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Note: All travel is subject to frequently-changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state, and local advisories before scheduling trips.

Gayborhoods cropped up more than a century ago as safe havens for LGBTQIA folks, but today they offer much more than just nightlife. They’re also a commercial center for LGBTQIA-owned businesses, embracing the phrase “love is love” to celebrate locals and visitors alike. And there’s nothing quite like staying in the heart of the action. Whether it is a posh hotel in West Hollywood or a hip roadside motel in Austin’s South Congress district, these centrally located “gayborhood” accommodations fly the rainbow flag high every day of the year.

RELATED: Visit our LGBTQIA travel hub for welcoming hotels, the ultimate queer events calendar, inspiration, and more!

Alexander Inn: Philadelphia

Opened in 1998, the 48-room Alexander Inn is Philadelphia’s only gay-owned and gay-operated boutique hotel in Philly’s official gayborhood. First opened in 1900 as the Hotel Flanders, it has been lovingly restored with stained-glass windows, elaborate oak moldings, and stylish furnishings. Cruise over to Washington Square West and soak in the LGBTQIA scene or head to buzzy 13th Street and visit one of the four restaurants and two gift shops owned by lesbian couple Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran. Many of the hotel’s rooms have bay windows overlooking Spruce Street, a perfect spot for people-watching. Specializing in highly personalized service, the Alexander Inn is an ideal stay in the City of Brotherly Love.

Book the Alexander Inn here!

 

Beck’s Motor Lodge: San Francisco

A part of the Castro District before it was even called that, iconic Beck’s Motor Lodge was established in 1958, when the area was still known as Eureka Valley. Today, it’s a proud part of the San Francisco landscape, a mix of mid-century on the outside and stylishly refurbished rooms reflecting the hotel’s character. Another cool feature are beehives on the rooftop, part of a movement among San Francisco hotels to combat the worldwide honey bee colony collapse. Located on Market Street, this affordable hotel (with parking!) is located a literal stone’s throw from bars, restaurants, and shops—including the famed intersection of 18th and Castro.

Book Beck’s Motor Lodge here!

 

Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel: Miami Beach

Recently renovated and located on Collins Avenue in the heart of South Beach’s Art Deco District, the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel is also close to the Pride Parade route. It is a proud member of the Miami Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and was the host of the Winter Party for many years. Guests have direct access to the beach here (and is within walking distance of gay-popular 12th Street Beach), as well as their pick of activities such as yoga, aqua Zumba, and salsa lessons. Inspired by the South of France, the Surfcomber’s decor is chic and playful. To really feel like a VIP, be sure to reserve one of the Vines Cabanas.

Book the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel here!

 

The Standard East Village: NYC

Standard, East Village, NYC

Sprawling across 21 floors that are accessed by first entering through its original tenement-style building, The Standard in Manhattan’s queer East Village is a welcoming boutique hotel that is both cozy and eclectic. Located within the hotel is NO BAR, a new wave gay bar that will hopefully be able to reopen soon. For now, visit Cafe Standard, which is open for outdoor dining and adjacent to a peaceful courtyard. Or, dine in a private Alpine yurt at The Winter Garden and share a pot of fondue or an order of baked beignets. Other highlights include queer bars like Phoenix, Boiler Room, and Club Cumming, plus beloved performance venue Joe’s Pub.

Book The Standard East Village here!

 

Austin Motel: Austin

Motel Austin, Texas

Part of the Bunkhouse Hotel Group’s collection of hip hotels and owned by lesbian trendsetter Liz Lambert, the Austin Motel offers a stylishly-retro take on a roadside motel in the city’s South Congress area. Near the not-so-subtly phallic Austin Motel sign is Joann’s Fine Food, which serves up Tex Mex faves like tamales with pulled pork and picadillo enchiladas. They have adopted the mantra “Y’all means all,” and nothing could be more evident than the way they treat their guests. Lounge on the spacious lido deck that overlooks a refreshing pool while you plot the evening’s adventures and don’t forget a selfie with your bae in front of the ‘grammable “I Love You So Much” mural.

Book the Austin Motel here!

 

Virgin Hotel: Las Vegas

Spend some time exploring the queer side of Sin City and it won’t be long until you come across the Fruit Loop, a cluster of LGBTQIA nightclubs, bars, and restaurants that reside along Naples Street near UNLV. Established in the 1970s, its many bars are just a stone’s throw away from the new Virgin Hotel (formerly Hard Rock Hotel), which opened March 25, 2021. Offering more than 1,500 rooms, it also boasts luxe amenities like a fully-equipped fitness center and a casino if you’re feeling lucky. There’s also top-notch cuisine such as the Southern Mediterranean fare at the Kassi Club or traditional Mexican cuisine at Casa Calavera.

Book Virgin Hotels Las Vegas here!

 

Hotel Zachary: Chicago

A boutique hotel located within walking distance of the Boystown area and in the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, Hotel Zachary was named after Zachary Taylor Davis, the visionary and architect behind the landmark ballpark Wrigley Field. So it seems only appropriate that the hotel sits across the street. Each of its 173 rooms are spacious and light-filled, exuding an artistic vibe with touches reminiscent of the ballpark itself and featuring oversized rain showers and decadent bath amenities. Enjoy a variety of on-site dining options, including Big Star tacos and Smoke Daddy barbecue. Afterward, stroll on over to North Halsted Street where more than a dozen queer bars including Sidetrack, the Progress and Scarlet await.

Book Hotel Zachary here!

 

Kimpton La Peer: West Hollywood

This upscale hotel is nestled in WeHo, and is within walking distance to a variety of star-studded establishments such as The Abbey and Gracias Madre, as well as LGBTQIA bars and shops galore, including the rainbow pedestrian crossing at San Vicente and Santa Monica. The hotel’s designers have created a stunningly beautiful aesthetic that manages to feel both bright and airy. Don’t forget to try their Butler Bubble Bath service created by Ole Herriksen Spa. You’re treated like family from the moment you check in, and it feels good to know that Kimpton Hotels donates to the Trevor Project, which advocates on behalf of LGBTQIA youth.

Book Kimpton La Peer here!

Tagged: Austin, California, Chicago, Chicago, Florida, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Midwest, New York, San Francisco, Texas

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