Cities like New York and San Francisco may be iconic hot spots for LGBT travel, but we’ve rounded up our favorite experiences to enjoy before, during and after the PRIDE festivals in 5 off-the-beaten-path cities across the country.
History and Charm in Savannah
In the heart of downtown Savannah lies the landmark Historic District, which showcases some of the most fascinating aspects of times past dating back to The American Revolution. Explore 18th century mansions, military forts and museums within this 2-mile treasure trove of history. Plus, with its city squares filled with live oak trees draped in Spanish moss, cobblestone streets, and heartwarming Southern hospitality, this picturesque Southern locale is the perfect backdrop for getaways before, during and after PRIDE in October.
Savannah Pride Festival: Every October
Where to Stay: The Kimpton Brice Hotel
Fare with Flair in Minneapolis
Gay Cities describes The Twin Cities as a mini gay mecca, especially as Minneapolis is celebrated for its early bans on anti-gay discrimination and a growing LGBT nightlife scene in the city’s downtown area. Beyond these attributes, you’ll also find that Minneapolis is an undeniably hip town with a thriving food scene. Flock to Eat Street, where in just two blocks you can sample a taste parade of diverse cuisine ranging from Jamaican to Greek with everything in between.
The Twin Cities Pride Festival: Every June
World-Class Wine in Vermont
Wine enthusiasts often make their way to the famed Napa Valley, and for good reason, but we’ve found some of the nation’s best vineyards in Vermont’s Lake Champlain. The area’s favorable micro-climate and long growing season are perfect for producing quality grape and berry wine varieties. With more than three dozen vineyards along the Wine Trail and a host of celebrated local cheesemakers, Vermont offers a winning pairing for every taste.
Pride Vermont: Every September
Art For All in Portland
Travelers craving an artsy getaway should look no further than PDX. This city is brimming with creatives, making it the perfect destination to take in art galleries, live theater and public art displays. Check out the Portland Art Museum’s Native American and Northwest art collections, or go on a mural crawl for some Instagram-worthy fun that also doubles as sightseeing. There are also a variety of contemporary galleries and art centers with continually changing collections – giving you plenty of reasons to keep coming back.
Portland Pride Festival: Every June
Water Adventures in Austin
Austin may be known for its live music scene, and that’s a great reason to visit, but if you venture just beyond the beaten path you’ll be amazed by the incredible natural beauty surrounding this vibrant city. Discover the Hamilton Pool Preserve, a breathtaking swimming hole with a 50-foot waterfall West of downtown Austin. Or spend a day braving the waves while whitewater rafting or tubing on the San Marcos River, one of Texas’ largest spring-fed rivers.
Austin Pride Festival: Every August
Where to Stay: Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt