New York State has always been a global tourist destination, from Niagara Falls to New York City and all of the amazing sites in between. So, travel fanatics have long placed this top-tier state high on their travel bucket lists. As if the Empire State itself isn’t enough of a draw, the largest Pride celebration in the world is coming there in June of 2019.
Fifty years ago, New York City became the birthplace of the modern Pride movement with the Stonewall uprising and first Pride Parade. So, it’s only natural that New York would be selected to host the first WorldPride celebration to occur in the U.S. and that it would welcome people from around the globe to celebrate a half-century of LGBT liberation and equality.
WorldPride 2019 and Stonewall 50 are, quite simply, unmissable. As are the LGBT-friendly destinations—Long Island, the Catskills, Greater Niagara, and the Hudson Valley, to name a few—that are just a stone’s throw from New York City. So that you can be part of what is certain to be an historic event (and one heck of a great party), we’ve got all the details you need to plan your trip to WorldPride and New York State.
Here’s how this is going to work… Below you will find three sections covering the things you need to know to start planning your WorldPride extravaganza, including booking tools, details on New York State destinations, and WorldPride schedule highlights. We know you are as excited as we are, so let’s make this happen.
Planning and Booking Tools
WorldPride 2019 in New York City will welcome over three million people from around the globe, so it is important to book early and plan ahead. Let’s start with flights, hotels, and transportation.
The good news is that Expedia makes it simple to book all three quickly. We recommend that you:
Viewfinder Tip: For something new, consider staying in Brooklyn.
- Start with flights to New York City. When picking dates remember to give yourself plenty of time to get settled in, plenty of time to attend all of the events that are important to you, and at least a few days to visit some of the other amazing LGBT-friendly destinations that New York City and the state have to offer (more on that below).
- Book a great hotel. We recommend hotels that are either central to the action or close to the subway so that you can get around easily. For something new, consider staying in Brooklyn.
- We don’t recommend getting a car for your time in New York City, but you may want one to explore other parts of the state. Save some money by renting your car ahead of time when you book your flight and hotel. You can also book an airport transfer to make getting into the city super simple.
The Big Picture
New York may be synonymous with the 5 Burroughs that comprise New York City, but those in the know, know that there is so much more to experience. Since you’re already making the trip, elevate your experience by seeing some of the rest of what the state has to offer. Here are some ideas to keep in mind as you book your trip.
Long Island – If you don’t think of beaches when you think of New York, Long Island is going to be quite a surprise. Long Island is home to expansive stretches of shoreline and world-renowned LGBT getaways like Fire Island. The best thing: All of it is just a quick drive or train ride from the city.
Catskills – The Catskills may be just an hour’s drive from Manhattan, but the region feels like a world away. Locals and visitors alike head to the Catskills for some nature therapy—hiking, paddling, and mountain biking—as well as the approachable arts scene (this is the home to Woodstock, after all, which is also celebrating its 50th anniversary!).
Greater Niagara – Niagara Falls is an iconic getaway that is sure to make you feel exhilarated. But there is a lot more to be excited about beyond the falls. Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, the oldest state park in the country, and the funky City of Buffalo are all right there. And who needs positive ions when you can get a plate of original Buffalo wings at Anchor Bar?
Hudson Valley – How does 150-mile-long stretch of art, food, wine, and history sound? What if that was all wrapped up in some of New York State’s most revered natural beauty? That’s what the Hudson Valley—the 10-county region that extends north from New York City along the Hudson River—offers. The Mohonk House is a major draw for hotel geeks (like us) and history nerds, and the foodies (also like us) make sure to check out the Culinary Institute of America for a unique culinary experience.
WorldPride Itinerary Options
Now that you’ve taken care of flights, hotel, and transportation it’s time to drill down and start thinking about the specific events you want to attend. We love choices, but with Pride events occurring across the state, narrowing things down could be an ordeal. Not to worry, we’ve got your back. Here is a list of some of the commemorative WorldPride events happening in both New York City and New York State.
Around New York City
NYC Pride March (Sunday, June 30, 2019): The iconic NYC Pride March is a celebration of our lives and our community.
Pridefest (June 30, 2019): PrideFest is NYC Pride’s annual LGBTQIA+ street fair.
Pride Island (June 2019): A multi-day LGBTQIA+ cultural experience and showcase for outstanding musical talent.
World Tier Opening Ceremony (June 26, 2019): NYC Pride’s WorldPride 2019 opening ceremony celebrating NYC Pride and the upcoming week of events.
Stonewall 50 Commemoration (June 28, 2019): A commemoration of the Stonewall Uprising and rally for LGBTQIA+ rights (i.e. human rights).
Closing Ceremony (June 30, 2019): NYC Pride’s final celebration for the closing of NYC Pride, WorldPride 2019, and Stonewall50.
Around New York State
“Sing Out, New York!”(May 28-June 2 and June 6-9, 2019): The Albany Symphony will present “Sing Out, New York!”; a major national music festival and regional tour of free, outdoor concerts celebrating equal rights.
Pride on the Beach (June 21-23, 2019): Long Island, birthplace of Harvey Milk, will kick off New York’s Pride celebrations with Pride on the Beach. During the three-day destination weekend, more than 30,000 people will flock to Long Beach for 30+ LGBTQ events, including the festival’s 29th annual Pride Parade, the second annual Pet Pride Parade in collaboration with Animal Planet, concerts, and parties.
Pride on the Vines (June 25, 2019): Visitors to Long Island can head straight from the beach to the vineyard for Pride on the Vines. This day-long event on the North Fork’s picturesque wine country will include tours, tastings, receptions, and parties.
Chautauqua Institution’s Conversation with Bishop Gene Robinson (July 2, 2019): Bishop Gene Robinson will lead a discussion about the building of America’s LGBTQ community through major events including Stonewall, the AIDS crisis and marriage equality. Robinson is the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop and Vice President of Religion at the Chautauqua Institution. The discussion, paired with a reception hosted by Chautauqua’s LGBTQ community organization, will be part of a weeklong program examining “Uncommon Ground: Communities Working Toward Solutions.”
Pride at the Falls (July 5, 2019): Celebrate WorldPride and Stonewall 50 at a natural wonder, Niagara Falls, America’s oldest state park. Pride at the Falls features a free concert by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, along with fireworks and the Falls lit in rainbow colors.
The above information should be what you need to nail down some dates, begin to envision your adventure, and get your air, hotel, and transportation booked (which, again, you should be doing ASAP). While you are doing that, we are working on getting you some juicy details on WorldPride events and New York State destinations so that you can really flesh out your plans. Watch for those in our next post in March.
Oh, and happy early Pride.
Which New York State destination are you most interested in?