We have to be honest. Our expectations for Gay Phoenix were low, but it turns out this sprawling city tucked in a desert valley with over 300 days of sunshine is a bit of a hidden gay gem. A “Gay Valley of the Sun” if you will…
Home to one of the fastest-growing urban areas in the United States, Greater Phoenix has a young and educated population, well-established art scenes, and a gorgeous natural setting that makes life here so enjoyable. It might be the sixth biggest city in the USA, but it still maintains a laid back small town feel – probably due to its warm weather year-round and multiple urban cores.
While Phoenix does have a reinvigorated downtown with a few dozen high-rises, it has very much expanded outward rather than upwards over time. It has now engulfed the surrounding communities of Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Glendale, and Sun City.
During the day, there is so much to do in Phoenix, with a plethora of fabulous outdoor activities, sumptuous spa treatments, shopping at local boutiques, and Southwest culture on display in galleries and museums.
But at night, things are just as exciting. The vibrant LGBTQ+ nightlife here was one of the most pleasant discoveries we made, with over thirty queer or queer-popular venues on offer with everything from leather bars and rainbow-flagged saunas to diva-filled discotheques and casual bars.
For those wanting to lets their rainbow shine, there are plenty of loud dive bars, tranquil Happy Hour patios, and cocktail spots to explore. Later at night, you won’t wont to miss any of the incredible Phoenix gay dance clubs where drag queens, cowboys, leather daddies, butch lesbians, and dance freaks all come together to live and be free.
As the Phoenix urban area is so geographically spread out, most queuer Phoenicians are too – so while the LGBT scene is undoubtedly rich and diverse, it is also very spread out. The Melrose District of Central Phoenix is the closest you will get to a gayborhood and has been growing in recent years. If we had to name one epicenter of gay nightlife, it would be the concentration of venues here between 7th Ave and 7th Street and Indian School and Camelback Mountain roads.
But, to see everything, you will need to explore further afield – especially if you want to take advantage of all the world-class attractions, the best of the innovative SouthWest food scene, and all the incredible outdoor adventures available here.
A fabulous thriving desert metropolis, Gay Phoenix makes a superb albeit slightly unconventional gay holiday destination. So grab your best glitter cowboy boots and get ready to party with the biggest queer community in Arizona…
Gay Phoenix Guide: The Essential Guide To LGBT Travel In Phoenix Arizona
In this article we will cover...
Attractions in Phoenix
Being gay does not define which attraction most of us will want to see in each city, and generally, gay tourists will simply want to check out the top things to see in Phoenix during the day! While central Phoenix is relatively safe and liberal, we would still advise gay travelers to take precautions concerning public displays of affection – especially later at night. It will probably be fine – but San Fran, Key West, or Seattle, this is not.
If you are exploring more rural areas of Arizona – well, be aware that most of the state is far more conservative. Don’t be too concerned; however, as for seven consecutive years, Phoenix itself has earned a score of 100—the highest score possible—on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2019 Municipal Equality Index Scorecard.
We are a little obsessed with the fusion of natural glory, and metropolitan energy Phoenix offers and hope you will be too. There is so, so much to explore in this vibrant city, but here are just a few of our favorite things to do in Phoenix!
Are you relocating? This guide will help travelers discover the queerer side of the city. However, if you are lucky enough to be considering a move here, we recommend getting in touch with a local gay realtor. They can happily give you no-obligation advice and all the information you'll ever need to know about your new city. And if you then want their help to find your dream home, you are guaranteed fair, equal, and honest representation. No surprises or awkward conversations necessary!
Top Highlights Of Phoenix
- Phoenix Art Museum – Explore Phoenix Art Museum’s galleries of more than 19,000 works of art. The permanent collection galleries include works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. Also enjoy photography made possible through the partnership with the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona
- Off Chute Too – The most significant men’s underwear store in Arizona, offering trendy clothing lines, jewelry, greeting cards, calendars, pride items, leather, fun “toys,” DVD’s, books, t-shirts, shorts, fetish–wear, and much, much more!
- Downtown Phoenix Food Tour – Taste your way around Phoenix on this food walking tour, an excellent choice for first-time visitors. An in-the-know guide whisks you around the historical downtown area to five different dining destinations. Enjoy sizable portions of some of the most popular items at each restaurant. In between tastings, learn all about the history of Phoenix and see its historic buildings and hidden tunnels.
- A Day In The Old West Adventure – Travel back in time to 1800s Wild West on an 8-hour group tour. After comfortable transfer from your Phoenix or North Scottsdale accommodation, climb on board a horse and giddy up on a 1- or 2-hour trail ride. Later, try your hand at archery, axe throwing, and (steel) calf wrangling. Between cowboy activities, enjoy a provided hot dog, hamburger, or chicken lunch with plenty of side dishes.
- Heard Museum – For more than 90 years, the Heard Museum has been dedicated to advancing American Indian Art. This private non-profit museum offers signature, permanent and rotating exhibitions focused on Native American art and culture
- Grand Canyon Day Trip – Journey through stunning Arizona landscapes on this full-day tour from the Phoenix. Visit the Grand Canyon and explore Route 66 with an expert guide who handles all the driving and logistics, leaving you free to soak in the incredible scenery. Explore highlights of the Grand Canyon, and drive through the Sonoran Desert. Numbers are limited to 13 participants; you can enjoy a more intimate experience of the Southwest’s natural beauty. Or you could also hire a car and do it yourself.
- El Barrio Street Art – Step off the beaten path to discover colorful alleys packed with larger than life murals and the stories that go along with them! Street Art Lovers and Curious Travelers alike love this highly specialized, behind-the-scenes, fun, and in-depth look into the Phoenix Street Art Scene. Get the skinny on the Phoenix Street Art Scene, Mexican Muralism, and the movers & shakers that are literally changing the face of Phoenix. You’ll also walk through colorful alleys and behind buildings to see more than 20 larger than life murals along with the backstories of the artists that created them. If you are looking for a rich cultural experience connecting you to the local vibe…this is it!
- Phoenix Highlights Tour – Enjoy an introduction to Phoenix’s historic attractions and popular spots during this half-day sightseeing tour with an expert guide. Riding in air-conditioned comfort through this fast-growing city in the Sonoran Desert, drive-by highlights such as the Arizona State Capitol building, Wrigley Mansion, Senator Barry Goldwater’s former estate, and the Arizona Biltmore. Admire natural treasures, including Camelback Mountain and South Mountain Park, and have time to browse shops in Scottsdale’s Old Town. Learn about the region’s history, Native American culture, wildlife, and landmarks from your guide.
- Hot Air Balloon Morning Ride – Take in gorgeous views of the Sonoran Desert and feel like you’re floating on a cloud during an exhilarating hot air balloon ride from Phoenix. You’ll experience the perfect start to your day, followed by Champagne breakfast. Each flight lasts about an hour.
- Goat Yoga – Spend an hour specially trained goats in costumes, doing yoga with you! The sweetest Alpacas are available for a hugging booth throughout the class. Special guests included- Maisy the Cow, Gidget the Hedgehog, Giant Flemish Bunnies, and Desert Tortoises. Bizarre, and experience even weirder than those of Seoul or Osaka.
- Discover Arizona Wine – The wine scene in Arizona is taking off, and this is your chance to sip and sample your way across the desert. You may not think of the desert as being prime vineyard real estate. Still, you will be pleasantly surprised by the variety and sophistication of tastes available in the Verde Valley surrounding Sedona.
- Sedona Red Rock Country Day Trip – Take in the breathtaking landscapes of this desert playground with plenty of photo opportunities. Later, explore ancient Native American ruins with plenty of free time in Sedona to explore on foot. Check out some art galleries, do some souvenir shopping, or even get a psychic reading. Before returning to Phoenix, visit The Chapel of the Holy Cross, a modern chapel built into the buttes, as well as massive Bell Rock, one of Sedona’s most awe-inspiring red rock formations.
- Arizona Desert UTV – Spend a thrilling day aboard a Kawasaki Teryx UTV during an off-road tour in the Sonoran Desert. Ride on rugged and rocky trails in the scenic Bradshaw Mountains and cross the Aqua Fria River during the beautiful journey. Your guide is knowledgeable about the region’s plant life, wildlife, and history, with plenty of stories to share.
- Salt River Whitewater Rafting – Spend a thrilling day on the Salt River as you conquer class III-IV rapids. Your guide will instruct you on the best way to navigate the river to maximize your rafting enjoyment. Choose one of two options. Both cover the same amount of river, but the “standard” offers lunch midway through your adventure, while the “sprint” substitutes lunch for a snack so you can get back in the river quicker.
- Scottsdale – A haven for cowboys as well as the social elite, Scottsdale is known for luxury resorts and its western heritage – made visible throughout its western-themed Old Town district. Many of the world’s most recognizable luxury brands have found a home here, and it has some of the USA’s best shopping. Scottsdale also has a blossoming arts community, with over 125 art galleries, as well as museums and performing art centers. The nightlife here is also very oh-la-la and was something of a mix between Miami meets Dubai meets Tel Aviv. Go figure.
LGBT Popular Dining Spots
- FEZ -A contemporary restaurant & bar serving Mediterranean fare, sandwiches, entrees, and cocktails. The weekend brunch is very LGBT-popular, as is their sunny terrace and daily Happy Hour from 3:30-6:30 pm and 11 pm till closing, seven days a week.
- Switch Restaurant & Wine Bar – A neighborhood joint known for its casual-yet-sophisticated vibe and local urban art, which creates an inviting atmosphere that captures the soul of midtown Phoenix. They believe that every person who walks through the door is family. From the chef-driven menu and handcrafted cocktails to their gracious service, Switch’s welcoming energy makes it easy to feel right at home.
- Bevvy Uptown – A swanky gastropub where guests can enjoy delightful handcrafted meals, marvelous cocktails, and genuine hospitality. Immerse yourself in a high-energy neighborhood pub experience, filled with merriment, that leaves no room for dreary nay-sayers or bad-mood Betty’s. There is a recurring Drag Brunch on the 3rd Saturday of every month.
- Bliss Rebar – A provocative downtown restaurant/lounge offering creative cocktails and American comfort food, plus a shaded patio. Especially queer popular on their Chillaxin Sunday Phunday DJ session or for their Blush Drag Brunch on the third Saturday each month – Phoenix’s longest-running drag brunch!
- Mi Patio – Established in 1984, Mi Patio is a local landmark, located near downtown Phoenix. Known for its fresh, authentic Mexican dishes, they have won several awards that distinguish us from the rest. Go for the tacos, enchiladas, and Huevos Rancheros – but stay for the excellent service.
- Gilbert Feastival – A weekly gathering of 15-25 food trucks, live music, boutique markets, and fun vibes every Friday night.
Gay Events In Phoenix
- Arizona Gay Rodeo (February) – A gay rodeo… need we say more? Put on by the Arizona Gay Rodeo Association (AGRA); the Gay Rodeo takes place just outside of Phoenix annually with all proceeds from the event being donated to local charities. Tight jeans, big hats, gorgeous men, fun in the sun – and outrageous party shuttles put on my many bars and clubs to get you to the event are not to be missed!
- Melrose on 7th Avenue Street Fair (March) – An award-winning street fair that has become one of the most anticipated events of the year celebrating local art, businesses & music in Pheonix’s gaybourhood. With over 200 booths of local artists, indie crafts, amazing products, live music, food trucks, and more – it might not be a gay event in Pheonix but is very gay-popular.
- Phurfest (April) – A Bear Adventure in the Valley of the Sun, organized by the Bears of the West! Enjoy fun in the sun, a chance to meet new friends, and explore what Phoenix has to offer. Over 200 bears and buddies from all over the country and the world come to enjoy the warmth and friendliness of this furry celebration! There are pool parties, entertainment and social activities, the Saturday Night Banquet, and access to free event shuttles.
- Phoenix Pride (April) – For 40 years, Phoenix Pride has been organizing marches, rallies, parades, entertainment, and education and outreach events to celebrate the local LGBTQ+ community. There is a festival and parade component currently. Phoenix Pride Festival attracts over 40,000 attendees during the two-day celebration with over 150 entertainment performances on six stages and over 300 Exhibitors showcasing a huge variety of food options, shopping opportunities, and community resources. There is also a fabulous Parade on the same weekend, which brings the diverse LGBTQ+ and allied communities together as a celebration of our past, present, and future. Last year saw over 2,000 individual participants with decorated vehicles, colorful floats, and thousands of walkers. The best time to visit Gay Phoenix and well-worth planning an entire trip around.
- Rainbows Festival & Street Fair (October) – A celebration of the diversity of the local Phoenix LGBTQ+ community. The event is located in historic Heritage Square Park in Downtown Phoenix. Each year, the Rainbows Festival draws a crowd of over 25,000 friends, families, and allies and is the 2nd largest LGBTQ+ event in the state of Arizona, only 2nd to the Phoenix Pride Festival. The annual Rainbows Festival is a free event open to the public and hosts over 150 exhibitors and sponsors throughout the two-day event and has two stages filled with sickening entertainment throughout the weekend.
Accommodation Options in Gay Phoenix
In this relatively liberal city, you will not find any significant hotel that isn’t gay-friendly.
Being gay-friendly is about creating an environment of inclusiveness, where all people are treated equally, and diversity is welcomed and respected. Elegant design, helpful staff, and excellent value for money never hurt anyone, though! You won’t have to hide your same-sex relationship or sexuality when you check-in at any of these fabulous hotels — but you don’t have to declare it either.
There are two exclusively gay hotels in Phoenix offering optional clothing fun, but if that is not your sort of thing, any hotel in Downtown Phoenix is sure to have more than a few gay guests staying. This area is also the best location for proximity to the Melrose District gaybourhood, which, sadly, does not offer any hotels. Otherwise, we recommend finding a hotel that is as central as possible to minimize travel time during the day or to the best nightlife spots after dark. Or you could opt for one of the luxuriant resorts in nearby Scottsdale…
There are hundreds of other good hotel options in Phoenix if you don’t find what you are looking for, but we are confident you’ll find something here for you. Whether you want a fun and social hostel, a cheap place to crash after a night of partying, or a chic designer option to sip cocktails by the pool and surround yourself with fabulous people – Gay Phoenix as something for everyone!
Gay Hotels In Phoenix
- Arizona Royal Villa ☆☆☆– An all-male gay retreat that offers privacy, comfort, and cleanliness for those guests in town on business or simply enjoying a gay vacation. In central Phoenix, close to all the action, this clothing-optional spot offers different sizes and types of rooms to fit your needs – including a romantic Safari Suite overlooking the pool. Day passes are available to the clothing-optional grounds, pool, and spa along with nude sunbathing as well — one of the best gay hotels in the USA.
- Arizona Sunburst Inn ☆☆ – Tucked into a quiet residential area, this gay men’s guesthouse in a ranch-style home presents a gay oasis in the Valley of the Sun. There are simple rooms, daily breakfast, and clothing-optional sunbathing, swimming, and spa.
Gay-Popular Hotels In Phoenix
- Andaz Scottsdale Resort and Bungalows ☆☆☆☆☆ – Inspired by the colorful palate of the desert and timeless design of Alexander Girard, this secluded 23-acre, 185-bungalow urban oasis is uniquely away from it all, in the middle of everything in the heart of Scottsdale. Overlook iconic Camelback Mountain from the comfort of a private bungalow, enjoy a world-class dining experience, refresh at one of the three resort pools, and rejuvenate at the onsite spa and apothecary. Discover the Cattle Track Arts Compound or participate in an Artist in Residence workshop onsite. Combining mid-century modern design with local art to create an exceptional Sonoran Desert experience that is relaxing, restorative, and intimate.
- Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel ☆☆☆☆ – Discover luxurious decadence in downtown with this contemporary urban haven. Unpack your bags in thoughtfully-appointed hotel accommodations with modern sophistication and second-home comfort. Enjoy pillowtop bedding, designer bathrooms, and high-speed Wi-Fi access. Or, upgrade to a hotel suite for deluxe amenities and exclusive Club Lounge access. Refresh your energy with a workout in the gym, or treat yourself to tasty Southwestern cuisine at their popular cowboy-inspired restaurant. A hotel that ensures your stay is as flawless as you are.
- Found Re Phoenix ☆☆☆☆ – An art boutique hotel with inspiration and comfort in the heart of downtown Phoenix. Inspiration meets relaxation in their loft-style rooms and suites. The urban industrial design is complemented with human touches like comfy mattresses, high thread count sheets, and lush towels. You’ll also enjoy original works by local artists along with stunning city views from floor-to-ceiling windows. Want more? There is award-winning dining serving a modern interpretation of comfort food with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients and a tempting pool to relax with the hottest beats and catch some rays. There is also a giant mural of a gorgeous blonde man naked right behind the check-in desk…
- Westin Phoenix ☆☆☆☆ – Discover rejuvenating amenities set amid chic and spacious hotel rooms and suites in downtown Phoenix when you book your stay at this luxe hotel. Upscale well-being awaits you in with gorgeous rooms boasting floor to ceiling windows that flood the space with natural light. Then there is a fresh, farm-to-table restaurant, refreshing Lapis Terrace Pool, upscale signature beds to fulfill your relaxation needs – and a prime downtown location across from the light rail stop.
- W Scottsdale ☆☆☆☆ – One of the most gay-popular hotel chains in the world, and this W Hotel location is no exception. Expect stylish, modern hotel rooms and suites, distinctive dining, a gag-worthy pool with cabanas and daybeds, and a sickening downtown location in Scottsdale. The gay scene of Pheonix is a short drive away, but you might never leave thanks to the two different lounge bars here that host various DJs and live music.
- Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Midtown ☆☆☆ – The closest hotel to the gay bars and clubs in Melrose, though still a 20-minute walk. Located off I-17 and Highway 51, they provide simple rooms and a free local shuttle to get your round. There is also a restaurant serving cooked-to-order breakfast and dinner, a fitness center, an outdoor pool, and heated whirlpool. In addition, you will find complimentary lightning-fast fiber-optic Internet access, should you be tempted to spend the night in watching gay TV shows. There is no judgment here!
- Moxy Phoenix Tempe/ASU Area☆☆☆ – When Marriott launched the Moxy brand, they chose Tempe Arizona to pop the cherry. Now they are one of the best hotel near ASU if you’re pining to cheer on the Sun Devils, grab drinks on Mill Ave, or spend late nights in Phoenix without the stuffiness of normal hotels. The Moxy is a boutique hotel concept reimagined for Millenials, and we have previously loved stays with them in Osaka, New Orleans, and Frankfurt. This is not your mother’s hotel. Start with a free drink at check-in, abundant USB plugins, a 49″ TV with Netflix should you want to watch some lesbian movies – and, if you’re lucky, a pool view. Take a disco nap if you must…but their sociable spaces and daily events will draw you right back into the lobby.
- The Metcalf House Hostel ☆ – You won’t find a thriving hostel scene here like Berlin, Amsterdam, or Paris – but if you are on a budget, this is possibly the cheapest place to stay in town. A straightforward spot with mixed and single-sex dorms and shared baths, free daily breakfast, and a fun backyard with BBQs and patio seating.
- The Clarendon Hotel and Spa by GreenTree ☆☆☆☆ – A stylish modern boutique hotel located in the heart of Phoenix, close to the main strip of gay bars in Pheonix, is close by. We loved the vibrant collection of guestrooms and suites that define contemporary comfort and the fabulous Skydeck, which offers beautiful views of Phoenix’s skyline, surrounding mountains, from sunrise and sunset. Then there is the Oasis Pool, and Cabanas features a 50 person HydroSpa, Italian mosaic, underwater speakers, and one of the largest water walls in the world. As you can imagine, this is a very gay-popular option.
Gay Bars and Gay Clubs in Phoenix Arizona
As the biggest city in Arizona, you would expect to find a whole host of gay bars and nightclubs here to choose between – and luckily, Phoenix does not disappoint.
There are countless options to dance the night away with Britney & Ariana, watch fabulous drag, enjoy refined cocktails, try a boot-scootin’ honky-tonk or gawk at delicious go-go boys. Even better, most of the clubs in Phoenix lean heavily toward “get drunk and have a good time” rather than the whole “not dressed well enough for our establishment” scene.
This is not a place to peacock – but instead, Gay Phoenix is where you can grab a casual beer, strike up a conversation, and make new friends- or more! Even better, Gay Phoenix doesn’t just attract out-of-state tourists but also plenty of people from the more conservative/rural areas of Arizona.
There is also a growing professional class that flocks to Phoenix as well, leading to a scene that has undergone several changes in recent years. Phoenix’s gay scene is growing up and now offers an intriguing mix of upscale post-gay venues, dive bars, rainbow nights, and fabulous queer raves. Those who have visited in the past will be happy to hear that the long-running gay institutions, Charlie’s and Nu Towne Saloon, continues to thrive – and ladies, there are now even a few lesbian bars in Phoenix for you to check out!
The gay scene in Phoenix is spread out, and exploring it fully will involve renting a car or catching a ride-share, but an excellent place to start is the Melrose area. This gayborhood of Central Phoenix covers a one-mile stretch of Seventh Avenue between Indian School and Camelback and has plenty of queer and queer-friendly establishment so you can hop between them. Clubs here don’t get going until around 11 pm on weekends, but you don’t need to wait till Friday to head out as most bars have something on every night of the week to draw in the crowds.
A good game plan is to mix-and-mingle at one of the sun-drenched patios of a relaxed gay bar before heading out to a drag event and then the clubs for a night of dancing. Whether you are an indie kid, party girl, urban cowboy, or dance freak, we are certain Gay Phoenix will not leave you disappointed…
Gay Bars In Phoenix
- Anvil Bar – Home to the Phoenix Leather community with featured monthly club nights including underwear or shirtless, male go-go dancers, karaoke, and friendly staff. Incredibly popular is the bear theme event, Dirty Daddy Dancers. Patrons here are usually men who like men and are attracted to the cool, dark space. No dress code is enforced, but gear is always welcome, and you will feel right at home either way. You won’t find Rupauls girls or even drag shows here, but the Anvil does have good music, cheap drinks, and a cool atmosphere to chat with old friends or make some new. Leather boots or flip flops welcome!
- Dick’s Cabaret – A naked male strip club in Pheonix perfect for a raunchy night out that will undoubtedly leave you feeling dirty and wanting more. All kinds of beautiful muscular bodies, though most are straight and will pretty aggressively hassle you for a VIP lap dance. You’ll either love it or detest it … Much like we did with the gay strip clubs of NYC and Fort Lauderdale. Sunday and Monday are two for one dances all night, and Tuesday is Amateur Night
- Bar1 – An upscale LGBT neighborhood bar with great vibes, specialty cocktails, daily happy hour, and a pet-friendly California style patio complete with palm trees. A relaxed option to hangout earlier in the night with pinball, darts, and pool games. There are also occasional theme parties and karaoke nights.
- Pat O’s Bunkhouse Saloon – A welcoming den of local bears and Leatherman. After decades of involvement in the LGBT bar scene, Pat O has grown up from bartender to proud bar of the Bunkhouse Saloon and will ensure you feel right at home. Catch up with old friends or make new ones with pool, darts, poker nights, and Wednesday karaoke. There is also an outdoor patio and fire pit to strike up a conversation over. Don’t worry – these bears don’t bite … hard!
- Cruisin’7th – A welcoming show bar and lounge featuring some of Phoenix’s best drag shows along with friendly staff and great drink prices. Every night of the week has an eclectic group of entertainers who perform everything, including Top 40, Comedy, Latin, Country, Pop, and much more. On occasion, you can also spot the exotic male and transsexual dance revues, including Dirty Daddy Dancers, Exotic Transexual Pole Dancers, and Wild Men of the West Dancers. Expect thick and juicy drag queens with the face of beauty queens and the potty mouth of a sailor – along with plenty of bridal parties and girls night out. The realities of drag venues around the world sadly, but we still had a fabulous time.
- Nu Towne Saloon – This gay dive bar with antique-heavy kitschy décor found in East Phoenix, away from most of the other queer venues in the center. A bit rough around the edges, but that is part of what in endears it to the trade who are attracted here. Especially busy on Friday’s ‘Cruise Night’ when local bears and leather daddies flock here for a cheap night of drinking and more. A uniquely authentic Phoenix experience Nu Towne Saloon is a grand-dame of the scene here, having survived four decades, changing trends, the recession, and even a fire in 2010 – while still showing no sign of ever shutting down.
- Plazma – An LGBT neighborhood video and sports bar delivering a cool spot to play pool, chat over drinks, or enjoy colorful Jello shots from plastic syringes. The weekly Plazma Playhouse show is well worth attending with drag queens and female illusionists performances, as is the fiery Saturday male review shows.
- Los Diablos – An easy-going LGBT sports bar to stay the night out with exceptional service, strong cocktails, and food in an industrial-style setting. Chat with locals on the patio, sing your heart out at one of their karaoke nights, or watch things get lively when a big game is on.
- Kobalt – An extraordinary gay karaoke bar in central Phoenix with a diverse mix of people. They also boast local entertainment and unique and trendy events each night that raises the bar and never leave you bored. Chill, meet new people or just get hammered on cheap, strong drinks at the top-rated happy hours.
- The Rock – A friendly gay bar with $3 Drinks Specials every day in the Melrose District. Whether you want to sing karaoke, watch a drag show, play darts, or relax on the patio, the rock has got you covered. Experience the alternative with a diverse clientele and an even more varied line up of events, including hosting the Bearracuda bears’ dance parties.
- OZ Bar – An LGBT-oriented bar with weekly poker game nights, a spacious outdoor patio, and Friday/Saturday go-go boys. Open 6 am till 2 am 365 days a year.
- Boycott Bar – The best name for a lesbian bar ever… right? We loved this ultra-welcoming girl power hotspot that provides fun, positive vibes for everyone along with stong cocktails, cold beer, and plenty of late-night dancing. What more could you want? How about a solid line up of events, including Frugal Fridays, Matchmaking Saturdays with rotating DJs, and Sunday karaoke sessions. Located in Melrose, you can easily bar-hop to a few other LGBT hotspots from here – though when Boycott gets going, you won’t want to leave.
Gay Nightclubs In Phoenix
- Stacy’s at Melrose – A unique LGBT dance club in Melrose with the ambiance and charm of an old-world cathedral thanks to its quasi-gothic architecture and walls featuring local community artists’ works. Stacy’s is also known for its cheerful customer service, top-notch cocktails, craft beers, and its spacious patio fully furnished with a full-service bar (weekends and special events only), for imbibing in the sunshine or under the stars. Events are listed on their website but don’t miss the opulent Saturday divas show or Sunday mASS tea dance.
- Charlie’s Phoenix – The best gay country bar in Phoenix for those who love hats, Wranglers, and strange belt buckles. A community-oriented, fun, friendly atmosphere with line dancing, drag shows, nightly drink specials, and a Friday/Saturday after hours until 4 am. If you have been to their other locations in Denver, Chicago, or Las Vegas, you’ll know what sort of high-energy hijinx to expect. Country music is their first love, and they play it as often as the crowd allows it -but later at night, it is very dancey. Save a horse. Ride a cowboy.
- The Cash Nightclub & Lounge – An LGBT/ lesbian bar in Phoenix with friendly staff who will serve you with a smile, laugh at your jokes and make you feel as though you’re one of the kin. Once you have got your drink, there are darts, line dancing, 2-stepping, poker, karaoke, and a large comfortable patio to enjoy – plus plenty of fun events throughout the week. Later at night, the music varies with everything from country, hip hop, old school, or Latin. Ladies, this one is for you. Its no Dinah Shore Weekend in Palm Springs, but on those hot Arizona nights, it gets kind of close…
- Karamba Nightclub – A gay dance club showcasing Latin DJs, theme nights and drag shows in a high-energy environment! There are also great weekly drinks specials with awesome dancing, lights, and sound – plus some of the hottest guys in town. If you’re hungry for a Burrito, Taco, or Quesadilla after a night out, you can also check out their Super Taco catering outside during weekend club hours. Who needs Guadalajara or CDMX when you can just come here…
- BS West – A fun LGBT dance club in nearby Scottsdale with a nightly lineup is designed to be as diverse as their clientele, including beer busts, BBQs go-go dancer auditions every 2nd and 4th Wednesday. If you want to dance, their Wednesday College Night and Saturday Video DJ Dance Party are perfect. For amazing female illusion performances, the Elements drag show on Fridays is a must-see.
- Club Volt – Arizona’s premier show lounge, home of the 4Some Revue on Friday’s and Locker Room events Saturday night along with Dollar Drink Thursdays. There is a fun dance floor which can get busy on weekends and small patio to escape to if you need to step away and catch your breath. .The club tends to attract younger queer crowd and hosts plenty of bespoke events featuring the stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race and local queens. Check their Facebook page for the week’s schedule.
Gay Bathhouses & Sex Clubs in Phoenix Arizona
Had enough of gay cruising in Phoenix – either in the bars or elsewhere? Why not explore the steamier side of this sexy town…
While French-Canadians in Montreal and Quebec City seem to have bucked the trend of declining bathhouses and gay cruising spaces in North America, Phoenix has followed in the footsteps of other North American cities like Washington DC, Portland, and Boston. Sadly, this means there are only two choices for gay cruising spaces left in Phoenix. Thankfully, they both are pretty great and provided us with more than enough fun.
Travelers should know that as a result of Phoenix Municipal By-Law, no sexual activity is allowed in any of the “public” areas of these clubs, including the gym, steam room, washrooms, video lounges, retail area, coffee lounges and all other open areas of the clubs. Visitors must enjoy themselves in the privacy of their rooms. If there is more than one person in a room, the door must be closed and locked as no public displays of sexual activity are allowed.
If neither appeal, you always try one of the gay hook up apps, but we think patronage of these queer spaces is essential if we want to see them stay open. As a visitor, you will have no issues visiting the Phoenix gay sauna and will be welcomed openly, though a firm ‘no’ may be required at some points to get your point across. Read our guide if you are nervous about visiting a gay sauna for the first time. This way, you will know what to expect…
- The Chute – Big, butch, and friendly, this private bathhouse has been open for 26 years and provides an attitude-free space for you to meet other men complete with a dark, no-frills, atmosphere. The Chute is all about men… it’s not for the poseur crowd or the sweater set. The only place in Phoenix that caters specifically to Leather, Bear, Blue Collar, and BDSM/Fetish communities. Men of all types, ages, sizes, and colors are welcome here, and no discrimination based on any of those criteria is allowed. Inside you will find a steam room, fully equipped gym, dual shower areas, multiple XXX video lounges, lockers, and many places to play!
- FLEXspas Phoenix – An exclusive/private all-male membership facility open 24/7 and recently under new management by FLEXspas, who also have locations in Atlanta and Los Angeles. Amenities include an outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, lounges, saunas, showers, vending machines, and private cabins. There is also a warm sun deck to lounge on sunny days and a poolside BBQ every Sunday.