If Pride has got you all worked up, there is good news, boys: shirtless season in the Northern Hemisphere has just begun!
So whether you look good in tank tops, mankinis or no clothes at all (brag about it), this is time to start planning your beach gaycation 2012. Get away to the nearest body of water, strip down and soak up the sun amid the topless hotties.
To make your search for the perfect beach town and perfect vacation easier and much more, well, visual, we’ve updated the GayCities annual list of the 10 best gay beaches with tons of fresh photos. Now you will never get lost in the dunes–unless you desire to.
And if you find we’ve omitted your favorite sandy oasis, let us hear about it in comments.
Click through to see the 10 best gay beaches in the world 2012.
UP FIRST: Pines Beach in Fire Island
The words “Fire Island” have a certain connotation, one that’s fully realized in the Pines, home to some of the summer’s hottest tea dances and one-off parties. The beach, an extension of the area’s party mentality, is packed with eye candy, particularly those walking Adonises you see strolling down Chelsea’s Eighth Avenue. Nudity is allowed on the shore, but is more prevalent on the island’s Bohemian enclave, Cherry Grove.
NEXT: Playa Los Muertos in Puerto Vallarta
The gay beach is at the south end of the Playa Los Muertos and is usually referred to as the “blue chairs” for the seating put out by the gay resort of the same name. Many a lad has had the back end of his Speedo glued to these chairs for the better part of a sunny day, soaking in the sun, booze and intensely homoerotic vibes. The flirty interplay between the mostly Mexican locals and gay visitors from around the globe is fun to watch.
NEXT: 12th Street Beach in Miami
Follow the rainbow flags to this oh-so-popular gay beach populated mostly by gay men, but with some pockets of lesbians and even a few straight women (who enjoy bathing topless away from prying eyes of straight men).
NEXT: Farme de Amoedo in Rio de Jainero
“Barbies” is the local name for Rio’s muscle men. And Farme de Amoedo in Ipanema is where you’ll find them—slathering themselves with tanning oil, challenging each other to a friendly game of volleyball or just lounging on the beach as sand creeps up their thick thighs and tiny Speedos. Farme de Amoedo is also known, for good reason, as “Farme Gay.” (Thanks to GayCities member chilipepper for the pic.)
NEXT: Hilton Beach in Tel Aviv
Gay life in Tel Aviv is by far the most vibrant and eclectic in the Middle East. Tel Aviv was voted Best Gay City 2011 by GayCities readers. So it’s no surprise that a gay beach thrives here. And Hilton Beach is not just any gay beach, but a hotspot packed with sunbathers both olive-skinned locals and the visitors from all over the world looking to experience the city’s flavor and get rid of their tan lines. The beach can be found just north of the Hilton Hotel under the eagle statue.
NEXT: Poodle Beach in Rehoboth
Poodle Beach is located just south of the boardwalk and, despite Rehoboth’s reputation as popular gay hotspot, the guys here are unpretentious and friendly. Even foggy days can bring a blast with volleyball tournaments. It can get crowded during the season, but there’s a scene for everyone: young, old, energetic or laid back. Althought lesbians are welcomed, they tend to prefer North Shores Beach.
NEXT: Will Rogers Beach in Santa Monica, California
Legend has it—and Queerty commentator David E confirmed—that A Single Man author Christopher Isherwood met longtime partner Don Bachardy while skipping in Speedos at this SoCal beach. Affectionately known as “Ginger Rogers,” it’s become the unofficial gay sand spot, with most weekends packed with sun seekers. Aside from the eye candy, there are also a number of volleyball courts, as well as a snack shack and plenty of near by parking.
NEXT: Clifton 3rd in Cape Town
Clifton 3rd is completely protected from the sea breezes that sweeps most of Cape Town. It faces west so the sunsets are stunning, setting around 8 p.m. in summer. Take care to “hide” alcoholic drinks, as drinking in public is forbidden and strictly monitored. Sip one under a beach towel with your new friend as the sun sets on this gay paradise. Thanks GayCities user patelsmith for the great pic!
NEXT: North Bondi Beach in Sydney
Lifeguards in budgie smugglers (Speedos), sunbathing on white sand under endless sun. No, that’s not heaven. That’s Bondi Beach, just outside Sydney. The gay section is on the North end, and the further north you get the gayer (and fleshier) it gets. Gay men and lesbians have traditionally hung out at a workout area North Bondi Surf Club, and have made it their own. This is a place where you can get everything, from ice cream to bangers to a date to ice cream all over your date. Everything but alcohol, that is, which is prohibited outdoors. Not to worry: The beach is lined by pubs, where revelers from across the world line up for tropical drinks.
NEXT: Playa de las Balmins in Sitges, Spain
To get to Balmins from from the town center, turn left at the beach and walk past the church, staying on the path next to the shore. Pass a long beach strip and then climb a hill past a cemetery, and you’ll find the clothing-optional beach right in front of you. According to user GayCities JBLS, Balmins “is set in this lovely bay with clean, warm, shallow water. There’s a great mix of types on the beach. [My] highlight of the week was spotting a couple of horse-hung porn stars from the Michael Lucas stable—just as good in the (ample) flesh!”