2015 will be long remembered as the year that LGBT equality came to both Ireland and the United States – but Ireland first!

Tourist reps in both nations already realize it means an unprecedented (and previously untapped) new wedding and vacation market windfall and they’ve wasted no time creating unforgettable destination holidays for every LGBT price point.

This week IrishCentral wants to highlight tried and recommended LGBT vacation spots to help take the guessing out of this burgeoning new market.

In Ireland

Dublin City

If you haven’t been to Dublin for a few years you’ll be surprised to discover that it now features more hipsters per square foot than Brooklyn. The city doesn’t have a gay village as such because gay people are as welcome in the local venues as anyone else. It’s the Irish way.

The George is still the city’s biggest and best gay pub, with music and dancing for the younger crowd and a more stately Dublin pub (affectionately known as Jurassic Park) for the more mature visitor who prefers drinks and good conversation, but there are a host of other gay bars and clubs to explore at your leisure.

The international LGBT market has taken note of the fact that Ireland became the first country in the world to approve marriage equality by popular vote and Tourism Ireland, the nation’s preeminent tourism marketer, immediately heralded the fact in a well received social media campaign.

A guided tour

Of course Ireland’s most enduring charm is its unforgettably beautiful landscape, which has the power to turn even the most prosaic nature into a Celtic poet in minutes.

For the best scenic vacation, featuring stays in world class Irish hotels, the US-based Brendan Vacations has become the first operator to offer tours specifically created for the LGBT market.

Brendan’s new tours offers breathtaking landscapes, guided tours and the opportunity to stay at Ireland’s most iconic hotel, the 800-year-old medieval Ashford Castle. These customized tours are offered in a variety of styles and lengths for a range of budgets.

According to Travel Weekly, the global LGBT travel market is valued at $202 billion annually. Ireland’s candidacy as a destination wedding location is expected to really take flight when its marriage legislation is enacted by the government.

In the United States


Nestled on the end of Cape Cod, where a departing glacier carved out its distinctive curve, Provincetown is already one of the top LGBT holiday destinations on the globe, but nothing has put it on the world’s map like the recent historic Supreme Court ruling.

That extra hint of celebration in the air makes 2015 the best time you could ever hope to visit this seaside town that welcomes straight and gay holidaymakers alike and has attracted artistic and counter-cultural Irish American talents since the days of Eugene O’Neill.

For a perfect introduction to the real Provincetown we recommend a stay at the lovely Greek Revival style Inn at Cook Street, which features two cottages, two bedroom/living room suite combinations, four bedroom suites, some with fireplaces and private sundecks, and all with private baths.

Run by Boston-born Patrick Flaherty and Somerville-born John Jay Wooldridge, the Inn at Cook Street is both close enough to town for a leisurely stroll and yet the perfect distance to provide a relaxed counterpoint to all the lively summer crowds. Tell them IrishCentral sent you.

The blue early morning light in Provincetown is unparalleled so make sure when you’re booking your inn or hotel to take a foray soon after breakfast for a walk through town.

To get around – and to explore the dunes, a must – we recommend you hire a bicycle for your stay at Arnold’s Bike Shop.