Welcome to Gay and Lesbian Philadelphia
Philadelphia continues to come out as one of the nation’s top gay-friendly travel destinations. The region has become the place to learn about America’s past by day and to experience a little of the party life by night. Here, visitors will find all the ingredients for a fabulous visit: a hot restaurant scene, great shopping and rich cultural attractions and historic sites, as well as lively bars, clubs in a nine-block “Gayborhood,” where the street signs are marked with rainbow flags.
Planning a Meeting
The City of Brotherly Love (and Sisterly Affection) welcomes the GLBT community for conventions & meetings.
Also, Philadelphia features state-of-the-art meeting facilities, an expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center opening in 2011, and award-winning customer service from the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau.
If you are interested in having your meeting in Philadelphia, contact:
National Accounts Manager
Pennsylvania Convention & Visitors Bureau
Our world-class sales team is ready to help! From finding the perfect facility for your event to sending out leads to hotels to help designate your room block – we are here for you.
Click here for a visitor map of Philadelphia
- The Pennsylvania Convention Center is easily accessible to I-676 that links to I-95, I-76, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike
- 2 subway lines located underneath the Center
- 7 Regional Rail Lines that connect directly to the Center
- 8 SEPTA bus routes providing direct service to the Center
- 15 SEPTA bus routes within walking distance
- Plus, direct train service to Philadelphia International Airport and Amtrak’s 30th Street Station
Arts, Culture and History:
History buffs, art aficionados and culture mavens, be warned: The Philadelphia region is a cultural paradise. Famous for its preeminent role in the founding of the country, the city is the ultimate history classroom. Within the recently redeveloped Independence National Historical Park stands Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed and the U.S. Constitution was ratified. Independence Hall was also the site of some of the nation’s first gay rights demonstrations, held here for four years beginning in 1965. An official state historic marker––the first in the nation to mark a GLBT historical event––commemorates the landmark protests.
Just across the street is the Liberty Bell Center, which provides a more contemplative experience than ever before for this venerable symbol of freedom. Anchoring the northern end of Independence Mall is the National Constitution Center, a major museum celebrating the U.S. Constitution, including its impact on the rights of gays and lesbians.
For art lovers, there’s no better place to begin than the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where an impressive array of Renaissance, American, Impressionist and modern art lives. The museum’s recently unveiled Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building offers a stunning, new home for its costume, textile, contemporary design and photography collections. Nearby is the Rodin Museum, home to the largest collection of Rodin sculptures outside of France. The Philadelphia Art Alliance on Rittenhouse Square frequently showcases gay and contemporary artists, while the Rosenbach Museum and Library houses the original manuscripts of James Joyce’s Ulysses and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, as well as letters between lesbian writer Mercedes de Acosta and Hollywood legend Greta Garbo.
Cultural experiences can extend well into the evening along the Avenue of the Arts, where exciting performances range from opera to world music and from Broadway to local theater at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Academy of Music, Wilma Theater, Prince Music Theater, Suzanne Roberts Theatre and other venues. There is also a new American Jewish History Museum.
While in town, a soft pretzel with mustard and a famous Philly cheesesteak are musts, but visitors should realize that there is a vast world of culinary options beyond Philly’s favorite comfort foods. In Washington Square West, affectionately known as Wash West, Knock features an American menu with global touches and a lively bar scene; Mixto serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner Latino-style; More Than Just Ice Cream lives up to its name with yummy burgers, salads and sandwiches; lesbian-owned, bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) establishment Lolita wows crowds with its nuevo Mexican focus; Bindhi spices the palate with a new twist on Indian; Raw presents sushi in an uber stylish setting; Valanni tempts the taste buds with creative Mediterranean fare; and its sister restaurant Mercato provides a market-driven take on Italian cuisine. For lighter fare, two wine bars, Tria and Vintage pair unusual wines by the bottle or glass with artisanal cheese plates, salads, pressed sandwiches and other snacks. The star of the city’s dining scene is restaurateur Stephen Starr, owner of 12 trendy eateries. Options among his empire include the Mexican El Vez; the comfort food of Jones; the pan Asian Buddakan; French bistro Parc; and the dramatic, Havana-inspired Alma de Cuba.
Most of the city’s gay and lesbian bars and clubs are conveniently located in the “Gayborhood,” which runs from 10th to Broad Streets and from Chestnut to Pine Streets. Best known are the always-packed Woody’s, which has several bars and a pulsating dance floor; Tavern on Camac, which offers a fine-dining restaurant, piano bar and disco lounge; Q, an after-hours club where the dancing continues well after 2:00 a.m.; Voyeur, a luxe-lounge and restaurant; and Sisters, a bar-restaurant-dance club mostly for women. New to the scene is Stir, which attracts an eclectic mix of gay men and women.
Wash West fittingly offers a shopper’s paradise known as Midtown Village, featuring boutiques for men and women, handmade soaps and bath products at Open House, housewares, furniture, and mouthwatering gelato. There is plenty more shopping abound, with traditional outlets on Antique Row to a new generation of stores selling more contemporary items along the same stretch. Also in the neighborhood is the 30-year-old Giovanni’s Room, one of the nation’s oldest gay and lesbian bookstores. Best of all, there’s no sales tax on clothing in Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus
The Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus possesses a desire to position Philadelphia and the Countryside into a top destination by gay and lesbian travelers. Open to anyone, both gay and straight, the primary purpose of the Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus is to bring together a group of people who are willing to share resources to collaborate on promoting Philadelphia as a gay-friendly destination. Learn more about the Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus by clicking here.
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