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While there are tons of pride events every year in the U.S, only a few cities’ festivals can be seen as a true right of passage. These aren’t your standard run-of-the-mill parades with a marching band and a couple of loudspeakers. These are all-out, weeklong operations with hundreds of thousands of people, concerts, art exhibits, late-night parties, and enough tassels to make your head spin. Here’s our collection of the best 2019 pride parades, as well as the best areas to stay for each one.

By Mercedes Mehling

New York Pride

Unsurprisingly, the oldest pride parade in the country is still one of the best. Ever since starting out in 1970 and catapulting the pride movement onto the national stage, the Big Apple has held one of the most significant festivals around. More than just a festival, New York Pride is an event full of music, art, conferences, speakers, and marches. NYC pride culminates with the march down 5th Avenue and ends in the village near the famous Stonewall Inn, the site of the 1969 riots.

When: Sunday, June 30th

Where to Stay: Most of the events take place in Manhattan south of Midtown. We recommend snagging a spot in Greenwich Village, Chelsea, the East Village, or the Lower Westside. Each of these neighborhoods will place you close to the action.

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New York Pride By Juan Camilo Bernal Shutterstock.jpg
By Juan Camilo Bernal Shutterstock

San Francisco Pride

If New York is the most historically significant pride parade, San Francisco Pride is a close second. San Francisco has everything you could possibly want in an exciting pride festival: over one million wildly passionate participants, scenic views, good weather, and tons to do. Taking place where Harvey Milk once stood and addressed pride-goers over 30 years ago, San Francisco Pride is massive with over 20 stages and venues, 300 exhibits and vendors, and a huge finale taking place on Market Street. Events here range from fetish-focused and R-rated to family-friendly.

When: Saturday June 29th and Sunday June 30th

Where to Stay: If you’re looking to be close to the parade, book a spot near the Civic Center. If you’re in it for the nightlife, snag a spot in the Castro, and if you’re looking to see everything else SF has to offer, stay in Union Square. Wherever you stay, make sure to book well in advance.

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San Francisco Pride Shutterstock By Sheila Fitzgerald Shutterstock.jpg
By Sheila Fitzgerald Shutterstock

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Boston Pride

Ask any pride-loyal New Englander and they’ll tell you that Boston is the center of the world come early June. Huge chunks of the city effectively shut down to accommodate for the festival, and most of the action takes place around the south side of town. This year, the theme is ‘Looking Back… Loving Forward.’ The Boston Pride parade zig-zags through the city and includes all kinds of participants. Once you’re finished, make your way over to one of the city’s historic gay bars.

When: Saturday, June 8th

Where to Stay: Elect to stay along the parade’s route that flanks the south end before passing Boston Common and ending up at City Hall Plaza.

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By Boston Pride Facebook

Houston LGBT Pride Celebration

In the midst of the starkly conservative state of Texas, Houston stands out as one of the top destinations for pride. Like many others around the country, Houston’s theme this year — ‘Summer of ‘69’ — is historical as it looks back on the Stonewall riots. Put Houston on your summer itinerary for an incredible week of pride, delicious BBQ, and Southern hospitality.

When: Saturday, June 22nd

Where to Stay: Houston Pride takes place smack dab in the middle of downtown, so we recommend not straying too far from the city center.

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Houston LGBT Pride Celebration By michelmond Shutterstock.jpg
By michelmond Shutterstock

Seattle PrideFest

While Seattle’s PrideFest doesn’t quite compete with other cities in terms of its number of attendees and events, there’s a certain energy here that you won’t find in other places. There’s only two main events, a concert, and the final parade, but many rank Seattle as being the most inclusive of all the parades. There’s no “us vs. them” mentality, and it truly feels like a positive movement.

When: Saturday, June 29th (Capitol Hill), Sunday June 30th (Seattle Center)

Where to Stay: Seattle has everything from sleek and swanky hotels to cozy Airbnbs. Staying in Capitol Hill will be your best bet for being close to the action.

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Seattle PrideFest By SeaRick1 Shutterstock.jpg
By SeaRick1 Shutterstock

Miami Beach Pride

Warm weather seekers heed our advice: Miami Beach Pride is one of the most exciting festivals in the country, and it should definitely be on your pride tour. If you’re looking to be surrounded by sculpted bodies, sandy beaches, Latin flare, and delicious international cuisine, look no further than The Magic City. This year’s event lasts for an entire week, and if you’re feeling fabulous, there’s an exclusive VIP package that will take your experience to the next level.

When: Monday April 1st – Monday April 7th

Where to Stay: Ideally, stay on Miami Beach, but downtown is a cool plan B. There’s also a good handful gay-friendly hotels in Miami that make for excellent home away from homes.

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Miami Beach Pride By Atomazul Shutterstock.jpg
By Atomazul Shutterstock
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One Comment

  1. Gloria F

    Oh! i had no idea…Good for you Dillon!

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