Everyone is welcome in Seattle (well, A-Rod might want to vacation elsewhere), but some tourists are especially embraced at Capitol Hill's Travel Gay Seattle, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender visitor center that opened mid-July. We're breaking ground here: It's only the second such center in the country.
The Broadway space, located between Mercer and Roy streets, targets LGBT travelers to the city—and there are more of them these days. Rachael Brister, deputy director of the Greater Seattle Business Association, notes that of the 2,400 same-sex marriages performed in the state during the first four months of marriage equality, 14 percent were between out-of-staters (and that's just the marriage-minded folk).
The number one need at the LGBT visitor center is a universal one among tourists: People need a map. The center has its own Out and About Guide to hand out, and they also answer questions about where to stay and where to party.
Travel Gay Seattle sits in the 1st Security Bank, which means it operates the same business hours (9am–5pm Mon–Thu, 9am–6pm Fri, 10am–2pm Sat). It's run by the GBSA, a LGBT chamber first organized in 1981; staff at the center promote members of the chamber, some LGBT-owned but all LGBT friendly. Since membership extends to Victoria, Vancouver, and state casinos, they can speak to destinations beyond Seattle.
Next time you see Capitol Hill tourists that look lost, send 'em down Broadway. If nothing else, they'll score a Seattle map.