The Ultimate Guide to NYC Pride for Travelers in 2024: Where to Stay, What to Do, and How to Celebrate

June is approaching! We put together a comprehensive guide covering everything you need to know about Pride, for both seasoned participants and first-time visitors to the event.

May 17, 2024

Our Ultimate Guide to NYC Pride for Travelers in 2024

Every Pride Month, NYC paints the town rainbow for a month-long celebration of LGBTQ+ joy! As the home of the original Pride Parade, which continues annually on June 30th, the city fully embraces the spirit of Pride. Manhattan comes alive with rainbow outfits, drag kings and queens, and street-side flag vendors on the day of the famous Pride March. But the celebrations extend beyond the parade! There are events and happenings at LGBT bars and venues all around the city before and after the big day, that Pride attendees will want to know about.

In this blog, we'll provide a comprehensive guide covering everything you need to know about Pride, for both seasoned participants and first-time visitors to the event.

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On to the guide ...

Where to Stay: Our Top NYC Pride Hotels Picks

Planning your NYC Pride experience? Finding the perfect hotel can make all the difference. Here's why staying near the action is key:

• Maximize your time: The closer you are, the later you can stay out after the parade. No more scrambling for cabs or missing the after-parties!

• Score the best parade spot: Snag a prime spot on the barriers without the early morning rush.

• Cool down and recharge: Easily pop back to your hotel for a bathroom break, a quick cool-off, or a change of clothes.

• Stay connected to the fun: Be in the heart of Manhattan's vibrant LGBTQ+ scene, with daytime and nighttime activities just steps away.

Check out our curated list of top hotels close to the action! Some even offer special packages and discounts for Pride Month. → See our picks here

How to Celebrate: The NYC Pride Parade

The heart of NYC Pride celebrations is the iconic Pride March that happens every year on June 30th. This free event draws a massive crowd of LGBTQ+ and allied New Yorkers and tourists alike, creating a totally unforgettable experience. Here's what you need to know:

Planning Ahead:

• Hydration and Snacks: Pack a reusable water bottle (or even better, a hydration pack) and snacks, especially if you plan to indulge in any drinks.

• Sun Protection: Don't underestimate the New York sun! Bring plenty of sunscreen and consider a hat for shade.

• Beat the Heat: A handheld fan can be a lifesaver to stay cool in the crowds.

The Parade Route:

In recent years, the Pride March has started around 11 AM at 25th Street and 5th Avenue. It heads downtown along 5th Avenue, then turns west onto 8th Street. After crossing 6th Avenue, it goes along historic Christopher Street, passing the iconic Stonewall National Monument. Then it turns north onto 7th Avenue, passing by the New York City AIDS Memorial, and ends at 16th Street and 7th Avenue. Expect big crowds, especially near the end point, with many gathering in and around Washington Square Park.

Embrace the Spirit!

NYC Pride is all about celebrating self-expression. Don't be afraid to dress as boldly as you want! ! You'll be in good company with countless others showcasing their unique styles, colors, and flags.

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What to Do Beyond the Parade: Other NYC Pride Activities

After-Party Scene

NYC's LGBTQ+ bars come alive after the parade with electrifying Pride afterparties! Dive into the vibrant scene in Greenwich Village, Hell's Kitchen, Chelsea, or Bushwick. Check out our curated list of NYC’s gay, lesbian and queer bars → here to find your perfect spot. Be prepared for larger crowds and potentially higher cover charges at popular venues near the parade route, like Playhouse, Pieces, The Monster, Henrietta Hudson's, and The Cubbyhole. Pro tip: Arrive early and grab a bracelet for re-entry to avoid long lines later!

Drag Extravaganzas

New York City boasts a rich drag history, with Greenwich Village's Stonewall Inn and the city’s drag and ballroom scene being pivotal landmarks in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. This legacy continues today with a thriving drag scene that explodes during Pride Month. From outrageous comedy queens to powerhouse vocalists, there's a show for everyone! Explore our curated list of drag shows across the city → here, featuring both daytime brunches and sizzling nightlife options.  Be on the lookout, as some of these venues are known for hosting legendary RuPaul's Drag Race contestants!

PrideFest Street Fair: Celebrate Alongside the Parade!

This free event, happening right alongside the NYC Pride March in Greenwich Village (same day, 11 AM to 6 PM), lets you celebrate all day long! Immerse yourself in NYC’s LGBTQ+ community with live music on StageFest, delicious food vendors, and interesting exhibits showcasing the culture. Find unique Pride merchandise to commemorate the occasion and support local businesses. PrideFest is a fantastic way to experience the day’s spirit of inclusion and joy, even if you can’t stick around for the full parade. → Click here for more information.

For Families: Youth Pride

This free, outdoor event lets LGBTQIA+ youth and their families celebrate Pride in a safe and inclusive space at the historic and scenic South Street Seaport in the Financial District. Over 5,000 young people gather on Saturday, June 29th from 12 PM to 6 PM EDT to express themselves, make new friends, and enjoy live music, DJs, carnival games, delicious food, and special guest appearances. It's the perfect way for families who might find the parade overwhelming to still participate in the festivities with a focus on fun, connection, and celebrating individuality. Don't miss out during your trip, → RSVP for free here, and → click here for more information.

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