Gay New York City 2019 Travel Guide – Hotels, Bars, Events

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Gay New York City

No guesswork here. Gay New York offers every kind of experience for every kind of visitor. It can be an overwhelming city, but with the proper planning, New York will be an incredible experience.

Featured Gay Friendly Hotels in New York City

Homebase for the urban explorer!

Arlo NoMad

Homebase for the urban explorer!

Gay New York City

In June 2019, NYC Pride welcomes WorldPride marking the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and a half-century of LGBTQIA+ liberation. READ MORE.

The Big Apple is one of the hottest destinations for gay singles, couples and families alike. With something for everyone, it’s simply not possible to spend a moment bored in New York City. With destinations and activities for every budget and interest, a gaycation in New York, New York is sure to provide new and interesting experiences to remember. As one of the most famous skylines in the world, and a hub for media, culture, entertainment, fashion, commerce and politics, NYC is a one-of-a-kind destination that belongs on every LGBT traveler’s bucket list.

New York City Gay Scene

New York City is one of the best places to find a hip, active gay scene. Gay marriage has been legally recognized in the state of New York since 2011, gay couples can be spotted holding hands openly, and the Empire State Building is lit up in rainbow hues every year for Pride. NYC also has historical significance for LGBT rights in the United States, as the Stonewall riots in 1969 were considered the single most important event leading to the gay rights movement across the nation. The following year, the first ever gay pride marches took place in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall police raid that prompted the riots.

Greenwich Village, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen are among the most famous gay villages in New York City, but most of the city is very gay-friendly. Even so, instances of anti-gay hate crimes do sometimes happen in NYC, and gay travelers are advised to stay clear of dangerous areas and be careful about outing themselves to people they aren’t completely comfortable with.

Gay-Friendly Dining

NYC is one of the best places in the world to sample outstanding cuisine from all cultures. Whether you’re looking for world-famous chefs or budget-friendly street cuisine, New York has you covered.

With the unparalleled selection of dining choices, it’s impossible to summarize New York’s dining scene in a travel guide. In addition to the venues listed here, travelers are encouraged to dive into the local scene and try out more of New York’s culinary gems.

Right in the hot gayborhood of Chelsea is Elmo, a super gay-friendly restaurant that’s popular among locals and the visiting crowd. Seating can get tight, but the food is delicious and the prices are reasonable. This trendy spot is famous for its inviting atmosphere, making it the perfect place for a date or group meal.

Cafeteria is the upscale ground zero for LGBTQ dining in New York City. Be prepared for loud music, stiff drinks, sexy staff and killer mac n’ cheese.

This Asian-flavored bistro in Hell’s Kitchen doubles as a pop music shrine, with menus glued to album covers and décor of figures like Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and Cher throughout the restaurant. Stop in for American comfort food, pan-Asian food or all-day breakfast at this hip and affordable NYC joint.

This trendy Thai place in Hell’s Kitchen transports you into a unique modern atmosphere where the music never stops, cocktails are affordable and an elegant chandelier inside a glass aquarium illuminates the room. Get experimental with exciting “Bangkokian” dishes or stick to your classic Thai favorites.

Gay-Friendly Nightlife

Known as the city that never sleeps, the nightlife in NYC is hard to beat. No matter what type of scene you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it somewhere in the city.

Bum Bum Bar

This salsa and merengue bar attracts a friendly gay and lesbian crowd of all different ages. Learn some dance steps from others you meet or sip a Latin liquor at the bar and enjoy the show! Bum Bum Bar is actually pronounced “Boom Boom Bar” and is a great place for gay men and women alike.

Established in 1950, the Duplex prides itself on being an international destination for the arts and entertainment. Featuring a piano bar, performances by some of the hottest local talent on the smallest stage in the West Village, cabaret and an iconic café open 7 days a week, the Duplex makes for a great night out on any occasion.

For those dying for a glimpse of the stars of the stage, Bar Centrale may be a good place to start. This upscale bar welcomes all patrons and is a popular hangout for local actors, as well as the perfect place to grab a pre-show drink or a nightcap after leaving the theater.

Boxers is the perfect place for a casual night out, serving brick oven pizza and wings to the hottest gays around. With theme nights every day of the week, killer happy hour deals, hot staff and frequent dance nights, Boxers is one of the best gay sports bars you can find in New York.

Gay-Friendly Activities & Destinations

One of the hardest things about visiting New York City is knowing that you won’t be able to see or do everything. There are so many potential destinations and activities that it can be hard to decide where to start. Whether you plan every detail of your itinerary ahead of time or prefer to fly by the seat of your pants, you’re guaranteed to have plenty of options.

Widely considered the best theater in the English-speaking world, Broadway is an absolute must for anyone interested in theater who comes to visit the Big Apple. A selection of shows are available on any given day, and tickets can be booked well in advance or the same day as the show as long as it isn’t sold out.

The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is the first art museum in the world that is solely dedicated to gay and lesbian art. The space also hosts lectures, readings, film screenings and shows, all centered on LGBT themes.

The LGBT Community Center welcomes any and all. Hosting regular events the support the local LGBT community, the center is also a great place to get the skinny on local LGBT issues and concerns.

New York’s famous city park is perfect for a romantic evening stroll, a morning run or an afternoon picnic. The park itself has a number of things to see and do, including a zoo, a literary walk, conservatory garden, an ice-skating rink and more.

Local Tips, Tricks & News

Most travelers don’t drive in New York City, as getting around without a car is easy enough and driving in the city is often more trouble than it’s worth. Use the Metro or public bus system and don’t forget to bring comfortable walking shoes. There are plenty of local walking tours that you can sign up for in a group or simply do on your own.

New York is cold in the winter and hot in the summer, so dress accordingly. Don’t be afraid to wander around, as some of the best NYC adventures and discoveries happen when you allow yourself to be spontaneous.

If you’re dying to see a Broadway show but are not sure if it’s in your budget, book something in advance through websites like Playbill or Theatermania, which offer discounts on tickets purchased ahead of time for select Broadway and off-Broadway shows.

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