New York State’s capital city is still a place of deals made in smoky back rooms and in corner booths of dimly lighted restaurants. It’s a company town where during the week people eat, sleep and breath politics. On weekends they leave all that behind for other pursuits in the Hudson River Valley, one of the most gorgeous parts of the state.
The gay community here is compact, with a handful of establishments around Central Avenue. Things can get raucous late at night, as the bars here don’t close until 4 am. Capital Pride has dozens of events spread over the first weeks of June.
Albany International Airport is a small airport with mostly domestic flights. Amtrak trains head here from New York City via a spectacular route along the mighty Hudson River.
A car will make it easier to get around the city but for public transportation information see CDTA
Media & Resources
The Pride Center of the Capital Region has community services and resources, plus info on the local scene in their CommUNITY Magazine. Read it online or pick up a copy at any of the distribution points across the Capital Region in Albany, Colonie, Saratoga, and Schenectady, listed here.
Diversity Rules Magazine is the monthly gay publication for Upstate NY - buy around town or subscribe to read online wherever you are.
The Alt is "the Capital Region's Alternative Newsweekly," taking over from Metroland which ceased publication in 2015.
For map locations and website links to the businesses below, and more, see our gay Albany listings pages.
Cafe Hollywood (275 Lark St), neighborhood scene, diverse crowd, patio and sidewalk seating, basic food.
Fuze Box (12 Central Ave), live music concert venue, night club/bar; Move Music Festival, RageFest, 80s Nights, young, young, alternative, mixed crowd.
Oh Bar (304 Lark St), durable 7-day neighborhood gay hangout; videos, karaoke, pool and dart games, big garden patio at the back.
Rocks (77 Central Ave), happening gay club, with 18+ nights, theme parties, bear and leather/fetish events, karaoke, underwear parties, male strippers, cabaret and drag shows, and Latin nights.
Waterworks (76 Central Ave), seven-nights neighborhood pub with games, videos, jukebox, karaoke, drag shows, and food; and upstairs 18+ weekend dance club with big floor and smoking patio.
Bear Albany sponsors party weekends every few months, including: Fetish and Fur in March; Military Bear in May; Albany Bound Leather in July; Bubba Bear in September; and Birthday Bear in November. Other one-day events throughout the year include Sunday Tea Dances.
River Street Club (540 River St), the nearest tubs - just off I-787 in Troy NY; dry sauna, steam, hot tub, lounge, internet area, fully equipped gym, Black Out nights.
Morgan State House (393 State St; 888 427-6063) 19th-century elegance restored for unique Capital District accommodations. Luxury and business accommodations, centrally located on quiet, tree-lined residential street overlooking Washington Park.
See more hotel suggestions at our map & listings pages.
See our Albany map & listings pages for some restaurant suggestions.