June means Pride Month and, by extension, that means Pride celebrations and, for some, Pride-themed vacations. June is a hefty travel month, in general, so if you're planning on traveling anyway, why not do it with love in mind? The most LGBTQIA+ cities in the country are also some of the most fun and vibrant, which means plenty of fun, festivities, and maybe some karaoke or even a Drag show.
Road trips have had a long history in the U.S. and even in the LGBTQIA+ community, they've symbolized freedom and hope. Having the ability to drive from one place to another to find a community where folx can be themselves has always held great significance. And while this comfort wasn't always a luxury or freedom given to everyone, as the Stonewall Riots showed the world. This summer, Pride-themed road trips mean more than ever - and you can start with these cities.
San Francisco, California
Those who are familiar with the history of LGBTQ+ movements in the U.S. probably already know that San Fran is the city responsible for the creation of the rainbow flag. It's also well-known that this was the place where Harvey Milk was at the height of his political career, and it's also home to more folx in the community than any other in the country.
Therefore, it's one heck of a good destination to begin or end a road trip. There are a number of historic pathways to walk, including the GLBT Historical Museum, the National AIDS Memorial Grove, and walk the streets that Oscar Wilde specifically quoted in his The Picture of Dorian Gray. Those seeking a party won't find any shortage of clubs and lounges, along with Marshall's Beach, which is always a good time.
The best destination in Flagstaff, according to Matador Network, is Hotel Monte Vista, which has a history and reputation for being queer-friendly. Now that the accommodation is set, what else is there to see in Flagstaff?
Plenty! Nearby nature hikes give way to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, as well the Grand Canyon not far off. It's a great haven for nature lovers and provides access to Pheonix, as well, where the party can keep going even when Flagstaff closes down for the night.
The great thing about Austin, specifically, is that it's far more progressive and historically liberal than many of the state's other cities. This makes it a great spot to scope out, specifically on 4th Street in Downtown Austin. This is where folx will find the most nightlife and biggest party scene, followed by many options for dining.
Austin's food scene is second to none and with so much food to check out, everyone will be surprised if you'll want to shake your booty anywhere afterward. If you do, though, Matador Network recommends stopping by The Iron Bear or Oilcan Harry's. If hitting the beach is more your thing (yes, they exist in Austin!) then head on down to Hippie Hollow.
Granted, Arkansas is not known for being the most laid-back of states. With that being said, Fayetteville is somewhat of its own haven thanks to its college-town status. This town is a beauty and far more laid back than those around it, and the scenic Ozark Mountains that surround it sure do make for a pretty picture.
It's also home to the biggest LGBTQIA+ celebration in the state so it's a pretty stellar place to be during the month of June. If you need further proof, Fayetteville is also officially part of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association. With a respectable amount of nightlife and club options, cute, cozy shops, and more dining than you'd expect for a small-ish Arkansas town, Fayetteville is officially on the map.
This state capital has plenty to offer anyone who's looking for a perfectly LGBTQIA+ getaway, thanks to its historic reputation. Columbus is also surprisingly art-centered, with plenty of galleries devoted to local artists and their incredible work. However, it's also the food that folx come all over for - this city is home to some of the greatest eats in the Midwest with a fantastic array of flavor in its diversity.
If the mix of food trucks and urban shops doesn't win you over, then the clubs and lounges definitely will. There's something for every style whether it's an elegant piano bar or a wild night out at the bar. Plus, anyplace with a rooftop bar or open pool is bound to be a good time, right?