Albuquerque’s diverse and vibrant population makes the city one of the best LGBTQ vacation spots in the Southwest.
As an all-around destination for the LGBTQ+ traveler, Albuquerque celebrates diversity and acceptance. So, while some cities might have specifically LGBTQ-friendly districts, it is difficult to direct you to one neighborhood or area in Albuquerque. In any one of our unique neighborhoods—from Old Town to Nob Hill—visitors can shop, eat and experience our culture in ways that transcend a common LGBTQ visitor-guide narrative.
No matter where you go or what you choose to do in Albuquerque, you’re sure to have a great time, but we’ve compiled a list of some of the top LGBTQ-friendly things to do in ABQ.
Experience Albuquerque’s Diverse Art Scene
Albuquerque is consistently ranked as a top arts destination that celebrates artistry of all forms, from visual arts to theatrical performances and from traditional to contemporary.
Stop for a visit at the A. Hurd Gallery for the “I was Born in a Gay Bar” exhibit. In this unique exhibit, Anthony Hurd shares their abstracted views on the world as they know it. The exhibit is described as the artist “reflecting on coming out of the closet at the age of 19 and sneaking into gay bars. Having that experience of being able to be themself for the first time in their life in terms of their sexuality, but it also just broadened their personality by slowly learning who they are outside the heteronormative society.”
Image Source: A. Hurd Gallery
For more art, stop by the Albuquerque Museum, located in the heart of Old Town just off Route 66 and featuring a variety of works with broader global influences. A leading institution for art, history and culture in New Mexico and the American Southwest, this museum celebrates nearly 400 years of history in Albuquerque through both permanent installations and rotating special exhibits.
Albuquerque also has a wealth of vibrant and colorful street art. Walk around the Downtown or Nob Hill neighborhoods and you’re in for a visual treat from artists of all backgrounds and walks of life. To learn about the murals you see around town or to create your own mural walking tour, visit murosabq.org.
Albuquerque sits a mile above sea level (5,000-6,000-foot elevation) and has a high-desert climate, which means around 310 sunny days and cool, crisp evenings. Albuquerque's mountainous terrain combined with the Rio Grande valley and great weather create a paradise for lovers of the outdoors. Find inspiration for your next hike, bike ride, kayak trip, or fun day outside here.
For an extra special outdoor experience and to connect with the local community, check out the Gay Outdoors New Mexico Meetup Group. With this group, you’ll make friends, get some exercise, and enjoy the great outdoors, all at once. Learn more here.
Grab a Bite and Support an LGBTQ-Owned Business
Get a hearty meal at The Range Café. This American Southwest restaurant is a local staple, and with six locations throughout the city, you’re never far from a delicious plate of huevos rancheros or a green chile cheeseburger.
Image Source: Facebook
Try the mouthwatering sandwiches from Slow Roasted Bocadillos. You don’t want to miss this award-winning restaurant’s fresh, local meats, all slow roasted in-house.
Brought to you by the same chef that started Bocadillos, Smokin' Fred's '46 A Smokehouse is new on the scene in Albuquerque. The signature, made-from-scratch foods you’ll find here are full of New Mexico flavor and are sure to make you smile. You can feel good about supporting a restaurant that gives back to its community too.
Stay at an LGBTQ-Owned Hotel or Bed & Breakfast
Whether you’re visiting from out of town or looking for a fun staycation, these LGBTQ-owned places offer a friendly place to lay your head at night.
Book a stay at Hotel Parq Central for an ambiance of unique charm and quant luxury. This beautifully restored property offers a historic boutique getaway in Albuquerque’s downtown neighborhood.
El Cuervo ABQ guest house is a beautifully restored 1897 Queen Anne Victorian residence. A stay here offers a warm, inviting atmosphere, luxurious bedrooms with private bathrooms and delicious breakfast and treats. The guest house is centrally located within walking distance to Old Town, museums, a number of places to eat and Downtown Albuquerque.
Enjoy the Nightlife
Albuquerque's gay-friendly hot spots include Effex Nightclub, where nights are always epically fun, and Sidewinders, which has dancing, karaoke, pool, and drag and burlesque performances. Numerous local businesses are gay-owned.
Experience ABQ’s LGBTQ Events and Entertainment
There are a number of ways to celebrate Pride Month this year in Albuquerque, including ABQ Pridefest. This year's hybrid event will take place both virtually and with limited in-person seating, featuring DJs, art, and roundtables. Stay tuned for additional ticketing information.
Image Source: Facebook
The Way OUT West Film Fest is a gay and lesbian film festival that was founded in 2003. It started here in Albuquerque, and has since expanded into Santa Fe as well. Stay tuned for the details of the next edition of the festival.
The New Mexico OUT Business Alliance (NMBOA) works to build upon, promote and invest in the diverse LGBTQ business and professional community throughout New Mexico, and offers many LGBTQ-friendly and focused events throughout the year. Some of their events include First Wednesday Happy Hour (location varies), Third Wednesday Breakfast at the Range Café, a quarterly New Mexico Round Table, diversity trainings, Drag Queen Bingo, and more. See the full NMOBA calendar of events here.
If you’re in Albuquerque for Pride Month, you definitely don’t want to miss the New Mexico United Pride Watch Parties. Hosted by the New Mexico OUT Business Alliance, the electrifying watch party is a guaranteed good time, and with a small donation, includes some special United Pride SWAG. Learn more about the next event here.