Now’s the time to start planning your well-deserved Pride vacation in Greater Miami

Miami Beach Pride

Pride is coming back to Greater Miami.

An annual highlight of Greater Miami’s calendar, Miami Beach Pride will take place this year in all its glittery glory September 10-19.

The main parade and festivities will happen the weekend of September 18-19. There will be a Saturday festival on the golden sands of Lummus Park in South Beach, with two main stages. This is followed by a Sunday morning parade along Ocean Drive. The temperature in September is perfect for celebrating outdoors.

Pride week is quickly filling up with events, including a Haus of Pride Voguing Ball and Queer Art show. That’s in addition to the huge number of attractions in Miami, which offers unique neighborhoods, world-class shopping, spectacular nature preserves just a short drive away, and plenty of sexy beach swagger.

Check out just a few of the amazing options…

SOAK Pool Party

The palm-fringed pools at the Confidante Hotel (Photo: Hyatt)

Taking place September 12th, during Pride week, the SOAK Pool Party will be coming to the retro and playful pool deck of the beachfront Confidante Hotel, part of the Hyatt Group, on September 12. There are two pools to choose from, plenty of seating options (cabanas, etc), roaming ice cream carts, plus a special guest: the legendary house and EDM DJ Ralphi Rosario. Tickets cost from $35.

If you can’t make SOAK but are visiting on Saturday September 18th, there’s another gay pool party from Miami YOLO at the new and improved Clevelander South Beach on Ocean Drive.

Miami Spice

The outdoor areas at Juvia (Photo: Michael Stavaridis)

Miami Spice is a two-month-long culinary festival in which Miami’s top restaurants run special offers on their signature dishes. It runs from the beginning of August until the end of September. You’ll be able to enjoy a three-course meal at participating restaurants at a reduced price: $28 for lunch/brunch and $42 for dinner.

You’ll find participating restaurants in all the neighborhoods, with the greatest concentration in South Beach and the Downtown Miami area. You can enjoy the likes of Juvia [pictured above] on Lincoln Road, which offers stunning views of South Beach from its roof terrace.

Reconnect with nature

(Provided by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

If you’ve never been to this part of Miami before, you must visit either the Everglades or Biscayne National Park. The former, subtropical wilderness offers 1.5 million acres of unspoiled, unique scenery – much of which can be explored by way of airboat safari. Alternatively, walk the two-mile boardwalk that winds through the towering cypress trees of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, or check out the hundreds of alligators lining the banks of Big Cypress National Preserve.

Biscayne National Park is the biggest marine sanctuary in the U.S. Explore its fish-bejeweled coral reefs and mangrove forests and be prepared to get up close to manatees, hawksbill sea turtles, and hundreds of other species.

If you want something smaller and more central, head for the tropical grounds of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables. It offers 83 acres of stunning, shady flora, along with a busy calendar of workshops and events: everything from yoga to painting.

The gay beaches

Two men and their child on a beach in Miami
(Provided by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

Any visit to Miami means you’ll be spoiled for beaches, but most of our crowd heads straight for the gay beach at 12th Street – one of the most famous in the U.S. Crystal blue waters lap against the white sands and rainbow flags flutter near the beach’s iconic, colorful lifeguard stands. Whether you’re traveling solo or in a group, it’s easy to feel at home, with sun-worshippers of all shapes and sizes congregating next to the Atlantic’s blue waves.

Prefer even more freedom? Approximately 11 miles north of South Beach is Haulover Beach. Nestled between the Intercoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, it’s the only beach in the area with the ever-popular clothing-optional section.

Paddle with Pride at Virginia Key

Virginia Key in Miami
(Photo: Virgina Key)

Want to get out on the water? Head straight for Virginia Key, which is a tranquil, blue lagoon. This eco-escape offers you the opportunity to rent a kayak or paddleboard, or a mountain bike or beach cruiser for those who prefer to stick to land. It offers 9.5miles of bike trails.

Regular events include paddleboard yoga (which takes some balancing skills!), sunset and full-moon excursions, and manatee photo safaris. If you’re lucky, you might even spot the odd turtle, stingray, or dolphin.

Enjoy outdoor art

You'll find plenty of outdoor art in Miami
You’ll find plenty of outdoor art in Miami (Provided by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

Miami has an international reputation as an art hub thanks to the annual Art Basel, North America’s largest contemporary art fair, and a multitude of galleries. Wynwood Walls, in the heart of the Wynwood Arts District, is the city’s first and only outdoor museum dedicated to street art and urban graffiti. This vibrant and unique outdoor space has been running for over a decade and offers around 35 original murals and sculptures by world-renowned artists. To keep visitor numbers reduced, booking in advance is essential.

Shop and snack along Lincoln Road

(Provided by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

If you wanting to browse in boutique stores, snack from pop-up trucks, hunt out a bargain at a street market or just grab a coffee at an outdoor table and people-watch, then the ten-black stretch of Lincoln Road is the place to head.

Check out Spris for Italian pizza, Doraku Sushi for Japanese, or more European brasserie fare at the gay-friendly Balans. You’ll find an artisan market every last Sunday of the month, plus regular, pop-up food festivals. Lincoln Road Mall, once dubbed “the Fifth Avenue of the South,” offers plenty of household brands and designer names. Similarly, Brickell City Centre brings three levels of exceptional luxury shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Sip on a high-rise cocktail

The rooftop poll and bar at gay bar, Palace, in Miami
The rooftop pool and bar at Palace in Miami (Photo: Palace)

Fans of rooftop bars will be spoiled in Miami. One of our favorites is Palace, one of South Beach’s best-known gay bars. Its drag entertainment and brunches pull visitors from far and wide. It also has a gorgeous rooftop bar, complete with a pool, a great view over the always-buzzing South Beach, and plenty of frozen cocktails.

The Sugar rooftop bar at East hotel
The Sugar rooftop bar at East hotel (Photo: East)

You want higher? Sugar at the East Hotel in Brickell is 40 stories in the sky. This very hip, ‘Miami meets Hong Kong’ rooftop bar offers stunning views across the whole region, while its secluded gardens create an enchanted enclave to explore the menu of Asian-inspired cocktails.

Step back in time

Vizcaya Museum in Coconut Grove, Miami
Vizcaya Museum in Coconut Grove, Miami (Provided by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

Miami is home to some incredible homes and history. One of its most famous residents was empire-building, Chicago industrialist James Deering, who in the early 20th century built his European-inspired Vizcaya Villa, complete with idyllic Italian gardens and baroque interior design flourishes. The home is now a museum and is one of Miami’s top visitor attractions. Located in Coconut Grove, it offers fantastic views over the sparkling Biscayne Bay. Enjoy a European-style afternoon tea on Sundays at the museum cafe.

James Deering’s brother, Charles, also loved the region and built his own impressive home on the coast of South Dade. The Deering Estate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Like Vizcaya, it’s now a hugely popular museum and offers a stunning backdrop for photos (it even runs some sunrise sessions) and spectacular hiking trails.

Don’t also forget about other Pride festivals taking place in Miami, which could also be combined with a Miami vacation, such as Hialeah Pride on October 10, 2021.

(Photo: Miami Beach Pride)