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MAX Travel Events

Upcoming events

    • 27 Apr 2019
    • 28 Apr 2019
    • Calaveras Country, Angel Falls

    Join MAX SF Community Partner East Bay Network (EBN) and embark on a weekend trip to the Gold Country.

    Under the gently rolling hills of Calaveras County, protected from the summer sun and wintery blasts, are hundreds of limestone caverns. 

    Get away from the city for a couple of days and discover these breathtaking underground treasures.  We will visit at least one limestone cavern, Mercer Caverns or Moaning Caverns. 

    We may also take a trip to the Calaveras Big Trees State Park.  Here is where you can stand next to pristine groves of giant sequoias.

    We will also be visiting the historic Gold Rush era town of Murphys, tasting award-winning wines, and visiting eclectic art galleries, antique ships, museums and restaurants, many housed in buildings over 150 years old.

    Everyone is asked to make their own lodging arrangements.  EBN recommends the Travelodge in Angel’s Camp, where they have enjoyed our stay before.  Other lodging options are also available in Angel’s Camp and in Murphys. 

    Pertinent information will be sent to each participant approximately one week before the trip.

    For more information and to RSVP, please click here.

    • 24 May 2019
    • 27 May 2019
    • Ashland, Oregon

    This Memorial Day weekend, a group from MAX will journey on a four-day getaway to beautiful Ashland, Oregon, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  We will board our van on the morning of Friday, May 24th and begin a journey that includes theater, wineries, magnificent nature and small-town charm.

    The all-inclusive package includes sampling Oregon wines while watching the sunset over the Rogue Valley, an historic trolley ride through nearby the gold rush town of Jacksonville, Oregon and a half day trip to Deep Crater Lake National Park. We will return on Monday evening, with a lunch stop in the olive groves in Corning, CA.

    We will attend three performances at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival: the hilarious musical Hairspray, a new play based on Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, Mother Road, and one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies, As You Like It. The package includes transportation, tickets, accommodations, and all local visits -- a $900 value. Once again, we will have our own exclusive cottages at the Carlisle Garden Suites.  You also have the option of seeing some of the other OSF productions and taking the backstage tour. Meals are not included, but very affordable.

    This trip is being led by an experienced MAX event and trip organizer, Lorenzo Taylor, lorenzo_max@aol.com.

    Cost Options:

    • $400 per person, double occupancy.
    • $650 per person, single room

    This trip is limited to 12 attendees and is now sold out. 

    For More Information:
    Contact event host Lorenzo Taylor, Lorenzo_Max@aol.com

    • 30 Jul 2019
    • 5 Aug 2019
    • Alaska

    Join Phil Walker on a vacation to breathtaking Alaska. Many people have done an Alaska Cruise, so we thought we would do something special -- a land trip to Alaska.  Travel and explore Anchorage.  Enjoy the gay bar there on drag night!

    Then, travel to majestic Denali National Park by will rent jeeps and arrange guides to travel inside the park seeing the powerful natural beauty and amazing wildlife.  And nothing beats a great day but a hot drink by the fire in the evening. Additional stops on the railroad are being put together.

    Price not yet set

    More details will be provided when this trip is announced in the newsletter.

    To express interest in this trip, email Phil Walker at: phil@askphilwalker.com

    • 19 Aug 2019
    • 27 Aug 2019
    • Hungary, Austria

    Update: Single Supplement Waived for Sign-Ups by January 31st!

    This summer, join MAX and your MAX Host David Petlin on an Avalon Waterways river cruise on the Danube.

    You’ll cruise up the Danube from Budapest to Linz with a docking overnight in Vienna.  Enjoy the opportunity to explore Budapest, attend a Medieval Knights Tournament at a Visegrád castle, take a hike to Count Dracula’s prison tower, explore Vienna, sample cheese and beer made by Trappist monks, and much, much more.

    Experience the Blue Danube your way on Avalon Waterways, while sharing the experience with your fellow MAX travelers and with the new friends you’ll meet on this summer voyage.  Whether you’re an art lover, a foodie, a history buff, or an energetic adventurer, this Active Discovery cruise on the Danube invites you to experience culture and cuisine in creative ways that are perfect for you and great for sharing the experience with friends.

    With Avalon Choice® selections of Classic, Discovery, and Active excursions, each day is yours to spend your way. Whether you prefer browsing the art collection of the Habsburg Empire, sipping local vintages at an Austrian wine-tasting, or joining a canoe excursion, at each stop your cruise is packed with excursions for every pace. 

    Cruise prices for this 9-day adventure start at $3749 per person plus taxes and air.

    This is the perfect opportunity to sail single – we have a limited number of cabins with no single supplement charge.  Avalon Waterways has graciously extended the offer to waive the single supplement charge for bookings made by January 31st.  The opportunity to sail single at no additional charge is rarely offered on any other cruise line.

    For dues-paying MAX members, the MAX trip fee is included in the price.  For all others, the fee to MAX will be $100 per person.

    $250 deposit per person is required to book - final payment is not due until April 30th, 2019.  Contact David Petlin at David@travelbyflair.com or 415-890-6331 for more information or to book your cruise!

    • 30 Aug 2019
    • 2 Sep 2019
    • Ashland, Oregon

    This Labor Day weekend, a group from MAX will journey on a four-day getaway to beautiful Ashland, Oregon, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. 

    We will attend three performances at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Alice in Wonderland, Macbeth, and Indecent.

    Watch this space for details.  Reservations will be taken starting in June.

    Event host Lorenzo Taylor, Lorenzo_Max@aol.com

    • 22 Sep 2019
    • 28 Sep 2019
    • Cuba

    Last year, out MAX Travelers loved Cuba so much that they wanted to return and spend more time exploring the Island.  

    Join us when we stay at the illustrious Nacional Hotel (former Mafia gathering spot), tour the streets of Havana, drink where Hemingway drank, visit Hemingway's home, travel to see the Bay of Pigs and Santiago, cradle of the Revolution.

    You will be sure to enjoy the 8 gay bars of Havana along with handsome young men who make any evening there memorable.  What happens in Havana, stays in Havana!

    More details will be provided when this trip is announced in the newsletter.

    To express interest in this trip, email Phil Walker at: phil@askphilwalker.com

    • 28 Sep 2019
    • 29 Sep 2019
    • Seattle, WA and Vancouver, BC

    Looking for a unique getaway in September? Join Come hang out with some of your best friends while making new ones aboard the Holland America Eurodam!

    Never been on a cruise before but always wanted to see what they are like? Or do you love cruises, but just cannot get away for a whole week?  This is a 1 night only cruise from Seattle, WA to Vancouver BC.  This is such a fun way to experience a ship - It’s more of a floating
    20-hour party.

    Experience this unique getaway YOUR WAY - Fly up to Seattle a couple days early and explore Pike's Place, the Seattle Space Needle, or Capitol Hill on your own. Then join your MAX Hosts Nick Wade and David Petlin on board as we set sail to Vancouver with only the open water in front of us. Catch a show, enjoy the food, or make new friends on this short 12-hour cruise. The following morning bid farewell and head home from Vancouver or enjoy a couple days there as well. Take in the beauty of Stanley Park, hang out in the trendy Gastown, or head over to Davie Street - Vancouver's Gayborhood. You can even take the Translink to River Rock Casino near the airport to try your luck at the slots or spend a night or two at this awesome resort. 

    This cruise starts at $89 per person plus taxes, fees, and gratuities based on two in the room. Fee to MAX is $15 for dues-paying members or $30 for non-members. Book a veranda or higher category cabin and receive $25 on board credit per cabin. R/T Air is currently approx. $275 per person. 

    Saturday Sept 28th - Depart Seattle 5:00pm
    Sunday Sept 29th - Arrive Vancouver 7:00am,

                                          Vacate Stateroom by ~8:30am,
                                          Disembark by ~10:30am

    Book early for best prices and to guarantee your spot.  This will sell out!

    Maximum 40 people.

    Low $50 REFUNDABLE deposit to book with final payment due in June. 

    Your event champions for this event are:
    - Nick Wade, MAX SF Programs and Events Chair
    - David Petlin, MAX SF Travel Host.

    Call or email David Petlin at 415-890-6331 or david@travelbyflair.com by May 30th to reserve your spot as part of this MAX adventure.
    • 2 Nov 2019
    • 13 Nov 2019

    NOVEMBER 2-13

    INDIA: The Pushkar Camel Fair, Dehli, Taj Mahal, Jaipur and Udaipur

    Price: $1,650 

    Join Phil Walker and MAX members for this incredible experience.  Thousands of nomads come together in the town of Pushkar, India for their annual Camel Fair.  Watch camel races, camel costuming, fire-eaters, real snake charmers, dine on nomadic feasts and see the splendor of Pushkar.  This is like Burning Man on acid!

    RT Air:  SFO - Delhi:  $578.00

    Hotels:  $666.00 if you share:  $1,231.00 single occupancy

    Tour Leader:  $100

    MAX:  $100 for members;  $250 for Non-Members


    STAY AT WORLD'S #1 HOTEL:  +$302/room

    (normally, $1,100 USD)

    A Dream Destination for American Gay Men!


    RSVP  PHIL WALKER:  phil@askphilwalker.com

    "The most incredible trip of our lifetimes!" 
    -MAX India Tour members, 2018


    If you are like many, you think India is expensive to travel to, difficult to travel in, poverty-ridden, barren, and unhealthy.  As the MAX 2018 India Travel Group will tell you, you could not be more wrong.

    The MAX 2019 India trip is filled with 5-star hotels for $100 per night, sights such as the Taj Mahal (truly, the most beautiful building in the world), restaurants selected by our Indian Food Blogger, handsome Indian men, tea in a Maharajah's palace, cooking class in an Indian home, your own Tour Guide and drivers, a doctor travelling with our group, cocktails served poolside by turbaned waiters, and the smells of roasting meat and spices as you dine on the roof of the world's number one hotel listening to sitar music while gazing through the night sky at the lake below and illuminated palaces above.


     Join us for the amazingly inexpensive markets of Delhi for fabrics, lacquer boxes, jewelry, fashions; candlelight rooftop dining overlooking an the illuminated ruins of a fort; a sunrise breakfast overlooking the Taj Mahal; a moving day decorating, bathing, and riding elephants; a hair-raising rickshaw ride through the streets of Old Delhi; our stay at a 1300's Indian fort restored to a hotel by a gay couple (this is spectacular and known to few Americans); the world's Number 1 Hotel--the Taj Lake Palace--temples; holy men; new gay friends; Delhi's 1 gay club; the sites for Octopussy and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; twilight lake cruises; the Pink City; the City of Lakes, Sufi music; and the meeting gay locals.

    You can have this experience too.  See Delhi (the Capital), Agra (Taj Mahal), Jaipur (the Pink City), and Udaipur (City of Lakes).  We will also visit Neemrana Fort Hotel--a secret treasure known only to locals--a fort from the 1300's renovated to a hotel by 2 gay Indians (they now have 25 hotels in India).   


    We let you know what flights and hotels to book.  You do the bookings yourself on Expedia, Orbitz, or Hotels.com.  Then, we arrange a guide and driver to take us to the sites each day.  (This costs $30 per person per day in addition to the fees above.)   Most of our Tour Hosts are gay.  They do all negotiating for us in Hindi, arrange transportation for us around the city, show us where the gay spots are, introduce us to friends, and tell us about gay life in India.  Our Food Guide, Singh, is a food blogger who knows all the great restaurants of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur.  You will have one of the greatest meals of your life at Spice Route in the Imperial Hotel, dine on incredible northern Indian food at Pinch of Spice, and have cocktails and smoke hooka while listening to Sufi music overlooking Delhi's evening sky.  We will arrange all of these for you.

    Phil Walker will be your Tour Leader.  He visited India twice in 2018.  He loves India.  It shows as the 2019 trip incorporates all the special finds he and the group made in 2018.   We even travel with our own doctor who takes care of any medical needs you have.  (On our last trip, no one needed his help.  The water in all the hotels is filtered.  Everyone's stomach was fine.)  You can't beat having your own doctor, the experience, or the price. 

    For those who are interested, an informational dinner will be held at the home of Phil Walker in San Francisco on Saturday, February 2, 2019, at 7 p.m.  Photos will be shown of the most recent trips.  All questions will be answered.  Just email Phil at phil@askphilwalker.com.  He will confirm your place and send details on the dinner, send you the full itinerary for the trip, and send you several videos of the last trip so you can see what you will see, where you will stay, where you will eat, and what you will experience.

    More details will be provided when this trip is announced in the newsletter.

    To express interest in this trip, email Phil Walker at: phil@askphilwalker.com

    • 8 May 2020
    • 13 May 2020
    • Miami

    See Miami and South Beach With a Native 

    Before the Cruise

    As an optional add-on, join Phil Walker, a Miamian, before the cruise for a 5-day stay in Miami's South Beach from Friday May 8, 2020 up to our cruise departure on the evening of May 13th.

    Our group will stay at the Hotel Gaythering, South Beach's only gay hotel, which has a superb gay bar.  The hotel is located at the end of Miami Beach's famed Lincoln Road, a wide promenade filled with outdoor restaurants and chic shops. 

    Tour South Beach and see the famed Versace mansion.  Dine at Joe's Stone Crabs and Smith & Woolensky looking out over the Port of Miami and a parade of cruise ships leaving the city.  Sip cocktails on the deck at the Standard Hotel on Biscayne Bar.  Have lunch at the famous Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.  Soak up the rays at the 13th Street Gay Beach (you will love the eye candy!).

    The fees paid to be part of the MAX Travel Group on the Cruise to Cuba will also allow you to be part of the MAX Travel Group for this pre-cruise stay.

    Your tour guide will be Phil Walker who grew up in Miami.

    For questions, for more information, or to join this MAX Pre-Cruise Travel Group, email Phil Walker at phil@askphilwalker.com

    • 13 May 2020
    • 17 May 2020
    • Cuba, Bahamas, Miami

    Join MAX SF and your host Phil Walker next year as we return to Cuba in 2020 – this time on the brand new VIRGIN VOYAGES ship – the Scarlet Lady.  Yes, for those of you who miss Virgin America airlines, here is your chance to sail like a Rock Star at sea on a brand-new ship.  The itinerary includes a FRIDAY night overnight in Havana as well as a full day at Virgin’s private beach stop in Bimini, Bahamas.

    Exploring Cuba's superlative metropolis - the people, the rum, the music - is as much a history lesson as it is an exploration on change itself.  Don't get us wrong, we love cigars and mojitos just as much as the next person, but Havana's rich history and diverse cultural background make for far more than just a beachy port stop.  Between exploring the back alleyways of Pata Vieja, visiting the artists and bohemian bars of Cayo Hueso, or chilling amongst locals outside the Malecon, Cuba's capital is a treasure trove of undiscovered truths. 

    At our stop at Bimini in the Bahamas – experience see-through water and sandy white shores that punctuate this geographically poetic port. And like any good haiku, it's cloaked in seductive mystery. Besides having access to the island’s incredible biodiversity in marine life, boating, snorkeling and historic shipwreck diving, Sailors get exclusive access to The Beach Club — Virgin Voyages’ very own private beach.  Peaceful mornings and restorative days or amplified afternoons at the DJ-led pool party — the Virgin Voyages Beach Club is designed to answer whatever your specific mood is calling for. But regardless of your energy level, the bonfire finale will be nearly impossible to pass on.

    The On-board experience will be unlike any other cruise ship you have seen before.  Work out in their state-of-the-art fitness center or take any of the instructor led classes.  Party at night in the 2 story Manor night club with music designed by Oscar winner Mark Ronson.  Relax at the poolside oasis The Aquatic Club – THE place to see and be seen.  Catch a show at The Red Room, a first of its kinds Live Performance Space.  Best of all, indulge in 20 unique restaurants and dining experiences including DRAG BRUNCH at sea and the first ever Korean BBQ on a cruise ship.  To top it all off, this is all included in your fare! No upcharges for specialty dining restaurants, no fee to visit the spa or take a work out class.

    All this amazing value is included in the price, no “plus taxes”*, no “gratuity charges”, one price gets you everything to kick off your holiday with MAX aboard the Scarlet Lady.

    This will SELL OUT!

    Itinerary for Havana After Dark - May 13th – 17th, 2020

    • May 13th - Leave Miami 7pm
    • May 14th – Virgin Voyages Beach Club in Bimini 8am – approx 10pm
    • May 15th - Arrive Havana 9:30am
    • May 16th - Leave Havana 5:00am and enjoy a day at sea
    • May 17th - Return to Miami 6:30am

    Prices listed are starting prices PER CABIN for two people in a cabin, not per person, and are subject to change.

    • Inside Cabin $2800
    • Sea View - $2900
    • Sea Terrace - $3100
    • Suite - $5750

    A transferable** deposit of 20% is due at booking with final Payment due in January 2020.  This works out to less than $300 per person to deposit and secure your space!

    Book soon before these prices increase!

    *Price does not include Cuban Visa.  Sorry, this is just a government regulation.

    **Transferable Deposit: Deposit is non-refundable, but the names on the deposits can be changed up to 5 days before the cruise.

    We will have a special $50 onboard credit offered for all cabins booked as part of the MAX Travel Group that includes a MAX dues-paying member.

    The total fees to be part of the MAX Travel Group (including the Pre-Cruise Stay in Miami South Beach described below) are:

    • Tour Guide Phil Walker:  $100
    • To MAX for arranging this trip:  $100.00 for dues-paying members and $175.00 for everyone else.

    For questions or for more information, email Phil Walker at phil@askphilwalker.com

    To book your cruise, or for questions specifically about the cruise, call or email our First Mate – David Petlin at 415-890-6331, david@travelbyflair.com

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San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 562-5582

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