10 of the Best Places to Celebrate Pride in the US

When traveling to a new city, you may find yourself drawn to the local “gayborhood.” These districts are often characterized by rainbow flags, same-sex couples holding hands, and a spirit of collective community. For many LGBTIQ+ travelers, these neighborhoods offer a welcoming and liberating environment that celebrates queer culture.

In addition to their festive Pride parties and colorful events, these neighborhoods also have a rich gay history. From local landmarks to bars and shops, visitors are invited to join in the legacy of queer culture that is deeply rooted in these areas. Here’s a look at some of the best LGBTIQ+ neighborhoods from coast to coast.

1. Bywater, New Orleans, Louisiana

As you explore New Orleans during Pride month, make sure to take a stroll through the vibrant and funky Bywater and Marigny neighborhoods. These areas are known for their laissez-faire atmosphere and effortless queer style, which perfectly embodies the spirit of NOLA.

While the French Quarter has its share of LGBTIQ+ bars and clubs, it’s worth the walk east to experience the Bywater’s classic dives, hidden courtyard eateries, and vintage shops. Don’t miss the gay-owned Country Club, which is famous for its weekend drag brunches (be sure to reserve early!).

The Bywater is also home to several beautiful parks, including Crescent Park and Markey Park. These green spaces are perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic with friends. As you explore the Bywater, take in the sights and sounds of this unique and vibrant neighborhood.

2. The Gayborhood, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia’s downtown Gayborhood is a vibrant hub for the LGBTIQ+ community, featuring gay-owned bars, restaurants, and shops. The area is also home to Philly AIDS Thrift, a store that was once the location of the famous queer bookstore Giovanni’s Room. The city’s annual Philly Pride March and Festival, organized by social-justice organization Galaei, takes place on June 2 and has recently become more intentionally inclusive of trans folx and people of color.

The city’s local queer community is known for its progressive and welcoming nature, making it a popular destination for LGBTIQ+ travelers. The Gayborhood is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the city’s vibrant LGBTIQ+ culture. Don’t forget to look for the historic marker outside Philly AIDS Thrift to learn about the area’s rich history.

3. Capitol Hill, Denver, Colorado

Capitol Hill is a vibrant neighborhood in Denver that is known for its LGBTIQ+ community. The neighborhood is located just north of downtown Denver and is home to a variety of businesses and attractions that cater to the LGBTIQ+ community. The Center on Colfax is a popular destination for visitors to the area, offering a range of cultural events and activities. In addition, there are many gay-friendly shops and restaurants in the neighborhood, including Hamburger Mary’s, Denver Sweet, and Blush & Blu. Whether you’re looking for a night out on the town or a quiet coffee shop to relax in, Capitol Hill has something to offer everyone.

4. Northalsted, Chicago, Illinois

Northalsted, also known as Boystown, is a vibrant neighborhood in central Chicago that is home to many of the city’s LGBTIQ+ attractions. The neighborhood is anchored by Halsted Street and boasts a mile-long Legacy Walk, which features memorial plaques commemorating the life and work of queer-community heroes and leaders. This historic gay district is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, with indie boutiques, cafes, and hit hangouts like Roscoe’s, Sidetrack, and the Kit Kat Lounge. Nightly drag shows keep the crowds entertained at the Kit Kat Lounge.

If you’re planning to visit Chicago in June, don’t miss the annual Pride festival on June 22-23 and the parade on June 30. Northalsted is the epicenter of the festivities, with a slew of other LGBTIQ+ events happening all month. Additionally, if you’re looking to enjoy Chicago for free, Northalsted has plenty of options. You can take a stroll down the Legacy Walk, window shop at the indie boutiques, or people-watch at one of the many cafes in the area.

5. The Castro, San Francisco, California

The Castro district is a vibrant LGBTIQ+ hub that has been a significant part of San Francisco’s history for decades. It was one of America’s first gay neighborhoods and has since become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. The area is home to several historic spots, including the GLBT Historical Society Museum and the Rainbow Honor Walk on Castro and Market Sts. You can also take walking tours to learn more about the local queer history.

The Castro is a great place to enjoy a picnic with seemingly half the city in Mission Dolores Park or catch a film or performance at the landmark Castro Theatre. You can also sip drinks at the historic Twin Peaks Tavern, which was the first gay bar in San Francisco to have clear windows.

If you’re planning a trip to San Francisco, be sure to visit the Castro district to experience its rich history and vibrant culture.

6. West Hollywood, Los Angeles, California

West Hollywood, also known as WeHo, is a compact city located in the heart of greater Los Angeles. WeHo Pride weekend, which takes place on June 1-2, is a popular event that includes a street fair, music festival, annual Dyke March, and a lavish Sunday Pride Parade down Santa Monica Blvd. Locals take pride in the walkable scale, busy street life, familiar faces, and beloved bars and shops that make WeHo decidedly neighborhood-y. The district is known for its sizzling spots to soak up the SoCal sun and watch the fashionistas flit by.

7. Capitol Hill, Seattle, Washington

Capitol Hill is a neighborhood in Seattle, Washington that has undergone significant changes due to the presence of major corporations in the area. Despite these changes, Capitol Hill remains a popular location for the LGBTIQ+ community. The neighborhood is home to several queer-owned establishments such as Dough Joy and Capitol Thrill, as well as popular LGBTIQ+ bars like CC Attle’s, the Cuff, and the Wildrose, which has been a go-to lesbian bar for 38 years. Visitors can also browse books at the Elliott Bay Book Company, enjoy brunch or cocktails at Union, and dance the night away at Neighbours.

Capitol Hill is a great location to visit during Seattle Pride’s 50th anniversary year. The Pride festival kicks off on June 1st and continues throughout the month with various events. The month-long celebration culminates with the annual Pride March on June 30th.

8. Oak Lawn, Dallas, Texas

If you’re looking for a vibrant and welcoming neighborhood in Dallas, Oak Lawn is the place to be. This neighborhood is known for its strong LGBTIQ+ community and is home to a variety of clubs and businesses that celebrate diversity. Cedar Springs Road is the heart of Oak Lawn, and it’s where you’ll find a cluster of LGBTIQ+ clubs and businesses. The Round-Up Saloon is a popular spot for two-stepping, while JR’s and Sue Ellen’s offer a unique Dallas-inspired clubbing experience. Whether you’re part of the LGBTIQ+ community or an ally, you’ll feel right at home in Oak Lawn. Don’t miss out on the annual Pride Parade on June 1, which is a highlight of the neighborhood’s Pride festivities.

9. Provincetown, Massachusetts

If you’re looking for a coastal town where LGBTIQ+ pride is celebrated every day, Provincetown, Massachusetts is the place to be. Located at the tip of Cape Cod, this small town is known for its welcoming and friendly atmosphere, bedecked with rainbow flags. While the official Pride celebration takes place from May 31 to June 2, Provincetown hosts a variety of “theme weeks” throughout the summer, including Womxn of Color Weekend, Bear Week, Family Week, Girl Splash, and TransWeek (previously known as Fantasia Fair).

In addition to these events, Provincetown has a plethora of activities and community events throughout the year. You can enjoy the Queer Comedy Showcase at Town Hall, the Provincetown Follies cabarets, the Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, and visit LGBTIQ+ art galleries.

Here are 14 ways to experience all that Provincetown has to offer:

  1. Take a stroll along Commercial Street and browse the shops and galleries.
  2. Visit the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum.
  3. Explore the beautiful beaches, including Herring Cove and Race Point.
  4. Take a whale watching tour and spot humpback and finback whales.
  5. Attend a drag show at the Crown & Anchor.
  6. Rent a bike and explore the town and surrounding areas.
  7. Enjoy a sunset sail on a schooner.
  8. Take a ghost tour and learn about Provincetown’s haunted history.
  9. Visit the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.
  10. Take a cooking class at the Provincetown School of Cooking.
  11. Attend a performance at the Art House or the Provincetown Theater.
  12. Take a dune tour and see the natural beauty of the Cape Cod National Seashore.
  13. Visit the Whydah Pirate Museum and learn about the only authenticated pirate shipwreck in America.
  14. Take a scenic flight over the Cape Cod National Seashore and Provincetown.

10. West Village, New York City, New York

West Village is a lively neighborhood in New York City that is home to the Stonewall National Monument, which commemorates the LGBTIQ+ civil rights movement. The Stonewall Inn, a landmarked building in the area, was the site of the June 1969 uprising that sparked a global movement. Today, the area is a hub for the LGBTQ+ community, with many bars and clubs catering to different interests. For a historic experience, visit Julius’, one of the oldest gay bars in the city, or the Monster and Duplex, two popular piano bars. Henrietta Hudson and the Cubbyhole are two of the country’s last remaining lesbian bars, offering a unique experience.

In Christopher Park, you can find George Segal’s Gay Liberation sculptures, which are a striking representation of the LGBTQ+ community’s struggle for equal rights. The park also features the first pole to fly a rainbow flag at a federal site.

If you’re looking for tips on how to enjoy the West Village, drag legend Lady Bunny has some advice. The area is particularly vibrant during NYC Pride, which takes place at the end of June every year and culminates in a march through Manhattan.