Gay Vacations in Phoenix, Arizona
|Phoenix, Arizona (Babe Sarver/courtesy, Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau)|
- Use cars, not cabs. Youll need a car in Phoenix, and renting one for the day is usually less expensive than just one cab ride. Also, youll want to take road trips to Arizonas other attractions, like the Grand Canyon, north of Phoenix, and quaint Tucson's growing LGBT scene to the south.
- See Scottsdales galleries on Thursdays from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Thats when the 100-plus galleries in town fling open their doors for open houses and artist receptions during the weekly ArtWalk.
- Be aware of the golf seasons. The Phoenix area is a top-tier golf destination, with more than 200 challenging courses. Another challenge is the hot weather during summermaking for deep discounts on golf fees. Book for early tee times or late afternoon, and watch when fees go back up from November through April.
Sprawling Phoenixwhich at times feels more like L.A. than Arizonais a booming town with an exploding LGBT population. Arizona may be known as a red state, but youd never know it when visiting one of Phoenixs many crowded gay bars. And the city has a very happening lesbian scene as well. The Melrose or "M7" area, on 7th Avenue between Camelback Road and Indian School Road, is where you'll find the bulk of the city's queer nightlife, although Phoenix really doesnt have a defined gayborhood. The citys tourism board has gone after the LGBT market with gusto, and theres a choice of gay events throughout the year: Januarys AGRA Gay Rodeo (one of the better ones on the circuit), Phoenix Gay Pride celebration on the first weekend in relatively cool April, and Octobers Rainbows Festival, a gay downtown street fair.
Among the surrounding communities, Scottsdale in particular has put itself on the map as a stylish, exclusive enclavewith multimillion-dollar resorts and a Beverly Hills-level vibe. Its also an art center, and in Old Scottsdale amid the historic buildings you'll find a cluster of world-class galleries, Southwestern boutiques, Native American crafts, and western-wear stores. The impressive Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is the only museum in Arizona devoted to modern art, architecture, and design.
Outside of Scottsdale, the rest of the city is amazingly affordable, with plenty to keep you busy both outdoors and indoors. The Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, located at a 1,500-year-old Hohokam village ruin, details the areas pre-Columbian inhabitants. Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home, offers tours exploring the history and architecture of the compound. The Desert Botanical Garden showcases 50 acres of hundreds of rare, threatened, and endangered plant species from around the world, with striking wildflower and cactus sections. The Heard Museum has excellent exhibits on the art and culture of the native people of the Southwest. Phoenicians know how to make the most of their nearly year-round sunshine, and they get outdoors to hike and bike among giant saguaro cactus in Papago Park, trek through 16,000-acre South Mountain Park, and climb up the distinctive spine of Camelback Mountain, a peak that is visible throughout most of the city. Its summit affords great panoramas of the Valley of the Sun.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication