Essential LGBTQ-friendly places to visit in Atlanta
Atlanta has been referred to as the “Gay Capital of the South” and is well-known for its diversity, with one of the highest LGBTQ+ populations per capita in the country (12.8%, ranking third among all major cities). Atlanta has received perfect scores on the Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Index recognizing its commitment to LGBTQ+ equality in policies across the board. Such acceptance and commitment have led to Atlanta becoming a popular and vibrant vacation spot for gay travelers, as confirmed by these writers and influencers.
Check out these LGBTQ+-friendly neighborhoods, attractions and places to visit on your next trip to Atlanta.
Atlanta Pride Festival and LGBTQ Events
Plan your trip around Atlanta’s Pride Festival and Parade (canceled for 2021), one of the oldest and biggest in the nation, which draws thousands of visitors and is generally held mid-October. In addition to Pride, LGBTQ+ events such as Black Gay Pride, Out on Film and other annual events are not to be missed.
Midtown and Piedmont Park
Midtown is home to the Rainbow Crosswalk at the intersection of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue. Midtown is also home to Piedmont Park, which hosts some of the city’s most popular festivals including the Atlanta Pride Festival, Music Midtown and Atlanta Dogwood Festival.
Stay near the action at the Midtown Marriott Suites or LGBTQ-owned BCA Furnished Apartments. Go a bit more upscale at these top- (gay) rated hotels: Hotel Midtown, Loews Atlanta Hotel or Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta.
Midtown is the arts and culture center of Atlanta, home to Atlanta Botanical Garden, Woodruff Arts Center, which houses Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre Co., the Grammy Award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and High Museum of Art. Also in Midtown is the ornate Fox Theatre where you might catch a Broadway show.
Shopping and Nightlife in the Gayborhoods
Atlanta is home to many LGBTQ+ owned businesses around the city. The areas around Ansley Mall and Cheshire Bridge Road – the “ultimate gayborhoods” – are located in Midtown and are the spots for LGBTQ+ nightlife. Ansley Square shopping complex offers gay bars and shops. Grab dinner at Lazy Llama, Roxx Tavern or La Hacienda. Afterward, don’t miss The Heretic, Mixx Atlanta or the drag show at Midtown Moon. Queer women won’t want to miss the historic lesbian bar, My Sister’s Room, which offers a variety of weekly events including karaoke and Drag Brunch. While these neighborhoods offer up the heart of gay Atlanta, East Atlanta and Little Five Points are also part of Atlanta’s fabulous gay scene.
Save on Attractions with Atlanta CityPASS
Looking to catch some of the more popular sights in Atlanta? Pick yourself up an Atlanta CityPASS and save on admission tickets to top attractions like World of Coca-Cola, Georgia Aquarium and National Center for Civil and Human Rights, which are across the street from Centennial Olympic Park. Stop in the park for a snack and watch the iconic fountain as you catch your breath before heading off to visit Fernbank Museum of Natural History or Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame.
Walk the Atlanta BeltLine
Prefer to spend your time outdoors? Grab breakfast at 8ARM, adjacent to the Atlanta BeltLine, and then take a walk (or rent bicycles) to enjoy nature, admire public art and look for Tiny Doors ATL. Stop in at Ponce City Market, a shopping center and dining hall with a hip vibe and plenty to explore including drinks, brews and great food options. Don’t miss the King of Pops boozy frozen treats.
The city too busy to hate offers up plenty of LGBTQ+ entertainment and attractions year-round, including these gay events:
- Joining Hearts Main Event Fund-raiser for AIDS/ HIV support (June/July)
- Southern Fried Queer Pride Festival (June)
- Atlanta Black Pride Weekend (September)
- Out on Film LGBTQ Film Festival (September- October)
- AIDS Walk (September)
- Toy Party – One of the largest social events of the year collects toys for needy children. (December)
Need more ideas?
Out Front Theatre is an LGBTQ+ Theatre Company that focuses on the voices and experiences of the LGBTQ+ community.
LIPS Atlanta offers the ultimate in drag dining.
LGBTQ Institute is located at National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus is one of the world’s longest-running gay choruses. Its traditional concert season includes a concert at The Cathedral of St. Philip in the Buckhead neighborhood in December.
Get to know Atlanta, and discover the best things to do around the city.