Spectacular LGBT Getaway Cities - United Hub
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Spectacular LGBT getaway cities

By Bob Cooper , June 20, 2017

Some of the world's most legendary cities are also among the most LGBT-friendly. These six top both lists for good reasons.

Dolores Park in San Francisco

San Francisco, California

Many events are planned during this year's Summer of Love 50th anniversary to celebrate the exciting summer in San Francisco when hippies took over the Haight-Ashbury district. But just over the hill in the Castro district in 1967, a community centered around LGBT culture was taking root, and it's still going strong. Visitors to the Castro should stop by the GLBT History Museum, then catch a classic film at the gorgeous, 1,400-seat Castro Theatre. Besides nightlife in San Francisco, day-trip options include the Napa and Sonoma Wine Country and the Russian River town of Guerneville, a favorite LGBT getaway spot nestled in the redwoods.

Aerial beach view of Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida

South Beach earns its reputation every night as a place where the party never stops — on the beach (the LGBT scene is at the 12th Street beach) and in the adjacent bars and clubs. The presence of an LGBT Visitor Center in “SoBe," which is surrounded by upscale shops and restaurants, speaks to the fact that this is a town that welcomes and celebrates everyone. Also LGBT-friendly are Miami Beach's Haulover Beach Park, and if you don't mind driving a bit farther to the north, Fort Lauderdale — where the beach, inns, restaurants and bars around Sebastian Street are crowded with LGBT locals and tourists.

Park Guell at sunset in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

It makes sense that the largest metropolis in the Mediterranean, the tourist magnet of Barcelona, is a crossroads city with a progressive and welcoming vibe. LGBT visitors are among those who benefit, as Barcelona's many gay and lesbian beaches, hotels, bars, nightclubs and festivals make it the LGBT capital of southern Europe. The LGBT hotspot of Sitges, home to two dozen beaches, is just 20 miles away by train or bus. And accessible from Barcelona by ferry or plane in the Mediterranean are the LGBT-friendly Spanish jet-setter islands of Ibiza and Majorca — the latter of which hosts the Ella International Lesbian Festival (August 31–September 7).

Ha'Penny Bridge in Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is one of Europe's most progressive cities, with many hotels, saunas, nightclubs and bars geared to LGBT travelers. It's also the perfect gateway to one of Europe's most beautiful and visitor-friendly countries. Along with Dublin, the city of Cork is especially LGBT-friendly, although so is the rest of the Emerald Isle. In 2015, Ireland became the first country in the world to approve gay marriage by popular vote, with 62 percent lifting their Guinness mugs in a resounding “aye" vote. Adding to Ireland's appeal: English is the spoken language, and the Euro is the preferred currency.

Coastal view of the ocean and beach in Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

The winding shoreline of Sydney is packed with LGBT-friendly beaches, from renowned Bondi Beach to smaller clothing-optional beaches. After soaking in the Sydney sun, visitors can head to LGBT-oriented restaurants, bars and nightclubs in Australia's largest and most cosmopolitan city — or join other tourists in taking in sights like the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Sydney Tower, Australian Museum, Royal Botanic Garden and Olympic Park. Oxford Street-Darlinghurst, sometimes called “The Golden Mile," is the main center of LGBT culture and it's located near the city center.

Boats docked near the downtown area of Vancouver, Canada

Toronto, Canada

Toronto's Pride Month is one of the world's biggest, bringing an estimated 1 million visitors to the city each June and culminating in a massive Pride Parade (June 25, 2017). But LGBT visitors also flock to Toronto the rest of the year. The heart of LGBT culture is found in “the Village," which is part of the Church-Wellesley district (near downtown) — but the entire multicultural city of 2.7 million, Canada's largest, is LGBT-friendly. Among Toronto's many visitor attractions are the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada's largest museum; the CN Tower, the Western Hemisphere's tallest structure; and the Eaton Centre, North America's busiest shopping mall with 300-plus shops and restaurants.

If you go

United Airlines offers numerous flights to all of these cities. Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your getaway.

Can you wear that on Mars?

By The Hub team , September 18, 2019

If you can't get to Mars, what's the next best thing? Apparently Iceland. A team of renowned explorers and researchers recently journeyed to Iceland to test a Mars analog suit in a Martian-like environment.

The United sponsored expedition, led by The Explorers Club — an internationally recognized organization that promotes the scientific exploration of land, sea, air and space — and in partnership with Iceland Space Agency, involved the team venturing inside the Grímsvötn volcano and across the Vatnajökull ice cap. The group traveled to the remote location and lived for six days in the Grímsvötn Mountain Huts and endured harsh weather conditions and unstable terrain.

Helga Kristin Torfadöttir, Geologist and glacier guide, using the LiDAR system to map the ground and test the suit's capabilities on the glacier.


The objective of the mission was to explore the potential of concept operations at the Grímsvötn location while testing the suit in an arctic environment similar to what would be found on the surface of Mars. "This mission was an important test of the design of the MS1 suit, but it was also incredibly helpful to understand the how to conduct these sorts of studies in Iceland," said Michael Lye, MS1 designer and NASA consultant and RISD professor. "No matter how thoroughly something is tested in a controlled environment like a lab, studying it in a setting that accurately represents the environment where it will be used is absolutely essential to fully understand the design."

The suit was designed and constructed by faculty and students at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) with input and guidance from members of the HI-SEAS IV crew and NASA's Johnson Space Center Space Suit Engineering team. At 50-60 lbs, the suit is similar to what a planetary exploration suit would weigh in Martian gravity. The suit was originally designed to be used in the warm climate of Hawaii, however the martian climate is much closer to what would be found on top of the glaciers in Iceland. The data collected will inform the future of habitat and spacesuit design that can be used to train astronauts on Earth.

A message from our CEO Oscar Munoz on the anniversary of September 11, 2001

By Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines , September 11, 2019

Today, we remember the colleagues, customers and every single victim of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

I know each of us in the United family marks this difficult moment in our own way. Still, we all share a common commitment to honor how our brothers and sisters left us and also celebrate what they gave to us during their lives. We remember their professionalism and heroism. We cherish their camaraderie and friendship. We carry with us the examples they set forth, especially in the heroism and bravery displayed by so many on that terrible day. Above all, we understand a simple truth: While thousands of our fellow human beings lost their lives in New York City, Arlington and Shanksville, the attacks of September 11th were aimed at all people of peace and good will, everywhere. They were attacks on the values that make life worth living, as well as the shared purpose that make us proud of what we do as members of the United family: connecting people and uniting the world.

We may live in times scarred by discord and disagreement, and we know there are those around the world who seek to divide us against one another. But, on this day – above all – we come together, as one. We affirm our core belief that far, far more unites us as citizens and fellow human beings than can ever divide us.

Let us embody that belief as we go about serving our customers and one another – on this day and every day – as we continue to help building a world that's more united. Let that be our memorial to the sisters and brothers we lost, eighteen Septembers ago.

Humbly,
Oscar

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