The best thing about living in Florida is that locals live where you vacation. How does that help you when it comes to LGBTQ nightlife? Well, we’ve done the extensive legwork, you see, so you don’t have to. Trust us: there have been many long nights spent in bars at the bottom of a…
Listen, you know what? You don’t need the gory details.
Within Central Florida exists the “happiest place on earth” and possibly the most inclusion in the state. While there are loads of things to do during the day, if you’re not too exhausted from an amusement park, here is where we recommend going at night:
Southern Nights Orlando
375 S Bumby Ave, Orlando, Florida 32803 (407) 412-5039
At the top of the list is Southern Nights Orlando. Weewwww girl. You want to go to a hot nightclub and see some of the biggest names in Drag in the country? Get yourself to Southern Nights. Saturdays are typically lesbian nights, but after the world reopens from COVID-19, their schedule may change, so check out their Facebook page.
4453 Edgewater Dr, Orlando, Florida, USA (407) 412-6917
If you’re into seedy dive bars with bartenders in their underwear, then Barcodes Orlando is the place for you! It’s just soaked in cigarette smoke, and reminiscent of disco-era club exhaustion. There is a novelty store attached to Hank’s where you can get what we like to refer to as “lite leather play” items. If you really need further explanation, then maybe you should put the privacy blocker on your web browser and do a little at-home research.
1913 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32804
Between Martini Mondays and show tunes at SAVOY Thursdays, the SAVOY Orlando has our heart. Singing at the Savoy is a right of passage! The perfect amount of variation from room to room, from camp to class, diva to DWeVA, SAVOY Orlando has everything the children need. And if you get in trouble, honey, that’s what Detention is for on Sat-Ur-Gay Night!
741 W Church St, Orlando, FL 32805 407.373.0888
For that classic pub vibe, check out the Stonewall! They’ve been around since 2007, have three different areas, and host weekly movie nights. Someone line up some drinks. Stat! The spaces inside Stonewall are the Sky Bar, the Video Bar, and the Meat Market Patio.
5026 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, FL 32810 (407) 291-2399
Hank’s kind of feels almost like the gay “Cheers,” in that everyone seems to know your name… but with an interesting twist: It would be as if Cheers had a back patio area that doubled as a hookup spot! Norm and Cliff just got a hell of a lot more interesting!
2401 E S St, Orlando, FL 32803 (407) 412-5039
The gay-friendly sports bar, District Dive, is a great spot to hang out if you’re watching your favorite sports team while lip-synching to Madonna! The bartenders are amazingly friendly and might sing a tune or two with you! With Bingo during the weekdays.
OnePulse Foundation Memorial
1912 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32806
We would be remiss if we did not honor our LGBTQ family whose lives were painfully lost on June 12, 2016 during the Pulse Night Club Massacre. Although not open during the the day, make sure to pay homage to the victims by driving past the former Pulse night club where the OnePulse Foundation is constructing a new memorial.
The Florida Keys
The Keys are typically known to be the area of debauchery in South Florida, but we will be honest with you; she’s tempered her behavior these days. Once well-lit and vibrant, the LGBTQ+ community has started to balance out more with the straights. There’s nothing wrong with that; this author just didn’t realize that until they wrote this article.
801 Bourbon Bar
801 Duval Street, Key West, FL 33040, US (305) 294-4737
We have to tell you about the 801 Bourbon Bar first when we’re talking about Key West because oh *clap* goodness do we love this place. The 801 Girls at the upstairs cabaret theater are incredible performers. You can get the early bird special at 9 pm or the late show at 11 pm; both options make for a fantastic experience!
Aqua Key West
711 Duval Street, Key West, FL 33040, USA 305.294.0555
If you don’t mind bumping into a gaggle of bachelorettes, stop over to Aqua Key West! Aqua is the place where you’ll find fun “wholesome” events like Paint & Sip and Drag 101, just, you know, every once in awhile, there will be a cute boy in his underwear. There’s nothing wrong with that!
Bobby’s Monkey Bar
900 Simonton St, Key West, FL 33040 (305) 294-2655
If you’re looking for a place that’s off the beaten path, Bobby’s Monkey Bar is the local hotspot. Don’t show up and be rude at Bobby’s Monkey Bar, you’re not welcome whatsoever, and they make that very well known. No attitudes allowed. Stop by if you’re looking for a chill spot to play pool.
Bourbon Street Pub
724 Duval Street, Key West, Florida 305-293-9800
If you’re looking to possibly bump into a porn star, head over to Bourbon Street Pub, there is also a pool with ahem and clothing-optional sports. Ladies night is on Tuesday, and DJ Rude Girl will rock your socks off.
Saloon 1 Key West
504 Petronia St, Key West, Florida (305) 294-4737
Key West’s infamous leather bar, Saloon 1, is truly a sight to see. With some friendly bartenders, and mood lighting, leave your inhibitions at home as your experience at Saloon 1 is what you make of it.
North Florida may surprise you. We were surprised by the number of LGBTQ+ bars and nightclubs in this region, especially in Jacksonville, Florida. If you’re looking for a more laid back nightlife, although not LGBTQ, head to St Augustine.
Boot Rack Saloon
4751 Lenox Ave, Jacksonville, Florida (904) 384-7090
Boot Rack Saloon is your typical pub setting. Beer and wine, friendly conversation, and a relaxed vibe year-round. Weekly game night specials and karaoke are a great way to relax in Jacksonville.
Metro Entertainment Complex
859 Willow Branch Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32205, 904.388.8719
Metro is the place you’ll go when you’re in NoFlo, for variety. There are five themed areas; the dance floor, Club Shadows Cabaret, the Vault, the Sports Bar, the Rainbow Speakeasy, and the Tiki Bar & Patio. There is always something going on, so make sure you check their Facebook events page for up to date information on what’s coming up.
711 Edison Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32204 (904) 353-6316
Incahoots Nightclub is definitely the place to go if you feel like getting lost in a sea of people with some of the strongest drinks in Jacksonville. Get yourself an Uber because you will definitely need it after leaving Incahoots!
926 Bar & Grill
926 W Tharpe St, Tallahassee, Fl. 32308 (850) 727-8140
The 926 Bar & Grill in Tallahassee is super gay-friendly, with inclusive events like Trivia Tuesdays, Cabarets, and more to keep even the saltiest of queens happy.
Park Place Lounge
931 King St, Jacksonville, FL 32204
For what it’s worth, Park Place Lounge seems to be the place to go to read people and to make fun of drunk straight girls. Judgy McJudgeface is typically behind the bar, so pack your patience with you when you go! It is an excellent exercise in a poker face.
Most of the LGBTQ nightlife can be found in the Pensacola region of the Florida Panhandle. You won’t find seedy LGBTQ bars or gay men cruising in this region – not publicly at least. The gays on the panhandle reserve cruising for GRNDR. However, you can still find plenty of social opportunities and nightlife.
Capt’n Fun Nightclub, Bar & Grille
400 Quietwater Beach Rd, Pensacola Beach, Florida (850) 934-3978
The Capt’n Fun Beach Club is right on the boardwalk in Pensacola and a great spot to stop in for a bite and a beer. Make sure you schedule your Sunday walk around Capt’n Fun’s, Crawfish Sundays are delicious.
101 S Jefferson St E, Pensacola, FL 32502 (850) 607-2020
The Cabaret is the most inviting place in downtown Pensacola. With a really great Trivia Night on Wednesdays, and bartenders with considerably friendly attitudes and hefty pours every day of the week, The Cabaret is a personal favorite. Save us a seat at the bar, and pour us an adult-sized rum and Coke, please.
The Tin Cow
102 Palafox Pl, Pensacola, Florida (850) 466-2103
The best-kept burger secret in Pensacola is at the gay-friendly Tin Cow. From the best Waygu to vegan options, you will not be disappointed if you need a burger and a beer. You’ll either need reservations or patience because best-kept secrets are starting to get out. But, you can enjoy a glass of wine at the bar while you wait for your table.
East Central Florida
One of the regions with the most significant room for improvement for LGBTQ+ nightlife (or any event in general) is East Central Florida. We were only able to find two locations within Brevard County, Lake County, Orange County, Osceola County, Seminole County, and Volusia County. So, if you plan to host an LGBTQ+ event within East Central Florida, chances are that every gay in town will be there. Bet on it!
The Terrace On Main Street
415 Main St, Daytona Beach, FL 32117 (386) 265-4227
The Terrace On Main Street has the best drinks with the friendliest of bartenders. When the snowbirds start to come back, they bring out a fire pit to keep things nice and cozy. The Terrace is a great spot to stop for a drink and some conversation with Karaoke on Friday nights and dance music on Saturday nights.
Twisted Rooster Bar
1220 W New Haven Ave #150, Melbourne, FL 32904 (321) 345-5924
Twisted Rooster Bar has one of Melbourne’s best Sunday events, with dance, drinks, and DIVAS! This 21 and up bar is equipped with hookah area, outdoor lounge, and never, ever a cover!
Southwest Florida is a growing community of supporters and allies. While the pandemic has slowed the roll of some of the newer events that have been scheduled, those events have only been postponed to enforce social distancing measures. So tune into social media channels for up to date information as the world starts to open back up.
Purple Rhino Lodge
2920 Beneva Rd, Sarasota, Florida (941) 735-6553
The 501c Non-Profit bar in Sarasota, Purple Rhino Lodge, is the laid back pub-style bar to relax. The bartenders and entertainers that work at the Purple Rhino are all volunteers, so when you go, make sure you are generous.
6531 Gateway Avenue, Sarasota, Florida (941) 217-5009
Oasis is the place you go if you want to have some fun and immediately have some fantastic friends: namely Hunter and Gabbi. The dance floor is always packed, and the drinks are always excellent. The drag shows are stunning, and you’ll feel right at home when you walk through the door.
1216 1st Street, Sarasota, FL 34236
Sage SRQ is the first place you will want to go when you get done with work on Friday. Grab a fantastic dinner from Chef Chris and crew, have some of the best-poured drinks in town, and feel entirely at home in this gay-friendly restaurant and bar.
1322 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236 9414008396
The Reserve SRQ is a restaurant and bar that also doubles as a hotel and coffee bar. The Reserve is a chill spot during the day, where you’d bring a book on a rainy afternoon and have some of the most fantastic food in Sarasota. But also, this is where all of the best gay-friendly events happen. From the SarasotaOUT.com Awards to the many Project Pride SRQ events hosted here, this is the spot for versatility in Sarasota.
Cruisers in Cape Coral
Cruisers 1517 SE 47th Terrace, Cape Coral, FL 33904, (239) 637-8002
Originally established as a Liquor Mart, this 1960’s blast from the past is now a gay bar/nightclub. The unique part about this hot spot is that the original bar patrons have stuck around to party with the gays, and everyone seems to play nice. Events happen all year long and there are plenty of bar activities to keep you entertained: daily games, pool tables, and video bowling.
3758 Cleveland Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33901 (239) 931-9976
There are always fantastic drink specials and well trained, friendly bartenders at Rascals in Fort Myers. The only drawback is that they allow smoking inside the bar. Once you can get past that, Rascals is a great place to hang out.
Tampa Bay is doing everything in its power to give SoFlo a run for its money. The city’s pride organization, Tampa Pride, was allowed to resume in 2015 after a ten-year jurisdictional ban put forth by conservative lawmakers. They just generally hate rainbows and happiness. Whereas St. Pete Pride has been an LGBTQ+ staple for decades.
Bradley’s On 7th
1510 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605 (813) 241-2723
There is never a cover at Bradley’s On 7th with its super chill dance club vibe that reminds your girl of Manhattan. Any night hosted by Kori Stevens will be an adventure in hysterics. The men that hang out at Bradley’s are gorgeous, and We’re saying that as a lesbian who isn’t into the gentlemen. But this is Tampa’s gay mecca.
Enigma Bar & Lounge
1110 Central Ave, Saint Petersburg, FL 33705 (727) 235-0867
Enigma is an absolute favorite spot on Central Ave in DTSP. Many birthdays spent here, and you” ll thoroughly enjoy the drag shows. Stop into Enigma when you’re in the area, even if it’s in the middle of the day. Wet’s just a genuinely great place to hang out.
475 Central Avenue North #100, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-258-8753
Iberian Rooster is one of the best Portuguese fusion restaurants you’ll ever go to. Thankfully, it’s on Central Ave in DTSP, so parking is simple. It also has a hidden speakeasy in the basement with weekly karaoke specials and theme nights, anywhere from Disney to Opera. Enough good things cannot be said about Iberian Rooster, so just stop in and see for yourself.
Punky’s Bar & Grill
3063 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33713 (727) 201-4712
Punky’s Bar & Grill is your basic bar and grill, with yummy food that is probably terrible for you, but who cares really. They offer hilarious comedy shows that benefited METRO Wellness and sing-along events with drag queens. You can never, not have fun at Punky’s
13284 66th St N, Largo, FL (727) 754-5900
The local favorite, Quench Lounge, has a dark, dive bar vibe. In reality, Quench is surprisingly very clean, with entertaining drag shows and hilarious comedians. Incredible specials, unique activities, and great music.
2004 N 16th St Tampa, FL 33605 (813) 247-7547
The gothic vibes and one of the best dance parties in Tampa and the friendly bartenders will feel right at home at The Castle. The best place to go just to enjoy dancing, and not feel like you’re going to get groped by creepy men, is The Castle.
The Honey Pot
1507 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605 (813) 247-4663
The Honey Pot is the younger lesbian hangout in Ybor City, Tampa. Go-Go girls are always on stage, and the drinks are reasonably priced. Wet feels very much like a playground of debauchery once you get past the door.
South Florida has been the “gay mecca” since the 1930s, and that is cemented queer history as one of the largest LGBTQ+ communities in the world. Wilton Manors and South Beach are known locally as “The Gay Villages,” and there is such a plethora of LGBTQ+ nightlife, we had a challenging time narrowing it down for you.
Georgie’s Alibi Monkey Bar
2266 Wilton Dr, Wilton Manors, FL 33305 (954) 565-2526
The always lovely Georgie’s Alibi Monkey Bar in Wilton Manors is a great place to dance. The music is excellent, and the hosts are hysterical. Don’t forget that there is typically a camera facing the dance bar that broadcasts live throughout the building.
2287 Wilton Dr, Wilton Manors, FL 33305
Gay frat boys, have we found the spot for you! GYM Sportsbar plays nothing but ESPN, and the beer is always flowing and delicious.
2232 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors, FL 33305 (954) 630-3556
Hunters Nightclub has everything from retro tea dances, to theme nights with gym studs. Throw in some cheap drinks and great karaoke nights; Hunters will become your regular haunt.
1409 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (786) 284-1176
Gaythering is the old school gay style, with the raunchy backrooms and saunas. Gaythering is also the neighborhood bar and pub where you can visit with the regulars and hear their stories.
1057 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (305) 538-9478
If you have a fever dream, your consciousness cosmically transports you to Twist in Miami Beach. The nightly shows by the Gaiety Dancers always entertain, but the Tuesday GLOBOY party is a blast, just don’t wear your best clothing – they will get trashed.
LGBTQ Florida Nightlife Offers Something for Everyone
Whether you are looking for a relaxing sip at the bar connecting with friends, or cruising for excitement, there are LGBTQ Florida nightlife experiences for all.
To learn more about the entertainment options available in Florida, visit our regional pages.