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Gay Friendly Phoenix

Phoenix is one of the largest and fastest-growing cities in the country, and although it is not known around the world as a gay hot spot, there are plenty of gay-friendly places to enjoy in this Arizona capital. Increasing business travel in the area is constantly bringing an influx of new people to the city. Combined with its year round sunshine and numerous resort offerings, you just might find yourself with a reason to be in Phoenix, so you should know where the fun is to be had.

Phoenix is a large, sprawled-out city which can is best navigated with a car. While most of Phoenix is gay-friendly, the area between Seventh Street and Seventh Avenue and between Van Buren and Missouri is the neighborhood that you want to be in for locating the gay life in Phoenix, with the intersection of Central Avenue and Camelback being the main focus of the activity. The historic neighborhoods of Encanto, Willow and Coronado are rich with a significant gay population and there is frequently much to do and see in those locations. Phoenix has a number of suburbs and if suburban life is what you want to see - Scottsdale is the one where gay life dominates.

Phoenix is named for the mythical bird which rises out of the ashes of destruction to thrive in a rejuvenated life. The metaphor applies equally to the city as it does to gay Phoenix. The city has been built out of the desert, and the people who live there have turned the sometimes scorching temperatures in to an excuse to live a laidback life filled with suntans and shopping in air conditioned stores. And out of the sometimes-conservative state of Arizona has risen gay Phoenix, an area of the city where a fun nightlife and a bit of debauchery shine through the casual veneer of the Southwestern city.

There are gay events happening all year long in Phoenix, with two different Pride parades (in April and in October), a gay film festival, gay rodeo and celebration of holiday events. Phoenix is a city which is hot, hot, hot and the tendency is for everyone to wear as little clothing as possible. Unless you're in Phoenix on business which requires a more professional appearance, you should take advantage of the laidback personality of the city; ditch the tie, unbutton the shirt and enjoy showing off a little bit of skin in a city which loves to see it. Whether you're in Phoenix for business, pleasure, or a little bit of both, you may find that your inner spirit is eager to rise out of the ashes of monotony and in to the exploration of this growing city's daytime and nightlife activities.


Where to Stay - Gay Friendly Hotels in Phoenix

Phoenix may not be at the top of the list when planning a gay vacation, but there are actually a few hotels and resorts in Phoenix which make the list for best gay places to stay in the United States for a week-long vacation or as part of business travel in your busy life. Whether you're looking for an all male clothing-optional resort for your vacation or just a gay-friendly place where you can sleep after a long day spent in meetings, Phoenix should have accommodations that suit your style.

Out of the vast desert rises a Phoenix resort which you might, at first glance, think is merely a mirage induced by the heat. Things are certainly steamy at the Arizona Royal Villa Resort, but the haven you see sprawled out before you is anything but a mirage, although the fiber optic lighting and water wall effects at the outdoor pool may make you sure that you're seeing things. Skip the crowds of Palm Springs! This is an all-male resort where nudity is allowed in a setting which is designed to maximize comfort so that you can bare your body without feeling like your baring your soul.

If you're looking for something which is a little bit more mainstream and casual but still exudes style, try experiencing the Old World charm of the gay-friendly Hotel San Carlos. Located in the historic downtown neighborhoods where gay Phoenix thrives, this hotel's claim to fame is the numerous times it has played home to the stars who are getting away from Hollywood for a few days at a time. Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable are just a few of the famous old names you can drop when you let people know about staying at this Phoenix hotel. You might also see some newer stars lounging incognito at this downtown Phoenix hotel.

If you'd rather be treated like a star than concern yourself with seeing one, you may consider getting outside of the city a little bit. In the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale, there is a fabulously over-the-top hotel-resort called The Phoenician. This gay-friendly hotel features golf courses, tennis courts, a full-service spa, luxury suites and customized service designed to give even the biggest diva a satisfied smile. With pockets of gay life located all over Phoenix, it is not too far of a drive from any Phoenix hotel to the activity happening all around the city.


What to See and Do in Gay Friendly Phoenix

What you want to spend your time in Phoenix doing is going to be highly, highly dependent upon what time of year you travel to the area. If you are escaping a cold weather place during the winter, you will likely find that the moderate temperatures of Phoenix make you yearn to be outside. Conversely, if you head to Phoenix during the summer months when triple-digit temperatures are the norm, you are probably going to want to find the place with the best air conditioning and hole up inside of it. Fortunately, whether you want to be indoors or out, there is plenty to do in this actively growing city.

For days when the weather is nice enough to be outside, you should take advantage of the number of different activities that there are to enjoy in the Phoenix sun. Golf is a popular way to pass the time in Phoenix. Walking tours are also popular, with a walking tour of Scottsdale being at the top of the list. For those who simply want to explore on their own, the historic downtown neighborhoods where the Phoenix gay community is centrally located is the place to go. The gay community in Phoenix has been thriving for long enough to have established an area of the city which offers the sort of decorative flair and cutting edge style expected from only the best in gay culture. Browse up and down Central Avenue and you'll find everything from a gay bookstore (Obelisk) to great boutique shopping.

For more serious shopping, though, you'll want to head to the Biltmore Fashion Park which appropriately bills itself as "nirvana for the passionate shopper". This shopper's heaven has over seventy stores as well as dining and an outdoor courtyard area where you can relax with your packages at your feet and your mind on your next purchase. Scottsdale also has an upscale shopping district for helping you locate those great finds that you simply have to have. For those people seeking to do some more adult shopping, Tuff Stuff Leather and the Castle Megastores should help you find what you need.

There is plenty of shopping to be done in Phoenix, but despite all of its ability to portray itself as a modern city, Phoenix is still an Old West town at heart. A trip to Phoenix just isn't quite complete if you don't indulge in a little bit of Western fun. Take a horseback riding tour or visit Rawhide, the old west theme park where a mechanical bull ride is just one part of the fun.

If you want to return to a more cultured Phoenix, you'll find that the arts and theatre offerings in this city and numerous and varied. Q Speak Theatre is a gay teen's theatre company which provides entertainment in shows for all ages. The Actor's Theatre and Stray Cat Theatre provide more adult entertainment, and there are also numerous other theatre spaces and art galleries where creativity thrives. The historic downtown area of Phoenix is the place to find this, and all of the other, action in the city.


Dining in Gay Friendly Phoenix

All of this sun-filled fun is guaranteed to make you hungry. Western and Southwestern food is the way to go, with the flavors of Mexico making the short trek from the border to the restaurants of Phoenix in enough time to retain all of their spicy flavor. Z Tejas Southwestern Grille is a favorite pick for those people staying or playing in the Scottsdale area. Arriba Mexican Grill is a good gay-friendly choice for staying in the city.

If you get tired of the Western and Southwestern feel of the Phoenix restaurant scene, try out Burger Betty's. The theme at this gay-owned and gay-operated Phoenix restaurant is, interestingly enough, an Australian theme. Other than its appreciation of the down under, this Phoenix restaurant appreciates good fun, showing locals and out-of-towners the best of Phoenix food and entertainment in their multi-room establishment.

Travelers who are looking for the phoenix of romance to rise out of their vacation have upscale dining options all over the city to help create the right mood. Sophie's French Bistro, Sea Saw sushi restaurant and Tarbell's are all excellent date spots. For Italian food, go to Pasta Brioni in Scottsdale; even if your date falters, the hot straight-out-of-Italy staff here will keep you happy that you're in the land of the sun.

For a complete list of our favorite gay friendly restaurants in Phoenix, click on the "Restaurants Tab" on the City Directory found on the left side of this page.

Phoenix is a city which is off the radar of gay travel destinations, a quality which just might make it a perfect place to visit. Its off-the-beaten-path character means that it is not overflowing with voyeur tourists interested in seeing the gay lifestyle first hand. However, it is a large and growing city with an open-minded attitude which means that it has a thriving gay scene that takes a "fun in the sun" approach to enjoying every day.

Apollo's

5749 N. 7th Street - Phoenix, AZ - 602-277-9373

This Phoenix Gay Bar has something for everyone! Great happy hour specials and different events every night of the week including Karaoke night, a night featuring Live Music acts- and Sundays feature The Greek God review with sexy strippers!
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Taylor's Tavern

15615 N. Cave Creek Road - Phoenix, AZ - 602-867-2463

Neighborhood bar with a jukebox and friendly staff. Karaoke, Pool tables - and low key vibe.
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Rainbow Cactus

15615 N. Cave Creek Road - Phoenix, AZ - 602-971-1086

Formerly Taylor's Tavern - Rainbow Cactus is a friendly neighborhood bar featuring pool tables, dart boards and a juke box.
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Oz Phoenix

1804 W Bethany Home Road - Phoenix, AZ - 602-242-5114

There ain't no Dorothy here - Oz is a low key neighborhood bar in Central Phoenix.
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Reader Reviews
Bars / Nightlife

Charlie's


Charlie's is one of the hot spots in Phoenix. The sexy bartenders in their cowboy hats and country charm serve as great eye candy for the night. The dance floor typically gets happening around 10:30... more
By: Adam on January 16, 2010

Charlie's


This place seems to be the only place left to go in Phoenix these days. Good crowds, hot bartenders. I was there twice last week - Wednesday was dead (although there was a drag show) and Friday was... more
By: Steveo on October 8, 2011

Powerhouse II


Hello, Everybody, if you love shopping, Do you like luxury, like Welcome to our site: Adidas Schuhe
By: Nike Free Run on August 27, 2012

Roscoe's on 7th


Phoenix has two bars that are must do's - and Roscoe's is the second. There is always something going on here, the crowd is warm and the guys on staff are cool.
By: Adam on January 16, 2010
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