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In the gay ol' days of summer
Great weekend getaways for the LGBT traveler

by Mark Smith
Warmer weather has arrived, the days are longer and most urban dwellers are looking for vacation getaways that will take them away from the hustle and bustle. Here are a handful of recommendations tailor-made for LGBT travelers.

The Starlite Trailer Lodge offers access to woodland trails.
• The Starlite Trailer Lodge
Starlight is a camping facility that welcomes both lesbians and gay men. A private and secure park covering 75 acres in the Globe Valley, which adjoins the Pisgah Forest located south of Blowing Rock, N.C, Starlite offers spacious riverside campsites, a swimming pool and bathhouse facilities. They also offer fishing (river and lake) and hiking.

Enjoy the tranquility of a rolling river at River’s Edge.
• The River’s Edge
If the heat’s getting you down and you wanna shed those pesky clothes, try The River’s Edge. Located in Dewy Rose, Ga., River’s Edge is a unique adult clothing-optional camping experience. A private, membership-only facility catering primarily to men — women, however, are welcome. According to owners, the campground is meant to be an escape from city life and a unique experience for those who enjoy the outdoors, nature and country life.

Lounging around the pool at the Parliament Resort and Social Club.
• Parliament Resort & Social Club
The Parliament Resort & Social Club is a members-only social club specifically for gay men in the privately leased Parliament Resort motel complex located in Augusta, Ga. The facility is locally and gay owned. Members are gay men who are looking for a place to get away, meet new friends and have lots of fun. The resort boasts 70 rooms with selections of one or two queen, one king, or two full beds. The complex is enclosed by a privacy fence and gated entrance to ensure privacy.

Spring and summer bring lush tropical grounds to life with towering banana trees, roses, hibiscus and hundreds of flowering cannas. Amenities include a steam room, hot tub, TV lounge, maze, novice dungeon and an outdoor pool.

Timberfell Lodge enjoys beautiful, mountain terrain.
• Timberfell Lodge
Tucked deep in a hollow of the Southern Appalachians is Timberfell Lodge, a facility that offers camping and lodging for men seeking solitude or camaraderie with their gay brothers. After breakfast and conversations lingering over fresh-brewed coffee, guests frequently head for the pool, hike the gentle or more demanding trails circling the lodge property or do nothing at all. Just down the hill from the main house is the pool complex, where you can swim or join in a game of volleyball in the large, 20’ by 40’ heated pool or simply watch while sunbathing. Relax in the glass enclosed, six-man hot tub or in the 20-man sauna and 8’ by 8’ tiled shower room with benches. Timberfell’s award-winning dining facilities offer a full breakfast, evening appetizers and an American cuisine style dinner.

Twin Oaks is situated in a scenic forest.
• Twin Oaks
Located in Bonlee, N.C., Twin Oaks is a clothing-optional campground for men over 21 years of age. The site is open seven days a week. Situated on 26.6 acres of scenic forest just minutes from the Haw River, Jordan Lake, N.C. Zoological Park and major metropolitan areas, rural attractions like farm tours, antique shops, historic sites and outdoor activities are abundant. Twin Oaks boasts 15 campsites and six RV sites. Sites vary from rustic to landscaped. Some include hammocks, low voltage landscaping lighting, unique landscaping, stone firepits and at-site parking. RV sites include 50, 30 and 20 amp service and water. Walking trails wind through mature lush forest and it’s not uncommon to encounter wildlife while strolling through the shade.

Starlite Trailer Lodge, 5955 Globe Rd. Lenoir, NC

The River’s Edge, 2311 Pulliam Mill Rd., Dewy Rose, GA

Parliament House, 1250 Gordon Hwy., Augusta, GA

Timberfell Lodge, 2240 Van Hill Rd., Greeneville, TN

Twin Oaks Campground, 3024 Bonlee Bennett Rd., Bonlee, NC

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