For all you city folk looking for some sand (or you car-less vacationers looking for a respite), getting to the East Coast’s famed gay resort towns needn’t involve complicated train-ferry-bus itineraries or multiple stops thanks to a host of gay-owned shuttle services. Whether it becomes a party bus is up to you.
With a leased fleet of mini-vans, mini-buses, and occasional larger buses (from 3-55 passengers; kind of like carpooling they tailor each trip to capacity needs) the just launched Go Rainbow Express is the only direct New York City to Provincetown connection. Prices start at $70 each way with schedules geared towards weekend getaways. Trips originate and terminate in city gayborhoods and an optional “Route-2-Door” service drops you off, within 5 miles, at your hotel or home when available. Along the way enjoy free sodas, movies on select buses, and live bingo games (with prizes!) on larger vehicles. Geared towards travelers with set itineraries – since they’re new to the market, schedules change as interest waxes and wanes – tickets carry a two-week cancellation policy (minus 20 percent) and are best booked at least a week in advance. Montreal, Boston, and Washington, D.C. routes are also available. Book now for 50 percent off a second one-way ticket on the same routing.
Having already set the bar for private line service between NYC and DC, Washington-based DC2NY brings the same service and amenities (free bottled water, electrical outlets, onboard Wi-Fi and Crawford-approved cleanliness) to their Beach Bus routes servicing mid-Atlantic weekend hotspots Rehoboth and Dewey in Delaware. Buses depart from Dupont Circle then Union Station Friday night and Saturday and Sunday mornings, with returns Saturday and Sunday night; additional schedules are planned for Labor Day. Tickets are $35 for the 2 hour and 15 minute ride. Till the end of July, book two nights at the luxury-leaning Bellmoor Inn in Rehoboth and they’ll pay for your bus tickets.
Although readily served by the Long Island Railroad and a shuttle service to the ferry, sometimes it’s nice to just go direct – and avoid the commuter crush. The Fire Island Pines Bus, an official service of the commercial group who runs Hotel Ciel and most of the harbor entertainment complex, offers $20 one-way tickets from Chelsea in Manhattan by special request. Find a sample schedule online. Book by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 631-597-6500 ext 35 to confirm with hotel staff. Alternatively, Islanders Travel offers a route Friday morning (7am), returning Sunday evening for $25 each way. If you’re coming out for the annual African-American party weekend in Cherry Grove, Fire Island Black Out August 13–15, chartered buses are available from DC, Philly, and NYC as well from $75–90 roundtrip.
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