Nicole Curtis, special to wtop.com
WASHINGTON — San Francisco has long-been America’s best city for gay travel, but according to Travel and Leisure, D.C. is on the rise — and experts say it could soon make its way to the top.
The growth and evolution of gay travel to D.C. is a result of a more welcoming environment, says Passport Magazine Publisher Don Tuthill.
“[It] has a lot to do with a changing culture. More and more destinations are welcoming to the LGBT community and people feel much safer traveling,” he says.
District neighborhoods such as Dupont Circle and 17th Street are attractive destinations for the LGBT community. And the city’s annual Pride Parade and High Heel Race draw participants and supporters, alike.
International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association President and CEO John Tanzella says the city’s history, museums, dining and hotels also attract the LGBT community to D.C.
“It’s a very forward-thinking destination,” Tanzella says.
Capital Pride Chairman and President Bernie Delia says 250,000 people travel to D.C. for the annual Pride celebration. Delia believes there is a deeper significance of celebrations like Capital Pride and D.C.’s sites to the LGBT community.
“It’s a remembrance of the struggles that we have endured over the years,” Delia says. “It’s a way to reconnect with people and to renew our spirit to carry on and go forward.”
Traveling to D.C.? Or just looking for something to do? Destination D.C. has a list of 100 free (and almost free) things to do in the nation’s capital. Here are a few ideas from the list:
Other cities that topped the list for America’s best cities for gay travel include San Francisco, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Santa Fe and New York.