Gay Phoenix Metro Directory
No matter what time of year you visit Greater Phoenix, you’ll find plenty of things to see and do. More than 330 days of annual sunshine mean you can count on exceptional weather as you experience the rich diversity of our Sonoran Desert playground.
Our near-perfect weather goes hand-in-hand with exciting recreation and adventure activities, which are enjoyed year-round. Experience a wide range of tours and sightseeing excursions, whether by Jeep or hot-air balloon, on horseback, or even by boat. Of course, golf is one of the most popular outdoor activities, as Greater Phoenix provides more than 200 pristine courses.
More than three dozen luxurious resorts are scattered throughout the Valley, many of which provide spectacular spas that offer special treatments native to Arizona. Visitors also take pleasure in an exceptional dining scene, which features everything from savory steaks to exquisite Southwestern fare. Then, once you’re full, take advantage of the area’s dynamic nightlife.
Thanks to several major projects and developments in Downtown Phoenix — Copper Square, the area is brimming with energy and excitement. Arts and performances flourish throughout the metro area, and in terms of sporting events, Phoenix is a sport’s lover’s dream. Passionate shoppers will find a cornucopia of fabulous malls, unique boutiques and antique shops in which to indulge.
Upon arriving in Greater Phoenix, visitors quickly discover a few of the hallmarks that make this region a premier destination — near-perfect weather, ease of transportation and genuine hospitality.
The average high in Greater Phoenix is 85 degrees and with more than 330 days of sunshine per year, smiles are wide and spirits are high. From the moment you touch down at Sky Harbor International Airport, the outdoors beckon the adventurer in you.
Located just three miles from downtown Phoenix and less than a half an hour from most popular resorts and attractions, Sky Harbor International Airport also provides efficient service that will help make your travels seamless. Greater Phoenix is a growing metropolis that maintains a laid-back personality, where friendly people are in the majority, and where superior service is to be expected. Phoenix, which covers 514 square miles, is the sixth-largest city in the country with a population of more than 1.5 million people (Source: City of Phoenix). For more information on visiting Phoenix go to www.VisitPhoenix.com/LGBT
PHOENIX LGBT DISTRICT
Unlike some other major metropolitan areas, Phoenix does not have a central LGBT neighborhood. As Phoenix is so geographically spread out, most LGBT Phoenicians are too. However the Melrose District of Central Phoenix has a high concentration of LGBT-friendly businesses. Many bars and nightclubs are situated in this area as well. The Central Phoenix LGBT Community is in the area that stretches North from Roosevelt Street to Northern Avenue and West from 24th street to 19th Avenue. Various LGBT businesses can also be found scattered throughout the valley.
Bordering Phoenix to the east, Scottsdale has over 230,000 residents and is home to some of the finest residential living as well as recreational activities in the Valley.
Established by Army Chaplain Winfield Scott, Scottsdale has, since its beginning, been a haven for cowboys as well as the social elite. Many of the original settlers of Scottsdale, recruited by Scott from the east coast, were well-educated and had a great appreciation for cultural events.
In 1937, Frank Loyd Wright purchased 600 acres of Sonoran Desert land and built Taliesin West, his winter home and architectural firm/school’s southwestern headquarters. In the 1940’s, Scottsdale adopted the slogan, “The West’s Most Western Town”. Throughout the 1950’s greatly under the guidance of Del Webb, Scottsdale became an upscale getaway, with luxury resorts attracting movie stars and prominent public figures.
Today, Scottsdale still promotes its western heritage as made visible throughout its western-themed Old Town district. It has also become an upscale destination for shopping. Many of the world’s most recognizable luxury brands have found a home at Scottsdale Fashion Square Shopping Center. And Scottsdale remains a popular vacation destination with it many chic hotels and resorts. Scottsdale also has a thriving arts community, with over 125 art galleries, as well as museums and performing art centers. Scottsdale’s nightlife attracts people from all over with its she-she-la-la Valley hot spots.
THE EAST VALLEY COMMUNITIES-Apache Junction, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe
The East Valley cities have shared in the population growth along with Phoenix. Many who move to the East Valley count affordable housing and small town appeal along with proximity to the urban hub among their assets.
Mesa is Arizona’s third largest city and one of the fastest growing cities in the state. Historically, Arizona has been home to countless citrus groves. Mesa has found a way to incorporate many of the existing orchards into commercial and residential developments, thus preserving history and natural beauty of the area.
Tempe is home to Arizona State University as well as Mill Avenue, a main drag and Tempe’s downtown, featuring shopping, restaurants, and a lively nightlife frequented by ASU’s more than 50,000 students. ASU is also home to Gammage Auditorium, an opera house designed by Frank Loyd Wright, originally proposed for Baghdad, Iraq. It is now a multifunctional performing arts facility that hosts Off-Broadway productions as well as various other performances.
Tempe is also one of the state’s most dynamic business communities, with more than 15 percent of the state’s high-tech companies located there. Plus did we mention Tempe is one of the most LGBT friendly cities in Arizona. The Tempe Convention & Visitors Bureau has received numerous awards for its efforts in promoting Tempe as an LGBT friendly destination. Such as the 2010 Pride of Arizona Awards “Community Ally Award” and the 2011 Pride of Arizona Awards “Publisher Award”. For more information on LGBT Tempe go to www.VibrantTempe.com
WEST VALLEY COMMUNITIES- Avondale, Buckeye, Glendale, Goodyear, Peoria
The West Valley has gone through a major makeover in recent years. Agriculture has made way for residential communities that are thriving as the Valley continues to spread out. Avondale has ambitious development plans and the smaller city of Buckeye plans over 250,000 new homes in the next 20 years. Nearby Peoria is a model for the fast-growing Arizona city, with a stellar school system, affordable homes, and accessibility to rest of the Valley.
Glendale is Arizona’s fourth largest city and home to the NFL Arizona Cardinals and NHL Phoenix Coyotes. Plus, a rapidly growing financial and business hub in the Northwest Valley. Glendale is a mix of older communities and new, master-planned developments. In 2008, Glendale hosted the NFL Super Bowl XLII and will again in 2015 at the University of Phoenix Stadium.
Historic Downtown Glendale has been named by USA Today & Sunset Magazine as one of the country’s ten best places for shopping. Historic Downtown Glendale is actually two neighborhoods – Historic Catlin Court with its white picket fences and mature shade trees welcoming visitors to the bungalows-turned-specialty shops, Old Towne boasting brick-trimmed sidewalks and glowing gaslights leading the way to the famous antique stores and ethnic eateries. The neighborhoods span 10 square blocks which can easily be strolled in an afternoon. Free covered parking is available at the Palmaire Parking Structure located at 5835 W. Palmaire Ave. More information on Glendale go to www.VisitGlendale.com
Did you know Arizona has more peaks than most western mountain states, check out When in Arizona to learn more.