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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Chicago spot among best lesser-known beach buys
by Jeffery A. Hammerberg, GayRealEstate.com
2010-08-04

This article shared 7670 times since Wed Aug 4, 2010
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During the sweltering days of summer, everyone who can do so seems to make tracks for the nearest beach. But when the rush is on to hit the sand and surf, world-renowned coastal hotspots tend to attract huge throngs and quickly become overcrowded. So for those interested in bucking the trend and taking the path less traveled, here are four suggestions for great LGBT beaches that often go unnoticed.

Block Island, R.I.

Block Island, which is located just off the coast of Rhode Island, represents the quintessential laid-back and less hectic beach with an authentic seaside character that has endured for generations. Although it is does not have a bustling LGBT scene, the small town is not small-minded and the progressive community warmly welcomes LGBT visitors. The natural scenery is beautiful and there are still secluded beaches on the island, even within walking distance of the quaint Old Harbor district with its ferry terminal, surprisingly good restaurants, and interesting shops.

Cannon Beach, Ore.

  Venture west to the opposite coast to discover the many reasons why Cannon Beach, Ore., is the waterfront destination of choice for so many members of the nearby Portland LGBT community. The area is similar to Block Island, in that it is also exceptionally gay friendly, rather quaint and low-key, and boasts some splendid natural coastline. There is a charming little downtown and plenty of restaurants, shops, cafes, and accommodating B&Bs. Plus Cannon Beach boasts three miles of fabulous beachfront. Enjoy stunning, rugged rock formations that add high drama to the shoreline—including the dramatic 250-foot tall Haystack Rock.

 

Osterman ( Hollywood ) Beach, Chicago

Although it may seem completely contradictory, some of the nation's best beaches are nowhere near the ocean. There are several fantastic LGBT waterfronts in the USA that are actually inland, in places where most people might never think to look for a wonderful house or condo near the shore. One of the favorites among the LGBT residents of Chicago is Hollywood Beach—which is located in a diverse Chicago neighborhood.

The beach got its name from nearby Hollywood Avenue. The moniker has endured despite the fact that the beach's name was officially changed years ago to Kathy Osterman Beach, in honor of the woman who used to head up the Special Events department within the mayor's office. Locals regard Hollywood Beach as Chicago's "gay beach" because it is so popular with the LGBT community. But compared to most of the hugely popular LGBT beach towns, Chicago is bargain-priced in terms of its real estate. The city managed to hold its own pretty well during the recent housing crisis, but it still represents great value and offers a tremendous variety of housing and architectural options.

Frank Lloyd Wright's original studio was located in the Oak Park district, for example, and the Riverside district has greenway features designed by Frederick Law Olmstead—who is best remembered for designing New York's Central Park. The Windy City is also one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the world in terms of art, culture and entertainment. Considering that it is also home to a fun and friendly beach, Chicago may be the perfect place to buy a home or vacation getaway while prices are still so affordable.

Lake Mead, Nev.

But in terms of affordable pricing, Nevada real estate tops almost everything in the USA. The region was, unfortunately, especially vulnerable to the foreclosure crisis. While that has depressed prices it has also created many rare buying opportunities. Those include many incredible properties within driving distance of Lake Mead, which is the largest reservoir in the country and a gorgeously fun waterfront destination. Lake Mead was formed by the Hoover Dam and is on the robust Colorado River, just a half-hour commute from Las Vegas. The lake is encircled by spectacular jagged mountain ranges, and there are abundant other natural attractions such as coves, rocky cliffs, and serene sandy beaches. Lake Mead also forms the main part of the vast Lake Mead National Recreation Area, which covers 1.5 million acres of protected lands and encompasses 25 miles of the Colorado River.

About a half a dozen marinas serve the lake, where boating, water skiing, swimming, and fishing are all popular pastimes. The sunsets across Lake Mead are absolutely breathtaking, thanks to the juxtaposition of the gigantic lake, the mountains, and the exotic desert landscape. After sunset, of course, Sin City awaits just a stone's throw away from the beach. So owning property anywhere in the vicinity truly offers the best of both worlds in terms of outdoor recreation, entertainment, and nonstop nightlife.

Of course, other more famous beaches are also undoubtedly amazing—and are equally worthy of real estate investment. But these four are particularly noted for their beauty, gay-friendly attitudes and the fact that they may be pleasantly less populated—even during the peak tourist season.

Visit www.GayRealEstate.com or call 888-420-MOVE ( 6683 ) toll-free.


This article shared 7670 times since Wed Aug 4, 2010
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