Bar Hopping Across America: Lesbian Destinations


There are a number of ways to plan an unforgettable summer road trip and find like-minded women. A sexy, female-empowering playlist is crucial to keeping your energy flowing on a long drive. Priority one is knowing where to find the lez scene in a city—we’ve got you covered there.

A reminder about brick-and-mortar lesbian bars—support them!!! Our public spaces, operated for our community, are becoming all too rare or disappearing altogether. Let’s get behind them and keep their doors open.

San Diego to Los Angeles

Gossip Grill in San Diego has a lesbian scene at night. This bar and grill during the day becomes a dance club at sundown that includes karaoke nights, as well as the Taco Tuesdays. Additionally, campsites along the coast are virtually everywhere. Check out South Carlsbad State Beach Campground for great surfing, scuba diving, and fishing.

In Los Angeles, The Abbey Bar hosts Chapel, which is a ladies night every Wednesday that brings out the most beautiful lesbians in the city.

For a guaranteed scene, check out @DJMatriarchy and This Free Life Events. A tip for beach enthusiasts, Thornhille Broome in Malibu has first-come first-serve camping right on the beach.

San Francisco to Yosemite

One of the original lesbian spots, The Wild Side West, is a no-frills bar established in 1962 by out and proud lesbians. Qbar, a gay scene, has a ladies night on Tuesdays. El Rio is a bar run by gay women, who are hosting Fabulosa, a family-friendly campout in Yosemite in early September.

Yosemite is a four-hour drive east and has the biggest waterfall in the country. Go big and try to catch Sequoia National Park as well. It’s located a few hours drive south of Yosemite and has the largest, most majestic trees on earth.

Reno to Lake Tahoe

Reno has a small but sweet gay scene. The newest club, Squash, draws a crowd with solid female representation. Latina night is on Thursdays. From Reno, Lake Tahoe is a short drive with stunning campsites and lake-side fun. Check out the views in D.L. Bliss State Park—wow, what a name!


Kathy Jack, owner of Sue Ellen’s, the premiere lesbian bar in Dallas, with AE reporter Lily Khuu

Sue Ellen’s is one of the last lesbian bars standing.

Owner Kathy Jack has owned Sue Ellen’s since 1989 and they’ve been in their current location since 2008. “I’ve been running lesbian bars for over 25 years,” she told AfterEllen when we paid the bar a visit during Dallas Pride weekend last October. Still going strong, check it out on the weekends when the crowds fill two floors, a massive dance floor, an outdoor patio, and private lounges.

Seattle to Vancouver Canada

The Capitol Hill neighborhood is the center of gay life in Seattle. Wildrose is a thriving lesbian bar with chill, down-to-earth energy. Tuesday is Taco Night—boy, there sure are lots of those.

Vancouver, B.C, has a beautiful gay town in the West End with rainbow crosswalks. “The Drive” is rumored to be more lesbian-oriented. Check out Flygirl Productions and Lick Club for current lesbian events in the city.

New York City

NYC has some of the most well-established lesbian bars in the country. Henrietta Hudson in the West Village is a relaxed lesbian bar. It has a regular happy hour crowd and a weekend night scene. Bonus—the distress red brick and stained glass decor makes a perfect backdrop for an Instagram photo op.

The Cubbyhole opened in 1994 as a lesbian bar and is alive and electric. Smothered in fun, bizarre decor, it’s a great place to be. Happy Hour goes until 7pm Monday through Saturday. This bar is cash only.

In Brooklyn, check out the crowd at Ginger’s Bar. This place has awesome vibes with retro decor and the coolest lesbians around!

Atlanta to Nashville

My Sister’s Room is not only one of the top bars in Atlanta, it’s a two-story lesbian-owned club! It was officially voted “the best lesbian bar in Atlanta” and “the best place to meet women.” It hosts regular theme nights and comedy shows. It is also a safe haven and home to all who enter.

The Lipstick Lounge in Nashville is a lesbian bar that boasts having actual lesbian cowgirls! They have live music of course — it wouldn’t be Nashville if they didn’t. They also have karaoke every night and trivia nights on Wednesdays.

Washington D.C.

Washington, D.C. is killing it with two new establishments for gay and lesbian women opening in the last year. A League of Her Own (ALOHO) is a local lesbian scene and sports bar located in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. XX+ is located in Shaw and is a specifically a lesbian establishment owned by 33-year-old Lina Nicolai.

All right friends, drive safe and do all the fun things! If there is a thriving bar or club for lesbians that should be added to this list, feel free to add it in the comments below.

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