Tucson

Scottsdale has the glitz, Phoenix brings the party, but Tucson? Its relaxed, hospitable nature and progressive culture makes it the cool, laid-back sibling of these three Arizona cities. Its handful of queer bars and clubs and many LGBT-owned businesses, social clubs, political organizations, youth groups, and places of worship—despite socially conservative roots—are living testaments to the live-and-let-live attitude residents and visitors find so charming. But that’s not to say that the gay community isn’t kept busy! Tucson was the first municipality in the state to enact a domestic partner registry law, and their pride organization is one of the oldest ones in the entire country, lending confidence to the numerous openly gay elected and appointed public officials that lead the city.

Raise a glass to these milestones at venues like It’s ‘Bout Time (IBT), a bar, dance club, and drag show stage, on the weekends in the Fourth Avenue Shopping District. This lively neighborhood between Downtown Tucson and the University of Arizona plays host to plenty of other options for kicking back in any style, as well, from buzzy restaurants and coffeehouses to indie boutiques and vintage shops. Of course, don’t forget the art Arizona is so famous for; galleries are everywhere, from trendy to historic neighborhoods. For performance art, check out the Reveille Men’s Chorus, a 20-year-old community of gay men “changing lives through music.”

You can go a little smaller scale and simply change your own life, though, with a shift in perspective. Uncover another facet of Tucson with a tour of its miniature “wine country,” eating along the 23 miles of outstanding Mexican food, or working it off spelunking in the desert mountains. Or, do what’s typical: relax at one of the many luxurious resorts and spas, and just live…and let live, as they do.

Good to Know

  • Lively and actively expanding gay scene
  • Generally inclusive
  • Gay marriage legal since January 2015

Featured Resorts:

The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa

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The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa, nestled in the foot- hills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, offers four signature products and services all at one location. A golf course with 27 challenging holes, an Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa, a variety of restaurants, and the exclusive Heavenly bed found only at Westin Hotels and Resorts. Located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, the resort offers a variety of outdoor activities, on property and in surrounding areas, including gol ...

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