Back on the island, the West Village is where it all began with historic LGBT venues. Chelsea was the second major gay neighborhood scene in NYC but is slowly dying as gentrification is complete. Moving to the edgier Meatpacking District, now the 21st-century gay epicenter of NYC. The East Village has similar vibes to the East, just grittier, stickier and grungier versions of the west side haunts while the Union Square and Flatiron District area all have LGBT ‘spill-over’ clubs and bars that are worth exploring. Putting all suggested highlights of Gay NYC is mission impossible. Every traveler has his/hers preferences.
No guide to every hope to keep up with every highlight of New York. You can rest easy in the knowledge there is no way you will ever see or do it all here. It is impossible. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try: so here are just a few of our favorite ideas to get you started…
Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
An art museum dedicated to exhibiting and preserving artwork that speaks about the LGBTQ experience. With a collection of over 30,000 objects, the Museum hosts six major exhibitions annually. It offers several public programs throughout the year, publishes an arts newsletter, and maintains a research library of over 3,000 volumes.
Male Strips Clubs in NYC
Gay New-York is the city that never sleeps, and that means if you’re looking to have some fun after dark, you’ve come to the right place. NYC is home to one of the most exciting nightlife scenes in the world. There is no shortage of male strip clubs to explore while you’re living it up in the Big Apple. In fact, there are so many to choose from that you might have a difficult time narrowing down your selection! Although each show is different, the atmosphere in NYC is generally inclusive, and you’ll see people of all gender expressions and sexualities at a strip show. Gay travelers might need some help with choosing what gay male strip club to visit.
NYC Aids Memorial
A public memorial built “to honor New York City’s 100,000+ gay men, women, and children who have died from AIDS, and to commemorate and celebrate the efforts of the caregivers and activists.” It is the first major space that is dedicated to the epidemic in New York City. I suggest that every gay traveler should visit this museum.
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
Check two huge sites off your bucket list with this exciting guided 4-hour tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Start the tour by getting early Reserve Line Access boarding on the ferry to Liberty Island. Once there, go inside the pedestal of the statue and head to the observation decks for an awesome view of New York City and its surroundings. Then hop back on the ferry to Ellis Island to learn about the intriguing history of immigration to America that took place here between 1892 and 1954.
Best of Brooklyn
Take a bite out of New-York City’s hippest borough on this half-day Brooklyn food and culture tour. From traditional ethnic eateries to culinary hotspots that spark national dining trends. Snack on kielbasa and pierogis in the Polish enclave of Greenpoint. Satisfy your sweet tooth in DUMBO and get a taste of farm-to-fork freshness in trendy Williamsburg. Something for any gay traveler.
Christopher Street Pier
For more than 100 years the Greenwich Village waterfront along the Hudson River, including the Christopher Street Pier, has been a safe space for the local queer to gather. For cruising, for sex, for socializing and gathering together. Today, the seediness has been replaced with an upscale park for sunning and coming together. On a warm day you will see gaggles of shirtless gays here. There are no private spaces for some quick fun like in the old days… Older traveler would probably remember that
Since 1983 New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center has empowered people to lead healthy, successful lives. The Center celebrates diversity and advocates for justice and opportunity. Visit The Center to find out more—they are open 365 days a year! Travelers are always welcome!
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Founded on a collection of early modern masterpieces, the Guggenheim today is an ever-evolving institution devoted to the art of the 20th century and beyond. Get an inside look at the building’s design – created by visionary Frank Lloyd Wright – a masterpiece in itself and experience special exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. There is no traveler who visited NYC but not seen this museum.
New York Dinner Cruise
Forget trying to snag a hard-to-get reservation at New York’s hottest restaurants du jour. Indulge in a delicious three-course dinner during the cruise on an all-glass boat around New York City. Up-close look at the Statue of Liberty and other famed sites. As a live pianist plays relaxing music for you, take in the immense view of one of the world’s great cities and enjoy a delicious pre-set dinner by the on-board executive chef. Upgrade to enjoy a romantic or first class VIP experience including a private table and French sparkling wine! Every romantic gay traveler will enjoy that.
Fire Island Pines
The most famous gay beach in NYC known for its upscale social life and beautiful harbor. If you have a few extra days you can take the Long Island Railroad train from Penn station to one of several stops depending on which community on Fire Island you were visiting, then a shuttle or taxi to the ferry terminal and then a ferry. Once you arrive, check in to one of the fabulous gay hotels and get ready for the queer party of a lifetime! Gay traveler dreams come true.
Museum of Sex
See over 30 exhibitions and 6 virtual installations geared towards advocating open discourse surrounding sex and sexuality. View 20,000 artifacts comprised of works of art, photography, clothing and costumes, technological inventions and historical ephemera. Or just drop into the MoSex store, one of the best museums shops in the world with plenty of bizarre souvenirs to take home… Many travelers visit and are impressed.
Dear traveler – just as stated before – it would be impossible to cover everything you can do or see in NYC. Before traveling to NYC you should do some research and planning. One thing is for sure – you will love it. We will come back with more information for queer traveler as information on gay (friendly) hotels and some gay venues. Any suggestions? Please let us know!