gayest cities in America' and one of the 'top five surprisingly gay small towns' by The Advocate. The city's annual Blue Ridge Pride festival typically draws between 8,000 and 12,000 people from throughout the Southeast to Pack Square for a full day of music, workshops and family activities, as well as a showcase of gay-friendly businesses, service organizations and community groups.
... The grassroots, hometown feel of Blue Ridge Pride makes this a special destination to consider. This is especially poignant given the recent amendment passed in North Carolina that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, says Salvato. 'It's a good time to show our support and solidarity in a state that's had a setback,' he explains.
And with its sophisticated spas, shops, restaurants and more than 30 art galleries, as well as golf clubs and other outdoor activities in the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky mountains, Asheville offers plenty to do both before and after Pride."