Washington, D.C. might be the nation’s capitol, but our country was born in The City of Brotherly Love. It’s where our forefathers declared that we’re all created equal. It’s one of the most gay-friendly cities in the entire world. Brothers and sisters, welcome to Philadelphia.
Over ten flights leave Atlanta daily for the two-hour trip to Philly. Ease down at Philadelphia International Airport and catch a cab or car service to your playground for the duration of your visit. The city is wondrously walkable so there’s no need for a rental car.
Head up I-95 while taking in the Delaware River on your right then roll onto South Broad Street for a “straight” shot into the city. You’re entering…The Gayborhood.
Fenuxe’s Philly home is at the Loew’s Philadelphia Hotel. You’ve got the finest amenities, the cleanest skyline view and you’re within walking distance of the best of gay Philadelphia. The city’s Gayborhood is not nearly as spread out as Midtown Atlanta’s.
Cue up some culture and hit Antiques Row in historic Washington Square West. The Fenuxe find is definitely Blendo, a trendy trip of a shop full of unique clothing, housewares and jewelry that’s a sin to leave empty-handed. A stop by the gay-owned shops Open House and Urban Décor will make for a new featured item for your living room back home.
If you want to know where the gays gather, head for Rittenhouse Square Park. It’s a gorgeous, green gift of a park surrounded by diverse residential architecture and high-end retail shops. Rittenhouse Square Park is much smaller than our beloved Piedmont Park, but size doesn’t matter here. The gorgeous fountain in the center, the jazz bands, the remarkable artwork for sale and the occasional dance troupe roll up into one big friendly atmosphere that’s considered the gay cultural center of Philadelphia.
When it’s time to dine, you’ve got the ultimate freedom of choice. Philadelphia has one of the best restaurant scenes in the country…outside a certain Southern city of course. If you’re still in the park, don’t miss, well…Parc. Sit on the bustling patio at this fab French restaurant but if you can’t get a table outside don’t worry—they open the windows on most summer days so you can enjoy that fresh Philly air from indoors.
There’s also a pair of grand gay dining options just two blocks from Loew’s. The best Mexican food in town is at Lolita and right across the street is an impressive Indian restaurant called Bindi—both are owned by a lesbian couple and will leave you counting down to your next visit. Like many restaurants in Philadelphia, Lolita and Bindi are part of the BYO (bring your own) culture, so make sure to stop by State Liquor Store on your way.
Philadelphia delivers when it comes to the gay nightlife scene, and your visit won’t be complete until you stop by Woody’s. This Philly fixture draws an eclectic crowd and it’s always jumping. Start at the main bar at street-level to get the lay of the land, then make your way to the second floor for the cute cocktail lounge and dancefloor.
Bars have a 2AM curfew in Philadelphia, so if you’re still on Gay Atlanta Standard Time, go one block over to Voyeur. The three-floor funhouse skirts the curfew laws by being “members only” but you can get into the massive megaclub by knowing a member, so just make friends on the way in. You’ll flashback to Backstreet.
End your phenomenal Philly visit on a high note at Independence Hall. Not only is it the spot where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were created, it’s also the site of the first LGBT rights demonstration, on the 4th of July, 1965. Four years before Stonewall, the fight had already begun in Philadelphia.
It is all too obvious how our nation’s founders got the inspiration to declare everyone has the right to life, love and the pursuit of happiness. It all started in Philadelphia, where living, loving and being happy is a given—especially if you’re gay.