Pride Travel Guide: The Best Places to Visit

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Photo by Raphel R.

Celebrate Pride Month!


Pride Month is officially here and with it comes all the excitement and enthusiasm of the passionate LGBT+ community. Big festivals and events are hosted all across the U.S. in June and wherever you are, you won't be far from a Pride Parade!

A group of women wearing pride symbols during a march.

Participate in an Unforgettable Pride March!

Photo by Jana S.

Outside of the festivities, many U.S. cities contain longstanding museums, galleries, shops, and tours, all dedicated to promoting awareness of queer culture and history. If you can’t make the trip for Pride Month, there are still plenty of LGBT+ activities to do.

Discover the best LGBT-friendly and queer-owned hotels, restaurants, and attractions in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco with this epic Pride Travel Guide!

New York City Pride

Pride festival outside Washington Square Arch, NY

New York City always has the biggest parties!

Photo by Jessica I. (cropped)

In recent decades, New York has strived to become a symbol of acceptance towards the queer community. In fact, the city is estimated to contain one of the largest LGBT+ populations in the world. A cornerstone in gay rights activism, New York has seen significant historical events such as the 1969 Stonewall Riots and the 1966 Sip-in at Julius’ Bar. And in 2019, New York made history by hosting the biggest Pride March ever, with an estimated 5 million people in attendance.

Popular LGBT+ neighborhoods in Manhattan include Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Greenwich Village, and the Lower East Side.

Pride Month in New York

Pride Month is a big deal in New York, as the city hosts dozens of LGBT+ events throughout the month. There are street fairs, concerts, symposiums, movie showings, and many more memorable experiences to be had. Pride Month also offers visitors the chance to connect and communicate with today’s leading LGBT+ rights activists.

The most hyped events are Alegria Pride 2022, Planet Pride, Tribal Fever Afterhours, and Pride Island. All of these are mixed-music festivals promoting queer artists and DJs. Don’t miss out on America’s biggest annual Pride March: the New York City Pride March, which will be held on the 26th of June, 2022.

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Where to Stay in New York City

The Hyatt Union Square New York Hotel.

Stay in the heart of the action in NYC!

Photo by Beyond My Ken

Hyatt Union Square New York

134 Fourth Avenue
New York, NY, 10003

The Hyatt Union Square is situated in the heart of Downtown Manhattan, near many of New York’s most popular attractions. When you’re not out sightseeing, you can rest in comfort in one of the Hyatt’s spacious, pet-friendly rooms.

This modern hotel has a 24-hour gym (with complimentary fruit) and a business center. You can dine in the adjoining Bower Road restaurant for a fresh and healthy meal inspired by the local Union Square Greenmarket.

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A compact hotel room with a view of New York out of the window.

Solo travellers and groups both love staying at The Local NYC.!

Photo by Andrea D.

The Local NYC

13-02 44th Avenue
Queens, NY, 11101

A trendy hostel, favored by LGBT+ travelers, The Local NYC sits on the opposite side of the East River from central Manhattan. Solo visitors can book private rooms but most prefer the youthful social energy of the Local’s dorm rooms.

The dorm bunk beds are of a simple, practical design and include a reading light and a lockable cabinet. The highlight of The Local NYC is its rooftop terrace with an incredible view over the glowing Manhattan skyline.

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Where to Eat in New York

The vintage wooden interior of Julius' Bar, New York.

A historic bar in central Manhattan!

Photo by Steam Pipe

Julius’ Bar

159 West 10th Street
New York, NY, 10014

+1 877 746 0528

Nestled inside Manhattan’s enchanting Greenwich Village, Julius’ Bar has been cheerfully serving customers since 1864. In fact, important steps towards the legal acceptance of gay bars across the nation were made inside the historic walls of Julius’ Bar. It’s now a popular place to visit for its grilled burgers and fabulous cocktails. Stop by on Tuesdays for Julius’ Bar’s special retro ‘Tuesgay’ disco nights.

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Three bowls of Southeast Asian cuisine, garnished with cashews and peppers, on a gray tabletop.

A delightful burst of flavor!

Photo by Lily B.

Kopitiam

151 East Broadway
New York, NY, 10002

+1 646 609 3785

Kopitiam’s LGBT+ owner and head chef Kyo Pang is proud to present her restaurant’s Chinese and Malaysian-inspired cuisine. All produce is freshly sourced from local markets or Malaysia itself and the mouthwatering blend of flavors comes from Chef Pang’s all-natural family recipes. Each dish is a new journey for the senses and the subtle spices will leave you wanting more. Don’t arrive too late for lunch, though, as the popular restaurant fills up fast!

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Things to do in New York City

Exterior of The Stonewall Inn, New York. Experience Pride History in New York!

Photo by Deirdre R.

Pride Walking Tour

38-64 Christopher Street
New York, NY, 10014

+1 860 670 8947

Many of the LGBT+ community’s biggest triumphs and tragedies were forged in the dynamic streets of New York. To appreciate the significance of Pride Month in the big city, join in on an official Pride Tour.

As you walk through the streets of downtown Manhattan, your guide will lead you through the biggest events and crucial LGBT+ institutions in New York’s history. Delve into the struggles of the past as you visit the Stonewall Inn, the Gay Street sign, the Gay Liberation Monument, and even Julius’ Bar!

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Exterior of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, New York.

Learn about queer history and culture this Pride Month!

Photo by Ajay S. (cropped)

Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art

26 Wooster Street
New York, NY, 10013

+1 212 431 2609

The Leslie-Lohman Museum is a uniquely LGBT+ dedicated art gallery and museum, right in central New York. Admission is free so it’s definitely worth a visit for the provocative emotions evoked by so many queer artworks.

Indeed, the goal of the museum is to create a committed space for LGBT+ artists and scholars to view or add work, and to open up conversations on the personal trials of the community. The Leslie-Lohman Museum currently has over 25,000 items.

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The green exterior of the Cubbyhole Bar.

Drink at one of New York's only Lesbian bars!

Photo by Jim H. (cropped)

Cubbyhole Bar

281 West 12th Street
New York, NY, 10014

+1 212 243 9041

If you’re searching for a memorable night out in one of New York’s few remaining lesbian establishments, then look no further than the Cubbyhole Bar. The Cubbyhole is an eclectic bar filled with colorful decorations and LGBT+ symbolism. Having opened in 1994, it has developed into a popular social hotspot for tourists and locals alike. Stop by between 4-7 pm on weekdays (2-6 pm on Saturday) to benefit from the Happy Hour deals.

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Chicago Pride Fest

People wearing rainbow flags cheer on the Pride March.

There's plenty of Pride Festivals in Chicago!

Photo by Norbu G. (cropped)

Chicago has slowly been working on LGBT+ rights for the last century, starting with America’s first recognized gay rights organization in 1924. A Chicagoan, Jim Flint, also founded the Miss Continental pageant in 1980. This was the first beauty pageant where trans women were allowed to enter. Chicago is now a buzzing hotspot for queer nightlife, with 7.5% of the population identifying as LGBT+.

Chicago’s biggest queer neighborhoods are Andersonville and Northalsted (which has earned the nickname ‘Boystown’).

Pride in the Park Festival

Pride Month in Chicago is celebrated by a series of festivals, drink events, and street markets. The massive Pride in the Park festival is headlined by The Chainsmokers and Alesso and features queer artists such as Rebecca Black, Spencer Brown, and Saucy Santana. The colorful Chicago Pride Parade takes place on the 26th of June, 2022.

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Chicago Pride Fest

This legendary street festival is June 18-19 with the Pride Parade on June 26th. You can listen to headlining artists and local favorites on three stages, peruse over 150 arts and crafts booths and eat from a variety of local food and drink establishments.

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Where to Stay in Chicago

Long-expsoure blurred photo of a train passing overground in River North, Chicago.

Stay right near the Chicago nightlife!

Photo by Benjamin R.

Moxy Chicago Downtown

530 North LaSalle Drive
Chicago, IL, 60654

Based in the trendy River North district, home of Chicago’s vibrant nightlife, the Moxy Chicago Downtown is the perfect LGBT-friendly destination. Each room has a stylish, contemporary design and includes an ensuite bathroom and a large Smart TV.

The Moxy features book and vinyl record libraries, a professional sound booth where guests can make recordings, and a fine-dining restaurant and bar with an outdoor patio.

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Someone playing pool on a pool table.

Make new friends this Pride in Chicago!

Photo by Dimitri B.

Wrigley Hostel

3514 North Sheffield Avenue
Chicago, IL, 60657

This fantastic hostel, located near the beach and Boystown, is way more than just a place to sleep for the night. Wrigley specializes in social vacations, with a computer room and a common room, containing a pool table, a ping pong table, foosball, board games, and a Bring Your Own Booze bar. There’s also a communal outdoor lounge with a BBQ for summer grilling.

Wrigley Hostel hosts parties and events most evenings, from pizza and movie nights to epic bar crawls. Sleep easy in a private room or forge new friendships in a mixed or female-only dorm.

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Where to Eat in Chicago

Tex-Mex food and a Margarita on Spanish-style tables.

Satisfy your Tex-Mex cravings in Chicago!

Photo by Hybrid Storytellers

D. S. Tequila Co.

3352 N Halsted Street
Chicago, IL, 60657

+1 773 697 9127

D. S. Tequila Co. is a hip and trendy Tex-Mex place, located within close walking distance to many of Chicago’s biggest attractions. Their famous handmade flour tortillas are always filled with fresh ingredients and each dish is made to order, meaning you can remove any sauces or veggies that aren’t to your taste.

The Tequila Co. is, unsurprisingly, a great place for drinks with over a dozen beers on tap and pitchers of margaritas abound. Stop by on Friday and Saturday evenings to listen to a DJ set as you feast on classic Tex-Mex in the greenhouse patio, which has a retractable roof!

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Neon sign for 'Big Chicks' bar.

Dine at a famous Chicagoan LGBT+ establishment!

Photo by Thomas H.

Big Chicks & Tweet

5024 N Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL, 60640

+1 773 728 5511

Big Chicks and Tweet are Chicago’s famous 2-in-1 gay bar and organic restaurant. Based in the Uptown area, with a timeless art deco design, Big Chicks acts as an informal LGBT+ community center. The bar was actually inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame in 2016.

The adjacent Tweet restaurant serves food to its own customers and those of the bar. Breakfast and Lunch are offered in Tweet, where you’ll find a delightful range of classic dishes, with a Chicago twist. Dinner, however, can only be ordered in Big Chicks.

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Things to do in Chicago

The Blue Man Group entertainers in front of a strange instrument.

See the show that redefines live entertainment!

Photo by Inside the Magic

Blue Man Group

3133 N Halsted Street
Chicago, IL, 60657

+1 800 258 3626

For a whirlwind experience of music, performance art, and technological displays, check out Chicago’s own Blue Man Group. A show that defies definition, the Blue Man Group was founded on the principle that entertainment can transcend language barriers if none of the performers speak. Instead, they play custom instruments and present comedic skits.

Although not explicitly an LGBT+ event, many of the Blue Men identify as queer. The Blue Man Group promises a unique and unforgettable performance that will change the way you view live entertainment. Warning: those sitting near the front may get splashed.

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A jewellery stall in an indoor market.

What treasures can you find at the Andersonville Galleria?

Photo by Joshua F. (cropped)

Andersonville Galleria

5247 N Clark Street
Chicago, IL, 60640

+1 773 878 8570

At the center of the dynamic Andersonville district sits the curious Andersonville Galleria. A veritable maze of over 100 tiny shops and market stalls, this Galleria is an indoor boutique wonderland. The businesses are run by local merchants, many of whom are LGBT+.

Don’t expect to walk away empty-handed as you will definitely be enticed by the astonishing array of unique artworks and artisan products on display.

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A vintage bookshop.

See the small Chicago bookstore that's changing minds and lives!

Photo by Veronika J. (cropped)

Women and Children First

5233 N Clark Street
Chicago, IL, 60640

+1 773 769 9299

Right next door to the Galleria is the amazing Women and Children First bookshop. Founded with a belief that literature has the power to change hearts and minds, the bookstore is dedicated to stories by and about women.

As self-proclaimed ‘intersectional trans-inclusive feminists’, Women and Children First acts to educate visitors on feminist and LGBT+ issues. With over 20,000 books in stock, the store encourages young readers to ease into the works with book reading events and virtual conversations with authors.

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San Francisco Pride 

Rainbow flags line the streets of The Castro district in San Francisco.

Celebrate Pride in the Gay Capital of the World

Photo by Piotr M. (cropped)

San Francisco is often lovingly referred to as ‘The Gay Capital of the World’. Indeed, ‘Frisco has a long history of LGBT+ residents, starting from the beginning of the 20th century. In 1961, San Francisco had the first openly gay candidate running for a US public office position. In 1965, the first Gay Liberation organization in America was founded there. San Francisco also does a lot for trans activism, including the annual Trans March on June 25th, one of the world’s largest events for transgender visibility.

Although most of the city is a diverse mixture of LGBT+ identifying people and allies, there are a few prominent queer neighborhoods. The most popular LGBT+ districts are The Castro, The Mission, and SoMa.

Pride Month in San Francisco

Pride Month in San Francisco brings with it a wave of music and film festivals, and in-person and virtual talks with LGBT+ activists. The biggest music event is the Fresh Meat Festival, featuring queer and transgender artists. There will also be food, craft, and resource fairs surrounding the big marches.

The annual San Francisco Pride Parade will be hosted in the city on the 26th of June, 2022.

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Where to Stay in San Francisco

A classy hotel bedroom in light brown and grey tones.

An elegant stay in central San Francisco!

Photo by Kenny E.

Parker Guest House

520 Church Street
San Francisco, CA, 94114

+1 415 621 3222

The Parker Guest House is an enchanting hotel in central San Francisco, presenting a subdued, luxurious elegance in each spacious room. Formed from early 19th-century mini-mansions, Parker Guest House offers comfort and class with each stay. Guests can wander around the verdant gardens, listen to piano music in the lounges, or join a complimentary wine social in Parker’s sunroom.

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Shot of the vintage tramway in Union Square, San Francisco.

The Orange Village Hostel is a short walk from the hsitoric Union Square!

Photo by Shaunak D.

Orange Village Hostel

411 O’Farrell Street
San Francisco, CA, 94102

+1 415 409 4000

Stay near some of San Francisco’s biggest attractions in the Orange Village Hostel. Offering cheap yet comfortable private rooms, and beds in male and female dorms, the Orange Village Hostel is the best place to stay in San Francisco on a budget.

The hostel has a communal lounge where they host pizza nights and organize fun activities and events. They are also happy to provide you with lots of local information for your stay in ‘Frisco.

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Where to Eat in San Francisco

An egg and avocado brunch.

Come here for a rich, hearty meal in San Francisco!

Photo by Maddi B.

Kitchen Story

3499 16th Street
San Francisco, CA, 94114

+1 415 525 4905

Kitchen Story in The Castro is a relatively new and incredibly popular restaurant that serves an exceptional blend of Thai and American cuisine. Kitchen Story specializes in delicious, filling brunches.

Their feature ingredient is the sweet and spicy millionaire’s bacon. This mouthwatering treat comes as a topping for burgers, eggs, or french toast. If it isn’t included with your dish but you really want to try it, you can order the millionaire’s bacon as a side.

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The sign for Orphan Andy's restaurant with rainbow neon squares behind it.

Eat at this amazing LGBT-owned establishment!

Photo by Thomas H.

Orphan Andy’s

3991 17th Street
San Francisco, CA, 94114

+1 415 864 9795

Welcome to The Castro’s famous all-day breakfast, sandwich, and burger bar. Owned by husbands Bill Pung and Dennis Zieball since 1977, Orphan Andy’s is one of the beating hearts of San Francisco’s LGBT+ community.

The interior has a homely design, with red leather on the booths and bar stools, and neon-lined wood paneling all around. This vintage style makes it easy to relax into a good American meal as you imagine the decades of queer history that this ‘Frisco landmark has seen.

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Things to do in San Francisco

People crossing a rainbow cross walk.

Experience San Francisco's best open-air LGBT exhibit!

Photo by Greg R.

Rainbow Honor Walk

499 Castro Street
San Francisco, CA, 94114

When you find a beautiful sunny day and want to immerse yourself in queer history as you stroll in the fresh air, visit the Rainbow Honor Walk. Nestled in the heart of The Castro, the Rainbow Honor Walk is styled after the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Only instead of stars, there are large bronze plaques dedicated to the world’s greatest LGBT+ pioneers.

Here you can walk over rainbow crosswalks that interlink facts and stories on some of the greatest queer influencers of the 20th century. It’s the perfect open-air exhibition to learn about well-known and under-represented figures, including Virginia Woolf, Oscar Wilde, Frida Kahlo, Glenn Burke, Freddie Mercury, and Alan Turing.

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A groovy 70s-styled VW campervan.

See the best of San Francisco from a 70s VW campervan!

Photo by Nick K. (cropped)

San Francisco Love Tours

2899 Hyde Street
San Francisco, CA, 94109

+1 415 366 6156

Experience the best of historic San Francisco from inside a groovy 70s VW Campervan. This 2-hour daytime tour is an intimate way to learn about love throughout the ages in the Golden City, with only 6 people maximum per bus. Along the drive, you will hear interesting facts and exclusive stories from your local guide.

Featured locations on the tour include historically LGBT+ districts such as The Castro and The Mission, and the famous crooked Lombard Street. The hippie bus stops twice for photo opportunities: at the Golden Gate Bridge and for a view of the San Francisco Skyline.

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'Love Wins' wallpaper behind a rainbow neon lights.

Gain a fascinating new perspective on LGBT+ history in San Francisco.

Photo by Jason L. (cropped)

GLBT Historical Society

4127 18th Street
San Francisco, CA, 94114

+1 415 777 5455

An internationally-recognized leader in LGBTQ public history, the GLBT Historical Society was founded in 1985 to promote, and make accessible, queer history and culture. Now, it proudly presents a museum in The Castro district and, though it is small, it definitely packs a punch.

Don’t be afraid to spend time reading faded letters or watching the mini-documentaries. Visitors come to learn about and understand queer struggles through the last decades. The biggest impact is often made by the genuine Harvey Milk bullhorn in his campaign exhibit.

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