Updated in June 2023
June is here, and with it, the colorful parades, demonstrations, and festivals that make Pride Month a fantastic international community event. This month-long celebration recognizes year-round activism and is a call for greater unity, visibility, and equality for the LGBTQ+ community. From San Francisco’s famous drag shows to Provincetown’s gay beaches, there are Pride celebrations for LGBTQ travelers, community members, and allies alike that take place all over the country.
Celebrations can last from a few days up to a full week, with some carrying through the end of summer. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly festivals or the more risqué cabaret and comedy shows, we’ve rounded up our 10 picks for the best cities and festivals to celebrate Pride Month.
When it comes to celebrating Pride, nobody does it quite like San Francisco. Throughout Pride month, you’ll find festivities around every corner, but if you’re looking to join in on the peak of the Bay Area’s fun, mark the weekend of June 24-25 on your calendar. Catch the San Francisco Pride Parade from Market Street to City Hall, grab tickets to Juanita MORE’s annual party, and enjoy the live music, dance parties, and vendors downtown. After a day of fun, chow down at queer-friendly bars and restaurants like Orphan Andy’s, Farmhouse Kitchen, and The Mix. The city’s pride celebrations draw crowds of up to roughly a million, so be sure to snag a Bay Area vacation home just in time.
The Pacific Northwest is no stranger to pulling out all the stops for Pride Month. In Seattle, the festivities kick off on June 3 with Pride in the Park at Volunteer Park. Watch drag performances and live music, and check out the west lawn’s pride festivities geared towards youth and families, featuring crafts and free activities for all ages. The fun continues June 24-25, with the Seattle Pride Parade and PrideFest on Capitol Hill, which will include three stages, 2 beverage gardens, and local vendors. The festival takes place across five blocks, so there’s no shortage of gay-friendly fun while you visit Seattle.
Don’t be fooled by this quaint New England coastal town nestled at the tip of Cape Cod. Provincetown is all things glitter and magic, with a thriving artist colony that embraces outsiders and free self-expression, and where you can stop for a drink at the oldest gay bar in the U.S. And visiting P-town during its Pride Weekend (June 2-4) is one of the best ways to celebrate. Between cabaret shows, drag queen story hours, queer comedy shows, and hangouts at Herring Cove Beach (a popular gay beach), you can fill your itinerary with one pride celebration after another.
Los Angeles famously holds one of the biggest Pride celebrations in the country and in the world. It all officially begins the second weekend of June, but if you’re looking to live it up the entire month long, Los Angeles is the place to be. Start things off with the OutLoud Music Festival, June 2-4, which celebrates LGBTQ-inclusive voices in music, featuring Orville Peck and Carly Rae Jepsen. The city also hosts the Pride Month Artisan Market in The Bloc downtown every Saturday in June. For must-see events, grab tickets to Pride is Universal, the annual LGBTQ+ after-hours event at Universal Studios, and the two-day music extravaganza, LA Pride in the Park at Los Angeles State Historic Park, headlined by Mariah Carey and Megan Thee Stallion. The 53rd Annual L.A. Pride Parade will be held June 11 and will run adjacent to Pride Village, where you’ll find music, live performances, food trucks, and vendors.
Strap on your high heels in the mile-high city. Denver’s Pride event draws around half a million attendees to its gay-friendly festivities. In true Colorado fashion, the celebration kicks off with the Pride 5K on June 24, leading into the two-day Denver PrideFest and the Coors Light Denver Pride Parade. Families, couples, and friends can gather together to watch colorful floats, get their groove on to live music, and dig into delicious festival foods and treats. In Denver, you’ll find pride activities for everyone, with Creative Meditation Workshops, A Drag Guide to Pride, A Pride Sober Party, and the Be Proud Out Loud event for Older Adults.
With the weather warming up to near-perfect temperatures in the Rose City, Portland Pride Waterfront Festival & Parade, running July 15-16, has become the unofficial kickoff to summer and one of the largest donation-based Pride festivals in the U.S.
Festive parades, film screenings, art exhibits, and more provide plenty to do during the day. After-hours, Portland Pride is also a night owl’s dream, filled with comedy shows, themed DJ nights, and dance parties that go til dawn.
With its official philosophy of “One Human Family,” it’s no surprise the tiny sun-drenched island of Key West has become legendary for its year-round openness and eccentric, laid-back style. Key West can be considered an international mecca for the LGBTQ+ community; the U.S.'s first openly gay mayor was elected here, and the island is home to the first-of-its-kind Key West AIDS Memorial.
June is when the small town really comes alive for its Pride Month celebrations. From June 7-11, the Pride calendar is packed with talent shows, pool parties, street fairs, drag shows, Pride bingo, and, of course, the annual Key West Pride Parade. And while you’re strolling Key West’s historic streets between events, strike a pose in front of the city’s four rainbow crosswalks.
When a town is as world-famous for its street parades as New Orleans, it's no surprise this city goes all out for its Pride festivities. After all, New Orleans was once voted the second most-welcoming city for LGBT people in America. The Big Easy officially hosts Louisiana’s largest LGBTQ+ parade as part of its Pride Weekend taking place June 9-11, with more events happening all month long, including Black Pride NOLA.
Though NOLA parades are famous for their flamboyant costumes and more mature audiences, make sure to bring your little ones along to “Family Equality Day.” Here, families of all ages gather to celebrate with drag queen story time, fan decorating workshops, and even a children’s march for our youngest of activists.
Can't make it out to celebrate Pride in June? Lucky for you, one of the largest Pride events in the country takes place in sunny San Diego, July 8-16.
San Diego Pride is held at the famous Balboa Park and expects to see a crowd of 300,000 come to enjoy the floats, performances by diverse artists and activists, educational and art exhibits, and more. And for those looking to break a sweat while supporting diversity, pack your rainbow running gear and sign up for San Diego’s Front Runners Pride 5K, which donates all proceeds to the week’s charity partners.
One Pride Festival not enough? Atlanta thinks so, too. The city sees three major LGBTQ+ festivals a year: June’s National Pride Month, September’s Black Pride, and then October’s Pride Festival and Parade. As one of the best LGTBQ vacation spots, you’ll find plenty of ways to join in on community events, whether at the Pride 5k, the Pride Drag Bingo, or the Pride Prom Masquerade Ball. However you celebrate, whenever you celebrate, Atlanta will be loud and proud.