When you’re deciding where to go on a honeymoon, it’s important to think about how busy you want to be. If you’re looking at urban honeymoon destinations and want an action-packed adventure, we recommend American cities like New York, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Chicago, and Washington DC. These cities have tons of LGBTQ-friendly and couple-centric activities, no matter what you’re interested in. Whether you’re looking for a food-fueled getaway or yearn to wander the best museums, here are our picks for the top cities for urban honeymoons.
New York City
New York has a reputation as one of America’s busiest cities, but there are plenty of romantic things to do during a honeymoon in the city that never sleeps. Take a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge and enjoy sweeping views of downtown Manhattan, or the cheap tram ride to Roosevelt Island for views of Midtown. Splurge for the ultimate couples experience and take a horse-drawn carriage ride around Central Park…so corny, but so quintessential.
There are plenty of touristy things to do in New York, like visiting the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and Ellis Island, but if you’re looking to get off the beaten path, check out the city’s even more liberal neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens. Visit the Brooklyn Museum in Park Slope, or MoMa PS1 in Astoria. If you want to stay in Manhattan, check out some of the island’s most quintessential “gay bars,” from Cubbyhole and The Stonewall Inn in the West Village to Barracuda in Chelsea.
NYC is also one of the country’s most food-centric cities, so take the opportunity to dine at some of New York’s most prolific restaurants. Make a reservation at Blanca, the upscale eatery at Roberta’s in LGBTQ
-friendly Bushwick, and enjoy a New American tasting menu featuring courses from caviar to cavatappi. Want something more casual? Grab a table at Roberta’s and order some creative Neapolitan-style pizzas.
Las Vegas has an irrefutable reputation as America’s party city, so if you’re spending your honeymoon there, you might as well embrace it! Dance and drink the night away at LGBTQ hot spots like Bastille, The Tropicana, The Garage, and Bastille on 3rd. Enjoy pure Vegas opulence at one of the Cirque du Soleil performances, or get a taste of Broadway at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, a new state of the art theater right downtown. Take advantage of all the celebrity chef-owned restaurants in Vegas (hi, Giada!) and reserve a table at Joel Robuchon, Cafe 6, or Payard Patisserie for an unforgettable dining experience.
Vegas is, of course, famous for its casinos, so make sure you check out some of the city’s luxurious offerings, like The Venetian, MGM Grand, and the Bellagio. Take a trip to the top of the Stratosphere Tower, the tallest observation tower in America. And even though you’re on your honeymoon, you should definitely check out the Little White Wedding Chapel. It’s a great place to take a cute couple photo…or even renew your vows!
Louisiana may be a culturally conservative state, but New Orleans has a long history of inclusion and all-around fun times. The French Quarter is one of NOLA’s most gay-friendly neighborhoods. The gay bars on Bourbon Street are always kicking, especially Bourbon Pub & Parade. Looking for a hot dance floor? Check out Oz, but get there before 11 so you don’t have to pay a cover. If you’re looking for more low-key nightlife, check out Big Daddy’s Bar or Country Club. Magazine Street, the Warehouse District, and Uptown are other areas of the city with large LGBTQ populations.
New Orleans is famous for a lot of things, especially the beignets at Cafe du Monde. Stop in for and relax at a table, or take your NOLA-style doughnuts to go. Carousel Bar is another visitor favorite, and is a romantic place to grab a cocktail or start your night. The next morning, visit Mister Gregory’s for brunch—this beloved eatery is gay-owned and operated, and delicious.
And most importantly of all…let the good times roll!
Get there before 11 so you don’t have to pay a cover.
When it comes to LGBTQ-friendly neighborhoods in Chicago, Boystown is our first recommendation. This neighborhood is in East Lakeview, and is home to trendy restaurants, hip nightclubs, and eccentric boutique shopping. Visit Little Jim’s, which is regarded as Chicago’s first gay bar, and drink in the turquoise decor. Uptown, Edgewater, Andersonville, and Rogers Park are other LGBTQ-friendly neighborhoods full of independent shops and amazing eateries.
Aside from the nightlife, there’s so much to do in Chicago during your honeymoon. Walk along the Chicago Lakefront Trail, or drink in the city’s architectural beauty on a river cruise. Wander through Chicago’s Botanic Garden, and get a laugh at Second City, one of the best comedy troupes in the world. For a more exclusive, private experience, take a helicopter tour of beautiful Chicago during the day or at night. Either way, you’ll get a romantic trip for just the two of you.
There’s plenty to see in our nation’s capital, whether you’re interested in visiting the Smithsonian Museums or checking out political icons like the Supreme Court or the White House. Make room on your itinerary for a walk down 17th Street NW, an LGBTQ neighborhood in Dupont Circle that’s brimming with pride from its rainbow-colored crosswalks to plethora of gay bars. Also, make sure you check out Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe, a longtime neighborhood favorite bookstore with a large LGBTQ section.
Get a view of DC and enjoy the rooftop vibe at the LBGTQ-friendly Embassy Row Hotel, a member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. The bar stays open late on Friday and Saturday nights, and serves up all kinds of cocktails and snacks. Take in a show at The Kennedy Center, or watch something edgier at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company or Atlas Performing Arts Center.