Celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month in one of These Groundbreaking US Destinations
In honor of LGBTQ+ History Month in October, we have handpicked a series of stunning Proud Certified stays in five cities across the US that have played a pivotal role in the modern gay rights movement. From one of the oldest continuously operating gay bars in the country to the New York City neighborhood that transformed a riot into a revolution, these forward-looking destinations have been the home of some of the most important milestones in the ongoing LGBTQ+ fight for acceptance and equality. To help everyone connect and remember those who have paved the way to where we are today, these gorgeous getaways have pledged to offer a welcoming and inclusive stay for everyone, no matter where you come from, who you love or how you identify.
Known as one of the most progressive and LGBTQ+ friendly cities in the US, Portland was the first major metropolitan area to elect an openly gay mayor in 2008. While Oregon was not one of the first states to get on board with marriage equality, Portland did legalise same-sex marrige in 2014 and elected the nation’s first openly bisexual governor in 2015. While the 2021 Portland Queer Film Festival has been postponed, it’s a must and definitely worth a second trip back to the City of Roses in early 2022. It’s been a cultural beacon for the local community and a celebration of diverse representations of the LGBTQ+ experience on screen for over 25 years.
Where to stay: Located in Portland’s popular and stylish Pearl District, Hampton Inn And Suites By Hilton Portland-Pearl District is within walking distance of numerous fabulous restaurants, Nob Hill and downtown, with fabulous 360-degree views of the city from its rooftop terrace.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Home to the legendary Cafe Lafitte in Exile, which is purported to be the oldest continuously operating gay bar in the United States (dating back to 1933), it’s no surprise that New Orleans is one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly cities in the country. Also known as the “Gay Capital of the South”, this historic destination welcomes LGTBQ+ travelers with a variety of festivals throughout the year, including the LGTBQ+ Mardi Gras, which takes over the city’s French Quarter, a beloved destination for the rainbow community filled with numerous welcoming and inclusive bars and cafes.
Where to stay: Q&C Hotel Bar New Orleans, Autograph Collection is a beautiful boutique hotel just a couple blocks from New Orleans’ famed French Quarter. With original exposed brick walls and local artwork, it makes for a swanky and stylish home away from home in the heart of the Big Easy.
Massachusetts was the first state in America to legalise same-sex marriage, with the first wedding taking place at Cambridge City Hall on May 17, 2004. Welcoming LGBTQ+ travelers from around the globe, Boston is one of the most politically progressive cities in America and home to a diverse community of locals, who’ve made their mark throughout the historic New England capital with ‘gayborhoods’ galore and numerous LGBTQ+ friendly establishments.
Where to stay: Located at the foot of Beacon Hill, The Liberty, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Boston is not only a Proud Certified property, but also a historic landmark known for its ornate architectural details. Originally built in 1851 as a jail, this iconic hotel now offers jaw-dropping views of the city skyline and the Charles River.
New York City, New York
Generally regarded as the catalyst for the gay liberation movement, the Stonewall Riots kicked off in Greenwich Village in New York City on June 28, 1969. The series of violent demonstrations were led by members of the gay community in protest of escalating police raids of the Stonewall Inn. The bar where it all started has since been named a historic landmark by the State of New York and is located in one of the city’s most beloved neighborhoods for anyone wanting to pay homage to the pioneers of the fight for LGBTQ+ equality.
Where to stay: A luxurious escape, The Peninsula New York features a rooftop terrace and a spa with an indoor pool. This urban oasis is close to the city’s best museums, Broadway theatres and is just a short subway ride from the Village.
San Francisco, California
Winning a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, Harvey Milk was an American politician and civil rights leader, and the first openly-gay elected official in the history of the State of California. Even after he was tragically assassinated in 1978, the Castro neighborhood he called home has remained a vibrant center for LGBTQ+ activism and acceptance and is considered one of the most progressive zip codes in the country.
Where to stay: Built in 1913, Staypineapple is a historic hotel, just a five-minute walk from Union Square and Chinatown, with the colorful Castro district easily accessible via public transportation.