As a global cultural hub, one of the sexiest cities in the world, and a place Pride can easily call home, New York is truly the mecca for the LGBT community, and a city every gay person should add to their bucket list ASAP. Now that I have you looking for the best flight tickets for NYC, let’s go over several of the most vital gaytastic spots you need to visit, and experiences you need to have while in this great city!

A new way to cabaret

No one can put on a show quite like NYC, and if you need further proof (as well you should), head to some of the city’s famous, beloved drag shows and cabaret clubs eager to greet newcomers from all walks of life. If you’re lucky enough to crash a bachelorette party or a gay birthday, you’ll see what I’m talking about; life doesn’t get much better than New York cabaret with the local divas.

Head to Lips in the very heart of Manhattan, where you can enjoy a classy, perky performance by some of the finest drag queens you’ve ever laid eyes on, all clad in the most dazzling neon shades, sparkles, glitter and all. For a cabaret to remember, don’t miss out on what Le Scandal has on the show while you’re there – you will not be disappointed.

Awake the gay culture vulture within

Have you ever seen a collection of photos or paintings by a currently trending gay artist anywhere near your hometown? If you’re lucky to live in a queer-loving city, absolutely, but it will still pale in comparison to what NYC has to offer. A single glance at the current exhibitions of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in Soho is enough to have you in tears of joy. They will gladly show off the brightest and the boldest gay artists, even the kind of erotica all other joints would ban.

The Fringe Festival is another worthy visit in case you’re in the city, as they are famous for their gay content, from dance performances, all the way to comedy shows.

Thriving bar and foodie scene

If you’re anything like me and you enjoy a good burger and booze with a classy twist, then you’re in for a treat, because NYC is truly the perfect blend of both for the gay guy with a refined palate. They’re so eager to flaunt their LGBT love that you’ll even find a place by the name of Big Gay Ice Cream in the West Village (ain’t that just the perfect spot?), where you’ll gladly treat yourself to their massive portions of delicious menu items.

On a more upscale note, the gay bar scene has never flourished as much as it does today. One of the latest trends includes their love for queerlicious cocktails served with canapés to die for. Nowadays, you can easily find an expert mixologist in NYC serving some of the most authentic blends you’ve ever encountered – from the classic Cosmo to the inventions only your cocktail master can name.

Pick a gay-perfect stay

While you’re there, you should opt for a hotel that is in the same gay vibe as the rest of the establishments you’re going to visit. A great pick is The Muse, whose devotion to the LGBT community starts with the management and staff, and includes the deals they offer for gay events like Pride.

A more boutique option is the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan, with a perfectly intimate look and feel and all the chic NYC décor to wish for. Chances are, you’ll fall in love with the place so much, you’ll go back any time you have an excuse to do so.

Gayborhoods to explore

As vibrant and chaotic as this city may be, you’ll find yourself particularly welcome in several of its well-known hoods. It doesn’t matter where you come from, as soon as you step foot on some of these gay grounds, you’ll feel right at home. As an homage to the LGBT movement and history, you should go straight (just this once, I promise) to Greenwich Village, one of the most significant places for the liberation of all things gay.

Chelsea is another must-see choice for its many gay bars that you won’t be able to resist. From the Flaming Saddles Saloon, all the way to the Eagle, you’ll find your evenings far more eventful if you spend your time in this part of the city.