LGBTQ-Friendly Cities for Pride Celebrations
Cities around the world will hold Pride Month celebrations this summer, making it a perfect occasion for LGBTQ travelers to plan a trip and join in the festivities.
This year, New York City marks the 50th anniversary of Pride celebrations. The entire month of June is packed with events — from rallies to performances, parties and exhibits. There’s a festival of LGBTQ plays June 13 to July 6, a concert honoring 50 years of divas on June 23 and a culinary evening on June 28, with cooking demonstrations and a tasting menu. The month culminates with the annual Pride parade along Fifth Avenue on June 30.
In San Francisco, this year’s Pride theme is “Generations of Resistance.” Civic Center Plaza will take on a festive atmosphere on the afternoon of June 29-30, with entertainment and dozens of exhibitors and food vendors. On June 30, the Pride parade will be held along Market Street. San Francisco is also a great starting point to explore northern California, including the wineries of Napa Valley and the redwoods in Muir Woods.
Key West, the southernmost point of Florida, is known for its laid-back lifestyle and welcoming atmosphere. This year’s Pride Week will be held June 5-9, with parties, musical performances, theater, film screenings and a parade. For restaurants and nightlife, check out downtown’s vibrant Duval Street or the waterfront Mallory Square, where people gather nightly to watch the sunset.
Canada leads the list of gay-friendly destinations, according to an annual index compiled by the travel publisher Spartacus, and Toronto’s monthlong Pride celebration has become one of the country’s major artistic and cultural events. Activities include Nuit Rose, a free festival of LGBT-focused art and performance, a weekend street fair with a spotlight on local artisans, and the Pride parade, on June 23. To celebrate with a French flair, Montreal Pride takes place Aug. 8-18, with a Community Day on Aug. 17 along Rue Sainte-Catherine, in the heart of the city’s gay neighborhood, and a parade on Aug. 18.
Austria also ranks highly on the Spartacus index, and Vienna hosts EuroPride from June 1-16. Pride Village, in front of Vienna’s City Hall, will be a center of activities, with food, drink and entertainment. Other events include a street festival, beach day, a movie night and a 5K race, with a parade on June 15. While you’re there, you’ll also want to tour the city’s museums and palaces and try some of the desserts, like the Sachertorte, for which Vienna is famous.
Sweden is another country high on the list of welcoming places for LGBT travelers, with gay and gay-friendly hotels, bars and restaurants spread throughout the capital of Stockholm. The annual Stockholm Pride takes place from July 29 to Aug. 3, with street parties and a parade. Fans of ABBA will want to check out the museum devoted to the Swedish pop group.