Traveling to LGBT-Friendly New Jersey
If you’re looking for an edgy vibe, Jersey City is the place to see and be seen. Scoring a perfect 100 in the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Municipality Database, the city has a long history of opening its arms to diverse communities, which still shines through in lasting multicultural influences.
Where to eat: Indulge in authentic Portuguese cuisine at LGBTQ-owned Joia Restaurant in nearby Harrison.
Where to eat: Feast on South American specialties at LGBTQ-owned Miti Miti Latin Street Food in nearby South Orange (only about seven miles away).
Where to play: Flock to Club Feathers, a party club that has celebrated over 40 years as North Jersey’s number one gay and lesbian hot spot, less than 18 miles from the heart of town.
Rounding out New Jersey’s trio of HRC perfect scorers is the bucolic ivy league town of Princeton. In addition to its iconic university, this destination is a haven for history, arts and culture. During your stay, be sure to visit nearby Trenton – our state’s vibrant and inclusive capital that earned an HRC score of 95.
Where to eat: Munch on healthy plant-based fare at LGBTQ-owned Lady and The Shallot inside the Trenton Farmers Market.
Where to play: Choose from dozens of welcoming pubs and taverns in the area – including Al’s Airport Inn in nearby Ewing which hosts their LGBTQ+ (& Allies) Happy Hour on the last Wednesday of every month, along with a full calendar of live music events.
Scoring a near-perfect 98 from the HRC is Lambertville. Home to myriad antique shops, art galleries and hip local eateries, this riverside community was also named one of HGTV’s 50 Most Charming Small Towns in America.
Where to stay: With its fierce independent streak, accommodations in Lambertville lean toward intimate inns and boutique hotels, including The Inn at Lambertville Station and Lambertville House – both right in the heart of town. If you’d like to venture a little further afield for a countryside setting, try Woolverton Inn in neighboring Stockton.
Where to play: Catch a live performance at Music Mountain Theatre (MMT). The company’s vision? “MMT is recognized as the community leader in theatrical entertainment and arts education in a welcoming, inclusive environment.”
For an urban getaway that encourages getting in your daily steps, head to Hoboken. The square-mile city of trendy bars, restaurants and shops earned a respectable HRC score of 93 and has been dubbed a “Walker’s Paradise” by WalkScore.
Where to stay: The waterfront W Hoboken – another Marriott property.
Where to eat: Dine on casual breakfast and lunch fare at LGBTQ-owned Uncle Milton’s Café and Catering.
Where to play: Book yourself a wellness session at Sw3at, an LGBTQ-owned sauna studio dedicated to supporting marginalized communities and bring out your inner artist at “your tie dye party place,” Tipsy Tie Dye (also LGBTQ-owned).
Asbury Park boasts a thriving LGBTQ community, dynamic music scene and some of the best beaches in New Jersey.
Where to eat: There are LGBTQ-owned eateries aplenty in this seaside mecca, including indoor or outdoor dining at Moonstruck, quick-serve noodles as you like them from Pasta Volo and tasty lunch and breakfast bites from Chat & Nibble.
For gaming excitement, raved-about restaurants and glittering lights, Atlantic City is the one – it also plays host to the Miss’d America Pageant and countless LGBTQ-favorite headline entertainers.
Where to stay: If you want to be in the heart of the action, book a room or suite at Borgata (to help plan your stay, visit the OUT at Borgata Blog) or any of the casino resorts along the boardwalk. If the neon glare gets to be too much, you can get a good night’s sleep in nearby Ventnor City at the quaint Carisbrooke Inn.
Where to eat: This is your chance to experience a brush with fame by dining in a chic celebrity-chef restaurant, including Amada, Angeline by Michael Symon, Distrito, Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, Gordon Ramsay Steak, Guy Fieri’s Chophouse and Izakaya by Michael Schulson.
Where to play: Pack your best club wear for Kiss Kiss Nightclub at Tropicana Atlantic City and The Pool After Dark at Harrah’s Resort and be sure to throw in your favorite retro threads to groove to tunes of the 70s and 80s at Boogie Nights, also at Tropicana Atlantic City.
Wherever and whenever you choose to come stay with us, we want to be sure your experience is everything you’ve dreamed of and more, so we recommend checking out the official websites or social media pages of the accommodations and attractions you want to visit to get valuable, up-to-the-moment details. Our free travel guide and e-newsletter are also top resources for planning your fabulous trip.