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Participants kicking off the San Diego Pride parade with a large rainbow flag
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Discover queer-friendly experiences and places throughout the nation.

The LGBTQ+ community can be found in every state and territory in the USA. This community is as vibrant and diverse as the institutions and events honoring its history and celebrating being yourself. Below is just a sampling of the places, attractions, festivals and happenings where love is love and all are welcome.

Where To Go

LGBTQ+ friendly neighborhoods can be found in many cities across the USA, particularly in populated areas ripe for exploration. Shops, bookstores, bars and restaurants adorned with rainbow flags fill the streets in the Castro District in San Francisco, California. Head east to the welcoming Mission District to explore street art, taquerias and coffee shops. Chicago, Illinois, has two LGBT neighborhoods: the gay-friendly and party-happy Boystown in East Lakeview and the less-showy Girlstown in Andersonville. Walk down North Halsted in Boystown to experience the Legacy Walk, where forty rainbow pylons dot both sides of the street with bronze plaques honoring LGBTQ+ contributions to history.

Find history, culture and a healthy dose of nightlife while exploring the roots of the modern LGBTQ+ movement. In New York City, New York, The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village received the first historical LGBTQ+ landmark designation as the Stonewall National Monument in 2016. Just north are the boutiques and brownstones of Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, both traditionally gay neighborhoods turned into artsy enclaves. Just north of Hell’s Kitchen, the American LGBTQ+ Museum is slated to open in 2024, with exhibits and programs dedicated with preservation and celebration of the dynamic history of this diverse community.

Since the 1970's, the Montrose neighborhood just west of downtown Houston, Texas, has been considered the epicenter of LGBTQ+ culture in the city, filled with everything from quaint bistros and boutique art galleries to world-class museums and parks with skyline views. Multiple LGBTQ+owned restaurants and shops can be found throughout Denver, Colorado's Capitol Hill neighborhood, which also serves as the backdrop for the annual PrideFest parade. Washington D.C.’s Pride Festival takes place every June in the Dupont Circle neighborhood, where the parade travels down streets lined with rainbow flags and LGBTQ+friendly businesses.

Couple seeing the sights in Millennium Park while on vacation in Chicago, Illinois

Couple seeing the sights in Millennium Park while on vacation in Chicago, Illinois
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What To Do

Learn about the artistic and cultural heritage of LGBTQ+ Americans at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City or the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives in Los Angeles, California. Harvey Milk was the first openly gay politician elected to office in California, and his legacy lives on in San Francisco at his former home.

Stock up on LGBTQ+ literature at independent bookstores such as Women & Children First in Chicago or Giovanni’s Room in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On the other side of the state, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh displays thousands of pieces of artwork from the gay icon, housed in the largest museum dedicated to a single artist. Have a drink at iconic bars such as Twin Peaks Tavern in San Francisco, drag queen hangout Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club in Chicago, or Cubbyhole, a casual local pub in New York City. Finish an evening with a show at the Castro Theatre, an art deco institution in San Francisco known for hosting sing-alongs with a vintage pipe organ. If you're looking to dance all night, Seattle, Washington's Kremwerk is a queer-centric night club with a separate space for nightly performances by DJs, stand-up comedy or burlesque shows.

Enjoying some tasty wine and food at a Houston, Texas, eatery

Enjoying some tasty wine and food at a Houston, Texas, eatery
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When To Go

Nearly every city in the USA has its own pride festival, which usually includes a technicolor rainbow parade, street festivals musical performances and countless dance parties. Just to name a few: New York City, San Francisco, Detroit and Chicago all host their pride festivals in late June. The Puerto Rico Gay Pride Festival happens in the capital city of San Juan each summer, around the same time that Key West Pride takes over the LGBTQ+ friendly island in Florida. Atlanta, Georgia, holds its Pride Festival every October, on the weekend closest to National Coming Out Day.

There are even more festivals taking place throughout the year, like partying with the leather crowd at San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair in September or embracing your inner nerd at Flame Con, the world’s largest queer comic convention, held every August in New York City. Southern Decadence, often referred to as the event where Gay Mardi Gras meets New Orleans Pride, celebrates the community in true Mardi Gras-style, with colorful floats, parades and parties taking place across New Orleans, Louisiana, over six days in August or September. Grab your cowboy hat and boots to get in the spirt for the International Gay Rodeo, held annually from February through August with competitions taking place in numerous western states. January welcomes the Sin City Classic, the largest LGBTQ+ annual sporting event in the world, to Las Vegas, Nevada; and Aspen Gay Ski Week in the stunning Colorado mountain town. The Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival takes place in Hawaii’s capital every September or October empowering the community through visual storytelling.

Rainbow Pride Flag being brought down the mountain during Aspen Gay Ski Week in Colorado

Rainbow Pride Flag being brought down the mountain during Aspen Gay Ski Week in Colorado
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