Be welcome

Land of the free, home of the brave perhaps, but what is clear is that the United States is no one thing from sea to shining sea. Spread over some 3.8 million square miles, the states stretch from Alaska and the Hawaiian archipelago in the West to Maine and the Florida Keys in the East. And in between is a rich mix of imported influences that takes pride in the heterogeneity that defines it, a diversity reflected as much in the variety of its geography and culture as its cuisine and people. In such a big place, LGBTQ visitors will not be want for options: beautiful coasts, great lakes and plains, snow-capped mountains, deep canyons, quaint towns and iconic cities.

And in the United States, LGBTQ culture runs deep, with same-sex relationships dating back to the Native American Two-Spirit People (having both male and female spirits within them) and reports of gay men in the Union Army. It wasn't until the 1940s and the publication of Alfred Kinsey's Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, however, that discussions about homosexuality became a bit more mainstream.

The sexual revolution of the 1960s and the Stonewall riots in New York City in 1969 then blew the top off of most of the founding Puritan mores and issued in a modern gay civil rights era with Gay liberation at the forefront. Ten years later, the first gay rights March took place in Washington D.C. and in 2015, the latest milestone was reached with the recognition of marriage equality throughout the 50 states.

So what are the best destinations for LGBTQ travelers in the United States? Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Washington D.C., Key West, Fort Lauderdale, Portland, Palm Springs, Seattle, Savannah, Provincetown, New Orleans, Boston, Austin, Atlanta, Santa Fe, Las Vegas - Take your pick.