Boston, Massachusetts, is the perfect city break destination. An impeccable mix of history and charm, with every neighbourhood different from the last.
With so much to see, do and eat here, it’s an ideal destination for anything from a two-day to five-day vacation.
In our case, we visited Boston as part of our East Coast USA trip and spent a wonderful five days here exploring the best of what the city had to offer.
Sadly since our visit to Boston a lot has changed. This includes a boycot of Boston Pride which resulted in Boston Pride's board closing down the organisation with no further events or programming planned beyond 2021. Further reading on the matter is available in the links above, however in our opinion this doesn't change the fact that Boston is still an incredibly LGBTQ+ friendly city to visit.
Table of Contents
- Is Boston LGBTQ+ Friendly?
- Annual LGBTQ+ Events In Boston
- LGBTQ+ Friendly Neighbourhoods
- LGBTQ+ Friendly Hotels In Boston
- LGBTQ+ Nightlife In Boston
Is Boston LGBTQ+ Friendly?
Boston, Massachusetts, is one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly cities in the United States.
Noted for its extensive gay, lesbian and transgender annual events, nightlife, clubs and bars, it’s a fantastic place to travel to as an LGBTQ+ person.
Massachusetts was the first state to legalise same-sex marriage and home to the first openly gay state representative, Elaine Noble, who was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives here back in 1974.
Annual LGBTQ+ Events In Boston
Unsurprisingly given how progressive Boston is, there are plenty of annual LGBTQ+ events in the city. These include;
Rhode Island PrideFest
The capital city of Rhode Island, Providence, is located just over an hour away from Boston. This makes it the perfect place for Boston travellers and locals to visit to enjoy the fun, laughter, glitter and glamour of pride.
While the PrideFest event starts at noon, the parade doesn’t start until sunset. That’s because Rhode Island Pride is New England’s only illuminated night parade.
Unsurprisingly then, Rhode Island PrideFest now attracts more than 100,000 festival-goers and features entertainment from local, regional and national acts.
Wicked Queer: The Boston LGBT Film Festival
The Wicked Queer LGBT Film Festival was founded in 1984 and has been hosted by Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts since 1992.
The festival takes place annually in April with films screening at the Institute of Contemporary Art, The Bright Family Screening Room at the Paramount Theatre, The Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square, and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.
However, if you’re not planning on visiting Boston in April, you may still be able to catch a Wicked Queer film, as the festival regularly hosts pop-up events throughout the year.
LGBTQ+ Friendly Neighbourhoods
While Boston as a whole is LGBTQ+ friendly, like most cities you’ll find that some neighbourhoods are gayer than others, and in Boston these neighbourhoods are;
Walking down Center Street in Jamaica Plain, it’s easy to see why locals choose to live here, and tourists choose to visit.
This area is home to people of diverse backgrounds as well as organisations that advocate for, empower, and enhance the wellbeing of minorities.
Boston’s South End was one of America’s earliest large-scale residential developments and as such became popular with LGBTQ+ artists in the 1970s thanks to affordable accommodation costs.
The South End LGBTQ+ community then began to build the gay scene here we know and love today complete with unique bars, wonderful cafés and luxurious restaurants.
Dorchester is one of Boston’s up-and-coming LGBTQ+ neighbourhoods. So much so, that a recent census found this region to be the largest and most diverse neighbourhood in the city.
Unsurprisingly then, not only will you find a wide range of LGBTQ+ cafés, bars and nightlife here but also a wide variety of global cuisine.
LGBTQ+ Friendly Hotels In Boston
While there is no gay or LGBTQ+ exclusive accommodation in Boston, it’s hard to find any accommodation here that isn’t LGBTQ+ friendly.
After all, being an ally of the LGBTQ+ community is all about providing a respectful, understanding and non-judgemental environment.
However, we wanted to take the time to share the hotels and hostels in Boston that have gone above and beyond in recognising the LGBTQ+ community.
Not only are these hotels fantastic allies they also offer a high standard of accommodation and boast a prime location perfect for tourists.
The Lenox is a five-star luxury hotel perfect for couples. Located in Boston’s historic Back Bay Area, the hotel features a state-of-the-art gym, award-winning dining, a personalised concierge service and a 24-hour business centre.
Each of the 214 rooms here has panoramic views of the Back Bay neighbourhood, flat-screen TVs, a fridge and plush terry bathrobes, while the premium luxury rooms offer both furniture and crystal lamps.
The Verb Hotel
Are you looking for a unique music-inspired hotel complete with a retro-chic vibe, Rock & Roll artefacts and collectables during your trip to Boston? – Then look no further than The Verb.
Not only is this hotel ideally situated outside of the world-famous Fenway Park, but it also features facilities, including an outdoor pool (yes, you read that correctly).
The Revolution Hotel
The Revolution Hotel is the perfect choice for couples and families alike with queen, king, triple and quad rooms.
Situated just a ten-minute stroll from Copley Square, the hotel facilities include a restaurant, fitness centre, a bar and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Hostel HI Boston Hostel
We chose to stay at the HI Hostel during our five-night trip to Boston. This hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Boston Common and offers a range of private rooms and shared dorms.
Guests of Hostel Hi Boston have access to an extensive shared kitchen space, a games room, bike storage and organised activities.
LGBTQ+ Nightlife In Boston
If you’re looking for a colourful and queer night out in Boston, then look no further than this range of bars, clubs & cafes;
The Trophy Room has been a South End favourite for almost a decade, complete with a colourful atmosphere, superb food and drink options, and a lively brunch on Sundays.
Despite recent gay bar closures in Boston, Club Café remains one of the best all-around gay bars to visit in the city.
However, visitors to Club Café will tell you its survival has been no accident. That’s because this place is primed for entertainment every night of the week, with everything from trivia to karaoke, dance parties through to bingo.
Located in the residential district of Dorchester, you’ll find dbar.
During the day, this place is a fabulous New American restaurant serving everything from classical French favourites to modern, chef-driven comfort food.
However, as the sun sets in the city, dbar transforms itself into ‘dbar After Dark’ home to some of the best cocktails and most talented DJs in all of Boston.
While you likely won’t find the local LBGTQ+ community in Jacques, we still think it’s well worth a visit as a tourist in Boston.
This quirky cabaret bar is filled with sassy drag performances, cheap beer and one of the most popular karaoke nights in all of Boston.