Best US Cities to Celebrate Pride 2019 | Hostelling International USA

Best US Cities to Celebrate Pride

13 May 2019

Here comes Pride season! Cities across the country and the world will be celebrating the LGBTQ community throughout the summer with a host of epic parades and lively events. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite Prides in some of the most gay friendly cities 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. 

Boston, MA

Boston Pride Parade

Boston takes Pride quite seriously, and from mid-May right through June there are talks, parties, theater performances, and live music all across the city to get you celebrating in big and small ways. The epic parade takes place on June 8, when revelers will march all the way to City Hall for the festival featuring live performances from local acts. 

Where to stay: The centrally located HI Boston is the perfect place if you’d like to get to a couple of different events. 

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. 

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Pride

If there’s one place you’re guaranteed an absolutely fabulous Pride Week, it’s Los Angeles, where the entire iconic city gets involved. Do LGBT night at Dodger Stadium, or Pride Night at Universal Studios, and, of course, the main festival in West Hollywood featuring Grammy Award-winning acts. LA Pride Week 2019 runs from May 31 to June 9, and kicks off with an opening ceremony featuring drag shows, dancing, and local DJs. 

Where to stay: Recharge at the beach and stay at HI Los Angeles Santa Monica hostel for the complete LA experience.

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. The main Pride events take place on the second weekend of July, meaning you’re likely to have a perfectly sunny SoCal celebration. 

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.

Austin, TX

Austin Texas Pride

As one of the latest celebrations on the US calendar, Austin Pride closes the months of revelry with a bang. Eight days of queer events throughout the city culminate in a giant festival along Lady Bird Lake at Fiesta Gardens, featuring a host of vendors, performers, carnival rides and games. The theme for Pride 2019, which starts on August 2, is Boogie Wonderland, and the parade along Congress Avenue promises to be a disco delight. 

Where to stay: HI Austin is right across the river and a short biking distance from Fiesta Gardens so you won’t be too far from home after the day of festivities.

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