LGBT+ Guide to North America

Trying to narrow down your next road trip in North America is pretty damn tricky as it is, and as an LGBT+ traveller you have a few extra things to consider. If you’re nervous about heading across the Atlantic as an LGBT+ traveller, then never fear! We’ve picked out our absolute favourite cities rich with LGBT+ history and culture where you’ll be able to get out there and feel like you belong. Check out our list of cities where you can be yourself and travel with pride!

 

Vancouver

Vancouver skyline

Vancouver is one of the hottest LGBT+ cities to visit; just think Justin Trudeau at Vancouver Pride 2016. Head to Davie Village for laid-back lunches or after-hours cocktails at party central – all you have to do is follow the rainbow-brick road. If you need to pick up some reading for that long flight home, then a visit to the Little Sisters is a must - this LGBT+ bookshop has been doubling up as campaign HQ and community hub for locals for years. Once you’ve stocked up, get yourself over to The Fountainhead pub – with 15 beers on tap you’ve got plenty of excuses to stay for a few rounds! Soak it all up with their ‘Regular J’ bar menu and get your people-watching on; this might just about be the friendliest place in Vancouver for a cold one.

Check out the Vancouver City Guide

 

Seattle 

Seattle skyline

Better start by grabbing yourself a frappe from the original Starbucks store, because you’re going to need to level up your caffeine to see everything Seattle’s rainbow streets have to offer. This is the city that was home to what’s rumoured to be the USA’s longest continually open gay bar. The Double Head once reigned supreme over Pioneer Square, back in the 1930s where only bribes to corrupt policemen kept them open. Sadly this historic establishment closed in 2015, but the modern day area of Capitol Hill is undoubtedly a great time – to get there, take a detour through Cal Anderson Park, named after their first openly gay state senator who lost his life to the AIDS crisis. If you get the chance, we recommend checking out the LGBTQ+ Seattle Men’s Chorus and the Seattle Women’s Chorus, the largest community choral singing organisation in the world. Definitely worth checking out if these cheeky, talented chaps are performing whilst you’re in town!

Check out the Seattle Guide

 

Miami

Miami beach

Pride on the beach, anyone? Miami is damn easy on the eye – these gorgeous 1930s art deco buildings are just begging to be snapped a million times. An up-and-coming way to get to South Beach is across the new Venetian Causeway cycle route, which follows the series of bridges across the man-made islands. Ditch the bikes on arrival - this is the place for kicking back with a cocktail and chilling in the sun, channelling that SoBe lifestyle. The streets are full of boutiques if you’re looking to splurge, and chic places to drink abound – seeking out LGBT-owned hotspots isn’t hard, with a wealth of venues to choose from. If you want to stick to the mainland, head for the bars – our favourites include, but aren’t limited to: Rosie Bar and Grill for cocktail chic (pro tip – reserve your space ahead of time), Broken Shaker for a casual drink in their spacious garden, and the Wood Tavern for pocket-friendly prices and a laid-back vibe.

Check out the Miami Guide

 

New York

New York City Skyline

If it’s LGBT+ history that interests you, you can’t miss a moment to reflect at the Stonewall Inn, Manhattan. Beneath the modern shop front of fluttering Pride Flags is a defining moment in LGBT+ activism and the liberation movement, the Stonewall Riots of 1969. After a brutal police raid on the Stonewall Inn locals galvanised to protest the treatment of their community. It’s widely considered to be the birthplace of Pride marches, which sprung up across major US cities in 1970 as a reaction to the riots, and the tradition of Pride being held at the end of June is the legacy. The Inn itself became a National Monument in 2016 after campaigners worked to raise its status. You call also call in on the homes of trailblazing photographer Alice Austen (now a gallery displaying her iconic work), poet and civil activist Audre Lorde’s Staten Island abode and controversial, eloquent and highly intelligent author James Baldwin’s Residence – load up his seminal work Giovanni’s Room.

Check out the New York Guide

 

San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge

San Fran, how could we not? Obviously we had to give a shout out to the City by the Bay. The history is amazing – home to Harvey Milk, first openly gay individual to be elected in California, and birthplace of the much-loved Pride rainbow flag to name but two important moments. Nowadays, San Francisco’s Castro District remains the go-to neighbourhood , but you can also visit the GLBT History Museum or annual queer film festival, Frameline Film Festival.

Check out the San Francisco Guide

 

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