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Cubbyhole
Photograph: Courtesy Cubbyhole

10 LGBTQ+ spots to visit right now in NYC

From classic watering holes to buzzy new bars and powerful memorials, here's where to go now.

Written by
Gianfranco Lentini
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As we don our vaccine-tinted glasses and watch New York City awaken from its slumber, the question on everybody’s queer and allied lips is, What can we do now? Refraining from responding like Gia Gunn: “What you want to do is not necessarily what you’re gonna do,” we figured out the answers for you. From some of the best museums in NYC to memorials to musical Mondays, here’s your guide to ten LGBTQ+ spots in New York City that you can visit right now.

RECOMMENDED: Guide to Gay Pride NYC 2021

Ten LGBTQ+ spots to visit right now in NYC

Industry Bar
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Hell's Kitchen

The crown jewel of the bedazzled harness that is Hell's Kitchen, this discotheque has everything: two bars, nightly drag shows, and the most welcoming bar staff. If you're looking for a night out in HK, this spot's always a safe bet. Pro Tip: say hello to A.J. Álvarez, the baron of the bar.

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  • Bars
  • Sports Bars
  • West Village
  • price 1 of 4

Standing proudly today as New York City’s oldest gay bar, Julius’ is the birthplace of the Gay Rights Movement. Infamous for the Mattachine Society’s 1966 “Sip-In,” which challenged prohibitions on gay bars, this longtime institution will fill your glass as you steep in its LGBTQ+ history framed along every wall.

  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • West Village
  • price 1 of 4

True to name, Cubbyhole is a cozy haven—both indoors and outdoors in their “cubby shack”—that has served an intimate mix of locals and tourists for over three decades. One of the only three lesbian bars left in New York City, show your support by stopping by for a drink.

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  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • West Village
  • price 1 of 4

As Broadway theaters prepare for reopening, nightly cavalcades of singers and showtune admirers have returned to this staple piano bar nestled in the West Village. As they say in the theatre, “put on your Sunday clothes” and descend upon Marie’s Crisis for “a finer night you know you’ll never see.”

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  • LGBTQ+
  • West Village

A respite along the Hudson River, this monument is New York City’s first official memorial dedicated to honoring the LGBTQ community. Designed by Brooklyn artist Anthony Goicolea, nine large boulders—six of which are bisected and bonded with glass—welcome visitors to find a moment of peace within this waterfront green space.

  • Shopping
  • Bookstores
  • Lower East Side
  • price 2 of 4

Aptly named after the feminists of the Enlightenment, Bluestockings is New York City’s only queer, transgender, and sex worker cooperatively-owned bookstore, fair-trade cafe, and activist center. This is the perfect LES spot to pick up a copy of Mikki Kendall’s Hood Feminism and stay for the Queer Book Club.

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  • Attractions
  • Beaches
  • Rockaways

Perched near the eastern tip of the Rockaway peninsula, Jacob Riis Park has long held the unofficial title of New York City’s most popular LGBTQ beach since the 1940s. A refreshing change of coast from Coney Island, pack a picnic, grab a Polaroid, and venture out with your closest Judys.

  • LGBTQ+
  • East Williamsburg

There’s nothing queerer than a three-dollar bill—other than the Bushwick bar 3 Dollar Bill. Off the beaten path of Manhattan’s nightlife, the parties and live performances continue here at Brooklyn’s largest premiere queer bar and venue. A feast for your delights, prepare for an evening of drag, burlesque and earworm DJ sets.

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