As a state, Florida isn’t well known for its gay scene. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some trendy spots for gay nightlife in Florida. If you’re looking for a fun place to have a few drinks with other LGBTQ family members, head to one of these areas.
1. Wilton Manors
One could argue that this city has the highest concentration of LGBTQ individuals per square foot. Although the city itself is small, it’s full of a vibrant gay community. In 2010, Wilton Manors was voted the second gayest city in America. You can walk into just about any bar in the area and find yourself surrounded by a gay-friendly crowd. If you’re tired of feeling like the only gay person in the club, you need a trip to Wilton Manors.
The main business district of the City is centered around the internationally-known Wilton Drive. This shopping area boasts many stores and services. Home to over 40 restaurants, lounges and nightclubs, it has become a destination for tourists and locals alike.
Located adjacent to Wilton Drive are a collection of LGBT+friendly bed and breakfast establishments providing visitors instant access to “The Drive” and the unique Wilton Manors hospitality.
The city is just north of Fort Lauderdale, which also has a strong gay scene. Make a long weekend of it and you can check out both areas.
When discussing LGBTQ nightlife in Florida, it’s impossible not to mention Orlando. Orlando made global headlines following the Pulse Nightclub Massacre. While Orlando continues to honor the lives lost and the victims and families affected, the energy of Pulse lives on. The LGBTQ community continues to gather and socialize at several LGBTQ establishments in the region.
The Parliament House is the most iconic gay resort in Orlando, known for its bars and entertainment. The resort was established in 1975 and has been host to several famous performers, including Debbie Gibson, Cyndi Lauper, Charo, Macy Gray and Deborah Cox.
Perhaps one of the most popular gay bars in Orlando, Savoy is a lively place with dancers and multiple rooms. There are many local hotels that are known for embracing the gay lifestyle, so you have several options for resting your head after a night on the town.
3. Miami Beach
If you’ve ever spent a weekend in Miami Beach, you probably made your way past the Palace. They have weekend-long drag shows and frequently host special events. If you don’t want to stray far from the bar, you can book a room in their hotel located directly above the bar.
For a long night of dancing, you can make your way to Twist. There are seven different bars located in this club, and the music goes strong into the early hours of the morning. Those who are looking for a more casual vibe may want to visit Bar Gaythering.
4. Key West
People from all over the world make their way to Key West to embrace the relaxed atmosphere, and the gay community is no exception. There are several gay-friendly bars scattered throughout the city.
Located on Duval Street, Bourbon Street Pub is a must-see for the gay community. At 10 pm every night, you can take in some eye candy. Men from all over the world get on the bar and seek your attention.
If you go to the Bull and Whistle Bar, you may want to make your way to the roof. There, you’ll find a clothing-optional bar that welcomes all walks of life. Aptly named the Garden of Eden, the bar is unlike anywhere else.
5. St. Pete
As far as gay nightlife in Florida goes, St. Pete has it all. Central Avenue is the epicenter of the gay community. The Grand Central District kicks off from West to East with the ever-popular LGBTQ-owned bar and restaurant, Punky’s Bar and Grill, known for drag Bingo and local music.
The Garage on Central is a simple gay bar with beer, cocktails, and karaoke. A couple of blocks down is the Queenshead Euro Bar, famous for Fish and Chips. This lesbian-owned bar and restaurant offers a laid-back environment with a weekend rotation of local lesbian musicians.
On the other end of Central Ave is Enigma, a lively place with a dance floor and frequent drag shows.
Even if you don’t go to a gay-bar in St. Pete, you’ll probably feel like you’re in one. The city is one of the best places for gay nightlife in Florida.
And don’t leave town without visiting Gulport, Florida, the quirkiest gay-town in the St Petersburg region. Their slogan is “If it’s too weird for Gulfport, it’s too weird.” This artsy-fartsy town is often referred to as the “P-Town of the south.” Make sure to visit Salty’s for one of their famous foam parties.
If your gay-friendly town wasn’t listed here, don’t fret. We’re always highlighting LGBTQ businesses owners and LGBTQ-inclusive experiences in Florida. Interested in promoting your venue or business on OUTCOAST? Click here to learn more.