Rainbow paint and feather boas at the ready – it’s time for Pride season.
This year Pride comes back to life after two years of virtual celebrations – so expect even-more joyful, colorful affairs filled with parties, activist meet-ups, live music and parades.
Portland has a thriving LGBTIQ+ scene year-round, but the highlight is the annual Pride parade and festival, started in 1977. This year, the festivities return with in-person, June 18-19 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. The parade draws around 60,000 spectators.
DC’s Capital Pride is one of the nation’s oldest, with the first event organized in 1975 as a one-day block party and street festival. This year Washington DC is hosting a colorful pride parade on June 11 – with a caravan of decorated Pride cars following a new route. Watch out for veritable rainbows on every street corner, as local businesses and residents in DC are being encouraged to show their support for Pride by decorating their buildings balconies and yards in a ‘Paint the Town Colorful’ campaign.
Where to stay: The major locations are Dupont Circle and Pennsylvania Avenue, with both offering excellent accommodation options. Try the Kimpton Palomar in Dupont, and several Marriotts near Pennsylvania Ave. If you need peace and quiet, opt for Georgetown instead (try the quirky-yet-sophisticated Graham).
New York, New York
The first Pride event in US history was the Christopher Street Liberation Day March in 1970 – a protest march spurred by the 1969 Stonewall Riots that signaled the beginning of the gay rights movement. Over 50 years later, Pride in NYC has become a city-wide celebration that’s evolved way beyond its party-hard reputation of previous decades. ‘Unapologetically Us’ is the theme of Pride 2022 in New York, a reflection of a number of campaigns still ongoing for members of the LGBTQIA community and New Yorkers.
The NYC Pride March will take plan on June 26 with grand marshals Ts Madison, Punkie Johnson, Schuyler Bailar, Dominique Morgan, and Chase Strangio leading the event that includes live performances and street side activities. The Rally on June 24 is back in person this year and will host a number of speakers in various locations throughout the city. Other aspects of the festival this year include a human rights conference and the PrideFest street festival on June 26. All details can be found here.
Where to stay: New York is pretty gay-friendly wherever you go, The Standard is much in demand. For more Pride fun head to where it all began – the West Village – bar-hopping at stalwarts like Stonewall Inn, Julius’ Bar (one of the oldest gay bars in NYC), Cubbyhole and Henrietta Hudson.
This year marks the 51st year of Chicago’s Pride Parade with a four mile procession through Lincoln Park, Uptown and Boystown on Sunday, June 26.
Where to stay: Lively Best Western Hawthorne Terrace compensates for somewhat unremarkable interiors with a smack-dab central Boystown location.
Los Angeles, California
The centerpiece of a month of events, the LA Pride Parade and Festival traditionally attracts crowds in the hundreds of thousands along Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. The live events return this year with a special performance from Christina Aguilera joined by Bob The Drag Queen, Syd, Chika and many others at LA Pride in the Park on June 11. LA’s Pride Parade returns for its 52nd Annual procession through Hollywood on June 12.
Where to stay: In past years the party was non-stop at the Standard Hollywood, offering plenty of eye candy poolside and views across the LA basin. But if you’re looking for a quiet retreat, boho chic Petit Ermitage offers all-suite rooms and topless bathing.
Denver’s LGBTIQ+ scene is fit, fabulous and present – the Rocky Montain region’s largest festival returns to a lavish, live-inperson celebration June 25-26. Denver PrideFest is a weekend-long event drawing over 350,000 people to Civic Center Park. Denver’s Pride 2022 event highlights include two parties at Meow Wolf, a 5k race and Denver’s Dyke March on June 25.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans has welcomed the LGBTIQ+ community for longer than many American cities have existed. The first recorded pride celebrations date to the 1970s, but there have been publicized gay Mardi Gras events since 1949. Pride in New Orleans largely takes place around the French Quarter and Faubourg Marigny neighborhoods. In 2022, live events return for the weekend of June 9 – 12, with highlights including the Pride Parade on June 11 and New Orleans PrideFest, a large block party along along Bourbon Street.
Where to stay: All French Quarter hotels are gay friendly, and there are many explicitly gay-friendly B&Bs in Faubourg Marigny, including the Burgundy Bed & Breakfast, Lions Inn B&B and Bywater Bed & Breakfast.
San Francisco, California
When it comes to celebrating Pride, there are few cities that rival the spectacle and community commitment of San Francisco. While Castro is the city’s oldest pro-gay neighborhood, Pride takes place all over San Francisco. The large-scale weekend of events returns live this year with the theme ‘Love Will Keep Us Together’, June 25 – 26.
Where to stay: Parker House is B&B chic; Inn on Castro makes you feel like you’ve stepped straight back into the 70s and Beck’s Motor Lodge, which underwent a makeover in 2016, is not specifically LGBTIQ+ oriented but is in the heart of the Castro and perfect as a base for exploring SF. Book in advance.