There’s only one great way to arrive at the world’s biggest LGBTQ spectacle, New York City Pride, June 23 and 24, for a weekend celebrating 49 years of liberation. Enjoy your window seat while riding Amtrak on the way to a Pride celebration that’s unmatched.
There are more events than anyone can handle, and Pride March is the centerpiece of them all. More than a million people will shimmy down Fifth Avenue while just as many jubilant onlookers crowd the sidewalks, hang out of windows and peer from roof decks for a view of the colorful parade.
We’ve got the best way to arrive in style, which hotels to consider and how to prepare for an unforgettable weekend.
Here are seven reasons to visit NYC Pride on Amtrak…
1. Arrive in style
Whether you’re in Boston, Philly, DC, Providence or any other stop along the Northeast Corridor, enjoy a hassle-free journey. Depart downtown, arrive downtown and be free from traffic the entire time. There’s no need for airplane mode, so keep life moving with free Wi-Fi and power outlets at your seat.
Grab a cold one from the Cafe Car, choose a window seat and spread out with plenty of legroom. You’ll feel the luxury on Amtrak, with no middle seats and where “first class” legroom comes standard.
2. Check-in and rest up
With so many hotel options — and rooms filling fast — the decision process can be daunting. We’ve rounded up a few queer faves to help you out.
- MADE Hotel — It’s hip, modern-industrial and conveniently located. You’ll love the soft comfy beds and gorgeous city views.
- Chelsea Mews Guesthouse — Built in 1940, this all-male gay guesthouse is an institution. On-site massage therapist, anyone?
- Bowery — A-gays unite and take over. This East Village accommodation is known for its service.
- Ace Hotel — This alternative-style Midtown hotel offers twin bunk beds for buddies and suites for sweeties.
3. Saturday morning with Front Runners
You’ll be glad you rode in on the comfortable rails because you’ll be rested enough to join Front Runners New York LGBT Pride Run (5M) at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 23, for their annual marathon. Join more than 5,000 runners in Central Park for the Pride Run that delivers the goods. If you have not put in the necessary training, pick a spot along the route and just admire.
4. Pride Island and nightlife
Dancing on the pier is a Pride tradition. Known as “Pride Island,” on Pier 97 in Hudson River Park, this will be the place see and be seen. See Saturday’s performances by Tove Lo, Big Freedia, Lizzo, Dawson, Simon Dunmore and Sasha Velour.
Other Saturday events include VIP Rooftop, with Boris, Dani Toro & J Warren until 10 p.m.
Nap, outfit change, hail cab: Get Wrecked & Carry 15-hr Pride Party, starts on Saturday, June 23, and goes until Sunday morning. And don’t even think about sleeping. Back on Pride Island, Sunday acts include Kylie Minogue, DJ Grind, Ralphi Rosario and Corey Craig.
5. March & rally
Out of the bars and into the streets! The first Pride March was in 1970 after the Stonewall riots, and over the years the civil-rights demonstration has become both political and entertaining.
At 6 p.m. Friday, June 22, become part of history at the rally. Join community activists, organizers, and politicians, and make your voice heard at this year’s rally experience. Attendance is free and open to the public.
6. World-renowned dining.
Make sure to refuel at some of New York’s best restaurants.
- 44 & X — Hell’s Kitchen eatery with comfort food in a jewelry-box set. Come for the Tony-themed cocktails.
- Markt — The indoor/outdoor set-up of this white-napkin Chelsea destination is perfect for watching guys cruise by.
- Elmo — This gay fave offers energizing dishes and an entertainment lounge downstairs.
7. Relax & recover
After all the Pride excitement, you’ll need a break. Take Amtrak home and relax in comfort on the return trip.
The fun is waiting. Book early for discounts up to 25%.
Unless noted, photos courtesy of Amtrak