Sometimes you need a break from the hustle and bustle of a big city. Summer is a great time to explore day trips from NYC that are a short drive or train ride away and still have a strong queer community.
If you’re queer in NYC, chances are you’ve at least heard of the gay communities in Fire Island. You can drive or take the train and then the ferry. Cherry Grove is the popular lesbian spot and Fire Island Pines is typically popular with gay guys. It’s a great place to party, fully be yourself, and get away from NYC for a bit.
Asbury Park in New Jersey is another great, queer day trip from New York City. It has a cute boardwalk with bars, stores, cafes, restaurants, and nightlife. Pride Weekend happens the first week of June and the beaches are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
The part of the beach between 4th and 5th Avenues is known as the queerest spot. You can relax on the beach, walk down the boardwalk, explore the art, and have a great, queer time with friends. There are car, train, bus, and ferry options to get there.
Montclair is a sweet small town destination with plenty to explore. There are queer owned coffee shops, restaurants, and bookstores. With many small shops and a nice selection of local theater, it’s easy to find things to do while in Montclair.
There’s a yearly Montclair Pride festival, Montclair Literary Festival, and more! It’s a short train ride away from Penn Station. Check out our Queer Montclair article to learn more!
Jacob Riis Beach is known as the queer beach that many people who live in NYC travel to to take a swim and have fun with other queer folks. It’s a great spot to get some sun, play, listen to music, have a picnic, and partake in other beach activities.
It’s about a 50 minute drive from Brooklyn, or an hour and 15 minute train and bus combo. People often post on Lex about Riis trips, and sometimes they have carpool options.
Philadelphia is another day trip where you can find queer community and culture. Termed a Gayborhood, the area between 11th and Broad streets and Pine and Chestnut streets are full of gay restaurants, nightlife, shops, bookstores, and even a rainbow crosswalk!
Check out Woody’s or Punch Line for some queer nightlife. Giovanni’s Room is a fantastic gay bookstore that has over 7,000 titles and has been opened since 1973. Some great LGBTQ+ owned shops include Open House and Duross & Langel. It’s a great opportunity to explore a new city with strong queer history and culture. There are busses from Port Authority to Philadelphia.