It’s just another tree-hugging, book reading, coffee drinking, music listening, ice cream eating, sidewalk strolling, gay-friendly, lesbian-welcoming, transgender-celebrating day in paradise… so come join us!
It’s what we’re known for. Western Massachusetts is simply a place where inhibitions melt away. Gay, straight, lesbian, bi, transgender, queer – here, every day is an example of what’s possible when the members of a community accept one another. And some days we even celebrate it in style!
This is a place that puts you at ease unlike anywhere else. This is the laid-back, gay and lesbian-friendly life you always knew was possible. Maybe one day, every small town will be this welcoming. Until then, we invite you to spend a few days experiencing Hampshire County.
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Boston is the capital of the first state to allow gay marriage in America! The main gay areas of Boston are centered around the neighborhoods of the South End and Jamaica Plains. Since the 1980’s the gays have been gentrifying these areas and opening up shops and restaurants. You will find plenty of gay bars and clubs along Columbus Avenue and Tremont Street.
Gay Boston is absolutely drenched with history, as many of early-America’s important events took place in and around the area including the Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, and the Battle of Bunker Hill. Make time to check out 50-acre Boston Common—the country’s oldest city park. It has hosted a range of idiosyncratic historic events such as a speech by Martin Luther King Jr., public hangings in the 1800s, and even British soldiers camped there during the American Revolution. It’s also the starting location of the Freedom Trail which will take you around the city to even more historic locations. Boston is lousy with history; just try to appreciate it.
It’s also a thriving hotbed of intellectualism. There are several fantastic museums in the city and of course, Harvard University and MIT are both in Boston’s backyard as well as other institutions of higher learning such as Boston University. Try to avoid sticking out as the dullest crayon in the box by calling anyone “wicked smaht” while you’re there though as Bostonians aren’t well-known for being the friendliest of people.
Boston’s pleasant to visit any time of the year, but winter is probably not for the faint of heart. Summer is gaytravel.com's favorite season; don't forget Boston Gay Pride held in June!
This New England city attracts both men and women, and the gay scene is largely visible. The gay bars and clubs are scattered around the city, but the South End is the gay scene’s true home.
The Scene for Gays in Boston
One of America’s most politically liberal cities, Boston has a very visible gay population. There are gay bars and clubs scattered around the city, but they are concentrated in the neighborhoods of South End and Jamaica Plain. While the lesbians tend to hang around Jamaica Plain, or even Cambridge, there’s no obvious visible division between the neighborhoods that lesbians or gays hang out in to worry about it.
Dancing the Night Away
You don’t need us to tell you that Boston has an incredible restaurant scene. There are gay-friendly and gay-owned restaurants all over.
UnderbarSometimes you need to go out and just dance before the drama of the week begins. There aren’t a ton of options for gay nightlife in the Boston area. Located directly below Caprice Restaurant and Lounge Underbar has a gay night on Sundays. This isn’t unusual for most clubs and bars in the Boston area to have one night dedicated to gay life. Underbar sets itself apart from the rest because it’s a true night club with as little drama as possible. There is always a short performance usually drag and then it’s dancing nonstop. Although the area is small with two bars, one dance floor, and a coat check it’s one of the most chic nightclubs in the area. Beautifully decorated from floor to ceiling even the bathroom looks better than an apartment designed by Ikea. The dance floor is small, but if you need to rest or want to embarrass your friend by giving them a hilarious lapdance the double sided couch is center of the room. Tired of dancing, sit down in the blush setting along the wall. It feels like you’re in the finished basement of a house…which is a great thing. Whether you have the entire week off or just Monday stop by Underbar. Well I guess you could stop by even if you work on Monday. Just be sure to leave to give yourself enough time to sleep. I don’t want to be responsible for you dragging yourself in the A.M!
Paradise CambridgeWant to have “balls to the walls” fun? Head to Paradise Cambridge. Not to be confused with Paradise Rock Club! :) Paradise Cambridge is host to Boston’s only Gay Club featuring male dancers. Ever seen the US Version of “Queer As Folk?” Picture that on multilevels. You walk in to the standard ticket taking and wristbands into either the bathroom, the “dance room” where sexy men dance on stage with adult films playing overhead, or go downstairs to the dance club spinning the latest beats for Top 40, House, Trance, & Techno. Paradise Cambridge isn’t meant to be serious or cater to anything but a memorable night and maybe a gaze at a fantasy guy or six.
209/Club CafeOne of Boston’s most visible hidden treasure located in the South End district, it remains a stable in the gay nightlife for over 25 years. In addition to the bustling music with a number of guest dj’s in the past it sets itself apart as being the one place gay men can not only enjoy the nightlife at, but get there early and the front part of the bar called 209 can serve you a great meal. It’s Bistro and Dinner menus won Open Table’s Diner’s Choice for 2012. Having been a patron since 2005 I’ve seen it evolve from traditional gay bar to a full night out on the town to what it has become: a local hang out. Renovated in 2010 209’s warm colored walls and art-deco style seating is set off by the elegant Piano Bar. The Napoleon room features the privacy to host your birthday party, anniversary party, or even business meeting. To ensure your utmost enjoyable experience either one of the owners or the Assistant Manager is the host. The Servers/Bartenders are warm, friendly, and personable. They genuinely smile and talk to you as if you’re a friend coming over to their home for dinner. Menus change seasonally. Not only was my birthday hosted there and my best friend’s 30th but to celebrate my first month moving to Boston my roommate and I dined on 4 Jumbo Pan Seared Scallops, riscotto, and asparagus. They recently introduced a 2-4-1 special where from dinner time till 10pm Sunday-Thursday you can buy one meal and for equal or lesser value get a second free. On top of that they have an All-You-Can-Eat Sunday Brunch to end the weekend with your friends in the true gay version of “Sex and the City.” Another added feature they introduced is the Club Member Yellow card. For a nominal cost The VIP Annual Membership associated with this card include such benefits as: Free Admission on Club Nights & New Year’s Eve, Head of the line privileges (a separate line for Club Members), Reduced coat check price, and a 20% discount on food purchases, for you and up to 3 additional guests in your party. Tired yet? Well it doesn’t stop there. They are open 7 days a week. Their normal nights of Friday & Saturday host the Club Cafe nightlife, but also they have Wednesday Karaoke. They also host drag performances, stage performances, and have been host to some celebrities such as contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race. And there have been times I’ve turned around to bump into Tyler Duckworth from MTV’s Real World. You just never know what celebrity will pop in! Visit Club Cafe I promise it will be the first of many times you stop by.
Eating and Drinking in Boston Gay StyleBoston has a lively gay nightlife with plenty of gay bars and nightclubs. Boston has multiple colleges in and around the city so the scene can get wild if it needs to.
You’ll find local gay bars and restaurants along Columbus Avenue and Tremont Street. Boston is famously compact and walkable too, but there are taxi services available to avoid those chilly walks home. Club Café is a popular video bar in the South End, as well as Roxy, and The Eagle.