Although Western France may not be in the same fast paced, cosmopolitan mindset as Paris, the Gay Culture has blossomed over the years, offering more and more to gay travelers and inhabitants. Le Mans, a city in the Western Loire, is home to six gay and lesbian associations. Under the encouragement of the city hall, several businesses in town have signed a rainbow charter to show their colors in support of the gay and lesbian community. Look for the rainbow smiley face in many shopkeepers' display window, and you'll receive a warm welcome. For a good home-cooked meal, stop by the gay-friendly Flambadou followed by a drink at any of about a half dozen gay bars, then dance your heart out at La Limite, Le Mans' charming gay disco. You will find even more things to do in the Western Loire, where the city of Nantes has blossomed into a regional gay and lesbian capital boasting 11 gay bars, three gay restaurants, two gay dance clubs, four gay shops, a gay film festival, a gay sauna, and half a dozen gay and lesbian associations.
In Normandy, towns like Rouen are bustling university towns and boast a number of bars, clubs, saunas and other associations which are gay friendly. Le Smart, Le p'tit marais, and Le Chakra are several ones to give a try although, rest assured, the list doesn't stop there. In the region of Brittany, find nine gay and lesbian asociations, numerous bars, dance clubs, saunas and other gay businesses in the university town of Rennes. Gay Pride takes place in June as does a gay-oriented film festival "Other Desires," with a focus on evolving perceptions of sexuality. Bla Bar, Bon Accord, and Carpe Diem are names of several bars in the area.
In the Loire Valley, there are organized gay bike trips with a friendly group. You can see the chateaux and all other historical sites in the gorgeous countryside which is rich in history.