San Francisco voted ‘Most Welcoming City’ in new LGBTQ travel poll

San Francisco voted ‘Most Welcoming City’ in new LGBTQ travel poll
Photo: Shutterstock

GayCities, the world’s most popular LGBTQ community-driven city guide and travel site, today announced winners of its annual “Best of GayCities” program.

GayCities readers cast more than 48,000 votes for their favorite destinations and travel icons in 13 categories from best “Travel Instagrammer” to the city that has the best “Singles Scene.”

San Francisco took gold honors as the “Most Welcoming City” for 2017 along with two other reader-voted awards. Joe D’Alessandro, President and CEO of San Francisco Travel Association, was also presented with the annual “Travel Innovator” award for his leadership and commitment to welcoming LGBTQ travelers to San Francisco from across the globe.

“We are thrilled and honored with this recognition,” D’Alessandro remarked, “It clearly demonstrates that San Francisco continues to be a preferred destination for LGBTQ travelers.”

Q.Digital CEO Scott Gatz said the awards program would not have been possible without the intense interest of GayCities readers in amazing worldwide destinations. Q.Digital is the parent company of GayCities, Queerty, and LGBTQ Nation.

“It’s the contributions of GayCities members that have made GayCities into the number one LGBTQ site and mobile app to discover where to go and what to see all over the world,” said Gatz. “So it’s only fitting that our members picked such spectacular destinations for this year’s winners.”

The complete list of categories and winners is below.

Most Welcoming City

  • Gold = San Francisco
  • Silver = New Orleans
  • Bronze = New York City
  • Runners Up = Chicago, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City

City That Makes You Happy

  • Gold = Key West
  • Silver = Palm Springs
  • Bronze = Vancouver
  • Runners Up = Buenos Aires, Nice, Puerto Vallarta, Vancouver

Travel Instagrammer

  • Gold = Nomadic Boys (@nomadicboys)
  • Silver = Two Bad Tourists (@twobadtourists)
  • Bronze = Kasedna Travel (@kasedna_travel)
  • Runners Up = Blake Sterling (@byblakesterling), Danny Boy Travelz (@dannyboytravelz), Nattalia Dantas (@nattaliadantas)

Foodie Paradise

  • Gold = San Francisco
  • Silver = Paris
  • Bronze = Barcelona
  • Runners Up = Bangkok, Brooklyn, Philadelphia

Fun in the Sun

  • Gold = Provincetown
  • Silver = Miami
  • Bronze = Sydney
  • Runners Up = Gran Canaria, Las Vegas, Orlando


  • Gold = Eagle Bar (San Francisco)
  • Silver = Good Friends (New Orleans)
  • Bronze = Boxers (New York City)
  • Runners Up = Berghain (Berlin), G-A-Y Bar (London), The Abbey (Los Angeles)

Travel YouTuber

  • Gold = Davey Wavey
  • Silver = Marco in a Box
  • Bronze = Courtney Act
  • Runners Up = Allie & Sam, Fiona Solis, Matthew & Ryan

Hotel Experience

  • Gold = Axel Hotel (Barcelona)
  • Silver = Bellagio (Las Vegas)
  • Bronze = Four Seasons (Maui)
  • Runners Up = Palomar (Washington, DC), Renaissance Vinoy (St. Pete, FL), St. Regis (New York City)

Singles Scene

  • Gold = Fort Lauderdale
  • Silver = Montreal
  • Bronze = Seattle
  • Runners Up = Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Portland

Romantic Getaway

  • Gold = Paris
  • Silver = Barcelona
  • Bronze = Amsterdam
  • Runners Up = Manchester, Montreal, Reykjavík

Festival Destination

  • Gold = Mardi Gras (New Orleans)
  • Silver = Stonewall 50 (New York City)
  • Bronze = Market Days (Chicago)
  • Runners Up = Circuit Festival (Barcelona), Tel Aviv Pride (Israel), Winter Party (Miami)

Best Gayborhood

  • Gold (tie) = Boystown (Chicago) & West Hollywood
  • Bronze = Wilton Manors (Fort Lauderdale)
  • Runners Up = Capitol Hill (Seattle), Gayborhood (Philadelphia), Oak Lawn (Dallas)

Inaugural “GayCities Icon”

  • Gold = Armistead Maupin (Author)
  • Silver = Ellen Page (Actress)
  • Bronze = Arne Sorenson (Marriott CEO)
  • Runners Up = Chip Conely (Author), John Tanzella (President, IGLTA)

GayCities Travel Innovator Award

  • Honoree = Joe D’Alessandro (CEO, San Francisco Travel)
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