33 fabulous reasons to say ‘GAY’ on your next trip to Florida

Celebrations at Miami Beach Pride.

Florida officially passed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill into law, prohibiting teachers from talking about homosexuality or gender identity in primary school and beyond. The law’s vague language makes it unclear what is and isn’t legal, putting LGBTQ+ kids at risk. Supporters of the new law argue they want to have the right to control their children’s education. But if kids don’t feel safe at home, restricting these important conversations in school could shield them from lifesaving resources. 

No matter how much hateful legislation Florida officials try to pass, queer hubs around Florida will continue to flourish. While the government tries to silence our voices, in response, gay-owned businesses, residents, and even the towns themselves are fighting back.

We’ve come up with 33 reasons you should proudly say “GAY” in Florida. Highlighting queer-loving cities along the coast, see why this state is home to some of the country’s greatest LGBTQ+ communities and destinations. 

West Palm Beach 

The more lively neighbor to Palm Beach’s sophisticated ocean-side neighborhoods, West Palm Beach is one of the Florida hubs where you’ll find a thriving queer community. Check out Lake Worth Beach, a welcoming area with lots to do, and the location of Palm Beach Pride. 

1. Palm Beach Pride 


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After a two-year Covid-induced hiatus, Palm Beach Pride was back in Lake Worth Beach’s Bryant Park last weekend. Thousands of people attended the event which also included a parade and performances by celebrity guests and local talent.

2. International Gay Polo Tournament 


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Every year, the Palm Beach Gay Polo League hosts this highly anticipated tournament. Five days of tailgating that gets as competitive as the game, with spectators decking out their space to create their own theme party, each trying to top the last. This year’s event is coming up fast, starting April 6, 2022.

3. The Mad Hatter


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Taking on the night at this popular, laid-back gay bar in Lake Worth is always a good idea.

4. Pride in the streets

Photo via Palm Beach Post Facebook

Inclusive art initiatives in Delray and Boynton Beach are taking the rainbow crosswalk to a whole new level with pride intersections rendering the progress flag. And it’s not just here, you can find creative ways to represent all the colors of the flag at traffic stops in cities in The Palm Beaches. Perfect for a photo op #gay. 

UP NEXT: Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Key West, Orlando and more

Fort Lauderdale

Wilton Manors Pride celebrations

Fort Lauderdale is one of the top places for gays to live and play with the largest concentration of gay couples in any major US city. More than 100 gay-owned establishments call Fort Lauderdale home, from hotels to gay bars, restaurants, and beaches. The whole area is as LGBTQ+ friendly as it is beautiful, but the epicenter of gay life is in Wilton Manors, a gayborhood just north of downtown, close to the beach. Here you’ll find the majority of gay bars, and queers residents living their best lives. 

5. The Grand Resort and Spa

Fort Lauderdale’s largest gay-owned and operated men’s resort is also the most luxurious. Just steps away from the beach and close to the best gay nightlife, you’re in the best location…if you ever want to leave the spa.

6. Worthington Guesthouse

Photo via Worthington Guesthouse on Google Maps

This clothing-optional resort for gay men is a short walk away from the gay beach. Come back after a long day in the sun to a pool, jacuzzi, and its lively weekend happy hour.

RELATED: So what exactly happens at Pig Week in Fort Lauderdale?

7. Sebastian Street Beach


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This is Fort Lauderdale’s most popular gay beach, mainly for male-identifying folks. It’s located close to most of the gay resorts for convenient vacation fun.

8. Marlin Beach 2.0

Via Marlin Beach 2.0 Tea Dance on Facebook

Every other Sunday from January 30 to May 29, Flock Fest is throwing a Tea Dance at the Ed Lugo Resort in Wilton Manors.

9. Georgie’s Alibi Monkey Bar

Via Georgie’s Alibi Monkey Bar Wilton Manors on Facebook

This busy weekend favorite is known for its cheap long islands and drag shows. Meet locals and travelers alike on the patio and the dance floor.

UP NEXT: Ladies to the front! Key West is waiting.

Key West

A colorful van parked in front of an Old Town conch-style house.

The closest you’ll get to Caribbean-blue water without leaving the continental United States, Key West is a tropical paradise and a long-time queer travel destination. In fact, Key West was the first US travel destination to target the LGBTQ+ community specifically. Today it hosts more than 300,000 LGBTQ visitors annually, thanks in part to some of the iconic queer events it hosts. While there are plenty of male-only options, Key West welcomes the whole LGBTQ community with the official city motto “One Human Family.” For a truly gay stay, check out one of the gay guest houses in the historic Old Town district, and definitely spend a night, or two, bar hopping on Duval Street.

10. Alexander’s Guesthouse

Originally built in the early 1900s and renovated in 1981, this LGBTQ-exclusive guesthouse maintains its Old Town charm on the outside with a contemporary Key West casual style on the inside. In a sea of “men only” resorts, this is one of the few stays in the gay guesthouse area that accommodate femme-identifying travelers.

11. Island House 

If you’re looking for a retreat specifically designed for gay boys, you can’t go wrong staying at this iconic Key West guest house or visiting the pool for the day. Island House is male-exclusive and clothing-optional, you won’t even need the beach with these poolside views.

RELATED: Watch Kit & John have a tropical good time in the gay paradise that is Key West

12. 801 Bourbon Bar


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A Duval Street staple, 801 Bourbon Bar is home to a number of fabulous weekly events. Come here on New Year’s Eve to experience the iconic shoe drop with local drag queen superstar Sushi.

13. 22&Co


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The LGBTQ+ bar for everyone, 22&Co is an explosion of color, glitter, and tutus. This lesbian-owned cozy spot is always packed with a fun crowd enjoying creative martinis.

14. Womenfest 2022

Photo via Gay Key West

Thousands of women have taken over the island for more than 20 years to celebrate Womenfest, and she’s back this year, September 7-11. Gay bars and other local businesses give the women what they want with an array of events around the island, from clothing-optional pool parties to women-only sunset sails and snorkeling. And when they say women, they mean all women, lesbians, trans women, and allies alike. 

15. Tropical Heat

Photo via Gay Key West

Escape to the Keys in August for Tropical Heat! This famous five-day event is full of parties and T-dances you don’t wanna miss.

UP NEXT: Our favorite spots on Miami Beach!

Miami Beach

Cute couple skating along South Beach.

The colorful, diverse city of Miami Beach is a great place for all colors of the rainbow to live and play. You’ll find most of the gay spots in South Beach, with bars, clubs, and gay beach all in the same area. South Beach or SoBe is an area full of active, beautiful, tan people, and beaches that are almost as hot. Dance until dawn in the city where the party is always en fuego.

16. Miami Beach Pride


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If any US city knows how to party, it’s Miami Beach—and Pride is no exception. This year’s Miami Beach Pride takes place April 1-10 with a full lineup of beach parties, Ballroom performances, and a queer art showcase. It all leads up to the Pride Parade on April 10, and we can’t wait to hear all those Floridians say “gay.”

17. Palace


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From brunch to bar to rooftop pool, you can have a full day of partying in this one spot. The Palace is famous for its drag brunches, which were the first in Miami. Brunch is $50 per person, a steal between the bottomless mimosas and amazing queens. A rooftop bar with a pool and ocean views is open every day and available for private events. At night, Palace transforms into one of the city’s hottest gay bars. This is a must-see any time of day.

18. 12th Street Beach


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Marked by rainbow flags, 12th Street Beach is the best place to tan with a view. It’s in the perfect South Beach location across the street from Palace. Here you’ll find many gay men in speedos, with a sprinkling of gay and straight girls alike looking to tan topless without straight dudes staring.

19. Hotel Gaythering


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A hotel specifically made for the gays, this Miami Beach spot has so much to offer on-site. Popular weekly events include karaoke, bingo, and trivia, all hosted by local drag favorites. The hotel bar is also a popular spot for gay locals and tourists to socialize. Plus, the lobby features rotating art from queer artists to admire or buy.

What about Wynwood in Miami? That’s coming up next…

Miami – Wynwood

Friendly sign welcoming travelers to Wynwood.

Beautiful beaches, sunny days, and non-stop nightlife have, for years, been Miami’s recipe for satisfaction. The city’s wealth of attractions catering to the LGBTQ community makes it a top travel destination. Of course, not all Miami is glittering golden tans and speedos under bulging biceps. Like any big city, Miami has its fair share of urban sprawl; so you’ll want to concentrate your time on the gayest neighborhood in Miami proper: Wynwood.

20. Wynwood Walls


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More than just a colorful photo-op, a visit to the Wynwood Walls is like walking through an outdoor fine art gallery. Famous street artists from across the globe have made their mark.

21. R House


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Known for its rowdy drag brunches, this Wynwood watering hole is the place to be on the weekends. Spend an unforgettable afternoon sipping on mimosas while Miami’s most fabulous drag performers sashay your cares away.

RELATED: Did somebody say bottomless mimosas? Top 10 drag brunches in the US

22. Plant Miami


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This one is for all the soy-boys out there! Plant Miami welcomes vegans and veggie-curious folks with an elevated, seasonal menu of farm-to-table delights. Plant Miami offers such an amazing fine dining experience, that even carnivores won’t miss the meat.

UP NEXT: Tampa Bay, baby!

Tampa Bay

Ybor City aerial view.

While there are pockets of LGBTQ+ hangouts, the queer scene in Tampa is pretty spread out. You’ll find some spots with the mainstream hetero nightlife in the old town “Ybor City.” Dunedin is another happening hangout for queers with its eclectic crowd and lively energy. This gay-friendly spot is popular with a younger crowd for its nightlife and gorgeous beaches. St. Petersburg, home to Tampa’s closest gay beach, is another nice place to be out and proud. There’s plenty to check out in the Tampa Bay area if you know where to find it.

23. Sawmill Campground


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Sawmill has a totally different vibe than Fort Lauderdale men’s resorts or Key West Guesthouses, but it’s the same idea just more rugged. The LGBTQ+ campground features a clothing-optional pool, zip-lining, and antique shopping. At night, campers either hit up the local gay bars or make a night of their own around the campfire.

24. Sunset Gay Beach


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This St. Petersburg-based gay beach is more relaxed than others around the state that tend to be party beaches. This gorgeous beach is the perfect place to relax and watch all the colors of the sunset.

25. Crown and Bull


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This martini bar with a great outdoor space hosts a mixed crowd but is a favorite with the queers. From brunch to late-night dancing, this spot is always a move.

26. Blur Nightclub


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A bar for everyone, this LGBTQ+ favorite provides partying inside and out. Regulars love this place the DJs who only play bangers. Go here for a mixed, young crowd and a good time.

UP NEXT: Orlando and Jacksonville


A view of Orlando’s Ferris wheel at night.

Orlando has more to offer than a sea of theme parks. This central Florida hub might not have the beaches of the previous cities, but it still hosts a vibrant gay scene. It is also home to the Pulse nightclub memorial, which honors those lost in the tragic 2016 shooting. This museum serves as a reminder of how dangerous homophobia can be.

27. Pulse nightclub memorial


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The former site of the gay nightclub Pulse now holds a memorial and museum honoring the 49 lives lost to senseless hate in 2016. The space is run by the onePULSE Foundation. Started by the owner of Pulse to provide a space to remember victims, the foundation also spreads awareness and helps to stop hate in Orlando’s community.

Shops for queers

28. Ritzy Rags


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Looking for a new ballroom outfit? Check out Ritzy Rags for all your drag needs. Here you’ll find shoes, breast forms, and of course wigs, to fit any theme or style you can imagine.

29. MojoMan Swimwear & Clothing

Where all the local gay men go to buy their speedos for resort pool days and beach trips. They also carry tops, underwear, lube, and some of the cheapest little bottles around.


Though the city is overall pretty conservative, Jacksonville’s gay scene has surged in recent years. You’ll find most of it in San Marco, Riverside, or Avondale neighborhoods, filled to the brim with eclectic charm, retro boutiques, and visible gay culture.

30. Hamburger Mary’s

With drag queens and burgers, this beloved gay chain is a sight for sore eyes, and hungry bellies, wherever you find her.

31. Guana River State Park


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The gay section of this beautiful Northern Florida beach can be found easily if you park in the middle lot and walk directly north.

32. In Cahoots

This popular gay bar is loved for its go-go dancers, drag shows, and drink specials. No matter what event they’re hosting it’s always a good time.

33. Our comprehensive guide to Gay Florida

Last but not least, our guide is a great starting point for planning your next adventure in America’s southernmost state. There are so many fabulous places to check out, that we couldn’t possibly include them all on this list! Here at GayCities, no matter where you travel, we want to help you feel safe and welcome.

RELATED: 5 unique LGBTQ-friendly shops to enjoy during your next Key West adventure

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