From parties and parades to historical landmarks and 2SLGBTQ+-friendly resorts, experience the spirited atmosphere and important history across the U.S. this June and beyond:
Parties and Parades
In-person Pride is back! From the east to west coast, U.S. cities are unveiling spectacular parties, parades, performances and diverse events this summer.
New York City is home to the first pride parade. What began as a march for civil rights has steadily evolved into today’s celebration of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. With its long-standing history, NYC Pride is unique in how celebratory events are fueled by profound respect for the past and the community members who fought against oppression. The annual Rally will kick off celebratory events on June 24, transforming the streets by inspiring advocacy for change and progress. The annual March will take place on June 26, commemorating the Stonewall Uprising of 1969 – riots that launched the modern gay rights movement. The PrideFest street fair in Lower Manhattan will also take place on Sunday, offering the best of New York’s 2SLGBTQ+ entertainment and cuisine.
Known for its unwavering support of individuality, as well as remarkable arts scene, Seattle, Washington’s PrideFest is another can’t-miss celebration. This year, the Seattle Center and hip neighborhood Capitol Hill will host hundreds of acts by eclectic performers across five stages, including drag queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race. Downtown Seattle will host the famed Pride parade on Sunday, June 26.
For history enthusiasts interested in the evolution of the 2SLGBTQ+ rights movement, San Francisco, CA is a must-visit.
Home to many 2SLGBTQ+ human rights victories, San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood alone can make up a traveler itinerary due to its extensive history of activism and culture. Marked by rainbow-painted pavement and structured like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, The Castro Rainbow Honor Walk installation features five blocks of bronze plaques that honor 2SLGBTQ+ pioneers. Learn about 36 individuals on this educational and inspiring route, including Freddie Mercury, Oscar Wilde, and Gertrude Stein. Along the walk, visit San Francisco’s 100th historical landmark: the Castro Theater. Known for remarkable architecture constructed by local 2SLGBTQ+ community members in 1922, the Theater will host its annual Frameline46 International LGBTQ+ Film Festival from June 16 to 29 this year. With a streaming encore June 24 to 30, this is the oldest and largest 2SLGBTQ+ film festival in the world.
A lesser-known spot that may be overlooked, Pink Triangle Memorial Park, features an installation of granite pylons that honours gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people persecuted, imprisoned, and killed by the Nazi regime. After a park stroll, enjoy a night cap across the street at San Francisco’s first openly gay bar, Twin Peaks Tavern.
Situated in the center of these memorable destinations is Harvey Milk Plaza, named after one of the most famous and significant icons of the LGBTQ community. Milk was the first openly gay elected official in US history, and the leader of the Castro neighborhood. While not included in the Honor Walk, his plaque does reside in the Plaza.
The San Francisco Pride Parade takes place on June 26 this year.
For a beach getaway, visit sunny Fire Island in New York state. After a quick 20-minute ferry ride, arrive at the 42-kilometer-long carless seashore strip known for legendary parties. Cherry Grove and the Pines beach enclaves are long-time popular 2SLGBTQ+ community getaways.
Following Pride month celebrations, the annual 4th of July Fire Island Invasion celebration roars back this year. Hundreds of drag queens from both Cherry Grove and the Pines will gather at Ice Palace Resort to create a one-of-a-kind recreational experience, a tradition dating back to 1976!
For a high-end boutique stay, The Palms Hotel & Spa provides rejuvenating amenities on a chic beachfront location, while the Belvedere Guest House for Men offers premier accommodations within a Venetian-style palace. Wisteria, a women-only sanctuary, is also available on Fire Island.
To discover more about the boundless diversity of American travel experiences and the authentic, rich culture, please go to VisitTheUSA.ca.