If you want to travel across the globe in search of Pride events and glamorous parties and the diverse LGBTQ community, it opens up a whole new world of things to do, explore and experience. Whether you are a gay family who travels or a solo traveler, here’s a compilation of best destinations, top events, plenty of resources, and everything you need to know to plan a successful Gaycation in 2023.
What is LGBTQ Tourism?
The idea behind the concept is to create more inclusive and diverse experiences at various destinations for LGBTQ travelers.
The diverse LGBTQ community is always looking for different experiences when they travel. Some prefer events and spaces (cafes, bars, and restaurants) designed specifically with LGBTQ travelers in mind. Others may look for openness towards LGBTQ travelers so that they will be welcomed and respected.
Each individual is looking for something unique on a trip, with LGBTQ Tourism we can expand the horizon of travel.
How to Find LGBTQ-friendly Accommodation
Finding LGBTQ-friendly hotels, Airbnb or hostels may not be as hard as it was a decade ago but finding a place where you feel safe and protected is still tricky. However, some prime hotel chains actively supported the LGBTQ community by sponsoring Pride events around the world, running campaigns for the cause, and training their staff to be more inclusive
There are gay-specific websites like Rainbow World Hotels, Purple Roofs, and MisterBNB where you find properties that offer gay-friendly accommodation. But in most cases, you find the same listing on mainstream booking sites for cheaper prices. So do your research before you book from these websites.
The mainstream hotels are becoming more inclusive towards the LGBTQ community and you can get great deals in most cities in the USA and Europe.
How to Meet Other LGBTQ Travelers
It is a lot easier to find Gay travelers with apps like Grindr and HER. Meeting new people and finding your vibe is a huge part of traveling. Though we don’t have to let our sexuality define who we meet, there’s nothing better than finding an LGBTQ community, friends, and events. It makes the trip more interesting and memorable. Here are some places where you meet new people and find your community:
There are various apps where you can meet people, find hangout spots, parties, and events:
Grindr is one of the biggest resources to meet new people. The location-based hookup app for gay men has changed the way we find love, friends, and more connections. It also makes it easier to meet locals when you’re abroad. There’s nothing like a local showing you around and taking you to the most happening gay locations.
Some other useful apps to meet people are:
Couchsurfing was one of the easiest places to meet other LGBTQ travelers and locals. With the wide hosting network of Couchsurfing, it was easy to find a community of people who understand your identity and your interests.
Meetup.com has several dedicated queer-themed/ LGBTQ groups for all major destinations. These groups are a great way to meet other travelers to share stories and experiences, specific interests, and even support.
StartOut is an entrepreneurship networking event in various American cities. They have events, forum discussions, mentorship support in various destinations throughout the year. It could be an interactive way to start networking and building your business.
Facebook groups and Instagram Hashtags are also a great way to connect with other gay people and know what they are planning or doing. These groups could also lead to a well-planned group tour.
Top 5 US destinations for LGBTQ Travel in 2023
1. Los Angeles
Los Angeles is the ultimate playground for travelers with its eternal sunshine, vibrant lifestyle, and massive gay population.
2. NYC, New York State
New York City is one of the safest and best places to find active gay scenes. Urban parties and hip scenes.
3. Miami, Florida
Miami is the “Gay Riviera” of the East Coast of the USA. Be it the clubs or the beaches, the parties and cafes, South Beach or SoBe is the heart of Gay Miami.
4. Palm Springs, California
Palm Springs is also known as the new Gay Mecca. The laid-back city with an active adventure scene attracts people from all over the world.
5. Charleston, South Carolina
A town with rich history and culture, Charleston has a thriving gay community and plenty of gay-friendly businesses.
LGBTQ Travel Inspiration and Resources
There are various sources to find specific and up-to-date information about a destination. You can also go to local get-togethers and join virtual meetups to find information about a country, state, or place. Here’s a comprehensive list of helpful LGBTQ travel resources.
Travel Blogs and Vlogs
Travel blogs and vlogs are perfect for destination-specific information. It’s easier to find LGBTQ-centred travel blogs and vlogs catering to your needs and preferences. Some of the most popular blogs will help pick a destination, plan a tour and meet the gay community in new cities and abroad.
- Travels of Adam
- Leave Your Daily Hell
- Globetrotter Girls
- Dopes on the Road
- Indefinite Adventure
- Fleeting High
- Gastro Gays
- Dom On The Go
- Nomadic Boys
There are some websites dedicated to LGBTQ travel that publish detailed travel guides for various destinations. Some top websites are:
- GayCities.com – Find the interesting bars, tonight’s events, great restaurants, shops, and more around the world.
- LGBTQnation.com – Latest LGBTQ news, information, trends and more
- Out Traveler – Up-to-date LGBTQ city guides.
- AfterEllen – Lesbian travel guides.
- TravelGay – City guides for destinations around the world.
- Equaldex – Find safe cities with LGBTQ rights around to world
IGLTA, The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association, has some very customized travel suggestions and you can find useful information in the “Plan Your Trip” of their website.
It’s a great place to find LGBTQ-specific things to do on your trip.
Facebook has tons of public groups and resources dedicated to LGBTQ Tourism. You can join the regional networking groups to meet locals in a new city. Some of the best groups to find information on Facebook are:
Here are some of the LGBTQ events happening across the USA for the rest of 2023:
- Austin Pride in Austin, Texas: August 20 – 27, 2023. Austin’s Pride Festival and Parade are among the largest in the country, with over 400,000 attendees celebrating in the city’s streets and parks.
- Southern Decadence in New Orleans, Louisiana: August 31 – September 5, 2023. Known as the “Gay Mardi Gras,” Southern Decadence is one of the largest annual celebrations and festivals in New Orleans.
- Las Vegas Pride in Las Vegas, Nevada: September 8 – 10, 2023. Las Vegas hosts its annual Pride Festival, where everyone is invited to celebrate diversity and the LGBTQ community.
- Dallas Pride in Dallas, Texas: September 16 – 17, 2023. Dallas Pride is a weekend-long event that includes the Music Festival in the Park and the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade.
- Atlanta Pride in Atlanta, Georgia: October 13 – 15, 2023. The Atlanta Pride Festival coincides with National Coming Out Day and is one of the largest of its kind in the Southeast.
- Palm Springs Pride in Palm Springs, California: November 3 – 5, 2023. Palm Springs Pride is a unique two-day festival focused on promoting the public education and awareness of individual rights and civil liberties of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Please note that dates and events may change, and it’s always a good idea to check the event’s official website or contact the organizers to confirm the details. Enjoy your LGBTQ travel and the vibrant events!