South Florida Heats Up For Gay Travelers With Films, Art And A Bear Jamboree!

The Sunshine State has always been a popular destination for travelers of all shapes and sizes and tan lines. And as the summer season approaches, Florida is once again turning itself into a glowing gay mecca.

In South Beach, the LGBT Visitor Center is currently exhibiting works by Alfred Phillips, Gregory Little, Timothy Leistner,  Nancy Goldwin, and Keith Clark  in conjunction with ArtsUnited, an organization working to break down barriers facing LGBT artists. The show, sponsored by MetLife, runs through Friday, April 27.

Also on Friday, Cheryl Wright will be at the opening night of the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, where she’ll attend a screening of her documentary, Wish Me Away, and receive the festival’s Lavender Heart Award.  Featuring new independent films like the psychological thriller, The Adored, foreign films like Spain’s boundary-pushing Ausente, and a collection of outlandish short films, the fest will also pay homage to queer classics with screenings  of The Celluloid Closet and The Muppets Take Manhattan. Screenings and panels take place all over Miami Beach and Coral Gables. While getting your culture fix in the Miami region, make sure to check out Lords in South Beach, the fabulous gay resort.

Meanwhile, in Fort Lauderdale, gay-owned accommodations are facing a make-over just in time for summer. The Grand Resort and Spa, a luxury men’s resort, has upgraded its penthouse with new flatscreens and redesigned the pool deck to give it more of a lounge feel. The Worthington Guest House and Alcazar Resort have also done recent renovations to appeal to lovebirds, honeymooners and hopeful romantics. (For those still enjoying the single life, the clothing-optional Elysium Resort and its two heated pools continue to offer a fun meet-and-mingle atmosphere all year round.)

And we couldn’t talk Florida without bringing up Walt Disney World in Orlando. The Happiest Place on Earth is hosting Tidal Wave, the annual mega pool party for bears, on May 31 at the Royal Plaza Hotel.

Click through to the following page to see some photos from previous Tidal Waves  

Photos: Tidal Wave