Southern hospitality is what you’ll find in Raleigh and Durham, the two largest cities of what locals call “The Triangle.” (The third is Chapel Hill.) These are lively university towns, so you won’t be surprised find world-class museums, snappy shopping, interesting restaurants, and non-stop nightlife. There’s also a small but thumping bar scene.
A great time to visit will be in September, when gay boys and girls dress up for North Carolina Pride with Saturday September 25 parade, festival and dance in Durham, and parties all weekend, around the Triangle.
Raleigh-Durham International Airport between the two cities, is served by most major airlines. Taxis and shuttle buses are the best way to get to your destination from the airport. See Triangle Transit for connections info. Amtrak trains pull into the station at 320 West Cabarrus Street in Raleigh, and in Durham at 601 W Main Street, close to the DATA bus terminal.
QNotes is the LGBT arts, entertainment, news and views bi-weekly magazine for the Carolinas, having merged with The Front Page in 2006. The Triangle is another LGBTQ resource, covering the Triangle area cities. GayChapelHill is a gay blog with updates on that city.
Out In Durham is a new website from the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau, in this very LGBT-welcoming town.
The Independent (IndyWeek) is the local alternative paper for the region, with film, food, music, arts and other listings and reviews.
Several busy gay clubs, cafes, stores and gay-friendly guesthouses are clustered near the State House in Raleigh. In Durham things are more scattered, but the area around Duke University is gay-friendly, and it's here that the Pride Parade and Festival take place.
North Carolina bars and nightclubs without food are private, requiring membership, typically $10-15 per year. Visitors may be sponsored as a guest by a member -- people in line will often oblige.
313 Club (313 W Hargett St), drag bingo, cabaret nights, talent shows, 21+ dancing, theme parties.
The Borough (317 W Morgan St) bar and restaurant, hip cross section of locals, hearty variety of food offerings and popular happy hour drinks, plus internet access.
Flex (2 S West), "the men's bar of the Carolinas" karaoke, drag shows, bingo, dancing, country music, goth and industrial nights, bear events, games.
Icon (320 E Durham Rd) gay dance club in Cary, go go dancers, drag shows, House, R&B, Hip-Hop and Reggae music.
Legends (330 W Hargett St), big, popular 18+ dance club and show bar for young, handsome, mostly male crowd, drag stars, live entertainment, top DJ's, games.
The Bar (711 Rigsbee Ave), Warehouse District LGBTQ neighborhood “corner bar” welcomes all, sports, games, karaoke, weekend DJs, live music and events.
The Pinhook (117 Main St) 18+ live music, innovative DJ’s, "basic chilling," collaborative creative events, games, cheap drinks, patio.
Bar, Chapel Hill
Stir at East End (201 E Franklin), Sunday night high-energy LGBT dance party by the Mix & MIngle social switchboard for over five years, dancing and socializing in this nearby college town bar/restaurant.
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