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The best cities to celebrate Pride in the US

There’s no better way to celebrate Pride than in a new town with new friends. Here are the top US cities to experience Pride this year. | By Paul Oswell | May 12, 2023

During the month of June, Pride celebrations take place all over the U.S. Parades, marches and concerts celebrate the present and commemorate the past of the LGBTQ+ community in a blaze of inclusion, color and spectacle. Here are our suggestions for the best places across the country to celebrate Pride this year:

  • East-coast extravaganzas: New York and Philadelphia step up with some of the country’s largest Pride parties

  • Sun-soaked destinations: Head to San Francisco in California for sun-drenched celebrations

  • Mix it up in the Midwest: Columbus, Ohio has a dynamic and thriving LGBTQ+ community, as well as an eventful Pride month

New York

If you want to attend a Pride celebration that’s steeped in history, then New York City is the place to be. One of the most important cultural events took place here at the Stonewall Inn in 1969, when the LGBTQ+ community protested for their human rights. The first Pride march took place the very next year, in 1970.

Those historic events and more are celebrated and commemorated in New York during Pride week in late June, including one of the largest Pride marches in the world (this year on June 25th). Head to Greenwich Village to be right in the thick of the party. The neighborhood turns into a giant street fair, and you can see amazing live performances, grab a bite to eat, shop at LGBTQ+ local businesses and purchase souvenirs.

To be a part of the ultimate LGBTQ+ culinary experience, come a week earlier for NY Pride’s The Brunch, a citywide curation of Juneteenth bites from amazing African American LGBTQ+ chefs.

Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®


The City of Brotherly Love goes all out for Pride welcoming tens of thousands of visitors to join in Philly Pride Month. The first two weekends in June see the majority of the celebrations, with flag raisings, boat parades, parties and concerts.

The epicenter of the festivities can be found in the city’s Midtown Village neighborhood — affectionately known as the Gayborhood — on the blocks between 11th and Broad streets and Pine and Chestnut streets. In 2007, Philadelphia Mayor John Street dedicated 36 rainbow street signs around the neighborhood. These signs have since multiplied, adorning dozens more streets, homes and businesses.

For a stay in the heart of the action, centrally located Canopy by Hilton Philadelphia Center City is just a couple of blocks from City Hall and amid all the downtown Pride celebrations. Make use of the hotel’s complimentary Canopy bikes for a fun way to explore the city during this amazing month.

Columbus, Ohio

Columbus Pride, aka Stonewall Columbus Pride, is one of the largest LGBTQ+ events in the country, attracting more than 700,000 visitors. This year, festivities run from June 1st to 26th, with Pride March happening on the third weekend (June 17th).

Columbus is home to several LGBTQ+-friendly neighborhoods. German Village is the city’s oldest LGBTQ+ neighborhood with cobbled streets, elm trees and elegant, historical houses. Short North is the city’s newer LGBTQ+ district, boasting farmers markets, art galleries, boutique shops and trendy bars and nightclubs.

The majority of Columbus Pride festivities will take place downtown, on the riverfront on the third weekend in June. Celebrations will include three stages of live music, family-friendly events, a 5K race, resource fair, drag performances and almost 200 vendors serving delicious food.

Photo by Y S on Unsplash

San Francisco

The West Coast can probably boast about having the largest Pride party in the country, thanks to San Francisco Pride drawing in an estimated one million visitors. This year’s epic Pride Parade will take place on the last weekend in June, with celebrations all along Market Street from Embarcadero to the Celebration at Civic Center. It’s a diverse mix of marchers, floats, dancers and community organizations supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

While the parade is considered the main event, you’ll also find community-run stages and venues set up throughout the city with musicians, dancers and entertainers. San Francisco is a great city to walk around, and you can stay right in the center of the Pride celebrations at Parc 55 San Francisco — a Hilton Hotel, a beautiful boutique hotel located between Civic Center and Union Square. The on-site Michelin-rated Thai restaurant, Kin Khao, is an ideal spot for refueling with seasonal dishes before jumping back into the nearby festivities.

Paul Oswell is an award-winning travel writer, and has been reporting from all seven continents for over twenty years. He is based in New Orleans and is the author of “The Bucket List North America: 1,000 Adventures Big and Small.”