On July 13-15, locals and visitors will take to the streets of San Diego to celebrate the 44th San Diego Pride Festival, and they’ll need a fantastic hotel from which to rest and regroup amidst the celebration of love, equality, and pride. But before we touch on where to stay for Pride, lets cover some of the important details.
What to Expect
San Diego Pride began in 1974 to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion in New York and has since become an annual tradition that brings together the diverse voices of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies for a three-day celebration. Visitors to the 2018 San Diego Pride can expect 100 entertainers – including headliners like TLC and JoJo – over the three days, as well as a variety of events like the annual march, rally, food, and more during this expected sunny weekend.
When is San Diego Pride?
While the main festival is Saturday July 14 from noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday July 15 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., the first day of Pride kicks off on July 13th with the Stonewall Rally at 6 p.m. at the Hillcrest Pride Flag at 1500 University Avenue. There will be LGBTQ+ speakers, led by keynote speaker, Virginia Delegate Danica Roem, the first transgender state legislator, as well as the ceremonial raising of the Pride flag. The next morning, Pride-goers will start the day with a Pride 5K run that encourages rainbow-inspired wear.
San Diego Pride Parade Route for 2018
The San Diego Pride Parade attracts over 200,000 supporters who cheer along the route. The Parade will begin at Hillcrest Pride Flag, a local landmark, at University Avenue and Normal Street and head west on University Avenue before turning south on 6th Avenue, left on Balboa Dr., and ending at Quince Drive. It’s 1.5 miles in length, offering plenty of viewing opportunities.
How Much is Admission for San Diego Pride?
While the Parade is free, the Festival costs a fee for adults which ranges from $20-$30 (high school youth and younger receive free admittance). Located on the west side of Balboa Park off 6th Avenue, the Festival features musical entertainment like Kim Petras, LE1F, and Graciela Beltran, vendors, food booths, dance areas, and family-friendly activities like a Youth Zone. The admittance fee and beverage sales go toward supporting programs, events, and persons associated with the San Diego LGBT community.
Places to Explore in San Diego’s Gay Neighborhood
San Diego Pride is jam-packed with a weekend full of activities, but the celebration of love and equality doesn’t end with the closing of the Festival gates each night. Visitors can explore Hillcrest, San Diego’s LGBT-friendly neighborhood filled with bars, restaurants, and shops before or after events. Check out the first openly-gay brewery in the world, Hillcrest Brewing Company, or gay bars like the historic Brass Rail, Urban Mo’s, and Rich’s.
Celebrate Pride outside of Hillcrest such as at The Hole in The Wall, a dive bar with a gay-friendly history between Loma Portal and Midway District. Mission Hills, University Heights, and North Park – known for its leather bars and specialty shops – also have LGBT-friendly venues. If you want to get in some beach time, head to Black’s Beach, the local nude and gay-friendly beach with a beautiful coastline of cliffs and sand.
Hotels near San Diego Pride
If you’re looking for hotels near San Diego Pride, your best bet is to look into one of the neighborhoods located southwest of Balboa Park such as Little Italy, Downtown San Diego, or Cortez Hill. Here are some of the closest hotels to San Diego Pride:
Best Western Cabrillo Garden Inn
2.5-Star hotel in Cortez Hill with free buffet breakfast and fantastic service. Only 0.9 miles from San Diego Pride with a 8.4 Guest Rating. Check Availability.
Days Inn By Wyndham San Diego
2-Star hotel with free WiFi and free continental breakfast. Only 0.9 miles from San Diego Pride with a 7.0 Guest Rating. Check Availability
Holiday Inn Express San Diego Downtown
3-Star hotel with free buffet breakfast, an outdoor pool, and an awesome bar. Only 0.9 miles from San Diego Pride with a 7.6 Guest Rating. Check Availability
Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, San Diego
3.5-Star hotel with spacious rooms and free WiFi. Only 1 mile from San Diego Pride with a 9.2 Guest Rating. Check Availability
Four Points by Sheraton San Diego Downtown
3-Star hotel in Cortez Hill with free WiFi, free airport shuttle and an outdoor pool. Only 1 mile from San Diego Pride with a 7.4 Guest Rating. Check Availability
DoubleTree by Hilton San Diego Downtown
3.5 – Star hotel in Little Italy with free WiFi, free airport shuttle and an outdoor pool. Only 1 mile from San Diego Pride with a 7.6 Guest Rating. Check Availability