12. Rochester, N.Y. (pop. 210,532)
The downtown area’s Park Avenue
corridor has the right mix of chic dining, drinking, and entertainment to make it the gay epicenter in Rochester. This tree-lined, charming city in the Finger Lakes region is New York’s third largest (and was named sixth most livable in the United States in 2007 by the Places Rated Almanac). LGBT groups have events calendars and an annual Pride event, and cultural offerings include historical sites (it was home to Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony), museums, and galleries, all within walking distance of Park Avenue.
Above: Rochester Gay Men's Chorus by Brian Sprouse