Popular LGBT Destinations on the U.S. West Coast


Ever since the first same-sex marriages were legalized in Massachusetts back in 2003, the USA has become a seemingly friendlier place for the LGBT community. Even prior to the breakthrough of 2003, one region in the USA became known as a particularly progressive destination: the West Coast. From West Hollywood and San Francisco to the bustling city of Portland, here’s a closer look at just three of the many LGBT-friendly places to visit on the West Coast.

West Hollywood is LA’s Gay Hub 

West Hollywood is by far one of the most LGBT-friendly locations in Los Angeles.  It became the first majority-gay municipality in the USA back in 1984 and has been very accepting of the LGBT community ever since.  At present, LGBT residents make up nearly 40% of the community with its rainbow-striped pedestrian crossings and a multitude of inclusive restaurants, shops, accommodations, and bars.  West Hollywood is also home to June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives museum that has lesbian artwork, literature, clothing, and videos on display.

San Francisco is an LGBT Hotspot

It is with very good reason that San Francisco has been crowned the gay capital of the world. In fact, the city is home to one of the largest and most flourishing LGBT communities in the USA. Here you will find streets clad in rainbows, a number of pro-gay neighborhoods, and a plethora of celebrations that attract LGBT members and supporters from across the globe. Some of the most popular venues include Mission Dolores Park and the Castro District where the famous GLBT History Museum is located. Another must-visit spot is San Francisco’s first-ever gay bar, the Twin Peaks Tavern. Just down the road from one of California’s top-rated family beaches, Crissy Field East Beach, lies Marshall’s Beach, a delightful gay-friendly piece of heaven where the LGBT community can frolic in the sun to their heart’s content.

Portland has a large LGBT population

In Portland, Oregon, as much as 5% of the population identifies as LGBT.  As the city sports a very accepting attitude and ultra-progressive politics there is no shortage of gay attractions including bars, restaurants, parades, and festivals to be found. Although Portland as a whole is very LGBT-friendly, the neighborhoods of Hawthorne and Burnside Triangle are particularly inviting. These areas first rose to prominence in the sixties and seventies thank to the emergence of a host of gay clubs and eateries. Prior to the pandemic, May was always considered to be the best time of year to visit Portland thanks to the famous AIDS fundraiser, the Red Dress Party that was held annually and attended by more than 2,000 people. 

Although the USA as a whole still has a long way to go in terms of LGBT acceptance and inclusivity, there are regions where considerable progress has been made. The West Coast is by far one of the most LGBT-friendly areas in not only the country, but probably the world as well.