Go: Montreal

Notre-Dame Basilica

Montreal is one of those cities with a reputation for being both a cultural hotspot and a destination for a weekend of utter debauchery. Still, who says you can’t revel in both things at once?

The city has one of the largest and friendliest gay neighborhoods in the world. It’s primarily French, which makes me wonder when Fox News is going to start branding their citizens terrorists. The people are oh-so fashionable and the food is amazing. With vintage-looking checkerboard tiles and killer frites, the best restaurant by far is the not-so-cheap L’Express. A must see is the stunning world famous Notre-Dame Basilica, where Celine Dion married her dad – er – manager.

Montreal also has the best strip clubs on the planet. Unlike most places in the U.S., the hot French-Canadian dancers take off everything. Your first stop should be Stockbar(not a work safe click) on Saint Catherine Street. And, yes, they do serve booze.

Coming in October is the annual multimedia pride festival, Black and Blue. It’s essentially a week of partying that helps raises money for AIDS charities – the perfect excuse tear off your shirt and confess something on the dance floor.

A trip to Montreal also gives you an excuse to finally wear that cute French beret your ex-boyfriend hated so much. At least it did for me.