Welcome to Gay and Lesbian Phoenix
Greater Phoenix offers a wealth of leisure activities and opportunities celebrating its diversity. With an active and flourishing GLBT community, the fifth largest city in the US affords great experiences to visitors and residents alike. GLBT business and entertainment can be found throughout the Greater Phoenix metro area.
Nationally-recognized GLBT events include Phoenix Pride, Rainbows Festival, the Roadrunner Regional Rodeo and the Cactus Cities Softball League annual tournament.
According to the largest tourism survey ever conducted in the gay and lesbian market, Greater Phoenix can expect a 79 percent increase in gay and lesbian visitors in the coming year. Greater Phoenix’s surge was the second highest among U.S. cities, and it indicates that recent marketing outreach to the gay and lesbian community by Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale is working.
The Greater Phoenix CVB began actively courting the gay and lesbian market four years ago. Working closely with the city’s Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the CVB created advertisement campaigns for Passport magazine (America’s leading gay and lesbian travel magazine) and sent representatives to both the National Lesbian Gay Journalist Association Conference in San Francisco, the Community Marketing International Conference on Gay & Lesbian Tourism, and the International GLBT Leadership Conference in Washington, DC.
The leisure dollars of gay and lesbian travelers can buy a lot in Greater Phoenix. The region is home to three resorts that have earned the American Automobile Association’s highest rating of Five Diamonds (plus nine more worthy of Four Diamonds), and it boasts more than 200 golf courses and more than 400,000 sq. feet of spas. Chefs in Phoenix are consistently cited among America’s best by magazines such as Wine Spectator and Food and Wine, and the city is one of only 13 in the country that fields teams in all four major pro sports leagues.
There are scores of places where you can meet and mingle with locals and fellow rainbow travelers-Country/Western bars, Latino bars, and, yes, even sports bars vie with trendy luxe places that can hold their own with any of the world’s chicest lounges. And perhaps the most enjoyable facet of your Phoenix visit will be the nice and friendly people you will meet along the way. When Phoenicians say “have a nice day” they really mean it.
And, what may be a surprise to some, Phoenix is a year-round destination – each season bringing its own set of alluring charms. When the desert blooms in the spring, countless artists and photographers from around the world flock to Phoenix to try to capture this incredible beauty.
Summer also has its advantages. After all it IS a dry heat. So slather on some moisturizer and enjoy Phoenix at a fraction of what you’d expect to pay during the pricier winter months. And cooler air is just a quick drive away, up into the mountains to the north.
A fall driving trip up through Sedona and Flagstaff to visit the Grand Canyon is unequaled by just about anything you can imagine. And, of course, the holidays in Phoenix and the winter months are THE time to get away from it all and enjoy the warm weather and the warm hospitality unique to this corner of the world.
Hotels and Resorts
The Arizona Biltmore Resort is a classic Frank Lloyd Wright inspired property with more pools than you can imagine. The hip new W Hotel is pulsating and eclectic. More mainstream accommodations are found in the swank suburb of Scottsdale. The Hilton Garden Inn (7324 E Indian School Rd, Scottsdale, 480/481-0400, $89+) offers business-friendly amenities in the event you can’t escape your life back in the city and their Golf Amenity #18 promotion makes them a must for gay golfers: A Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday night stay at any Hilton Garden Inn gets you two free greens fees at over 325 golf courses across the U.S. and Canada. Vouchers are valid through October and you can use them wherever you travel, but with over 200 links in the area and a consistent rating among the top golfing destinations in the country, packing your plaid pants before you jet off to Phoenix isn’t a bad idea.
A steady influx of traveling Californians keeps Phoenix’s gay nightlife vibrant in the city’s 30 gay and lesbian bars as well as the numerous mixed venues catering to a collegiate crowd. There’s always a diverse crowd of laid-back men spilling onto the sidewalk in front of at B.S. West (7125 E Fifth Ave, Scottsdale, 480/945-9025, while jocks jostle for pool tables at gay sports bar and grill Roscoe’s on 7th (4531 N Seventh St, 602-295-0833, and the trendy set lines up for up-market Martinis at Amsterdam (718 N Central Ave, 602-258-6122. For an authentic night out with the locals, check out Charlie’s (727 W Camelback Rd, 602/265-0224, which offers weekend crowds country western dancing and an 18-plus afterhours that keeps the party going long after the legal last call at 2am. There’s no central gayborhood in Phoenix, however, so be ready to rent a car or budget for taxi travel.
For munching, openly gay state senator Ken Cheuvront’s restaurant Cheuvront (1326 N Central Ave, 602/307-0022, pairs top wines with artisanal cheeses, small plates and rich deserts in a modern ethereal décor. Friday nights at AZ88 (7353 Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale, 480/994-5576, draw hip gay cocktailers for inexpensive sandwiches and flirty fun.
As for cultural attractions, the Heard Museum (2301 N Central Ave, 602/252-8848, holds an internationally acclaimed collection of Native American art, while Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter studio, school and laboratory Taliesin West (12621 N Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, Scottsdale, 480/860-2700, is a must see for architectural aficionados. If you’re looking for gorgeous vistas-especially at sunset-Camelback Mountain and Echo Canyon are local hiking favorites as well as the Desert Botanical Garden (1201 N Galvin Pkwy, 480/941-1225, and its large collection prickly cacti. Just remember to slather on the sunscreen, bring plenty of water and-not matter what the thermometer says-keep repeating the mantra: “It’s only a dry heat!”
It’s easy to find yourself a little more relaxed in Greater Phoenix. Start your day at the spa by soaking up a little Arizona sunshine. Speaking of…did you know that we have more than 325 days of annual sunshine which means you can count on exceptional weather during your visit. Continue pampering yourself as you refresh in a crystal-clear pool. The spa therapists, estheticians and other personal-care professionals who staff our spas will look after the rest.
Greater Phoenix is home to more than 200 golf courses. Target golf and lush oasis courses as well as those that provide a mix of both, are readily accessible. With so many exceptional courses to choose from, you’ll always find a tee time that matches your style and budget here. Find out yourself why golf in the Sonoran Desert is so spectacular.
It has been said many many times before: Phoenix is Rising. And so will your spirits during and after your visit to this welcoming world-class travel destination where rainbows begin. The Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau is a proud member of the IGLTA (International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association).
For more information about visiting Greater Phoenix, please contact the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.visitphoenix.com.
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