One of the United States’ largest islands, Long Island, is an easy escape from Manhattan thanks to the Long Island Rail Road out of Penn Station. June weather can be hot in New York City, and Long Island provides miles of shoreline.
The crowd can be found combing the beaches of Fire Island (a ferry takes visitors to this barrier island retreat) where dance parties can last until the sun rises over the Atlantic. Many also find their New York summertime spirit (while drinking spirits) in The Hamptons where a posh crowd celebrates summertime with white parties, clambakes, and rosé.
You can also take a day trip to explore historic Gold Coast Mansions, or tour award-winning Long Island wineries by bike, bus or limo, with lush vineyards that make New York one of the largest wine producers in the country.
The Hudson Valley comprises multiple counties just north of New York City. From quaint towns for antiquing like Hudson, Nyack, Beacon, and Rhinebeck, and unique environments that line the Hudson River like the Palisades mountains, tidal estuaries, and large forests to world-class art at Dia:Beacon or Storm King Art Center, this region of New York is filled with a rich heritage and history that deserves a visit.
While there is no concentrated LGBT community, Big Gay Hudson Valley is a network that brings everyone together for yearly events like a Hudson River booze cruise and yearly pride picnic. Additionally, the often artsy towns that dot the water often have LGBT-friendly businesses that one can find on BGHV’s website. With all this discovering, Hudson Valley explorers need a place to eat some of the region’s finest food.
Book a tour and table at the Culinary Institute of America where world-class chefs teach the next generation of all-star chefs. To extend your journey, book a room at Mohonk Mountain House, a 265-room Victorian castle, that has endless gardens and trails.
Once the escape for New York’s LGBTQ community (it was here that Gore Vidal threw his legendary parties), the Catskills is once again attracting the community with its thriving arts scene, new accommodations, and plentiful peace and quiet from the bustling City. Begin your trip with a visit to YO1, a beautiful and relaxing oasis whose menu of wellness treatments and activities will recharge you before or after Pride.
Try the gay-owned Fairlawn Inn where you’ll feel right at home before exploring Hunter Mountain with its biking trails, skyrides, festivals, and the longest and highest zip line in North America. Nearby, Scribner’s Catskill Lodge is welcoming a young, hipster sect who relaxes by the pool with whiskey and artisanal bites.
You can spend the day venturing around Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, where the Woodstock Festival once took place. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the concert by visiting the museum devoted to the world-changing concert. For those looking to set their sights on something even more adventurous, pack your camping gear and set foot in Catskills Park, New York’s designated wilderness recreation area spanning 700,000 acres.
You may want to hop on a flight to reach the Niagara/Buffalo region, but you won’t have to spend too much as flights consistently go for under $100. It’s well worth it, though, as you stand atop Niagara Falls or take the Maid of the Mist boat directly under the world-famous waterfalls that were once the most popular attraction in the whole of the United States.
While here, learn more about the Falls at the Niagara Gorge Discover Center, the Niagara Adventure Theater, Aquarium of Niagara, and the Niagara Scenic Trolley. A must for all travelers is a visit to Niagara State Park, and the Cave of the Winds walk, where you’ll feel the power of the falls.
Each Pride, season, be sure to wait until the sun sets and see this natural wonder light up in rainbow colors. Pride at the Falls on July 5 features a free concert by the Buffalo Philharmonic and fireworks. Nearby, the city of Buffalo is rife with culture, gay bars, amazing cuisine, and fabulous accommodations. Don’t miss Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex, Ani Di Franco’s Babeville, the birthplace of the Buffalo wing at Anchor Bar, or a walk around Elmwood and Allentown.
For info on other events and destinations statewide visit www.iloveny.com/worldpride