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Note: All travel is subject to frequently-changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state, and local advisories before scheduling trips.

Drag performances are to the LGBTQIA community what burger joints are to foodies—diverse, debated, but universally loved. Whatever your favorites are, no one regrets a visit to Shake Shack or In-N-Out, right? Similarly, you’re destined to appreciate a stage show starring beloved queens and attended by the masses or a small stage show where up-and-comers lip-sync for every last dollar. Here are 10 amazing places to see drag in North America. Is your favorite not on this list? Tell us about it in the comments below.

RELATED: Visit our LGBTQIA travel hub for welcoming hotels, the ultimate queer events calendar, inspiration, and more!

Palace: Miami

drag queen performing during brunch

Flickr CC: Phillip Pessar

On Ocean Drive, Palace hosts its famed drag brunch Friday through Sunday where its residential performances bedazzle audiences during two separate seatings. It’s classic, with celebrity impersonators, wild banter, a bit of Latin flare, and an expansive outdoor performance area that helps the queens get their steps in during each number.

Find a great South Beach hotel right here.

Oasis: San Francisco

drag queen on stage

Flickr CC: Steven Damron

You’re likely to bump into female impersonators while strolling the Castro, San Francisco’s famed queer district. For the full performance, however, head to Oasis—opened by legendary queen Heklina—which hosts a variety of local acts alongside big names. Inclusivity is key here: All-Black shows and drag king performances help ensure that everyone feels seen and heard.

Find a hotel near the Castro District here.

The Cabaret: Cincinnati

Yes, coastal elites, Ohio is no stranger to drag. Reserve a table at The Cabaret for one of their two Saturday night shows featuring Ohio’s most vivacious queens. Emcee Brooklyn Steele-Tate doubles as a board member of Cincinnati Pride and fundraises heavily, so look for a good cause to be touted when visiting.

Book your Cincinnati stay here.

AllWays Lounge and Theatre: New Orleans

Keep an eye out for hometown hero Bianca Del Rio while strolling New Orleans’ French Quarter. There are numerous places to see drag performances, like beloved Bourbon Street bar Oz, but head to AllWays Lounge and Theatre for the city’s finest. On any given night you might see stand-up comedy, burlesque, peep shows, bingo nights, and yes, the city’s finest underground drag scene.

Browse great New Orleans hotels here.

The Boulevard: Pasadena, CA

For whatever reason you find yourself in this city just northeast of downtown LA (browsing the Art Deco architecture perhaps) why not visit the local LGBTQIA watering hole? The Boulevard hosts drag shows, having managed to stay in business during the pandemic thanks to generous locals who call the place their “gay Cheers.”

Round out your Pasadena stay with a great hotels. 

Bok Bar: Philadelphia

Bok Bar is not an exclusively LGBTQIA venue, but this rooftop oasis hosts a monthly drag brunch by Philly Drag Mafia. Why seek them out? They are the only LGBTQIA brigade participating in the iconic Philadelphia Mummers Parade held annually on New Year’s Day, so it’s something unique to the city. They also host a tea at the Sofitel hotel a few times each month, and when the weather’s cooperating.

Book the Sofitel or other Philadelphia hotels here.

Cheer Up Charlies: Austin

A day in the life of drag queens

Even the drag is bigger in Texas, if that’s possible. Austin is the place for something a bit more outlandish, especially with a budding drag scene on display at Cheer Up Charlies. Down the street check out Elysium for more alternative performers, which is probably what you hoped from a drag scene in Austin, anyway.

Check out fantastic Austin hotels here. 

The Baton Show Lounge: Chicago

Since 1969, the Baton Show Lounge has attracted the likes of Joan Crawford, Janet Jackson, and the drag performers who they inspire. It’s more of a spectacle than some bar performances, so you can expect a proper stage show experience, and be prepared for bachelorette party mayhem on weekends. It’s a Chicago institution and much less of a gamble than the city’s deep-dish pizza.

Book your Chicago hotel right here. 

Crews and Tangos: Toronto

a painted building in toronto canada

Flickr CC: Joseph Morris

Crews and Tangos is the place to be Thursday through Sunday when some of Canada’s best queens take the stage. Just don’t expect them to apologize for anything. Get ready to see a diverse bunch of performers spill the, we don’t know, maple syrup?

Find deals on Toronto hotels here. 

Mimosas Cabaret: Seattle

Mimosas Cabaret makes it easy to remember what you’ll be drinking and seeing during Seattle’s best drag brunch, according to, well, Mimosas Cabaret. Held at the Unicorn, these queens are getting back to work after a year of Seattle shutdowns.

Start planning your Seattle trip with a great hotel deal. 

Tagged: Austin, California, Canada, Chicago, Chicago, LGBTQIA, Los Angeles, Midwest, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Texas, Top 10 Lists, Toronto

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Bryan Pirolli

Bryan Pirolli

Bryan Pirolli

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