Best US Cities to Celebrate Pride

07 June 2018

It’s Pride Month! Cities across the country and the world will be celebrating the LGBTQ community throughout June with a host of epic parades and lively events. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite Pride destinations where you can get fully immersed in the spirit of joy and love that encompasses the days-long festivities. Grab your rainbow gear, then book a stay at a HI USA hostel so you can celebrate with new friends and fellow revelers.  

San Francisco, CA

As a historic center of gay culture and civil rights, San Francisco is probably one of the best cities in the world for Pride. The city fills up with people from all over the world who want to revel in the celebrations, which include an art and music festival, performances on 22 stages and venues, and a mammoth parade that runs down Market Street. The main party takes place at Civic Center Plaza in front of City Hall. 

Where to stay: HI San Francisco City Center is a short walk from Civic Center, and the hostel’s vibe is perfect for getting into the celebratory spirit. 

New York, NY

New York City is home of the first official Pride parade, which took place in 1970, and today the march is the largest in the world (rivalled only by Sao Paulo Pride in Brazil). Spanning more than a week of events – from VIP parties and Youth Pride, to family movie nights and live concerts – New York’s festivities are truly inclusive. The main march and rally are set to be epic as usual with thousands of people coming out in full rainbow force. 

Where to stay: Located just a block from the subway, HI New York City hostel makes a good home base for Pride. The hostel’s twice-weekly welcome parties are a great place to meet fellow Pride-inspired travelers. 

Chicago, IL 

In Chicago, Pride celebrations are stretched out over two weekends: the first is a two-day festival featuring live music and drag performances at a lively street fair, and the second is the main parade that ends in Lincoln Park. Throughout the month of June, the city also has parties, performances, and pageants, so even if you miss the big events, you won’t miss out on the fun. 

Where to stay: HI Chicago is not too far from Lincoln Park and many venues for Pride parties. 

Portland, OR 

The Portland Pride Festival has been going since the early ‘70s and is a highlight of the city’s year-round LGBTQ scene. More than 150 groups participate in the colorful parade, while the festival, which takes place at Waterfront Park, features booths, food, and live music along the river. In the week leading up to Pride, and throughout the weekend, there are events like the Gaylabration dance party and the Trans Pride Rally. 

Where to stay: HI Portland Hawthorne is a good home-away-from-home place to stay in the cool Hawthorne neighborhood.  

San Diego, CA

This year, San Diego's annual pride celebrations will include a music festival in Balboa Park, a 5K race, and a rally commemorating the historic Stonewall riots and honoring those at the forefront of the LGBT rights movement. Expect the city to be buzzing with people ready to party! 

Where to stay: HI San Diego Downtown is in the middle of the bustling Gaslamp Quarter, and the friendly front desk staff can help you navigate to all of the weekend's Pride activities.

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