A Gay Guide to Portland

A Gay Guide to Portland

Portland, the city that is becoming the new San Francisco, not just for hipsters.

PortlandNestled within the USA Pacific North-West, Portland is a vibrant, scenic city, famously known for its ever-growing green spaces, from parks, to forests and stunning views of the mountain Mount Hood. Not only is it a must-see environmentally savvy city, but it is a dog lovers hotspot, a place where food-carts are devoured with every bite, and has a thriving theatre and arts scene where anything goes!

The city has a young history, dating back to the mid-1800s, but despite this, there are still many historic sites and features such as the popular public drinking fountains scattered through the city and Old Town Chinatown which has been listed as a National Historic Landmark.

And of course, how could we forget that Portland is a vegan obsessed city and can prove themselves so by having the world’s first vegan mini-mall. Every coffee shop you come across serves oat, hemp & almond milk as the main milk; if you wanted cow’s milk you would have to ask nicely!

Gay clubs & bars in Portland

CC Slaughter's Nightclub PortlandDespite the city being surrounded by miles of redneck country, Portland is as progressive as they come, with no shortage of gay bars for whoever you love and however you identify, with many queer women, trans and non-binary people feeling at home and safe in the spaces too. The gay bars in Portland are spread across the city but many are Downtown.

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One of the biggest bar/nightclub complexes close to Downtown is CC Slaughters. Covid nearly sadly ended this iconic club, but it is back and kicking. The bar and nightclub are split into two spaces, joined by a video slot parlor, giving any visitor the opportunity to flit between the two. Known for its laser light nightclub events, it also hosts many local drag queen revues multiple nights a week.

If you’re searching for a more laid-back bar experience, and identify as queer, trans, and/or non-binary, look no further than Crush bar. Situated on the Eastside, not far from downtown, and joined by a rainbow road crossing, Crush is a cozy, kitschy dog-friendly bar where adding CBD into your gin for $1 is always an option! It is a favorite amongst gay locals and travelers alike with boylesque shows and small club events hosted by cabaret stars and local DJs in their back room.

Grab a cab from Downtown Portland and you can find the city’s well-known leather bar, Eagle. The Oregon Bears’ home is a staple where if guests wear a leather harness, vest, chaps, or full drag with ‘significant effort’, they get in free on Friday or Saturday nights. The cheap drinks and the fun laid back atmosphere with the odd BBQ on their deck makes it a friendly and lively place to make new friends and flirt with the bartenders.

Gay hotels in Portland


Although there are no specific ‘gay hotels’ in the city, many of the hotels open their arms warmly to LGBT guests. Some gay-friendly hotels are occupied by historic buildings in the center, and Woodlark Provenance Hotel, in the heart of downtown is one of them. Two buildings for this hotel were redesigned and combined into a luxury complex, and given the proximity to the hustle and bustle of the nightlife around the corner from this hotel, it doesn’t get better than this.

With rooms and suites on offer, Woodlark’s sleek and modern design with artistic flair is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a comfortable stay. If you’re feeling boujee, Woodlark offers their very own signature suite which includes a stand-alone soaking tub for those moments of bliss! The hotel has a range of amenities depending on what room you’ve booked including a 24 hr fitness center to a limo/town car service at an extra fee.

Another downtown favorite is the ultra-lavish, bold and elegant The Nines Luxury Collection Hotel. Covered in glazed terra cotta, the hotel is fifteen stories tall and boasts two award-winning restaurants, one with rooftop seating and magical views of the city, and the other inviting a whole new take on the classic steakhouse. If you are passionate about art, this hotel has plenty of it. The hotel’s collection of commissioned work by local artists will dazzle your senses and bring an eclectic feel to your stay.

Their rooms are what they like to express as ‘dressed to the nines’, paying homage to the hotel’s roots. Rooms feature Egyptian sateen sheets, a rainforest shower, eco-friendly products, and a view towards downtown or the outside luxury living room. Suites are also available for those wanting to entertain or have a big place to themselves, which feature bespoke luxuries, such as a butlers kitchen, and a jacuzzi in the marble bathrooms overlooking the city.

For those looking for a more contemporary feel, Hotel Rose targets gay travelers specifically, offering boutique accommodation in the center of Downtown. The attention to design in this hotel is appealing to the eye with the onsite bar and restaurant Bottle & Kitchen, being a highlight of color. Each guestroom has all the basics covered, with free wifi and access to the onsite fitness center, or there is the opportunity to take one of the hotel’s complimentary bike rentals out to explore the city.

Gay Pride in Portland

Michael & Matt

Portland has one of the largest populations of LGBTQIA+ people in the USA and is applauded for having some of the strongest protections for their rights. During the entire month of June, Rose City (an area in Portland) opens up to visitors of all stripes. Unlike the bigger Prides, it is community-centric, with the festival being nonprofit, meaning that it is easily accessible for everyone. Known as North-West Pride, the festival features live music, performances from LGBTQ+ icons such as RuPaul’s Drag Race and Pose, local drag queens, and information booths lining the Willamette River that runs through the city. It lasts for 2 days and includes a lesbian city walk, Waterfront Parade and Festival, and multiple other events throughout the city.

Published: 22-Sep-2021 by Maria Gardner   |   Last Updated: 24-May-2022
On: Gay Portland

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