48 Hours of Pride in New York
Though people often come to New York City with stars in their eyes, June sees a switch to rainbows: This month—as members and allies of the global LGBT+ community celebrate Pride—New York becomes a hotbed of festivities. But this weekend is when the party really gets going, culminating in the legendary parade on Sunday, June 24. To help you make the most of that time, whether you’re traveling from out of town or Pride-cationing as a local, we’ve put together this insider’s guide, complete with the best Travelzoo deals on offer then.
4:00 p.m.: Check into your hotel
Bear in mind that this year’s parade route is different from years prior. To ensure that the crowds don’t keep you from maneuvering in and out of your hotel, the safest bet is to stay north of 29th Street. Given that the festivities will go well into the wee hours—and that Sunday night stays are as low as $99—consider extending your stay until Monday.
5:00 p.m.: Attend the rally
At its core, Pride is about calling attention to the ongoing LGBT+ civil rights movement. Show your support at the Stonewall Inn National Historic Landmark, where the weekend’s kickoff rally commemorates the watershed Stonewall Riots of 1969 and underscores their relevance in 2018.
8:00 p.m.: See one of Broadway's best shows
The New York theater community has an impressive track record of supporting LGBT+ causes—not least, through Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, a nonprofit that’s raised close to $300 million for people with HIV/AIDS. In keeping with Pride’s themes of diversity and acceptance, check out Kinky Boots the Musical—the story of a failing shoe factory heir who forms an unexpected partnership with a drag queen to save the family business.
10:00 a.m.: Enjoy brunch
The word brunch made its print debut 1895, when the British writer Guy Beringer pled the case for this new “cheerful, sociable” ritual in Hunter’s Weekly. And though numerous LGBT+ publications have since declared brunch the “gayest meal of the week,” there’s little to document any single gastro-cultural turning point. Debate the possibilities—and sample amazing dishes in the process—at Massoni, where weekend brunch includes two hours of bottomless drinks.
12:00 p.m.: See stunning LGBT+ photos
Located in the heart of SoHo, the Leslie-Lohman Museum is the first museum in the world dedicated to LGBT+ art. In celebration of Pride, the museum’s project space on Prince Street will exhibit legendary photographs from Lola Flash, whose early work focused on AIDS-related social and political issues.
2:00 p.m.: Take a trip to Pride Island
Tove Lo and Rupaul’s Drag Race Winner Sasha Velour are among the Saturday headliners at Pride Island, a new LGBTQ concert and cultural experience at Hudson River Park’s Pier 97. Sunday is already sold out, but tickets for Saturday are still available.
12:00 p.m.: Attend the parade
The most iconic part of NYC Pride is undoubtedly the parade, with more than two million attendees expected. Beyond the aforementioned change in route this year, here are a few insider tips to bear in mind: Have a few small bills on hand should you need any last-minute rainbow gear (or water) from cash-only street vendors; use the city’s free charging terminals to ensure your phone isn’t maddeningly drained just as the most insane float is about to go by; study this map for when you need a bathroom break; and—though the subway is generally the most efficient way to get around—avoid the Christopher Street station today unless you have next-level crowd-negotiating skills.
6:00 p.m.: Have rooftop rainbow-view drinks
Toast to the waning hours of the weekend from the Heights rooftop bar at the Arlo NoMad hotel, where you’ll have close-up views of the rainbow-lit Empire State Building. Save 40% on New York City-themed cocktails with this exclusive Travelzoo deal.