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Iconic LGBTQ+ Holidays to New York City

The home of Stonewall and one of the front runners of LGBT activism, New York City is truly one of the best LGBTQ+ welcoming and friendly cities on Earth! With a rich history of the celebration of all sexualities and identities, some of which are just emerging from the underground, this city truly has something for everybody.

Queer culture is a part of the fabric of New York and influences from the LGBTQ+ community can be seen all over the city. The main neighbourhoods where the most friendly venues, facilities and accommodation are found are Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Greenwich Village, Meatpacking District and Brooklyn. You’ll truly feel like you’re living on a movie set during your time in this city, but embrace that vibe and go explore! There’s a lot to see and do and plenty of ways to spend your time in this truly outstanding, friendly, destination.

Click here to see LGBT rights in New York state, data sourced from Equaldex.

Activities, Festivals and Nightlife Highlights

Identifying as LGBTQ+ doesn’t mean you only want to visit venues or participate in activities that cater to the LGBTQ+ crowd. There are plenty of fun experiences to enjoy and places to visit in New York that are welcoming to everybody, read more about the city here. Below, however, we’ll highlight just some of the specifically LGBTQ+ friendly places of interest as well as festivals and venues we feel like you’d enjoy.

Places of Interest;

  • NYC AIDS memorial is the first major space dedicated to the AIDS epidemic in New York City and honours the 100,000+ men, women and children that died from the disease.  
  • Pay a visit to the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art where over 30,000 pieces are housed that tell the LGBTQ+ story.
  • If you’re in the mood for unique and unusually flavoured ice-cream to cool you down on a hot summer’s day, then make sure to head to Big Gay Ice Cream. You’ll find one in both the East and West Village.
  • In hunt of some new S/M-leather-fetish gear? The Leather Man is likely going to tick all the boxes.
  • Fire Island Pines is the place to go should you have a few extra days to spare during your holiday. Whilst not New York City, we just had to mention it. Known for its parties and beach vibes, Fire Island Pines is the place to head to during the summer months to truly cool off from the city.
  • BGSQD (The Bureau of General Service – Queer Division) is an all-volunteer queer culture centre, bookstore and event space that welcomes locals and visitors alike to socialise and engage in open-minded dialogue.

Festivals;

  • Urban Bear NYC Weekend Street Fair (May). Head to the heart of the Meatpacking District for an old school street party vibe full of bears, cubs and associated allies.
  • Pride Festival (June). One of the world’s most famous pride celebrations, NYC Pride is one not to be missed! Championing all sexualities and identities, you are sure to find a party, event, bar or gathering that caters to your personal tastes.
  • Hot! (July). The longest-running annual LGBTQ+ festival in the world is a pioneer of queer arts and culture. Everything from dance, theatre, literature, comedy and homoeroticism are featured here.
  • Newfest (Oct). This is New York’s LGBT film festival where over 12,000 attendees gather to celebrate a year of LGBTQ+ stories and experiences being shown on the big screen.

Nightlife;

LGBTQ+ friendly nightlife venues are rife in NYC. You will truly find a bar, club, sauna, strip joint or hangout to suit each and every one of your needs, tastes and/or fantasies. There are so many sensational places to spend an afternoon or evening dancing away, drinking, eating and socialising that we felt it best to instead highlight which areas of New York you could focus on and a few select bars (otherwise the list of go-to bars would honestly never end).

  • East Village; Club Cumming, Bedlam, The Phoenix
  • West Village; The Stonewall Inn, Pieces, Julius, Clubbyhole
  • Hell’s Kitchen; Rise Bar, Fairytail Lounge, Therapy
  • Chelsea; REBAR Chelsea, GYM Sportsbar
  • Manhattan general; Suite, Big Apple Ranch, Evolve, Henrietta Hudson,
  • Brooklyn; Xstasy Bar and Lounge, Metropolitan, Langston Nightclub, 3 Dollar Bill, House of Yes, Ginger’s Bar
  • Queens; Club Evolution, Icon Bar

View a selection of our favourite places to stay below

Have you thought about linking your trip to New York City with Mexico or Miami?

NoMo SoHo 

This hidden gem of a property draws its inspiration from its surrounding neighbourhood meaning the hotel is almost a work of art in itself. Relax and unwind in the outdoor patio, grab a bit to eat from the NoMo Kitchen or head to the Library Bar for the latest in exciting cocktails. This contemporary hotel is sure to be the perfect place to recharge and unwind before heading back out into the hustle of NYC. 

Citizen M New York Times Square

This centrally located, friendly, hotel is the perfect spot to base any visit to NYC! This hotel is ideal for the type of traveller that wants to make the most of their time in New York but still sleep in comfort. Compact in style, you'll still find plenty of amenities such as 24/7 food and drink availability, cloudM rooftop bar, 24/7 fitness centre, world-class art to browse as well as black out blinds, soundproof windows and incredible fluffy pillows to support the evenings rest. 

Ace Hotel New York 

This centrally located hotel is design-forward and engineered to suit everybody, no matter their reason for visiting. Offering comfortable rooms in a variety of sizes along with additional quirks such as the odd acoustic guitar, turntables and records and stock Smeg refrigerators in some of the rooms - a stay here is truly unique. If you're feeling sociable or simply fancy a tipple, then head to the Lobby Bar for light snacks and an array of drinks and watch the world go by. 

The Standard High Line 

This hotel is fast becoming one of New York's go-to hotels attracting a stylish crowd to its trendy bars and restaurants. Hang out at the hotel's rooftop bar, The Bain, or seek a vibrant atmosphere in The Standard Biergarten. If you're visiting during pride, be sure to get dressed up for the hotel's renowned pride parties. With huge floor to ceiling windows in each of the guest rooms along with rainshowers, mood lighting and overstocked mini bars, you are sure to have a fabulous stay!

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