This weekend more than 200,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their friends and family will celebrate Pride in Washington D.C., at the annual Capital Pride Festival.
Festivities kick-off with Saturday's parade from Dupont Circle to Logan Circle and on Sunday the historic Pennsylvania Avenue will host a day full of entertainment, music, food, drink, and education. Considering the president's recent endorsement of gay marriage, we can't think of a better place to celebrate Pride.
Of course, Washington D.C. offers plenty more than Pride entertainment. Be sure to explore the town a bit -- despite its reputation as a tight-laced city full of suits, the capital has a vibrant nightlife and many LGBT-friendly destinations.
Below, check out our slideshow of must-see places for the LGBT traveler, and feel free to add your own destinations.
This open-area national park, located between the Lincoln Memorial and the United States Capitol, is the heart of D.C. Given its centrality, the Mall has a rich legacy of civil rights activism -- Martin Luther King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech there and it was the starting point for the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1979. Furthermore, with the Washington, Jefferson, and Roosevelt monuments located there, the Mall is a great place to stroll around on a nice day and take in some American heritage. Photo via YouTuT at Flickr.com
In addition to historical photos and artifacts, the National Archives houses the original copies of the three main formative documents of the United States and its government: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Given the latter's centrality to debates regarding LGBT rights, a visit to the Archives is a must for queer history buffs. Photo via cliff1066™ at Flickr.com
Considered a historic locale in the development of national gay identity, the neighborhood of Dupont Circle has a large collection of gay bars and businesses and remains a mecca of queer cultures in the nation's capitol. June's Capital Pride Festival and a Halloween high-heeled drag race are held there annually.
At the nation's founding, George Washington had a vision for a botanic garden that would demonstrate and promote the importance of plants to the young nation. When his dream was realized in 1820 the U.S. Botanic Garden became one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America. Today, the garden uses its impressive display of flora to promote sustainability and the appreciation of nature's beauty -- the perfect spot for a vacationing radical faerie and everyone else. Photo via Randy Pertiet at Flickr.com
Located in Dupont Circle, this has been the go-to boutique for adventurous adults for more than thirty years. In addition to the namesake leather and BDSM gear, it is well-stocked with toys, condoms and genital accoutrements to add some kink to your D.C. visit. Photo via Nahkahomo at Flickr.com