Northern California is a magnet for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender travelers. Hot spots include San Francisco's Castro District, along with Guerneville and Calistoga, both in Wine Country. Same-sex marriage is legal in California. Despite widespread tolerance, homophobic bigotry still exists. In small towns, especially away from the coast, tolerance often comes down to 'don't ask, don't tell.'

Helpful Resources

Damron ( Classic, advertiser-driven gay travel guides and ‘Gay Scout’ mobile app.

Gay & Lesbian National Hotline (; 888-843-4564) For counseling and referrals of any kind.

Out Traveler ( Free online magazine with travel tips, destination guides and hotel reviews.

Purple Roofs ( Online directory of LGBTQ accommodations.