Providence – Rhode Island – is perhaps the gayest state capital we have ever visited. A dynamic city that embraces love, respect, and joy, we were blown away by this community’s commitment to diversity – including that of its LGBT population. And that is before we even talk about the booming food and arts scene….
The ‘islands’ near NYC (Long Island, Rhode Island) often get a bad rep as nothing more than suburban surroundings to the Big Apple, but to skip over them on trips between New York and Boston would be a mistake. In fact, we are honestly going to suggest you skip Boston entirely and make Providence the focus of your entire Gay Trip to New England. It is utterly fabulous and nothing at all like what we had expected.
In particular, we were wonderfully surprised by its beautiful outdoor spaces, historical buildings, vibrant street art, and the innovative food propelled forward by the prestigious college of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University. We loved roaming its streets of 18th and 19th-century buildings, taking endless photos, and found ourselves mentally picking out paint samples for the stunning villas we planned to buy, do up and live our best gay life (complete with two dogs of course.)
Claiming nearly 1,000 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places in the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods, exploring Providence yields a taste of the cities wealthy manufacturing past – though there is also plenty of modern and engaging arts and culture attractions to remind you, this is not a city that time forget. Providence is one of those rare destinations in the United States which has a rich urban tapestry of both old and modern, and we had a lot of fun exploring both. Best of all – welcoming Providence offers the right blend of local support, community ties, and liveability that keep people here, something you’ll notice almost immediately after arriving as the locals here are extremely proud of their little city. And rightfully so.
In among all these dream houses, you’ll find an affluence of trendy coffee shops, intimate theatres, innovative restaurants and great places to grab a drink. This is a student town, after all, with the famous Brown University on College Hill – any town with this many students has to work to stay hip and relevant, and luckily Providence has done just that. In fact what we loved most was that there is barely a chain restaurant to be found in the downtown, and instead, in their place, you will find independent brewpubs, chic cafes, and vibrant restaurants to investigate.
When it comes to the local gay scene, well where do we even start. Not only are there more gay clubs, bars, and bathhouses here than nearby Boston – but there are rainbow flags flown across the city to let you know you are welcome absolutely everywhere you do. Rhode Island was a state after all founded Roger Williams, a religious dissenter banished from Massachusetts Bay Colony for his radical advocate of religious toleration and separation of church and state.
This ‘wall of separation’ inspired the founders of the United States, who later incorporated it into the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. This condemnation of the orthodoxy of New England Puritanism and devotion to protecting individual “liberty of conscience” has left a tangible legacy today and as we said Providence is the gayest state capital we have ever visited – only rivaled by Austin, Texas. On their State House, they even have engraved his commandment: “… to hold forth a Lively Experiment that a most flourishing civil state may stand and be best maintained with full liberty in religious concernments.”
This is all to say, Providence is the definition of a sanctuary city before that term was applied to areas harboring undocumented persons. Persecuted people from the early 1600s on to now have found protection in Providence including religious minorities, Catholics (back then) and Jews in particular, and also the Quakers and Unitarians – all of which have contributed meaningfully to the creation of Providence today.
Because the entire city is a sanctuary, there is no true gayborhood here and members of the LGBT+ community can be found dispersed throughout Providence. Queer spirit is still strong here and annual events such as the Rhode Island Pride Festival, the associated block parties and more see the entire downtown city shut down in a spectacle, unlike anything we have ever seen.
Even if you are not able to visit for these flagship events, there is all but guaranteed to be something every night of the week to pique your interest. GAYMER nights in the local arcade bar, queer rooftop parties, drag shows, EDM raves and more!
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!
Providence is weird, cool, wonderfully queer and waiting for you with open arms…
Gay Providence Guide: The Essential Guide To LGBT Travel In Providence Rhode Island
In this article we will cover...
- Gay Providence Guide: The Essential Guide To LGBT Travel In Providence Rhode Island
- Attractions in Providence
- Gay-friendly and Gay Hotels in Providence
- Gay Nightlife in Providence Rhode Island
- Gay Clubs & Bars in Providence
- Gay-Popular Bars in Providence
- Cruising, Gay Saunas & Bath Houses in Providence
- Gay Providence Map
Attractions in Providence
As we already said, there is a lot to love in this creative and accepting city. Providence blends the approachability and friendliness of a small town with the culture and refinement of a big city to create something unique, that just begs you to explore further and stay longer.
There is a prolific arts community, energetic and distinct neighborhoods to wander, exceptional architecture, a distinguished restaurant scene, and so many more things to do we couldn’t possibly list them all. If you plan on getting a lot done then car hire in Providence is a very affordable option and popular to see more far-flung attractions of Rhode Islands and New England. This is America after all and the car is king.
But if you just want to explore the downtown gaybourhood and a few other places – public transport and rideshare apps should be sufficient.
Naturally being gay does not define which attractions most of us will want to see in each destination and most queer travelers will simply want to check out the top things to see in Providence during the day! We found our favorite memories were wandering historic neighborhoods (and picking out our dream house), dancing till dawn with our queer family, exploring the booming food scene and spending hours in the eclectic RISD Museum.
However, if you’re someone who can’t sit still, we have put together a few of our other things to do in this inspiring city that are sure to keep you busy!
Top Highlights in Providence
- Roger Williams Park Zoo – With 40 acres of gorgeous woodland, this is a chance to see wildlife from all around the world in a naturalistic environment. It’s actually one of the oldest zoos in the USA as it first opened in 1872 with a collection that included guinea pigs, mice, and squirrels. Things are a bit more exciting now as you can see things like elephants from Africa, snow leopards, moon bears, and even a Komodo dragon – so it’s improved a lot over the years! There are lots of interactive zones as well, plus a state-of-the-art rainforest building complete with waterfall.
- RISD Museum – Another well-established attraction in Rhode Island, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum is a testament to the range and quality of things to do in Providence. It was founded in 1877 to represent and support the creative community in the area and has done just that since then. The museum’s five buildings on the RISD campus are home to almost 100,000 pieces of art from around the world. If you’re interested in ancient art you’ll be intrigued by the collection of Greek coins, sculpture, and mosaics, as well as the Roman jewelry. The textiles exhibit is also one of the best of its kind, showing items from as early as 1500 BCE to now. Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings are another strong section of the collections.
- Friskie Fries – Located close to the gay bars of Providence, this local institution is the perfect place for a pre or post-drinking snack. Wonderfully golden fries covered in zany, delicious, & frisky ingredients. Think pulled pork, wasabi cucumber slaw and barbie-que drizzle (Lil’ Mama) or Philly Cheesesteak with cheddar cheese sauce (Cat’L Call). For something extra weird try their S’Moresome fries with melted chocolate, mini marshmallows, and graham cracker crumbs.
- Yoleni’s Providence – Love Greek food but don’t want all the hassle of actually jumping on a flight to Europe? Well, thankfully the guys behind the Yoleni concept store have solved this issue. Opened in 2018 (in a historic 1895 landmark building) in downtown Providence this is Yoleni’s first US store after their flagship store in downtown Athens. We told you Providence has a thriving scene and Yoleni’s is just one of the many incredible highlights here. This innovative store – think the ‘Greek Eataly’ -- tempts visitors with the opportunity to sample the complete range of authentic Greek gastronomy. Relish a handmade pita, indulge in (mind-blowing) authentic Greek yogurt, mouth-watering sandwiches, fresh salads, Greek wines and more! Breakfast, lunch or dinner – Yoleni’s is a standby that will never let you down, with a central location, friendly staff, and chic interior design (including an upstairs bar that is a great early evening watering hole). Even if you are not hungry, you can simply stop by and investigate the more than 800 authentic Greek products in the deli and store. Just don’t blame us when you leave with more than you bargained for…many of the products here are not for sale anywhere else in the US!
- Rhode Island State House – We can’t pretend that we think US politics are in the best state right now, but this neoclassical building is a fascinating window to the intricate workings of the system and where it all began. It was built when Rhode Island was at its peak during the industrial revolution and its marble dome makes a noble silhouette on Smith Hill. Inside you’ll find (along with a lot of carved marble) a museum that houses the 1663 Colonial Charter signed by King Charles II of England to guarantee religious liberty. You can also take a guided tour around the State Library and other historical artifacts led for free by very knowledgeable and enthusiastic college students.
- Little Italy – In the heart of Providence, you’ll find Federal Hill, home to one of the liveliest Little Italys in America and with food that is almost as good as Rome, Milan or Florence. Migrants from Italy set up home here in the early 1900s and have established a neighborhood full of authentic shops, delis, and restaurants. A particular high point is a fountain at DePasquale Plaza that feels like it’s straight from a Tuscan village. This is where everyone in the area converges to gossip, drink and listen to live music.
- Knead Doughnuts – Hidden in a historic 19th-century building in the Providence downtown is Knead Doughnuts, where seasonally inspired and traditional gourmet donuts made with locally-sourced, wholesome ingredients are made from scratch and served alongside outstanding coffee. Offering both old-fashion and cake style – they have free samples for you to try before you buy – and a gorgeous interior to enjoy them in. Our favorite flavors? Blueberry Lemon Basil and Passion Fruit, though if we are honest they are all divine.
- West Side Diner – It wouldn’t be a trip to the USA without a visit to a classic diner, and the West Side Diner is about as classic as they get. This prefabricated diner car is considered Streamline Art Deco in character with its signature stainless steel, porcelain-enameled, and ribbed glass block elements. The West Side Diner was actually the first in Providence to be individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and has undergone a meticulous restoration with the assistance of the Providence Revolving Fund, the Rhode Island Historic & Heritage Commission and the National Park Service Fun fact: The first “diner” ever was open just a few blocks away on Westminster Street in 1872 – and while long closed, the West Side Diner is still a fitting way to pay homage to this Rhode Island institution. The menu has typical diner far at very reasonable prices, but even if you are short on time (or meal slots in such a foodie city) make sure you stop in for a coffee at the historic chrome counter…
- Fellini Pizzeria – Owned by a lovely lesbian couple, this pizzeria has been a Providence institution since 1989, serving up a reliable staple of thin-crust pizzas which are the best in the state.
- Bravo Brasserie – Another gay-owned establishment, this American bistro-inspired by French cafes is stylish, elegant and perfect for a memorable meal in the Providence downtown area.
- Mister Sister – A queer owed erotic boutique in Providence that understands the need to not only celebrate the diversity of all sexualities and sexual expressions but to also actively honor and cultivate them. Their focus is on having conversations with clients, not adhering to sales pitches or blindly following trends. The team at Mister Sister recognizes that each client’s body comes with different ability sets and therefore carry products designed with limited mobility in mind. They approach sex and sexuality issues, not as dysfunctions or problems that need to be fixed but rather interpret them as skills to be learned or an craft to be refined.
- The Dorrance – Located in the heart of downtown Providence, The Dorrance maintains the timeless elegance of yesteryear in a gleaming, contemporary way. High ornate ceilings, a long, luxurious bar, and a well-appointed dining room are the backdrop for hand-crafted cocktails and globally-inspired, New England cuisine. Housed in a historic bank, a visit here is mandatory for lovers of old-world design.
- Providence Food Tours – A 3-3.5 hour walking tour that provides a unique opportunity to explore the evolving culinary landscape of Rhode Island These tours support the locally-operated eateries, farms, and makers in the community, offering tastings of fresh, creative local foods of the state. Food, history, and art with a guided tour of the downtown – what is better than that!
- WaterFire – We can’t speak about unique things to do in Providence and not mention this incredibly striking public art phenomenon established by artist Barnaby Evans. It’s hard to explain unless you see it, but essentially a string of fires are lit on the three rivers in downtown Providence, an effect created using burning braziers that float about the water. The 86 fires flicker throughout the evening and are accompanied by performers on boats and on the shore, as well as music. It’s a truly magical experience that evokes different emotions from everyone. The atmosphere created by the sight, sound, and smell of the flames is exhilarating, feeling new and incredibly ancient at the same time. It happens about twice a month from May until November, so if you’re in the city at that time try to catch it – you won’t forget it.
Gay Annual Events in Providence
As a paradise for the LGBT community, Gay Providence offers a wonderful line-up of annual events for gays, lesbian and transgenders and – well, anyone who wants to be involved!
These signature gay events are just the biggest and best, however no matter when you visit there is sure to be something on (which is why we really recommend locking your Providence hotel down in advance…)
- Providence Gay & Lesbian Film Festival – Now in its 19th year, this fabulous LGBT Film Festival takes place every year in August and celebrates diversity, identity, and discovery. Taking place as part of the wider Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) visitors are invited to attend and sample a diverse sampling of over 40 international and domestic films made by and for members of the LGBTQ community. Ranging from romantic comedies, journeys of discovery, to concerns affecting the trans community, the Providence Gay & Lesbian Film Festival also including an emphasis on growing social and political issues for LGBTQ youth, the trans community, and diversity.
- Rhode Island AIDS Walk for Life – Started by AIDS Project Rhode Island in the mid-1980s—part of a wave of grassroots fundraisers held across the USA that helped to raised money to help provide care and support to individuals suffering during the early days of the AIDS epidemic, when they were often without insurance, access to services, and/or dying alone because their families and communities had rejected them. Today things are certainly a lot better – but we cannot rest easy yet. Every year, more than 30,000 people in the U.S. get HIV, and continued stigma against people living with the virus, gaps in education, and lack of connection to care and support services present enormous challenges. Show your Pride, and do what you can to fundraise and support such a worthy cause in our community by taking part in the annual AIDS Run/Walk for Life in Rhode Island – taking place at the beginning of June every year.
- Rhode Island Pride Festival – Providence’s Pride celebration, which includes an exceptional and stunningly unique Illuminated Night Parade, that draws people from across Rhode Island and beyond. This is New England’s only illuminated night Pride parade, so instead of celebrating your Pride in the hot sun during the day, you can let your true colors shine bright in the night with a glittery spectacle of floats, performing artists, marching groups, supportive businesses, and energetic spectators. Then there is the energetic Pridefest which goes from strength to strength each year. More entertainment, more vendors, and more activities for both the young and old. These two signature events, plus smaller events including epic block parties run across the month of June combine to make this one of the world’s best destinations for LGBT Pride celebrations. Gay Providence has sent out an open invitation that everyone is welcome here, and we can promise you the energy in this vividly visible LGBT+ city is utterly infectious.
Gay-friendly and Gay Hotels in Providence
In this enchanting and extremely liberal city, you will not find any major hotel accommodation that isn’t gay-friendly.
After all, being gay-friendly is about providing a non-judgmental and respectful environment in which all people are treated equally. In saying that, elegant design, helpful staff, and excellent value for money never hurt anyone. Some hotels in Providence have also gone above and beyond in recognizing and marketing to the LGBT community and given their popularity with gay travelers we would say it has paid off!
Everybody likes to be surrounded by people with common interests and as such there are a few hotels in Providence favored by gay travelers – although to be clear there are no exclusively gay hotels in Providence sadly.
The downtown gaybourhood is at the forefront of LGBTQ+ inclusiveness in Providence – and thanks to its diverse community brimming with queer nightlife and gay-owned businesses, this is the place to stay. It’s proximity to all of the main attractions in Providence, and walkability to the many cute surrounding neighborhoods completes the appeal.
The following gay-friendly hotels in Providence are only the most recommended, but there are hundreds of other hotels in Providence if you don’t find quite find what you are looking for. Whether you want a fun and social hotel-bar, a cheap but private place to crash after a night of partying or a chic luxury option to sip cocktails surrounded by fashionable people, Gay Providence as something for everyone!
Gay-Popular Hotels in Providence
- Omni Providence ☆☆☆☆ – This modern high-rise hotel brings you the spirit of downtown Providence with its numerous luxury guest rooms & suites, many with spectacular views over the entire city. Guests at Omni Providence Hotel will find themselves within walking distance of the city’s main college campuses, historic attractions, gourmet restaurants, upscale shopping, entertainment and – yes, the gay bars and clubs! We found the contemporary rooms wonderfully spacious, the service friendly and location second-to-none as Omni is connected to the Rhode Island Convention Center, Dunkin’ Donuts Center and the new Providence Place Mall. If you are arriving by bus to Providence it is a 1-minute walk, or the train station is about 15 minutes away. There is also a fitness center and heated indoor pool. The one downside we could find was WiFi access was not free unless you signed up to be a rewards member …
- Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel ☆☆☆☆ – Once a Masonic Temple dating back to the 1920s, this exceptional blend of momentous architecture and modern-day amenities offers great value and service. Relax in their luxurious rooms and suites, adorned with glossy décor, complimentary Wi-Fi, mini-refrigerators and marble bathrooms or head over to their signature restaurant for delicious American cuisine, paired with refreshing cocktails. Whatever the reason for your travels, you’ll find a welcome acquittal from your run-of-the-mill life at the Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel.
- Graduate Providence ☆☆☆☆ – Built-in 1922, this landmark building is bursting with old-school charm from the lobby’s original ornate ceiling to the famed glass-and-brass elevator. Formerly the Providence Biltmore, this recently renovated hotel offers exceptional rooms which pay homage to PVD’s history and heritage. Little moments of surprise and discovery meet you down every corridor and around each corner, from the Malin + Goetz amenities in the room (and complimentary Wi-Fi) to the uber-cool Poindexter Coffee shop and yoga on the terrace offering every Saturday morning.
- The Dean Hotel ☆☆☆☆ – A funky boutique hotel where old school meets new school. The Dean exudes masculine styling, easy elegance, subtle collegiate references, modernist & contemporary design – in both the public spaces and in its 52 modern rooms. If you love a hotel which inspired creatively and it’s in touch with its local community, the Dean is going to be the place for you. Filled with custom furniture, craftwork from local purveyors and found objects from Europe and beyond, The Dean revels in the details. Not to mention, this is one of the closest hotels to Providence’s main gay bars and clubs.
- Homewood Suites By Hilton Downtown ☆☆☆ – A basic hotel offering -home comforts perfect for an extended stay or a weekend getaway – all at very affordable prices. Honestly, we found room rates in Providence to be very reasonable and worthy of a spurge but if you are watching your budget this laid-back hotel offers everything you need – and nothing more.
- Christopher Dodge House ☆☆☆ – Elegant rooms and historic charm await you at this gorgeous bed and breakfast, offering luxury lodging conveniently located right in the downtown. The charming inn is housed in a historic 3-story brick Italianate mansion was built in 1858 and renovated in 2003 into a beautiful 14-room bed and breakfast. A labor of love, the staff and owners will do everything to ensure you stay in Providence is as enjoyable as possible. All rates include a hot plated chef’s choice breakfast and the continental buffet offers homemade pastries and locally roasted coffee from Borealis Coffee Company.
Gay Nightlife in Providence Rhode Island
With Providence being one of the most gay-friendly vacation destinations in the world, you would expect an incredible gay nightlife scene – and luckily Providence does not disappoint.
Depending on your mood you can find anything here from a relaxed cocktail in an upscale bar to an all-night dance party surrounded by your queer family. There is also plenty of cruise/dive bars, sexy go-go boys, fabulous drag, fun events and – well, something to cater for every taste! There is always something fun and interesting to do here, every night of the week from a GAYMER night on Monday’s at an arcade bar, to new drag talent shows and Safe Space EDM parties midweek.
Most gay bars and clubs start to get busy around 10 pm and go until into the early morning, with a mix of quirky locals, business travelers, and out-of-state tourists. Most of the gay nightlife spaces are located in the artsy downtown, which is the unofficial gaybourhood of Providence – as the various rainbow flags will attest.
With a vibrant – and diverse – local LGBT community and a wonderfully gay-friendly liberal populace, you can imagine distinguishing ‘gay bars’ can something difficult, which is fabulous since you know you will be welcomed as you are basically everywhere here. For the following gay and gay-popular venues, however, we were looking for rainbow events, exceptional recommendations, and spots specifically marketed towards gays.
We are sure you will not be disappointed.
Gay Clubs & Bars in Providence
- Providence Eagle – A local Eagle Bar for fans of guys in leather, latex, or jocks!! This worldwide institution provides exactly what you would expect with rainbow flags & a giant eagle painting marking the entrance to this modest but busy gay bar. Dancing and meetings are encouraged by affordable drinks, and if you are lucky enough to attend one of their energetic leather events. Obviously, it is not for everyone but you will certainly not be bored here.
- Mirabar – A clean and low-key gay bar cum dance club with fun DJs and popular events such as karaoke, gogo dancers and drag shows. Drinks are cheap and normally made stiff, and depending on the night can be either a fun place to chill with friends or to dance all night long.
- EGO Providence – A enthusiastic gay bar for partying the night away with a happening dance floor overseen by DJs who know how to give the crowd what they want. There is also a stage to accommodate the lineup of regular events held here including innovative drag shows. High-quality lighting and amazing sound system make this Providence’s premier gay dance club.
- Alley Cat – A snug neighborhood gay bar.with a mixed-crowd who come to drink and socialize. We love the dark-wood interior and popping in here for a fun drink prior to heading to the Dark Lady next door – both of which are owned by the same people.
- The Dark Lady – A huge open room gay bar with plenty of fun programming that draws in crowds most nights of the week. Funny drag queens, very affordable drinks and ‘everyone is welcome’ vibes that we live for. Enjoy your drinks outside on the pavement or head in for fun under the disco bar. Spacious with an almost cowboy-saloon feel that gave us some serious Austin / Denver vibes and the cleanest bathroom we have ever seen in a club scene. Take a look at their upcoming events but we highly recommend their POP2k Tuesday event for both establish and up-and-coming drag talent. When we visited it was a Nickelodeon theme and let’s just say, you have not lived until you have seen a Wanda and Cosmo from ‘The Fairly Odd Parents’ drag performance.
- The Stable – A gay cocktail bar with a somewhat ambiguous equestrian theme and a great selection of craft beer. The highlight for us however as the long bar for socializing and fun backyard seating to mix, mingle and chat well into the night.
- Safe In Sound @ Dark Lady – We specifically wanted to draw attention to this incredible EDM night organized every Wednesday with a local trans DJ. The most chill and safest weekday destination to drink dance and have fun with a super friendly crowd. We guarantee you will find nothing but positive vibes here – and absolutely everyone is welcome. The only downside is they don’t take place on the weekend. This is the hottest EDM night in Providence
Gay-Popular Bars in Providence
- The Salon – A very hip-and-happening bar offering cocktails and tacos with fun events most nights including DJ sets, comedy shows, bingo, drag shows and more. There is always pinball, ping pong foosball too, which helps to get the conversation flowing on an awkward date.
- Barnaby’s Public House – A old-fashioned public house established as a place for friends to gather and enjoy heavenly bites and legendary pours. They specialize in serving pre-prohibition era cocktails, a wide selection of whiskey, rye, scotch and bourbon, craft beers and fine wines. The story and historical significance of Barnaby’s is a key component of the establishment. The scandalous legend and murder of Jerothmul’s wife, Josephine, in 1881 (the first death by mail in the country), is being shared with all guests in a variety of ways ranging from the décor to the food and drinks that will certainly spark curiosity and interest
- Free Play – A spirited bar arcade offering over 150 classic arcade games, pinball, skee ball, air hockey, and Dance Dance Revolution – all set to, well, Freeplay! There is beer on tap, delicious pizzas and fun cocktails to match the games including our personal favorite, Mario Kart (3 Olives Loopy, Stolichnaya Razberi Vodka, Peach Schnapps, Orange Cranberry Pineapple Juices, Topped with Sierra Mist). There is always a $5 admission fee at door, raised to $10 on Friday and Saturday nights, but we think it is entirely worth it. Monday is always their GAYME Night, where funds raised go to Rhode Island Pride – and a great way to start your weekend out.
- The Eddy – A so-stylish-it-almost-hurts cocktail bar with obligatory dimly lit lighting and almost speakeasy vibes. We were still absolutely obsessed with their friendly bartenders, creative cocktail concoctions and inventive bar food selection. Try the house punch, it’s what pirates drink and – well, everybody loves pirates!
- The Dean Bar / The Magdalenae Room – A hidden gem buried in the Dean Hotel, this hip lounge crafts modern cocktails in a creative space that encourages you to stay for ‘just one more’ with cozy sofas and intimate lighting. Perfect for meeting friends, strangers, and lovers…
- Justine’s – Hidden being a lingerie storefront, this 1920s-style speakeasy serving elegance, magic and strong cocktails from talented bartenders. We have not been so excited to see what was behind the red velvet curtain since the Wizard of Oz. Unlike Dorothy, you will not be disappointed.
- Rooftop at the ProvidenceG – A luxe rooftop spot in downtown Providence’s open nightly and serving craft cocktails, small plates, and dinner. Call ahead for reservations as can get very busy with the after-work crowd, though there is always room to sit at the bar if you want to be flexible. The best skyline views in the city, with prices to reflect that. They also host New England’s only Rooftop LGBTQ+ monthly Tea Dance called SURGE Sundays where you can enjoy dancing to fabulous beats, reduced price well drinks and prosecco, a 50/50 raffle to benefit Options, good times and happy vibes!
Cruising, Gay Saunas & Bath Houses in Providence
We were not kidding when we said Providence had an outsized gay scene, and you can see this reflected in the presence of not one but two gay bathhouses here.
If your visiting from outside of the USA you should know that the gay bathhouses culture is not very prevalent in the USA and in no way as popular or as high-quality as you might find in international destinations such as Vienna, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Lisbon or Paris. So, we were surprised to find we actually had choices when it came to enjoying naughty fun in Gay Providence – especially considering the dire state of cruising spaces in the rest of the country.
You can also try using any of these gay hooks up apps if you are not comfortable visiting the gay bathhouses, though we also have a few tips for anyone looking to explore a gay sauna for the first time.
- MegaPlex – Located a 5-minute drive south of the urban center but perfect if you have a car, the Mega-plex is pretty decent gay sauna – busy, discreet and located next to the adult store. The space most certainly needs some improvements, however, and many of the facilities seemed to be out of action when we visited included the steam room. Still, if you want to mingle and have fun with a wide variety of guys this is the go-to option. With over 500 lockers, 75 private cabins and cruising spaces galore it is no wonder people drive from miles around to have fun here.
- Club Body Center – The only gay sauna in Providence Downtown, close to all the gay bars. Open 24 hours a day, Club Body Center or CBC as locals call it isn’t quite as popular but does consistently draw in the over 35 crowds of leather daddies and bears. Relax in the steam room, take a shower, chill in the lounge or indulge in some hot men-on-men contact…There is no judgment here. Every Monday is Military Muscle Day, Tuesday is twins, Friday is for bears and our furry friends – and there are also Transexual nights twice a month listed on their website.