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11 great USA LGBT-friendly places to visit in 2019

June is Pride month in the USA with brilliant events taking place all over the country, to celebrate the LGBT+ community. It’s a great time to visit and this year is particularly special - it’s the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and celebrations are expected to be spectacular in New York City which is hosting WorldPride 2019, the first time the global event will be held in the USA. Here’s our pick of great LGBT+ friendly events and places to visit in the USA in 2019.


Hit WorldPride 2019 in New York

There are events and parades across all five boroughs in New York City. Head to north Manhattan to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Harlem Pride as well as the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance. In Queens there’s the annual parade down 27th Avenue in Jackson Heights, followed by an afternoon street festival with music, drag performances and local cuisine on June 2. Brooklyn’s June 8 Brooklyn Twilight Pride Parade sets out at dusk on Park Slope. The street fair afterwards offers food, crafts and entertainment. There’ll be Pride events throughout the 1 Bronx Festival on June 23, which is designed to inspire, educate and celebrate the diverse Bronx community. The main event, WorldPride, is launched with an opening ceremony and event on June 26 at Brooklyn's Barclays Center hosted by Whoopi Goldberg. The main NYC parade, which started in 1970 on the first anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, takes place on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on June 30. 

Go Gay Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Home to the oldest continuously operating gay bar in the USA, Café Lafitte, the vibrant city of New Orleans has a large and growing LGBT population. You’ll find the epicentre of Gay New Orleans at the corner of Bourbon street and St. Ann Street. The city’s LGBTI+ answer to Pride is Southern Decadence, which brings together a crowd of more than 250,000 - this year it runs August 29 to September 2. 

Party in Provincetown, Massachusetts

The liberal, artsy city of Provincetown, Massachusetts (where same-sex marriage is legal), has always had a high LGBT population so it’s a great place for LGBT travellers to visit. A highlight in the LGBT calendar is Provincetown Pride 2019 which runs from May 30 – June 2. Head out of the city and expect a warm welcome in Northampton, a politically progressive college town that’s home to its own lesbian dance club (Diva's), LGBT bookstore, LGBT newspaper and a sweet LGBT film series, Out For Reel

Go wild in West Hollywood

LA Pride Week 2019 will be taking place in the city of West Hollywood, California from 31 May 31 to June 9. No wonder, considering that more than 40% of West Hollywood’s population identify as LGBTQ+ and both residents and visitors find the city safe, welcoming. Now in its 49th year, the festival’s theme is #JUSTUNITE, with events including a Trans Brunch, an LGBTQ+ night at the LA Dodgers game and a night at Universal Studios Hollywood for ‘Pride is Universal’ and the One City One Pride LGBTQ+ Arts Festival on May 22 – 30 June 30. LA Pride Festival is June 8-9, with live music and LA Pride Parade on the Sunday, with floats and more than 150,000 participants and spectators heading to Santa Monica Boulevard to celebrate. 

 

Have a seaside getaway in Southern Maine

Ogunquit, Maine, is a favourite LGBT seaside holiday town just a 45-minute drive south of Portland, which is host to Southern Maine Gay Pride each June. This small town is only four-square miles, so it’s easy to discover. Ogunquit differs from other resort towns in the state in that most of the restaurants, galleries, hotels and dance clubs are gay-owned and operated. As businesses can’t serve alcohol after 1am, the party scene starts early. Head to the famously pristine Ogunquit Beach, and you’ll find the gay-friendly stretch about 200 yards north of the entrance, past the volleyball nets.

 

Party with Florida’s finest at St. Pete Pride

One of Florida’s most LGBTQ-friendly destinations, St. Pete and Clearwater is home to a large and lively LGBT+ community, with plenty of gay-owned businesses and gay-friendly places to stay as you enjoy the city’s beautiful beaches. Head there June 21-23 to join a crowd of more than 250,000 taking part in St. Pete Pride, Florida’s largest Pride. Expect flamboyant floats, lavish costumes, spectacular live performances - including headliner British pop star Rita Ora, and a massive firework show along St. Pete’s beautiful downtown waterfront.

 

Join sea-to-sea celebrations in Key West

The subtropical island of Key West will be celebrating ‘Unity and Equality’ at this year’s Key West Pride. Highlights of this year’s festival, June 5-9, include the 2019 Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic challenge, concerts, a trolley tour of Key West’s gay heritage and hotspots, pool parties, film screenings, a lively street fair and pageants to select Miss and Ms. Key West Pride. On the last day of the five-day event is the all-welcome 2019 Pride Parade where a 100-foot section of Key West’s iconic 1.25-mile-long sea-to-sea rainbow flag, created in 2003 by the late Gilbert Baker, will be rolled out. The parade along Duval Street from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean finishes up with the famous Key West Tea Dance at La Te Da on Duval Street.

 

Get LGBT aloha in Hawaii

Honolulu Pride is the highlight of Hawaii’s October LGBT history month, with dozens of rainbow banners waving proudly from street lights along Kalakaua Avenue in the heart of Waikiki in the two weeks before the parade on October 19. The rest of the year, the islands are welcoming to LGBT+ visitors too, with plenty of gay bars, clubs, shows, and Instagrammable restaurants. Maui’s First Sunday LGBTQ Brunch at Nalu’s North Shore Grill, every first Sunday of the month, is something of a gay institution. 

Take part in Santa Monica’s first Pride

The city of Santa Monica will be hosting its first Pride month this year, marked with a sensational light installation called ‘Miles of Pride’ that will light up The Pier, Santa Monica Place, Third-Street Promenade and surrounding businesses throughout June. It’s the backdrop for a month of fun, family-friendly events including food festivals, happy hours, story hours, silent discos and more. Through the year, everyone’s welcome at the city’s LGBTQ-friendly restaurants, hotels and bars.

Get outdoorsy in Ithaca

The pretty college town of Ithaca in New York State prides itself on being a LGBT-friendly, so you’ll find a warm welcome whatever you get up to. There’s tonnes to do here; discover Cayuga Lake on an Ithaca LGBTQ cruise, take a LGBTQ history walking tour of Downtown Ithaca, go wine-tasting at LGBTQ+ friendly and owned vineyard, Americana, or head to any of the family-friendly shops in Downtown Ithaca Commons including Alphabet Soup, Jillian's Drawers and Buffalo St Books. By night, head Downtown to Silky Jones, Bar Argos or The Watershed. 

Posted on: 23/05/2019

 
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