Dubbed the unofficial gay capital of the South, Atlanta draws LGBT travelers looking for world-class museums, shopping, and nightlife, as well as other celebrated trappings of urban life. But gay travelers also revel the chance to unapologetically be themselves in a region of America that hasn’t always been accepting and welcoming.
This city is a breeding ground for some of queer culture’s most influential activists and artists. It annually hosts one of the oldest and largest pride festivals in the United States, plus the country’s largest black gay pride festival. In short, going out here is an insanely good time. For proof of that, look no further than any of the LGBTQ bars below — the best Atlanta has to offer.
Among gay bars in Atlanta, this one is a must-visit. There are two guarantees: Everyone is accepted and you’re bound to have a good time. Make friends on the huge dance floor, play some billiards, speak with a classic psychic, or enjoy a poker game with famous Atlanta drag queens.
Entering this famed Peachtree hotspot immediately places you amid inexpensive, yet highly potent, cocktails, the latest chart-topping urban hits, pool tables, and a patio for reprieve if your engagement gets a little too hot. And, because bragging rights mean everything in the Hollywood of the South, Bulldogs prides itself as not only being the “Original Atlanta Black Gay Pride Party Spot” (it opened in the late ’70s), but also one of the best gay bars in the nation.
Blake’s on the Park
Atlanta’s quintessential gay bar is as much a bar as it is a club. The drinks are like stiff backhands to the face, but you may need them if you hope to conquer the dance floor, where sweat and swagger run amok. Remix music videos of Lana Del Rey and Rihanna blast overhead, and the drag shows get going at 11 p.m. every Thursday and Friday (8:30 p.m. on Sunday). 227 10th Street, 404-892-5786
Self-proclaimed the only gay-owned-and-operated male strip club in the Southeast, Swinging Richards in seediest Westside certainly has made a name for itself with its fully nude shows.
10th & Piedmont
At the intersection of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta’s Rainbow Crosswalks isn’t the only attraction. 10th and Piedmont is a spirited community-servicing restaurant that flaunts a vast menu including everything from classic Southern staples to seafood and vegan items. But when the clock strikes 6pm, the eatery and its adjoining brother location, G’s Midtown, becomes the perfect setting for a weekly social set full with countless cocktails, karaoke, and of course, gorgeous people.
A sizzling dance floor and epic jams are all the rage at Mixx Atlanta, as are friendly bartenders. This is a top spot for getting a taste of the local crowd and dancing late into the night.
Though the idea of playing sports satisfies a certain level of bravado, the perfect alternative to dodging bodily harm and working up a non-flattering sweat is watching the gamut of games and matches with perfectly chilled cocktails and bar fare at Woofs, Atlanta’s only gay sports bar. Show your team spirit, in comfort, as dozens of televisions showcase gladiator-style battles and animalistic instinct from wall-to-wall.
Tripps has karaoke on Mondays, Bingo night on Wednesdays, live music, shows, etc.
Things get heated up on the weekend as Tripps hosts “Skin” party (Friday and/or Saturday) featuring shirtless dancers and shows (no cover charge). Check out their Facebook for event agenda.
Open 7 days a week.
Sometimes the perfect watering hole isn’t about bells and whistles, but about perfect pours, people, and a hell of a party — enter East Atlanta’s grand dame, Mary’s. Heavy-handed bartenders, show-stealing hosts, and unapologetically happy patrons all rule this world, providing unpredictable, yet perfectly played parties in the heart of East Atlanta. Come for the karaoke and leave with… well, that’s up to you.
It is a great neighborhood bar that is always friendly and welcoming to visitors. Known for conversation and cocktails — and the bartenders know how to pour a drink!
In terms of sheer variety, Atlanta has long ruled the Southeast in gay nightlife. If you’re planning on meeting hot guys this weekend around the ATL, make sure to download our favorite gay dating apps like Jack’d, Gay Dating Solutions and Surge. Or try newer premier gay dating sites like My Gay Match.
My Gay Match is a new gay dating site that focuses on matching gay men not only on demographic information but a unique personality measure developed by a psychologist. All members are personally confirmed and carefully screened by their staff to prove that they are real. If you’re looking to find a warm and meaningful connection with interesting and caring singles this is the site for you. The gay dating website is currently offering a free 30-day trial.
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