Connecticut: An LGBTQ+ Summer Destination Last Updated: March 2023
Connecticut is a place for everyone—so all our fun is LGBTQ+ friendly fun. From being the second state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2008 to passing the parentage act in 2021, the small state of Connecticut has long taken big steps to not only protect LGBTQ+ residents, families, and visitors—but to celebrate them.
Recently, Connecticut even became the first-ever state to join the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA) at the global partner level! Plus, Hartford was named one of the best cities for LGBTQ+ couples.
Just a Few Reasons to Visit this Summer:
Outdoor adventures for all skill levels including hiking, biking, and kayaking, as well as adrenaline-junkie-favorites like UTV and boat rentals, guided mountain climbing, hot air ballooning and sky diving, all reopening in spring.
Arts & culture happenings including the 36th annual Connecticut LGBTQ Film Festival (October 6-15) and Chiffon Thomas’ solo museum debut (opens Sept 15). Don’t miss the International Festival of Arts & Ideas (June 10-25), which convenes leading artists, thought leaders, and innovators from around the world. From original productions and shows direct from Broadway to music concerts and so much more, enjoy live entertainment at Palace Theater, The Hartford Stage, Westport Country Playhouse, and Warner Theatre.
Culinary offerings including the CT Wine Trail and award-winning restaurants and bars, including many helmed by LGBTQ+ chefs/bartenders (e.g., Fair Haven Oyster Co., The Port of Call). Craft beer lovers won’t want to miss the Connecticut Craft Beer Fest (April 22).
Shoreline beaches with inviting small towns, seafood stands and fresh ice cream galore. Mystic is one such inviting town, home to the annual Mystic Outdoor Art Festival (Aug 12-13) with two miles of incredible artwork for show and sale from over 200 artists, all totally free to attend.
Nightlife, entertainment, and gaming scene featuring musical talent, comedians and more. Popular Drag variety shows include Lipstick, Lashes & Lies at Mohegan Sun (Fridays and Sundays).
Luxury experiences like the awardwinning spa/wellness and bespoke services at Mayflower Inn & Spa, Winvian, Delamar and more, which change seasonally.
Green getaways at the recently opened Hotel Marcel (the country’s first net zero hotel), Saybrook Point Resort & Spa, and more. Book Saybrook’s Lighthouse Suite (reopens May) for something romantic or the luxury Guesthouses for the whole family.
Sporting events including the Hartford Yard Goats (home opener April 6) and WNBA’s Connecticut Sun (home opener May 21).
LGBTQ+ history experiences at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (year-round), The Glass House (reopens in April) and Palmer-Warner House (reopens in May).
Family attractions and events including Mystic Seaport Museum, Connecticut Science Center and Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz (July 13-16), the largest free jazz event in New England.
Pride events, including in Middletown (June 3), Norwalk (June), New London (Aug), Hartford (Sept) and New Haven (Sept). Save the date for Hartford Symphony Orchestra Presents: Tchaikovsky & Pride (June 9-11) and Spring Hill Arts Gathering or SHAG (June 22-25), which dedicates a day for Shag with Pride—all set atop a beautiful vineyard.
Unique places to stay to fit every vibe, including boutique hotels, inns and B&Bs (including LGBTQ-owned), cottage and treehouse rentals, culinary farm stays, unplugged getaways and an all-inclusive adult overnight camp. Check out Club Getaway’s annual Camp John Waters weekend (Sept 8-11) for something truly unique.