Fit and Fierce: 5 Destinations to Work It Out

by Lindsay B. Davis

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Saturday August 29, 2020

Fit and Fierce: 5 Destinations to Work It Out
  (Source:Getty Images)

You had to stay home, Now you want to travel. When you're ready, We're ready.

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Summer 2020 may be summed up by one word: Survival. With most gyms, athletic leagues and indoor recreation spots across the country still closed, people are seeking safe outdoor activities and in nature, or indoors with safety protocols. EDGE highlights five cities where you can not only survive but thrive. Get your body moving and spirit uplifted without a gym membership in a healthy, socially distant, and LGBTQ-friendly environment.


In the charming, seaside and tenth gayest U.S. city (according to World Population Review) of Portland, Maine, it is still possible to get out and enjoy the best of New England. On the fitness front, Summer Feet Cycling Tours is open and operating bike tours that include stops along the way for Portland's famed lobster rolls and refreshing blueberry soda.

Summer Feet is also partnering with The Maine Brew Bus, so you can ride and taste some of Portland's best microbreweries in an outdoor setting. In late September, join Equality Maine for their second annual Out on the Green Golf Tournament benefit on Saturday, September 26, a day on the links that includes social distanced golfing, entertainment, snacks and dinner. All proceeds support EqualityMaine's work for safer schools and communities for LGBTQ youths across the state.

Before visiting Portland, be sure to consult Keep Maine Healthy for travel guidelines.

Ready for biking, brews and lobster rolls? Click Here


The Mile High City of Denver is known for its bright (bright) sunshiny days, gorgeous hiking trails, and growing boutique fitness scene. As of early August, Manitou Springs reopened the Incline, a welcome return for hikers seeking a steep challenge in beautiful Colorado Springs. And with Denver Fitness Week coming up in September, you can happily get your sweat with on with discounted classes from over 20 of Denver's best boutiques that champion inclusivity, diversity and community love while also going the distance to keep everyone safe.

The queer-friendly vibe at High Ride Cycle is where to go for an upbeat, party on a bike (plus they are strong supporters of both the LGBTQ+ Center on Colfax and The Matthew Shepard Foundation). Jump into a class with beloved instructor and Master Trainer, Will Hemond, seen here after leading a Pride Ride in June:

Ready for a Mile-High getaway? Click Here


Park City, Utah
Park City, Utah  (Source: Getty Images)

When Taylor Swift's boyfriend, the English actor Joe Alwyn, posted a photo on Instagram from their recent hike in Park City, doting fans across the world shared in their moment of Zen. Perhaps better known as home of the Sundance Film Festival (currently being reimagined for late January 2021 to include screenings in 20 cities across the U.S.), Park City offers stunning mountain trails that are meant to be hiked before the ski season arrives. Book a private session with Patrice Martin, a local favorite with more than 30 years experience as a personal trainer and one of the first people to be married in Summit County after Utah's same-sex marriage ruling in 2013.

In nearby Salt Lake City, you'll find something of a gay oasis in Utah's Mormon desert. The city has a surprisingly robust LGBTQ community and even elected Jackie Biskupsi as their first openly lesbian Mayor in 2016 (she left office this year). Home to several cozy queer-friendly restaurants and bars, get your caffeine fix at Coffee Garden on Harvey Milk Boulevard before joining DF Dance Studio's outdoor, social distanced dance classes, including Salsa and Bachata!

Utah's color-coded health guidance system will keep you current on the state's pandemic response as you plan your travel.

Ready for dance class and a queer-friendly caffeine kick? Click Here


New York has long been the epicenter of group fitness culture, with thousands of devotees getting their sweat on all day every day. After a herculean effort to successfully flatten the curve, it comes as no surprise many of the city's boutique and health club rock stars are now offering outdoor classes and workout options.

Fitness guru Kristi Molinaro is known not only for her signature class 306090 that put HIIT and dope playlists on the workout map but also for a cult following of NYC's fittest gay men lasting over a decade. She's currently offering 306090 and boot camps on Pier 45 in the West Village (think running, burpees, step-ups and socially distanced partner drills capped at 10 participants).

In the Meatpacking/Chelsea area, make a reservation to walk the High Line then take a small, socially distanced Power Vinyasa class with yoga instructor and Lululemon Ambassador, Liz Wexler, on either Pier 51 (near Jane Street) or Pier 63 (23rd St entrance). If you want to escape the city to Long Island for an outdoor workout that includes battle ropes, Janeil Mason's Fit and Lit boot camps are for you!

New York City's Parks and Government list their Outdoor Fitness: NYC line-up with classes across the five boroughs including yoga on Staten Island and HIIT training in the Bronx or keep it chill with a day walking around Governor's Island in the heart of New York Harbor.

Ready to break a sweat in the city that never sleeps? Click Here


Barker Ewing
Barker Ewing  (Source: Visitjacksonhole)

Jackson Hole, the inclusive, inviting and friendly valley region (and home to the town of Jackson) between Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks is experiencing quite the surge in summer tourism and has also established clear safety protocols. Once in town, you'll never want to leave! Outdoor adventurers will love Barker Ewing Whitewater's invigorating whitewater rafting and more gentle floats down the historic Snake River along the southern boundary of Grand Teton National Park (now through September 15 with a possible extension).

After getting your fitness in, treat yourself to Cowboy Coffee Co. (voted Jackson's best coffee shop for five years running) for good eats or venture to Jackson Hole Playhouse for a night of safe, social distanced dinner theater amongst masked theatergoers seated every other row with two empty seats in between. "The Ballad of Cat Ballou," featuring "fierce Wyoming women, zany outlaws, and gun-slinging dancers" is currently on and one of the few live theater offerings in the country. (Looking for more cultural offerings? Here's a list of outdoor museums, botanical gardens and more.) Also nestled inside the Jackson Hole Playhouse, the progressive Cultivate Cafe, a must for tasty vegan fare in a space with a queer-friendly vibe.

Ready for river rafting and saloon-style dinner theater? Click Here