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LGBT Getaway Ideas: Gay Places To Go Near Me in FL

LGBT Getaway Ideas
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Looking for a fun destination to visit during the holidays? Whether you are looking for a getaway near your Florida home and a vacation destination, Florida is popular with gay travelers all over the world. With year-round sunshine and LGBTQ-friendly accommodations that should come as no surprise! Enjoy an incredible coastline, numerous activities, and fun gay bars where you can party all night long. You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to vacation spots right here!

Check out our list of exciting vacations spots in Florida that are perfect for gay travelers. Whether you’re looking for a raucous night at a bar or a romantic weekend with your partner, our options will have you looking for bookings in no time!

What’s The Gay Scene Like In FL?

The Sunshine State has long been known by locals and foreign tourists alike for being an inclusive, welcoming destination. LGBT communities have multiple hotspots and districts all over the state. In fact, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and other Florida cities are well-known for having exciting clubs where one can have a gay evening out!

Further, same-sex marriage has been legal in FL since 2013 even before the federal government recognized it. With many anti-discrimination ordinances throughout the state and so many gay-friendly destinations, it’s unsurprising that FL is home to multiple gay events and festivals.

Check out the calendars for your preferred destination cities to see if they have special activities for Gay Days, Fantasy Fests, and Pride Week where you can proudly let your rainbow flag fly and learn more about the locale.

Fun Gay Places To Go Near Me For A FL Getaway

Looking for gay bars to party with single friends, or historic neighborhoods to check out with your beau? From beautiful beaches to bustling cities, this guide has plenty of suggestions for an exciting, gay-friendly vacation in Florida.

Get inspired by our tips and see which spots are perfect for booking a weekend away! We’ll highlight all the most important areas of each destination for you, from the nightclubs to dining and lodging options.

Fort Lauderdale

Put on some comfy flip-flops and t-shirts and get ready to bask in chill, cozy Fort Lauderdale! With over 30 gay guesthouses, multiple gorgeous beach spots, and gay-owned and operated stores, you’ll have a great, inclusive time for a getaway in this city!

Soak up the sun and make new friends at Sebastian Beach, where all the girls and boys come to play. It is often considered the place to see and be seen at Fort Lauderdale. Book into one of the many hotels in the area, then drop by Wilton Manors for a visit to learn more about the scene! 

What’s so wonderful about Wilton Manors is that it’s an inclusive space for both kids and adults of all ages! Check into Inn On The Drive, where you can score affordable accommodations near Wilton Drive. Island Sands Inn is another family-friendly destination where you can book accommodations for big groups and get some much-needed rest and relaxation together.

Yearning for a more serene, romantic weekend away? Book a stay at adults-only Calypso Inn for a more tranquil, relaxed vacation, where you can take a dip at the small outdoor swimming pool before sunbathing with a book (or two) in your Kindle! Coral Reef Guesthouse is another 18+, privately owned gay retreat where you can get some privacy and enjoy a cozy bed-and-breakfast atmosphere.

If you prefer a more resort-style place for a gay time away, Cheston House enjoys an excellent reputation for providing five-star hotel-esque amenities. There’s also the Grand Hotel and Resort, which is gay-owned and operated since 1999 and has a private pool, spa, and hair studio for your buddies and family! Bonus: these two luxurious spots are just a hop and a skip away from the beach.

Key West

The Florida Keys have a history of being incredibly inclusive and having a ton of fun bars. Indeed, a list of gay-friendly FL destinations would not be complete without this location! If you’re lucky enough to book your vacation in June, you can join in the area’s Pride celebrations.

Key West, FL takes great pride in its motto of “One Human Family”. Take one of the many walking tours to learn more about the quaint island’s historic cafes and businesses. If you’re on a budget, skip the tour and rent a bicycle or moped, then take a map to scope the multiple historic buildings in town for free. Fun fact: renowned and out writer Tennessee Williams called this place home for decades!

We strongly suggest that you book your gay getaway between March and June, as these will be months free of spring breakers while maintaining amazing temperatures. Foodies will adore the South-meets-French approach of local darling Bagatelle, which is known for showcasing local seafood and tropical fruit. Those looking for hearty Italian fare should stop by at Antonia’s, which is located on Duval St. and is renowned for scrumptious steaks and sauces.

Party animals need to visit Aqua Key West for the incredible drag shows. Bobby’s Monkey Bar is also a popular nightlife spot because of the strong drinks, fun karaoke, and inclusive atmosphere. Don’t forget to stop by 801 Bourbon, where the nightly cabaret has the largest drag show on the whole island!

Miami

The hotspot gay playground often called the Gay Riviera of America’s East Coast, this city is known for being home to multiple gay and lesbian clubs where you can dance without a care in the world. Must-book times for enjoying yourself in Miami include November’s White Party (an annual fundraising party circuit for AIDS), Miami Beach Pride in April, and AquaGirl in October (a special event that’s catered to and for LGBTQ+ women). These different events draw different crowds and have special themed activities, so keep them in mind when you’re booking within a certain month!

Check out the underground DJs and international dance scene at Treehouse, or don your sunglasses at the uber-chic Club Space in the heart of downtown Miami. Sunset Tavern, while primarily known as a college-kid drinking spot, is also a mostly lesbian-friendly business spot with good drinks and a large patio area.

Miami is also home to different restaurants and cuisines, offering many world-class dining options in Florida. If you’re not sure what to try first, Manolo’s at South Beach has an incredibly varied menu where you can try brick oven pizzas, brunch choices, and empanadas.

Looking for dinner and a show? Get a table at R House, one of the many gay-owned businesses found right in the heart of Wynwoods Art District. Treat your and your buddies to a weekend drag brunch for delicious food and tableside entertainment. Art lovers and music fans alike will love this spot for offering a multisensory experience evening in FL!

No guide to Miami is complete without the fantastic beaches. Go for a walk along the incredible gay beach along 12th street. It’s hard to miss with its numerous rainbow flags, and it’s considered a fun, safe place to lounge and party for straight and gay people alike. If you’re feeling a bit more daring, walk over to Haulover Beach Park, one of the few (and arguably, one of the best) nude beaches in America.

Orlando

Daredevils are already familiar with the numerous theme parks located in this beautiful vacation spot. After all, it’s called Orlando, not Orlandon’t! Sure, there’s plenty of family-oriented activities in the evening and daytime. However, gay vacationers will also discover that this location has plenty of vibrant nightlife and restaurants where they can enjoy themselves away from the bustle of the theme parks.

Take note that gay stores and establishments are scattered all throughout Orlando. While there is no central scene in the city, this means that you can take your time and enjoy hopping from one spot downtown to another.

One little tip we’ll give you is to keep some vacation days free for Gay Days Orlando in Walt Disney World! With multiple events around theme parks for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies, it’s a wonderful and inclusive get-together for all ages and backgrounds.

Aching to put your dancing shoes on? The city is home to many local gay bars worth checking out. Stonewall attracts a slightly older crowd, while the Savoy Orlando is known for its gogo dancers and great lounge and patio for mingling with acquaintances.

More than the nightlife though, Orlando, FL is better-known for its incredible restaurants. Treat yourself to the freshly caught local seafood and Cuban food. Key lime pie, Cubano sandwiches, and the famous Florida stone crab are all popular options in multiple cafes and restaurants.

Nature-loving gays looking for a getaway will love the wildlife and nature parks of Orlando. Lake Eola, for example, has multiple museums and scenic views where you can take a breather and enjoy the flora and fauna. The city also has several nature trails where you can birdwatch, go kayaking, or explore the wetlands. If you’re particularly interested in the wetlands, getting on an airboat is a must for a tour!

Tampa

A renowned gay hotspot on the FL Gulf Coast, the Tampa area includes St. Petersburg and Clearwater. With soft sand, Southern hospitality, and lovely dining and nightlife choices, Tampa is a perfect choice for a gay getaway. For those looking specifically for a gay night out on the town, head on out to the Ybor district.

Known for its specialty shops and the Tampa Baseball Museum, Ybor district is also home to incredible live music. If you’re looking for another type of club in the city, Bradley’s on 7th is home to some good ol’ line dancing that’ll have you yearning for the south. There’s also the City Side Lounge with its great happy hour deals, but fair warning: it’s basically standing room only on a Friday night, so come early!

Looking for some good food to fill you up before your wild night out? Visit gay-friendly Evos for the steak burgers, rich milkshakes, and french fries that they air-bake! Asian food lovers will enjoy the traditional Vietnamese dishes at downtown Bamboozle Cafe – try their different pho options and the lemongrass chicken rolls!

If you’re yearning for the beach scene, go to St. Petersburg’s Sunset Beach. It’s a beautiful beach where you can picnic, swim, and watch the sunset far from the city crowd. The best part is that it’s also near other beaches in Florida, such as Upham Beach Park and St. Pete Beach.

Pass-A-Grille Beach in St. Pete Beach is particularly known for being secluded and tranquil. Start there and go for a little beach-hopping tour to see the fine sand and turquoise waters of Florida!

Sarasota

Also found along the FL Gulf Coast, Sarasota is home to several gay bars, shops, and restaurants. It’s also one of the best beach destinations in Florida.

Gay-friendly accommodations abound in the city. Hyatt Place Sarasota Lakewood Ranch has a big outdoor pool, a 24-hour gym, and over 120 rooms with king-sized beds! The best part is that dog lovers can bring their beloved pups over, as the Hyatt welcomes your furry besties.

Looking for a spot closer to the beach and its bars? Turtle Beach Resort is just along Montego Bay and it only takes a few minutes of walking to reach Turtle Beach. With a communal outdoor pool and spacious cottages decorated in different styles, it’s an excellent choice for buddies traveling in a group. If you’re looking for adult-only accommodations, the Turtle Beach Inn is right next door!

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the glorious beaches of Siesta Key and the official gay beach of North Lido. Often rated as one of the country’s best beaches, Siesta Key is home to crystal-clear water and soft sand with plenty of water sports activities. North Lido, on the other hand, is less crowded and known for having calm waters and soft dunes.

While nearby St. Pete has a much bigger gay scene, Sarasota still has several spots worth checking out. Purple Rhino is the city’s oldest gay bar. Don’t turn your nose up at the slightly dive bar-feel, because its homey atmosphere and hilarious drag shows are second to none! Its Sunday evenings are also famous for their Bingo Bash.

For those searching for a dancefloor and cheesy pop fix, Oasis is the place to be! Grab a drink or two from 4 p.m. or so, but midnight is truly where it’s at. At the time until the wee hours of the morning, Oasis transforms into an incredible dance venue that’s home to fierce drag queens and your favorite pop anthems.

If you want to infuse a little culture and history into your trip, schedule it around Sarasota’s Harvey Milk Festival which takes place in September. The month kicks off with many gatherings showcasing art, music, and live performances celebrating the LGBTQ+ community.

Jacksonville Beach

With vast stretches of glorious coastlines, a famous fishing pier, and numerous water activities, Jacksonville Beach has it all for an unforgettable getaway. Frequent visitors highly recommend booking a stay at the Hampton Inn as it’s only a 10-minute drive from multiple beaches like Neptune and Vedra Beach.

The city has many great stores where you can eat and shop. The Antique Emporium and Fans & Stoves Antique Mall are two great Jacksonville antique stores in the Five Points. After browsing the comics selection at Coliseum of Comics, you can treat yourself to sandwiches and tea at Black Sheep Restaurant, or the Venezuelan cusine at Arepa Please.

Sun worshippers who need a bit of privacy will love Ponte Vedra in Jacksonville. It’s fairly secluded and ishome to Guana Tolomato Reserve. Ponte Vedra is a great area to chill before hiking, exploring the marshlands, and kayaking at Guana. It’s also said to have an unofficial gay meet-up at Guana’s first beach access point, reachable through the boardwalk.

If you want to let loose, you simply must visit the Dowtown/Riverside Avondale area in the city. Stop by Park Place Lounge, a neighborhood bar best known for its affordable drinks and pool tables. Another fun bar with pool tables is the Boot Rack Saloon, which serves wine, beer, and a rollicking good time on karaoke nights! It also has outdoor seating for its patio cookouts – come hungry to sample the local fare!

Looking for a nightspot that’s a little less chill? InCahoots is known as one of the biggest and most popular LGBTQ+ nightclubs in Jacksonville Beach. Go there for dancing, drag rooms, and ridiculously affordable drink specials that’ll have you partying all evening.

Metro is another must-visit bar in town. It’s an LGBTQ+-friendly complex where you can check out piano bar vocalists on the weekends, or female pole dancers at Sappho’s. Visit its downstairs Broiler Room – it’s known for its sexy male dancers. If you want to shake your stress away and meet new friends, the Tiki Bar in Metro has open-air patio dancing and refreshing drinks!

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Additional Tips For Weather In FL

One thing that people forget to reckon with is the year-round sunshine that illuminates FL. Slapping on sunscreen is a must, so get that SPF on and dress for warm weather! Drinking plenty of water is also a must with all that heat. High temperatures can easily lead to headaches, dehydration, and heatstroke if you’re not careful!

If you’re worried about catching a chill, a light sweater is all you really need to deal with the sea breezes during your FL vacation. Do check out the weather announcements if there are any warnings about storms, hurricanes, or flooding. Remember that FL is a coastline state and near plenty of water, so you need to keep an eye on any warning flags at the beach.

Safety Precautions For FL

While Florida is known as a relatively safe place for LGBT travelers because of the high level of acceptance and tolerance in the cities, it never hurts to take precautions. Always be aware of your surroundings and be careful when you’re walking at night, especially if you’re alone. Many a gay bar and club offer security to their patrons up to transportation, so ask them if you need help booking a ride to your hotel or B&B.

Another stat that should give every tourist a sigh of relief is that FL has a crime rate that is significantly lower than the national average. However, it never hurts to keep your valuables close and avoid leaving them unattended when you’re partying on the beach or at the bar!

Exciting Gay Places To Go Near Me: Book Exciting Vacations Now!

Now that you know about all these amazing vacation options for a fun, gay holiday, why not check which one fits your budget and vibe? From a weekend away with friends to a cozy getaway with your partner, there are multiple options that are sure to fit into your plans.

Check out these locations we’ve cited and their most popular spots! With Florida’s history and reputation as a gay-friendly state, you’re bound to find a plethora of FL party spots where you feel accepted and celebrated.


***Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).

Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.

Written by Rachel Covello

Rachel Covello is an award-winning speaker, writer, diversity consultant, and LGBT advocate. She was the Founder of LGBT Equality Alliance, a Chester County, PA nonprofit organization. She is currently the Publisher of OutCoast.com and Producer of the OutCoast TV YouTube Channel, both of which highlight LGBTQ welcoming destinations in Florida.


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