Tucked on the Jersey Shore overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Asbury Park has long been a gay mecca. Initially hailed as the “Duchess of the Jersey Shore,” the town is now pretty much the queen of the Jersey Shore! A small and nondescript place until the 2000s, the years later on, saw the entry and growth of the LGBTQ community, propelling Asbury Park to new heights of popularity. In fact, the town was and still is known as a gay haven – figuratively and literally. Gay travelers have a lot of options when it comes to a gay hotel in Asbury Park NJ. The LGBTQ community moved in and spruced up the place like no other. So much so that there are plenty of LGBTQ-friendly events and gay-owned-and-operated businesses in the town today. It wouldn’t be wrong to call Asbury Park one big rainbow flag!
Asbury’s Park’s gay history goes way back in time. In fact, the town had gay clubs in the 1930s, when you couldn’t have gay clubs around. What’s more, the first gay couple to wed in New Jersey chose Asbury Park for their ceremony! In fact, when you say you’re from Asbury Park, the conversation seems to change and shift completely – everyone wants to know about it. Just like its fellow East Shore gay havens Ogunquit, Provincetown, and even Atlantic City, Asbury Park has completely changed the aura of the LGBTQ community on America’s East Coast.
Table of contents
- The Asbury
- Empress Hotel
- Bellevue Stratford Inn
- Asbury Ocean Club
- Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel
- The Majestic Hotel
- Laingdon Hotel
- Crystal Inn
- Mayfair Hotel
- Red Roof Inn Neptune
- The Inn at Ocean Grove
- Best Gay Neighborhoods in Asbury Park
- Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Asbury Park
- Best Gay Saunas in Asbury Park
- Best Gay Events/Shows/Tours in Asbury Park
The most premier gay hotel in Asbury Park is The Asbury. Younger gay travelers will love this hotel, which attracts a very millennial crowd. Adding to the eclectic vibe is the 50s and 60s-inspired art deco vibe that makes the hotel one of the hippest in the town. The gay scene is sizzling at the ground-level pool, which oozes a super-gay vibe. A cocktail bar sits right next to it so that you can order cocktails after your sensual swim. Cabanas, lounge chairs, and a grassy knoll mean there’s plenty of space for everyone to spread out. Yellow pool towels, umbrellas, and beachwear-clad good-looking people, and you know why this is such a gay-popular hangout.
Even a food truck serves everything from pretzel buns to hot dogs; abs be damned. The hotel even has an amazing roof deck where it showcases movies. Wrapping up the amenities is the juice bar and grab-and-go food counter.
Located just two blocks from the beach, it’s no wonder why the rooms and suites here are always full. You also have the choice of the hostel-style “Octo” or “Quad” rooms, which is basically a fun-filled environment mingling with fellow travelers. Moreover, the rooms are spacious and sport a casual beach look, complete with balconies overlooking the sea!
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Have you come to Asbury Park to party? Then the Empress Hotel is the most boisterous place in town! This grande dame is one of the oldest gay hotels in Asbury Park NJ, and is New Jersey’s only gay-oriented hotel! In fact, the 2017 edition of Mr. and Miss Gay United States Pageant was held at the gay club Paradise right at this hotel. Talk about wow! The Empress is like a wise and older gay friend who’s stepped gracefully into the present. Rooms at the hotel, albeit slightly dated, are spacious. What’s more, they come with flat-screen TVs and coffeemakers to ensure a comfortable stay. Bathrooms are minimalistic but immaculate, and the real fun here lies outside the rooms.
The rest of the hotel is where the gays in Asbury Park like to party, especially at the sizzling Paradise nightclub. One of the most talked-about gay clubs in the region, Paradise was responsible for luring gay crowds away from NYC’s Fire Island and towards the beaches of Asbury Park. The outdoor pool is the epicenter of activity, with beautiful LGBTQ people hanging around. It’s the perfect place for meet-cutes. Finally, the hotel even has a lovely dining establishment and a clothing store, Esphera, that caters to gay beach-goers.
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Bellevue Stratford Inn
An excellent gay hotel in Asbury Park is Bellevue Stratford Inn, in Ocean Grove, just 10 minutes south of Asbury Park’s center. Housed in a quaint pink home right on Ocean Grove Beach, the first thing you notice about the inn is the porch with a gorgeous blue awning. It’s the perfect place to begin your morning with a cup of coffee or wind up your day with a glass of wine. The accommodation features free Wi-Fi all over, which is helpful if you plan to explore the town. A shared lounge with a flatscreen TV is a great place to hang around during the day’s end and swap stories with fellow travelers. Begin your day with a superb continental breakfast that’s served in the dining room every day. Finally, the rooms and suites here will leave you impressed and come with chic ensuite bathrooms with free bath toiletries.
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Asbury Ocean Club
One of the newest and chicest gay hotels in Asbury Park NJ, is the newly-opened Asbury Ocean Club. The luxurious residential hotel lies right on the boardwalk, just a few steps from the beach and the sea. This vibrant seaside mecca occupies the fourth floor of the swanky highrise and boasts some of the most swish rooms in the town. Choose from a host of rooms and suites, all of which come with comfy, custom Simmons beds, decadent rain showers in the bathrooms, and spacious balconies with sweeping sea views. Pastel hues, chic wooden, black and white furniture, and potted plants all over give off a chic seaside vibe that few Asbury Park hotels have.
The hotel is especially known for its serene, South Beach-style pool scene that offers some of the best-unobstructed ocean views in the town. It certainly is a relaxing respite from the more crowded beach below, complete with sun loungers, umbrellas, and top-notch pool service. Even the living room-style lobby is a great place to hang out, as are the Zen-like dune gardens that exude serenity and tranquility. What’s more, the hotel is a wellness hub and offers luxe amenities such as aromatherapy in-room massages and pilates and yoga classes. You can also go on guided shoreline runs! Wind up the day with a nightcap at the mellow lobby cocktail bar, complete with a piano player.
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Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel
Yet another amazing gay hotel in Asbury Park is Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel. Gay travelers who love their accommodations to have a wee bit of history will love this century-old hotel. Housed in an imposing, eight-storeyed structure, it sits right across from the boardwalk’s beach and ocean. Boasting 255 rooms and suites, it might just be one of the largest hotels in the region. Post a refurbishment; the renovated rooms are better than ever, complete with brand-new furnishings. What’s more, even the entry-level rooms are spacious at whopping 350-square feet. The best of them all is the deluxe king rooms with ocean views. Swanky mod-cons such as flatscreen TVs and climate control and swish bathrooms with bathtubs and complimentary toiletries complete the place.
The rest of the hotel is equally impressive, with amenities ranging from a gorgeous outdoor pool with cabanas to the tiki bar. Book a cabana and enjoy a lounge after a cooling swim or dip in the pool. Besides free Wi-Fi and tour and transportation desks, the hotel also has a business and fitness center for travelers.
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The Majestic Hotel
Everything is majestic at The Majestic Hotel, one of the best gay hotels in Asbury Park NJ. This grand old Victorian-era dame lies a block from the beach in Ocean Grove. What’s more, it’s a mere 10-minute walk or a very scenic beach walk to the gay bar action in Asbury Park. This might be a boutique hotel, but the vibe is very bed-and-breakfast. So, they see everything from LGBTQ weddings to baby showers. The rooms are spacious, with plush carpets, bedside lamps, huge windows, and cushy sofas. What’s more, some rooms even have private balconies with partial or complete views of the ocean. It’s where you can enjoy a hearty breakfast if you want to enjoy a late start to the day.
Begin your day with a great breakfast that’s usually set up in the sunroom (unless you want it in bed), complete with fruit, yogurt, baked goodies, strong coffee, and more. What’s more, it even has a gorgeous patio with alfresco seating, cute light fixtures, and planters – and beach views!
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Revel in Victorian-era charm while enjoying modern conveniences at the stunning Laingdon Hotel, a gorgeous gay hotel in Asbury Park. Enjoy the full extent of the ocean zephyr at the many patios of this hotel, which lies right overlooking Ocean Grove Beach. A lovely garden with a fountain welcomes you to the inn, the epitome of intimate and exclusive living. All rooms come with four-poster beds, flatscreen TVs, and ensuite bathrooms, besides also having access to the two spacious common porches on both floors. If you’re looking for private balconies, go for the rooms on the third and fourth floors.
The rest of the hotel is impressive to boot, especially the hearty breakfast. Think coffee, fruit, and individually-wrapped pastries set up in the dining room or sent right up to your room. There’s even a hospitality room with a well-stocked fridge, snacks, ice machine, and a microwave. So, you can store and heat meals whenever you want. Free high-speed Wi-Fi makes it easy for you to look up attractions to explore.
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Located in Neptune, just five minutes from Asbury’s beachfront, Crystal Inn is one of the best gay hotels in Asbury Park NJ. Gay travelers on a budget will love this place that’s perfect for exploring Asbury Park as well as surrounding sights and attractions. Choose from 61 spacious and newly renovated rooms, all of which feature sleek wooden flooring and cable flat-screen TVs for entertainment. Combination bathtubs and showers can be found across all rooms and individual balconies with lovely views of the township. If that wasn’t enough, every room also has a microwave oven and fridge, besides complimentary Wi-Fi.
What’s great about this hotel is that it’s surrounded by lush gardens, where you can enjoy and relax during the day. Buy drinks and snacks from the vending machines and lounge around the lovely outdoor pool, also sprinkled with sun loungers.
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Step back in time at the Mayfair Hotel, a gay hotel in Asbury Park’s Belmar township. Located right across the beachfront at Belmar Beach, this relaxed hotel from 1929 is just what you need for a relaxing beachside vacation. Even the most basic rooms are brightly decorated with flatscreen TVs, seafoam color schemes, plush beds, and white drapes to give the seaside effect. Upgrading to the higher rooms gets you minifridges in your room as well, besides million-dollar views of the ocean views.
Despite being a modest hotel, there are a lot of amenities here. The outdoor pool with a sun deck and sunbeds take center stage while offering unobstructed ocean views. There’s even a fireplace to keep yourself warm on those cold Jersey Shore nights. Free Wi-Fi across the hotel and a 24-hour front desk wrap up the facilities here.
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Red Roof Inn Neptune
Nestled in the heart of Neptune, Red Roof Inn is one of the gay hotels in Asbury Park NJ’s vicinity. Located right on Corlies Avenue, this simple budget hotel offers immaculate rooms in a traditional hotel setup. What’s more, it’s less than 10 minutes from the Jersey Shore beaches at Asbury Park. Its rooms are spacious feature cable TVs, free Wi-Fi, ensuite bathrooms, and cushy sofas for relaxing after a long day. The beds are very comfy and come with many pillows to rest your head after a long day at the beach. Bathrooms have bespoke toiletries and huge shower areas, while the rooms even have coffeemakers for a good start to the day. Despite being a value motel, you’ll find free Wi-Fi here, and the front desk is open 24 hours so that you can check in any time!
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The Inn at Ocean Grove
The Inn at Ocean Grove, a wonderful gay hotel in Asbury Park’s Ocean Grove neighborhood, occupies the top spot. The cozy bed and breakfast are among the most upscale and bespoke lodgings in the Asbury Park region. Choose from a bevy of amazingly comfortable rooms, all of which come with cable TVs, fridges, private bathrooms, and even ironing boards. Are you planning to stay for long? Some rooms and suites even have a full kitchen to cook meals when you don’t feel like stepping out. Begin your day with a hearty complimentary breakfast every morning, served in the dining room or the sunroom. The second-floor balcony and rooftop terrace are the perfect places to unwind and relax during the day. Do you want to explore the town? Grab one of the complimentary bicycles and take off!
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Best Gay Neighborhoods in Asbury Park
The Realtor website identifies Asbury Park as one of the topmost LGBTQ-friendly towns and cities in the United States – and it’s true. So much so that the town doesn’t exactly have a gay neighborhood. It’s just that the gay sensibility is present all over and is a dynamic part of the community. Asbury Park has emerged as a 21st-century artistic, hipster, and eclectic place – one that’s very accepting and has a who-needs-labels kind of vibe. That said, most of the gay bars and gay-owned establishments lie along the promenade and the beach. The popular gay bar Georgie’s is the only exception; it lies slightly in the interiors. The small and intimate size and nature of Asbury Park is also another reason for the gay scene being concentrated along the shore.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Asbury Park
- Georgies: An Asbury Park institution of sorts, Georgies is best desribed as “The Gay ‘Cheers” of Asbury Park! Why it’s unique is because it’s one of the few gay bars that’s not on the boardwalk, but rather in a lovely inner neighborhood. Think amazinf drinks, delicious pub food, and karaoke with people belting out awful and amazing versions of songs – and you know you’ll have a good time.
- Paradise: One of Asbury’s most popular and raging gay nightclubs, this one hosts dance nights that feature well-known DJs. Do plan your visit over the weekend where most of the amazing gay parties are held. Oh, and bring out your best beachwear to participate in the Sunday tea dance – by the pool. Yep.
Best Gay Saunas in Asbury Park
As gay-friendly as Asbury Park is, it doesn’t have a gay sauna. But, being a sun-kissed Jersey Shore town, it doesn’t need a gay sauna when it has a gay beach!
- Asbury Park Beach: The main action all takes place around the golden sands of Asbury Park Beach, which even has a gay section! It lies just steps away from the entrance at 5th Avenue boardwalk and is very popular with gay daytrippers as well as locals and tourists basking in the sun. Think everyone from otters and bears to gorgeous Jersey boys!
Best Gay Events/Shows/Tours in Asbury Park
- New Jersey Pride: The now-annual and vibrant New Jersey Pride LGBTQ parade and festival made Asbury Park its home a long time ago, and it still remains here today. Every year in June, Jersey Pride is a huge weeklong festival, complete with live performances, a big ‘ole parade, and lots and lots of family fun as well – inclusivity as Asbury Park celebrates it.