Boston's always-vibrant Gay Pride celebration takes place this weekend, with the Parade and Festival on Saturday, June 9, and then the traditional block parties the following day in the charming Back Bay and funky Jamaica Plain neighborhoods. This is one of the earlier June Pride events of any major cities on the East Coast, and it tends to attract visitors from all over New England. Here's a preview of the festivities.
In my effort to continue creating gay guides on top GLBT destinations, I've just finished writing a Boston Gay Bar Guide. For a large, liberal city with a sizable gay population and tons of students, Boston doesn't have quite as many specifically gay nightspots as you might expect - less than a dozen in total, which was pretty much the case when I lived in the city's South End off and on in the mid-'90s. Part of the reason for this may simply be that the city has so many inviting and mixed gay/straight pubs, taverns, and lounges in its most gay-frequented neighborhoods (the South End, Back Bay, Fenway, Jamaica Plain, Cambridge, etc.), that the demand for dedicated gay hangouts has never been strong enough to inspire more of them. In the South End, for example, just stroll along Tremont Street, Columbus Avenue, and Shawmut (along with the blocks connecting them), and you'll find a number of great restaurants with bar scenes that cater strongly to GLBT patrons - I've included some of the most popular of these (Franklin Cafe, Geoffrey's, Delux Cafe, 28 Degrees) in this article. But also check out Hamersley's Bistro, Aquitaine, the Butcher Shop, Coppa, Tremont 647, Toro, Stella, Metropolis, and the very gay-popular Francesca's coffeehouse. You won't run out of fun places to sip and socialize in the South End, or in plenty of other cool neighborhoods around the city.
For more on visiting Boston, also check out my Gay Guide to Boston, and for ideas about travel to nearby destinations, read my article on great gay-friendly weekend getaways near Boston, which includes the Berkshires, Martha's Vineyards, Newport, Northampton, Portsmouth NH, Ogunquit and Portland ME, Providence, Provincetown, southern Vermont, and New Hampshire's White Mountains.