Florida Gay Beaches

Author: 
Mark Haines
Curator: 
Declan Goode
The Florida peninsula is surrounded by some of the best beaches in the world. From the cool to the touch quartz sand of Siesta Key to world famous beaches in cities like Fort Lauderdale, St Petersburg and Miami, there is something in the Sunshine State for everyone. Here's Mark's List of Florida's Gay & Lesbian Beaches.

Use these quick links or scroll down to view the various beaches:
Fort Lauderdale
Hollywood
Key West
Miami Beach
Sunny Isles
Pensacola Beach
Jacksonville
St Petersburg
Sarasota




Fort Lauderdale: Sebastian Street Gay Beach

Fort Lauderdale's Sebastian Street Gay Beach is located at Sebastian Street and North Fort Lauderdale Beach Dr. (A1-A), Fort Lauderdale. This is the most popular gay beach in Fort Lauderdale and the location is within a few blocks of many of Fort Lauderdale's Gay Resorts and Hotels, with the closest being the Coconut Cove Gay Gauesthouse. If you're looking for a landmark, the Ritz Carlton Fort Lauderdale is right across the street.

More information and photos of the beach can be found here: Sebastian Street Gay Beach Fort Lauderdale

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Fort Lauderdale: 18th Street Gay & Lesbian Beach

Fort Lauderdale's 18th Street Gay Beach is located at the intersection of 18th Street and Fort Lauderdale Beach Dr. (A1-A), Fort Lauderdale. Located at the North end of Fort Lauderdale Beach. This is a smaller, not as busy beach away from the main crowds. The beach tends to attract bears and leather men.



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Hollywood, FL: Gay & Lesbian Beach at Tyler Street

A few years ago some folks tried getting a Gay and Lesbian bar going on Hollywood's Broadwalk. The bar didn't fly, but if you're going to find a LGBT spot on Hollywood beach, it will still be where Tyler Street meets the beach.








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Miami Beach: 12th Street & Ocean Drive Gay & Lesbian Beach

12th Street & Ocean Drive, South Beach. This is the most popular Gay beach in Miami. Right across the street is the Palace Restaurant and Bar, a great place to relax and unwind after sunning. To find a hotel room near the beach use these link: Miami Gay and Lesbian Travel Guide Please note: the hotels in Miami are largely "Gay Friendly". There are only a couple of all gay hotels, with our favorite being the Hôtel Gaythering.
 
Photos and more information about the beach can be found here: 12th Street Gay Beach, Miami Beach


 

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Sunny Isles (Miami): Haulover Gay & Lesbian Nude Beach

Haulover (nude) Beach, A1-A, North Miami Beach. The Gay beach is located at the North end. Haulover has a unique status as the only legal nude beach in Florida. The nude area is clearly marked and easy to find. Sexual behavior is not tolerated and if reported could land you in trouble. Take lots of tanning lotion and keep your hands to yourself!
 
You can find out more, including a video, about the beach here: Haulover Nude Beach





 

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Key West: Smathers Beach Gay and Lesbian Beach

All of the beaches in Key West are man made. The islands are not suited to natural accumulations of sand. Named after Florida governor George Smathers the beach enjoyed a recent replenishment of sand.
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St Petersburg: Sunset Beach Gay & Lesbian Beach on Treasure Island

Those searching for Florida’s west coast gay beach will revel in the delights of Sunset Beach, located on southern tip of St. Pete’s Treasure Island.  The strip of beach once famous for housing double-story foam parties at the club Bedrocks now keeps the gay momentum alive with regular Sunday beach parties. Parties are most intense on Sundays between Memorial Day and Labor Day when Tampa hot spots even set up beachfront booze outlets (we are not sure this is still happening).

The crowd at the only LGBT beach in the Tampa Bay tends to be young, hot, somewhat cliquish gay men peppered with a few  lesbians. Beyond Sundays, Sunset Beach is hit or miss, but almost always occupied with a few stragglers. From a column by Paul Rubio in Amazing Gay Travel about Gay St Petersburg 

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Sarasota: North Lido Beach

Sarasota boasts three beautiful beaches, two have gay areas. Lido beach is just steps away from the fine shops located on John Ringling's St. Armand's Circle. Lido Beach is the site of a former Cannes-style casino and to this day has remained popular with European visitors. The gay beach is located at the north end near an inlet to Sarasota Bay from the Gulf of Mexico.
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Sarasota: Crescent Beach Gay & Lesbian Beach

Lido Beach tends to be a little more popular because of it's proximity to both Sarasota and Bradenton, but Sarasota's Siesta Key has so many hotel rooms that it makes traveling on and off the key impractical during the height of the season. The result is that many people find it easier and more enjoyable to sun on Crescent Beach near the south end of Siesta Key. Many people think that the pure white quartz sand naturally found on this beach make it one of the best beaches in the world. Amazingly, the quartz sand reflects the sun and stays cool even in mid-day sun in a hot Florida summer.


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Jacksonville: Ponte Vedra Gay & Lesbian Beach

Guana River State Park is located at Ponte Vedra Beach, about 15 south of Jacksonville. The beautiful, low-key beach has been on the Gay radar for quite some time. To find the Gay and Lesbian area, park in State Park's middle lot and walk to the north on the beach. 





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Pensacola Beach: Gulf Islands National Seashore Gay and Lesbian Beach

Florida's Panhandle city, Pensacola, has been a beach getaway for LGBT Southerners for years now, particularly on Memorial Day Weekend. Florida's panhandle is a quick drive for LGBT folks from Atlanta to Biloxi, Montgomery and New Orleans. The friendliest Gay beach is on County Road 399, about two miles past the Gulf Islands National Seashore sign.
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Other things to entertain you on Mark's List

Amazing Gay Travel: Puerto Vallarta

Where in the world can you find four competing gay cruises, more than two dozen gay bars and nightclubs, a half dozen gay hotels and a gay beach? All that and more can be found in Mexico’s gayest destination, Puerto Vallarta. Once a sleepy fishing village, Puerto Vallarta blossomed to become one of Mexico’s most popular vacation destinations, getting a big boost from the 1964 film Night of the Iguana. The tourist city has also come a long way in its level of gay acceptance. It evolved since the early '90s from barely tolerating gays to welcoming the pink dollar with a variety of activities tailored to the LGBT market. Get all the details about where to stay, where to go and where to party at the Amazing Gay Travel Destination: Puerto Vallarta

Actor Héctor Medina Talks New LGBT Cuban Film 'VIVA'

Coming off its fresh success as the darling of the 2015 Telluride Film Festival, the film "VIVA", produced and directed by a Cuban team and aided by an Irish production company, tells a fresh story about what it's like to live in the LGBT community in Havana, and the universal story of acceptance and love knowing no bounds -- especially when one feels like they have hit "rock bottom." 

Jesus is the protagonist in "VIVA", played by Héctor Medina. He is a young hairdresser whose mother has died and his father left the family at a young age, meaning Jesus had to struggle to survive. We recently caught up with Hector to talk about his role: Actor  Héctor Medina Talks New LGBT Cuban Film 'VIVA'

OUT in Wilton Manors & Fort Lauderdale

Going OUT in Fort Lauderdale or #WilMa this weekend? Here are direct links to featured gay or gay-friendly restaurants, bars and nightclubs:

Dos Caminos, Hunters NightclubLe Boy Strip ClubThe Manor ComplexProgress BarRosie’s Bar & Grill & Village Pub

OUT in Miami & South Beach

Going out in Miami or South Beach this weekend? Check out these direct links to some of the hottest bars, events and restaurants in the area:
Club Boi 3.0
The Floppy Rooster
Hotel Gaythering

Palace Bar & Restaurant
Tony Ferro Events


Derrick Barry Talks 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Elimination

Week 8 of RuPaul's Drag Race Seasons 8 started out with only five queens left in the workroom. The mini-challenge had the girls using puppets to make fun of another contestant. Why? Because everybody loves puppets. The winner was Chi Chi DeVayne, who pulled the Bob the Drag Queen puppet. The maxi-challenge was a “Book Ball” where the contestants had to come up with three looks that represented their journey. In the end it was Derrick who sashayed away. We recently caught up with Derrick Barry to talk about her 'Drag Race' experience: Derrick Barry Talks 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Elimination

'Britain's Got More Talent' Contestant Loses His Top

Who doesn't love a sexy British accent? On a recent episode of Britain's Got More Talent, contestant Michael is questioned by the host before he can demonstrate his gift. After coyly talking about losing his top, Michael finally demonstrates his athletic prowess on the trapeze. The judges seemed impressed with his swinging act and his abs!

Record Number of Guests Attend Miami Beach Gay Pride

The three-day Miami Beach Gay Pride weekend saw more than 130,000 spectators come out for the weekend’s festivities. More than 100 vendors stretched across Lummus Park with everything from food and cocktails, to charity organizations and merchandise for sale. There was a sell-out number of parade entries, including more than 70 parade contingencies, 27 floats and over 2,500 participants.

Rapper Iggy Azalea joined Elvis Duran, iHeart Radio Morning Show host and 2016 Grand Marshal, for the 8th Annual Miami Beach Gay Pride and Festival on Sunday, April 10. Prior to the public event, Duran and Azalea hosted a VIP fundraiser for the LGBTQ community on Saturday night at the Wall Lounge at the W South Beach.

“We had the best turn out this year from sponsors to attendees and even participants,” said Dave Cook, Executive Director of Pride. “We hope to out do ourselves again next year. In order to do that we want to continue to diversify all aspects of Pride.” 

Dates for the 2017 Miami Beach Gay Pride are April 7-9, 2017. 

Gay Men and Body Image Photo Exhibit at Pride Center

The Gay Men and Body Image Photo Exhibit presented by Broward House’s MEGA Men Program opens Wednesday, May 4 at the Pride Center. Volunteers will share their candid thoughts, along with a shirtless photograph from the neck to the waist shot by photographer Mark Farrington. The purpose of the exhibit is to address how gay and bisexual men struggle with body dissatisfaction and shame by celebrating the variety of body shapes in the community. Body dissatisfaction can negatively impact self-esteem, emotional health and increase the risk of eating disorders and the use of steroids. For more information about the exhibit, or the program, call (954) 568-7373 or email the program at [email protected]

Equality Florida's St. Petersburg Gala at The Mahaffey Theater

The Equality Florida St. Petersburg Gala is one of the most hotly-anticipated events on the Equality Florida calendar, and a turnout consisting of hundreds of LGBT rights activists and supporters always ensures that Pinellas County's gala night is one to remember all year long. The Mahaffey Theater (400 1st St. S., St. Petersburg) is the venue for the gala for another year, underscoring how perfect the venue is at hosting such an important event for our state's LGBT civil rights organization. This year's gala will be held on Saturday, May 7, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., with PNC Bank as a presenting sponsor. This year's theme is "magic, fantasy and dreams."

This year there will be two Voice for Equality Award honorees and one Straight Ally for Equality honoree who will be recognized at the St. Petersburg Gala. The Voice for Equality Award is given to members of the community "who, with courage, passion, and unwavering commitment, move us closer to full equality." This year's honorees are Christopher Rudisill and Ashley Brundage. The Straight Ally for Equality Award, given for the first time ever at this gala, will be presented to St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman (pictured). Get all the details about the event. 

Enjoy Rosie's Infamous Sunday Brunch

Every Sunday Funday‬, ‪‎Rosie‬'s in ‪Wilton Manors‬ serves up some of the best reasons to get out of bed. See and be seen at Sunday Brunch while digging into some of the tastiest pancakes, waffles and eggs Benedict in the area. If breakfast food isn't your style, try a delicious burger, wrap or salad. Are you on a liquid diet? Order a hurricane bucket to quench your thirst, toast the morning with a refreshing mimosa or chug down a Bloody Mary to fend off that nasty hangover. Be sure to get all the details about Rosie's Sunday Brunch menu after the Jump: Sunday Brunch at Rosie's

'Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie' Hits Theaters July 22

The moment we've all been waiting for is almost here! Patsy and Adina will finally hit the big screen in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie on July 22, 2016. Synopsis: Appropriate for their big screen debut, Edina and Patsy are still oozing glitz and glamour, living the high life they are accustomed to; shopping, drinking and clubbing their way around London’s trendiest hotspots. Blamed for a major incident at an uber fashionable launch party, they become entangled in a media storm and are relentlessly pursued by the paparazzi. Fleeing penniless to the glamorous playground of the super-rich, the French Riviera, they hatch a plan to make their escape permanent and live the high life forever more!

Ten LGBT-Friendly Destination Wedding Locations

Your wedding should be as unique as you and your partner. This milestone event is the backdrop for which your life dreams and accomplishments will hang. It is the start of a new journey, so this decision should be considered carefully. Mark's List has featured 10 wedding destinations that will help make your special day one to remember for a lifetime: Ten LGBT-Friendly Destination Wedding Locations

Village Pub Presents 2016 Mister & Miss Village Pub Pageants

Sharde Ross, Pinnacle Vodka and Village Pub present the Mister & Miss Village Pageants featuring appearances by past winners of the event, including Jose Vega and Alexis Couture. The Mister Village Pub contest is on Monday, May 2 at 7:30 pm with a $750 prize package, and The Miss Village Pub Contest is on Monday, May 9 at 7:30 pm with a $1,000 prize package. The pageant will be followed by a RuPaul's Drag Race viewing party at 10 pm and 'Dragicide' with Misty Eyez at 11 pm.  Don't miss your chance to get advanced tickets.  More information about Village Pub: Village Pub Presents 2016 Mister & Miss Village Pub Pageants

Palace South Beach Presents Turn't Up Tuesdays

Featuring Athena Dion, expect the unexpected every Tuesday at Palace in South Beach.  Also, don't miss the Tuesday T-Dance with DJ Supreme at 4 pm and fabulous drag shows hosted by Daisy Deadpetals starting at 7 pm.  If you’re into celebrity-watching, keep your eyes open because you never know who will walk through the doors as the performances keep getting better and better. More about Palace: Palace South Beach Presents Turn't Up Tuesdays

Sleep Dentists (Plantation) Offers Free Consultation

If you love going to the dentist, Sleep Dentists is probably not the right place for you.  Instead, they cater to the roughly 40 million Americans who are anxious about or unable to make it through routine dental appointments.  Whether physical or mental (or both), many people face real challenges that keep them from even thinking about going to the dentist. Find out more information after the Jump: Sleep Dentists (Plantation) Offers Free Consultation

Jennifer Hudson, Harvey Fierstein Join NBC's 'Hairspray Live!'

Oscar, Golden Globe, SAG and Grammy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson and multiple Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein will headline the cast of NBC’s “Hairspray Live!,” the network’s next live Broadway musical holiday event following the phenomenal success of “The Wiz Live!” 

Harvey Fierstein, who is also writing the teleplay, will play Edna Turnblad, a role he created and won a Tony Award for in the stage version of “Hairspray.” The quintessential Edna, Fierstein portrayed the character for the show’s first two years of its seven-year run at the Neil Simon Theatre on Broadway.

Hudson, who will play Motormouth Maybelle, is currently completing a triumphant run in the acclaimed revival of "The Color Purple" — performing the role of Shug Avery in her Broadway debut.

UPDATE: Tony and Emmy Award-winner Martin Short and Emmy Award-winner Derek Hough have joined the cast of NBC’s “Hairspray Live!” Short is set to play Wilbur (Edna's husband) and Hough will portray Corny Collins.

“Hairspray Live!” will air Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and will originate from Los Angeles.

Stevie Moon Tattoo Studio Offers Same-Day Custom Work

Looking for some new ink? Stevie Moon Tattoo has been an iconic studio since 2000 and is located next to the Culture Room in the southwest corner of Federal Highway and Oakland Park Blvd in Fort Lauderdale. They cater to your needs and offer same-day custom work. Consultations are always free for future appointments. For more complicated compositions, the artist may want to research more in depth to create your perfect tattoo. Find out about free consultations after the Jump: Stevie Moon Tattoo Studio Offers Same-Day Custom Work

Bar Gaythering Bears and Hares Fridays

Bar Gaythering. No red velvet ropes, no guest lists and no smoking. Friday nights are for Bears and Hares from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am. Drink specials and abundant supply of tasty company, make this a great night to Gayther.  The ambient music is always kept at a level promoting conversation between old friends and new ones.  All are welcome, dress-up if you want, but flip-flops and gym clothes are just as fine. The Bar is a soda gun-free zone. At Gaythering, Coca-Cola tastes like Coca-Cola and Soda Water tastes like Soda Water. You can find out more about the night and get the location, right here: Bar Gaythering Bears and Hares Fridays

GFLGLCC Presents May Mixer at Shooters Fort Lauderdale

The GFLGLCC presents their May Mixer at Shooters Waterfront in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday, May 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.  Enjoy complimentary valet parking, Hors D'oeuvres by Shooters Waterfront and happy hour specials. The event is free for GFLGLCC members and $10 for future members.  One complimentary Reyka Vodka drink is included.  No RSVP is required but encouraged.  More about the GFLGLCC

Ronnie Larsen Presents 'Party' at Empire Stage

Described as "One of the most uplifting and affirming representations of gay life life on any stage ever," by The Advocate, Ronnie Larson presents Party at Empire Stage from May 6 to through June 12. Written by David Dillon and directed by Nic Arnzen, the hilarious off-Broadway hit focuses on a group of friends who play 'facts and fantasies" at a party and wine up revealing everything! This play contains male nudity. Find out more information about tickets

Florida's Can't Miss Gay-Related Events: 2016

The Sunshine State is known for its beautiful weather, kind and generous people, white sandy beaches, and unforgettable nightlife and parties. There are so many things going on here that it might be hard for you to keep up with everything! We've come to the rescue with a comprehensive list of can’t miss gay-related events in 2016, including Pride festivals, galas, community events, film festivals, concerts, fundraisers, mixers and more: Florida's Can't Miss Events: 2016

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