With the borders shut, dreams of flying off to Paris or New York in the near future have been slashed. But the good news is there are some gems right in our own neighbourhoods that are worth the visit.

So take a day (or two) and use our handy gaybourhood guide to get back in touch with your own area.

Newtown is Sydney’s very own Brooklyn, so take the opportunity to explore it or even just pop in to say hello to your favourites if you are a local.

Walking down King Street, your stomach will be grumbling as you pass restaurants dishing up Vietnamese, Portuguese, Thai, Lebanese, Japanese, Italian, Indian, and cuisine from almost anywhere.

You could spend a whole day eating in this suburb. Head to Linda’s On King Street for a classic meal with a modern twist or if you are all about a steak visit Macelleria Newtown. For delicious dim sum, head to The Drunk Dumpling, where a two-Michelin star chef serves up amazing dumplings and share plates.

 There’s always time for some retail therapy at Maple Store and Dangerfield. And there is most definitely still time for some kinky retail therapy at Adult World. Head on into the to browse through their vast range of toys including realistic King Cock dongs, NEXUS massagers, cock rings, leather, latex, lube, underwear and DVD’s. The renowned backroom has now also reopened with COVIDSafe practices implemented!

But being a tourist is not always about food, drink and retail (although don’t get us wrong, they are some of the best parts), there are plenty of local businesses who need support to keep the Newtown vibe the way that is.

Visit Mr Burrows for a luxury hair transformation (because we all know a fabulous new look is part of any holiday), or even Contour Clinics where the focus is on helping you rejuvenate while feeling and looking like your best self. The team at Contour Clinics are experienced, highly regarded doctors and nurses, who will lead you on your self-improvement journey with a focus on a holistic patient care approach to cosmetic medicine.

But if you’re keen to just sit, sink a few cold ones and ignore what’s happening in the world, then the Philter Public Bar is ready to welcome beer lovers.

 Overlooking all the action in the new brewery is where Philter’s one-of-a-kind brand personality comes to life. The space uses some of Sydney’s colourful hotel history to evoke suburban pub nostalgia; from the hand-painted signage and handmade tiles inspired by the iconic inner west bars of days gone by to the bar top rescued from a pub that was redecorating – it’s certainly seen a lot of thongs and stubbies in its time.

However, it’s not the only spot. So why not make a pub crawl out of it and visit local favourites such as The Bank Hotel, The Imperial Hotel, The Courthouse Hotel and the Newtown Hotel or even Kuleto’s Cocktail Bar for some delicious cocktails.

If you’re keen to just have a quiet night at home after a long day of sightseeing and eating, well pop into Liquor Emporium at St Peters on your way home and stock up on something from their speciality range of craft beers, spirits and wine.

These places are just the tip of the iceberg of what can be found in Newtown, so what are you waiting for? Turn your day off or weekend into a holiday and get exploring!

© Star Observer 2022 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.