Visit Seattle for Love & Pride

Seattle, Washington, marks a significant milestone in 2024: the 50th anniversary of LGBTQ+ Pride. This half-century celebration is not just a testament to the resilience and perseverance of the LGBTQ+ community but also a reflection of Seattle’s progressive spirit and unwavering commitment to inclusivity. As we commemorate this historic event, it’s essential to recognize the journey, the progress made, and the vibrant culture that has been cultivated in this dynamic city.


Seattle’s first Pride celebration took place in 1974, a few years after the Stonewall Riots in New York City ignited the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement. The inaugural event was modest, but it laid the foundation for what would become a cornerstone of the city’s cultural landscape. Over the decades, Seattle Pride has grown exponentially, transforming into a large-scale festival that attracts hundreds of thousands of participants and spectators each year and that is so unique to the character of the Pacific Northwest.

This year, Seattle is celebrating with the biggest burst of color yet! It’s why the Emerald City is the perfect place to kick off Pride season. Aside from Seattle being a city where Pride can be felt, seen, heard, and valued, Seattle offers a rich tapestry of experiences for visitors, combining natural beauty, vibrant culture, and diverse communities. Nestled between the waters of Puget Sound and the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest, Seattle boasts iconic landmarks such as the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and the stunning Chihuly Garden and Glass. Visitors can explore the eclectic neighborhoods, savor world-class coffee, and take in breathtaking views from the waterfront. The city’s robust arts scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and theaters, ensures there’s always something inspiring to see and do.


With the help of Visit Seattle, we recently had an up close and personal look at Seattle that celebrated the LGBTQ+ experience in honor of Seattle Pride’s 50th anniversary.

Before getting into the gems that make up Seattle’s vibrant LGBTQ+ community, it’s important to focus on one of the most unparalleled and unforgettable experiences.


On May 30th, fifty six LGBTQ+ couples boarded the “Love for All Boat” for the biggest and most beautiful vow renewal in history. My partner and I were among the lucky couples to celebrate love for all and set a world record amid Elliott Bay. The evening was emceed by drag royalty, BenDeLaCreme.

Justice Mary Yu (yes, that’s her real and very ICONIC name!) presided over the ceremony. Justice Yu is Washington’s first openly gay Asian American and Latina justice – who notably officiated Washington’s first same-sex marriage in 2012. With an Argosy Cruises boat decked out in rainbow fanfare and Mount Rainier majestically gazing upon us in all her glory, the magical night was not only a testament to the freedom to love that we all yearn for in our lives, but a reverence to the long battle for civil rights that the LGBTQ+ community continues to fight for every day. As an additional vote of support for the LGBTQ+ community, Seattle Deputy Mayor Greg Wong presented a proclamation that officially makes May 30th “Love for All Day” in Seattle–reminding everyone that love is love and you are welcome!


Reflecting on the history of Seattle Pride allows us to honor the pioneers who bravely fought for LGBTQ+ rights in an era of widespread discrimination and marginalization. Their courage and activism have paved the way for the freedoms and acceptance many enjoy today.

Seattle has long been at the forefront of LGBTQ+ rights. The city was one of the first in the United States to pass non-discrimination ordinances protecting LGBTQ+ individuals in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Washington State legalized same-sex marriage in 2012, three years before the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. These achievements reflect the city’s progressive values and its commitment to equality.


Seattle’s Pride celebrations are among the most dynamic and inclusive in the nation. The city comes alive with a myriad of events, from the iconic Pride Parade to cultural festivals, concerts, and community gatherings–like love boats, as you’ve already seen! 

Pride aside, Seattle is a bustling travel destination that is a welcoming place for LGBTQ+ travelers and allies.

On our recent visit to Seattle, we scratched the surface of the variety of ways Seattle is so beautifully queer.

Experience Pride On Your Own Terms

Can Can Caberet Dolly!


An experience unlike any other, Can Can is a cabaret dinner theatre extravaganza within the Pike Place Market of downtown Seattle. Founded in 2005 by Artistic Director Chris Pink and originally nestled underneath the world-famous Pike Place Market, Can Can’s Theatre is evocative of Paris at the turn of the 20th Century. At the heart of the institution is Can Can’s core creative team whose transformation of the unique venue with each new show features ever-changing scenic design, choreography, music, costuming, and more several times a year. 

Currently, their production of Dolly! will run through September 1, 2024. A spectacle of rhinestones and ruffles, dazzling dance, and iconic sing-alongs, Dolly! is an original, summertime spectacle. Magical and honey-covered, this jukebox-dance musical is a soulful romp that follows the miracle maven as she uses her supernatural powers to transform the world into a glittery utopia. Big hair and even bigger ballads will inspire even the most apprehensive to sing through the laughs, love, tears, and joy. Uuuuf…and watch out for the horny devil!


Photo by Nate Watters
Photo by Vicente T Capala III

Capitol Hill


Capitol Hill is the heart of Seattle’s LGBTQ+ scene. This vibrant neighborhood is home to numerous bars, clubs, and cafes that cater to the community. Seattle is the perfect destination for drag, dancing, and drinks! Iconic establishments like Neighbours Nightclub, Queer Bar, Massive, the Cuff are some pillars of the LGBTQ+ nightlife, some that have been around for decades and others that are new and thriving.


Celebrate Pride by Supporting LGBTQ+ Business

Seattle boasts a plethora of LGBTQ+ businesses. From shops that offer specialty products, to wineries and food spots that are culinary sensations, Seattle LGBTQ+ business is synonymous with activism and local philanthropy. It was refreshing to not only meet the people power behind these LGBTQ+ businesses, but to hear their stories of survival. Located across the Seattle landscape from Pike Place Market to smaller neighborhoods like Georgetown, if you’re visiting Seattle be sure to stop at these spots for an extra curated experience. Thanks to our new friends at The Intentionalist, we appreciate the mission of “Spending Where it Matters” and supporting not only small businesses, but places that celebrate and uplift the community.


Aluel Cellars

In 2012, partners Alex and Samuel decided that it was time to turn their expertise and passion for wine into something more. They dedicated years to making their dream a reality and brought Aluel Cellars to life. Aluel Cellars currently has three tasting rooms in Seattle neighborhoods – Capitol Hill, Ballard, and Queen Anne.  Their love for Washington wines made in the traditional or old-world style is showcased in the wines handcrafted for Aluel Cellars. For Pride season, Aluel Cellars releases “The Scholar” a special red blend created in collaboration with the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA). With every purchase, a portion of the proceeds goes directly to supporting the GSBA Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships to LGBTQ and allied students in support of their pursuit of higher education.


Bite Society

BITE SOCIETY is a Seattle-born, Woman-owned & NGLCC Certified Business.  Specializing in small-batch cookies, snacks, condiments, and sweets from recipes  developed over the years in the owners’ kitchen about a mile away from Pike Place Market in South Lake Union. You’ll find our tasty treats and savory eats in Tattoo-themed, reusable packaging that teases and excites.


Bloom Bistro & Grocery

Looking for a proper East Coast bagel in Seattle? This is your place. Bloom Bistro & Grocery is owned by Marisa Figueroa and her wife, Miranda. The bistro is located in a historic house in Georgetown, where Carleton Ave Grocery once operated for over 100 years. Beyond bagels and house-made schmears, the bistro serves a wide menu of breakfast and lunch bagel sandwiches, soups, salads, and beverages, plus beverages like coffee and fresh-squeezed juices.


Bonnie B’s Peppers

Bonnie B’s Peppers pays homage to owner Dylan Randolph’s mother. Using her original recipes and bearing her name, they offer delicious pickled peppers, vegetables, and sauces made right here in Pike Place Market. Their pickled peppers and vegetables deliver a crunchy, fresh explosion that will awaken your taste buds. By using farm-fresh ingredients and jarring them up within 24 hours, you can always count on a quality product.


Cafe Flora

Cafe Flora has been a Seattle institution for over 30 years, capturing the hearts of all its guests with a light-filled atrium, cozy dining room, and a beautiful outdoor patio. You will FALL IN LOVE with this restaurant’s beauty and wallpaper aesthetic! Since its opening in 1991, Cafe Flora has been a pioneering vegetarian restaurant at the forefront of Seattle’s local, organic, and sustainable foods movements. In 2008, then general manager, Nat Stratton-Clarke, acquired the restaurant, and has maintained its community-oriented spirit ever since.



CMS Ceramics


Chris Scamehorn of CMS Ceramics creates handmade and hand-painted ceramics inspired by the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. He is known for his “Stratascape Series” pottery, which he makes out of multiple colors of clay and hand-paints mountain landscapes on them.

Fat’s Chicken & Waffles


Fat’s Chicken & Waffles opened in 2015 in the space previously occupied by Central District landmark, Catfish Corner. Thanks to the community-forward leadership of owners Erika White and Marcus Lalario Fat’s has quickly become a neighborhood gem, known for its delicious Southern fare and casual vibe. You MUST TRY the Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit! Really one of the best things we had the entire trip! 


Footprint Wine Tap

In 2014, owner and winemaker, Ken Dillon entered a journey to create a sustainability-focused small business and practice reducing carbon footprint through alternative wine packaging, and wherever and whenever possible. Located in Capitol Hill–this place is the only spot in Seattle that serves a focused menu of local keg wine-on-tap! Give them a follow!


Intrigue Chocolate Co.


Intrigue Chocolate is a small, artisan chocolate making and confection company that celebrates the discovery of flavor through the medium of fresh chocolate. Located in Seattle’s historic downtown neighborhood of Pioneer Square. From farmer to botanist to brewer to baker to chocolate maker, Chef Aaron Barthel’s life has been an exploration of fine and simple things.  He began as a chocolatier in 2005, focusing on infusing a world of flavor into simple ganache truffles. Since then, Chef Barthel has expanded his passion to include small batch craft chocolate, developing the cacao’s flavor and texture in the mill. And this provides even more opportunity for playing with fruit, herbs, and spices!

Leolo Handmade Shoes and Leather Goods


One of THE COOLEST shops in Pike Place Market is LEOLO Handmade Shoes and Leather Goods! They are committed to the intersection of humanity and sustainability. Their design concepts are informed by a deep desire to couple traditional craftsmanship and individuality. Their handmade shoes are designed, created, and tailored for you… a fully bespoke process by shop owner Leanne (Louie) Corcoran. You’re gonna wanna buy everything!

Pike Place Pigs


Stephanie Shull of Pike Place Pigs has been perfecting her adored ceramic piggy banks since 1998. Stephanie spent several years making them as gifts for friends and family before pursuing her craft full-time. Stephanie makes each piggy by hand, so every pig is unique. That also means she can do custom orders!

Saltstone Ceramics

Originally started in a tiny Northwest Seattle garage in 2015, Saltstone Ceramics eventually grew into their renovated, sunny storefront in Wallingford in 2018. Since 2023, Liz Leong, Jude Mortensen, and Samantha Schauer have taken ownership of the studio and into a new chapter of the Seattle favorite! The ceramic and pottery studio sells handmade goods for everyday use, like bowls, dinnerware, and vases, with an emphasis on supporting local working artists. Stop by for some one-of-a-kind decor, or take one of the many classes, workshops, and private pottery lessons available to potters of all levels of experience. Don’t be afraid of getting a little messy–it’s part of the fun!

Terra Plata

A truly farm-to-table experience, Terra Plata committed to sourcing its ingredients from local growers and artisan producers who practice organic, sustainable farming. Their menu is so unique with Spanish and Americana fusions. They’re also seasonal and change daily–in fact, they’ve likely changed by the time you’ve read this and made a reservation!

Embracing the Future

As Seattle celebrates 50 years of Pride, it’s clear that the city’s commitment to equality and diversity remains steadfast. The milestone is not just a reflection of the past but a beacon for the future, encouraging continuous progress and inclusivity.

In embracing this future, it’s essential to support local LGBTQ+ organizations, businesses, and events. By doing so, we ensure that Seattle remains a welcoming and vibrant place for all, continuing to set an example of what it means to truly celebrate and uphold the principles of diversity and inclusion.

While traveling to Seattle during Pride season is an unforgettable experience, Seattle’s year-round dedication to its LGBTQ+ community is evident in its thriving neighborhoods, inclusive cultural institutions, and supportive networks. Whether you’re exploring its natural beauty, engaging in its rich cultural scene, or participating in its inclusive community events, Seattle is a city that celebrates love for all with its diversity every day of the year, making it a truly exceptional destination for all travelers.

Special thanks to Visit Seattle & W Seattle for a truly magical visit. Can’t wait to return!


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