Gay Vancouver: Travel Guide to Vancouver Gay Bars, Gay Clubs & Top Attractions

Gay Vancouver

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Hey travel queens! Are you looking for the inside scoop on Gay Vancouver? Well, this gay travel guide to Vancouver has got you covered! From Vancouver’s gay bars, gay clubs and all things rainbows, Out With Ryan has you covered gurl!

Vancouver is definitely on my top 5 most Gay-friendly cities in Canada. With a wide range of gay events, gay bars, and gay clubs, the city is made to quench your thirst… it also rains a lot and when it does, it’s usually raining men. Whether you are an extrovert or introvert, Vancouver is a must for you travel queens.

This city is a popular destination for gay tourists year-round and has a thriving LGBT nightlife. I’ve spent many nights in Vancouver since two of my best friends live there; one gay, one straight. I’ve experienced Vancouver from the locals’ perspective for over 3 years and very excited to share my Travel Guide to Gay Vancouver!

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Gay Travel Vancouver 
Also Read: 150 Reasons You Should Visit Canada

Gay Bars & Gay Clubs in Vancouver

Vancouver gay bars and gay clubs are located in the gay village, which is mostly based on a section of Davie Street in the West End. The Gay district of Vancouver is filled with rainbow crosswalks and many gay bars, clubs, and shops!

Top Gay Bars & Gay Clubs in Vancouver:

  • Junction – my personal fave! This is my go-to spot for drag queen shows and they play amazing music to dance! Junction is like a typical gay club with iconic music to dance too. It’s also the #1 gay club that I take my gays and straight girls for a great night out on the town.
  • Pumpjack – known as the “daddy” bar, Pumpjack is great for gays looking to meet local gays. They also have a shower, where guys go in and shower in underwear, so worth a visit if you’re thirsty.
  • Celebrities – If you’re looking to mix with gay and straight locals, Celebrities is a great pick that my straight friends love. It has a big dance floor, nice bar and plays typical club music that every basic will love.
  • Numbers – I’ve never been, but it’s another gay option! There’s a karaoke room upstairs as well as a pool table. The main floor has a dance floor and bar, and downstairs has a bar too.
  • The Fountainhead Pub – The local Gay pub! If you’re into pub culture or prefer to start the afternoon/night with a drink, you might want to stop by the local gay pub!

Regardless which gay bar and club you go to #bear in mind the following standard closing times for venues in Vancouver:

Gay night venues are usually open until 3-4am on a busy night, but “Last Call” for alcohol is around 2:45am most places. Bars can’t serve any alcohol beyond 3am, so don’t be going to the bar at 2:58am for a drink because most likely you won’t get that last drink gurl.

Gay Vancouver Pride & other LGBT events in Vancouver

Vancouver is filled with Pride-related events thanks to the Vancouver Pride Society! And although I still haven’t been to Vancouver Pride yet, so many of my local friends go, and their Instagram photos make me jealous every year! So if you’re interested in traveling to Vancouver during Pride or other gay events, check out the list below:

  • Vancouver Pride is held Early August. For more information visit their website and plan your trip to attend one of the largest, most colourful and fabulous gay prides in the world.
  • Davie Street Festival usually happens the Friday or Saturday before Pride Parade  (Sunday).
  • Pride Festival after the Parade called Sunset Beach Festival
  • Picnic in the Park (Happens in July on Second Beach, Stanley Park)
  • The Vancouver Queer Film Festival takes place early August
  • Queer Arts Festival takes place mid to late June
  • The Really Gay History Tour – 3 hours tour with LGBTQ stories and history about the village – Runs every Sunday in Summer/Fall
  • Vancouver Gaymers events
  • RuPaul Drag Race Viewing event at the Clubhouse
  • Whistler Pride + Ski Festival – Outside of Vancouver in Whistler 

Gay Saunas in Vancouver

If it’s cold and rainy, which is often the case during the winter & springtime, you may be tempted to head down to this gay sauna. Even though I haven’t been to the local saunas, for those that are interested in a visit, my local gays suggested checking out the following places:
 
  • F212 Steam – around the corner from all the gay bars & clubs
  • Steamworks Baths Vancouver – Popular chain of gay bathhouses, and although it’s a 10-minute cab ride away from the gay village, it’s apparently better.

Gay Beaches in Vancouver

In terms of gay beaches in Vancouver, there’s only one known gay beach hotspot, which happens to be also the Nude beach. Wreck beach is open to both genders at this nude beach, however, there’s a specific trail that the local gays frequent. Directions to gay beach spot: walk down a large number of stairs, turn left, and you’ll see a trail with hot looking guys.

  • Wreck Beach – 7.8 km long clothing-optional Beach that is North America’s largest Naturist beach.

Top Attractions and Sights in Vancouver

Vancouver is filled with many sights and attractions to make your trip worthwhile. Whether taking a rainbow boat to Granville Island and tasting multi-cultural foods in Chinatown or going on adventures and hiking to beautiful viewpoints, Gay Vancouver has everything for gay travelers.

Top Things to do while in Vancouver:

  • Granville Island – Take the little rainbow water boat’s (taxi’s) called Aquabus over to Granville Island.
  • Spa Day at Willow Stream Spa
  • Stanley Park – Renting a bike along the seawall and go through Stanley Park!
  • Gay Village – Rainbow sidewalks, pride parade in Summer, and lots of love & great nightlife is here on Davie Street.
  • Capilano Suspension Bridge – a beautiful walk in nature across a suspension bridge – very magical looking during winter time when it’s lit up.
  • Gastown – walk around and eat. There are so many coffee shops and restaurants to choose from. Tacofino is my favourite local food spot!
  • China Town – BoeBoi for dinner, Juniper for cocktails (Gin bar), Ebisu for best sushi.
  • Hiking – from hiking “The Grind” to Dog mountain, there are so many options to hike around Vancouver based on your physical ability!
  • Beach – Embrace the west coast sunshine if available!
  • Yoga – Try looking for outdoor classes in the summertime! Yoga in Vancouver is very popular, and if you prefer indoor, I would recommend Yyoga since they have studios and classes all over the city!

For trips outside of Vancouver, I highly recommend Skiing and Visiting Vancouver Island for a weekend.

Also Read: Gay Kamloops, British Columbia: Gay Guide to Kamloops

For more detail on the Top Things To do in Vancouver, check out my post here.

Gay-friendly Accommodation in Vancouver

Vancouver is not short of gay-friendly accommodation options from Airbnb, to MrB&B, to the international hotel brands via Booking.com. Generally, I would recommend places near the Gay Village (Davie Street), but overall, Vancouver is a very gay-friendly city. Therefore, finding hotels all over the city that cater to gay tourists will not be a problem even for the last minuted, budget visitor.

Gay Advice: When to visit Vancouver and how to get there

I feel that Vancouver is the most fabulous to visit in the summer & autumn, mainly because the beaches are available in the summer and most of the beautiful hikes are closed during winter. Also, it can rain a lot in the Winter and Springtime. However, when there’s rain, there are rainbows. So no matter when you Queens travel to Vancouver, you’ll have a gay ole time!
 
You can get to Vancouver by flying into the Vancouver International Airport (YVR), driving up to Vancouver from Seattle, USA (which I’ve done!), or taking the Via Rail from anywhere in Canada.

Travel Tip: Because there’s no Uber or Lyft in Vancouver at the time of writing this guide (only taxis), so I recommend signing up for Evo or Car2Go and renting a car to get around with an app, or just take public transit.

Useful Links:

  • How to get from Vancouver Airport to Downtown
  • Book your hotel: www.booking.com; www.mrbandb.com
  • Follow @VancouverPride on Instagram for any upcoming events!

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I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Let me know what you think of my Gay Vancouver Guide! Am I missing something? Let me know how your trip to Vancouver went! Your comments really make my day!

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Out With Ryan
Out With Ryan

Ryan Thomas Woods is the voice behind Out With Ryan. He’s an LGBTQ+ Activist & Travel writer for this website and many other publications. He was recently voted 2018’s Travel Influencer of Year in Canada and dedicated the award to all LGBTQ+ travelers making the world a better & safer space for our community, as he strives to do on his website & social platforms.

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2 Comments

  1. January 3, 2019 / 8:35 pm

    I love to look on the skipper’s face ,-)

    • January 6, 2019 / 8:59 pm

      haha his face was priceless like what is this boy jumping 100 times for this photo