Top 5 most beautiful places to celebrate Pride in the US

Pride celebrations are a great way to get outside and enjoy the summer days and nights.

Whether at world-famous events like New York and San Francisco, which bring in hundreds of thousands of partygoers each year, or small-town events that have a few folding tables and a stereo for a party in a park. (…and those small-town pride parties can be a lot of fun!)

As Pride festivals get bigger every year, and take up more space, there are several festivals that use their beautiful host cities as stunning backdrops for their events.

Here are five of our favorite Pride celebrations in the US, where enjoying the scenery is just as fun as the festivals themselves:

#5 – Capital Pride, Washington, DC

Capital Pride in Washington, DC features several days of parties, concerts, and community rallies, all culminating in the parade and festival on the weekend of June 11 and 12. The festival is on Pennsylvania Ave, with a view of the United States Capitol, and will include approximately 300 vendors, as well as multiple stages with shows all day.

#4 – St. Pete Pride, St. Petersburg, FL

Photo courtesy City of St. Petersburg

St. Pete Pride is the largest pride festival in Florida–yes, bigger than Orlando and Miami–and one look at the location shows why: the city of St. Petersburg has a beautiful setting for its Pride festival, stretching along the downtown waterfront. The parade route meanders down Bayshore Drive, (shown in the photo above) and the park spaces will feature booths and stages for entertainment. On the Sunday of Pride weekend, the festivities switch to the “gayborhood” of Grand Central, to support the local merchants with a raucous street carnival.

#3 – Denver Pride

Photo by Evan Semón, courtesy of Visit Denver

Denver is the capital of Colorado, and like Capital Pride in Washington DC, the government buildings surrounding Civic Center Park make a stunning backdrop for the Denver Pride festivities. Civic Center Park has winding trails that lead to the stages and vendor areas, and the park’s trees provide welcome shade from the summer sun. At night the Capitol Building is lit up in rainbow colors, making it a popular spot for post-party selfies.

#2 – Chicago Pride Fest

A view of the Chicago Skyline from Lincoln Park.

Chicago’s pride festivities span two weekends, starting with the Pride Fest on June 18-19 in the Northalsted neighborhood known as Boystown. The following weekend, on June 26, the parade marches through the north side of the city.

But then the grand finale, on June 25-26, is Chicago Pride in the Park, a massive EDM, drag, and live music event in Grant Park, surrounded by the stunning skyline of Downtown Chicago. Headlining the event are The Chainsmokers and Alesso, which leads to the question, The Chainsmokers or Alesso are great, but are they gay or trans icons?…not really?…they are extremely popular, and sometimes it’s just fun to have a big party, and yes it will be a very, very big party. There will be tens of thousands of people in the audience, dancing all day and night. Check out this photo of Pride in the Park 2021:

Photo by Allie Mischen

#1 – San Diego Pride

Pride in San Diego may be overshadowed by the bigger events in Los Angeles and San Francisco, but size doesn’t always matter. San Diego Pride is a spectacular event, thanks to the city of San Diego itself. There are people who say San Diego is the most beautiful city in the US, and the crown jewel of the city is Balboa Park, the location of the pride festival every year. Balboa Park is filled with gardens, trails, and cultural sites, and everyone going to this pride festival gets to take a lovely walk in the park. Click the image above to play a fun time-lapse of partygoers entering a previous San Diego Pride.

UP NEXT – Experience Pride from the Heartland to the Big Easy aboard Amtrak’s City of New Orleans Superliner

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