All Posts

TOP 20 LGBTQ+ Friendly Cities in the US | RatePunk | 2023

June is officially pride month. While there are many well-known LGBTQ+ friendly cities in the United States, like San Francisco and New York City, there are also several lesser-known cities that have cultivated welcoming and inclusive environments for the LGBTQ+ community. Here is a list of 20 LGBTQ+ friendly cities to visit in 2023.

User Avatar

By Kamilė

Published: May 22, 2023 min read

TOP 20 LGBTQ+ Friendly Cities in the US | RatePunk | 2023

#1 Asheville, North Carolina

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is a vibrant city known for its artistic vibe and natural beauty. It offers a thriving arts scene, diverse culinary experiences, and access to outdoor adventures. The city embraces LGBTQ+ culture, with numerous inclusive events and organizations.

Places to eat: Tupelo Honey is a popular restaurant known for its Southern comfort food with a modern twist. Plant is a vegan restaurant offering creative and delicious plant-based dishes. The Admiral is a trendy spot serving up innovative American cuisine.

Attractions: Explore the vibrant River Arts District, where you can discover art studios, galleries, and live performances. Don't miss a visit to the iconic Biltmore Estate, a grand mansion surrounded by beautiful gardens and breathtaking views. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking trails in the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains.


#2 Bloomington, Indiana


Blog Image

Bloomington is a charming college town known for its welcoming atmosphere, intellectual vibrancy, and natural beauty. Home to Indiana University, the city offers a range of cultural events, lively music scenes, and diverse dining options. Bloomington has a rich arts culture, with numerous art galleries, theaters, and music venues showcasing local talent. The city is surrounded by lush forests, parks, and lakes, providing opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, boating, and fishing.

Places to eat: Farm Bloomington is a farm-to-table restaurant that emphasizes locally sourced ingredients and sustainable practices. The Owlery is a popular vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurant offering delicious comfort food. Uptown Cafe is a local favorite known for its diverse menu, including brunch specialties.

Attractions: Explore the beautiful campus of Indiana University, known for its striking limestone architecture and cultural landmarks. The Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center offers a serene environment for learning about Buddhist traditions and meditation. For a dose of nature, visit the nearby Monroe Lake or the Hoosier National Forest, which offer opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife spotting.


#3 Burlington, Vermont

Located on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, Burlington is a charming and picturesque city known for its progressive values, natural beauty, and vibrant arts scene. The city offers a mix of historic charm and modern amenities, with pedestrian-friendly streets, diverse neighborhoods, and a bustling downtown area. Burlington is home to a thriving food and craft beer scene, with farm-to-table restaurants, local breweries, and vibrant farmers' markets. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the city's proximity to the Green Mountains, where they can enjoy hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities.

Places to eat: Hen of the Wood is a renowned farm-to-table restaurant that highlights seasonal ingredients and offers an exceptional dining experience. The Skinny Pancake is a local favorite, serving up delicious crepes with both sweet and savory fillings. Revolution Kitchen specializes in vegan and vegetarian cuisine, offering creative and flavorful dishes.

Attractions: Explore the vibrant Church Street Marketplace, a pedestrian-only street lined with shops, restaurants, and live entertainment. Visit the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain to learn about the region's ecology and natural history. Take a stroll along the Burlington Waterfront, enjoy scenic lake views, and relax in Waterfront Park. For outdoor adventures, head to the nearby Shelburne Farms, a historic estate with beautiful gardens, walking trails, and farm animals.


#4 Champaign-Urbana, Illinois


Blog Image

Champaign-Urbana is a lively and diverse college town home to the University of Illinois. The city offers a mix of intellectual pursuits, cultural events, and recreational activities. Champaign-Urbana is known for its vibrant arts scene, with theaters, galleries, and live music venues showcasing local talent. The city also hosts various festivals throughout the year, celebrating music, film, and food. With numerous parks, bike trails, and outdoor spaces, outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities for recreation.

Places to eat: Big Grove Tavern is a popular farm-to-table restaurant offering a diverse menu with locally sourced ingredients. The Courier Cafe is a local favorite known for its comfort food and nostalgic atmosphere. Maize Mexican Grill serves up delicious and authentic Mexican cuisine.

Attractions: Explore the Krannert Art Museum, which features a diverse collection of artwork from different periods and cultures. The Spurlock Museum showcases artifacts from around the world, providing insights into global history and cultures. Visit the University of Illinois Arboretum, a beautiful natural area with walking trails and gardens. For a fun and educational experience, head to the Orpheum Children's Science Museum, which offers interactive exhibits for kids.


#5 Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia is the vibrant capital city of South Carolina, offering a blend of history, culture, and outdoor beauty. The city is home to several universities, bringing a youthful energy and diverse community. Columbia's downtown area features a mix of historic architecture, modern developments, and a thriving arts scene. The city hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating music, food, and cultural diversity. With its warm climate and proximity to lakes and rivers, Columbia provides opportunities for outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, and hiking.

Places to eat: Motor Supply Co. Bistro is a popular restaurant offering seasonal, farm-to-table cuisine in a contemporary setting. The War Mouth is known for its delicious Southern-inspired dishes and craft cocktails. Mr. Friendly's New Southern Cafe offers a menu of Southern comfort food with a modern twist.

Attractions: Explore the South Carolina State House, a beautiful historic building that serves as the seat of government. Visit the Columbia Museum of Art, which houses an impressive collection of American, European, and Asian artwork. The Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is a must-visit attraction, featuring a variety of animals, botanical gardens, and interactive exhibits. For a peaceful escape, stroll through the Riverwalk Park and enjoy views of the Congaree River.


#6 Durham, North Carolina


Blog Image

Durham is a dynamic city known for its rich history, vibrant arts scene, and renowned universities. The city combines a thriving entrepreneurial spirit with a deep appreciation for the arts and culture. Durham is home to numerous theaters, galleries, and music venues that showcase local talent. The city's revitalized downtown area offers a diverse range of dining options, craft breweries, and unique shops. Durham's central location in North Carolina also allows for easy access to the state's beautiful natural areas.

Places to eat: Dame's Chicken & Waffles is a popular spot serving up unique and delicious combinations of chicken and waffles. The Durham Food Hall offers a variety of food stalls with diverse culinary offerings. Bull City Burger and Brewery is known for its locally sourced burgers and craft beer.

Attractions: Explore the historic American Tobacco Campus, a revitalized area with restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues. Visit the Nasher Museum of Art, which showcases contemporary art from around the world. The Sarah P. Duke Gardens, located on the Duke University campus, is a stunning botanical oasis with beautifully landscaped gardens and walking trails. For a taste of local history, head to the Museum of Durham History, which explores the city's past through engaging exhibits and interactive displays.


#7 Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins is a vibrant city located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, offering a blend of outdoor recreation, cultural experiences, and a thriving craft beer scene. The city has a laid-back and welcoming atmosphere, with a strong emphasis on sustainability and community engagement. Fort Collins features a lively downtown area with shops, restaurants, and art galleries. The city's proximity to nature provides ample opportunities for hiking, biking, and exploring scenic landscapes.

Places to eat: The Kitchen is a popular farm-to-table restaurant offering seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Restaurant 415 serves up contemporary American cuisine with a focus on fresh and flavorful dishes. Ginger and Baker is a unique eatery housed in a historic building, known for its delicious baked goods and comfort food.

Attractions: Explore the scenic Horsetooth Reservoir, where you can enjoy water activities, hiking trails, and picturesque views. Visit the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, which combines science, history, and culture in engaging exhibits for all ages. Take a tour of the city's craft breweries, such as New Belgium Brewing and Odell Brewing Company, and sample a variety of locally brewed beers.


#8 Grand Rapids, Michigan


Blog Image

Grand Rapids is a vibrant city located on the banks of the Grand River, known for its art, culture, and welcoming atmosphere. The city boasts a robust arts scene, with numerous galleries, museums, and public art installations. Grand Rapids is also home to a diverse culinary scene, featuring farm-to-table restaurants, breweries, and specialty food markets. The city hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, including ArtPrize, one of the world's largest art competitions.

Places to eat: Brewery Vivant is a unique brewery and gastropub housed in a renovated historic chapel, known for its Belgian-inspired beers and delicious food. Grove is a farm-to-table restaurant offering a menu that changes with the seasons, showcasing local ingredients. The Green Well Gastro Pub is a popular spot known for its sustainable and locally sourced dishes.

Attractions: Explore the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, which features stunning outdoor gardens, contemporary sculpture exhibits, and a tropical conservatory. Visit the Grand Rapids Art Museum, which houses a collection of European and American art. The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum offers insights into the life and legacy of the 38th President of the United States. Take a stroll along the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, a bustling marketplace with local vendors, eateries, and specialty shops.


#9 Iowa City, Iowa

Iowa City is a charming college town that exudes creative and intellectual energy. Home to the University of Iowa, the city offers a mix of cultural experiences, outdoor recreation, and a supportive community. Iowa City is known for its literary heritage and is recognized as a UNESCO City of Literature. The city's downtown area features unique shops, art galleries, and a lively music scene. Surrounded by scenic landscapes, Iowa City provides opportunities for outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and kayaking.

Places to eat: Pullman Bar & Diner is a popular restaurant known for its elevated comfort food and craft cocktails. Oasis Falafel serves up delicious Middle Eastern cuisine, specializing in falafel and other Mediterranean delights. Share Wine Lounge & Small Plate Bistro offers an extensive selection of wines and a menu of shareable plates.

Attractions: Explore the University of Iowa campus, known for its historic buildings, including the Old Capitol Building. The Iowa Old Capitol is a stunning architectural gem and offers insights into the state's history. Visit the University of Iowa Museum of Art, which houses an impressive collection of European, American, and African art. Take a stroll through the Pedestrian Mall, a vibrant outdoor space lined with shops, cafes, and street performers. For nature lovers, nearby Lake Macbride State Park offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and hiking.


#10 Madison, Wisconsin


Blog Image

Madison is the capital city of Wisconsin and is renowned for its natural beauty, thriving food scene, and progressive values. Located between two beautiful lakes, Lake Mendota and Lake Monona, Madison offers stunning waterfront views and numerous recreational activities. The city is known for its lively downtown area, which features an array of restaurants, cafes, breweries, and live music venues. Madison also boasts a strong arts and cultural scene, with museums, galleries, and annual festivals.

Places to eat: Graze is a popular farm-to-table restaurant offering seasonal and locally sourced ingredients in a sleek and modern setting. Monty's Blue Plate Diner is a beloved local eatery known for its comfort food and nostalgic atmosphere. For vegetarian and vegan options, check out Green Owl Cafe, which serves up creative plant-based dishes.

Attractions: Explore the Wisconsin State Capitol, a beautiful building with stunning architecture and panoramic views from the observation deck. The Chazen Museum of Art showcases a diverse collection of artwork from around the world. Olbrich Botanical Gardens is a tranquil oasis with stunning gardens, a Thai pavilion, and a serene reflecting pool. Take a walk along State Street, a pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare connecting the University of Wisconsin campus to Capitol Square, lined with shops, cafes, and street performers.


Hooray! You reached the middle of the top 20 LGBTQ+ friendly cities in the US. Now, time for a little sweet travel tip. 

Fun fact: Did you know that the hotel price changes 18 times on average after you book it? To know the rate drop time would be impossible without RatePunk browser extension. 

Every time the hotel price drops, you get an email with an option to rebook it at the lower available rate. And to have the extension costs you nothing. 

#11 New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, often referred to as "The Big Easy," is a city known for its vibrant culture, music, and unique blend of French, African, and American influences. The city's rich history is evident in its architecture, cuisine, and lively festivals. New Orleans is renowned for its jazz and blues music, and visitors can enjoy live performances in clubs and bars throughout the city. The vibrant French Quarter, with its iconic architecture and lively street life, is a must-visit destination.

Places to eat: Commanders Palace is a renowned fine dining restaurant that offers a blend of classic Creole and innovative cuisine. Willie Mae's Scotch House is a local institution known for its mouthwatering fried chicken. For delicious beignets and café au lait, a visit to Café du Monde is a must.

Attractions: Explore the historic French Quarter, with its colorful buildings, lively music scene, and iconic attractions like Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral. Take a ride on the streetcars and explore neighborhoods like the Garden District with its beautiful mansions and oak-lined streets. Experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Frenchmen Street music scene, where you can enjoy live music and dance the night away. Don't forget to indulge in the city's famous cuisine, including gumbo, jambalaya, and po'boys.


#12 Olympia, Washington


Blog Image

Olympia is the capital city of Washington State, located at the southern tip of the Puget Sound. The city embraces its natural surroundings, with picturesque views of the water and the nearby Olympic Mountains. Olympia is known for its progressive values, sustainability initiatives, and active community engagement. The city's downtown area features unique shops, art galleries, and a thriving local food and craft beer scene.

Places to eat: Waterstreet Cafe and Bar offers a menu of Pacific Northwest-inspired cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients. The Bread Peddler is a beloved bakery and cafe known for its freshly baked bread, pastries, and sandwiches. For a vegan and vegetarian-friendly option, try The Spar Café, which serves up delicious plant-based dishes.

Attractions: Explore the Washington State Capitol Campus, where you can visit the Legislative Building and admire its stunning architecture and beautiful grounds. The Hands On Children's Museum offers interactive exhibits and educational activities for kids. Visit the Olympia Farmers Market, a bustling market showcasing local produce, artisan crafts, and delicious food. For nature lovers, head to the nearby Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, a pristine habitat for a variety of bird species and other wildlife.


#13 Portland, Oregon

Known for its progressive values, vibrant arts scene, and breathtaking natural beauty, Portland is a city that celebrates diversity, creativity, and sustainability. The city is famous for its food carts, craft breweries, and coffee culture. Portland's neighborhoods each have their own unique charm, offering a mix of independent boutiques, art galleries, and lively entertainment venues. With its proximity to stunning landscapes like the Columbia River Gorge and the Oregon Coast, outdoor adventures are within reach.

Places to eat: Pok Pok is a renowned restaurant serving up authentic Thai street food and flavorful dishes. Tasty n Alder is a popular spot offering a creative menu of shared plates and globally inspired cuisine. Blossoming Lotus is a vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurant that delights with its plant-based dishes.

Attractions: Explore Washington Park, home to the enchanting Portland Japanese Garden, the iconic International Rose Test Garden, and the Oregon Zoo. Visit Powell's City of Books, one of the world's largest independent bookstores. Stroll through the hip Pearl District, filled with art galleries, boutiques, and trendy restaurants. Take a bike ride along the Willamette River or embark on a scenic hike in Forest Park, one of the largest urban forests in the United States.


#14 Santa Fe, New Mexico


Blog Image

Santa Fe is a captivating city nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico. It is renowned for its rich Native American and Spanish colonial heritage, evident in its adobe architecture, historic sites, and vibrant arts scene. Santa Fe offers a unique blend of cultures, with a thriving art market, world-class museums, and a culinary landscape influenced by traditional New Mexican flavors.

Places to eat: The Shed serves up delicious New Mexican cuisine, specializing in red and green chile dishes. Café Pasqual's is a local favorite, offering organic and locally sourced ingredients in their creative and flavorful dishes. Geronimo is an upscale restaurant known for its contemporary American cuisine and elegant ambiance.

Attractions: Explore the historic Santa Fe Plaza, surrounded by historic buildings, art galleries, and shops selling Native American jewelry and crafts. Visit the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, which showcases the works of the iconic American artist. The Santa Fe Opera presents world-class performances in a stunning open-air theater. Take a drive to the nearby Bandelier National Monument to explore ancient Pueblo dwellings and hike through scenic canyons.


#15 Savannah, Georgia

Savannah is a charming and historic city known for its Southern hospitality, tree-lined streets, and antebellum architecture. The city's historic district is a designated National Historic Landmark, with picturesque squares, moss-draped oak trees, and well-preserved mansions. Savannah exudes a laid-back charm and offers a wealth of history, ghost stories, and culinary delights.

Places to eat: Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room is a local institution serving up delicious Southern home-cooked meals in a communal dining setting. The Olde Pink House is a popular restaurant housed in an 18th-century mansion, offering Southern-inspired dishes with a modern twist. The Collins Quarter is a trendy café known for its Australian-inspired brunch menu and specialty coffee.

Attractions: Take a leisurely stroll through Forsyth Park, a beautiful green space with a famous fountain and walking paths. Explore the historic Bonaventure Cemetery, known for its hauntingly beautiful tombstones and Southern Gothic atmosphere. Visit the Telfair Museums, which house an impressive collection of American and European art. Take a guided ghost tour to learn about Savannah's rich history and paranormal legends.


#16 Seattle, Washington


Blog Image

Seattle is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city surrounded by stunning natural beauty. Known as the "Emerald City," it offers a mix of modernity and outdoor adventure. Seattle is famous for its coffee culture, thriving music scene, and iconic landmarks such as the Space Needle. The city also boasts a rich culinary scene, with diverse international cuisines and fresh seafood.

Places to eat: Pike Place Chowder is a must-visit for its award-winning clam chowder and seafood bisques. Canlis is an upscale restaurant offering panoramic views of the city and Pacific Northwest-inspired fine dining. For a unique experience, dine at The Pink Door, a hidden gem known for its Italian-American cuisine and cabaret performances.

Attractions: Explore Pike Place Market, one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers' markets in the United States, where you can browse local produce and artisanal crafts and enjoy street performances. Visit the iconic Space Needle for panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains. Experience the vibrant music scene at venues like The Crocodile and the historic Paramount Theatre. Take a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island for beautiful views of the Seattle skyline and to explore the island's charming shops and restaurants.


#17 St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine is a historical gem and the oldest continuously inhabited European-established settlement in the United States. Located on the northeast coast of Florida, it is known for its Spanish colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and beautiful beaches. St. Augustine offers a mix of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a charming and picturesque destination.

Places to eat: Columbia Restaurant is a local favorite, serving up traditional Spanish and Cuban cuisine in a historical setting. The Floridian is a popular spot known for its farm-to-table Southern-inspired dishes. For seafood lovers, try Catch 27, which offers fresh, locally sourced seafood in a cozy atmosphere.

Attractions: Explore the Castillo de San Marcos, a historic fortress overlooking Matanzas Bay. Visit the Lightner Museum, housed in the former Alcazar Hotel, and admire its collection of fine and decorative arts. Take a stroll along St. George Street, lined with shops, galleries, and restaurants. Relax on St. Augustine Beach or explore Anastasia State Park for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and birdwatching.


#18 Austin, Texas


Blog Image

Austin, the capital of Texas, is a dynamic city known for its live music scene, vibrant arts community, and outdoor recreational opportunities. The city embraces its slogan, "Keep Austin Weird," and offers a mix of eclectic shops, trendy restaurants, and a laid-back atmosphere. With its numerous parks, lakes, and hiking trails, Austin is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

Places to eat: Franklin Barbecue is a legendary establishment known for its mouthwatering smoked meats. For Tex-Mex cuisine, head to Matt's El Rancho, a local institution serving up delicious enchiladas and margaritas. Uchi is a renowned sushi restaurant offering creative and innovative Japanese cuisine.

Attractions: Explore the lively entertainment district of 6th Street, filled with bars, live music venues, and restaurants. Take a dip in the natural springs at Barton Springs Pool or enjoy outdoor activities at Zilker Park. Visit the Bullock Texas State History Museum to learn about the rich history of Texas. Experience the vibrant South Congress Avenue, known for its funky boutiques, food trucks, and iconic view of the Texas State Capitol.


#19 Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is a charming coastal city known for its historic charm, antebellum architecture, and Southern hospitality. The city exudes old-world elegance and offers a rich cultural heritage. Stroll through its cobblestone streets, admire the colorful historic homes, and explore the well-preserved plantations. Charleston is also famous for its culinary scene, offering a blend of Lowcountry cuisine and modern twists.

Places to eat: Husk is a renowned restaurant known for its farm-to-table Southern dishes and its focus on local ingredients. FIG (Food Is Good) offers a seasonal menu highlighting the flavors of the region. For a taste of Gullah-Geechee cuisine, head to Martha Lou's Kitchen, a beloved soul food spot.

Attractions: Visit the historic Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, one of the oldest plantations in the South, with stunning gardens and rich history. Take a tour of the historic district, including Rainbow Row and the Battery, to admire the beautiful architecture. Explore the vibrant Charleston City Market, where you can find local crafts, artwork, and traditional sweetgrass baskets. Take a boat tour to Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired.


#20 Provincetown, Massachusetts

Provincetown, often referred to as P-town, is a welcoming and inclusive coastal town located at the tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It has long been recognized as a popular destination for the LGBTQ+ community, known for its lively and accepting atmosphere. Provincetown offers beautiful beaches, a thriving arts scene, and a rich history.

Places to eat: Lobster Pot is a local favorite, serving up fresh seafood dishes in a casual and friendly setting. The Mews Restaurant & Cafe offers a diverse menu with options for seafood lovers and vegetarians alike. For a sweet treat, visit the Portuguese Bakery for delicious pastries and baked goods.

Attractions: Enjoy the beautiful beaches of Provincetown, such as Herring Cove Beach and Race Point Beach, for sunbathing, swimming, and scenic walks. Take a stroll down Commercial Street, the main thoroughfare, lined with unique shops, art galleries, and lively bars. Explore the Provincetown Art Association and Museum to admire works by local artists. Don't miss the iconic Pilgrim Monument, a towering granite structure offering panoramic views of the town and surrounding waters.


These cities have made efforts to provide inclusive policies, LGBTQ+ organizations, events, and safe spaces for the community. It's important to note that the LGBTQ+ friendliness of a city can vary, and it's always a good idea to research further and connect with local LGBTQ+ organizations when considering a move or visit.

May 22, 2023

Leave a comment

View More Comments

Never miss out on a better rate!

Sign up to receive a desktop reminder.

Lightning Icon