Pride Month is here and businesses are showing their support with rainbow aesthetics, cocktails named after queer icons and, of course, the iconic LGBTQ+ flag. During Pride, the Stonewall Riots of 1969 is remembered. The demonstrations paved the way for the future queer community to live out and proud. And Pride Month is a time when any person or place that respects that bravery turns up with parades, parties and more. If you want to really experience the spirit of Pride Month, some places around the country do it better than others. Here are some of the best travel spots to celebrate Pride Month at.
New York City
This list wouldn’t be lit without New York landing at the very top – it’s the site of the historic Stonewall riots and the city with the largest gay population in the U.S. The Stonewall Inn – a long-standing popular gay bar – still thrives in Greenwich Village and is a historical landmark. On June 26, 2022, the village will kick off their annual Pride parade, which is one of the best-attended in the world. In previous years, over two million people have participated. Here you can see some of the best costumes and floats and really feel the Pride spirit pumping through the streets. New York also has dozens of LGBTQIA+ friendly neighborhoods and an incredible gay night scene. The energy during Pride month in the Big Apple is undeniable.
Los Angeles is said to have the second largest gay population in the U.S. after New York, and you know they go big for Pride. You have to grab brunch in West Hollywood during Pride, where the streets are busy with bars, restaurants and cafes where you’ll certainly catch Go Go dancers and drag queens entertaining diners. With entertainment as its top industry, LA of course puts on incredible concerts for Pride month, including the LA Pride! In The Park, happening June 11, featuring Christina Aguilera. Even Dodgers stadium participates in Pride, with their LGBTQ+ Pride Night featuring music and a fireworks show.
San Francisco has been the site of so many milestone moments in the gay community. In 1964, it was named the Gay Capital of America. It is the home of the first U.S. Lesbian Organization – the Daughters of Bilitis. And you better believe that it is a mecca of celebrations and great vibes during Pride month. The Castro – SF’s iconic gay district – is decked out with its famous Pink Triangle Installation of thousands of twinkle lights for the month. The triangle serves as a symbol of repression in the queer community, and for other oppressed groups around the world. During Pride, there are even more drag queen shows than usual and some of the finest in the country. The SF. LGBTQ+ International Film Festival is happening. And the city’s epic Pride Parade will return after a two-year pandemic hiatus.
Every year Chicago puts on their unforgettable Pride in the Park concert and festival. 2021 featured performances from Tiesto and Chaka Kahn. This year’s festival will be June 25th and June 26th. The lineup is still TBA, but you can safely assume it’ll be great. Drinks are flowing and vendors selling delicious food and fun merch are everywhere. And when you want to recover from the concert, you can visit one of the many well-known and loved gay beaches in Chicago or join one of the LGBTQ+ tours, which will take you around historic locations for the queer community in the windy city.
The always vibrant and lively NOLA becomes even more so with Pride month. There are many Pride events happening around the city, including NOLA Pridefest (June 11) with live music, vendors and appearances by royalty within the NOLA queer scene. Then there’s the NOLA Pride Parade (June 11), which features incredible floats, dancers and marching bands making their way through the famous French Quarter and winding up on the biggest party street aka Bourbon Street. Stroll down Bourbon Street any day this month and see some of the best shows of support from the blocks of bars, all dressed up and decorated in their Pride colors.
Miami is the unofficial party capital of the U.S. and has one of the most vibrant night life scenes with a prominent and proud gay community. It even has one semi-official gay beach called 12th Street Beach that’s lined with rainbow flags all year long – not just for Pride month. But they do put on some notable Pride events, like their Stonewall Pride Parade (June 18), where you’ll find drag performances, live music, vendors and more. Then there’s an entire exhibition dedicated to some of the most influential drag queens in history. But any given night, you can visit South Beach or any area around the 12th Street Beach and Ocean Drive and enjoy some of the best gay night clubs and bars in the country.
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