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.

Be inspired

New York City -  Things to do

Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the "Met", has more than 2 million works of art in its enormous building on 5th Avenue.  As it would be impossible to see everything...
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San Francisco -  Things to do

A truly stunning structure, the Golden Gate Bridge has been named one of the seven wonders of the modern world, and it's art-deco design is a triumph of form and...
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New York City -  Bar

Cheap beer on draft, upbeat bartenders, and a somewhat goofy d├ęcor--Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and lots of vinyl--Cubbyhole is one of the few remaining lesbian-only bars in...
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New York City -  Things to do

Times Square, "The Great White Way" of neon and LED bill boards, is not a square at all but more like two triangles stretching north and south of West 45th Street as...
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New York City -  Things to do

The Statue of Liberty is known around the world as a symbol of both New York and America, and most tourists will want to have a chance to get up close to this impressive...
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San Francisco -  Things to do

Perhaps the most infamous prison in America, Alcatraz Island--or "The Rock"--is a must-see for any San Francisco tourist. Your visit is audio-guided, narrated in part by...
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New York City -  Bar

Perhaps the most famous gay bar in America, The Stonewall Inn was the site of the 1969 riots that ushered in a new era for gay rights in America.  Though it's...
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San Francisco -  Things to do

About four hours from San Francisco is Yosemite National Park, set in the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains and home to some of the best waterfalls in North America. The...
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Miami -  Things to do

Covering 1.5 million acres (over 6,000 square kilometers), Everglades National Park is a World Heritage Site and home to the American crocodile, the West Indian manatee,...
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San Francisco -  Things to do

A historic landmark and mainstay of The Castro, the Castro Theatre brings a particular faded glamour to the term "movie palace." There are 1,500 seats in the Spanish...
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New York City -  Bar

A favorite lesbian haunt since 1991, Henrietta Hudson is still serving up reasonably-priced cocktails poured by cute, flirty bartenders.  The jukebox has a good...
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San Francisco -  Things to do

San Francisco's fabled Chinatown, the largest Chinatown outside Asia and the oldest in North America - traces its history to the arrival of the first Chinese immigrants...
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San Francisco -  Things to do

Also known as the "Queer Smithsonian," the GLBT History Museum is the first stand-alone museum to celebrate and document the evolution of the modern queer experience....
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San Francisco -  Things to do

Long a favorite tourist drag, and so slightly less authentic than other neighborhoods, Fisherman's Wharf is nonetheless a colorful mix of street performers, sea lions,...
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Seattle -  Things to do

Don't miss astounding panoramic views of the Pacific Northwest from atop Seattle's most famous landmark. Built for the 1962 World's Fair, the Space Needle sees nearly...

Chicago -  Things to do

One of the best all-around views of Chicago's downtown area in the whole city; the 96th floor of the John Hancock building is incredible if only for the ear-popping...

Washington DC -  Things to do

The Tidal Basin Paddle Boats, close to the Lincoln Memorial, are a good way to get the kids out in the fresh air after a day in the museums. Most impressive during the...

San Francisco -  Bed & Breakfast

A gay-owned and -operated B&B with manicured gardens, the Parker Guest House is set in two well-maintained Edwardian-era homes. Most of the 21 rooms have ensuite...

San Francisco -  Things to do

Book a tour that takes you from downtown San Francisco north into the gentle hills of Napa and Sonoma. Here you can walk through vineyards, tour wine-making facilities...

Las Vegas -  Things to do

About a 45-minute drive from Las Vegas on U.S. 93, the Hoover Dam is one of America's greatest engineering feats, and considered one of the seven wonders of the...

Portland -  Things to do

The most famous bookstore in Portland, and the largest used and new bookstore in the world. If you're going, head to the one downtown on 10th and W Burnside - don't be...

San Francisco -  Nightclub

It's been called the most popular gay bar in San Francisco, and Powerhouse is definitely a good place to cruise, with a sweaty shirtless dance floor grinding to DJ-led house music every night of the week.  The back smoker's patio can get pretty wild, and many nights there's a contest of some sort - wet jockstrap is...

5 community reviews / United States

General impression
Excellent
LGBT-friendly
Excellent